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E. Loren Meeker – Living ...

Spare a thought, if you will, for your humble magazine feature writer as he navigates the treacherous shoals of our Covid-infested world in the endless search for the most insightful and entertaining personalities here in the Dominion and across San Antonio. It means conducting interviews while wearing a mask, searching from one interview venue to the next for an open lobby or restaurant dining room (FYI: Hotel Emma bar and lobby are closed to all but paying guests), and, for the past several months, beginning every interview with the same question: “So, how has the virus changed your life?” In recent months, we’ve replayed some version of this conversation with an Olympic track coach, a prominent restaurateur, a symphony conductor, ...

Church Watkins – The Mea ...

November is a generally thankful month. Its arrival in Texas brings a full measure of relief, seasoned with a dash of hope, if not of the political or epidemiological variety this time around, then at least the meteorological kind. As temperatures dip into the comfortable range for the first time in months, we watch with glee as electric bills no longer require second mortgages and we get to once again make lighthearted fun of our friends and relatives up north. But it’s also at this time of year that we pause to reflect on, and give thanks for, the contributions and sacrifices of our neighbors who have served in one (or in occasional cases, more than one) branch of the U.S. military. Veteran’s Day is officially November 11th, but here ...

Chef Andrew Weissman – L ...

“Throughout my business career, I’ve always planned for a rainy day,” says Chef Andrew Weissman, almost certainly San Antonio’s best-known practitioner of the culinary arts. “I just never imagined that all the rain would fall on the same day” Our conversation—which takes place in the otherwise empty dining room of Signature restaurant—went almost immediately to the coronavirus pandemic and its likely impact on the restaurant community, both here in San Antonio and nationwide. “Things are going to be drastically different,” Weissman continues. “Almost like a massive forest fire that burns down the old trees to promote new growth. I think restaurants that were teetering on the edge are going to get swept away. With that ...

Troy Peters – The Sound ...

My first exposure to Troy Peters was his presentation at the 2016 TEDxSanAntonio conference, during which he and several student members of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) offered a compelling lesson in how the performance of music can serve as a metaphor for leadership and for life. Troy has been Music Director and Conductor of YOSA since 2009, when he left a fourteen-year position with the Vermont Youth Orchestra to come to the Alamo City. The journey from Greenock, Scotland (where Troy as born) to San Antonio, Texas has been an interesting one, replete with education, accomplishment, and the breadth of experience one would expect from someone who travels the world teaching and performing orchestral music. But first things ...

Rose Monday – Going the ...

A few months back—before words like coronavirus and Covid19 became a part of everyone’s vernacular and daily life—I had the pleasure of interviewing Rose Monday for this issue of The Dominion magazine. Indeed, by late February I had managed to get a few articles ahead on interviews, which turned out to be a good thing, what with the social distancing that became the norm starting in mid-March. What Rose and I did not yet realize at that time—though it was certainly becoming at least a plausible possibility—was that the 2020 Olympic Games, originally scheduled for this July, would end up being postponed, along with every other sporting event we’ve come to take for granted. That’s a pretty big piece of a context for this story, ...

Doc Watkins – Calling th ...

So what exactly is the story with the cardboard box full of rubber chickens? Full disclosure: I confess that I’ve wondered about this ever since the first time I visited Jazz, TX nearly two years ago and noticed the box on stage tucked discreetly beneath the baby grand piano. And though I’ve waited two years to get my answer, it didn’t occur to me to ask club owner and house bandleader Brent “Doc” Watkins this question until near the end of our conversation. But answer it he did, after a meandering discussion about how an Oregon native made his way to San Antonio and what made him want to start the area’s first true jazz club in a city known for, well, lots of other things. Doc Watkins hails originally from the Portland, Oregon ...

Burl Yarbrough – Mission ...

If you’ve lived in San Antonio for any length of time and you have no idea who the Flying Chanclas or Henry the Puffy Taco are, then you seriously need to pay close attention to this profile. If you do know who they are, then you’re obviously a fan of baseball in the Alamo City. Full disclosure: baseball is by far my favorite sport, and I’ve followed it my entire life—first as a Red Sox fan growing up in Maine, later as an Astros fan in Houston. But, like many people, I’ve mainly followed it at the big league level, never paying much attention to the minors, until, that is, I arrived here in San Antonio in 2011, where the only baseball option is the minors, specifically the San Antonio Missions, our local affiliate that plays its ...

Richard Aste – The Art o ...

“Art is empathy. When you experience a work of art, you’re seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. Now more than ever, as the world is experiencing an empathy deficit, museums have even more of a responsibility to the communities they serve.” We’re barely a minute into our interview, but Richard Aste’s thoughts go straight to the passion that informs his life and his life’s work—the visual arts—and in particular, the sharing of that art with the world, or, more specifically, with the citizens of the city of San Antonio, his adopted home of three years. As director of The McNay Art Museum since September of 2016, it is his charge, and his privilege, to transform the museum from “an exclusive place of high art” to ...

Acú Bistro – Cuisine in ...

I grew up in a family that knew virtually nothing about cooking (think Hamburger Helper and Chef Boyardee). So anytime I get the opportunity to talk with somebody whose family does know about cooking, does a great deal of it, and even celebrates it, I am immediately envious, and then, shortly after that, curious to learn all that I can about how they go about it. All of which made my recent conversation with Acú Bistro Bar owner Karlo Orduna, his sister Karla, and his business partner Jeff Treviño all the more intriguing and rewarding. Acú Bistro Bar is a newish (open about a year and a half) casual/fine-dining restaurant located in the Dominion Crossing center on the eastbound side of I10, just outside the Dominion main gate. The four ...

Sichan Siv – A Journey o ...

“Any definition of a successful life must include service to others.”                                                                         George H. W. Bush   I first met Ambassador Sichan Siv in 2012 through the Columbia University Alumni Association of San Antonio. He had received his Masters degree from the School of International Affairs in 1981, around the same time I was beginning my undergraduate studies at the engineering school. Our paths crossed again years later when it turned out we were both members of the San Antonio squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, a search and rescue auxiliary of the USAF. From these brief interactions, I could tell there ...