You won’t get your salad dressing on the side in San Antonio. I don’t know what it says about a place, but in New England it’s so common I never learned to ask for it on the side, it just happens. Not so in San Antonio.
You’ll also have trouble finding a place to eat dinner away from the riverwalk, as all the neighborhood places I found are open only for breakfast and lunch. And I can’t say it with authority, but I don’t think there are any bookstores downtown either.
There’s no criticism in the above, just observations. Praise follows.
The city is clearly the most walkable I’ve ever seen. Cars move leisurely through most streets, allowing pedestrians to amble freely. And though there was little traffic noise, a descent to the riverwalk seemed to put one into a different city. Side note: much of the riverwalk has no guard rails to keep teetering tourists out of the drink; as with the salad dressing thing, I don’t know what this means, but I commend the civic leaders for it.
There’s probably a city ordinance that demands that everybody who visits the city is required to get their picture in front of the Alamo, and I complied, though only on the last day, despite being in a hotel abutting it. Indeed, my hotel, The Crocket, was a surprise pleasure. It wasn’t the free WiFi and continental breakfast, it was the Lady Bird Johnson fountain out front and nice architecture. The rooms were basic business class, but the economy price set my expectations too low and set me up for a nice surprise.
The high point of my stay in town? I had my first-ever old-style shave in the barbershop at the Gunter Hotel, which still has their old telephone switchboard from 1909. My feeling is that guys were plumb stupid to let barbers disappear from our lives.
The photo above actually comes from somewhere nearer Georgia than Texas, but I never did capture an iconic picture of San Antonio, so that’s all I’ve got.