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City Guide 2014

8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

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Sparkle and Fade
Phil Hardberger Park
8400 NW Military; 13203 Blanco,

The North Side is woefully underserved by public art, but sculptor Anne Wallace helps residents see the light with Golden Age, her miniature carousel-like installations of glittering gold medallions mounted on side-roll irrigator wheels at Phil Hardberger Park, which has raised the bar significantly for city parks. The San Antonio artist says the custom reflective hardware is designed to create a flickering effect, alluding to wildfire. As the park’s restored grassland matures, shimmering gold flecks of light will appear to hover just above the prairie.

High-brow Low-cost
Regal Huebner Oaks Stadium 14
11075 I-10 W, (210) 558-0427

Regal Fiesta 16
12631 Vance Jackson, (210) 641-6909

Movie theaters abound in and around the North Side, but here’s a shout out to clean, comfortable, well-managed Regal Theaters. Regal Huebner Oaks Stadium 14 & RPX (Regal Premium Experience) is a good place to see live broadcasts of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Ballet and other live Fathom Events. The RPX theater offers the big-screen spectacle once provided by the downtown movie palaces. The nearby Regal Fiesta 16 has been converted into a dollar, um, buck-and-a-half house. Comfy rocking chairs add to the best cinematic bargain in town.

Child’s Play
Texas Transportation Museum
11731 Wetmore, (210) 490-3554,

For kids, and anyone who likes trains, the all-volunteer Texas Transportation Museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary, highlighting the state’s transportation history with a working passenger train you can ride, several model train layouts, horse carriages, fire trucks, tractors and automobiles. With special Christmas, Halloween and Military Week exhibits, it’s a great, and often-overlooked, way to spend holiday breaks and weekends.

Picking and Grinning

If you prefer to see the North Side in your rearview mirror, scoot up I-35 to the Gruene Historic District. Sure, the country kitsch is over the top, but Gruene Hall, one of the best little dancehalls in Texas, is still booking greats, near-greats and rising stars. If you can find a show to enjoy during the third weekend of the month, you can hit the town early for its Market Days arts and crafts fair.

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