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Monday, January 25, 2010

Mall Report: The Shops at La Cantera...

I am not a mall person, save for required trips to Ingram Park to see the jewelry people who constantly need to replace the diamonds my wife seems to lose so often. My problem stems around the fact that I love to observe people in their natural element; you would think this would be more of a reason to go to the mall all the time. Instead though, I have something called North Star Mall Syndrome (this is a phrase I coined). For those of you not in San Antonio, you've probably seen the famous huge cowboy boots that rise above NSM. That mall has been a favorite for the upper crust and the wealthy Mexican Nationals who come here to buy up all sorts of expensive things. While I appreciate their support for our economy, I'd prefer they refrain from looking so fabulously rich and slender while doing it.

North Star Mall Syndrome is what happens to regular people like me who go into the mall and suddenly feel under-dressed, overweight, lacking in the latest plastic surgery and awkwardly uncool. I know, I shouldn't care, but I can't help but feel like the beautiful, well-dressed thin, pretty people are looking down upon me, not unlike the way I look down upon the even uglier, fatter, poorly dressed patrons of Ingram Park Mall. I've brought this upon myself. This is Karma; that much I know.
So a few years ago, they built a spiffy new mall on the north side of San Antonio near Fiesta Texas and the La Cantera Golf Resort. The place, The Shops at La Cantera was a shoo-in to be the new North Star Mall, a place for wealthy Mexican Nationals and visitors to come shop, eat and generally be beautiful.

It will come as no shock to you that until this Sunday, I had not stepped a foot on the property, in spite of driving by very often. Sightings of Spurs players are said to be routine, and in fact somebody told me of Eva Longoria purchasing fancy underwear for her husband Tony Parker in front of common shoppers. I suppose stars need underwear too. I just had this idea that you had to get dressed up; slacks, perhaps an open collar, but surely a jacket if I wanted to fit in.
So my wife wants to go into Williams - Sonoma, and the closest one is at The Shops. We go and park without taking advantage of the valet, and start walking around. The first thing I noticed was that the place looked really similar to Pier Park in Panama City Beach. I mean, the layout is almost identical, though more earth tones and less Florida colors.
The second thing I noticed was, the majority of the people we saw looked normal. That is to say, some were thin, many were fat. Most of the people I saw were no better looking than me, of course, I didn't go into the underwear store, so I did not come across Eva Longoria.
The third thing I noticed was, I really, really liked the place. I liked the layout, I liked the well placed resting areas that seemed like little outdoor living rooms for people to relax, and I liked that the place was really clean.
Lots of cool landscaping features made our 45 minute walk around The Shops very enjoyable.
The food court was very spiffy. I loved the big fork and spoon.
Inside, lots of wide open seating and a good selection of places to eat.
All in all, I guess I've been making a mistake by avoiding the place. No, I didn't buy a single thing, but the walk was nice and free.

Oh, and about Williams - Sonoma. Great place to look for kitchen items. But the prices are unbelievable. I didn't take a picture, but they actually were selling a box of cookie mix for $18.00. For $18.00, I want Williams to come to my house and bake the cookies, and I want Sonoma to shovel them down my throat and follow-it up with a glass of milk. Unbelievable. I suspect The Parkers have that for dessert fairly often.


Anonymous said...

Jack was telling me the expansion with the Barnes and Noble was open now too.

Anonymous said...

or maybe it was a Boarders...idk, same thing

Maureen said...

All the hotties come out in the evening. It's a place to see and be seen....I was there "on the cusp" a few weeks ago and felt great when I got there, terrible about myself by the time we left. :) Oh well, their day is coming. We were young and cute once, too.

Anonymous said...

That's how i feel when I got to Ingram except I come out feeling so much better about myself:).

Pancho said...

Being one of "the beautiful people the beautiful people", I routinely dress down so as to fit in amongst you commoners. I cinch my belt up a couple notches to give the appearance of a 40+ year old gut. So far I have been undetected, my disguise is working great. haha

Try being a construction worker at North Star, I worked wiring up the Cheese Cake Factory there years ago. Talk about being under dressed and out of place.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pancho
i hope they at least gave you a slice of Cheesecake for your troubles:)

M2 said...

San Antonio 90210

But we love La Cantera as well, and were there are recently as this weekend. Sure, it's home to SA's "hoity-toity" but it is nicely laid out and one can just wander around and enjoy one's self without too much intereference by the teenage twinkies and goths.

Cheers! M2

Anonymous said...

I'm from Austin, but do visit the shops at la cantera whenever I'm in town, it's too convenient not to! I recently found a new free app for iphone users called fastmall. it's fantastic for these shops! gives turn by turn directions, remembers where you parked and lots of other features. definitely worth it if you can't remember where all of the stores are located.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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