The San Antonio Riverwalk is always lovely, but the day after Thanksgiving it is transformed by lights into something even more magical. The river taxis become floats carrying gingerbread houses, choirs, and even Santa and Mrs. Claus. It has turned into quite an affair since I last attended the event fifteen years ago, and traffic was unbelievable.
Since Thanksgiving was my birthday, we took the day after to celebrate in the city. First, we visited the McNay Art Museum to see the exhibit of kinetic sculpture by George Rickey. The outdoor pieces were large, geometric forms that moved with the wind creating tension with the landscape. The indoor pieces were more intimate, smaller in scale, and set in motion by fans or people blocking the fans as they moved through the galleries. One reminded me of how waves move across the surface of the ocean. Another was entitled "Machine of Undetermined Use".
Next, we went to a nursery that was tucked into an old southside neighborhood, consisting of many old buildings. It had been recommended as a place to buy a cold-hardy citrus tree. There I chose my gift trees: a Satsuma orange and Santa Rose plum. It seems many of the Texas citrus trees that survived freezes were grafted into stock in Georgia, where nurseries offer them as cold-hardy Texas citrus trees. The only problem is you can't import citrus back into Texas. It was much harder to locate Texas citrus trees for sale in Texas. Now I am hoping that I will also get two large holes in the ground to plant them in!
The finale was an exquisite dinner at Biga on the Banks, on the Riverwalk. I found this upscale, contemporary cuisine restaurant through Local Harvest because they specialize in local foods. We felt right at home with their gauzy curtains with vegetables as a motif, and room dividers of large gourds. We enjoyed speaking with chef Bruce Auden about the local food movement and some of our mutual friends. The food was superb. A birthday to remember!