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On the Street

On the Street

High Culture, Low Culture, and No Culture all co-existing uneasilly in another installment of On the Street.  As always, read at your own risk...


Letters (to the On the Street Penthouse Suite)

Perhaps at some time later an OTS historian can more clearly look back and make sense of all that comes in as well as all that goes out.  It's been said that the human body maintains homeostasis between internal and external factors.  I sense a pressure building up.  Perhaps balance isn't what we thought it was.

To the letters...

#1

An announcement came in for this travelling group show.  I hope to check it out soon and then head over to the spectacle on Alamo Street.  Thankfully, Kid Rock is performing Saturday night, not on First Friday.  Somehow, Kid Rock has successfully borrowed the worst aspects of a variety of bad musical genres.




"Hi All,
 
I hope you will make a trip to Blue Star this Thursday, April 3 or First Friday, April 4 to view 2 fabulous exhibitions that include:
 
Goin' Mobile
April 3 - June 8, 2008
 
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 3, 6-8pm and Friday, April 4, 6-9pm
 
Inspired by the Who song of the same name, Goin' Mobile, is an on-the-road inspired traveling exhibition that investigates the literal sense of travel.  Goin' Mobile ventures in every direction to guide the viewer on a trip to those familiar and unknown places along our traveled and explored routes.
 
Featured artists:
Adam Blumberg (Philadelphia, PA)
Min-Tse Chen (Beijing, China)
Mark Hogensen (San Antonio, TX)
Michele Monseau (San Antonio, TX)
Tao Rey (Miami, FL)
Mark Schatz (Houston, TX)
Ethel Shipton (San Antonio, TX)
 
Curated by Kimberly Aubuchon, Director, Unit B (Gallery)
 
This show has traveled to Commerce Street Artists Warehouse, Houston, TX; Polvo, Chicago, IL in 2007; and will travel to Texas A&M International University Gallery, Laredo, TX in 2009.


Also:  please join us at Three Walls, 106D Blue Star, for an extended exhibition of Nate Cassie's For You, open tonight, Thursday, from 6-8pm, and extended until April 16."



#2

This looks to be an interesting test to take.  There are about 30 questions that somehow graph one's political leanings.  Be careful of the astrology question - that just might be the one to send into a quadrant of no return.



"http://www.politicalcompass.org/test

If you guys feel like taking this and sharing, then by all means let's see the results

As for me....  big shocker!"


#3

One would think it's only me going on and on about the free sample of absinthe I received (see later in this epic post of the week for absinthe anxiety) but in actuality people in San Francisco, California are very concerned if I received the sample.  As I mentioned, more on this topic in a moment.  But to conclude, yes, sample has been received and action is coming soon enough.

"Mark,

Apologies for my last email (below)....hit send too soon.

I wanted to confirm that you received a sample, and see if there's anything else you need.  Let me know either way!

Thanks,
Kate"



#4

With the ambiguous title, "You might be interested in this" came this link to a story comparing basketball and politics.  Unfortunately, the Spurs got compared to Clinton, which is better than John McCain and needless to say if that was case then I would have stopped reading right there.  I suppose the analogy works well enough.

Here it is.

#5

And lastly, came an email with the greeting of "Good Morning"  and a link to this youtube video of the Asian MC Hammer.

Here it is.





Downtown Highlife Rides Again



Farmers should give me a huge kickback because it never comes close to raining in San Antonio unless it's the Last Friday of the month.  On cue, clouds darkened and milimeters of Hg began to drop on the barometric scale.  Moods became uneasy.  Fluid in the bursae swelled.  Knees began to ache.  Wills weakened.  On this note, the ride still took place.



Downtown Highlife travels by bike but really it's all about economic revitalization.  Here in the ballyhooed "NoFlo" district we stopped by the smallest convenient store north of downtown for supplies for the journey.  This building had always intrigued me by daylight, however, at night I never noticed if it was actually open.  It was.



Inside, drinks were cooled in a domestic grade refrigerator.   I don't know what more to say about that except one doesn't typically see that sort of thing at a store, which made it all the more interesting.  And when I say one doesn't see this level of casual capitalism too often, I mean not even at the St. Hedwig Club (more on that later, consider this a tease.)



Due to the rain and low turnout of a few months back we celebrated this month's relatively less low turnout with a trip back to the pedestrian bridge over I-10.  But to call it a pedestrian bridge seems wrong.  For one, as a pedestrian bridge it is severely unsafe and unaccesible.  The two entrances are: by an access road and by train tracks.  And this is for children to use to go to school?   No, this overpass is for adult use.




I'm not sure what that means, but adult life is nothing but a life of options.  As when one turns 17 and can see "R" rated movies, Downtown Highlife also is a celebration of the cusp of maturity, which is another way of saying that it is the two-way threshold of adults slipping into the false positives of youth, and by that I mean adult delinquence, at-risk adults, living an "R" rated lifestyle, and other similar descriptions.



At Woodlawn Lake looking towards downtown.  The ride always offers personal and epic vistas, too often collapsing into one another.  Also, the fuzz that was rolling by the bridge wondering why a bunch of people with bikes were standing on the bridge at 10pm was no longer around.  See above for false positives of youth.



To the left off camera, youth played an improvised game of basketball (and just when I thought playground basketball was officially dead.)  To the right off camera, a gaggle of ducks had just strolled by.



Each ride the evolution continues.  New people join, old people move away.  For example, one rider is new to town and beginning medical school; another is about to split town for San Diego to live on a house boat a la Riptide.  

This is underneath the covered patio of Angie's Patio on Fred Road by 5 Points.  To say we weren't given a hero's welcome would be to lie.  Angie came out with an old cherished copy of the "Dining on the Old Spanish Trail" cover story from several months back.  They had sent copies off to relatives in Chicago, and if I heard corrrectly, Honduras.  Angie's husband took a foto of the group to put above the bar.  His foto would probably look quite similar to this one.


Absinthe (On My Mind)



A writer's drink.  When it came into the Current office I just happened to be in front of my laptop.  Not quite as nostalgic as some coffee shop in New Orleans.



Sure, I could have just opened that tiny bottle and thrown in back but there is a tradition to absinthe.  And, I was told I could mix 2-4 drinks out of that sample so I waited for others to join me.  The view through the bottle is murky.  This image seems closest to what people describe about its effects.  Yes, it's legal.



Still waiting.


Street Scenes



The morning after.  Somewhere in the Beacon Hill area this rascal was hiding out in his barrel after a night of assumed celebration.



When travelling across McCullough, taking the street right before the turnaround can be a good way to avoid a clusterflock.  And then I came across this Tuscan-inspired restaurant in progress.  The honest thing to say is that many older Olmos Park homes share a similar Mediterranean itch.  What stands out to me is that this building is on the edge of the "wrong side" of Olmos Park, where many of the streets don't connect across McCullough and other subtle details.  Taco Taco is one thing because it allows some people to feel like they're experimenting with geography, but here...who knows what will happen.  I'm talking more about real estate trends of course.  In taking a peek, the craftmanship of the bar looks impressive.  What actually happens here is but another mystery of the adult world.

Treehouse



Hidden behind Augie's BBQ by Japanese Tea Garden is a small house/wine bar called the Treehouse, which is funny because that was the name I gave it under my breath.  I've never seen people there in the parking lot so of course that means that when I go the parking lot is as packed as it's never been. There was a private party going on below at Augie's with a full band cranking AC/DC covers.  It was then that SA presented itself again, effortlessly. As I foolishly tried to hide up in the treehouse and have a glass of wine, down in the valley the mass of the city beckoned.  When the bartender tried to cover the doors to block the noise, really he may have been hiding us from the city below.

Obameter

Writer Jesse Walker gives interesting thoughts on the Obama spectacle.  I basically agree with him - Obama is the most interesting when he's being reviled and forgotten, and the least interesting in the moments he's being praised.

Take a look.


3am - The Time Neoliberalism Died

Curmudgeon Alexander Cockburn raises prescient points about the economy and the main 3 candidates.  What will they say when the phone rings at 3am?


Bike As Gardening Device

Normally, OTS is the one haranguing citizens close and far.  In this instance, a leader of the local cycling scene jabs back.





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

Posted by Mark Jones on 4/4/2008
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