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My father arrived in San Antonio in 1984 as a teenager. He attended Memorial High School on the West Side and worked various jobs until he ended up in California. When he could, he visited his hometown, the historic city of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, to see his childhood sweetheart and his relatives.

But he still felt that San Antonio was his home, and the only life he could imagine was back in Texas with the love of his life. They married and settled in a small neighborhood called Lindsey Place on the Northwest Side of San Antonio.  

At the time, there were no parks or bike trails nearby, but the neighborhood kids made up our own fun playing basketball, riding our bikes, and skating through the streets. When we felt brave, we would wander through the woods behind the neighborhood. Later, Cathedral Rock Park and Leon Creek Greenway were built, and that changed everything.

I remember grabbing my bike and my camera and riding down the paved trails until I reached the Ingram VIA Transit Center. The City of San Antonio built these bike trials for the community, and it has improved the lives of many people I know.

Branching off of the paved Leon Creek Greenway trail, you’ll find some dirt trails with Dante’s Divine Comedy–inspired names like Carnage, Deception, Limbo, and Treachery. On the Limbo trail, you’ll find a spray-painted concrete structure known by some locals as “The Paint Shop,” an unofficial public art piece, and by others as the “Devil’s Den,” thought by many to be a haunted locale. There are many rumors and theories about the abandoned structure and what it was used for in the past. Whether or not these theories are true, it’s an interesting spot to visit and a great place to bike through.  

Nancy Reyna brings her camera during a walk in Leon Creek Greenway Trail Tuesday Feb. 22, 2022.
Nancy Reyna brings her camera during a walk along a Leon Creek Greenway trail.

When I wasn’t exploring the bike trails, I always looked forward to being a part of the community events organized by the local homeowners association. My neighborhood is fortunate enough to have community partners in the area, such as Peter Piper Pizza, H-E-B on Grissom, and Great Northwest Recycling, which all have provided funds, food, drinks and entertainment for our community events. 

As a kid, I always had fun at these community gatherings but I never thought of the planning and work that goes into organizing these events until I found myself volunteering and organizing them along with my parents. I would later be inspired to join other volunteer organizations, such as Northwest Vista Campus Activities Team, UTSA VOICES, San Antonio Food Bank, and I also volunteered with Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda’s office before I joined her staff.  

Nancy Reyna orders pizza at Halftime Pizza Tuesday Feb. 22, 2022.
Nancy Reyna orders pizza at Halftime Pizza. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

I have been happy to revisit and support the businesses and communities in the area I grew up in. Imagine Books and Records (now closed) was where my siblings and I watched live concerts from local bands, and where we had a chance to see my cousin play the guitar in front of a live audience. Crystal’s Café on Zarzamora is a bit of a drive, but it’s a family-owned business that was part of our Sunday tradition growing up. The owner grew up with and worked alongside my dad when they were kids in San Luis, and it’s amazing to see the generations of family working together there to provide great food and service. 

I still see old friends from school with their families when I attend mass at Prince of Peace Catholic Church or at the nearby H-E-B. I meet new people in the area at local restaurants such as Halftime Pizza, The Corner Craft Beer, and Mad Pecker Brewing Co. I enjoy living and working in the area that I grew up in, and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience to serve the community that I care for.