Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Gamer Girl Visits San Antonio

Years and years (and years) ago, I actually lived in Texas. I was 10 or 11, and we lived in a very small town in northeastern Texas. One summer, we took a family car trip and traveled around the state, spending time visiting historic spots and theme parks and natural wonders. We visited caverns and old towns and lots of road-side markers.

But on this several week trips, we never made it to San Antonio, although the reason why is long forgotten (at least by me). My parents had always talked about how romantic it was when they came here for their honeymoon, but that was *cough* 40-something years ago.

In 2013, my partner and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary by attending PAX Australia, and had a great time seeing the awesomeness that is PAX as experienced through the eyes of a whole bunch of newbies. It brings back the memories of our first PAX in 2008, and it's a great opportunity to connect with other gamers in new places.

So when the PAX people announced PAX South, we jumped at the chance to visit a new city and be a part of another "baby PAX."

We came in on Tuesday evening, and spent the first two days just wandering around downtown. We both have recently become interested in Ingress, and so we did a couple of Missions that took us on a kind of tour of historic sites around the area. In fact, we hadn't actually planned on seeing the Alamo, but somehow managed to stumble on it anyway, spending about an hour just walking around the grounds reading plaques and blowing up portals.

As a history nerd, I've been happily veering off the beaten path, reading signs and markers and making notes about who to research when I get back home.

On our first day, we made a trek about 2 miles from our hotel to buy some things at a grocery store. It was nice to get out and walk around some after having spent a day sitting on planes or in airports. The route to the store took us along Rosa Parks Way. Of course I already know who Rosa Parks is, but I'm curious about how this stretch of sidewalk came to be set aside for a memorial, complete with a cute mosaic curb and signs.

It was several blocks long, and passed by a school, so I imagine that played a role in its creation. We didn't see very many people out walking around, but that was probably because it was the middle of the day on a Wednesday.

Next to the Alamo is the historic Menger Hotel, a space I would have loved to spend more time in. The building itself is well preserved and the presentation is elegant and refined with a wonderful collection of antique pieces throughout the lobby.

Many people are surprised to learn that there was a large number of Jews who moved to the South around the turn of the last century.

Another plaque inside the Menger Hotel commemorates the founding of the Pan American Roundtable. I'd love to know more about how this came about, who was involved and what they accomplished. More research for when I get home!

At the Alamo, there was a larger plaque celebrating the work of Clara Driscoll in the efforts to preserve the historic site. Next to it was this much smaller, but to me far more interesting, sign. Who was Adina Emelia DeZavala and why was she not given a sign alongside Clara Driscoll? What changed in the telling of the story that resulted in this newer sign? Things I intend to find out.

Finally, outside the Briscoe Museum of Western Art stand these three native american women with their baskets, looking out over the street. I haven't had the opportunity to go inside the museum yet to see if there is any information about them, but I hope to over the next day or so.

1 comment :

  1. I loved this post. Looking forward to more info about your discoveries.