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Living La Villita Local

So, last time I was writing about our recent visit to San Antonio. I had just gotten us up and out and on our way to La Villita.

I ought to explain what that is. The La Villita Historic Arts Village ( is San Antonio’s oldest neighborhood, dating back to the city’s beginning. At various times, it’s been a squatters’ camp, an uneasily multi-national community (“Mexicans,” “Americans,” and “Germans”), a thriving working-class to middle-class neighborhood, then a rather ghastly slum, and, finally, after much renovation, “a treasured Artisan and Entrepreneur district,” meaning it is full of shops and restaurants, and local artists have their wares there.

We almost always visit La Villiata when we visit San Antonio. It reminds us of Albuquerque’s Old Town, for one thing, and of Santa Fe Square, for another. And it has a nice collection of rather interesting arts and crafts. Plus, there’s some excellent restaurants in the district or right next to it.

There are a couple of shops we almost always stop by. The first of these, as you would expect, is the coffee shop, The La Vallita Cafe ( which offers excellent coffee, and not bad food. We usually hit there for iced coffee (in summer), hot coffee (in winter), and snacks, either way.

Martha just outside the cafe at La Vallita. (That little thing hanging from the thong around her neck? That’s a portable fan. In Texas you need such things.)

The second is the Starving Artist Art Gallery, which doesn’t seem to have a webpage, or at least I haven’t been able to find it. Anyway, it is sort of a co-operative art gallery for local artists--I’m very big into art co-ops, by the way. Sometimes they make all the difference between artists making money and artists not being seen at all. The other cool thing about this particularly place is that “40% of the proceeds ...[go to] the Little Church Food Pantry” which I also like very much.

Usually it is Martha that finds something at the gallery--jewelry, or some objet d'art. But, this time, it was me, which is very rare. However, I had just walked in when I noticed on the wall a painting of an armadillo -- specifically, “Whimsical ‘Dillo #2” by Victoria Scott Brown ( and, on Facebook,

I’ll put a picture of it below, but, basically, it was a funny, colorful, “whimsical” painting of an armadillo, and I fell in love with it straight off. After much hemming and hawing (during which time Martha threatened to whack me if I didn’t get it), I finally bought and it now resides on the wall of my office.

In recent years I’ve had a thing about armadillos. There’s just something about them. I mean, here’s a creature that looks like a cross between Pooh’s Piglet and an armored personnel carrier. What’s not to love?

A Whimsical Armadillo by the artist Victoria Scott Brown. It now happily resides upon my wall.

Anyway, I bought it, the folks at the desk wrapped it up, and, with my new prize under my arm, we headed off.

The next question was what to do from there. We thought about having lunch...there’s a very good Mexican restaurant right around the corner from the gallery. But it was still relatively early...not yet noon. And, frankly, Martha wanted to give me a treat. One of the restaurants near our hotel was the Esquire, which is one of my favorites. I’ll describe in more in detail, but for now, let me just say it is old, and funky, and dates back to Prohibition.

So, Martha wanted us to return to the hotel, cool down a bit, and then head out for a late lunch or early supper (a “Lupper”) at the Esquire. Then, we could head out for the concert.

I thought it was a great idea! A terrific idea! A brilliant idea!

Gosh. Golly. Was I wrong.

But we wouldn’t know that until later.

Have I mentioned omens lately?

Well, until next time...


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I provide these blog postings for free. That’s fine and I’m happy to do so. But, long ago and far away, I was told that if you give away your material, that means you don’t really think it has any value.

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If you like what I write or the videos I produce, and feel you could make a small contribution to support my efforts, please go here:

That will take you to a Gumroad page where you’ll have the option of leaving me a few pence by way of encouragement.

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Either way, thanks hugely for dropping by the blog :-)



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