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City Guide 2013

Fab Finds

Photo: Photos by Bryan Rindfuss, License: N/A

Photos by Bryan Rindfuss

Retro Haus

Photo: , License: N/A

Period Modern


Desperately seeking a Kabbalah from 1874? Can't sleep without an 'N Sync pillow? For treasure, oddities, and other things you never knew you needed, look no further than our nine new favorite stores.
Words and photos by Bryan Rindfuss

Bearded Lady Emporium

The compelling conversations one might hear in Janessa Consenz and Jedidia Reid's Bearded Lady Emporium can rival the oddities on the shelves. But try not to let the talk of searching for spotted owl feathers and special-ordering skulls distract you from browsing the fascinating spread of antiquarian books (a Kabbalah from 1874 is on offer for $290), screen-prints (including works by Michael Michael Motorcycle for $82), vintage black-light posters ($5), and hard-to-find T-shirts ($28). While the shop sells a fair amount of animal bits and pieces ($8 raccoon penis bones fly off the shelves), Consenz assures its all part of recycling efforts made possible by roadkill collection and a source who cleans up National Parks — no creatures are harmed in the process.

4745 Fredericksburg
(210) 913-3666

Retro Haus

On Saturdays, Midtown bustles and the Blanco Bazaar has been at the center of the action for nearly a decade. Organized in aisles that make shopping the 25 vendor booths a breeze, the neighborhood antique mall offers everything from industrial salvage and folk art to vintage vinyl and comic books. An easy winner in the eye candy department is Debra Zeitung and Dawn Martinez's Retro Haus. Scattered between several poppy alcoves, the duo's settings could easily pass for camera-ready sets from The Mod Squad and Laugh In era. With groovy furnishings and accessories including swag lights, sofas, cocktail tumblers, and other home bar accoutrements, the outfit makes shopping for retro on eBay seem like something of a dated concept.

1705 Blanco
(210) 320-2729

After L1fe

Jesus (on a rug), Madonna (on a T-shirt), Selena (on canvas), 'N Sync (on a pillow), and Tweety Bird (on a tote) can all be found at After L1fe, a progressive little boutique stashed in a North St. Mary's strip. The collaborative brainchild of Katalya Bustos and Elena Hernandez-Peña, the compact shop stocks a thoughtful selection of vintage duds (think rainbow-colored Wrangler shirts, fanny packs, and nylon ball caps) and truly unique DIY items (crafted by the likes of Chronically Cute, Moontime Gypsies, and 'Y' Clothing) and is also the only retail outfit in Texas stocking the occultish Seattle-based fashion line Actual Pain. In keeping with its roots as a First Friday pop-up, the adaptable space hosts monthly happenings showcasing local artists, bands, and performers.

628 S St. Mary's, alamowasteland.tumblr.com

Collective

Resource sharing is a theme at Collective, a multi-faceted venture founded by Rachel Ann Dealy in the summer of 2012. Combining DIY retail, retro resale, and a warehouse workspace where bands can rehearse, the venue specializes in items and services you're unlikely to find elsewhere. Fashioned from recycled bicycle chains and tires, the onsite Cycle Pit produces sturdy belts, industrial jewelry, and giftable black roses that share shelves with groovy garb from Dealy's own RAD Vintage and Thrift, furs and other frills collected by Santa Fe transplant Beth Rose, and rentable cult treasures courtesy of VHS 1138. In addition to art openings (First Fridays from 8pm-midnight) and movie screenings (Sundays at 8:30pm), Collective's headed in a culinary direction with pop-up dinners already in the bag and something permanent rumored to be on the horizon.

City Guide 2013
  • Groveling For a Grocer Downtown San Antonio has an ever-expanding roster of eat spots – from food trucks to high dining – to choose from, but good luck finding somewhere to stock up... | 2/28/2013
  • Wonder Twins Julián Castro quickly rocketed past the heights of political celebrity Henry Cisneros, San Antonio's once best-known mayor, reached in the 1980s. | 2/28/2013
  • VIA Buses A public transit system that is extensive and useful, and extensively used, has long been one of the hallmarks of a thriving metropolis. For over 30 years... | 2/28/2013
  • Cycling San Anto You'll finish sweatier, dirtier and smell like the receiving end of a VIA bus tailpipe. But biking is, and will remain, the best way to move in and around... | 2/28/2013
  • Walk the City Creeks Sure, you know the River Walk, and may have explored the Mission Reach that strikes south from the Blue Star Complex towards the green land surrounding... | 2/28/2013
  • Santikos Bijou Once dubbed "Ramboville" by movie distributors who assume that its taste in movies is not subtle, San Antonio boasts many state-of-the-art facilities for viewing... | 2/28/2013
  • Museums A city without museums is hardly a town, and though San Antonio prides itself on retaining a small-town feel, our museums are known internationally — as... | 2/28/2013
  • Live Music With national and regional talent taking increasing notice, and local heroes making the big time, it will soon be impossible for even the staunchest... | 2/28/2013
  • Walley Films rolls camera, takes action, and visits Tía Chuck Meet Mark and Angela Walley, the dynamic dyad of arts advocates and documentarians professionally known as Walley Films. After studying film at Northwest Vista... | 2/28/2013
  • On Stage Community theater in SA has roots a century long. Here is our short list of favorite venues, specializing in repertory theater, new works, and... | 2/28/2013
  • Rackspace San Antonio was recently ranked #3 on Forbes' list of New Tech Hot Spots. One of the main companies leading the advance is Rackspace Hosting... | 2/28/2013
  • Green Dreams When we first met Brandon McKelvey two years ago, his food truck was still in construction. "I'm going to put solar panels on this puppy someday... | 2/28/2013
  • Rackspace San Antonio was recently ranked #3 on Forbes' list of New Tech Hot Spots. One of the main companies leading the advance is Rackspace Hosting... | 2/28/2013
  • Early Art School If you want to be an artist, don't wait till college to make your move. Young eyes (and minds) have the best shot at attaining this life/work goal. | 2/28/2013
  • DIY There comes a time, for some people, when working for a company just doesn't make sense anymore — unless it's their own. But the typical business strategy of... | 2/28/2013
  • Flea Markets Here in San Antonio we have fine flea markets, influenced heavily by the vast indoor/outdoor mercados of Mexico. Looking to get a sonogram and a haircut... | 2/28/2013
  • Thrift Shops Whether it be your deep-seeded need for a unique piece for your home or your newfound love for Macklemore that brings you there, thrift shops are the... | 2/28/2013
  • The Cook's Tale Stefan Bowers, Feast Stefan Bowers, the driving food force behind Southtown's Feast, grew up in Berkeley and spent time in the Navy as a rescue swimmer, and then served... | 2/28/2013
  • Southtown Bliss Serving up American cuisine, Mark Bliss' menu rotates, based on availability of seasonal ingredients. Menu staples include the Australian... | 2/28/2013
  • Pearl Anchored by the campus of the Culinary Institute of America, the Pearl is poised to become the city's most concentrated dining destination; quality taken into... | 2/28/2013
  • Eat Local Farmers markets offer an abundance of delights such as charcuterie, fermented foods, salsa plump tomatoes, and select seasonal fruit, and it is a good place... | 2/28/2013
  • Taco Town Tacos for breakfast, tacos for lunch, tacos all the time! SA is awash with taco joints — many are quite good, and most of us have faves. Here are four that continue to amaze with homey goodness. Henry's Puffy Tacos Henry's Puffy Tacos has been a family aff | 2/28/2013
  • Pit Stops Texas is a national contender for BBQ king, with the pits in the Hill Country strong advocates of tradition. But in SA, the trend is towards chef's... | 2/28/2013
  • Vegetarian A list of vegetarian and "veggie-friendly" establishments that will help tender eaters survive in Meat City. | 2/28/2013
  • Michelada Madness The michelada, or 'mixed chela' (chela meaning beer in Spanish), is a type of cerveza preparada that includes varied combinations of lime, beer, tomato juice... | 2/28/2013
  • Cocktails Cocktail culture hit SA with an obsession the last year, with crews of young mixologists (yes it really is a word — from the early 1900s) in eager... | 2/28/2013
  • Microbreweries BRANCHLINE BREWING CO. Branchline Brewing Co. officially opened and started selling beers on the market in early February. A snazzy tasting room is... | 2/28/2013
  • Brewpub Guide Even if you're not a beer aficionado, there's something about drinking a well-crafted brew and a meal only steps away from both were made. In the last... | 2/28/2013
  • Sports Bars Whether you're looking for a place to watch the game or just a place to meet with friends, San Antonio has much to offer in the way of sports bars. The key... | 2/28/2013
  • Dance Clubs When the sun goes down and you're achin' to strap on your dancin' shoes, there's only one thing that can be done: find a spot out on the nearest dance floor... | 2/28/2013
  • Ice Houses The Texas ice house is a steadily disappearing landmark. Once dotting the street corners of San Antonio, much like Starbucks does today, they provided... | 2/28/2013
  • Wine Texas is beer country, but even before the cocktail scene exploded, wine bars were offering an alternative, providing us with a less-rowdy atmosphere to participate in the cult of Bacchus. Here are our steady favorites. | 2/28/2013
  • Fab Finds Desperately seeking a Kabbalah from 1874? Can't sleep without an 'N Sync pillow? For treasure, oddities, and other things you never knew you needed,... | 2/28/2013
  • Dos Carolinas The origin of the guayabera is debatable, but its name likely refers to the Cuban farmers along the Yayabo River who used the shirt's lower pockets to store... | 2/28/2013
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