The City

Combining architecture and color, Fernand Leger's The City (1919), depicts the vitality of a city, a city that is vibrant and interesting. This is a moment in place - specific and immediate -a portrait of our urban lives. 

The sun in spring flexes like a cat waking from a nap; in summer the cat stalks us, feral, fanged and fierce. You can only appreciate spring in South Texas only if you have been here in the searing heat of summer or the bleak depressing days of January and February. Morning chill gives way to silky warm afternoons.  On days like this, there is no disgrace in doing nothing.

Cambridge Satchel in vibrant colors!

Spring in San Antonio means color.
 The dark clothes that felt elegant and chic in November feel heavy and hot now.  I left the house the other morning in a crayon green skirt, an untucked white button-down shirt with rolled sleeves, a light jean jacket, and the  albarcas I bought last year in Madrid. I wore the same clothes to a casual Friday night party at a local art space except I changed out my diamond studs for gold dangly earrings, my man's watch for some bracelets, and pointy d'Orsay flats  for the espadrilles. I also wore the skirt with a filmy top, a chaos of pearls, heels, and a clutch to a benefit.  Spring is easy.

I like writers who are grounded in the city.
I don't care if the portrayal is flattering; it is the rootedness of it  that matters. I read about Orhan Pamuk's beloved Istanbul, Teju Cole's Manhattan, Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Barcelona, Zada Smith's London. I was in love with Paris, or at least the idea of Paris long, long before I arrived because of Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.

Spring in my city is when the banks of the San Antonio River south of town become a Pissarro landscape blanketed in Texas wildflowers. Everyone who owns or rents a bike is at Blue Star riding down the Mission Reach. San Antonio in the spring is a walk down Houston Street under an empty blue sky, baskets of red geraniums dangle from lampposts, following the same worn brick path that my Mexican great-grandparents, and grandparents and parents walked. Later in cloudless days, we will feel abandoned to a predatory sun, but now the light is soft and milky and the day luminous.  I sit at the black iron tables in front of Sips where I  drink a capaccino and watch the tourists. It is a wonderful thing to be rooted in a place, to feel utterly at home, to know you are where you are suppose to be.

And it is just as important to leave it as much as you can.

In my downtown neighborhood, trees are leafing, grass is greening, and there is new growth in  community vegetable gardens. My roses explode and the lavender bushes out in pale purple. In a couple of months all will be burned away, but right now it is alive and energetic

We eat outside on the front veranda, still cool enough for candles and listen to the serenades of Tejano, rap, and the occasional  booming opera from the parade of traffic on our busy city corner. 

We walk and bike everywhere. 

We sit in outdoor cafes and go to outdoor films and concerts sitting on blankets or fold up chairs.  People host porch parties and we sit on steps of old houses and drink tempranillos, our laughter floating out into the dark.
We no longer can bear to be indoors!

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