Top 5 Gifts for True San Angeloans
I've lived in San Angelo for just over two years now. It took me just a matter of hours to realize one thing: San Angeloans, in true Texas fashion, are really, really proud of their city. I did an embarrassingly extensive amount of research before I moved to the Concho Valley. After arriving here, I didn't waste any time exploring what San Angelo has to offer as well (proof by the weight I gained quickly after the move). I'm not saying I'm an Angelo expert, but I've come to know a thing or two about our fair city. Here are some of the most renown local items for the true blue (and gold) Angeloan.
1. Original Artwork from the Chicken Farm Art Center
If you don't know the name Roger Allen, you're missing out on a key part of San Angelo culture. The Chicken Farm Art Center was founded in 1971 after Allen purchased an old dilapidated chicken farm on the city's North side. Roger tells the story much better than I ever could, but the place pretty well speaks for it's self anyway. Once only home to chickens, the art center now features numerous studios, work areas, galleries, living quarters, a bed and breakfast, and even an upscale restaurant. Visit the center on the first Saturday of every month and you will find a bustling mix of local artist, artisans, musicians, performers, and a generous dose of good vibes. Snag a one-of-a-kind vase for grandma, a handmade coffee mug for mom, and then keep your eyes peeled what sort of strange and quirky something your sibling is getting this year (fair warning Kailee).
2. Jewelry Featuring a Concho Pearl
I'll be honest and confess that I know almost nothing about fine jewelry. I do find it super fascinating, however, that the San Angelo area is the only place in the world one can find and harvest "conch pearls". Don't ask me why, but for some reason a very distinctive species of clam exist abundantly in the murky waterways of the Concho River. The pearl of these very special clams, as Mr. Rogers might say, typically occur in very desirable shades of purple and pink. Visit your favorite local jeweler for a much better description and to see for yourself.
3. Anything Angelo State University
Well, yeah. Enough said.
4. A Bottle of Wine from the Christoval Vineyards
I am admittedly not very privy to the story behind the Christoval Vineyards. After just one visit, however, I can tell you that it's well worth the 20 minute drive to the south of San Angelo. The vineyards are undoubtably the most picturesque spot I've found in this area and the atmosphere is perfect for getting plastered with all of your least-sophisticated, redneck friends. Obviously I'm kidding, just making sure you're still with me here. It's really nice. Wear a fresh polo and take her there on a fourth date.
5. A Pair of M.L. Leddy's Boots
This gift is only for the people that you really like a lot, or for those that have some sort of blackmail on you. At a starting price of around $495 a pair and up, these custom-to-order, handmade boots are just a slight tad above my average budgeted price-per-gift this year (and likely for many to come). That said, M.L. Leddy's has now spent decades as boot royalty. From their humble beginnings in San Angelo, to an iconic storefront in the Ft. Worth Stockyards, Leddy's boots are for the most die hard (and not so poor) Angeloans and Texans alike. Large pane windows give a great view of their tried and tested production operation and show room on Oakes street downtown. You can also learn more on the company's website.
What do you think should have made the list? Chime in with your comments below!
ADDENDUM: I received a memo from our Digital content editor, Kelly Bridge, stating my omission of Julio's Burritos is unacceptable. Apologies to those affected.