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.
When people ask me where I’m from, I either give them the long answer or the short one. The short one is true in my heart, but not in reality: “I’m from San Antonio!” The long and accurate answer is that I consider San Antonio home, although I didn’t live here until after college.
My entire family is from San Antonio, so it was home base while I grew up across the country and overseas. My parents grew up around Edison High School, so I always visited my relatives in their homes in the area. Beacon Hill was such a contrast to a lot of the suburbs where I grew up. It had history and character. I remember hunting for treasures at the antique shops off of Hildebrand Avenue and eating the cheese enchiladas at Blanco Cafe, a childhood favorite of my parents. Naturally, when it came time to buy my own home, Beacon Hill was at the top of my list. It’s the place that has always felt most like home.
I live here with my fiancé, Adam, and our dog, Javi. Our home is a couple of streets away from a house my mom grew up in, and it’s even closer to Blanco Cafe. And, if you don’t know the name Beacon Hill, you surely know Chris Madrid’s, which is often referenced as a neighborhood landmark.
The restaurants and shops have changed a lot over the years. Phenomenal restaurants have opened up recently, like SoHill, the pizza and pasta joint, and Julia’s, the French bistro. Don’t forget to hit up Lulu’s if you want ice cream, or get a raspa and mangonada from Las Nieves. The new businesses complement the longstanding ones, reflecting the diversity of the area.
We can easily spend our weekend shopping at the neighborhood nursery, Evergreen Garden Center, or one of the antique shops down the street, like San Antonio Furniture Finders, House of History, and The Junction, to name a few. My fiancé and I are excited to work with the illustrious local florist, No. 9, for our wedding next year.
Beacon Hill’s history runs deep. It was one of the earliest platted neighborhoods in the city, beginning at the end of the 1800s. My fiancé and I have done our fair share of projects to our 91-year-old cottage, like adding a large front porch to restore some of the character it lost over the years with multiple owners and flippers. We’ve done tons of landscaping, built a walk-in closet, and upgraded our galley kitchen.
The neighborhood is a mix of multi-generational households and transplants. Nonetheless, the community is tight-knit. The winter storm demonstrated this as neighbors offered to open their homes, deliver hot meals, share tools to fix busted pipes, and conduct wellness checks. It doesn’t take a winter storm to realize this, though – neighbors check on each other on good days, too. Plate sales, community garden workdays, rehabbing homes, and neighborhood parades are just a few ways we support each other. And, we bond over our support for our neighborhood mascots: skunks and possums.
While its proximity to downtown is desirable, residents know that living here is more than a short drive to the Pearl. It’s about having pride in where we live, our homes, and our community. Beacon Hill is as unique to the city as the historic, colorful bungalows and cottages that dot its streets.