A rebounding economy and growing consumer confidence may contribute to a successful holiday shopping season this year.
The consulting firm Accenture reported that this year 52 percent of consumers will increase their spending by $250 or more. On the whole, the report says people are expected to spend $582 for the holiday. 53 percent say they will brave the crowds on Black Friday.
"We actually started preparing right after the season ended last year,” said Scott Redman, store manager at Wal-Mart in the 8500 block of Jones-Maltsberger.
Dozens of San Antonio parks, businesses and organizations are holiday lights beginning this weekend, and since holiday lighting ceremonies are scheduled all over downtown both Friday and Saturday, you can avoid heavy traffic and problems parking by going to some smaller celebrations.
In addition to Alamo Plaza, the city is lighting up Main Plaza and City Hall, Travis Park, Milam Park, Market Square, La Villita, and of course, the River Walk. Ford is sponsoring the big river parade, and the lights will be turned on the length of the river at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23.
Akiko Fujimoto is the assistant director of the San Antonio Symphony and her duties include giving pre-concert talks, knowing the repertory just in case (called cover conductor), conducting educational and pops concerts, and this year leading a new series of baroque concerts with musicians of the San Antonio Symphony. All of that happens to overlap this week with performances of the Nutcracker.
The new Texas State Highway 130 toll road extension is now open and charging motorists to enjoy it’s privatized asphalt while pushing their speedometers to 85 mph. It’s the fastest stretch of legal driving in the nation.
Also known as the Pickle Parkway, it’s the first public-private partnership highway in Texas, but according to opponents the partnership allows the private company to shoulder very little risk, and instead puts taxpayers on the line to pay for such risks as uncollected tolls.
Prímo, San Antonio’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, will officially launch Dec. 17 amid a transition for the organization; Vía Metropolitan Transit CEO Keith Parker stepped down to take the lead position in Atlanta’s public transportation system.
Vía spokesperson Priscilla Ingle said that with ridership at an all-time high, the standard 40 foot bus wasn’t working anymore, especially for the downtown-to-Medical Center corridor.
Black Friday is right after Thanksgiving - even starting Thursday night at some stores - and then soon after comes Cyber Monday, a multi-Billion dollar day of sales over the Internet; that one day is also a big opportunity for cyber thieves to take advantage of weak links in online security.
You may be focused on turkey and football games, but a quick lesson in cyber security will give you and the family something different to talk about over dinner other than politics.
Once upon a time, San Antonio firefighters collected toys for children of the city; they even painted and fixed them. They called their drive Toy Day, and gave children who brought toys free movie tickets.
Researchers at the Institute of Texan Cultures found pictures of Toy Day tucked away in archives, and leaders decided to rekindle the old tradition, but give it a new spin. Now in its second year, history has proven to bring back what once was a thriving act of kindness: providing children with happiness.
Last week, we played Wagner's Parsifal, which is often referred to as an Opera-Oratorio. This week, for the beginning of the holiday season, it's Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion; in its turn, the work is often called a Concertante Opera. If ever there was an oratorio that called out to be dramatized, the St. Matthew Passion is it. While living in New York, I met many scenographers who dreamed of the day they'd have a shot at the cosmic drama. Also termed, "The most monumental musical drama before the Ring," Bach's passion has it all.
Badu Boye was born in Senegal, but is now based in Paris, France. In the 1990's he and his brother, Pape Armand Boye introduced a new sound into the Senegalese music scene. Very different from the electronic mbalax music of the day, the brothers played acoustic guitars. Badu's style today sounds very similar, on his eponymously titled CD, the songs are uplifting and inspirational, albeit with a touch of home sickness. A cello,violin and harmonica sprinkled throughout the album are very attractive additions and add an extra texture to the acoustic sound.