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Chicano Heat!

On Saturday of the conference, we went to the Alamo. First, we all saw an IMAX movie called "The Alamo: The Cost of Freedom". For those who don't know, the Alamo was a small Texan (not yet American) outpost where 200 defenders died to a man fighting the army of Mexican dictator Santa Ana. The Mexicans took the Alamo, but lost the next battle against General Sam Houston. Eventually Texas joined the U.S. and the U.S. defeated and captured Santa Ana, who traded the entire southwest to the U.S. as his ransom. He is remembered as the most hated man in Mexican history for his betrayal.

So we went to the Alamo itself where a tour guide told us the history of the Alamo from his perspective, then into the building where another guide told us the story from his. At this point we were all very bored and wanted to see the museum itself. We ended up with maybe 20 minutes, and I never got into the Alamo Shrine itself although (as I said to childings I did see the Relic of David Crockett's Hair along with other historic pieces in the Long Barracks building. There was also a marvelously twisted oak tree of great antiquity in the courtyard. I reached up and put my hands on it, feeling its energy. The full-bird-colonel chaplain was around, but if he saw he didn't say anything.

After that I had to go back to work and after a shower met up with Steve's old high school friend Sandra and her husband Victor. She's from Orange County obviously and he's a lifelong San Diegan. They moved to San Antonio four years ago after realizing they were living in Southern California and working in order to afford a life they never had time to enjoy. Now they own a house and are having a wonderful time. They're both artists and film-makers and yet they own a house. A duplex even.

Since all I'd seen so far was the Alamo and the touristy horror of the Riverwalk, they took me to a neighbourhood west of downtown where first we ate at a nouveau Latino restaurant called Azuca. I had three appetizers as my meal and they were amazing. Next we walked over to Hemisfair Park, the park left from the 1968 World's Fair. There's a space needle called Tower of the Americas with a bar at the top. We went in through the front gate, which is illuminated with colourful hanging lamps, down the statuary-lined main path to the tower and admired the view from the top.

We also drove around a little so I could see the King William neighbourhood which is full of cool Craftsman houses and further along, crazy German mansions. By now it was after midnight. They also handed me "SA 2020", a prospectus for San Antonio for the next 9 years. SA is largely powered by art, and the municipal government is trying to attract creative people and small business there. I was favourably impressed by the city once I was out of the tourist traps and the idea of living in a city where creative arts are a moneymaker is appealing. Steve was hoping I would feel that way and we've started looking at house prices on Zillow. In June of 2012, he obtains reciprocity with Texas so no bar exam would be needed for him to start practicing there.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:22 am (UTC)
San Antonio is the only city in Texas I've ever considered living in. I think you both could be very happy there.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Sandra and Vic are Chicano immigrant-rights activists (they founded the Minute Maids) and love it there, so....
Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:26 am (UTC)
The Texas War of Independence and the Mexican-American War are a little commingled here, I think.

Texas won independence on its own. Santa Ana was captured at the Battle of San Jacinto.

After ten years of independence, Texas joined the union, an annexation Mexico refused to accept. The Mexican-American War was tipped off when U.S. troops were killed in disputed territory. The Texans were convinced their country went down to the Rio Grande, while the Mexicans claimed the border was at the Nueces. The U.S. soldiers were between the two rivers.

Santa Ana was actually deposed between the two wars, and used the Mexican-American War as an excuse to seize power. Santa Ana wasn't captured during that war, but he was allowed past the U.S. sea blockades to reenter Mexico, promising to aid the U.S. when he retook power. (Of course, he did the opposite when he got there.) Santa Ana was never captured in the Mexican-American War, though of course he was defeated.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
You're right of course; I was typing without having consulted my books.
Mar. 25th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
San Antonio sounds like a wonderful place to live. It's affordable? For artists? Phenomenal.

Did you have a chance to go into the basement at the Alamo? ;)
Mar. 28th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
No, which is bad because I hear my stolen bike is there.
Apr. 15th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
Neat. I've never been to Texas but keep hearing that San Antonio is really a great place to live.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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