Where I live: San Antonio

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The Where I Live series aims to showcase our diverse city and region by highlighting its many vibrant neighborhoods. Each week, a local resident invites us in and shares what makes their neighborhood special. Have we ever been to your neighborhood? Contact us to share your story.

The place where I live has completely changed over the past six months.

For a decade, it was Washington, DC The nation’s capital. Now it’s San Antonio, Texas. The Alamo/Mission/River City. Your city! And mine too.

When I was hired to be the editor of the San Antonio Report in the fall of 2021, I had to find an apartment, fast. I didn’t have time to come back to San Antonio before the move, so the internet was my best friend in the research process. Out of the blue, I found a large building at The Flats at Big Tex in Southtown. I loved my third-floor apartment, complete with dishwasher, walk-in closet, and Juliette balcony — all luxuries that were essentially unheard of in bedrooms in my recent past. Apparently everything is largest in Texas (including the Big Tex Pool, shaded by huge yellow grain silos that were part of the former Big Tex Industrial Complex, which functioned as a large industrial and maritime complex between 1917 and 1952).

Beyond the story, what I liked about the building is that it is right by the river. I can just hop on the trail and go. I have plenty of options for coffee within walking distance at places like Southbound Coffee, Halcyon, Alley Cat Coffee, San Antonio Gold, and Brown Coffee Company. I’ve never come across an oat milk latte that I didn’t like, so trying as many San Antonio coffee trucks and stores as possible was a blast.

On the weekends, I love having tacos for breakfast at the Rosas Kitchen truck at the corner of Probandt Street and Steves Avenue or the drive-thru at Lupitas La Cocina, and lose yourself in the shelves of the Mission Branch Library. When I can’t get there in person, I use the Libby app to read free eBooks from the library on my Kindle.

I also really enjoyed the audiobooks during my time in San Antonio, now that I drive a lot more. In Washington, I didn’t even have a car! My favorites recently were Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Office Oral History by Brian Baumgartner and dare to lead by Brene Brown. I have this thing where I only like to listen to non-fiction audiobooks, and only when they’re read by the author. Maybe it’s because it feels more journalistic that way, like a really long podcast.

In Washington, I spent my weekends playing lawn volleyball with my friends in various city parks on a net we set up ourselves, taking long bike rides, and being active. in my church in Dupont. I still spend my weekends playing volleyball here in San Antonio. There is a large active gym/sand volleyball community, and so many leagues that I could play any day of the week if I wanted to.

I had a pretty not fun biking accident along Mission Reach on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, so it took me a while to get back on the bike. But if you see me around town, ask me about the time I got distracted by a bug and ran my handlebars headfirst into the concrete. It is good ! I will never forget washing up at Mission San Juan de Capistrano and laughing with other riders at how stupid I felt, but how glad I was to be OK. As far as churches, I loved visiting a bunch of different community churches here in San Antonio which was a great way to meet people and make friends.

One of my favorite experiences in San Antonio so far was when Monika Maeckle, one of our San Antonio Report co-founders and contributor, took me kayaking with her north of Blue Star. I had already put my water bottle in the cup holder before I realized the dried pink grime was a pile of invasive apple snail eggs that she had pulled from the river on her last trip.

Leigh Munsil is working on a new map showing all Where I Live submissions published by the San Antonio Report since 2019. Credit: Bria Woods/San Antonio Report

During my neighborhood scouting process, I asked several people in the newsroom where they lived and why — and scoured the archives for our “Where I Live” series to see what people from our community had said about the neighborhoods they love.
Now you can also browse these archives. We’ve spent the past few months working to put all of our recent “Where I Live” stories on one functional, searchable map, so you can discover the parts of the city you haven’t spent much time in before. I’ve received tons of ideas and recommendations from previous authors and I hope you will too.

The absolute best part of my apartment was my balcony window, which perfectly frames the Tower of the Americas. At night everything is lit up and just beautiful. The first time I saw him walking down the dark hallway, he stopped me dead and took my breath away. Every day it reminds me of why I’m here: doing great local journalism in the city of San Antonio.

This city is so beautiful. I like its history, its culture and its entrepreneurial spirit. Everywhere you look, you see longstanding traditions, as well as new businesses – art galleries, businesses and businesses – thriving in an environment that is decades, if not centuries old. The San Antonio report, for example, has just celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Now, as a new San Antonian, I feel so honored to be a part of the years to come.

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