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City Guide 2013

Wonder Twins

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Julián Castro quickly rocketed past the heights of political celebrity Henry Cisneros, San Antonio's once best-known mayor, reached in the 1980s. From the outset, Julián's trajectory appeared almost pre-determined. Born to a celebrated West Side Chicana activist, Julián was elected San Antonio's youngest-ever mayor in 2009. The following year, The New York Times Magazine drooled with an obsequious profile, calling him "The Post-Hispanic Hispanic Politician."

Soon enough, President Barack Obama came calling. Julián was invited to the White House to dish immigration and energy policy. Then, coinciding perfectly with twin Joaquín's eventually successful run for Congress, and with his own push for expanded local Pre-K (Julián's most ambitious policy achievement yet), the mayor was called upon to keynote the Democratic National Convention.

The Castros are now national political fixtures. Both have entered the realm of talking-head-dom, routinely asked to talk gun control or immigration on the big Sunday morning "newsmaker" talk shows. Julián recently urged Congress to pass sane, humane immigration reform measures before a House committee. And the twins have even graced the pages of Vogue, with portraits shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Speculation abounds for what the future holds for either of San Anto's Democratic wunderkinds. Many Democrats predict Texas turning purple in the near future, and hope a Castro could eventually take the governor's seat. For now, Joaquín's in D.C., wading through his freshman year, and — despite early rumors Julián would consider a plush Obama cabinet appointment — he's sticking local. The mayor just officially filed to run for a third term he'll inevitably win. — Michael Barajas

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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