Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monte Vista Montessori Opening Fall 2008

Several parents are in the works of opening a new Montessori School on Magnolia Avenue in Monte Vista Historic Neighborhood. As of August 20, there were over 60 students enrolled already, so this school is definitely a reality for Fall 2008!

Interested parents should contact Melanie Evans, who is a partner and organizer for the new school, at (210) 422-0045 or Andreas Laven can be reached at or by phone at (210) 422-1359.

The new location is at 237 W. Magnolia in Monte Vista between San Pedro and McCullough.

There is also a Summer Camp in progress, and that may be ongoing for a few more weeks if you are interested.

Here is an informational email sent out by Melanie to the other parents:

August 16, 2008

Dear Parents,
What a summer! Monte Vista Montessori School is a reality!

Thank you for your support! The excitement is building and the new school year is fast approaching. We will be closing on the building at 237 West Magnolia, in a few days. All of us are biting at the bit and can't wait to get in and get to work. Fortunately the building is well suited to our use and will need little modification.

We plan to hold the first Open House on Thursday August 28, at 7:00 pm. at the new school.

Many students have already registered but, not all of those who gave a verbal
commitment have signed up. Now is the time. In order to set up the classes we need paper work for the students. We need the registration forms as soon as
possible. We are making class lists and I will be ordering new class furniture on August 16. I need to know how many desks and chairs to order.

To speed the process we will attach a registration form and a health form to this

Together we are building a brighter future.

Please fax registration forms or mail to Melanie Evans: Fax 210-828-7477, address: 9131 E Valley View Lane, San Antonio, TX 78217. You can also send an email confirming that you going to register to

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Justin's Ice Cream on Main

More than just ice cream: New eatery opens in Monte Vista
North San Antonio Times - News
Wednesday, 28 June 2006
Those who have missed Justin’s Ice Cream on the Riverwalk have a new place to satisfy their palates: Justin’s on Main.

The new location of the family-run business on North Main and Woodlawn opened its doors May 23.

Justin Arecchi is not happy that his landmark ice cream parlor was forced to leave the Riverwalk after almost 25 years, but he has a vision for the bright, airy establishment he has set up in Monte Vista.

“We want to be a gathering place for people in the community, a place where people are entertained by the best entertainment in the world,” Arecchi said.

More than ice cream
Indeed, the new establishment promises to be much more than the local ice cream parlor. Justin’s already boasts a gourmet sandwich and coffee menu, an art gallery, a free library and a reading nook, and will soon serve up Wi-Fi and live music as well as beer and wine. Of course, the ice cream continues to be hand-crafted right in the store.

The eclectic new location is inviting and comfortable. With windows all around, the colorful large space includes two rooms with comfortable seating, an art gallery, a reading nook and a patio.

Patrons are sure to feel the Arecchi welcome with either Justin, Fiona, or one of the children offering a greeting from behind the counter. All four: Rena, 31, Justin, 21, Sarah-Jane 23 and even Giovanna, 12, have worked in some aspect of the business for long periods at one time or another, Fiona Arecchi said. Sarah-Jane’s husband, Shawn Smith, also works in the business full-time, she added.

Art gallery architect
Fiona Arecchi is the architect of the art gallery and was pleased how the new space ended up. The family already has several exhibitions planned for the summer.

“We wanted a cross between a European and Greenwich Village ambiance, so the art gallery was a natural thing to do,” Fiona Arrechi said. “We plan to give exposure to local artists.”

The free library is just another expression of the Arecchi family’s passions. “We love to read, so the free library is a way to share that with everyone,” Arecchi said. People can can borrow the books and return them or replace them with another book.”

Historic preservation
The new location follows another of Justin Arecchi’s passions: historic preservation. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Arecchi chaired San Antonio’s historic commission. The Windows on Main project is the renovation of a commercial area in a historic district, which makes it a perfect fit for the new shop, Justin Arrechi said.

“I’ve been involved with historic preservation and neighborhood associations for years and I’m excited to have the opportunity to be here and bring what we did on the Riverwalk to the people who live here,” Arecchi said.

There [was] a grand opening at Justin’s on Main on July 27, 2006 to celebrate both the new digs as well the family’s 25th anniversary making ice cream. Justin’s is open every day from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., except Fridays and Saturdays, when it stays open until 10 p.m
[Photo caption]Justin Arrechi (left), and his wife Fiona have opened the new Justin's on Main in Monte Vista.Also part of thefamily business are their children, Giovanna and Justin Jr.

By Angela Covo Contributing Writer

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Better eyesight = tough times for the navy

I love reading about the unexpected, quirky little side effects that seemingly innocuous decisions lead to. I remember reading about 10 years ago that now that women are allowed in the Navy, fresh water usage was doubling, causing problems on boats at sea. The initial supposition was that the new women recruits were using more water. Turns out it was the fellows who were content to be stinky before. They were all washing up to be more presentable to the ladies!

Looks like the Navy has another predicament. The NY Times published an article today about how laser eye surgery is messing up the navy's ability to fulfill quotas for some very important job categories.
Many top-notch candidates who couldn't pass eye tests were resigned to boat jobs instead of the more desirable fighter positions. Now those with less than 20-20 vision can have surgery to qualify to fly. Which makes for a shortage of candidates for less desirable careers on boats and submarines.

The Naval Academy missed it's 120 quota for sub school by 22 candidates. Furthermore "Last year, 310 midshipmen competed for 272 flight training slots. Of those, 104 had undergone laser eye surgery." Without the surgery, there would be 206 vying for the 272 slots, and the other 104 would have looked elsewhere in the Navy and Marine Corps.

I had RK surgery in 2000. I love it. I can wake up in the middle of the night and see what time it is. I can skinny dip without squinting. The procedure the Navy for pilots uses is a little different. The doctor sliced a flap on my cornea and folded it down to perform the surgery. Navy brass are concerned that the flap will pop open in high-G flights, so they grind the cornea down, which leads to a longer healing period. Ack!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Olmos Park Pharmacy -

Holy monstrous pancake Batman- Betty bought the Olmos Park Pharmacy! Or something like that... I just read in the on-line posting of tomorrow's Brian Chasnoff Express News article that Betty is now leasing the restaurant side of the establishment, now to be referred to as Olmos Soda Fountain. A tenant for the pharmacy side hasn't been identified, yet.

You might recollect that OPP was listed on ebay last year. Dodd, the seller and pharmacist, commented back then that he was ready to go fishing a bit. He bought the pharmacy 16 years ago. At the time, Betty had been behind the counter for 20 years already.

I'm really excited for Betty. (Her birthday is November 4th. Mark your calendar)

I know where I'm having breakfast tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hot Love and Buttercup

Lately, I have been listening to an addictive CD called Hot Love put out by San Antonio's Buttercup. Buttercup is the brawn behind Grackle Mundy at the Wiggle Room. Their music is goofy, jangly and makes me happy. And it rattles around my brain all day. Like I said, it's addictive.

I didn't know that NPR has a "Song of the Day", but today's song is Hot Love! They even have Hot Love track on-line for you to listen to. It will make your day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Fresh fruits and veggies

I am a member of two neighborhood vegetable co-ops. It's great. $10 bucks gets me a big box of fruits & veggies every other week. So I end up with two boxes since I belong to two of them. I bought a used vita-mixer, which is a blender on steroids, and I blend up a lot of delicious meals. Some are weird, like the cabbage-cucumber gazpacho. Not so good...

This morning I had a cold grapefruit, strawberry, peach, orange, apple, and lime smoothie. Yum. It was tangy and delicious.

The Express News published an article about Chuparrosa Farm which is a local farm that is also a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Members support the place financially, and enjoy the fruits of harvest and other benefits including delivery options and an occasional members-only dining experience at the farm.

CSAs and Chuparrosa are interesting concepts. My co-ops shop at the veggie wholesalers (Most of which are clustered around 1500 S. Zarzamora), so what I get is arguably the same as what I could buy at HEB. The Chuparrosa members have the benefit of shaking the hand of Robin and Peter Bowman who grew the goodies. Check out the article by Loydean Thomas. There is also an associated list of all the Farmers Markets around San Antonio sorted by day of the week.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Gang of Pour's Vinegar making page

I dabbled in vinegar making for awhile. Once I got things started, I could just add a little wine from whatever was left over in the bottle. That was some excellent vinegar... easy, too.

Gang of Pour - So, You Wanna Make Vinegar, Eh?

The Joys of Kefir

I started making Kefir a few years back. Kefir is very much like yoghurt, but it is much easier to make. There's no boiling, cooling and worrying about everything being perfect. Basically, you just dump more milk on top of the leftovers from the previous batch, cover and leave out a day or two. I enjoyed it becasue it tasted good and because it provided a hhost of probiotics including lactobacillus acidophilus, which is the main good guy responsible for making yoghurt.

If you are interested in Kefir or Kefir-making, visit Dom's Kefir in-site. He's like the J.S. Peterman or Charlie Papazian of Kefir. He balance the romance, the histiry, the art, and the science of Kefir. His site is overflowing with interesting stuff. And also how to get started.

I ignored my kefir for a couple of weeks and effectively killed it. I don't recommend that.

Here's just a blurb from Dom:

"Kefir is a refreshing cultured-milk beverage, which originated many centuries ago, in the Northern Caucasus Mountains. The word kefir is derived from the Turkish word keif, which loosely translates to good feeling or feeling good.

Kefir has a uniform creamy consistency, a slightly sour refreshing taste, with a mild aroma resembling fresh yeast. Kefir also has a slightest hint of natural effervescent zesty tang. There are an assortment of approx. 40 aromatic compounds, which contribute to the unique flavour and distinctive pleasant aroma of kefir.

Traditional authentic kefir can only be prepared by culturing fresh milk with Kefir grains. Kefir grains are not to be mistaken for cereal grains this is to say that the grain part of the name is a misnomer. Kefir grains, or kefir granules if you wish, are in fact a natural-starter or natural-mother-culture. "