Samantha Brown’s Places to Love
Samantha gets a taste of authentic Mexican carnitas and talks with James Beard-nominated Chef Alejandro Paredes at his counter-serve stand, Carnitas Lonja. At the San Antonio River Walk, Samantha enjoys an alternative view of the downtown area by kayaking it with the founder of Mission Kayak, who was forced to retire from the Air Force after a debilitating accident and began kayaking as part of physical therapy. The Mission Reach project provides walking trails and bike paths, and will use portals to connect the San Antonio River to the four historic missions along the river. Samantha tours several of its stops including a visit to Mission Concepcion and learns the history of the river and the impact of this urban ecosystem restoration project. Getting a taste for something unexpected, Samantha enjoys a traditional fresh-made Mexican Michelada and talks art with Art Curator, Jeff Wheeler, then speaks with legendary Tejano musician, Santiago Jimenez Jr., before he performs a live concert underneath Echo Bridge along the San Antonio River. Samantha then gets a personal tour of Mission San José from Epifanio & Gloria Hernandez, who talk about the importance of missions and history of the Indigenous Mission people, which includes Epifanio’s family who lived in the mission some 200 years ago. At Pharm Table, Samantha joins native San Antonian, ChefElizabeth Johnson, for some culinary medicine, and learns about San Antonio being designated as a UNESCO “Creative City of Gastronomy” site – one of only two cities in the United States to receive such a designation. At Bracken Cave, Samantha visits an extraordinary bat cave that houses a maternity colony of over 20 million mother and baby bats, and then watches them emerge at sunset and take flight into the night.
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