Archive | June 2013

None of the space I can’t afford



Yesterday I had the chance to visit some downtown apartments. It was an initiative to introduce more young professionals to the prospect of downtown living in San Antonio. There were 30-or-so of us. Seemed like a good turnout for a Sunday afternoon.

San Antonio, like many cities, has been trying to invigorate its downtown area. One of the things to do is inject the city with professional types. Since these types are younger, they are prone to go out; and since they are “professional,” they are prone to actually spend money.

The bummer aspect for San Antonio is two fold.

One: the city is very spread out–something like 480 square miles. That means many people live in different areas and can tend to clump up in their preferred regions (north west, north central, west, etc). Downtown is a place you can go, but not too many people actually LIVE down there.

Two: downtown is still being developed. There is still no grocery store, for example. While the city is moving fairly quickly to make downtown living as enticing as possible, it’s still not quite there yet.

So that leads to a little bit of the old chicken-and-egg situation. People are hesitant go live downtown because there still aren’t a ton of businesses and amenities yet. Businesses and amenities are hesitant to go downtown because there still aren’t a ton of people down there.

Regardless, there are several lofts and new apartments down there, which was the reason for the visit.

All in all? I wasn’t too blown away. Considering how relatively cheap San Antonio is to build or buy a house, the costs of the apartments and the tiny sizes turned me off a bit. Now I know living downtown is its own reward. I get that. But I’m on the fence about it. It doesn’t take that long to get there, and all of my friends don’t live there.

The apartments were nice and all–very industrial, modern and some were kind of neat. But for the monies? My vote is “no.” I know I’m along the demographic they want considering making the move, but I just don’t see it in the cards for me. If they caught me a few years ago when I didn’t own anything, I’d consider it, but trying to fit into 500 square feet at this point would be a little tight, especially since for the same amount, I can get a house three times that size.

Still, was cool to visit–see the options. Was a good time. But sorry, San Antonio, I’ll probably stick with living a little ways out of the city.


Rooftop gig and jazz…it’s always jazz


Summer had sprung. Something about a solstice–energies, alignment, whatever. It had been hot already (this is Texas we’re talking about), but the official arrival of summer was sort of like natures way of saying “sorry” and making that face after flatulence. You know it’s coming and in some strange way, it’s expected that you excuse the circumstance.

But whatever–it is HOT!

I’m a man of relatively few hangups in life. I’ve cultivated my chill to epic levels. People can insult, yell, curse, even accidentally spit in my eye while drunkenly lecturing me on why they don’t vote, and I don’t even bat that eye. Things don’t usually bother me. I abide.

But heat? Yeah that gets a crabby face from me. I just don’t like it. Some people go on about how they love the heat. I don’t get those people. I don’t get how you can actually enjoy stewing in your own sweat, feeling it run down your back and soak through your shirt, knowing that the odor-causing bacteria is multiplying across your pity bits.

There’s the whole “It’s better than being cold” routine–and I get that. Hells yes, being hot is better than being cold. But I still don’t get how you can LIKE the heat.

So when there are rooftop gigs in a Texas city AFTER the summer solstice, that gets the THBBBPPPT from me. It’s because organizers know better. The allure of being outside to hear wheels rubbing on pavement from passing traffic while my legs gain a few mosquito bites is somehow supposed to cover up the fact that I’m a hot boy who gets hot. Doesn’t work on me.

And jazz. It’s always jazz at the classy spots. Jazz gets the “Oooh, we should go” from enough lady and gentlemen types that it’s an easy sell. I know enough about jazz to know that there’s a lot to know about jazz, but that I don’t know anything about jazz. I would even gather that the crowds of people there clamoring for the complimentary beer and hot dogs, chatting loudly along with me, don’t know all that much about jazz either. And it’s too bad, because I know the DJ likes jazz. It’s his job. It’s why they got him there, why he spins for a jazz radio station, and why he set up his turntables, crates and hung his sign. The guy even gave a speech about the history of playing jazz–or spinning jazz, I should say…. I didn’t altogether follow, but it was supposed to kind of legitimize spinning records as comparable to playing instruments…as spinning had a history and all.

I am a bad patron of rooftop parties that feature jazz, played or spun. I’m Mr. Grouchypants to start with, taking my cue from the hot-as-balls outside situation. And I’m there to enjoy the company of my friends. If it’s supposed to be a concert, then call and let it be a concert–I’ll shut up accordingly. But I feel bad when a DJ (who I do consider an artist…maybe not as artisan as a full musician…but okay…an artist) is trying to convey his enthusiasm for his passion to a crowd of people like me.

But all in all, a lovely time. And I mean that. I didn’t jive with the music very much–not knowing what the hell is going on with jazz in the first place. But it was a fun time. Got to see friends. Got to dance. Got to meet new people. And there was an after party. What’s not to love, at the end of it all?



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