Axios San Antonio

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Hello and happy Friday. April Fools' — it's Monday.

Today's weather: Mostly sunny, high near 92.

😋 Tastes like: Pico de gallo

Today's newsletter is 939 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Five generations of Easter camping

Family members settling in for the long Easter weekend on Thursday. Photo: Megan Stringer/Axios

The signs of an Easter weekend camping at Brackenridge Park are abundant for the Cerna family: the smell of charcoal from the grill, the sound of chopping up onion for pico de gallo, tents going up and the radio turned on.

Why it matters: Camping at Brackenridge Park on Easter weekend is puro San Antonio. It helps the city hold onto its small-town feel and keeps family members connected.

  • For the Cernas, that tradition goes back five generations.

The big picture: The Cernas are part of the legacy's origins. Agustin Cerna's great-grandmother began Easter trips to Brackenridge in the 1950s when he was a kid, though no one remembers exactly what year. Now at age 77, he wouldn't miss it.

  • It began as a daytime picnic at the park — probably as a way to keep the mess from the cascaron-cracking out of the family's yard, Agustin tells Axios.

This year, Brackenridge Park is celebrating its 125th anniversary — and the Cernas have been there for Easter for about 70 years.

  • On Thursday night, when the city suspended the typical 11pm closing time to allow camping as it does every year, Josh Cerna prepared chicken fajitas and sausage for dinner. He thought ahead to the slow-cooked brisket he'd make for Easter Sunday.
A bright green bowl on a blue tablecloth holds bright red tomatoes and green peppers. A woman uses a knife to dice onion in the corner.
Preparing pico de gallo at the campsite in Brackenridge Park. Photo: Megan Stringer/Axios

Zoom in: The weekend kicked off with a Friday fish fry, a shrimp pozole and a crawfish boil, Josh says. On Saturday they had a big brunch, but Sunday's meal was the main event. And of course, someone brought Big Red.

The Cerna family gathering on Easter Sunday this year.
The Cerna family gathering on Easter Sunday this year. Photo: Courtesy of Demetrius Tapia

On Sunday afternoon, Josh ended the gathering with a prayer circle for the family members who aren't with them anymore.

  • When people die, traditions often fizzle out with them.
  • But Josh is hopeful that his children will keep the campsite going, even as they grow up and move on with their lives.
  • "We'll do it for as long as we're here," Josh says. "As parents, we have to show them the value of the tradition."

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2. U.S. Census revamped

A tablet with a Census 2020 interview questionnaire. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A new rule announced last week is intended to yield a more accurate census of people with Hispanic, Middle Eastern and North African heritage, Axios' Astrid Galván reports.

Why it matters: Critics have long said the government's approach to asking about people's race or ethnicity is confusing or misrepresentative — and the stakes are huge when it comes to the distribution of billions in federal funds.

State of play: The government will now use a single, combined race and ethnicity question, per the new rule.

  • It is intended to provide a more accurate look at the U.S. Hispanic population — and for the first time will have a category for people of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) heritage.
  • Census respondents will have the option to pick multiple categories at the same time from the same section, such as "Black," "American Indian" and "Hispanic."
  • But critics have warned that some people may not know they can pick several, which can result in Afro Latinos, for example, not being accurately captured.

Between the lines: Hispanics long said the two-question setup — one asking about race and the other about ethnicity — didn't capture the diversity among Hispanics, who are of many different races.

  • Domingo Garcia, national president for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), says he expects the percentage of respondents who identify as Hispanic will jump by at least 10 percentage points in the 2030 census because of the new rule.

3. Inside the Loop

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

😢 Vice Versa Coffee in St. Paul Square had its last day in business yesterday after nearly two years. It was known for its focus on live music. (MySA)

🍿 The Alamo Drafthouse theaters are up for sale. (Deadline)

⚖️ Texas is among the 11 Republican-led states suing the Biden administration over its latest efforts to provide student debt relief for millions of borrowers. (Axios)

4. Trendy brunch spot coming

Banana split French toast and a big bloody mary. Photos: Courtesy of Hash Kitchen

Some of Hash Kitchen's first Texas locations will be right here in San Antonio.

Catch up quick: Hash Kitchen is known for its flashy brunch aesthetic, build-your-own bloody mary bars and Instagram-worthy decor.

  • If you need a better visual, the restaurant calls itself "the home of turntables and mimosas."
  • Hash Kitchen has locations throughout Arizona. There's also a restaurant in Utah.

The latest: Briana Stewart, a spokesperson for the brand, tells Axios two locations are coming to San Antonio.

  • A location at 2611 Broadway (formerly the Fiesta Commission office and store) is expected to open this fall.
  • Meanwhile, a second restaurant at 5534 N. 1604 West is planned to open in summer 2025.

What we're watching: If the food is as dance-worthy as this viral TikTok makes it seem.

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5. 🍷 San Antonio sips: A Perfect Day

A perfect spread. Photo: Megan Stringer/Axios

👋 Megan here. My friends and I recently stopped by A Perfect Day, a wine bar in Southtown that opened last year.

The vibe: Elegant and simple with a bit of spunk, including a sparkly streamer wall that looks like it's leftover from New Year's Eve.

To drink: I had a chardonnay while my friend enjoyed a red blend. The bartender was knowledgeable and ready to recommend and let us sample wines.

Best bites: There's a small menu of food made next door at sister bar Gimme Gimme.

  • We split the fish tacos ($16) with pan-seared mahi, pineapple pico de gallo, slaw and a chili lemon aioli. It was the perfect balance of flavors and very fresh.
  • I also had to try the cheese curds ($12) — former Wisconsin resident here — which came with a poblano ranch crema. The dipping sauce was great and they were well-breaded, but the cheese didn't squeak.

The bottom line: It's a nice place to stop by with friends after work.

Thanks to our editor Chloe Gonzales and copy editors Steven Patrick and Yasmeen Altaji.

🐰 Madalyn is grateful to have had a relaxing Easter with family, cascarones and lots of yummy food.

🥳 Megan is wishing a very happy birthday (no April fool!) to her longtime friend today.