GERMANS, CUBANS, ART

First, Mark Cuban dissing NYC nightclub pretensions almost makes me like the guy. You go, boy. And anyone who can get the rabid dog Post to run even an almost-retraction has to get a thumbs-up of some sort.

However, speaking of the Mavs getting whacked by the Spurs, and Wick’s post on German ancestry in Dallas, it’s worth noting that Germans had a big influence in our NBA rival city San Antonio, too. Though far surpassed over the years by Mexican settlers, German immigrants got an early hold in the city in real estate and industries such as brewing and flour-milling and in the 1870s about one-third of the city spoke German. In nearby New Braunfels, where my mother was born, German was commonly spoken well into the pre-WWII days. San Antonio’s major historic neighborhood, King William, is named for Kaiser Wilhelm I, and the outdoor Beethoven Mannechor beergarten is one of the major hangouts during the monthly First Friday Art Walk.

Bringing us to point number three, why doesn’t Dallas have something like a monthly art stroll downtown or in State-Thomas? (I know, but I can’t say “Uptown” with a straight face.)

I was down there this weekend for an event at Gemini Ink and as usually was impressed with not only the economic benefit obtained by opening galleries, cafes, boutiques and bars to an art theme, but the sense of community it gives the city every month. From the vendors selling art works on the sidewalks to the impromptu bands playing anything from sitars to basso sexto, to the street foods like brisket tacos, elotes (roasted corn), barbecued turkey legs or peeled, jumbo cucumbers sprinked with salt and chile seasonings, it’s something people never seem to tire of attending. Also, it’s very cool.

And, to the FBvian who remembered the BarAmerica on S. Alamo as one of the great First Friday treats, yep, went there, and yep, sat on a stool and listened to jazz, conjunto and blues from the old jukebox while drinking $1.50 beer. What’s not to like?

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