Ah, real estate blogs, they try so hard to pretend they have an intimate knowledge of our fair city, and their observations always appear slightly off. Whether they are declaring San Antonio the second most "country" city in the nation or not as exciting as Conroe, it is evident whoever is banging out these posts does not live here at all.
The latest “That’s So San Antonio” post comes from Movato. A writer compiled a list under the headline “10 Things Only People From San Antonio Understand,” not to be confused with their previous blog post, “10 San Antonio Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate,” an embarrassing series of exaggerations and mischaracterizations that should hurt any true San Antonian’s heart. Movato’s latest attempt to understand the essence of this city’s residents is commendable. A quick read reveals nothing objectively wrong with their conclusions. Some of them are even spot on, like how mountain cedar is the bane of our existence. But the blogger’s knowledge of the Alamo City is so basic, so San Antonio 101, that it's reasonable to conclude that whoever compiled the list is no native, but, perhaps has an aunt who maybe lives within the 210 area code.
Nice try, Movato, but we feel we can do better. Here is a list of 10 things more things people from San Antonio know to be true. Feel free to add more in the comments.
10. It’s Been Ages Since You've Been to the River Walk.
Yes, the Mission and Museum Reach are appropriate places to frequent, but the River Walk River Walk? That green, serpentine creek where loud, busy chain restaurants crowd its banks? Yeah, you only go there when your cousins come to town, or when the Spurs are having an NBA Championship parade. No one who actually lives here suggests grabbing dinner at Casa Rio, followed by drinks at Mad Dogs.
9. If H-E-B Closed Up Shop, You Would Cease to Function.
Whether by choice or by default, this city's residents can't live without their H-E-B, and they wouldn't have it any other way. The grocer dominates the local market. Remember Kroger or Albertsons? Yeah, we don't either. The people of San Antonio depend on the homegrown corporate giant for their everyday sustenance, so much so that if they shuttered their doors, we really wouldn't know how to go on living. Yes, there are other places to shop. There's still Fiesta, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and even Walmart. But walking into any other grocery store seems foreign and fundamentally wrong—unless that whole corporate headquarters expansion via closing a public road thing rubbed you the wrong way.
8. You Have Never Eaten at a Fred's Fish Fry (nor has anyone else you know)
We're not saying it's a front, but it has to be a front, right? Every time you drive by, Fred's Fish Fry is open, but no one ever seems to actually be in there. And yet, since opening up shop over 40 years ago, they're still trucking along. You haven't eaten there. As far as you know, none of your friends have eaten there. Finding someone who has tasted Fred's deep-fried filets is like finding a unicorn.
7. The Combination of Barbacoa and Big Red is the Ultimate Hangover Cure
The people of San Antonio know the best way to alleviate the morning-after pain of a night of alcohol overindulgence is to consume slow-cooked cow head and red-dyed sugar water. Yes, Big Red and barbacoa tacos go together like Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Alternatively, another sure fire way to sooth your poisoned body is with a soupy mixture of beef stomach and hominy, otherwise known as menudo. Make sure you have plenty of cilantro and diced onion on hand.
6. If Someone Busts Out in "Volver, Volver," It's Required You Join Them In Song.
The rule is unwritten, but it doesn't make it any less mandatory. Vincente Fernández's ranchera classic is a mariachi staple. The song of longing and heartbreak is frequently sung at weddings, of all places, where drunken revelers sway back and forth, arms around each other's shoulders. All the oxygen in your lungs is required to howl that elongated note in the chorus, but it is so, so worth it.
5. Fiesta Medals are Perfectly Acceptable Accessories.
Fiesta Medals are like Girl Scout badges for adults, and avid revelers hunt them down like they're Pokémon. The old adage is, "Less is more," but not during April when no one bats an eye when they see someone strolling through La Villita looking like Muammar Gadhafi.
4. We Have a Bit of a Stray Animal Problem
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Simply walking through certain San Antonio neighborhoods is enough to make Sarah McLachlan cry. There are stray dogs everywhere. It's a huge problem the city is trying to address, but until the situation is under control, getting chased down by a feral hound is a distinct possibility.
3. You or Someone You Know Has Camped Out For Easter
In San Antonio, camping out for days on end in anticipation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not weird at all. In fact, it’s tradition. Every year, hundreds of San Antonio families abandon their homes to set up makeshift camps in Brackenridge Park. Easter die-hards set up early in the week in order to claim the perfect spot to celebrate the holiday, and they're armed with cascarones, piñatas and elaborate barbecue set-ups. No one questions why people do this. It's a tradition we've come to accept.
2. If The Spurs Win an NBA Championship, You Must Honk Your Horn Like A Crazy Person
The five times the Spurs have won an NBA Championship, including this year's trouncing of the Miami Heat, San Antonians spilled out into the streets en mass, many getting behind the wheel for the sole purpose of maniacally honking their horn. Try as the city might to provide alternative transportation options, we're a car-dependant town, so it's perfectly natural that we flock to our vehicles to celebrate the triumphs of our hometown basketball dynasty.
1. The Slightest Winter Weather Is Reason Enough To Panic
Every few years, when the slightest amount of frozen precipitation falls from the sky, the entire city goes into a collective freak out. The city defaults to shutdown mode at even the hint of winter weather. Schools and businesses close, freeways are barricaded, and everyone marvels at the tiny bits of ice on the ground that have brought San Antonio to its knees. Inevitably the ice and snow melts before noon, but that doesn't mean everyone doesn't take the rest of the day off. The same goes for heavy rain, but we'll admit those flash floods can sneak up on you. Everyone knows the helpful phrase, "Turn Around, Don't Drown." Still there is always at least one person who ignores it.