Monday, July 27, 2009

Which Way is Southtown? Southtown is featured in this month's Texas Highways magazine.

Which Way is Southtown?

Just beyond San Antonio's attractions waits vibrant community where artists and visitors mingle amiably

By Shermakaye Bass

San Antonio entices travelers from around the world with splashy attractions like the River Walk and SeaWorld, as well as such popular sites as the Alamo and the historic mission trail. But what many visitors—even native Texans—don’t realize is that San Antonio shelters a thriving bohemian district just beyond downtown. Three overlapping neighborhoods (King William, Lavaca and Blue Star), known collectively as Southtown, harbor a welcoming vibe that dovetails centuries of history with modern art-house culture.
Bounded loosely by South Flores and South Presa on the west and east, Durango and Lone Star to the north and south, Southtown is rich with galleries, coffeehouses, hipster dive bars, artists’ compounds, vintage clothing stores, crafts ateliers, family-run taco joints, and chic new bistros (Oloroso, a hottie of the moment). All draw loyal customers, as do longtime favorites Rosario’s, El Mirador, and the stately Guenther House. The result: a vibrant “arts underground” that invites exploration.
Southtown is sophisticated, welcoming, and sprawling: A day-long walking tour isn’t enough to see it all. So, unless you have the legs of Lance Armstrong, it’s wise to employ a combination of transport modes: perhaps a pedicab for King William, the 150-year-old National Historic District founded by German émigrés; your own vehicle for St. Mary’s and South Alamo; and a tram or taxi from downtown to enjoy South Flores.
In the King William Historic District, pick up a walking-tour map from the San Antonio Conservation Society headquarters at 107 King William Street. Southtown encompasses King William, a diverse residential collection of Victorian architecture, and the South Alamo Street/South St. Mary’s Street Historic District, dotted with more modest, late-19th- and early-20th-Century houses. The development of this area parallels San Antonio’s 19th-Century growth, and these days, many structures are beautifully restored and carefully maintained, with styles ranging from Italianate, Neoclassical, and red-tiled-roof Spanish Revival to classic Victorian and Central Texas limestone. Some houses, such as the Ogé House, built in 1857 by Texas Ranger/cattle rancher Louis Ogé, double as bed and breakfasts.
If you’re not up for walking the whole way, hail one of the human-powered pedicabs that circulate in this area.
After visiting The Guenther House restaurant/museum, we forged a diagonal path across South Alamo to the Blue Star Arts Complex. In addition to the namesake gallery, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (local, national, and international exhibits—always thought-provoking), the renovated warehouses house artist studios, a microbrewery, galleries, lofts, a bike shop, print shops, sundry arty retailers and non-profits, along with JumpStart Performance Co., a groundbreaking theater company that has produced more than 500 performances for 300,000 visitors since it was founded in 1985.
As Hank Lee, owner of the San Angel Folk Art Gallery, says, “The whole Southtown area is the quintessential old, small-town San Antonio. Out-of-towners who stay on the River Walk can get a whole other sense of San Antonio down here. The trolley is only 50 cents, and there’s a stop right at Blue Star.” Lee adds that the area’s bohemian feel is amplified “by locally owned establishments, like Jive Vintage, MadHatters, and La Tuna. You won’t find chain stores or franchise operations down here.”
San Antonio’s Southtown area extends roughly from South Flores to South Presa (west to east), and from Durango to Lone Star (north to south). Find King William District walking tour information at the San Antonio Conservation Society, 107 King William, 210/224-6163. For more on San Antonio, contact the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800/447-3372, or stop by the Visitor Information Center at 317 Alamo Plaza, across from the Alamo. Following is contact information for sites mentioned in the story.
DiningOloroso, 1024 S. Alamo, 210/223-3600.El Mirador, 722 S. St. Mary’s St., 210/225-9444.Rosario’s Mexican Restaurant, 910 S. Alamo, 210/223-1806.Bar America, 723 S. Alamo, 210/223-1285.Blue Star Brewing Company, 1414 S. Alamo, Ste. 105, 210/212-5506.The Guenther House, 205 E. Guenther St., 210/227-1061.La Tuna Grill, 100 Probandt, 210/212-5727.MadHatter’s Tea House and Cafe, 320 Beauregard, 210/212-4832.
LodgingThe Ogé House, 209 Washington, 210/223-2353.
Galleries/ShopsBlue Star Contemporary Art Center, 116 Blue Star, 210/227-6960.Casa Margarita, 730 S. Alamo, 210/222-8444.Fl!ght, 1906 S. Flores, 210/872-2587.Gallista Gallery & Art Studio, 1913 S. Flores, 210/212-8606.Inter-Artisan, 1036 S. Alamo, 210/807-3582.The Jewelry Box, 734 S. Alamo, 210/270-0333.The Jive Refried, 919 S. Alamo, 210/257-5132.Joan Grona Gallery, 112 Blue Star, 210/225-6334.Jump-Start Performance Co., 108 Blue Star, 210/227-5867.LoneStar Studios, 107 Lone Star Blvd.1906 Gallery and Benavides Picture Framing, 1906 S. Flores, 210/227-5718.San Angel Folk Art, 110 Blue Star, 210/226-6688.Unit B, 402 Cedar, 312/375-1871.Vintage House, 628 S. St. Mary’s, #102, 210/299-4774.
See the full article in the August 2009 issue.

Southtown Designers featured in Conexión

By Melissa Rentería - Conexión
San Antonio isn’t home to world-famous designer runways or star-studded fashion shows, but it is home to a group of dedicated and talented artists using fabric and clothing as their canvas.
It being Contemporary Art Month, and with plans underway to launch a fashion week here later this year, Conexión takes a look at some local Latino designers making fashion statements in San Antonio.

Agosto Cuellar
Who he is: The owner of the Southtown vintage shop Jive Refried is a self-taught fashion designer who specializes in deconstructing retro clothes to create an updated and unique look through his namesake label.
His inspiration: Cuellar credits his grandmother, an accomplished seamstress, with sparking his fashion interest when she enlisted his help to cut fabric. His collection of patchwork skirts is a reflection of her style.
Designer cred: He’s auditioned three times for a spot on the reality show “Project Runway,” coming close to being a finalist on the show two seasons ago (he made it to the top 50), and his shop was featured in Elle magazine in May 2005.
Fashion statement: “I’m old school,” he says. “I take old clothing and give it a new soundtrack.”

Henry de la Paz
Who he is: The Brownsville native is a hair stylist and a self-taught fashion designer who calls his creations “urban couture.”
His inspiration: De la Paz started fashion designing when he couldn’t find clothes he liked to wear to dance clubs. He was hooked on fashion after his original designs received compliments from fellow club-goers.
Designer cred: He created two dresses for Colombian rocker Shakira when she visited San Antonio during a 2006 concert stop.Fashion statement: “I do clothes to get my fashion repression out. That’s my art,” he says.

Oswaldo Delgado
Who he is: The Mexican-born designer is a graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word’s fashion design program where he created dress designs for student shows, including the school’s annual Cutting Edge Fiesta Fashion Show.
His inspiration: Delgado credits his mother’s style — and her constant encouragement — with influencing his interest in fashion design.
Designer cred: He was the first-ever recipient of the Most Innovative Collection award at UIW’s Cutting Edge show. He won the honor in 2007.
Fashion statement: Delgado likes using everyday items, including aluminum and latex-coated paper, in his designs.

Angelina Mata
Who she is: The former hairstylist is the creative force behind the city’s annual Art of Fashion show at Blue Star. She sells items from her Reinvintage line of accessories and her namesake ready-to-wear line of higher-end day suits and evening wear at her Southtown studio Euphorium.
Her inspiration: Mata, who learned to sew by making clothes for her Barbie dolls, comes from a family rich in creative people, including artists, hair stylists and musicians.
Designer cred: Mata, who’s a mostly self-taught designer, has studied design and pattern making at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Fashion statement: Mata calls sewing and designing her therapy.
Rodrigo VirgenWho he is: The Mexican-born designer who has made San Antonio his home since 1985 is known for his hand-painted silks, which he often uses to create one-of-a-kind wedding and evening gowns. He’s also designed a menswear collection of denim pants and shirts.
His inspiration: Virgen started designing clothes at age 10 when he started sketching dresses for paper dolls. At 21, he made his first dress when a friend asked him to sew a dress for her.
Designer cred: He’s studied pattern and dressmaking at St. Philip’s College and has taken art classes at San Antonio College. Fashion statement: “I have designs in my head, and I look and look for them,” he says. “But the only way I can usually find them is if I do them myself.”

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Desks for rent

Thursday's Business section featured C4 Workspace, one of our newest neighbors, and a new Chamber member.
Go by and say "hi", and see this interesteing space.


C4 Workspace is a new co-working site in the King William area. It caters to consultants, freelancers, home-based business owners and others in search of a conference room, desk, electricity and a place to network.

By L. A. Lorek - Express-News
Nomadic workers have a new place to meet, plug in a laptop and make a cell phone call in San Antonio.
C4 Workspace, a co-working site, opened this month at 108 King William. It caters to consultants, freelancers, home-based business owners and others in search of a conference room, desk, electricity and a place to network with others.
“We're trying to create a big office environment for single workers,”.......
for complete storygo to:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Haute Pink Bazaar! June 23!

Alamo City Etsy Street Team comes to SOUTHTOWN!

June 23 is National Pink Day, and the Alamo City Etsy Team is celebrating in style! We will be hosting our first Trunk Show and Silent Auction to benefit local Breast Cancer charities. The Bazaar will kick off at 7pm and run late. Come out and enjoy a dazzling array of locally made goods, music, wine and hors d'voures.
FREE and Open to the public!

Come on by and see at B.Link and support an awesome cause!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First time without food at tonight's First Friday

Web Posted: 06/05/2009 6:37 CDT

By Valentino Lucio - Express-News
For people heading out to First Friday this evening something may seem different. The enticing aromas of turkey legs, roasted corn and fajitas will be absent, maybe causing several stomachs to grumble.Tonight, the event will reflect the vision some residents imagined — a First Friday without food vendors. The move has made people associated with the First Friday task force content since they thought the vendors made the area undesirable during the event.Now, their wish has been granted. A visit from Metro Health at a task force meeting last month produced a vote from the committee to have the health department strictly enforce its rules.The department acted, not because of the vote, rather because the event lacked a general sponsor making it a health hazard since there is not an oversight committee to provide items such as toilet facilities.But finding a sponsor may come sooner than later. The South Town Chamber of Commerce has been assembled to help rejuvenate the area as well as possibly taking over as sponsor for the event. Tonight, the Lavaca Neighborhood Association and the chamber will have the grand opening of their joint office from 7 to 10 p.m. at 716 S. Alamo St.

Find this article at:

Friday, June 5, 2009

First Friday Opening at El Sol Studios

El Sol Studios Presents:

Hector Garza

Travel through time when you view Hector's beautiful paintings inspired by iconic literary authors, and historical figures. A mix of visual elements make up these ethereal painted story collages and paintings.
Soft opening reception
First Thursday June 4th
6-9 pm refreshments
First Friday Opening reception
Friday June5th
Music by Liberal
more info please visit

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First Friday opening at Inter Artisan

"A Collection of Mexican Cultural Paintings"
By Juan Barajas

Juan Barajas is a blessed painter with the magic of color, and the happiness
of Mexican folklore. Juan takes his passion for customs through his works of
art, giving form and color to emotions by filling each memory. A Mexico
native, this self taught artist has participated in numerous international
shows and exhibits. Juan's creative labor and many art medias have reached
many parts of the world, and acknowleged by many viewers. Inter Artisan is
proud to show the fine pieces of art made by Juan Barajas of Laredo, Texas.

When: June 5, 2009
Where: Inter Artisan, 1036 S. Alamo St., San Antonio, TX. 78210
Time: 3:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m.
Other Info.: Juan Barajas will be present during this First Friday event,
please feel free to stop by for a "cultural experience through Mexico".