Sunday, May 28, 2006

How to spend a perfect weekend in San Antonio (Forget the Alamo)

I am in my favorite city in the US, San Antonio ... I needed to recharge my batteries, and this is my charger of choice .... and wow, am I ever recargada!! Culture and connections have abounded, just what I needed to nourish my spirit and refresh my creative spark.

Skipping the traditional Alamo/Riverwalk sights, I spent Saturday visiting the Missions. One look at the picture above is all you need to see how close San Antonio still is to its Spanish roots ... one of the reasons I love it so much. I watched a very well done documentary at the Mission San José Visitors Center, Gente de Razón, on the history of the people of the missions. Maybe I'm just emotional these days, but it did bring tears to my eyes at the end when the narrator (singer/songwriter Tish Hinojosa) said, "I ask my daughter what she thinks happened to the Indians of the missions. She replies, "They're all dead, mamá. Then I tell her to go look in the mirror"....

Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure to meet with Trinidad Sánchez, Jr., a poet and a gentleman – and the first of several people I met this weekend who are amigos electrónicos, i.e., people with whom I'd been corresponding for quite some time by e-mail, but had not yet met in person. Not only did I have the chance to enjoy merienda with him, but he shared his poetry with me and even read me several of his poems as a Spanish guitarrist happened to be playing in the background. I told him that completely made my weekend (it did!) Please, please check out his new book, Jalapeño Blues, an incredibly wonderful, bilingual collection of poetry.

Then, on Saturday night, an unbelievable stroke of el destino gave me the opportunity to see my favorite singer, Patricia Vonne, who happened to be playing at the new Red Room in San Antonio. What a treat; I honestly couldn't believe my luck, and it was a fabulous show in a truly unique venue, complete with gauze covered ceiling and walls, red lights, flickering candles, low tables and lots of huge pillows and cushions on the floor (think of the inside of I Dream of Jeannie's bottle, and you'll be close). She did an acoustic show with just herself and her guitar player, and it was beyond wonderful.

And as for today, Sunday? I drove up to Austin and had the great, great pleasure of finally meeting up with Marisa Treviño, the brains and energy behind Latina Lista, which right now is "just" a blog (go read it and you'll see why I put "just" in quotes), but in the future will be a movement.

Topped off the day with a visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and then tomorrow I meet with yet another e-mail friend who is a writer and another source of energy and creative ideas.

With all these incredible, energetic, creative and fabulous people in the same orbit, I feel a critical mass growing .... there is something we are all supposed to do together, and I feel that pretty soon, we're going to start figuring out what it is!

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