I came home and discovered that some vanished delivery man had left a package on my front porch, and nearly pulled my front gate off its hinges in the process. I love the orderly rank of pickets on my fence rails and their continued march across the gate. The notable sag produced by the separation at the top hinge made it look like a boxer who’d staggered back to his corner to recover from a decisive blow.

While I was screwing the hinge back in place a little breeze picked up – not quite a foretaste of fall, but enough of a reminder that Halloween is almost at hand. Looking at the gate I was reminded of the one-night-only sanctioned hooliganism that used to prevail in late 19th and early 20th century cities and towns on the night before Halloween.

Read more: City Lights: October 2014

On Friday, October 3, SAY Sí and UTSA will present “SERIE, a Serie Project Retrospective,” an exhibition of 100+ Serie Project artworks never before displayed from the private collection of Drs. Ricardo and Harriett Romo.
The Serie Project, which started in 1993 by the late artist and teacher Sam Coronado, allows underrepresented artists to benefit from collaboration and learn the “serigraphy” technique. In the last two decades the organization has fostered over 250 artists from different professional levels and ethnic backgrounds. Similarly, SAY Sí, San Antonio’s premier youth arts organization, acts as an incubator for emerging middle and high school artists.

Read more: SAY Sí Fall Happenings

Joe Huntington moved to the St. Benedict Lofts in April 2012 from Las Vegas, Nevada, and recently bought a house on Sweet Street. He has been a KWA member since 2012. KWA director, Cherise Bell, met with Joe to get his perspective on being a new historic property owner.

Q. You recently bought a house on Sweet Street, which is the KWA boundaries, but outside the historic district. What motivated you to designate your house as an individual landmark?

A. I knew I had to act right away when this house came up for sale. My reason for buying such an old house was because I’ve never owned an old house before. I’ve always owned newer homes. I think I was looking for a challenge and to test my creativity. The main reason why I choose to designate my house as a landmark was to become part of the historical community that makes up Southtown. It’s a sense of pride knowing you own something of historic significance. 

Read more: New Neighbor Spotlight: Joe Huntington

The seasonal rhythms of life in the Gulf States have more to do with the rotation of the calendar than with a change of temperature. The almost uniquely American ritual of students returning to classes after a three month parole from educational incarceration is largely disassociated from any signs of change from summer. I know that I’ll soon see high school students trooping past my house the few blocks south to the local high school. They’ll have the look of a defeated army marching to interment, heads down, dragging their feet, shouldering backpacks big enough to carry supplies for a long bivouac.

Read more: City Lights: September 2014

Girls Incorporated® of San Antonio Mentors Valuing Peers (MVP) program members spent their summer giving back to the community by building and installing a series of Little Free Libraries as part of the Summer Team Up Challenge sponsored by Silver & Black Give Back. At Girls Inc. we believe that readers today become leaders tomorrow, and our Little Free Libraries help our girls spread a love of reading and lifelong passion for literacy in our community.

Read more: Girls Inc. Launches Little Free Libraries

This is our final dog walk on the Riverwalk. From the footbridge at Eagleland we walk on the north east side of the river. The opposite bank is undeveloped and this encourages wildlife to thrive. Your human will enjoy watching the birds along here.

The Eagleland footbridge is a new feature. Installed about three years ago, it allows foot and bicycle traffic across the river at the southern end of the neighborhood and connects us to the Mission Trails Hike & Bike. There is a landscaped plaza at the end of the bridge with a baggie dispenser and a bench for your human. This plaza is not very shady yet, the trees have just been planted.

Read more: Lucky’s Dog-Walk Reviews: Eagleland to Roosevelt Park

As you've likely noticed, there’s a lot of construction going on in our neighborhood – and not just the interminable work on S. Alamo! While this is generally a good thing, sometimes your construction project (not to mention your leaf blowers!) can be disturbing to your neighbors, especially early mornings, weekends and evenings.

The KWA office has had inquiries from residents about noise nuisances. According to the Noise Ordinance, the nighttime and weekend noise level should not exceed 80dBA.  The Noise Ordinance is enforced by City Police.  If you’re exasperated by excessive noise, you can call the SAPD non-emergency number: 207-7273.

Read more: What's So Funny about Peace, Love and Understanding?

This month we are heading south from the footbridge. From our starting point we walk on the west side of the river because for most of the way that’s the only side accessible for walking.

At the start of our walk the San Antonio River Authority has some of the best grass rolling lawns in the neighborhood. A good roll on the grass will get this walk going, but there are very few other rolling spots on this walk.

Read more: Lucky’s Dog-Walk Reviews: Johnson Street Footbridge to Eagleland

Blue Star Phase 2 (Big Tex) had its groundbreaking ceremony on May 30 to kick off the construction portion of the project, which will include 336 apartments, wrapped around a parking garage, and 8,000 square feet of retail space. Currently the developer is looking to divide the retail space into two units, a restaurant and a coffee shop. The project should be completed by spring 2016.

Read more: Area Project Updates

When I bought my house, all of its many windows were fitted with lace curtains. The whole house was re-plastered and re-painted before I moved in, and during that time all the curtains were stored in the basement. I had thought I’d replace them with new translucent roman shades, but my moving van was scheduled to arrive and it seemed expedient to re-hang the curtains and wait to replace them later. Eight years have passed and they are still in the windows. I’ve come to love the way they filter the light without blocking views of the green canopies of the trees and the fantastic ridge line of my neighbor’s crested and turreted home.

Read more: City Lights: July 2014

The King William Historic District was awarded a 2014 Certificate of Excellence from the world’s largest travel website. Traveler reviews posted on TripAdvisor are consistently outstanding, putting our beautiful neighborhood in the top 10% of rated venues around the world.

Posted comments include “beautiful mansions and eclectic businesses,” “dog friendly…wonderful mix of folks,” “peaceful riverwalk,” and, most importantly, the advice to “wear comfortable shoes.” Congratulations to all of the King William residents and businesses for so successfully putting out the Welcome Mat.

- Nora Peterson

 

I have been busy scouring the ’hood and have some suggestions for you for a PERFECT King William and Southtown Day.

Start your day at Halcyon Southtown in the Blue Star Arts complex with a cappuccino and a yogurt parfait or maybe a breakfast sandwich. Take your laptop, a great novel, the Express-News or your KWA Newsletter – sit at one of the outside tables to read – and enjoy your early morning.

Read more: Membership Benefits Update!

I’ve reclaimed my second floor back porch and the view of the sunsets after the replacement of decayed decking and repainting. Having wooden porches is not unlike owning a boat. My tree-shrouded vessel is always exposed to the elements and always in need of maintenance, even in the safe harbor of King William. The effort required to keep things in good trim isn’t quite enough to explain the disappearance of porches from American houses. The kind of open hospitality and embrace of community that porches represent has slowly fallen victim to rising building costs and construction regulations that put a premium on enclosed, air-conditioned spaces.

Read more: City Lights: June 2014

Recently, I was asked if I’d like to bark reviews of my favorite walks in the neighborhood for the newsletter. I took a nap to snooze on it. Afterwards, I felt the need to walk and the idea sounded like fun. I decided to write about the walk from the Johnson Street footbridge to the Nueva Street Dam, my favorite as a pup.

The footbridge has plazas on both ends, each with a pair of tall pointy spires. These are perfect places to leave your beginning and ending “pee-mail”. I should mention right now, have a big drink of water before leaving home. There are so many great things and places to leave pee-mail on this walk.

Read more: Lucky’s Dog-Walk Reviews: Johnson Street Footbridge to Nueva Street Dam

Spring has brought with it the annual reminder that some kinds of human activity can be beneficial for the planet. Our lives in King William are lived under the greatest green canopies in the city. The leaves have reappeared and are now fully unfurled like thousands of pennants animated by the slightest movement of air. The first bright greens of early spring have deepened into richer, deeper, hues, signaling the darker pools of shade collecting on the ground beneath them.

Read more: City Lights: May 2014

With the weather turning warmer, people are heading outside to enjoy the outdoors. The San Antonio River Foundation aimed to make this more comfortable by installing two art benches along the Mission Reach section of the San Antonio River Walk to offer walkers and cyclists resting points. The benches also offer enticing aesthetic designs by local artists who have each put their own stamps on the benches.

Read more: Resting Along the River

Your Membership Committee has been very busy this year. Our goal is to increase membership in the KWA and to increase the benefits of membership. We have established three programs to achieve these goals.

Membership Card

By now you should have received your membership card in the mail with the latest KWA directory. This card will help you keep your membership current by reminding you of the expiration date, but this little card does so much more! Show your membership card when you patronize any of the local businesses below to receive discounts:

  • A Dream Weaver Florist – 20%
  • Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum – $3 entrance fee instead of $5
  • Guenther House River Mill Store – 20%
  • MadHatters Tea House & Café – 10%
  • Robert Hughes Gallery – 10%
  • The Friendly Spot – 10% on Tuesdays
  • Tito’s – 10%
  • Villa Finale – 10% on entrance fees

We are also negotiating with many other restaurants and businesses in our neighborhood and beyond. If you have a good relationship with a local business, you might mention this program to them and invite them to participate.

Read more: New KWA Membership Benefits!

The Central SAFFE Office phone number is 207-7413. Any SAFFE Officer can try to answer your question or take your message for another officer.

Officer Robert Esquivel took over Officer Santos’ post. He can be reached at the Central SAFFE Office or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


Read more: Neighborhood Crime Prevention Program Updates