Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Going Downtown San Antonio

Sure, the Astrals are huge fans of nature but once in a while we go urban too. We avoided Dallas and Houston but we decided to spend a little time in San Antonio. Hey, they got the Alamo. Compared to New York, which is what we consider a city, San Antonio is modest-sized. I drove downtown with the Eurovan (bike rack and all) and found a place to park within minutes. Not sure I'd attempt that in Manhattan. The city was jammed with tourists: there's a rodeo, stock show, carnival, and state high school music and cheer-leading competition going on not to mention 175th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo. It was good to see a city bustling with economic activity. And it was warm enough to wear shorts. Yay! The beginning of a trend, we hope, and the end to the winter havoc we seem to have been wreaking on the southland.

Can't believe it's been one hundred and seventy-five years 
already. Time sure does fly.

Not sure where Astral Wendy grabbed this but it's
a beautiful shot.

There are quite a few historical buildings downtown.

And lots of Mexican influence.

Here's the Alamo. At least it's the church that remains from the original
Alamo compound. It's rather underwhelming in the physical sense despite
its emotional resonance to Texans and its importance in Texas history.

Here's Astral Wendy about to partake in some history, Texas style.

One of the other great features of San Antonio is the Riverwalk,
a partially man-made waterway and development of the San
Antonio River which is lined with shops and restaurants. We took
the tourist boat ride, which lasts about a half-hour and featured the
usual wise-cracking tour guide.

It can be quite scenic.

Mallards abound.

This is the thinnest building in the world.

This is a monument outside the Alamo. Santa
Anna took no prisoners so Davy Crockett and
Jim Bowie and many lesser known men went
down that day.

Like in many tourist areas, horse drawn carriages are available.
Check the legs on this guy.

My mom always made me pray to St. Anthony when
something was lost so I figured it couldn't hurt to
pose by his statue. I haven't lost anything but maybe
I'll find something anyway.

Astral Wendy posing on one of the many footbridges over the Riverwalk.

This is the Casa Rio, a Mexican restaurant established
in 1946. Sorta touristy, but the food was pretty decent
and the prices were very reasonable. And the view was
great. We waited for a river-side table.

I went for the Deluxe Dinner.

Astral Wendy snagged a Chile Relleno.

The mallard abides.

The Riverwalk has a lot of nice little grace-notes,
like the tile insets on these stairs.

And the tiles on these walls.

We both thought this guy was real at first.

We're gonna use this picture to scare the Bejesus out of Otis.

You know you're in Texas now.


  1. Love the the Alamo pic. I wonder if that Crockett Hotel was Davy's last venture before his demise?

  2. Population of San Antonio: 1.3 million. Manhattan: 1.6 million... Population density of San Antonio: 3,400/sq.mi., Manhattan: 70,000/sq.mi. No wonder it's easy to park down there. :-)
    Love the riverside pictures! Cities are always better with water.

  3. It looks lovely, although that Crockett Hotel sign behind the Alamo leaves a little to be desired, visually anyway.

  4. @sandra: Yes, it shows the context of a small church in the midst of a major metro area.

    @Thomas: Water is good! Ha!

  5. San Antonio has nearly 2.3 million people in the metro it is a larger metro than Cleveland, Kansas City,Mo, Las Vegas, Orlando, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and many others. The city proper is close to 1.4 million and the 7th largest U.S city. it is ranked about the 24th largest metro in the U.S. however the regional urban population is close 4.1 million within 5 contigious counties that follow I-35 in southcentral Texas. San Antonio is also a top US destination with more than 26 million visitors annually compared to New York's 38 million so San Antonio is not to shabby.

  6. San Antonio's downtown has a old world charm feel thanks to most all of its glass and steel architecture is scattered out in various business corridors and its loop land. All San Antonio based F500 HQ corporations etc are located outside downtown. I love downtown San Antonio and cant wait to see the redevelopment of Hemisfair Park transformed into a dense urban village, the site of the 1968 worlds fair.