36 Hours in San Antonio If You’re From There
by Shira Rachel Danan
San Antonio is the nation’s seventh largest city and, more importantly, it’s the city that you, personally, grew up in. Temperatures may be hot, but the pace is cool and laid-back. Explore its gated communities, movie theaters, and fast food chains that are uniquely South Texan. But make some time to go beyond the obvious attractions and visit the Woodridge Elementary School playground, the alley behind that one pizza place you used to go for lunch in high school, and Jeremy Silverman’s childhood bedroom.
1) FAMILY COMES FIRST
No foray into the Hill Country is complete without a trip to the Levine Family Home (8662 Greenbriar Drive; 210–825–2751). Put your feet up in the newly renovated kitchen while your father cleans the pool, and your mother struggles to maintain her composure when you tell her your divorce is going forward. Make a joke about “starter marriages” while trying to pretend you can’t tell the pool is already spotlessly clean. Be sure to try the delicious house-made guacamole with a side of your mother’s advice for saving a doomed marriage (free).
2) THIS MAY SOUND CHEESY
After the Levine Family Home, the best place to get a cheap bite is the parking lot of that one place you used to go for pizza when you were in high school (6598 N New Braunfels; 210–828–1100), which luckily is also where Sabrina and Allie want to go. Sabrina and Allie still live in San Antonio, and they’re both married with kids. They seem totally uninterested in gossiping about people from high school, as if they’ve grown out of it or something. Order two slices with pickled jalapenos ($5.25), off the menu. Don’t be surprised if the guy who fills your soda doesn’t remember you.
3) COUCH THAT IN DIFFERENT TERMS
Take advantage of your parents’ incredible cable package to catch Silver Linings Playbook, which you haven’t seen yet, and then a Say Yes To The Dress marathon on TLC. You won’t want to miss the puddle of your own drool that forms on their mid-century leather sofa when you fall asleep and are awakened by a commercial for Abilify. Grab a bite to eat and a drink at the open kitchen — they didn’t buy those Oreos for themselves. It being 3 a.m. New York time is no reason not to have a gin and tonic from the well-appointed bar.
4) ARTS & CRAFTS
Drinking beers and eating breakfast tacos in the parking lot of the McNay Art Museum (6000 N New Braunfels; 210–824–5368) may be the first thing you think of when you hear the words “San Antonio.” That is, if you’re from there. But this classic activity is given a contemporary upgrade with the addition of craft beers brewed by your friend Jason (free, with one hour of listening to Jason complain about his boyfriend). Plus, Jason is still in touch with high school sweetheart Jeremy Silverman and can report on whether or not Jeremy Silverman is in town this weekend.
5) LONE STARBUCKS STATE
To satisfy a caffeine craving, venture a few blocks north to the Starbucks next to the dry cleaner’s (1901 Nacogdoches Road; 210–930–1164). Jeannie Davies is literally working behind the counter right now. Like, as a barista. Whatever mistakes you’ve made in life and whatever marriages you’ve ruined, at least you are not working as a Starbucks barista in the neighborhood where you grew up. Knowing this, you can afford to be generous, and pretend to be extremely impressed by the quality of your iced tall vanilla non-fat latte ($3.91 +tip).
6) SILVERMAN LINING
Everyone’s meeting up at Jeremy Silverman’s house (151 Camelia Way; 210–821–1121) tonight, and Jason swears he will be there so it’s not weird. Don’t arrive before 11 p.m. unless you want to be alone with Jeremy Silverman, which you kind of do, but also kind of don’t. Make sure to peek into Jeremy Silverman’s bedroom on your way to the bathroom and catch a glimpse of the spot where you lost your virginity. It has remained unchanged for 13 years because Jeremy Silverman’s mom never throws anything away. Dress is casual, but deliberately so. Don’t wear the slutty tank-top ($14.99) he loved when you were 17 and that’s still hanging in your closet.
10) TACO TACO TACO
Follow the neon glow to the nearest Taco Cabana (425 NE Interstate 410 Loop; 210–822–6877). If you’re not drunk yet, down the last of your marg while you let Jeremy Silverman drive (it’s only a few blocks). Jason never showed, and after a while Meg and Nikhil left to smoke, just like in high school, so now it’s just you and Jeremy Silverman in a car on the way to Taco Cabana. Is he going to park and insist on eating outside or does he also remember the way you used to pick up food at the drive through and then go to the Woodridge Elementary School parking lot and make out between bites of queso ($0.99 for 3 oz.)? Take a minute to reflect on the fact that 13 years later you are still afraid to ask Jeremy Silverman if he likes you.
11) SALSA OF SHAME
You had a late night, so take your time getting back to the Levine Family Home. You won’t have any trouble not waking Jeremy Silverman, who somehow is sleeping like a baby even though you both just made a horrible, horrible mistake that you can never take back. And in his parents’ house no less. And no doubt your own parents were up all night wondering where you were. They probably called the cops. Also, technically, you’re not divorced yet, so this counts as cheating. Shit.
12) NORTH VIA SOUTHWEST
No trip to South Texas would be complete without a visit to the San Antonio International Airport (9800 Airport Blvd.; 210–207–3411). Perhaps the friend you’re staying with in Brooklyn would appreciate a jar of jalapeno jelly ($6.99) from the gift shop. You’re so, so close to leaving, and yes, you have regrets about the night before, but also, wasn’t that a nice way to say goodbye to childhood? To say goodbye to Jeremy Silverman forever? Thank God you’re leaving San Antonio today and can forget the past 36 hours ever happened.
Photo via ericejohnson/flickr.
Shira Rachel Danan is a staff writer at Happy Place, the humor and web culture blog of Someecards. Her writing has appeared in The Onion, Mad Magazine, and elsewhere. A San Antonio native, she now lives in New York.