Okay, today it is On To The Pearl...
Last time, you’ll remember, I wrote somewhat sadly about the Amos Lee concert that turned into a high-powered, fuel-injected, mega-cacophony on steroids. Alas.
Well, the next morning, sadder and wiser...or, at least sadder...we had breakfast, checked out of the hotel, and headed out. Martha suggested that our goal for the day should be San Antonio’s Pearl district.
Okay, what’s the Pearl? Or, to be more precise, the Historic Pearl? This is yet another high-end shopping mall, office complex, and residence area. You can see more about it here: https://atpearl.com/
Basically, the Pearl Brewery was once the state’s biggest producer of beer. Founded way back in 1883, the company grew and prospered...surviving Prohibition and the Depression...and was still going strong in the 1950s. Then, the beer and spirits industry began to consolidate and in 1985 Pearl was purchased by Pabst, makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer (“Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer...” It’s a song. No kidding).
And, in 2001, Pabst closed down the enormous Pearl Brewery. It was just another chapter in the story being told all over America as the country off-shored, down-sized, and “de-industrialized.” Jobs were lost and property was blighted...and somewhere, somehow, somebody thought it was a good idea.
But, fortunately for San Antonio, Silver Ventures, a local investment firm, stepped in and picked up the pieces. They announced plans to turn the former Brewery into a “mixed use development.”
Today, the Pearl is a rather remarkable place. It boasts restaurants and shops, a condo complex, and an amazing hotel in what used to be the main brewery building. The architecture -- particularly of the hotel -- is stunning, If you have any interest in buildings and their renewal, or interior design, you ought to drop by and give it a gander.
Oh, and by the way, there’s plenty of parking. So you don’t need to worry about that.
Martha giving me The Eye while we were having lunch at The Larder. (She was none to pleased about my snapping shots while she was eating, and she was still a bit peeved about the ear-rupturing concert the night before. Sigh.)
We arrived mid-morning and set out into the vast area which is Pearl. It is easy to get lost there...there’s just so much of it...but eventually we found our way to where we wanted to be. We had two particular goals -- coffee, whenever we visit, we usually get at the Local Coffee Founders shop (https://www.instagram.com/localcoffeefounders/), and books.
That particular morning, the books came first. That meant going to the Twig Book Shop, https://www.thetwig.com/) This is a really great little bookstore at one end of the Pearl. It has a terrific selection, the people are knowledgeable and friendly, and the owners and staff seem genuinely devoted to the whole idea of literacy.
Martha dived into the books with enthusiasm. I followed. I was glad to see she was enjoying herself. She was still a bit peeved, I think, about the disaster of the concert, and who could blame her? But, after examining several shelves and many an aisle, she seemed to be coming around.
After a time, we made our purchases and then exited. Nearby, we took a moment to watch a large number of children in a splash pad that’s located near by. It seems very popular with San Antonio’s young families, which, given the heat, is understandable. Anyway, that also seemed to lighten her mood.
We talked about getting coffee, then, but we realized we were hungry and so decided to have lunch, instead. For a moment, I feared we were going to have a problem because we couldn’t find any cafes that didn’t seem too expensive or too noisy. Or which had some sort of light meals on offer. We were still cautious about eating heavy after our regrettable time on Tuesday...when temperature, and humidity, and egg sandwiches, all combined with such...uh...volatile force.
Fortunately, at the suggestion of a waitress at a local bar, we discovered The Larder, (https://www.larderatemma.com/). This is not actually a cafe. It is actually a sort of high end food shop--you can get specialty groceries there--but it also serves sandwiches. We picked a couple of these -- I believe Martha had the Turkey with Kale Pesto, while I had the Roast Beef Short Rib and Cheddar Grilled Cheese. Then, we ate at a large wooden table in the cool and shadowy interior of the shop.
After that, we finally got our coffees and headed for the car. From there, the two hour drive back to Georgetown went surprisingly quickly.
Some shots from the interior of the hotel.
And that was our latest trip to San Antonio.
It was quite a trip, really. Not our most successful, that’s for sure. It will be a long time before we forget the Amos Lee Concert Disaster. And it will be necessary for us to think long and hard about any future concerts we attend that aren’t at small, controllable venues where massive amplification is NOT the norm.
But, still, at least we weren’t bored. We weren’t particularly comfortable part of the time, but at least ennui our was gettin’ stomped. There is much to be said for that.
What’s next? Not sure. Next month, we’re planning on a trip to New England. That should be quite something, and I’m sure to bring back lots of tales of derring-do. Or derring-don’t. Whatever.
But, that’s a month away. And between now and then, I’m sure we’ll find yet more opportunities to get into mischief.
Copyright©2022 Michael Jay Tucker
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