Friday, November 20, 2009

The Historic Menger Hotel

A step back in time, in a good way!

Some rooms with balconies overlooking Alamo Plaza.

Gorgeous interior architectural touches.

A grand marble lobby.

An Irish pub imported piece-by-piece, where evidently Teddy Roosevelt met with the Rough Riders.

Lovely atrium with decorative metal banisters, stairs spiraling up four floors.

It's brochure uses the words, "sophisticated and tasteful" and I agree. Victorian decor looks right with modern renovations.

Original section built in 1859 right next to the Alamo (50 rooms). There are now 350 rooms.

I didn't realize until visiting that it actually connects to the Rivercenter Mall.

Tres Rebecas

"Cultural Design Studio
Boutique, Gallery & Books"

This shop is (obviously) multi-faceted. Also, it's multicolored. The exterior is pastel blue, green and pink. Inside, glowing orange, red and yellow make for a cheerful appetizing atmosphere.

There are items of clothing from a Mexican designer's collection.
A large table in the back which can accomodate parties and classes.
Classes can include quilling, metal-working, and ribbon-and-bead necklace-making.
There is a selection of fabrics with unique latin-themed prints.

I predict you'll like this place. Proprietress Becky Barrera makes her selections with care and an eye toward innovation, education and diversity, as well as a focus on the handmade. Things are beautiful.
An unexpected bonus is the crafts area in the back of the shop.

Really, the combination of books, crafts and gift items is a delicious one.

Ms. Barrera has a background as an experienced educator and this obviously informs her perspective. Tres Rebecas is truly a gathering place.

(Pictured: Book Launch/Fundraiser for Bonham Academy)


Tres Rebecas has since moved to retail online only at their website:

Shipley Do-Nuts


Oversized, perfect doughy texture, cherry kolaches.

Plain doughnuts are delicious.

Evidently the store was "born" in Houston in 1936.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oldest Grocery in San Antonio

Yesterday I was able to pop in and check out Maggot's Grocery, the city's first grocery store, established in 1883 by Theo and Pauline Magott. I met Larry Maggot (pictured) their grandson, who told me that not much has changed over the years. The size of the place is basically the same, there are old, old wooden floors and a low ceiling. The meat section was moved from one side of the back wall to another when they needed to put in drinks coolers in the 60's. I was able to find strawberry wafer cookies that I couldn't find recently elsewhere. The store is in the shadow of the Tower of the Americas, if you're standing across from it looking south. Even though the location has always been the same, the address number changed from #814 to #1314 Commerce after Hemisfair buildings were built in 1968. Larry told me that The Institute of Texan Cultures has a display featuring his grandparents, including information about how Theo contributed to the Polish language newspaper of his day.