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On the Street


A Greeting From Rock Hudson and Bea Arthur



(While checking my mail from the OTS penthouse office, I came across that video, courtesy of Michael, a long-time OTS reader from fancy Austin.)


Alameda By Morning



Not since the grand opening with historical recreation actors have I been to the Museo Alameda.  Though some have described it as a "cascarone in the tourist plantation" I'm not overly offended.  It's here.  It's not going anywhere.  What goes on inside should hopefully be more the focus...



...which makes the huge show on Celia Cruz seem a little odd.  It seemed to take over the whole bottom floor of the museum.  I like Celia Cruz.  However, I wonder if some of the space on the bottom floor could have been used for an additional show.  I'm not suggesting a cheap jambalaya of artists to suggest something comprehensive, just maybe more variety.  Then again, Celia Cruz is a giant and deserves recognition.  I wonder if part of the supposed grumblings of the local art scene is that there is too much cultural history and not enough contemporary art.




The show with a walk down that previous hall of mirrors and video projections.  In the foto above this album cover one can see a glimpse of Celia's white shoe.  Elsewhere in the exhibit there was a display of one of her high heels in which the heel, through a clever invention by her cobbler(?), was somehow hidden, suggesting that she floated across earth.  However, was this same show in D.C. earlier?  The answer appears to be "yes".  Was there a great demand for it to arrive in San Antonio?  Who knows...



Las Mulatas de Fuego, I now understand.  But what about that hat?  Very similar to an LBJ Open Road.  



Yeah, this is a tough one.  From my previous experience as an inflatable doll wrangler I can't see how the museum can use this dummy without a face.  Then again, where are they going to get a hand painted mask that looks like the wonderful Celia Cruz.  At the Inflatable Crowd Company one of their masks was supposedly based on the likeness of Dionne Warwick, but looking back that sounds apocryphal.



I became most interested in this large scale blowup of one of her concerts.  The front row audience members all shared a rather focused gaze.



On one hand it began to feel like searching for suspects for a crime.  But then at that moment, I became the criminal as a security guard came over and told me to stop taking photographs.  I came to see the show upstairs with Vincent Valdez and Alex Rubio, San Anto: Pride of the Southside (But what about the westside?)  This is where my fotos of the Alameda ended.

Nothing else in the museum came close to the Valdez/Rubio show.   The textile exhibit...I wonder if this connects emotionally to the local Latino community.  I realize (I'm cynical and) that there's no reason to talk badly of it, well except for wondering the specifics of how Kathy Sosa got into the show, but is this show any different than an exhibit of local German culture focusing on the traditional clothes they wore?  I can't see this appealing to a large group of people.  Perhaps there should be more contemporary work.  

Given the context of the the majority of work at the Alameda, the Rubio/Valdez show stands out even more than I would have first thought.

Buildings No One Cares About



Exhibit A.  In the shadow of SAC.  It is interesting how some buildings seem to catch fire when new construction looms in the background.



Exhibit B.  This used to be a bar right across the street from the Pearl Brewery, which in itself seems a paradox that a brewery would need a bar right next door, but then it also makes perfect sense.  In the 90s I remember hearing stories of Henry Thomas hanging out there.  Also, there was a wrestling/boxing belt that hung above a doorway.  I believe it was stolen with people running out of the bar yelling "wahoo!"

?



This is either the most generous act of Christmas or a really good twisted joke.  Both options have merit.

Faraway, So Close



In act of self-punishment I took the bike out north towards the Death Loop and on the way back on Military Drive came across this tortured view.  This area was south of Huebner but north of where Military intersects Jackson-Keller.  This area had been a dead spot between the development of Castle Hills and the explosion out by 1604.  Now the two forces seem to squeezing towards the middle producing...



...the plans for a huge shopping center.  From what I recall from the sign, H.E.B. is going to have a store at this location.  One way of viewing this is to appreciate that the sprawl isn't continuing further north but now working back inwards.  However, all things are happening at once, more likely.



Back at the Pearl Brewery.  Is everything in a holding pattern?  How long has this remodel job taken? These were just a few obvious questions that came to mind.  Instead of a grand opening in the works I get the sense that various buildings of the larger Pearl complex will slowly and quietly be finished, for example the building that is underneath the large beer can right by Sam's Burger Joint.  Rumors were of a yoga studio and a few living spaces.
 


The only worker I could find on the scaffold was this guy.  I'm excited to see how this all comes together at some point.  Everything seems to be caught in a long, extended 2nd act.  Will there be a dramatic reversal at some point that surprises everyone?  



A random shot from the interior of my car at a car wash in Olmos Park, not far from the coffee shop Olmos Perk (more on them down the line.)  Not much of interest here except for my vehicle registration which is about to expire.





Then looking more closely I noticed these dumpsters.  And it wasn't for the lame graffiti.  The old divisions of Olmos Park are still apparent.  To stop the flow of traffic on a street like this of course can't be accidental. That it still exists seems so racist"old fashioned".  It wouldn't shock me if there was once a moat.



To change directions, here is a wonderful building north of downtown by Cypress and Main Avenue.  I heard rumors that it was going to be redone into more modern (expensive) loft style living.  Evidently now the building is still mainly for senior citizens.  I would  want to live there in the future but I probably couldn't afford the new rent (assuming this plan actually exists and goes through.)  



My other option for now is to get a fake I.D. and claim to be a senior citizen, which could be the workings for a great sitcom.  It wouldn't be quite like Bosom Buddies, but in the same direction.  Of course I would end up having Peter Scolari's career instead of Tom Hanks'...



(though it should be noted that they did reunite out of nowhere on Polar Express, the first movie ever shot using all "motion capture" technology which was supposed to revolutionize how all films were to be made. Thankfully that never happened.  Robert Zemeckis has continued down the digital/cartoon path, not that anyone has noticed.  Exactly...)

#6 Retired/Darius Washington Cut

I read today that the Spurs 3rd string point guard Darius Washington was cut from the team.  And only days ago Avery Johnson had his jersey retired.  At the ceremony more than once someone would refer to Avery getting cut from the team the day before Christmas.  I'm not trying to compare Darius to Avery.  However, I do wonder what happens next to Darius.  Perhaps he was most useful in outplaying Beno Udrih so that Beno could finally leave the team.  

But was that all Darius was useful for?  Perhaps he was too young catch the rest of the team's early 80s pop culture references?  Or he knew nothing about wine?  Or more likely, he was not ready to play for the Champions.  Nonetheless, the Empire is aging and youth is needed.

Put another way, there isn't much to discuss until the playoffs arrive.  



And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio.  As always, to be continued...


Posted by Mark Jones on 12/28/2007
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