“Typically, my work is very minimal, often small-scale, while Shek’s is vibrant and over-the-top and sometimes fills entire walls,” writes Wendi Kimura of her and partner David Vega’s work. They both developed their styles and mediums on the street — Shek as one of the city’s outstanding graffiti artists and Kimura as an art pamphleteer armed with handcut stencils and wheatpaste posters — and have since honed them in studio and gallery. Kimura, a former Current arts editor, works full-time at Artpace and is currently completing interior-wall commissions in Austin. Shek can be found at the Hausmann Millworks on West Russell, and you can see how he fills an entire wall at the Eastside Boys and Girls Club swimming pool on Martin Luther King Drive.
SAN PEDRO AVENUE
San Pedro Springs Park
1350 San Pedro
The second-oldest park in the United States is just down the street, and its biggest draw is an enormous lake of natural spring water shaded by lofty cypress trees. The pool is free and open to the public for summertime swimming.
741 W. Ashby
This quiet restaurant features Vietnamese cuisine, a coffee bar, a tasty selection of bubble tea, and is a great place to catch up on community events. We recommend the lemongrass fish, lots of spring rolls, and a nice chat with the friendly owner, Thinh.
Bananas Billiard Bar & Grill
2003 San Pedro
Sometimes all you need is a dark bar, a cold beer, and a good jukebox selection. Throw in a sassy bartender who knows your drink and your name, play a couple of rounds of pool with the regulars, and you’ve got yourself a night.
Asel Art Supply Inc.
1524 N. Main
Just across the street from San Antonio College, Asel carries a solid stock of fine-art supplies, and it seems like there’s always a sale to keep things affordable.
Main Street Pizza & Pasta
1906 N. Main
The menu is cheap, the service is fast, and the pastas and pizzas are consistently tasty. The fresh focaccia bread is wonderful, and it’s always nice to listen to a little Frank Sinatra while you dine in.
Alamo-Fiesta On Main
2025 N. Main
We go to AF once a year for Zoe’s birthday piñata, and innumerable times in between to ooh and ahh over the beautiful Mexican imports, from paper flowers and papeles picados to handcrafted tin goods, woven textiles to terra-cotta pottery and amazing calaveras and calacas.
2518 N. Main
It’s so nice having a little cupcake shop in the neighborhood, especially one with decadent carrot cake and cream cheese confections, in regular and miniature varieties. The red-velvet cakes come in a close second, with a sugared cherry on top.
We try to arrive before the church crowd on Sundays so we don’t have to compete for a booth and the most delicious brisket tacos (served only on the weekend). The quick service, homey Tex-Mex plates, and large quantities of sweet tea have nursed us through many a noxious hangover.
Everything on Damien Watel’s mother’s menu is mouthwatering, but the breads are absolute perfection. Try a buttery, flaky, crispy croissant, and you’ll scorn the grocery versions forever.
NORTH ST. MARY'S
Limelight Music & Drinks
2718 N. St. Mary’s
The dance floor is tiny, but it’s impossible to tear yourself away from it. There’s always a party going on at Limelight, whether it’s the middle of the work week or (finally!) Friday. The live bands are fun, but we recommend the House Nation dance parties if you really want to get down.
2811 N. St. Mary’s
This family-owned liquor shop carries a full range of alcohol, from beer to wine to quality tequilas. The guys behind the counter are incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable. Bonus: Check out the amazing spray-paint murals outside the building by artist David Anaya.
King’s Court Frankfurter Express
111 King’s Court
How did we live without a neighborhood hot-dog joint before? The dogs are excellent, the condiments bar is immaculate, and the service with a genuine smile is the only thing better than the fresh-squeezed lemonade.