San Antonio, Texas- part III
San Antonio, Texas- part III
Sat. March 2, 2019
We arose early to a gray and damp day. It was 47 degrees out. Like most cities, San Antonio looks better in the sunshine. We set out along the Riverwalk to Alamo Square, where we again boarded the now familiar hop on bus. Our destination today, was the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Housed in an ochre-colored building that had once housed the Lone Star Brewery, the building was now transformed. Two, four-story, glass towers had been added to house arguably one of the better collections of antiquity that we have ever viewed. We had been to the British Museum in London, The Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The antiquities collection here is of that caliber.
The ancient Egyptian collection is replete with mummy sarcophagi, all manner of funerary items from tombs and scores of other pottery and jewelry items that transport one back through the ages to a time long ago along the Nile. The next few sections featured ancient Greek and Roman urns, jewelry, funerary items and statuary that I would not have believed we would find outside of a major city. A wealthy patron by the name of Gilbert Denman had donated most of thee items. The lad must have done well for himself somewhere along the line.
Displays on Indian (East), Korean, Chinese and Nepalese porcelains, statuary and porcelain vases are amazing. Smaller sections from Oceania, featuring war clubs and canoes rounded out the collection in the East Tower. One section on Japanese art, sculpture and paintings was closed off for “meditation exercises.” Sigh, even here we find the dilettantes acting like they do.
A sky bridge connected us to the west tower, where we perused Texas oils, German Porcelain. Two oil paintings by painter Diego Rivera were wonderful. Like our visits to all museums, the “two-hour glaze” was setting in. We repaired to a small Trattoria set along the river, behind the museum and aptly named “Tre.” We sat in the chill morning and enjoyed some Lobster Bisque soup and good coffee.
From the Tre, we walked back along the Riverwalk towards the downtown area, a distance of two miles. The residential sections here all featured access to the Riverwalk. A small water taxi ferried the residents into downtown. The Southwest Schools of Art, The Performing Arts Center and some very impressive homes are sighted along the walkway. It is well treed with a variety of SW Texas species and flowering shrubs. It is bucolic and restful. Large numbers of locals were out running, pushing baby strollers and enjoying their day off along the Riverwalk. We made our way back to our hotel to rest up some and warm up from the chill of the gray morning.
Mid-afternoon found us back on the Riverwalk. It was mobbed. The river tour boats were crammed full of sightseers and the cafes were sro all along the walk. We found “Landry’s Steak House” and entered for a late lunch into this comfortable wood and leather furnished bistro. Most of the tables were crowded with families enjoying their mid-afternoon meals. We settled inside for some very tasty shrimp and crab gumbo and Caesar salads. There were tables outside, but it was both too chilly and too crowded for us.
We made our way along the Riverwalk, people watching like everyone else. I could only imagine the area when Spring Break dawned and the college kids poured in. I would think some few of them would end up in the river, from either a few too many beers or a playful push from friends. Starting in late afternoon, several of the river boats appeared, now festooned with Mardi Gras-clad figures and brightly decorated colorful streamers. They tossed beads and candy to the throngs along the walkway, just as they do in New Orleans. We watched for a time enjoying the color and the crowds on a dreary day in March. There were people everywhere, even with the light mist that was falling. We repaired to our room, for a taste of Jameson’s, and a recap of the day’s news. Tomorrow, we would venture into the Hill Country around San Antonio and get a look at the “real Texas.”
Joseph Xavier Martin