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On the Street


Letters (to the OTS Penthouse Suite)

A longtime reader from Austin sent this cryptic video.  There was no description.  The words in the video speaks for itself but ultimately raise several questions.  

The video is completely safe for work, as long as you work out at sea, as a prison guard, or as a Division II baseball coach.  Otherwise, not so much.

Aside from the obvious culture clash occuring (and unintentional comedy), a deep sadness permeates this whole thing.  Who does she want to bump with?  What happened on the school yard to provoke this?  And where the hell was the assistant principal when this all went down?  I think this coverup is only going to get worse.

The  influence of street culture permeates isotropically.  

Consider this scenario out west in Los Angeles.  Apparently, rival paparazzi agencies are now arming Bloods and Crips with cameras to get premium shots of Britney Spears.  Terms such as 'drive by shooting' are  being used in new contexts.  Of course this couldn't be another case of Los Angeles fear, paranoia, and misrepresentation.  Somewhere in the background Mike Davis is taking notes.  

The Twilight's Last Gleaming

Longtime OTS reader and San Antonio champion Ben Lynn recently left town for The Land of Oz the Emerald City.  

On Sunday at San Pedro Park a memorial kickball game occured.  Dogs, guitars, frisbees all intermingled.  Bogged down in books I showed up late but in time for dramatic photographic lighting.

To the west the sun finally fell and people drifted away.  A 2 liter of Coke was left behind for the next group of explorers.  

It was a fitting point of departure - the literal birth springs of San Antonio.  Cabeza de Vaca may have first stayed here in 1535.  473 years later we played kickball.


A scene from the road, heading west towards Marfa, Texas.  

Here, Ben takes time from the road to reflect on the nature of San Antonio.  Much of what defines it is through what it lacks, which then begins the question of how to make it whole.  A perpetual San Antonio cycle.


Monday night Leslie of Potter Belmar fame hosted another film screening at UTSA downtown.  Patrick Kwiatkowski of microcinema came through town and played selected experimental films from the microcinema collection.  

The landscape is shifting and daunting.  Usually this applies to the filmmakers but for niche distribution as well.  However, I felt more at ease than Patrick was out there trying to make things happen.  

Patrick, in the front, took questions from the crowd.  He seemed excited for submissions of videos to microcinema.  If I heard correctly, he was only charging $5 to submit, which in the whole scam scheme of film festivals and other boondoggles, is rather low and appealing.  

Though some were curious as to the exact process of how to get their work on microcinema, Patrick, to me, came across as quite affable and straightforward, though I suppose anyone compared to the shadow puppets of the LA film scene will come across in a much better light.

Working in experimental film, microcinema, low budget art films (whatever you want to call it) is a daunting undertaking.  So, again, I was happy to see someone making a go of it.

Italian Food (and the other Leaning Tower)

While walking up to the tower to meet people for a drink, a phone call came in, and before I knew it I was across town on San Pedro at Stefania's Country Italian restaurant.  They were about to close, it was an off night, yet despite all that (or perhaps because of it) I fully enjoyed my limited experience there.  The space is open and large yet feels right, even if that goes against a previous theory I had been working on a few weeks back.

I only had a glass of wine and a small appetizer.  A larger extrapolation would be wrong.  I thought the prices seemed a touch high, but I get the sense that there is often music and other entertainment that helps explain the situation.

The whole time I kept thinking the location used to be a movie theater where I saw Airplane in 1980.  I feel confident about this one.

Joe Harry and Your Momma's Place

Wednesday night I was invited to the Rodeo on one of its last nights.  Rock memory Staind was to perform.

While my group went inside to find our seats for the rodeo I hurried over to the carnival to get textbook magic hour shots.

It had been 20 something years since my last trip to the rodeo.  The presence of the AT&T Center certainly cleaned up the image and atmosphere of the event.  This isn't a good thing.

I was afraid to think that all the games might actually be on the up and up.  I'm not sure if there is an indirect correlation but attendance seemed to be down.  Perhaps most of the people had already come in days previous.  

On the other hand, the amount of flashing lights was impressive enough.  

I was in a rush so I didn't get a chance to shoot a few free throws and sample a few games.

The sun finally went completely down.  I rushed back inside.  I'm not sure what goes on inside the Freeman Coliseum.  Perhaps a juried calf show?

Inside, explosions and pyrotechnics and loudness (not the Japanese Heavy Metal band.)

As the smoke died down, the cavalry came out.  With a more trained eye I would have been able to discern the details of the horse riding skills (isn't there a technical word for this?)

There was not a shortage of flags on hand.

Nor was there a shortage of...dopplegangers?  While talking to a friend I heard the MC tell the audience to rise for the National Anthem sung by Mark Jones, which is odd because that's my name.  As much as I wanted to magically pull a wireless mic out from jacket and begin singing, it wasn't meant to be.  

The other Mark Jones.

Afterwards, there was an amazing assortment of (wo)man versus nature competitions.

I think my battery was dying so I stood pat with this last image.


Thursday night I went to the McNay to see a performance art (performance) by Bunnyphonic, yet this time without the accordion.

The setting had the feel of a lost scene from a Sophia Coppola film.  There was red wine, palatial grounds, women in costume, an artistic sound design drifting in the background.  As people were waiting for the performance to begin, a man in a seersucker suit came towards Bunnyphonic (in red by the fountain) and shot her three times with a (toy) pistol.  At each shot, a balloon was released to the sky.

Behind me was a deer tent/blind.  Inside were hunters' candles, silver bullets, a coyote/Beatles soundscape, and two chairs to listen to the moment. (Happiness is a Warm Gun).

Themes of hunting, killing, lost love were intertwined.  A discussion of the performance occurred directly afterwards.  The event was sparse in its approach but oddly appropriate in its timing for Valentine's Day.  The timing of twilight added much to the mystery shooting.

Later that night at Soho wine bar Franco Mondini-Ruiz held a party.  People from the McNay Bunnyphonic performance joined forces for a spirited evening.  Free drink tickets were passed more casually than secrets.  I think I recall someone wearing an LBJ stetson hat. And here, an impressive display of cupcakes drew people in closely, only too close at times, as the pink painting in the background kept falling on top of people.

And from the Twilight's Last Gleaming to a Viking Funeral

In the much anticipated fire side chat with Congressman Al we break down the San Antonio Spurs season to date, make a diagnosis for what happens next, and then bittersweetly discussed the viking funeral of Matt Bonner.

And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio.  As always, to be continued...

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