On the Street

Letters (Delivered to the On the Street Penthouse Suite via the Ether, Pigeons, and All Methods In between)


An On the Street long time reader with close ties to Brazilian street grappling the medical field (someone we will now obliquely refer to as Homes) sent this astounding clip.  As with many of the messages sent to the Penthouse Suite, humor is mixed with sadness.  The clip has the feel of Old World vaudeville, or perhaps I am simply projecting that onto the clip because it is from the far reaches of Europe, and of course, who doesn't love the idea of vaudeville.  

At one point I thought it was a lost Roberto Benigni/Jim Jarmusch clip, which ultimately only reinforces my point.


The host's reaction is so completely wrong and inappropriate it can only be considered human.    The last 15 seconds of silence bring unexpected pathos.


Congressman Al sent these clips in at various times during the week.  Given that his dedication to On the Street does not waver by being in another state,  it is only fair if we now refer to him as On the Street Mountain Time Zone Correspondent Congressman Al.


Old time fans of the Nature Boy will be happy to see him inject himself into the current presidential election.  The Nature Boy, combined with Chuck Norris, gives Mike Huckabee a Kinky Friedman-esque assemblage of unlikely, lovable losers in his political corner.

Ric Flair held onto his championship reign with the cliched iron fist.  Unfortunately, Mike Huckabee (and his campaign) are drifting into defeat.  I really appreciate having Mike Huckabee on the campaign trail battling McCain.  Though Huckabee is probably waiting in vain for McCain to have his "macaca" moment of self-implosion, the idea that McCain could screw up his chances are not that out of the picture.  Scandals begin to whirl around him.  Stories of his evil temper now begin to surface.  Some have even questioned if he should be eligible for President because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone and not on the 50 states, however Arizona didn't become a state until shockingly recently, and by recently I mean 1912.

McCain's situation does not bode well for the health of the country.  Ostracized by his base for past statements and views, he now seems to be trying to appease his base through his stance on military and the empire.  The People don't want 100 more years of Iraq, yet these are the outlandish statements he has made to smooth things over with the people of his party.  I can't imagine this going over well with the majority of people, but then what do I know?  

He might do better than most people first think, however, I can't imagine most people wanting to have a beer with him, which is always my most important criteria when choosing a President.  What kind of beer are we going to order?  If he is afraid to order international, is he then also afraid to order micro-brew?  Are we going to have just one round?   Do we order several pitchers?  It looks bad either way.  Do we get drunk and discuss and the Spurs vs. the Suns in the 2007 playoffs?  And if we do, then is his temper able to handle it when I bring up the Robert Horry hipcheck?

Yeah, probably not.  And that is why I want Mike Huckabee to somehow find a way to stay in the race.  He's the Jimmy Carter of the Right.  His presence in the Presidential debate would force a much more interesting and "nuanced" course of discussion.  

The dude just wants to play his bass guitar...


And as easily as politics drifts into music, sports drifts into politics.  This also from the desk of On the Street Mountain Time Zone Correspondent Congressman Al...

The joker tells the truth, and the serious commentator responds like a clown?

Cracking the Pecan King

A few days ago an On the Street associate from the Austin film scene came through town to do photographic research for the ACLU for something connected to Emma Tenayuca - most likely for one of the many commemorations.  

Having left the Institute of Texan Cultures we met nearby at Rosario's. Rosario's has a good racket going on with the tourists.  The food is good in a delicate, crafted sort of way but everything could be several dollars cheaper.  Nonetheless, it exists in its own bubble and people have a good time there. It strikes me as the kind of place where when you ask the waiter what he reccomends he'll make up something, usually choosing the more expensive option, which is pretty much what happened when I went there.  Carrying a camera probably gave me away for the Iowan tourist I've always wanted to be.

A beer was later had at Beethoven's.   The old timers weren't in yet.  I was hoping to show my friend a glimpse of the German scene but it wasn't meant to be.  The auslanders were right at home.

A Quiet Storm Band Called Bedroom E.T.A.

Based on the positive response from the audio clip from last week ("Ditchweed" aka "Don't Ask.  Okay, Go Ahead and Ask") we bring this follow up. Having tracked down the origins, it seems this a clip from an upcoming Matador Records comedy album.  Very unusual.  On the Street Insider Erin wonders about  their connection to Catpower.  Again, very unusual...

True Men Don't Kill Coyotes

It seems Alamo Heights has a coyote problem.  I take a sick pleasure in rejoicing when nature rears its ugly head.  Mountain Lions terrorizing Colorado suburbs reminds that we live in a world larger than ourselves.  I can just imagine a Denver suburbanite getting attacked, and as the camera dollies in his last words are something like "...we left the city so we can be around people like us and have better schools...and then a fucking tiger gets me.  This isn't how I wanted to go out!"  

An OTS insider went to a recent AH city council type meeting and listened to the trapper discuss the coyote issue.  Evidently there are 5 key players and they like to nest in a field over by McCullough and Basse.  At night they make their way east towards 09.  Killing coyotes, supposedly, isn't the solution because they will continue to breed to replace lost soldiers.  It seems like an epic battle they way its being described, though of course the only real issue is a few pets going missing but still...

On the Tracks

In between Vance Jackson and Lockhill-Selma is an obscure but convenient cross street called Orsinger.  I happened across it not too long ago.

This seems to be the same track that bifurcates Alta Vista and Beacon Hill to the south.

About 20 yards from the tracks I found this makeshift memorial.

It seems as if several different people contributed to this memorial.  A cross, a plaque, a trash can...

June 18, 2005.  I tried to think what I was doing on that day.  Oddly, I can remember perfectly.  I was in LA.  I just got hired via telephone for a bizarre marketing job where I was to drive across the country in a Penske truck full of electronics equipment.  I was to deliver the goods to a hotel, help set them up for a training session for the local salespeople, then two days later put it back on the truck with the help of day laborers.  It was probably the greatest job I ever had because: 1) I did almost no work, maybe 8 hours a week, 2) I was paid better than any job ever before, including, alas, even this high paying job...3) I got to drive around the country, 4) I never met my supervisors (until the truck ran into a low-hanging tree, but that's another story).  The next day Robert Horry (him again) won Game 5 of the NBA Finals with his 4th quarter/overtime heroics.

It was painful to connect one of the best days of my life (that job was the motivation to finally leave LA) with someone else's death.

I googled Michael G. Twist and found this...

"A memorial scholarship fund has been established for Michael G. Twist ’05. Michael, a recent graduate of St. Anthony Catholic High School died when his car crashed on June 19, 2005. He was active in community volunteer-ism, he was an Alter boy, a Eucharistic Minister and sang and played guitar in the school choir during Mass while attending St. Anthony. He was a caring young man who always volunteered his time, talents and treasures. The family established the fund to help pay tuition for a St. Anthony Catholic High School student. Anyone interested in participating in the scholarship fund should send their gift to: The Michael Twist Scholarship Fund, St. Anthony Catholic High School, 3200 McCullough Ave. San Antonio, TX 78212 or call (210) 805-5832 for more information"

A Conversation with On the Street Mountain Time Zone Correspondent Congressman Al

For this week we discuss the Spurs, focusing on the Brent Barry trade and all the esoteric details.

Save the Neurons?

After thoroughly analyzing the local coffee scene in a previous article, I'm actually happy to see another contestant in the game of shocking San Antonio's nervous system.  Put another way, will our collective neurons burst into flames from all the stimulation?  It's a valid question.  Has there ever been a point in San Antonio history where good, strong coffee was so easily available?

Witness the latest player in the game...

Okay, this is actually a before picture from a few months back (from the OTS foto archives) from the previous business.  I still never heard back about those Nigerian orphans.

Here is the same window taken a few days ago.  I'm most intrigued by the industrial, gear-looking design.   Based on that alone, I'm somehow extrapolating this knee-jerk opinion - "The Foundry will be the best coffee shop in San Antonio."  I have a good feeling about this.  My only concern is that a few too many bad open mic nights from the community could be the death knell, but I think The Foundry will withstand it.  I'm not sure when they'll open yet.  From what I saw through the window, it will be at least a few more weeks.

If I'm completely wrong on this one don't expect to hear me mention it again.  But if I'm right...

Meet the New On the Street Foreign Correspondents

People want to know how to become an On the Street Correspondent.   A few random, contradictory requirements might be:

1. Overeducated and underskilled
2. Possession of highly esoteric knowledge
3. Willingness to buy me a drink
4. "I don't know what" qualities
5. A lack of training in journalism

(Of course there are other prerequisite levels beneath the Correspondent level, such as: "Long Time Reader", "Insider", "Huggy Bear", "Associate".  I'm not sure yet of the order of those.)

With that in mind I'm proud to introduce two new full level On the Street Foreign Correspondents, both of whom contradict several of those aforementioned 5 rules.  It's a total score for OTS with their experience with NPR, the BBC, Texas Monthly, not to mention the awards they've won through the years.

Bear Guerra and Rux Guidi.  

They will be giving monthly updates from "On the Streets" of Bolivia, most likely La Paz.  The only surprise about this is that it hasn't happened sooner.  It was the obvious next step for On the Street - Bolivia.

I'm looking for a California and NYC Correspondent, as well as Europe and SE Asia.  

While Shopping For Brass Knuckles...

(sin permiso)

...I missed an Obama sign making party at a local artist's house.  I wasn't invited, and as I mentioned, I was busy at an antique store at the time helping a friend shop for vintage brass knuckles, but then somehow I found this image in the On the Street flickr page which made everything surreal.  It's as if I was there.  

(sin permiso tambien)

Here is the Spurs' own Bruce Bowen speaking in support of Obama.  Look closely at Bruce Bowen's face.  And tell me if you don't see a resemblance to a singer from a 70s Irish rock band.  Hold that thought.  Evidence to follow below.

Smoke Mixed with Music

Saturday night I stopped by the Mix to hear Big Soy and Kick It.  Big Soy is shown here on stage though one half of the band is hidden to the right behind a streak of light.

Evidently, Big Soy is about to head off for an Irish (European) tour.  My On the Street informant tells me this is going to be a pivotal tour for the band. What this means I'm not yet sure.  Possibly, this could somehow be a fact finding mission to answer the eternal question of Irish rock: who is better, Thin Lizzy or U2?  

I thought I had made that up until I found this.

Outside on the patio... it was somehow still smoky.   Here the local organization known as The Roosevelt High School Alumni Big Soy Appreciation Club (TRHSABSAC) took a break from the music to go over the group minutes.

Later that night, local band Kick It played to an excited crowd.  The drumming was the quiet (as in, under appreciated) highlight of the performance. People went wild.  

A security guard who was making a beat between the Mix, Joey's, and his pickup truck parked next door at the Greek restaurant, was not short of odd expressions as people kept slamming into him as he stood stoically by the door.

Tell me their singer doesn't look like Bruce Bowen with a huge afro.   I'm waiting...

And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio.  As always, to be continued...

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