Saturday, April 25, 2009

San Antonio de Béxar

Digging San Antonio. This is my fourth trip to the city, the first since 2005. The culture and history of San Antonio runs deep, with Spanish, Mexican, French, German and Anglo dimensions.

San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the entire USA, just behind Philadelphia and ahead of Dallas, Detroit, and so on. Its population is approximately 62% Hispanic or Latino.

San Antonio has always had a military function, from the Spanish presidio through the Alamo to the Confederacy; for most of its history, it's known a strong US military presence at command, intelligence, medical, air and troop level. Before the American Civil War, both Joseph E. Johnston and Robert E. Lee knew San Antonio well -- in the 1850s, it was one the most civilized places in all of Texas.

Overall, San Antonio is about as old as Detroit and New Orleans. Like them, it's an interesting and storied place, no question.

Last night, one of the highlights of the Fiesta San Antonio and NIOSA (A Night in Old San Antonio) event was coming across "Lonesome Louie," the bluesman. He's like a blend of Elmore James and Lightnin' Hopkins, with a pinch of Johnny Cash.

The food, crowds and margaritas are all good so far; including the Fiesta Flambeau and other parades, think Mardi Gras. In San Antonio, this tradition goes back to the late 1800s.

Today's Rune: Initiation.


the walking man said...

Getting a last trip in before you need a passport to go to Texas?

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana and I caught a great comedy show last time we were there.

Bubs said...

I love San Antonio! If you get a chance eat a meal at Rosario's, it's not too far from that big tower in kind of an arty neighborhood downtown

Bubs said...

Oh yeah, and Rudy's BBQ (if you like beef brisket bbq and not pork)

Lana Gramlich said...

I have great memories of San Antonio with Charles. We had breakfast at one of the tables with the colorful umbrellas in the top photo. The Riverwalk ROCKS!

Ali said...

Erik, you made me want to visit it, I love places with different cultures and influences, I bet the cusine is great as well