Monday, March 14, 2011

Walkin' the East Side #5: We Venture West

So, can I count it for a Walkin' the East Side post if we only start on the East Side?  I think I can, and it's my blog, so...

No cemetery photos this time, but plenty of houses.  And strange sidewalk art.  Photos start after the jump, as always, and this time we have a lot.

On Iowa, almost to Cherry.  Boarded up old house.  There are a ton of vacant houses on the East Side.  A lot of them are lovely old things which could be absolute showpieces with a bit of work.  I have been told (by my mother, who lived in the area at the time) that the King William district looked a lot like this during the 1970s, until the city offered the houses for dirt cheap + a promise to renovate them.  It's my belief that something similar should be done over here.  I mention the King William program because a lot of the photos in this post are from that neighborhood.
This is Tejas Barbecue, over on Hoefgen (Alan, I know you've seen this!).  Closed business.  Looks like it has great potential.  Hoefgen is just off I-37, which makes this seem like a great idea until you realize that Hoefgen isn't actually easy to get to off the interstate.  It's also in really close proximity to a Bill Miller's, and we love our Bill Miller's in this city.
We walked up Hoefgen to I think Florida and went under I-37 there.  This awaited us on the other side--some scales, etched into the sidewalk.  At first I thought it was a standalone piece of artwork, but no:

It's a rattlesnake!  The pieces of it were not in very close proximity, and we'd see a few others as we walked up Florida.
This was in the same general area.  I think we saw it again elsewhere, but I don't recall for certain.
 The gateway to the Lavaca neighborhood.  This is, I believe, one of the oldest in the city, outside of what is now downtown.  It barely escaped Hemisfair '68, from what I have been told.
I really should have taken pictures of more of these.  I know Alan has some photos of similar little stories on his blog.  It's a really neat thing; little bits of the city's history etched into the sidewalks.
There were lots of these around too.
This photo is a great explanation of the neighborhood.  You have one nicely-remodeled house for sale and a rundown one next door (I think it's boarded-over too).
I want this house.  Surely they'll just give it to me, right?
I had to photograph this for the locals.  When I was a teenager, we spent about 3 weeks living across the street from Victoria Courts.  Someone broke into our house twice during that time (nothing was stolen--we had nothing to steal!).  The gunshots used to keep me awake at night.  Scary fucking place, let me tell you.  Good thing they don't allow guns in public housing; someone coulda been shot.
Another of the snake-etchings.  This one with hints of ouroboros.

This one house had monkeypods and leaves all along the curb in front of the yard.  It was the only one.
The same word in several languages. English, German, Spanish, what else?
I wish there had been more of these.  I'm sure the process to do this is much the same as putting a photograph on a gravestone.  Very neat.
I've never seen any real signs of life at this place, not even back when I was going to school at Brackenridge. (This is about a block away from the high school.)

Sandra Cisneros's house.  (I didn't feel comfortable taking a photo from the front.)  I've mentioned before the way she moved into King William during the mid-1990s and immediately started battling the HOA, which had restrictions on exterior colors.  (At the time, she wanted to paint her house purple.)  Now, I love Sandra Cisneros's poetry, but this illustrates perfectly one of my biggest beefs with the city.  She moved into an historically GERMAN neighborhood and said she wanted to honor the city's Tejano heritage by painting her house like a west side hacienda.  I know I've bitched about cultural relativism from liberals in the past, but this is the truth of that matter: any culture, so long as it's not white.
This is my absolute favorite house in King William.  It was for sale for an incredibly long time during the early part of this century.  I think they were asking $600K for it.  For about a year, we lived over next to La Tuna, and I'd walk home from school every single day, and stop to daydream about this house.
This is when I started to feel like a hipster.  But I knew this place before it was cool.  Down at the end of this street--where I used to cut through an empty lot to get to the river and walk down a little ways to cross it--is now a park with a jogging path and benches and rails so you don't fall in and shit.  This particular RiverWalk expansion irks me to no end.
It looks like a cake!  I love Victorian architecture, especially as interpreted by Germans.  This house dates to 1892, if the weather vane on the top is to be believed.  Just gorgeous.  There are houses very similar to this in the Dignowity Hill area, not that far from where I live now, but most of them are in ill repair.
This is about the roughest looking one in the neighborhood.  I doubt too much has been done to it since the '70s.
This is a restaurant.  I don't remember what the name is now; it was Casbeer's at the Church, but then they changed it.  It also happens to be the church where my Great Aunt Mollie's kids got married, and for a while in between church & restaurant it was a theater.  For some reason, churches repurposed like this always make me sad.  I don't know why, since it's better than them sitting empty & rotting.
This used to be a Pig Stand--the first Pig Stand Bobbie ever went to, in fact--but now it's Frank's Hog Stand.  If you are ever on the near south side, go there.  Get the pulled pork sandwich and fried pickles.  Oh my heavens, I had no idea how good fried pickles were before this day.  A couple of weeks ago, Erik and I had our Sunday lunch at Longhorn Cafe and I got their fried pickles...Sigh.  Nowhere near as good.  Tough.  Bitter.  The ones at Frank's Hog Stand are melty and salty little bits of goodness.
Not something you see too often anymore.  Sort of a shotgun house.  Very common in San Antonio once upon a time; one of the local builders used to have a San Antonio floor plan that was based off of these, but I don't know if they still do, & I don't remember which builder it was so I can't check.
The obligatory "Tower of the Americas in the distance" photograph.

And...that's it for now.  Last week I got a great photo of the Tower with no obstructions, but that is a bit farther down the queue.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I really love what you are doing with these posts. The walk around tours show a side of San Antonio that most locals never bother to see for themselves.

More of this, please!