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San Antipathy - Transience Divine
March 3rd, 2010
12:09 am

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San Antipathy
How do you tell a resident of a city you're visiting, "My, what an ugly city you have. Have you considered moving?" I felt like I was propagating a huge self-deception in San Antonio by not saying that. We probably told a dozen people there how "nice" or "beautiful" we thought their city was, to which they always replied with just the prescribed tone, "Yes, we really love it here." I just hope they were lying too.

San Antonio is dreadful, somehow combining the alienation of a big city (7th largest, we were proudly told), with none of its excitement. The city is grey, desolate, car-centered, and for-sale. The area around-- from what little we saw-- is brown, flat, and straggly, without embracing the honest barrenness of a desert. The few exceptions are teeming with tourists and Mexican-reproduction kitsch. San Antonio has one redeeming quality-- its whole-buttocked mix of Texan and Mexican culture-- but we found only one intermittent stretch (near King Williams) that let that shine.

I'm sure that its residents have found the gems hidden from my 2-day-old travel eyes. But I do believe seen better and worse cities, and enough to tell the difference between the two.

Flame's "Food Representations in lots-of-disciplines" conference was great, and very quickly found the hip under-30 crowd by sitting on the floor at the reception. Mexico City was great. San Jose was mixed. Santa Elena was beautiful, with strangling fig trees. Next stop: Costa Rican beaches.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:jdub0014
Date:March 3rd, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
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i am so jealous of your life, haha
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 4th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)

San Antonio is not in a desert

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San Antonio falls near the western edge of the humid subtropical climate zone. Its weather is alternately dry or humid depending on prevailing winds, turning hot in the summer, mild to cool winters subject to descending northern cold fronts in the winter with cool to cold nights, and comfortably warm and rainy in the spring and fall.

Source: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/san_antonio#climate>
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From:truered
Date:March 4th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
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I disagree. I loved San Antonio. Please tell me you've at least been to the Riverwalk.
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From:jrising
Date:March 7th, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)
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Yeah, and it was pretty. But to me it felt very disneyland-like, all for and filled with tourists, though I did like the part of the river north of the center where people walk. I only saw a very little of the city, though, so I'm sure there's more to see.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 3rd, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)

your journal entry is really obnoxious

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I think you ought to reevaluate just how much of an authority you are on Texas and Mexican culture. I have been to San Antonio and there is nothing kitschy or touristy about it. Perhaps you should be less critical of the city and more open to explore new places rather than trying to find the same old "authentic" places in every city you visit. Not every city is nyc or Washington, but they still have lots to offer. Its fortunate that you do not live in San Antonio since it is a place which values humility and gentility.
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From:jrising
Date:April 3rd, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)

Re: your journal entry is really obnoxious

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I am not an authority on San Antonio, Texas, or Mexcian culture. Have you written any blog posts that I could read about the San Antonio that you know?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 3rd, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)

Re: your journal entry is really obnoxious

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http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/travel/04hours.html
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