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

Subscribe to the Lavaca Neighborhood Association 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

"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

<<First Name>>,

I hope you had a great start to the 2011 holiday season! There's a lot to do in the neighborhood this week. Before I get to that, let me remind you that our next Happy Hour get-together is on Thursday, at La Frite (details in the sidebar on the left).

Here's what's going on in the next week...

Caroling Nights with Santa

"Enjoy a magical evening on the River Walk with Luminarias, Christmas Lights and Carolers..."

"Bring your camera and take a picture with Santa on a decorated river barge. Great for kids of all ages!"

There will be concessions available in La Villita and live entertainment at the Arneson River Theatre. Click here for more information and for a schedule of performances.

When:  December 1 - 4, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Where:  San Antonio River Walk, Arneson Theatre, and La Villita

Holidays on Houston Street

"...Bohanan's and SAY Sí proudly present Holidays on Houston Street, a spectacle of decorations, lights, food and art... The fun kicks off with the unveiling of Bohanan's NYC-worthy holiday window created by designer extraordinaire Jill Giles and featured on Good Morning America. Thousands of LED lights will line two blocks of Houston Street, and will light up the Christmas tree that will grace Bohanan's courtyard. This majestic event is made even more spectacular by the addition of ornaments, all created by the talented young artists of SAY Sí."

There will be local artists on hand decorating ornaments and famed Cocktails on Canvas artist Louis Trevino will be painting snowflake cocktail napkins. Admission is free, but unwrapped gift donations for the children at Christus Santa Rosa Children's Hospital are encouraged. Click here for more details.

When: December 1, starting at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Bohanan's Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E Houston St

Fiesta de las Luminarias

"Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 6,000 Luminarias."

"Warmly glowing candles in sand-filled bags line the walkways to symbolically mark the 'lighting of the way' for the Holy Family..." Click here for more information.

When:  December 1 - 18, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Where:  San Antonio River Walk

King William Home Tour

"The King William Holiday Home Tour is an annual event showcasing the historic preservation and renovation of Texas' first historic district... the Home Tour allows visitors to view private homes located in the King William neighborhood."

Villa Finale is participating this year, hosting a book signing and special guest Luci Baines Johnson. Click here for more information. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the tour. Advance tickets are available at the King William Association Office (1032 S Alamo St) and on the day of the tour at 401 King William and 332 Adams.

When:  Saturday, December 3, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Where:  King William neighborhood

Kids' Gingerbread at the San Antonio Children's Museum

"Celebrate the Holiday Season with this traditional event and decorate a gingerbread house or cookie!"

"Now in its fifteenth year, Kids' Gingerbread provides gingerbread houses, cookies and all of the trimmings to make it easy and fun for children to create a keepsake holiday masterpiece."

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

When:  Saturday December 3, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 4, noon - 4:00 p.m.
Where:  San Antonio Children's Museum, 305, E Houston St

HemisView Farmers Market

The San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA), Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) and the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) have brought an open air farmers market to Lavaca. It offers produce, meats, artisan breads, free-range eggs, and more. It's open the first Friday of every month. Click here for more information.

When:  Friday, December 2, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Where:  800 E César E Chávez Blvd (formerly Durango), between the HemisView apartments and Labor St.

Mad Men Party

The Bonham PTA and Friends of Bonham are hosting a "Mad Men Party" fundraiser.

-- Admission is $10 for adults (no kids please)
-- There will be a silent auction
-- Catering by Jose's (vegetarian available)
-- Music deejayed by Boohoo Dan
-- Mad Men Attire optional
-- Call 212-9373 for more information

When: Friday, December 2, 6:30 - 10:30 p.m.
Where: Triangle Building, 1501 S Flores

A Crafty, Creative Christmas!

The D.I.Y. Factory & Spare Parts is hosting a holiday art workshop that teaches kids to make Christmas gifts from recycled and used materials. Kids can make art dolls, pop-up cards, ornaments and their own unique creations. The charge is $15 for one person, $20 for two people, or $25 for three people (cash only). Arts & crafts materials will be supplied.

For more information, email or call Mary at (210) 274-5409.

When:  Saturday, December 3, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Where:  San Antonio Mennonite Church, 1443 S Saint Mary's

Los Pastores performed by Our Lady of Guadalupe Players

Los Pastores -- a play about the shepherds' journey to Bethlehem -- has been performed by the OLG since the late 1940's. It's been performed in back yards, church yards, and civic centers in many communities in South Texas.

There are two versions of the play -- a short version that takes about 30 minutes, and the full version, which is an hour and a half. There will be several performances in the area this holiday season. This week, you can see the short version at Plaza Juarez in La Villita. 

When:  Saturday, December 3, 7:00 p.m.
Where:  Plaza Juarez in La Villita

Silver Bells in the City

"Plan to join us for our 4th Annual Silver Bells in the City Christmas celebration and tree lighting ceremony on Main Plaza."  Here's the schedule of events:

4:00 p.m.: Santa on the Plaza -- family photo ops
4:00 p.m.: Travis Park United Methodist Church "Handbell Choir"
5:00 p.m.; Strolling Mariachi's
5:30 p.m.: Tree lighting ceremony
6:00 p.m. The Nutcracker Suite, a contemporary musical version performed by "The Invincible Czars"

When: Saturday, December 3, see schedule above
Where: Main Plaza, 115 N Main St

Holiday Concerts

There are lots of holiday concerts in the area this week. See the list below.

December 1, Holiday Concert in the San Fernando Cathedral

Through December 18, Holiday Boat Caroling

December 3, Kids Choir at the Arneson River Theatre

December 3, River City Ringers Concert at Travis Park United Methodist Church

December 3, Alamo City Men's Chorale Songs of Hope and Joy at the Central Library

"The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" at the Overtime Theater

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year -- a comedy about two estranged brothers who come together on Christmas Eve -- "has all the yelling, laughing, lying, and violence that only the holidays can bring." Click here for more information.

When:  December 3 - 18, 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays; 3:00 p.m. on Sundays
Where: The Overtime Theater in the Blue Star Art Complex, 1414 S Alamo, Suite 103

Holiday Markets

December 3, Kristkindlmarkt at Beethoven Maennerchor: A traditional "German Christmas Outdoor Market with hand-crafted gifts, imported German items, clothing, crafts, jewelry, floral arrangements, decorations, pottery, baskets, ornaments, quilts & more." Includes foods, beverages, music and entertainment. 

December 3 and 4, Hecho a Mano at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center: "Local artists offer a wide range of fine arts and crafts, including ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, fiber arts, furniture, metalwork, clothing, and many more handcrafted items."

December 2, Travis Park Holiday Market: "Bring your lunch and enjoy seasonal music while shopping for holiday gifts. Nuts, chocolates, cookies, candles, wreaths and much more."

Adult Spelling Bee

"Put your thinking to the test!" Gemini Ink is hosting a spelling bee for grown-ups. Gemini Ink friend Bill Fisher will bring the word list.  Be at Gemini Ink at 6:30 p.m. on Friday to participate.

When:  Friday, December 2, 6:30 p.m.
Where:  Gemini Ink, 513 S Presa

Let's go to the movies!

Friendly Outdoor Movie on the Slab Cinema Screen: At The Friendly Spot (943 S Alamo St), Wednesday, November 30, 7:30 p.m. showing "Cannonball Run".

Live Music at Joe Blue's

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

When:  Thursday, December 1, 8:00 - 11:00 p.m.
Where:  Joe Blue's, in the Blue Star Arts Complex, 1414 S Alamo, Suite 105

Villa Finale Event

Villa Finale is the first National Trust Historic Site in Texas, located right here in King William. It "showcases a wonderful variety of public programs related to historic preservation and how to put it into practice in your own life."

Here's an upcoming event:

Music for Your Eyes: Holiday Edition: December 1st, 6:30 p.m. Click here for details on the program and information on making a reservation. Tour guests check in at the Villa Finale Visitor Center & Museum Shop at 122 Madison.

Artpace Events

There are several events at Artpace this week:

December 1: Day With(out) Art
December 1: Artpace After Hours
December 2: Taco Friday
December 2: 10-minute Tours 

Click here for details.

District 1 Pet Food Drive

Councilman Diego Bernal invites District 1 neighborhood associations to participate in the District 1 Pet Food Drive. Donated cans or bags of pet food will be given to senior citizens to assist them in feeding their pets. 

The neighborhood association that donates the most pet food will win a brunch -- sponsored by District 1 and held at the field office at 1310 Vance Jackson Road.

Food will be collected from now through Saturday, January 14th. On January 14th, Animal Care Services (ACS) will be at the D1 Field Office coordinating free pet licenses for District 1 residents, giving free rabies vaccines to the first 250 pets, and offering pet sterilization/neutering for $5.

Bark of Southtown has generously offered to be a collection point for donated food. Drop off your donations there (1032 S St Mary's Street), and we'll get them over to the District 1 Field Office.

First Friday / Saturday Events

There will be plenty to do Friday evening and Saturday all along South Alamo and neighboring streets as Southtown and Downtown celebrate First Friday and Saturday. Here are just a few of the many events that may be of interest:

First Friday at Beethoven Maennerchor

La Villita First Friday Art Walk

Holiday Open House at Artistic Endeavors Gallery 

Book signing at La Vida Gallery

First Saturday at The Alamo

Primer Sabado in Market Square

Mark your calendars!

Events listed here are a little ways off yet, but I thought you might want advance notice. Some may require ticket purchases, reservations, or registration. I'll give you more details as the dates get closer.

December 8, Downtown Holiday Light Tour: 2.5 mile run/walk

And some odds & ends...

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.

2011 Urban Spaces Tour

Tamale Festival at Pearl

Rockport Doll House at Villa Finale

Wish List Kick Off Party at Pearl

Expressions of the Orient at the McNay

Santa's Railroad Wonderland at the Texas Transportation Museum

University of the Incarnate Word: Cardinal Chorale & Singers Christmas Concert

'Twas the Night Before Christmas' Ballet at the Scottish Rite Banquet Center

Southwest School of Art Exhibits

University of the Incarnate Word Theatre presents A Christmas Carol

Charlie and the Cool Cats: free live music at the Quarry Golf Club

Alamo Heights Christian Church Annual Craft Bazaar

Three Mo' Tenors at the Carver Community Cultural Center

Book Cellar Clearance Sale at the Central Library 

Farmers Market at Pearl

Farmers Market at Main Plaza

Do you know Rebecca?

Rebecca Kary

Rebecca was born in Chicago. Her father was a navy chaplain, so they moved around a bit, and she spent her childhood in Chicago, Virginia, and California. She left home right after high school to attend George Washington University in Washington DC. After a few years, she transferred to the University of Texas in Austin -- her first time living in Texas.

Her education included Middle Eastern and Latin American studies, music, languages, and engineering. According to Rebecca, she has used everything she studied. After graduating from UT, she moved back to Washington DC and returned to George Washington University for a publications specialist certificate. Rebecca then began her first career, in editing and publishing.

Because so much of Rebecca's work could be done over the internet, she got to a point where she could work from anywhere. She decided to move back to Texas, this time to San Antonio. She told her realtor "I want a neighborhood with sidewalks that go somewhere". She found Lavaca, and it was just what she was looking for. She bought a home on Lavaca Street in December of 2003 and moved in the following month. She has since sold that house and is currently living on the north side of San Antonio. She owns property in Lavaca, however, and plans to move back here.

Rebecca continues to do some editorial and publishing work, but she has started a second career. In the past four years, she has been working in real estate. She started with an agent's license, and this past year got a broker's license, and is moving into commercial real estate.

Rebecca keeps busy outside of work. She is a member of the Herb Society and loves botanical things -- with a special interest in tropical and subtropical fruits. She's taken trips to pursue that interest -- to South America, Central America and Sri Lanka.

She also loves music. Her mother -- who Rebecca calls "the real musician in the family" -- taught her to play the piano. One of Rebecca's most prized possessions is her mother's baby grand piano. Next on her to-do list is learning to play the accordion. She's looking to buy a used one and is hoping to take lessons soon. Her favorite San Antonio event is the annual International Accordion Festival, which takes place every October in La Villita.

Rebecca enjoys seeing the world. She's traveled throughout North America, Central America, South America, and Europe, and she's visited the Middle East, South Asia, and New Zealand. One of her favorite trips was to Pakistan to ring in Year 2K, where she saw spectacular fireworks and spent much of the New Year's celebration on a fishing boat. She found the people she met there to be very hospitable and welcoming.

Rebecca, we look forward to having you back in Lavaca and hope that happens soon!

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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