San Antonio’s largest single piece of art has many fans, both local, and international. It's the San Antonio River, downtown. A pan flute fills the air with South American magic at the River Center Mall lagoon, where the barges circle and head out on their circumnavigation of the river's big horseshoe bend.
I went down the other night to see what people thought about how the city dresses up its River Walk for the Holiday Season.
"My name is Justin Self, and I’ve been having fun just walking around and seeing all the pretty lights."
At one time in America, “The Little Tramp” was one of the most recognized characters in the world. Among classic movie characters, I think Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” has since surpassed him, but I’ve been doing my part to introduce my own kids (now 8 and 6) to the joys of silent cinema, and Charlie Chaplin is their favorite star from that era.
Toni picks up her supply of food for the week, but this time she's picking up something extra -- a Christmas tree. She and many more existing clients of the Baptist Temple got the chance to pick out a tree to go along with their holiday meal.
"Some mac and cheese there, there's some rice, and each one of them is different, but we try to make sure that there's some vegetables, some protein," said George Zayas Bazan, the pastor at Baptist Temple. Zayas Bazan said the San Antonio Food Bank distributes food in bulk twice a month -- 16,000 pounds worth.
No one is predicting a white Christmas for San Antonio, no one except Cameo Theatre, a local theater troupe that is putting on a production based on the 1954 musical starring Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby.
Cameo manager Jim Zaccariah talks about their production of "White Christmas."
"It’s got a large cast of 25 people. A large ensemble cast," said Zacchariah, who said the group has more or less followed the movie plot, but with a few twists.
“They’ve added more Irving Berlin songs, so if you’re an Irving Berlin fan, this is the musical for you,” he said.
In the military, you either have what it takes, or you don't.
Those who don't often face ridicule, embarrassment and shame when they leave training, but unlike days past, now there's a little bit more compassion for this group of forgotten trainees transitioning back to civilian life.
Life inside the gates at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is a microcosm of the world outside, but training is an ongoing ritual. Trainees march in step with one another, and are required to make their commutes in pairs.
The Artpace International Artist-In-Residence Program happens under the radar three times each year at Artpace’s downtown museum. Artpace Deputy Director Mary Heathcott explains how it works.
"What the residency program is is that the artists move into Artpace -- they actually live here on site," Heathcott said. "Each year we invite nine artists, three come at a time, spring, summer and fall. Each artist creates a new artworks, which then goes on exhibit at Artpace for two months."
The last 10 years or the "lost decade" has mired the country in debt that we are only now starting to climb out of. The incidence of poverty has jumped in America, and you might be surprised to see where it has grown most.
Although a few foreign refugees come from cities where they had sophisticated education opportunities, many lived in remote areas where there were no schools, or in refugee camps where they may have received sporadic education.
Most are immersed in an irrelevant environment when they come here -- obstacles like speaking English, taking the bus, even learning to work in an American kitchen can be challenging.