In 2022, readers took us all over the city and beyond, inviting us out to places like Bulverde, Timberwood Park, Trinity University, the St. Mary’s Strip, Dignowity Hill, Sunshine Estates and the Fairways of Woodlake.
As we ring in the new year, we look back at the neighborhoods we got to know in 2022.
Young people gravitated to downtown and the surrounding areas to be near all the action — and to be part of communities that welcomed them.
In the River North neighborhood, Celina Quintanilla likes that she can walk along the river to some of her favorite spots to meet friends for food and drinks. Along that same river is where Charles Blank starts each day, contemplating how the water connects the city and its people. Dominique Beltran moved to St. Paul Square to be near her community of artists, and Jacqueline Suttin’s move downtown allowed her to be herself unapologetically.
“With the experience that came with finding myself, I was able to find a part of San Antonio that didn’t alienate me,” Suttin wrote. “The queer community in San Antonio, both older and newer, really has a place to thrive and grow.”
In Denver Heights, Elissa Garza has easy access to everything downtown and Southtown have to offer while remaining grounded in the home that once belonged to her grandparents. Garza plans to carry on the tradition of family gatherings and recently hosted her first Thanksgiving in the house.
Another home kept in the family is the one built by Ruben Amezcua’s father in Culebra Park in the 1970s. Amezcua and his wife, Stefanie Martinez-Amezcua, have kept the tiles and stained glass windows installed by Amezcua’s father as a reminder of his home in Mexico. Despite its sometimes rough reputation, the couple takes great pride in their Westside neighborhood and is encouraged by other young families in the area that share in that pride.
On San Antonio’s South Side, there’s no shortage of neighborhood pride. Angel Contero loved growing up there so much, she refused to entertain the thought of leaving — despite her realtor’s suggestion of new builds on the North Side. Though she left to live in the medical center area for a decade, Jennifer Martin didn’t feel at home until she returned to her Southside roots. Martin enjoys attending Sunday service at Mission Concepción, where she was baptized in the ‘80s. Nearby in Mission San José, Brenda Pacheco traces her ancestry all the way back to the Pampopa tribal members who originally built the mission.
“I’m a proud resident of the Mission San José neighborhood, where I live — and where I hope to die,” Pacheco wrote. “I am most proud because I have proof that my ancestors’ footprints are right here in the same place where my daughter and I still walk.”