Pricey Potty En Route to San Antonio
It may not befit royalty, but there’s a stainless-steel throne headed to downtown San Antone.So San Antonio taxpayers are forking over 100 grand - plus another $50K or so for installation - so homeless people won't take a leak in the streets. You can build a perfectly fine house for $150,000. Alternatively, you can buy an awful lot of bus tickets (one way, of course) to places like Portland, Denver, or Austin. Or, depending on your inclination, you could use that same money (a) to fund programs that help the homeless find places to live, or (b) to enforce laws against public urination. Either way, you're treating the disease, not the symptom. But I guess it makes more sense to the politicos to spend a chunk of someone else's money to hide the problem, rather than fix it.
On Thursday, the City Council unanimously approved a contract to purchase a “durable, low-maintenance public restroom kiosk,” known as the Portland Loo, to be located at a site to be determined, somewhere downtown.
The prefabricated unit — boasting graffiti-resistant quarter-inch stainless steel construction, replaceable wall panels, motion-activated LED lighting and an exterior hand-washing station — set back taxpayers nearly $100,000. And that doesn’t include the expected $30,000 to $60,000 for installation. But as public urination has apparently reached epic proportions, city leaders decided to take action.
Some peons had the nerve to question the wisdom of our betters.
“The issue of the cost has come up, and I want to mention that this is an industrial grade product. It’s well built. It’s built like a tank,” Treviño said. “We went to a site in a not-so-good neighborhood (in Portland) and couldn’t find one ding in the product, it’s so stout. That’s an important message. We’re buying something of value here, something that’s durable.”He certainly has an interesting interpretation of "investing in our future." Is he planning on more people becoming homeless?
“When I start getting the phone calls because of my ‘yes’ vote, I’m going to say that the reason we’re doing this is because we’re investing in our future,” (city councilman Mike Gallagher) said.
The current plan calls for an attendant to visit the loo at least twice daily, perhaps more...Oh, I see. It's a job-creation project. Now it all makes sense.
The whole thing sounds like something our neighbor to the north, Austin, might do. (For those of you not familiar with Texas, Austin is the state capital. It's also a notoriously liberal enclave in our otherwise mostly conservative state.)
Speaking of Austin:
Austin, San Antonio mayors call taco truce
With an exchange of tacos and the signing of the Interstate 35 Taco Accord, the mayors of San Antonio and Austin proclaimed an end to the Texas Taco War of 2016 this morning.For the uninitiated: chorizo is a spicy pork sausage that is fundamental to Tex-Mex cuisine ("there's also nothing like a spicy, beautifully greasy-in-the-best-way chorizo taco"); carne guisada is slow-simmered stewed meat with vegetables in a rich, spicy gravy (carne = meat, guisada = gravy) - sort of a Tex-Mex version of beef stew, but better (South Texas version here). There is also a long-standing difference of opinion among breakfast taco aficionados as to whether corn or flour tortillas are preferable. And just to further confuse things, what we in South Texas call 'breakfast tacos' are referred to as 'breakfast burritos' in other parts of the state.
The hostilities began with an unprovoked skirmish against the pride of South Texas in the form of an amateurish story on the Eater Austin website (austin.eater.com) claiming the state capital as the home of the breakfast taco.
This sparked outrage (in San Antonio), that took the form of a Change.org petition demanding the expulsion of the writer of that piece from Austin, an op-ed in the Austin America-Statesman from San Antonio Councilman Joe Krier and then (Austin mayor Steve) Adler’s corresponding declaration of “taco war” on San Antonio.
(San Antonio mayor Ivy) Taylor’s response to the declaration of war: This aggression will not stand!
This morning’s event was supposed to witness the official, epic taco throwdown led by San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor and Austin Mayor Adler.
Instead, they abandoned the competition ... and announced they were jointly hosting a Taco Summit.
For her peace offering, Taylor brought a 50-taco assortment from her favorite East Side taco joint, Mittman Fine Foods: bacon and egg on corn, chorizo and egg on flour, carne guisada on flour and carne guisada with cheese on flour.
And she came prepared with music: six members of Mariachi Los Galleros made the drive from San Antonio and began the press conference with a flourish.Juan in a Million - great name, okay tacos.
Adler brought 50 from Juan in a Million, the winner of (an Austin) taco contest...
The verdict about the Austin tacos from a San Antonio food critic? Well, the filling was nice, with the bacon diced and mixed together with the egg, and a red salsa had a nice touch of heat and plenty of flavor.Store-bought tortillas? That tells you everything you need to know about Austin tacos, and by extension, Austin itself. Hell, you may as well use a round piece of cardboard.
But it used a store-bought corn tortilla. That wouldn’t fly in San Antonio; it would lead to immediate disqualification.
At the Austin event, assembled journalists quickly devoured 10 carne guisada tacos from Mittman’s.Journalists scarfing up free food - what a surprise.
“Oh man,” one was overheard saying. “There’s no more carne guisada!”He probably wanted free beer to wash it all down.
Now tying both of the previous stories together - crap, and Austin tacos - we close with this piece.
President Barack Obama snagged at least three tacos from the Austin-based chain Torchy's Tacos while he was in Austin to make his keynote address at the South By Southwest festival on Friday.Tacos from a chain restaurant? Really? Even in Austin one can find delicious homemade tacos at local taquerias, as opposed to chain food. But what else can you expect from a loser who chooses to attend a music festival and street party (SXSW) instead of going to former First Lady Nancy Reagan's funeral?
Meanwhile, in San Antonio:
Cowboys on horseback at a Whataburger drive-thru
Again, for you non-Texans, "Whataburger is a privately held, American regional fast food restaurant chain, based in San Antonio, Texas, that specializes in hamburgers."
Actually, that's a bit of an understatement. Saying Whataburger 'specializes in hamburgers' is like saying Ferrari specializes in automobiles. They make a bacon cheeseburger that's so good you'll think you died and went to Heaven...
... and a Patty Melt (two all-beef patties, two slices of cheese, bacon, grilled onions, and a creamy pepper sauce, served between two slices of Texas Toast - yummm!) that's so good you'll slap yo' mama.
Gotta go now. All of a sudden I'm hungry...