Best Of 2020

Best Urban Legend

Winner: Ghost Tracks

2902 Shane Road

Even though the ghost tracks' eerie story has long been debunked — and is now long gone — San Antonio just can't stop loving this urban legend. As the tale goes, some ill-fated children met their end in the early 1900s when an oncoming train smashed their school bus at this intersection. From then on, the kids' spirits would supposedly push any stalled vehicle off the tracks, leading many to test the theory by coating their trunks in baby powder to reveal the handprints of the helpful ghosts. The truth is much more boring: there was a downward slant on the track that would cause vehicles placed in neutral to slowly slip forward, seemingly as if pushed. What's more, the fabled bus wreck never happened — in 2003, archivist Matt De Waelsche tracked down the real source of the tale, which was a 1938 crash way out in Salt Lake City, Utah. Locals still love the debunked tale, but anyone who hadn't already tried their luck at the tracks won't be able to anymore. Union Pacific levelled the elevation of the intersection when it added a second track in the location in 2018.

2. La Llorona

South Side San Antonio

3. Donkey Lady Bridge

Applewhite Road over the Medina River

Around Town

Around Town

Winner: 1221 Broadway

1221 Broadway

(210) 899-4910

2. Arrive Eilan

17803 La Cantera Terrace

(866) 574-5766

3. Lenox Overlook

17715 Overlook Loop

(210) 320-0930

Winner: Blue Star Contemporary

116 Blue Star

(210) 227-6960

It's hard to imagine what San Antonio's distinct art scene would look like without Blue Star Contemporary. Founded in 1986 as a platform for local artists, the nonprofit institution paved the way for some of the city's first artist-run spaces, many of which cropped up in the surrounding Blue Star Arts Complex. Over the past three decades, the cavernous space has hosted hundreds of exhibitions showcasing local, national and international artists; cultivated countless young artists through its Mosaic outreach program; and sent dozens of talented San Antonians to live and work in Germany as part of its Blue Star Berlin Residency. As we were assembling this issue, BSC was in the midst of mounting the 30th anniversary edition of Red Dot — a fundraising exhibition featuring more than 100 local artists that will be enhanced this year with a free Blue Star app promising an "augmented reality experience."

2. Southtown Art Gallery

1913 S. Flores St., Studio 9

(210) 441-0075

3. Presa House Gallery

725 S. Presa St.

Editor's Pick: FL!GHT Gallery

112R Blue Star

Long a top destination for First Friday crowds at Blue Star Arts Complex, FL!GHT Gallery is an icon of the SA art scene. The gallery locked down the with the rest of the city this spring, and it looks like it won't be hosting swarms of onlookers for big art openings anytime soon, but that doesn't mean that it's down for the count. Au contraire: FL!GHT resumed its exhibition schedule in May with an online-only showcase of Greg Mannino's glitter paintings, followed by a solo show of illustrations by Charles Benjamin Russell, for which viewings were scheduled on an appointment-only basis. In October, look for Angelica Raquel Martinez's eerie fiber works in "Tell Me It Haunts You Too," available to view by appointment.

Winner: Mane Man Men's Grooming

2230 Southeast Military Dr.

(210) 437-0039

2. Razors & Rims Barber Shop

8803 TX-151, Suite 105

(210) 332-5661


3. Heavyweightz Parlor

3230 Hillcrest Dr.

(386) 965-3733

3. The Good Barber

20079 Stone Oak Parkway, Suite 2104

(210) 497-0092

Winner: King William Manor

1037 S. Alamo St.

(210) 222-0144

2. Brackenridge House Bed and Breakfast

230 Madison

(210) 271-3442

3. Arbor House

109 Arciniega St.

(210) 472-2005

Winner: University Bowl

12332 West I-10 #10

(210) 699-6235

2. Main Event

Multiple locations

3. Astro SuperBowl

3203 Harry Wurzbach Road

(210) 824-6348

Winner: Brackenridge Park

3700 N. St. Mary's St.

(210) 207-7275

This year, the city's outdoor spaces became more important than ever, and it's no surprise that the centrally located, 343-acre Brackenridge Park was voted top dog. Visitors can meander the paved walkways or eat lunch at a picnic table along the picturesque 2.2 mile stretch of the San Antonio River that flows through the park, bike through its trails or get their play on at one of its sports fields. The park is also a birdwatcher's paradise, particularly in the spring, when the trees fill with egrets and yellow-crowned night herons for their annual nesting season. For a change of scenery, the nearby Japanese Tea Garden mesmerizes with landscaped tiers and koi ponds built out of the former Alamo Cement quarry. Those looking for more family-friendly fun need not go far. The San Antonio Zoo, recently relocated Kiddie Park, Zoo Train and Witte Museum are a mere hop, skip and a jump away, and all are currently open for business with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

2. Phil Hardberger Park

13203 Blanco Road

(210) 492-7472

3. Hemisfair

434 S. Alamo St.

(210) 709-4750

Winner: LOL Comedy Club

618 NW Loop 410

(866) 468-3399

When it comes to hosting touring stand-up comedians, there's no question which local venue comes out on top. Part of the storied Improv string of comedy venues, LOL regularly books bigs names such as SNL alum Rob Schneider and YouTube sensation JP Sears alongside local and regional comics. Even during the pandemic, the club has remained active, putting new safety measures in place and pulling together a lineup of touring shows through the remainder of the year. Throw in comedy defensive driving classes and the ability to host parties and groups and it's easy to get why LOL came out on top.

2. Blind Tiger Comedy Club

902 NE Loop 410

(210) 828-1470

3. Overtime Theater

(210) 557-7562

Currenly without a venue location

Winner: Woodlawn Theatre

1920 Fredericksburg Road

(210) 267-8388

2. The Magik Theatre

420 S. Alamo St.

(210) 227-2751

3. The Public Theater of San Antonio

800 W. Ashby Place

(210) 733-7258

Winner: CryoFit Alamo Heights

6486 N. New Braunfels Ave.

(210) 375-9087

2. Total Regen Whole Body Cryo

22103 Bulverde Road, Suite 105

(210) 701-8822

3. Stratton Sport and Spine

818 Knights Cross Dr. #5107

(210) 837-8244