Many of us will remember 2020 as the year “home” took on a whole new meaning. Dining rooms transformed into classrooms and home offices, neighbors became support systems, and shopping local took on even greater importance as small businesses struggled to stay afloat.
In Julie Silvius Magadance’s Oak Haven Heights neighborhood, the creek became a place for neighbors to gather at a safe distance; Christian Reed-Ogba’s neighbors at The Baldwin dropped off goodies at each other’s doors; and Jonas Crafts joined his neighbors for socially-distanced cocktails from his Alteza Residences balcony.
Proximity to parks was a perk for many residents seeking a safe way to get out of the house. Amanda and Tony Infante enjoyed strolls around Woodlawn Lake with their dog, Bella; Catalina DiBaggio and her family walked from their home in the Great Northwest neighborhood over to Cathedral Rock Park for some outdoor playtime; and Shea Daniel-Youngblood headed to Lady Bird Johnson Park in her Northeast Park neighborhood for picnics and painting.
With local shops and restaurants hit hard by the pandemic, supporting local businesses became a priority for many. Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia got menudo for her parents at Taqueria El Charro de Jalisco on the Southwest Side, Gabby Gonzalez picked up CBD-infused drinks and treats in the drive-thru at DAB House of Hemp in her Five Points neighborhood, and N. Geremy Landin added to his music collection at Janie’s Record Shop in Prospect Hill.
Jonquil Wilson’s dormant green thumb sprouted in quarantine and soon her Thousand Oaks apartment was filled with plants, Sarah Baade’s lucky North Central San Antonio neighbors taste-tested the new recipes she’s developed with added time in the kitchen, and a box of letters in Patricia Shoemaker’s Eden Roc garage that her parents wrote back and forth to each other during World War II finally got sorted.
Neighborhood roots run deep for several residents who shared their stories this year. In Denver Heights, Karla Vasquez purchased her first home a block away from the house where she and her mother both grew up, Jonathan Scott Melendrez embraced their country roots while spending more time in their Floresville home, Teri Castillo jumped at the chance to rent a home in the Historic West Side neighborhood where her family has lived since the late 19th century, and Blanca Luna is raising the fourth generation of children in her Beanville home.
Thanks to the San Antonians who invited us to their neighborhoods, we’ve gotten to know our city a little bit better. We look forward to continuing to explore San Antonio in 2021 and sharing more stories from readers. If you’d like to see your neighborhood featured in the “Where I Live” series, get in touch here.