Axios San Antonio

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☀️ Good morning! Let's get to it.

Today's weather: Mostly sunny and hot with a high near 96.

Situational awareness: Bexar County's Mosquito Abatement Program is working to control mosquito populations as rain, heat and humidity increase.

  • Residents are reminded to protect themselves by using insect repellent, draining standing water and wearing long sleeves and pants while outdoors.

Today's newsletter is 855 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Passport to AAPI flavor

The restaurant passport program lasts throughout May. Photo: Courtesy of Camille De Los Reyes

San Antonio restaurant owner Camille De Los Reyes is reviving a restaurant "passport" program for a third year to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Why it matters: Events like the AAPI taste tour promote diversity while bolstering local businesses.

How it works: Diners can print a passport at home. When dining at one of the 24 restaurants throughout this month, guests tag the business and @satx.AAPI on Facebook or Instagram to receive 10% off their bill and be entered to win Spurs swag.

  • Restaurants include De Los Reyes' Sari-Sari and the James Beard semifinalist Curry Boys BBQ.
  • Dashi Sichuan Kitchen, The Magpie, Singhs and Sichuan House are also participating.

Zoom out: The event has garnered the support of local leaders like Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai, who are each the first Asian Americans to hold their respective roles.

What they're saying: De Los Reyes tells Axios elevating AAPI-owned restaurants remains her goal.

  • It's also "to cultivate a space for people to gather, share their stories, and celebrate over good food," she says.

Between the lines: The San Antonio metro area's Asian and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander populations saw the biggest percentage increases between 2000 and 2022, per U.S. Census Bureau data.

  • The Asian population grew about 203%, to 80,900.
  • And the Native Hawaiian population grew about 167.1%, to 6,200.

What's next: Some of the passport program restaurants will also be vendors at the Asian Festival, hosted by the new Asian Resource Center of San Antonio, on Saturday at La Villita.

  • Tickets are $15.

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2. Underground Railroad site gets recognized

The Jackson Ranch Church, a stop on the the Underground Railroad to Mexico, in San Juan, Texas. Photo: Courtesy of Roseann Bacha-Garza.

A site along the U.S.-Mexico border where enslaved people passed while using the Underground Railroad into Mexico is getting important recognition from the U.S. National Park Service.

Why it matters: Historians believe that between 4,000 to 10,000 enslaved Black people may have taken the trek south, yet there's been little documentation and mentions in history books about the Underground Railroad to Mexico.

Zoom in: The NPS announced last month that its National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program will now include the Jackson Ranch Church and Martin Jackson Cemetery, located in San Juan, in the Rio Grande Valley, which once served as a gateway to Mexico for enslaved people seeking freedom.

  • The Jackson site is one of 19 new listings that were added this year.

Context: The Underground Railroad to Mexico was a loosely organized path allowing enslaved Black people in Texas and elsewhere to escape bondage by fleeing south.

Flashback: The Jackson site is part of a ranch started by Nathaniel Jackson, a white man from Alabama, and his wife, Matilda Hicks, a Black woman who had been enslaved. Hicks and Jackson were childhood sweethearts.

  • According to historians, Jackson, as an adult, purchased the freedom of Hicks and her children and moved to South Texas before the U.S. Civil War.
  • There, they led a covert operation that helped enslaved Black people cross into Mexico.

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3. Inside the Loop

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🌱 Goodblend, an Austin-based medical marijuana supplier, opened its first permanent pickup location in Stone Oak. (SA Current)

🥃 Whiskey Riot, a traveling whiskey-tasting festival, will make its San Antonio debut at the Freeman Expo Hall on May 18. (KSAT)

🍕 Darkside Brick Oven Pizza Co. is opening in Boerne with pies and an 80s pop culture experience complete with "Back to the Future" statues and R2-D2 replicas. (MySA)

4. Weekender guide: Concerts and cuisine

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

ğŸŽ¸ Relive your youth tonight at the Emo Orchestra, featuring Escape the Fate, at Tobin Center at 8pm.

🌮 Sample food from more than 30 local restaurants at Current's San Antonio Flavor event tonight at the San Antonio Museum of Art at 7pm.

  • And watch Madalyn participate in the Culinary Showdown portion of the night.

🗣 Sing songs like "El Amor de Su Vida" during the Grupo Firme concert at Frost Bank Center tomorrow at 8pm.

🤠 Catch country star Luke Combs — known for songs like "She Got the Best of Me" and his chart-topping cover of "Fast Car" — tomorrow and Saturday at the Alamodome.

ğŸŽ­ Experience opening night of San Pedro Playhouse's production of "West Side Story" tomorrow at 7:30pm.

ğŸŽ¶ Watch Grammy-award-winning singer Luis Miguel at the Frost Bank Center on Saturday at 8pm.

More events

5. Airbnb "icons": Ideal local spots

Prince's "Purple Rain" house in Minneapolis. Photo: Courtesy of Eric Ogden/Airbnb

Airbnb announced a new "icons" feature, which gives you options to stay at famous homes or even book overnight stays at museums.

The inaugural lineup includes staying at Prince's "Purple Rain" house or spending the night in the Ferrari Museum in Italy.

Yes, but: They list no icons in San Antonio.

So we thought we would give the company some creative ideas:

A night at the Pioneer Flour Mills tower.

  • Has anyone actually ever seen inside the stoic building that overlooks Southtown?
  • Bonus: You'd wake up to brunch at the Guenther House.

A "How Long Can You Last Inside Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's Office" challenge.

  • Probably five minutes.

The Institute of Texan Cultures

  • Embrace the nostalgia of elementary school field trips to the giant museum before it is demolished.
  • Take a nap under the beloved dome show one last time.

📬 Do you have ideas for Airbnb's "icons" listings? Reply to this email.

Thanks to our editor Bob Gee and copy editors Steven Patrick and Anjelica Tan.

👩🏻‍🍳 Madalyn is looking forward to chopping it up (literally) at the Culinary Showdown tonight.

💐 Megan is glad she got to enjoy extended hours at the San Antonio Botanical Garden last night.