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.
Castle Hills was my first introduction to San Antonio as a resident when I moved here for graduate school. I was already familiar and comfortable with the city because I would often visit my uncle who lived here, so I knew it would be the perfect place to live while I continued my studies. Castle Hills was centrally located and made it easy to get to know the city on a deeper level and make friends.
When I realized I wanted to stay in San Antonio long term, I decided to start looking for a home to call my own. My stepmother is a real estate agent, so she helped me in my search. We looked all over the city until I fell in love with a house in the Amhurst subdivision on the Far West Side. Though I wasn’t familiar with the area and it was pretty underdeveloped, the house was enough for me. At the time, my friends were skeptical of my choice of location because there wasn’t much out here and the 30-minute drive to the city center didn’t seem worth it.
But, the drive didn’t sound too bad to me, and even now with all the traffic I have to contend with to get to my job downtown, I still don’t mind it — plus it gives me a chance to listen to my favorite science podcasts.
All the traffic comes from the explosive growth this area has experienced in the last decade. More and more homes being added in new subdivisions attracted more businesses and our roads weren’t prepared to deal with it all. But now I have everything I need — shopping, dining, grocery and gym — nearby.
Area 51 Food Park has added some great options for food, with some mainstay trucks and others rotating throughout the week. The Cajun Coffee Shack on Potranco Road is wildly popular with long lines at all times of the day, but my go-to is The Rooster Colombian Coffee.
I balance out the indulgence in food and coffee with runs along American Lotus Boulevard, a long, quiet stretch that serves as a great route. Though the pandemic has certainly been isolating in many ways, it’s been great to see more people out for walks around the neighborhood during this time.
My neighbors are mostly in their 30s or older, many with families. For a single woman in her 30s with no children, it can be more difficult to make connections in neighborhoods like this one, especially when I’m often busy with work. That’s why I’m grateful for my next-door neighbors, a couple that downsized their home as their kids grew up and moved out. They’ve been very sweet, looking out for me because they know I live alone. They keep an eye on my house when I’m away and even bring over food sometimes.
The Amhurst subdivision has a Facebook page where we can see announcements posted and interact with our neighbors. There’s also a newsletter that goes out regularly to keep people up to date on what’s happening in the neighborhood. That’s how I find out about events like food trucks coming to the neighborhood pool for the day or people getting together for a neighborhood cleanup.
Even after all these years and the rapid growth in this area, my favorite thing about my neighborhood is still my house. I love the open floor plan because I enjoy cooking and having people over. I can still see what’s happening and talk to my guests as I prepare things in the kitchen. As a dietician, the kitchen is such an important part of my home, as I’m always testing new recipes that I can incorporate into a healthy lifestyle. The gigantic closet was another major selling point, as was having space to host friends and family from out of town. I’m proud of the life I’ve built in San Antonio and happy to be able to open my doors to loved ones so they can experience everything I love about this city.