San Antonio is, in this humble travelers’ opinion, underrated. Despite its 1.4 million inhabitants, this second largest Texan city retains a quiet family-oriented demeanor in many neighborhoods. Revitalization efforts have been in full swing during
the past few years resulting in new public spaces and the extension of the famous Riverwalk.
My artistic challenge during the trip was simply YELLOW. I ate on a yellow plate, took a picture of a yellow graffitied building, and photographed every yellow flower in sight.
Lunch at Cascabel Mexican Patio was delicious and reasonably priced. Everything was fresh, homemade, and light. Homemade limeade was tangy and refreshing. Highly recommended– check the hours, they close before dinner and all day Sunday.
The Institute of Texan Cultures was hosting an exhibit dedicated to the outrageous hats created for the citywide Fiesta held every April. The Institute is a sleepy museum catering to school groups and staffed by charming and knowledgeable docents. Handspinning is demonstrated on an Ashford traditional of recent vintage, but an antique Great Wheel is also on display. Cotton and wool are spun and then woven on a floor loom.
Colorful Fiesta Hat
Traditional Costumes of Texan Immigrants
Handspun and handwoven fabric on display at the Texan Institute of Cultures. From left, a Great wheel, Ashford wheel, and floor loom.
A pleasant surprise was the Las Colchas Fabric Shop. The shop is advertised as a “quilt” shop, but it’s in fact a creative and vibrant fabric shop. Felting, embroidery, and garment construction are all displayed and taught. The staff is helpful, generous, and engaging, and the work they do is top-notch. In addition to standard printed cotton quilt fabrics, Las Colchas stocks fabrics suitable for garments and purses, including fabulous selections from Japan.
The San Antonio Riverwalk is fabulous, especially at night with the reflections and the sounds of live music drifting out of local restaurants. The full loop is a couple of miles, with art installations ranging from sculptures to soundscapes and waterfalls.
The Grotto by Carlos Cortes
Riverwalk Mosaic of Navarro under his namesake bridge.