Letter(s) (to the On the Street Penthouse Suite)
Don't Come Back to the Five and Dime
While I was out of town for a reunion for my High School intramural team (true story, though not the full story, and we were undefeated), I somehow didn't realize that the POTUS was coming to town for a few hours.
image by flickr user: ghostschool
Why George Bush would zip through Olmos Park is a mystery to me. I can only imagine there was a wealthy donor in the neighborhood he wanted to briefly visit on the way toâ?¦somewhereâ?¦wherever he's goingâ?¦what does he do again?
The last four years have been completely eventful, though perhaps not when seen from the perspective of the presidency. It's like he has the casual approach to work of Eisenhower, the disinterest of Ford, but without the (seemingly) even-hand of either of those administrations. Ford's â??do no harm' approach, of course, is much different than doing nothing while Rome burns. But to turn this twisted argument around, perhaps the TARP 700 billion bailout was his most impressive accomplishment. He actually got all the democrats on their own, without much bloviating, to sign off on this free check to Wall Street. Of course it didn't hurt that Obama was leading the charge.
(Also, for an at times brilliant but random and circuitous blog that addresses the apocalypse and is NOT afraid to relate it UFO sightings in Africa, then read this.)
Anyway, the letter from Sky -
Our beloved milk-shakery, defiled...
Rolling the 7-Sided Die
A friend had worked at the corporate Jamba Juice office in San Francisco. I'd heard stories of how well they treat their employees. Every year at a conference the best branch manager of the year gets their dream car as a gift. That seemed out of the ordinary. And, the idea of juice is healthy and people are generally trying to be healthy and stuff. Yet, somehow, the stock has fallen extremely low. I can't see this as a positive for the company, and yet, at the last moment we finally get a Jamba Juice in San Antonio, or at least I finally noticed one.
So, to help Jamba Juice's stock price I thought I'd go in for a glass. Perhaps, my three dollar purchase would send the stock price up ever so slightly and help my intramural friends improve their portfolio and help pay for their kids college? Given how low it is, the thought wasn't completely a joke, just sort of a joke. The stock is at around 60 cents a share. Google - probably around $500 a share. I'm just saying.
On the way back from Brady/Green Hospital I stopped in at the Jamba Juice on Broadway by Hildebrand. And who do I see sitting in there but Tim Duncan.
Immediately the thought shifted from getting the Jamba Juice stock up to 62 cents a share to the Spurs. I was in the process of walking in to set my bag down on the counter by the window so I could order and then read the Current. It was a glance out of the corner of my eye as I walked in and I could tell it was him. The rest of the Spurs are either 6'2" or in wheelchairs so it had to be him.
Everyone else there was buzzing in his presence with one person gawking at him and eventually got his autograph on a napkin. I was happy to ignore him and let him be. In fact, as I was reading the paper I noticed him look over at me. I think I was still wearing my sunglasses and for a moment it seemed that I was doing a better job than he of trying to be left alone (of course that's easier done when no one cares who you are.)
It was clear to me immediately that this was my one chance to interview a Spur, for the paper or otherwise. Despite a few attempts at their media department and marketing firm, I knew this was it.
And the question going through my mind — “do you or do you not play Dungeons and Dragons?”
foto by flickr user strange botwin
Over the last few years there has been a growing unchallenged consensus that Tim Duncan plays Dungeon & Dragons and goes to Rennaisance Festivals. It's become a badge of honor that perhaps he doesn't even know about.
I let him be. And though on one hand I have new impetus to try and interview him, I think I played it best. Yes, he could have revealed the shocking truth that he does in fact play Dungeons & Dragons. But if he had said the opposite? It would have been confirmation that the world is now less interesting. And who wants to be the one to deliver that news?
image from flickr user: strange botwin
On the Street goes 'On the Street'
Here, downtown by the Greyhound station there seems to be a harmonic convergence for homelessness, street photography, grafitti art, and 4 star French cuisine. I'll focus on photography for a moment. This building has been a lightning rod of sorts for occasional bombing. Its appearance evolves, telling us something, an answer which we don't know.
The prior trace has been all but removed.
A few random moments persist. But the absence looms larger. Is this somehow connected to why San Antonio has the 2nd most resilient economy in the country?
Probably not, but any explanation would be helpful.
That Oklahoma City leads the list tells me nothing. Having stayed there for a week about 2 1/2 years ago, I was quietly shocked at the poverty. There must be a law of Newton's physics in here somewhere. I guess when you never go up it's hard to go down.
After riding through downtown, and seeing Augie of Augie's BBQ on downtown St. Mary's Street in the middle of all the construction talking to a construction contractor/foreman looking guy, I began to wonder - is he opening a new restaurant? Perhaps other food writers around town already know about this - I'm just relaying what I saw with my own two eyes.
After that I ended up at Bluestar, looking for Jimmy the Bike Mechanic, whom I never found.
In full telescopic mode, the moon comes better in focus. Half-waning, half-waxing.
Inside Bluestar I got pulled into a wine tasting moment. It seems the wine distributor was there with new options for the staff to choose from. They were all Texas wines. We'll see if they end up on the menu.
And though we were drinking wine, I actually learned a lot more about beer. I had read and then forgotten about the hops crisis going on right now in the beer industry. Almost all of the hops in the US comes from around the Portland/Seattle area. It seems a lot of growers have switched to corn to get in on that boondoggle. (Corn! I know...) What this means is that less people are growing corn, there was a mysterious hops fire at some big warehouse (is this possible?) and the end result is that hops are now exponentially more expensive. Beer prices will go up but the profit margin is probably down.
A rise in gas prices is more painful for most people but a $8 pint of beer - that could be much more painful to some people.
Heading back on St. Mary's, as usual, I went by Central Catholic and the tv station. I thought I had taken all the angles I could of this tower but here may have been a new one.
Repetition, repetition, change. That was a formula described to me by a drama teacher in college. In San Antonio we know all about repetition. Change is something we either lack or overlook.
This place was something that I had consistently overlooked. On St. Mary's just south of Josephine is this small store. Were early Pixies playing on the stereo when I went in? Affirmative. Is there a more reliable litmus test?
Granted, I didn't find a seersucker blazer but I'll get back to that search later.
Further up McCullough I noticed this new store. Lily's Cookies is, I believe, the name on the window. It's next door to the coffee shop The Foundry that no one I know has yet to go into.
And finally, futbol mixed with football. Not too much more needs to be said here.
Passage of time...
On Wednesday I went along in a bike caravan to a meeting at the VIA office on San Pedro. A panel listened to suggestions and grievances for improvements in the bicycle scene. More than a few issues were raised by people who live on the NW side. If the nation was ever to produce a white collar Critical Mass bike ride, it would probably happen in San Antonio by people who live out by Helotes.
I'm about as useful at these meetings like a fish with a bicycle, or something...
Outside, a small group of us snuck out early and chased down the sun. Isn't that what life is about anyway?
And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio. As always, to be continued...