Saturday, April 11, 2009

Latin Dancer

I visited a small dance studio the other day with my daughter's friend and was so impressed with the posture and presence of the instructor, who was in her 80's. Baile Artistico Dance Studio teaches Folklorico, Flamenco, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop and Jazz. We observed a ballet folklorico class, which involved big, flowing skirts and lots of loud stomping with tap shoes. More than with say, classical ballet, which can get really technical, this style of dance seemed to me to really come alive when there was attitude infused into the movements by the dancers themselves. The more sass, or firm pride there was in the tilt of a chin for example, the better. I do know that I enjoy all kinds of dance more when the soul of the dancer is expressed, instead of it being just about the movements of the body. So not only was the instructor obviously very talented and experienced, she appeared to me to have that extra something which magnetizes one's eyes. I have been trying to improve my posture ever since watching her teach.

Picado Artist

Local artist Kathleen Trenchard hand-cuts decorative paper flags in the Mexican tradition.

I find this rather fascinating and plan to talk with her more soon. See her website here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Brackenridge Park a jewel of San Antonio. It's such a great place. On weekends it's packed to overflowing with birthday parties. Every picnic table throughout the large park is staked out and decorated with balloons, streamers, colorful tablecloths and often a pinata. Parking can be an issue, so be ready to walk.

The river winding through is open for fishing and offers lots of variety, including lily pads, different breeds of ducks and walls for sitting along its banks. At one part cars can drive through a section of shallow water to cross to the other side.

The zoo is next door to the park section. Some birds are visible in trees overhanging the fence.

A golf course is here.

A bright red miniature train runs a two-mile course through the park.

There are baseball fields and open areas for soccer.

Miles of biking/walking paths run through.

A great playground is adjacent to a large stone pavilion with rows of picnic tables.

It's just very pretty, with lots of shade, trees, paths, the picturesque mini-train and sloping river banks. Lots of green.

* This bridge is just one of the faux bois (fake wood) creations all over town done by the Cortes family.  There is a bus stop on Broadway, a pavilion at Landa library, benches at La Cantera shopping center, among others.  I find them very fanciful structures.  They remind me of woodland fairy furniture.

McAllister Park

A San Antone green lung. You'd think you were in the country, except for sometimes the giant belly of a jet flying low overhead. The airport is adjacent to the acres set aside for the park.

Has extensive bike trails - paved and rough. Plenty of party pavilions and sports fields.

A highlight is the dog park. There's a small playground (with canine play equipment). The place is well-frequented and you might want to go watch the antics even if you don't have a pet. So many different breeds to see.


This was just absolutely delicious Italian food.

And I'm tempted to leave this posting at that.

Because who doesn't like delicious Italian food?

There are lots of Italian restaurants, and to be honest, I like most of them. I'm just a fan of pasta and sauce.

This however was a cut above. I had Fettucini Alfredo Primavera and the vegetables were cooked to perfection and tasted so good. The pasta was perfect and tasty; the sauce was the perfect consistency and yummy.

Okay, so the environment was formal. My husband and I went for lunch and there were many people in nice business suits, and many others having some kind of medically-related conversations, since this is located near the Health Sciences
Centers. There were goblets, thick, white, cloth tablecloths and the kind of service from white-shirted, black-trousered waiters that is sort of an event in itself.

Tower of the Americas/Chart House Restaurant

We ate here for a special family dinner. Although it appears to be a very swanky restaurant and we did enjoy the quality of our food, there was actually a variety of priced items to choose from on the menu, as well as a variety of levels of dress among the clientele. We wore middle-of-the-road clothes and saw both tourists, in shorts and t-shirts, and young couples in cocktail dresses and jackets. A few tables had large bouquets of roses which can be ordered when you make a reservation, to be delivered during the meal. We made reservations, but I saw a few people walk-in. This was in January.

The whole experience was much more fun than I thought it would be. The entire restaurant rotates around about once an hour. I've been up in tall buildings to look at cities before, and really am not that interested after a short while. The difference for me here, was that you can sit and have the view present itself slowly in a circle, plus eat and talk while looking out the windows. Also, there were Christmas lights at the time we were there, and we were there right at sundown, so were able to see the city view during daylight and at night, and watch the sky change.

There is not much room to walk around the tables, so I think it's a challenging job for the waiters. You do feel a little off-balance walking, after the moving meal.

This is "our tower."  San Antonio's skyline is enhanced by this structure, which was built for the World's Fair in 1968.

Poteet Strawberry Festival

... ate the little green plastic basket of strawberries in the car on the way home. They were crunchy not with sugar, but with dust. Delicious anyway.

It was very windy and dry for our visit.


Strawberry shortcake; chocolate-dipped strawberry kabob; corn-on-the-cob.

Gunfighters who were convincingly dressed and with real, droopy mustaches. Obviously enjoying their act and the chance to perform exaggerated death jerks during the pretend shoot-out.

There were these giant, wooden rocking horses wearing real saddles.

A couple of really excellent bands. One jazz/rock/blues. One a group of very young and accomplished mariachi musicians, girls and boys.

In the distance was a water tower painted to look like a giant strawberry.

A stuffed, bright red strawberry mascot roamed the festival posing for photo-ops.


There were the usual carnival rides and games.

We noticed that the new live prize to take home is a ferret! Last time we went to a fair in England it was goldfish. I think the ones we ended up with were all three named Amy and lived with us for quite awhile ...

* The smaller-than-usual, homegrown Poteet berries were wonderful. Wonderful.