So when the Spurs won their first ring — you should’ve seen it — the whole pinche East Side walked into downtown like ants on a cold sandia. My hand still hurts from all the high fives. East Town loves our San Antonio Spurs. Now if the Spurs would just love East Town — like helpin’ out with renovating an elementary playground — heck, a parade, a turkey leg, somethin.’
The one street in San Anto where @ all times of the day there is someone crossing in front of an oncoming vehicle — from one end to the other it is filled with happy families who have lived there for many generations — it holds East Town together with its scratchy dog packs, yard-art installations, ice houses, and yes even the crazies — and I do mean CRAZIES — it’s worth the cruise.
St. Philip’s College
1801 Martin Luther King Dr.
Founded in 1898 as “a school designed to educate and train recently emancipated slaves.” Now one of today’s most successful college programs in San Antonio — one of these days they’ll open some dorms — that would be sweet. Hint-hint.
Tucker’s Kozy Korner
1338 E. Houston
I first heard about Tucker’s like a million years ago from amazing firewoman artista Bernice Williams. She would go on to say that Tucker’s is the last of many, many African-American music joints that existed East of downtown — and today it’s still kickin’, with guest DJs such as DJ Plata, plus other live acts . Also don’t wear your cut-offs — put yer nice pants on, with the Stacy Adams — make it fo’ reals.
The Carver Community Center
226 N. Hackberry
Built in 1929, formerly the Colored Library Auditorium. This is one of the many strongholds of African-American heritage here in San Antonio. Amazing African-American artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Mr. Louis Armstrong performed here — truly one of San Anto’s cultural assets.
Fatty’s Burgers & More
1624 E. Commerce
Coming from downtown — just as you pass under FitzGibbons’s Commerce Street super-freak light show — there you see it, the bright-yellow two-story building. FATTY’S BURGERS!!!!! My mouth is watering como un panting dog chasing a scrawny gato on Hackberry Street. The bun, the carne, the COMPLIMENTARY BEANS!!!!! And the best service east of the pinche 281. It’s perfect for that noontime meeting, or just takin’ your kids after playing with the water hose in the backyard.
Pee Wee’s Lounge
1701 S. Hackberry
OK, it’s probably the smallest bar in Texas — but don’t tell Pee Wee, cuz she’ll probably cut you. They only serve Bud Light and maybe Miller Lite — awesome old-school juke box, & the men’s bathroom is amazing — freaky but super-cool.
1132 S. Hackberry
Home to the craziest chicas on the East Side — a sewing co-op run by Laura Salazar, La Missy Ozuna , y Laura Bodinez. They host nice record parties with sewing activities — oh, and teach classes, too. Very reasonable.
Powder House Hill
(the old cemeteries)
8235 Mission Rd.
It’s said to have been the sight of an ol’ Spanish gunpowder factory — and then somewhere along the line folks started to use it as a cemetery. You can find folks buried all the way back to the Alamo here — as well as folks from the Civil War, Union and Confederate. A perfect bike ride.
725 Austin St.
I’m jus’ sayin!!! It’s on the East Side, watcha! Tacones with a smile!
2014 E. Houston
This is high-class, Eastside style. If the karaoke won’t slap you silly, the stiff drinks will. I once took some artists from the Bay Area here and they freaked out — especially cuz we were sippin on drinks with a Buffalo Soldier — only in SAN ANTO. Oh, and again, don’t look like a slob — this is a very respectable place.
321 N. New Braunfels
OK, this is where you go before you go to Midtown. Seriously folks — this place is outta kontrol!!!! I think this might be the only place where you can get a super sweet purple pin-stripped zoot suit con purple-and-cream-colored crocodile Stacy Adams — and a cane . WHAT-WHAAAAATTT!!!!!
1431 E. Houston
Another yellow building filled with yums — nice fat tacos. The only thing — every time I go in there the owner is always pissed, and when I asked my fellow East Town buddies, they all agreed, but then my necia wife, Rina, says that every time she goes he gives her extra chile — with a smile. Hey, hey — easy, cobra!!!