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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 ...

Tim Morrow – Animal Spir ...

The San Antonio Zoo has been around—officially—since 1914 (the zoo celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1989). But if you spend some time exploring the history of the zoo—which CEO and Executive Director Tim Morrow, subject of this month’s profile, was kind enough to provide to me—you’ll find references to animal collections dating back to as early as the 1870s, with the original small animal collection residing in San Pedro Park. Credit for creating the original zoo goes to Colonel George W. Brackenridge (also founder of the Express News), and since its inception just over one hundred years ago, the zoo has had seven executive directors, with Tim having begun his stint in the position in December of 2014. But the path that got ...

The Culinary Institute of Amer ...

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is the preeminent culinary college in the world, and the San Antonio campus at The Pearl is one of just three locations in the U.S. (the others being Hyde Park, New York and Napa Valley, California). Those of us fortunate enough to live in San Antonio have long known the Alamo City for the astonishing quality and diversity of its restaurants, but—just to make it official—UNESCO named San Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy in October 2017, one of just two cities in the U.S. to be so honored. The San Antonio campus of the CIA opened in 2008, and it has since gained a well-deserved reputation for the quality of its instruction and the culinary innovation of its graduates. Notable local alumni ...

Sebastian Lang-Lessing – ...

“I feel like I know a lot about the things you’ve accomplished,” I said to begin our interview at The Tobin Center, “but I don’t really know anything about who you are.” Sebastian Lang-Lessing has been Music Director and Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony since 2010, and his many career achievements and accolades are well documented on any number of web sites and magazine articles, hence the first half of my opening statement. The goal of this piece, though, was to learn a bit more about the maestro as a person. And so we started in the small town of Gelsenkirchen in northern Germany, a former mining town not far from the Dutch border, where Sebastian was born, the youngest of four, all of his siblings girls. The ...

Rob Wicall—A Life in the Mom ...

Imagine for a moment the paradox of being, for nearly two decades, one of the most well known, best loved personalities in your hometown. Now imagine that for that entire period of time, no one in your town has the slightest idea who you are. Sounds a little ridiculous, and yet this is the story of Rob Wicall, the man who served as The San Antonio Spurs Coyote mascot for the past sixteen years. And, while we’re busily pondering the irony of being one of the most famous guys in a city full of people who have no idea who you are, how do you even become a professional sports mascot? And what makes a person want to do that for a job? And what is the life of a full-time mascot like? Yeah, lots of questions, but let’s start at the ...

Debbie Perez – Living Wi ...

If it seems like every time you drive on the highways of San Antonio lately there are more and more cars around you, that’s not just your imagination. Recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau confirm that seven of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. are in Texas. And San Antonio tops the growth list for the state, with more than 24,200 new residents having come here in the past year alone. So, how best to make sense of the growing popularity of the Alamo City, where the city has come from, and where it’s headed in the coming years? Well, turns out one of our neighbors right here in the Dominion is Deborah Perez, a professional statistician and Ph.D. in Applied Demography, just the person to fill us in on what the future holds ...

Doug Moe – Living the Fa ...

A few months ago we did a piece in these pages about the life and achievements of former Spurs head coach Doug Moe and his wife Jane. Well, apparently the members of the National Basketball Coaches Association are readers of The Dominion magazine, because only a few weeks ago they voted to recognize Doug with the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to him in Oakland during Game 2 of the NBA Final Series between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s a terrific and much deserved honor in recognition of Doug’s contributions to the game in general and, in particular, to his impact on the pace and style with which the game is played today. So, I asked, how were you notified of this auspicious ...

Manny Pelaez – Getting I ...

At one point in our conversation I asked Manny Pelaez to talk about the personal characteristics he believes account for the success in his legal and political career. “Most guys have hobbies—fishing, football, ranch work. I enjoy reading budgets and meeting minutes.” As unusual as that response sounds, it nicely encapsulates the complex individual who has represented the Eighth District (in which The Dominion is located) on San Antonio’s City Council since June of last year. However, understanding why this response makes sense requires a bit of context, which he was more than happy to provide during the rest of our discussion. Manuel (Manny) Pelaez came to San Antonio in 1992, following an itinerant childhood that included being ...