Arts Social intercourse 

Starbucks for the waiting room, and a fundraiser for the river

Downtown San Antonio has another royal in its River Walk court. The Hotel Contessa celebrated its grand opening January 22 with a swanky benefit for the San Antonio River Foundation that drew the city’s movers and shakers to mingle among tasty buffets and martini and mojito bars strategically located throughout three floors of the boutique hotel. I had the opportunity to dish with Valero’s Travis Capp, and we decided that, although the party was swell, many of the guests missed the boat in accurately capturing the “saucy cocktail attire” recommended on the invitation.

I saw some gorgeous people, including a statuesque blonde who had on a largely indescribable pale-green dress, but most of the crowd took the safe route with LBDs (Little Black Dresses) and suits. Creative Civilization’s Mike de la Garza did elicit a smile by pairing his office-appropriate grey suit with a “saucy” McIlhenny Tabasco tie. Truly, the best-dressed guests were a contingent of handsome, well-built gay men to whom saucy is a fashion term that holds no mystery. With perfectly tailored slacks, stylish shirts with just the right trendy touch, and one guy with a leather jacket that practically demanded to be touched, they were hot. The Seinfeld episode in which Elaine finds her self trying to “convert” a gay man flashed through my head. My loss is certainly some lucky guy’s gain.

Earlier this month, the north-central business community turned out in force to celebrate the grand opening of The Atrium at North Central Baptist Hospital, a massive expansion that includes new adult and pediatric emergency rooms and will soon feature expanded women’s services and luxury VIP suites for post-surgery recovery. Hospitals typically give me the heebie-jeebies with their overly sterile feel, but this place defies the stereotype with its graceful architecture. Of course, it helped that it was filled with ceremony, martinis, and Tuscan-themed delicacies catered by Page Barteau. Hospital CEO Dominic Dominguez was on hand to welcome guests as they toured the new facility. The most intriguing revelation of the evening, however, was that a Starbucks is scheduled to open. In the lobby. Of the hospital. Hmm. “I’ll have a venti half-caff vanilla latte and a double-bypass, please” just sounds wrong.

And now a word from our sponsor ... sort of. As you, dear reader, are aware, the San Antonio Current is celebrating its 20th anniversary. We kicked off the landmark year in style with a launch party at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, complete with an auction of previous Current covers, treats from Mina’s and Dimi’s Greek House, and a never-ending supply of a new flavored, low-calorie rum from Bacardi. The most captivating guest was a pig-tailed, moon-faced little girl with whom I had a ball, helping her drink bottled water sans sippy cup. Leave it to me to be at a party without my own kids and still manage to find one to hang out with.

By Beverly Ingle


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