June 30, 2014

Between the Cars

Above it reads… "I work with her." And I wonder if he does. 

June 4, 2014

The Battle That Won the War

Ten years ago this week I woke up pre-dawn in a London hotel room to reports that Ronald Reagan had passed. I remember this primarily for two reasons: (i) I used to work for this world-class prick who always said that Reagan would die "on cue"; and (ii) to that, the morning I heard the news happened to be June 6th, 2004, 60th Anniversary of D-Day. In an election year, no less. Later that morning I went to see the Churchill War Rooms, a profound experience at any time, surely, but particularly on that day. 

I was thinking about this as the 70th anniversary of that great battle approaches. And as I read Douglas Brinkley's The Longest Day in TIME (long form, take the time), the enormity of the day and its eternal consequences settled in once more. This captures it… 
"The following day, June 7, newspapers were full of mind-boggling factoids and statistics about how D-Day had succeeded. One number that didn’t appear was 36,525. Readers might guess that the number represents the tally of soldiers who landed at Omaha Beach or the number of ships and aircraft used in the cross-Channel operation or the number of German defenders or the number of casualties or any number of other things associated with Operation Overlord. But 36,525 is simply the number of days in a century, and of all the days in the 20th century, none were more consequential than June 6, 1944. Some might argue that certain inventions and discoveries during that great century of innovation should be deemed the most important—like Watson and Crick’s reveal of the double-helix structure of DNA or all of Einstein’s contributions—but other nominees flatten when one asks, “What if D-Day had failed?”
I've not been to Normandy but as I understand there is a moment, we should all experience, when one recognizes the headstones, facing west, toward home.   

Treasure trove of USG posters via the National Archive here.

June 1, 2014

The Lamb Buddha

It was over a year ago... I was having breakfast at the Hotel Havana, working on plans for a Shiner Supper Club event in honor of Rohan Anderson's upcoming Whole Larder Love visit. That evening came and went w/ much success; to use the words of our guest, "I gave my talk then finished the night in the company of some fine people, chatting the night away, sharing photos of our loved ones and talking politics, food woes and our love of dogs." It was a special gathering made all the more so by the efforts of many, fueled by a shared passion for community. 

So I'm sitting there drinking my coffee and cooking up ideas when a man stops by the table to say hello to his friend/my breakfast mate. Then he introduces himself to me as Loncito Cartwright; on site, you just like this fellow. Far as I could tell he "kept" a place at the hotel, which is to say he always has a place. To stay, when he wants. In this town there are no better homes-away-from-home so I ask what brings him in so often... 

Turns out Loncito is a lamb and pig farmer, sixth-generation South Texas. Raises some of the best and sells to some of the most selective (here and elsewhere). It was a chance encounter that only happens when one is open to these sorts of chance encounters, doing work and hashing through that which motivates you inside and out; naturally Loncito would provide the lamb for Rohan's night, playing an integral role in the essence of the supper. 

But this time, Loncito gets his own supper, and you need to come out (Weds 6/4 @ 7p) to hear him spin his story. As always, Shiner will be on hand, pairing their suds with each course. It's a great way to spend a summer night. And who know what encounters may come of it. Tickets here

April 29, 2014

3rd Annual Cinco de Derby

Fiesta. Siesta. Repeat.
We here at Wrong Side just love this time of year. Fresh off of Fiesta we barrel into May, specifically the first weekend of May, which always brings with it the twin pillars of civilized outdoor day drinking… Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby.
We’ll be celebrating for a cause this Saturday at the 3rd Annual Cinco de Derby (oh we do love a good collaboration), benefiting the San Antonio Public Library Foundation. So if you’re in San Antonio please come out and join us.
But before you do, make sure to check out the new batch of pocket squares just dropped on the site for spring/summer. All sufficiently pastel enough to carry you through the most exciting two minutes in sports, and beyond. Happy spring.

April 3, 2014

San Antonio Book Festival

This Saturday, Alamo City plays host to the second annual San Antonio Book Festival at Central Library ("the big Enchilada") and the Southwest School of Art. Little something for everyone happening downtown, but a couple events stand out, for me at least… 

The Prophets of Smoked Meat, a convo w/ Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly's first ever barbecue editor. You'd be right to ask about now… "no-shit?-that-was-actually-an-option?" Apparently so, and Mr Vaughn will take us through it one moist brisket at a time. 

Then a little later in the afternoon is the Literary Death Match at the Empire Theatre. I really have no idea what to expect here but there will be booze and the space is great and we've been promised nothing short of a "lore-making night of high-minded calamity that will change our lives." All that, for ten bucks? I mean, it ain't a gig licking salt and pepper rub off my fingers, but I'll take what I can get.  

March 8, 2014

Marfa Draw

It's been hard settling on the words to define the Marfa trip we took in January. Though it came about by pure happenstance (sat luckily in the winning seat at the right Board meeting), in many ways it was transformative. Making our pilgrimage west, with the right people and the right playlist. Steve Earle's Galway Girl stands out as the song that played just as we crossed over the Pecos River and headed into hours of that forever Texas sky.  

Years ago we spent a water-logged July 4th weekend at the Gage Hotel in Marathon, and so it was that we'd pitstop here for a cocktail before pressing on. Having never been farther than this point it'd be virgin territory for me here on in. So we came into town after sunset and settled into the house on the far end of San Antonio street. 

What Marfa quickly disabuses you of is the notion that you're doing anything unique. That is, outside the fact that you made it there in the first place. It attracts and seems to embrace all comers, whether the sixth generation rancher or the tourist from who-knows-where in red cowboy boots. 

Starting with dinner at at Maiya's and a next day tour at the Chinati Foundation, you start to see a lot of the same faces. I mean, our Friday night waitress was our Saturday morning tour guide. Just one of the charms  of small town life, where as familiarity increases, you get more smiles, then more conversation, then more background, then more common ground and that's where one connects. With the people, with the place. 

Fact is, everyone had made the same trip from different points, and converged here, in this town, for whatever reason, either to live and work, to pass through, to admire and let its allure envelop you. The connection with this place is what will take us back...

February 9, 2014

One Square Mile: Texas

A good look at just a few of the 268,820 square miles in Texas (watch all episodes here)...

This season, OSMTX features nine square miles from across the Lone Star State. These square miles were nominated by PBS viewers and showcase the diversity and spirit of modern day Texas.