San Antonio in 1937
For a touch of color found in no other American city, the visitor should go into “Little Mexico,” the quarter of the city to the south and west of the old Spanish Governors’ Palace. Here you will find a complete new experience. It is another world, a strange, leisurely, romantic world removed from anything American or Anglo-Saxon. Here vendors of pottery, basket work and Mexican foods display their wares in tiny sidewalk bazaars. Haymarket Plaza, just west of Milam Square, a busy fruit and vegetable mart by day, becomes by night the center of outdoor life in the quarter. Torches flare over chili stands which flank the plaza’s boundaries. Strolling players serenade the visitor with the soft songs of old Spain.
And should you want more of this atmosphere, Old Mexico lies but a short step from San Antonio. The Mexican Republic has grandeur, history and romance enough to enthrall the most sight-weary spectator. World travelers call it more foreign than Europe. The new Pan-American Highway invites a trip by automobile. You will get a real thrill out of dancing to the strains of La Cucaracha in the land of bullfights and graceful Mexican senoritas.
San Antonio, “the city where sunshine spends the winter,” enjoys a year-round climate where all sports and pastimes flourish. Weather bureau records over nearly three decades show that October has averaged more than seven sunny hours a day, November nearly six a day, December more than five hours of sun a day, January nearly six, February six and March seven. Moderate temperatures prevail during the summer months, when San Antonio enjoys a cool, balmy breeze from the Gulf of Mexico in the evenings, making for restful, sleep. The city has an elevation of more than 700 feet,, with a relatively small percentage of humidity. Average winter temperature is 59.2 degrees and average summer temperature is 78.6 degrees.
San Antonians have dedicated 56 parks and playgrounds, comprising over 2,000 acres, to public play. Brackenridge Park is the largest of these parks, having an area of 363 acres, and containing its famous zoo, the Witte Museum, Japanese Sunken Garden, Sunken Garden Theatre, Gold Course, Polo Field, Baseball Diamonds, Tennis Courts, Bathing Beach, Bridle Paths, and Picnic Grounds.
In the parks and playgrounds the city maintains for free use, ten swimming pools, thirty tennis courts, twenty-two baseball and softball diamonds, and two golf courses. There are four other golf courses and four other polo fields. Within a few miles of the city, deer, wild turkey, doves and quail abound. Some of the finest possible fishing is found in streams and lakes near the city and the Gulf of Mexico, which is only four hours distant by automobile.
The State of Texas book : one hundred years of progress, 1937, page 489