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.
My family moved to the Meadow Village neighborhood on San Antonio’s West Side about 25 years ago. Back then Tom Slick Park was just a quarry and Westlakes Mall was the place to be.
I used to go down to that quarry with my brother and a friend. We’d slide down and there was just a little puddle there, not a lake. We liked to go hang out there just for the fun of it.
On the weekends we’d go to the mall to shop at Target and play games at the Robotar arcade. The arcade was one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood. After about 1999 is when business started to decline and fewer bus routes stopped there. It was demolished before 2010 along with the old H-E-B. We now have an H-E-B plus and the Westlakes Village Shopping Center, but it’s not really a gathering place the way the old mall used to be.
Now that the Far West Side is growing so quickly, it’s attracting more businesses and fewer seem to be interested in our area. It’s funny because I remember taking the bus out that way just a few years ago and just seeing grass and cows. Now that area is booming.
Things around here are pretty quiet, but I like that. It makes me feel safe. I like to go for walks around the neighborhood with my mom and stepdad, and my nieces like to tag along when we walk the dogs over by John Jay High School.
I go to Tom Slick Park almost daily to take pictures or just relax. What used to be just a quarry and a puddle is now a nice park with walking trails and a lake, as well as fields for baseball, football, and soccer. In the middle of the lake is a metal sculpture of the Loch Ness monster that peeks out of the water’s surface during the drier season. When there’s been a lot of rain and the water level goes up, you can’t see it at all.
During the pandemic, I’ve spent a lot of time taking pictures around the neighborhood. I’m used to taking pictures of other parts of town, so seeing Meadow Village through my camera lens gave me a whole new perspective on this place. It may not look like much to people just passing through, but my neighborhood has a lot of heart and holds special memories for those of us who have spent most of our lives here.
When we first moved in, our house needed a lot of work. Over the years, we’ve remodeled the home with the help of our neighbor who works in construction. The yard, which is my favorite part of the house, is now full of plants that my mom takes care of. She loves gardening, and I love spending time in her garden.
One thing my neighborhood, and really San Antonio as a whole, needs is better accessibility. There are still so many businesses that aren’t accessible and streets that need better sidewalks and safer ways to cross. I know there are a few pedestrian bridges here and there, but accessibility often feels like an afterthought in this city.
I’m also big on public transportation because that’s how I get around. When I was attending Northwest Vista College and the University of Texas at San Antonio, that’s how I would get to class. I’m lucky that I live near a few bus routes, but I would like more connections to cut down on travel time. In such a car-centric city, drivers might not realize how many people depend on public transportation, so not enough funding is allocated to improving our transit system. But, as our city continues to grow, we need to invest in public transportation.
Meadow Village will always be my home and I want to be able to continue to enjoy it — and enjoy it more with better accessibility and better connectivity to the rest of the city.