The Alamo. Utter those words and nearly every Texan sees in their mind an iconic image: rugged and defiant Davy Crockett wearing buckskins and a coonskin cap. Well, actually most of us envision either Fess Parker or John Wayne playing Davy Crockett, but the outfit remains essential-ly the same.
No matter what task he’s engaged in—slicing limes, shaking cocktails, restocking the three-tiered tequila case—bartender Robert Varela pivots from what he’s doing behind the bar at San Antonio’s Frutería Botanero to greet guests with a welcoming bellow, “Bienvenido. Welcome.”
Most Texans with deep roots in the state treasure the contributions their ancestors made to its unique history. But there may not be a clan with a keener appreciation of its role in this immense and storied land than the Guerra family of far South Texas.
I feel a tug of skepticism as I test my tricycle legs at a storage facility just north of downtown San Antonio, preparing for this self-propelled tour.
Immerse yourself in the colorful works of influential French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) this summer at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
San Antonio has so many historic places it could take an out-of-towner a lifetime of visits to see them all. I made dozens of Alamo pilgrimages over a half-century before I discovered one of the city’s tastiest—and most historic—locales: Schilo’s Delicatessen, on Commerce Street just west of the famous Commerce Street bridge and within bugle range of the Alamo itself.
Sunburst glitters across a creature-filled pool on a bright afternoon, piercing the ripples and illuminating the aqua depths.
The Alamo opens a new exhibit this weekend that examines the sometimes-overlooked history of Hispanic defenders of the Alamo. Standing Their Ground: Tejanos and the Alamo opens Saturday and runs through June 6.
Every July, New Orleans throws an event called Tales of the Cocktail, a five-day celebration of fine drinks and the people who love them. Likewise, New York City stages the Manhattan Cocktail Classic each May; and in March, Aspen holds its annual Après Ski Cocktail Classic. It seems that from San Diego to Kansas City to Atlanta, people gather to acknowledge these heady days of craft cocktails. Texas’ big event is called the San Antonio Cocktail Conference (SACC), and this year it takes place January 16-19.
The first thing you should know about San Antonio’s Tamales! festival is that it’s not only about tamales. In fact, like most events that take place at the city’s vibrant and rapidly evolving Pearl Brewery complex, Tamales!—now in its fourth year—presents the ultimate combo platter of food, music, dance, and people-watching, all with a festive and easygoing vibe that somehow recalls a small-town carnival.
The first day of autumn officially falls in September each year, but to me, the final days of October really herald the changing season. With the sun’s rays striking the earth at a shallower angle, the light softens and dapples the landscape with a honeyed glow. And for some reason, I think of new beginnings, friends and family members who have passed on, and the mysterious quickening of time.
The streets of Old San Antonio have long been noted for their winding and crooked courses. And if you travel the way I sometimes do—the mule-headed “guy way” in which we set out exploring without maps or directions—you’ve no doubt gotten happily lost in the Alamo City’s avenues.