In The Loop: June 2022
By Ron Aaron Eisenberg
Drive Through SA Zoo
San Antonio Zoo is bringing back its drive-thru the zoo experience for a limited time in June.
The zoo launched the drive-through in 2022, during the coronavirus pandemic. The goal was to generate income when the zoo would otherwise have been closed, and it was a huge success.
The drive-through sold out in just two hours. A zoo spokesperson told 78209 Magazine, “Some 30,821 vehicles motored through the zoo in 2022, with an estimated 154,105 guests! The event was a game-changer for the zoo, which relies on gate income for support.”
Guests will get to explore a wild zoo route while staying in the comfort of their cars. The cost is $52 per car for Members and $65 for non-members. The route through the zoo will take families past lions, tigers, and bears. A zoo spokesperson told me, “Folks find it to be an engaging and new way to experience the zoo.” The spokesperson also noted that vehicles regularly drive through the zoo for deliveries, maintenance, and more. So, he said, the animals are used to the noise and engine exhaust.
“We are incredibly excited to bring back this fun San Antonio Zoo experience to our guests this year,” said Tim Morrow, President & CEO of San Antonio Zoo. “Drive-Thru Zoo was imperative to our operations at the beginning of the pandemic and received worldwide attention and replication due to its creativity!”
Aid the Silent Moves to ’09
Aid the Silent, a nonprofit organization formerly based in Boerne, has purchased and opened its new headquarters at 8126 Broadway St, a facility built in 1955. The space previously housed a ballet studio. Before that, Turner Street Productions had its studios there.
Emma Faye Rudkin, two-time Miss San Antonio, is the founder and executive director of Aid the Silent. Emma went profoundly deaf at the age of three and has spent her life turning her disability into an ability. She is an internationally known role model and public speaker for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
Emma graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio Honors College with Highest Honors and Cum Laude with a BA in Communications and a minor in Non-profit Management. Rotary Club of San Antonio named her the Outstanding Young San Antonian of the year in 2021. In addition, Emma Faye and her trusty side-kick service dog, Hank, are on a PBS child’s video series called “Hank & Emma Faye,” to teach children sign language, kindness, and inclusivity. The series recently won a Regional Emmy.
Aid the Silent helps economically disadvantaged deaf children and teens, enabling them to reach their full potential and live life more richly. It provides funds for hearing and speech resources.
The 6,663-sq.ft. property on Broadway St. is appraised at $963,660 by the Bexar County Appraisal District.
Battle Lines Drawn Over Noise & Traffic From Bars on Broadway St.
Neighbors living near Bentley’s Bar, 8123 Broadway St., are renewing complaints about late-night noise and traffic overrunning their neighborhoods.
They have enlisted the help of Precinct 3 Constable Mark Vojvodich to help address traffic and parking issues.
At a recent Oak Park Northwood Neighborhood Association (OPNNA) meeting, the Constable announced that he and his officers have begun patrolling roads adjacent to 8123 Broadway St. “We have ticketed vehicles parked in no parking zones. And we have supervised towing of cars parked illegally at nearby businesses.”
Vojvodich told attendees at the OPNNA meeting that he is working closely with Precinct 2 Constable Leticia Vazquez to increase patrols around Bentley’s Bars.
While there are several bars in the area, including Rebar and The Hangar, residents say the noise and traffic appear to come predominantly from Bentley’s. Of note, Bentley’s has taken over all three bars at 8123 Broadway St.
The precinct 3 Constable also said he thinks code compliance should determine whether Bentley’s expanded front patios have reduced the space for the required fire lane in front of the buildings. And he also questioned whether there is sufficient parking for the businesses.
AH Bike Park
Bike enthusiasts, city officials, and area families gathered recently at the official groundbreaking for the new Alamo Heights Bike Park. The park sits on a 1.28-acre parcel between the Bark Park and Alamo Heights ISD Baseball Field. The city of Alamo Heights leases the land from San Antonio.
Alamo Heights Assistant City Manager Phil Laney told 78209 Magazine, “The Bike Park is an example of an area asset that centers around outside physical activity where our young residents & neighbors can develop a life-long skill with their friends.
“Young bike riders can spend their time mastering the unpaved trails as they weave their bikes between the trees. For older riders, the park is a convenient & accessible place to ride. The trails also offer the space and opportunity for expert riders to mentor less experienced riders. In a digital age, public spaces like the Bike Park offer a chance to meet old friends, make new ones, challenge oneself to succeed, fail, and try again.
“The initiative to create the Alamo Heights Bike Park came from the ingenuity and effort of young bike riders, coupled with the support and encouragement of their parents. What began during the early days of the COVID pandemic as a few homemade ramps placed in natural areas around Alamo Heights is now a dedicated space on land owned by the City of San Antonio, leased and supported by the City of Alamo Heights, and envisioned, operated, and maintained by residents.”
Laney added, “The beauty of the AH Bike Park is it’s an idea that came from our residents – our youngest residents – and then it was the grownups’ job to figure out how to make it work. Council’s support of the idea and the residents’ commitment to making this once non-descript piece of land into a park shows what success can come from collaboration and partnership.”
Pearl Summer Nights
Pearl recently announced the return of its Summer Nights dance party – Summer Block Party, a new limited-time music series with SoundCream Airstream.
Guests are invited to the Pearl on Thursday evenings through July 28th to enjoy performances from various DJs. Summer Nights began on May 19th.
Musical themes will vary from week to week. Soundstream Airstream will be stationed in Pearl Park, so visitors can enjoy treats from San Antonio’s first food hall, The Bottling Department, and drinks from Park Bar. Lick Ice Cream will also be onsite with its ice cream truck to help guests beat the heat with frozen treats.
Summer Block Party is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome Thursdays through July 28th, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in Pearl Park, 312 Pearl Parkway, San Antonio 78215.
For more on SoundCream Airstream, visit soundcreamairstream.com.