Lavaca and Friends Thursday Happy Hour
The details
Thursday 5 - 7PM

Most folks show up around 5:30.

La Frite Belgian Bistro
728 S. Alamo

The sign on the door may say "Closed", but the door will be unlocked. La Frite doesn't open for dinner until 6PM, hence the sign. Just come in and around to the bar.


This started as a get-together for Lavaca neighbors, but now it's expanded to include regular attendees from King William, Downtown and elsewhere in the city. We also get folks who are in town visiting friends or attending business events. Everyone is warmly welcomed.

Select wines and beers are available for $3 to $4.

(A note from Jane and Jim: As a courtesy, we suggest that if you order appetizers, you do so by 6:30 or 6:45, before the restaurant gets busy).

Neighborhood resources

Here are some web sites you may find helpful:

Lavaca Neighborhood Association (LNA) 

Subscribe to LNA Newsletter

King William Association

SA Housing Authority

SA Chamber of Commerce

Southtown Chamber of Commerce

Southtown Lions Club

Scott's Historic Home Improvement Contractors List

SAHA Victoria Commons Master Plan

King William Cultural Arts District

SA District 1

The Cannoli Fund

"Do you know?"

Bob Carabin

Terry & Gerry Schaefer

The Bowers

Brian Rountree & Hugh Donagher

Johanna Sawalha

Paula Haley

Lloyd & Elsa Mathews

Jim Feuerstein

Janyce Sisson

Joan Carabin

Syeira Budd

Stephen Warner

Dwight & Gail Mulcahy

Barb Machado

Michelle Stress

Rebecca Kary

José & Tiffany Cruz

Jane Gennarelli
Lily & Roland Lopez

Adam Michalski

Mike Moran

Jimmy Perkins

Bennie & Sue Blansett

Shane Broussard

S.T. Shimi

Miranda Fermin

Lyle Rosdahl

Karen Evans

Richard & Lynda Ramirez

<<First Name>>,

Between FotoSeptiembre and First Friday events, there's a lot going on in our neighborhood in the coming days... so get out and enjoy! And join us at our next Happy Hour get-together on Thursday at La Frite (details in the sidebar on the left).

Here's what's going on in Downtown and Southtown between September 6th and 12th:

Enjoy sampling a variety of culinary offerings from participating River Walk establishments during this three-night event. If you purchase a ticket for any night, you are also invited to a party on the last night that will feature live music and drink specials. 

Click here for a list of participating restaurants and to make reservations.

When:  September 11 - 13
Where:  Participating River Walk Restaurants

You are invited to Gemini Ink's Block Party to welcome new Executive / Artistic Director Sheila Black (see the "Do You Know Sheila?" profile at the end of the newsletter). Enjoy music, refreshments, readings and an open dialogue on creative writing. Special guest poet Connie Voisine will be joining Gemini Ink for the event.

Stop by, have a drink, say hello to Sheila, and find out what Gemini Ink has to offer!

When:  Friday, September 7 (6:30pm)
Where:  Gemini Ink, 513 S Presa

End of Summer Bash

The Tower of the Americas is hosting an End of Summer Bash. This will be a full day of activities featuring a petting zoo, bounce house, face painting, a magician, dunking booth, stilt walkers, magicians, jugglers and a live radio broadcast with Radio Disney. $5 admission. Click here for information.

When:  Saturday, September 8 (11am - 5pm)
Where:  Plaza at the Tower of the Americas, HemisFair Park

"This annual international photography festival is a unique, eclectic, month-long celebration of the photographic arts. Dozens of exhibits are presented in galleries, museums, art centers and other exhibition spaces throughout San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country and in the festival's web galleries..." Click here for more information. Here are some exhibit opening/artist receptions in the area:

Click here for a complete list of FotoSeptiembre events.

The Monte Vista String Quartet will perform at The King William Association's last River Concert of 2012 this Sunday.

When:  Sunday, September 9 (6:30 - 7:30pm)
Where:  San Antonio River Authority Lawn, 100 E Guenther

St John's First Friday Concert Series

St. John's First Friday Concert Series kicks off its sixth season with German Gems, performed by soprano Jennifer Piazza-Pick and pianist Zachary Ridgway. The program includes the works of Carl Maria von Weber, Johann Strauss, and Johannes Brahms. Following the free concert, enjoy a lunch offered for a $5 donation.

When:  Friday, September 7 (12:05pm)
Where:  St. John's Lutheran Church, 502 E Nueva

Villa Finale is the first National Trust Historic Site in Texas, located right here in King William. Here's an upcoming event:

Music for Your Eyes: "Walter Mathis enhanced Villa Finale's world of visual beauty by filling his home with the sounds of music... The Music for Your Eyes Tour recreates this experience by treating today's visitors to demonstrations of some of the rare music machines in the Mathis collections..."

Villa Finale requires advance reservations for its events. Click here for more information and for reservation / contact details.

When:  Thursday, September 6 (6:30 - 7:30pm)
Where:  Villa Finale, 401 King William Street; Visitor Center, 122 Madison

Party on the Plaza -- Free Concert Series

Enjoy music, food and fun for the whole family on Friday evenings at the Plaza at the Tower of the Americas. This week's featured local artist is SpitfireClick here for more information.

When:  Friday, September 7 (7 - 11pm)
Where:  Plaza at the Tower of the Americas, HemisFair Park

This open air farmers' market offers produce, meats, artisan breads, free-range eggs, and more. It's open the first Friday of every month (weather permitting).

This month, special guest chef Gabriel Ibarra (Executive Chef, Cappy's Restaurant) will treat guests to a cooking demonstration at 5:30pm.

Click here for more information.

When:  Friday, September 7 (4:00 - 7:00pm)
Where:  800 E César Chávez Blvd, between HemisView Apartments and Labor St.

First Friday

There will be plenty to do Friday evening all along South Alamo and neighboring streets as Southtown celebrates First Friday. Here are just a few of the events you may enjoy:

First Friday at Beethoven Maennerchor

La Villita First Friday Art Walk

Portals to the Past opening reception at Artistic Endeavors

Jazz performed by Armin Marmolego at Blue Star Brewing Co.

Art, music and more at Bubblehead

Music, dancing, barbecue plates, BYOB at Mr. Tim's

It Might Have Been Midnight Since Last We Talked at Rendon Photography & Fine Art

Stillness in Motion at SAY Sí

Live music at Wayward Vintage and a free "goody bag" for your pooch from Tails

The first home game of the season is here! Last year the Roadrunners set NCAA start-up program records for first game and single-season attendance and they are hoping for even better attendance this season. Watch them battle it out on Saturday with Texas A&M. You can purchase tickets here.

When:  Saturday, September 8 (1pm)
Where:  The Alamodome, 100 Montana St

An Evening with Gustavo Arellano

"The University of Texas at San Antonio celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with an evening with Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA and the nationally syndicated column Ask a Mexican... A book signing will follow... Hailed in the NY Times as 'the greatest (and only) living scholar of Mexican-American fast food', Arellano will discuss 'How Mexican Food Conquered America', explaining what constitutes Mexican food in the United States, how it got here and why Americans love it so much..." (read more). This is a free event.

When:  Wednesday, September 12 (6:30 - 7:30pm)
Where:  UTSA Downtown Campus, Buena Vista Bldg Theater, Room 1.326

Visits to the Past: These "programs are presented monthly in the middle of the city-owned national landmark of the Alamo Mission compound that is today's Alamo Plaza. These 'Visits' feature the sights, sounds, skills, clothing and lifestyles of early San Antonio and interpret details of Alamo Plaza History..." (read more about this free event).

When:  Saturday, September 8 (10am - 2:30pm)
Where:  Alamo Plaza

Jim Cullum Jazz Band Performances

The Jim Cullum Jazz Band will perform at these spots in the coming week:

  • Tucker's (1338 E Houston): Monday, September 10 (7 - 10pm)
  • Bohanan's (219 E Houston): Thursday, September 6, Tuesday, September 11 & Wednesday, September 12 (7 - 10:30pm)
There's no cover charge for these performances.

Live Music at Southtown 101

Here are some upcoming performances at Southtown 101:

And check out Southtown 101 on Monday nights for Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz (8 - 10pm) and Thursday nights for Bitter Karaoke (10pm).

Where:  Southtown 101, 101 Pereida

Big Band Jazz

There are several Big Band Jazz performances coming up at the Blue Star Brewing Company:

Where:  Blue Star Brewing Company in the Blue Star Arts Complex, 1414 S Alamo #105

Bring the little ones to see Disney's Phineas and Ferb Live: The Best LIVE Tour Ever!.  Read reviews of the show here, and purchase tickets here.

When:  Friday, September 7 (1st show at 4pm; 2nd show at 7pm)
Where:  Lila Cockrell Theater, 200 E Market

Live Music at Joe Blue's

The Arturo Sauce Gonzalez Quintet will perform this Thursday at Joe Blue's -- a 'Contemporary Cocktail Lounge'. There's no cover charge for this performance.

When:  Thursday, September 6 (8 - 11pm)
Where:  Joe Blue's in the Blue Star Art Complex, 1414 S Alamo #105

"With record sales in the millions and dozens of platinum and gold albums to his credit, Tony Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums chart in the 1950's, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and into the new millennium..." (read more). He will perform at the Majestic Theatre on Thursday, September 13. You can purchase tickets here.

When:  Thursday, September 13 (8pm)
Where:  The Majestic Theatre, 226 E Houston
Evening Under the Stars: The Schaefer's invite you to their Third Annual Art Event which will feature the work of local artists. Enjoy live music by Joshua Klaus, refreshments, and some amazing art! Contact Terry Schaefer at (214) 403-0496 or for more information.  Friday, October 12 (7 - 11pm); 211 Barrera.

Here are a few other events that may be of interest. Many of these aren't in the immediate area, are events I've announced before, or are on-going events.

Jazz and Flamenco at Carmens de la Calle

PuroSlam Poetry at On the Half-Shell Bar

Joan Riviera's Open Mic Comedy at the Bonham Exchange

Live Music at Café des Artistes at the San Antonio Museum of Art

9 to 5 the Musical at the Woodlawn Theatre

Cash Mob at Chicho Boys Fruit

Art to the Power of Ten at the McNay

Gridiron 2012 at the Watson Fine Arts Center Theater, St. Philips College

A Hitman's Guide to Surviving Life at the Overtime Theater

Daisy's Paws for a Cause 5K Run/Walk starting at the Alamo Heights Swimming Pool

Paws & Pints at the Freetail Brewing Co.

Disney's Aladdin at the Magik Theatre

Do you know Sheila?

Sheila Black

Sheila is the new Executive / Artistic Director at Gemini Ink, and is new to San Antonio. She was born in Minneapolis, but moved around quite a bit growing up, thanks to her father's career in the Foreign Service. She lived in Newfoundland, Brazil (both Rio de Janeiro and San Paulo), the Bahamas, Washington DC, London Paris, and West Africa.  After graduating from high school, she spent a year at Bennington College in Vermont, and then transferred to and graduated from Columbia in NYC. She majored in French, which she still speaks today, but admittedly doesn't use very much.

After college she stayed in NYC for a while working for a book "packager" that specialized in high-end children's books. She did a lot of editing for well known adult authors who were taking a stab at writing children's books. Her employer asked her to write a book of her own, to which she readily agreed. She wrote The Story of the Easter Bunny, which became a best selling children's book.

She met her husband -- Duncan -- in NYC. He was an Oregon boy, and they soon moved from NYC to Sisters Oregon, near Bend. Sisters had a population of approximately 600, so it was quite a change from her life in NYC! She continued her career in writing and editing as a freelancer. She worked on a number of books, both as a writer and an editor. One of her most significant accomplishments from that time in her life was A Treasury of Children's Literature. She wrote all of the stories in it (which were a 're-telling' of popular fairy tales). That book is still in print and has stayed in the top one hundred for bestselling children's books on Amazon.

In 1996 she went to graduate school at the University of Montana in Missoula. Two years later, she received two graduate degrees... a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and poetry. Soon after, she moved to New Mexico so Duncan could attend graduate school there. She began teaching at New Mexico State University in its MFA program. 

It was during her time in New Mexico that she focused on her real passion -- poetry. After writing over 40 books -- mostly children's books, young adult books, and some cook books and science fiction -- she started her first book of poetry.

Of all her writing work, there are two particular accomplishments of which she is most proud:  

First, she was a compiler and editor of Beauty as a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, which included poems and essays by writers with disabilities. This was a groundbreaking book that was chosen by the American Library Association as a Notable Book for 2012.

Second, earlier this year, she won a Witter Bynner Fellowship Award, chosen by Poet Laureate Phillip Levine.

In addition to writing and teaching, she also started a new career while in New Mexico: doing work for non-profit organizations. She took a job as director with an organization that provided support services to colonias, which are unincorporated communities of mostly impoverished residents. Her group assisted colonias in determining community needs (for example, roads, sources of water, electricity) and helped them put together plans and communicate with the government regarding their needs.

This work was significant for Sheila because it broadened her experience to include writing grants and doing non-profit programming. Her well-rounded background in literature, writing, and non-profit work made her a perfect candidate for her current position at Gemini Ink! She started her new job on August 1st.

Sheila and Duncan have three children. The oldest -- Annabelle -- is currently attending college in California. Their son Walker is 13 and very interested in computers and architecture. Their youngest -- Eliza -- is 12, plays the trombone, and has recently transitioned from a tomboy into being a teenage girl. Their family is rounded out by two dogs and two cats. The entire crew moved this summer from New Mexico to their new home in Monticello Park.

In her spare time, Sheila enjoys cooking, throwing dinner parties, reading for recreation, watching movies, and swimming. 

While Sheila and her family live in Monticello Park, she works in Southtown and thinks it's a fabulous neighborhood. She believes that the residents are lucky to live here because it's a beautiful and historic area and the businesses are unique -- not found on every main street USA. She's also impressed that is hasn't become gentrified or exclusive, but includes an amazing cross-section of people who give it a lot of character and energy. She also loves that it's walkable!

In the short time that she's been here, Sheila has been to multiple Happy Hour get-togethers at La Frite. Say hello the next time you see her there, and stop by Gemini Ink on Friday evening for its party to welcome Sheila to the Gemini Ink family!

That's all the news I have for this week. I hope you can make it to La Frite on Thursday!

-- Jane

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