Dia de los Muertos

Created Wednesday, 31 October 2007 10:30

As we talked about the other day, the Day of the Dead is upon us. A traditional Pre-Hispanic holiday
celebrated throughout most of Latin America, it is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, and this year, because of when it falls in the week, it will spill over into the weekend as well.

On this day, the spirit of the dead is said to come down and visit their families and join them in celebrating, eating, drinking and so on, just as if they were still living.

Here in San Antonio, there are tons of celebrations going on. We listed a few the other day, but since then have found even more. If you knowof any we have not listed, let us know in the comments!

Market Square
Institute of Texan Cultures
School of Arts and Crafts
Si Central
Southtown
Cultural Aztlan

If you know of any we have not listed, let us know in the comments!

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Coming Soon New World Wine and Food Festival

Created Wednesday, 31 October 2007 09:43

In this space, we have written before about the growing renown of the Texas wine industry, from the vineyards to the awards being granted to growers in the region.  Starting November 7th and running until the 11th, San Antonio is hosting the annual New World Wine and Food Festival.  Over the course of five days, visitors will be treated to the best wine and food that Texas has to offer.

The festival has been going since 2000, and is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, not only the agricultural delights of Texas, but the cultural life and vibrancy of San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.  Of course, it is called the New World Festival, so it also includes foods and wines from other regions of the Americas, including South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.  For gourmands, gourmets, and others gastronomically inclined, the festival is a chance to reward and titillate their taste buds with some of the finest food produced in the area, and to enjoy some of San Antonio’s choicest attractions and locations.

 

Here are some of the highlights that will be presented this year.

· Texas Vintner Cruises, Hyatt Hotel Wat better backdrop to enjoy a few glasses of wine, along with some quality eats, than cruising along the San Antonio River, while three chefs from San Antonio’s better hotels prepare hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, and desserts.  Also features discussions and seminars from vintners.  Nov. 7.
· Michael Mondavi Seminar at Fleming’s Steakhouse Travel around the world in just one night as Mondavi explains the history, process, and differences in wines from the world’s different growing regions.  Of course, plenty of samples will be available!  Nov. 7.
· Winemaker Dinners All across town at San Antonio’s better restaurants, winemakers will be hosting dinners designed to perfectly match wine with food.  The winemakers will be explaining the importance of matching, and will showcase a wide variety of his own wines.  Participating restaurants are: Biga on the Banks, Bistro Vatel, Boudro’s on the Riverwalk, Café Paladar, Le Reve, The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, The Grill at Leon Springs, Mariposa Restaurant at Neiman Marcus, Silo on Loop 1604, 20nine Restaurant and Wine Bar.  Nov. 8.
· The Cultural Cocktail Event at The Vault Sponsored by Moet Hennessy, this event will feature some of the cities best bartenders mixing their specialties, and maybe even creating new masterpieces. Nov. 9.
· Morning of Malbec at the City Club at the Majestic Join Argentine winemakers in a voyage to South America, home of the famous Malbec.  These winemakers will compare and contrast the wines from their homeland to those from North America.  Nov. 10.
· Totally Tejas at the Cibolo Ranch This event features all you can eat and drink, as well as chefs and winemakers presenting some of their very best creations.  Seminars will be held explaining production and offering some do-it-yourself ideas for partymakers.  There will also be plenty of entertainment, from boat and hayrides, to storytelling and a silent auction.  This is the final event of the festival, and should prove to be a great send-off.  Nov. 11.

Of course, although the festival is a non-profit organization, treats like this don’t come free, and tickets are required to attend.  Tickets can be purchased at H-E-B locations and Guaranty Bank branches.

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GMs Pick Spurs to Repeat as Champs

Created Friday, 26 October 2007 18:33

Will the Spurs repeat as champions this year?  If the recent poll taken of league GMs is any indication, they will.  The poll reveals that 37% of the general managers feel the Spurs are due to retain their title this year, ahead of Phoenix (26%), and Dallas (15%).  The poll also revealed that Bulls are the faves to win their division, and that LeBron James is (unsurprisingly) the likely choice to win the MVP, just edging out the Spurs’ Tim Duncan.  Other notes that pertain to San Antonio from the poll: Coach Pop was ranked the best coach; Bruce Bowen, the best defensive player; Duncan, the best center; Duncan, the best power forward; Duncan, the best interior defender; and the Spurs came in 3rd in the league in best home court advantage.  Last year’s reigning MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, received 0 votes.

 

Although preseason records are fairly useless indicators of anything, the Spurs are 3-2 so far.  On Tuesday, the Spurs beat the Heat, sending the Miami team to a 0-7 preseason record.  In the game, Ginobili scored 22 points, going 6-7 from the field in the teams 104-87 win.  Micheal Finley scored 14, Matt Bonner, 13, and Tim Duncan corralled 11 boards.  On Thursday, San Antonio went up against the new-look Orlando Magic and lost 99-90.  The Magic look to be much improved over last year’s team, due mainly to the addition of Rashard Lewis.  Lewis has been out of much of the preseason with a bum ankle, but returned against the Spurs to post 16 points in three quarters before resting the fourth.  The Spurs also rested Duncan for the final period, although the rest of the starters played it out.

What’s good to see for Spurs fans is that Tony Parker seems to be getting back to his old self again.  After spending the summer getting married, and then staying in France to play for the national team, it took him some time to work himself back into some big minutes.  In the game against Orlando, the speedy little Frenchman played 31 minutes and scored 18 points on 7-14 shooting.  In bad news, it looks like backup point guards, Jacque Vaughn and Beno Udrih will be out for the start of the season with injuries.

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San Antonio Day of the Dead

Created Thursday, 25 October 2007 20:31

The Day of the Dead is one of Mexico’s most interesting and cherished holidays, popularized and known for its dolls, art, parades, and feasts that characterize the festival. In parts of the United States, which have large Mexican populations, the celebrationCreated Thursday, 25 October 2007 20:31 is gaining popularity and renown, and is becoming well-known. Here in San Antonio, the holiday is being celebrated by businesses, groups, and citizens more than ever, and is a one of San Antonio’s most exciting holidays.

The Day of the Dead is traditionally a happy, festive occasion, where family members choose to celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones. Although, to some, it may appear as morbid to have a picnic at night in a graveyard, but for the celebrants, it is a chance to remember and commune with those who have passed on, as well as to clean the graveyard, and tombstones. Although in Mexico, it is not uncommon for people to spend the entire night in the graveyard, in the United States, the celebration is normally more symbolic.

The celebration of the holiday on November 1-2, falls close to Halloween and also several old pagan harvest rituals, which helps explain its origins. Although not celebrated in all parts of Latin America, many countries such as Guatemala, Brazil, and Haiti, and has spread to such diverse parts of the world as the Philippines, Czech Republic, and other parts of Europe.

Here in San Antonio, the trappings of the celebration have been showing up throughout the city over the past month, and preparations have been underway for quite some time. Here is a list of some of the major attractions and events that will take place over the next few days.

· Blue Star Contemporary Art Center: Some of San Antonio’s most talented artists will display their altars, paintings, and other artifacts which celebrate the occasion. The opening reception will take place on November 1, from 7-11 PM. 3316 Oakwell Ct.

· Centro Cultural Aztlan: This is the 30th annual celebration of the Dia de los Muertos, and will feature traditional and modern displays on exhibit. Exhibition opens on Nov. 2, 6-9 PM, with daily viewings from 9 AM- 5 PM. 1800 Fredericksburg Rd., Deco Bldg.

· SAY Si: The three-day event features workshops, live music, dance performances, art exhibits, and plenty of food. The event starts Nov. 1, 6-10 PM, at 1518 S. Alamo St.

· Conjunto Heritage Taller: Alter and musical celebration is dedicated to the Conjuntos who have passed on. This event is usually standing room only, and features great live music, delicious food, and plenty of art. Visitors are welcome to bring their own music instruments and join the jam! Nov. 2, 6-10 PM. 1014 S. Prensa St.

The Day of the Dead is one of Mexico’s most colorful and unique holidays, and presents a chance to enjoy San Antonio’s creative and artistic community, and to take part in one of the city’s more interesting cultural events.

The Day of the Dead is one of Mexico’s most interesting and cherished holidays, popularized and known for its dolls, art, parades, and feasts that characterize the festival. In parts of the United States, which have large Mexican populations, the celebrationCreated Thursday, 25 October 2007 20:31 is gaining popularity and renown, and is becoming well-known. Here in San Antonio, the holiday is being celebrated by businesses, groups, and citizens more than ever, and is a one of San Antonio’s most exciting holidays.

The Day of the Dead is traditionally a happy, festive occasion, where family members choose to celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones. Although, to some, it may appear as morbid to have a picnic at night in a graveyard, but for the celebrants, it is a chance to remember and commune with those who have passed on, as well as to clean the graveyard, and tombstones. Although in Mexico, it is not uncommon for people to spend the entire night in the graveyard, in the United States, the celebration is normally more symbolic.

The celebration of the holiday on November 1-2, falls close to Halloween and also several old pagan harvest rituals, which helps explain its origins. Although not celebrated in all parts of Latin America, many countries such as Guatemala, Brazil, and Haiti, and has spread to such diverse parts of the world as the Philippines, Czech Republic, and other parts of Europe.

Here in San Antonio, the trappings of the celebration have been showing up throughout the city over the past month, and preparations have been underway for quite some time. Here is a list of some of the major attractions and events that will take place over the next few days.

· Blue Star Contemporary Art Center: Some of San Antonio’s most talented artists will display their altars, paintings, and other artifacts which celebrate the occasion. The opening reception will take place on November 1, from 7-11 PM. 3316 Oakwell Ct.

· Centro Cultural Aztlan: This is the 30th annual celebration of the Dia de los Muertos, and will feature traditional and modern displays on exhibit. Exhibition opens on Nov. 2, 6-9 PM, with daily viewings from 9 AM- 5 PM. 1800 Fredericksburg Rd., Deco Bldg.

· SAY Si: The three-day event features workshops, live music, dance performances, art exhibits, and plenty of food. The event starts Nov. 1, 6-10 PM, at 1518 S. Alamo St.

· Conjunto Heritage Taller: Alter and musical celebration is dedicated to the Conjuntos who have passed on. This event is usually standing room only, and features great live music, delicious food, and plenty of art. Visitors are welcome to bring their own music instruments and join the jam! Nov. 2, 6-10 PM. 1014 S. Prensa St.

The Day of the Dead is one of Mexico’s most colorful and unique holidays, and presents a chance to enjoy San Antonio’s creative and artistic community, and to take part in one of the city’s more interesting cultural events.

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Spurs Preseason Underway

Created Tuesday, 16 October 2007 16:51

 The world-champion Spurs really earned their title on Saturday by defeating the Euroleague Champions, Panathinaikos of Greece in a 113-91 game. The Spurs led the entire game, led by Tim Duncan, who scored 20 points in three quarters, and rested the fourth. Ginobili also took up where he left off last season, scoring 15 points, 6 of which came on three-pointers in the 3rd quarter, and another basket resulting from a powerful dunk.
Panathinaikos could be considered the Euro equivalent of the Spurs, as the team has won four Euroleague championships in eight years, and has a roster led by players, such as Sarunas Jaskevicius, who have extensive NBA playing time. For the Spurs and Coach Gregg Popavich, it was an opportunity to see how some of the team’s younger players—such as rookie Darius Washington, who had 10 points–would respond.
Brent Barry is in the last year of his contract and has been rumored to be considering retirement. He scored 12 points on 3-6 shooting from behind the arc. Star point guard, Tony Parker sat out the game after spending the summer playing with the French national team. Jacques Vaughn sat out with an injured leg.

In the Spurs only game so far against another NBA team, San Antonio was beaten by Dallas, 88-67. In that game, Duncan only played 17 minutes, finishing with 2 points and 4 rebounds, while 15 players saw action. Matt Bonner, Ginobili, and Barry all led the team with 14 points each. After the game, Robert Horry caused a bit of a stir by saying that he had thought about signing with Dallas and becoming one of the few players to have played on all three of Texas’ teams. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Horry said, “That would be good. I’d come up here next year, give you a good two years, win a championship here and call it quits.”

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TAMU Ranks Traffic

Created Monday, 15 October 2007 14:09

Texas A&M Ranks U.S. Traffic

San Antonio Traffic Report (Atleast it is not LA)

Texas A&M University recently released a study of the traffic trends, mobility measurements, and traffic congestion in major U.S. urban areas, and while some of the usual suspects head the chart, San Antonio remains in the middle of the pack.  Not surprisingly, in almost every category, two California cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco were atop the list.  Likewise, Texas two largest cities, Dallas and Houston suffer from high levels of congestion, delays, and wasted fuel.

The study ranks cities according to size, with those containing over 3 million people falling in the group called Very Large Urban Areas.  Between 1 and 3 million, are called Large Urban Areas, and the rest are referred to as Remaining Areas.

 

Los Angeles is head and shoulders above the rest in the category of Annual Hours of delay per traveler, with each Angeleno wasting 72 hours of his life in traffic each year, as well as wasting 57 gallons of fuel.  They are head and shoulders above the others because in second place is San Franciscans, who ‘only’ waste 60 hours per year, and 47 gallons of fuel.  San Antonio is 29th on the list—about midway through the Large Urban group—with its citizens sitting in traffic 39 hours per year, and idling away 27 gallons of gas.  According to the report, San Antonio ranks about the same as Las Vegas and Portland, OR.  In comparison with the other cities in Texas, people who live in Dallas and Houston waste about 58 hours and 40 gallons per person.

The study also ranks the growth of congestion in each city, and in this category, San Antonio fares quite well.  Out of 25 cities in the Large Urban Area group, San Antonio ranks 19th, which means that it ranks towards the low end of the average when it comes to how fast the congestion is growing.  Basically, this means that San Antonio is experiencing normal to low rates of congestion growth.  The leaders in this category are San Diego, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Baltimore, and Tampa.  San Antonio is just behind Orlando, and just ahead of Providence, R.I.

Some other high points that the study revealed:

· 2/3 of all cars experience delays on the daily commutes.
· The hours of congestion on the roads are increasing by about an hour every 10 years.  For example, in 1995, a city the size of San Antonio would expect 3 hours of congestion in the morning, and three in the afternoon.  A decade later, it’s almost 3.5.  In Very Large cities, such as Los Angeles or Atlanta, it’s almost 8 hours per day.

Finally, the study ranked the infrastructure improvements that each city has undertaken and how much they cost.  San Antonio has invested in freeway incident management, street signal coordination, and street access management.  The city has spent 21.9 million on this for a total savings of 1.2 million hours, and 32.2 million on public transportation for a savings of 1.7 million hours.  San Antonio ranks above New Orleans, St. Louis, Memphis, and Milwaukee in this category.

Studies like this rarely make anyone feel better.  Sitting in traffic is aggravating, wasteful, and adds stress to all our lives.  Telling ourselves that, “At least I don’t live in Los Angeles,” sounds good, but still doesn’t change the fact that all cities have the same problem.  The best news that citizens of San Antonio can take to heart, is that the congestion in the city’s roads is not growing.  That 20 minute commute should stay a 20 minute commute for the next few years.  In Los Angeles, today’s 20 minute commute could be tomorrow’s hour long nightmare.

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