The Where I Live series aims to showcase our diverse city and region by spotlighting its many vibrant neighborhoods. Each week a local resident invites us over and lets us in on what makes their neighborhood special. Have we been to your neighborhood yet? Get in touch to share your story.

Living through another pandemic year — not to mention February’s winter storm — community was once again a common thread in the stories we shared of San Antonio area neighborhoods.

As we ring in the new year, we look back at the neighborhoods we got to know in 2021.

Luisa Escalante Garcia returned to her childhood home in Kingsborough Ridge to raise her own family in the community that raised her. Similarly, Nicole Galindo-Collazo returned to Highland Park so her daughter could grow up near family and friends just like she did. Karen Gonzalez found a community of artists in Harlandale, and Camille Rodriguez Brigant raved about Jefferson‘s own community of creatives and small business owners.

  • Luisa Garcia explores Mission Espada with her daughters Mia, 10, and Gianna, 6. The 331-year-old mission is located a short drive from their home in Kingsborough Ridge.
  • Espada Park is where Gonzalez enjoys walks with friends and her dog Esperansito.
  • Rodriguez Brigant admires one of the plants in her garden Wednesday.

Rosie Baca in the Arena District and Velma Peña in Westwood Square recounted their homes’ family histories and shared why they advocate for their neighbors and fight to make their neighborhoods better.

The history of Naomi Shihab Nye’s Arsenal home dates back to 1904 and involves a steamship company. In the neighboring King William neighborhood, Jimmy Moore and Levi Stoneking have more recent personal history, having first met at a party in the home that they would eventually purchase together.

  • Baca reflects on her childhood memories growing up in her mother's home, which is only a few paces from her house.
  • Velma Peña and her husband Tony enjoy the flowers on their front porch with their two dogs Texan and Archie.
  • Naomi admires a palm tree in her front garden originally planted by American poet, and her friend, W.S. Merwin. Nye said she first read his poetry while she was studying at Trinity University. This palm tree was planted from an offshoot Merwin took from a Palm tree farm in Gonzalez, Texas many moons ago.
  • Levi Stoneking and Jimmy Moore love taking their three dogs for a walk across the Arsenal Street Bridge in the historic King William district.

Outside of San Antonio, Craig Ball and Valerie Bustamante Johnson showed us why Converse is one of the fastest-growing cities in the area. A newer development drew Alicia Casiano — and several of her friends and family — to Schertz, where they’ve quickly formed a tight-knit community. Even farther out, Brandon Briery has lived and worked at Camp CAMP in Center Point for 14 years. Also enjoying the Hill Country life, Debbie Davis has been raising heritage Texas Longhorn cattle at Seco Valley Ranch for 22 years.

Browse other excellent neighborhood stories here and get in touch to share your own story here.

  • From left: Solomon, 7, Craig, Adrianna, 8, Wendy, and Ava, 11. The Ball family moved to Converse in 2018.
  • Valerie and Zach love satisfying their sweet tooth at Popcorn Picadilly. The Old Fashioned-themed candy shop offers a variety of candies and a long list of gourmet popcorn flavors.
  • Finn, 4, (left) and his big sister, Elliot, 8, run ahead of their parents, Phillip and Alicia on one of the many plant-lined paths coursing through The Crossvine.
  • Briery walks through his favorite spot in the campsite along the Guadalupe River Tuesday.
  • Debbie Davis cohabitates with 50 cows, three bulls and a pet steer on their 1,883 acre ranch.

San Antonio Report Staff

This article was assembled by various members of the San Antonio Report staff.