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.

Where I live has changed completely in the last six months.

For a decade, it was Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital. Now, it’s San Antonio, Texas. The Alamo/Mission/River City. Your city! And mine too.

When I got hired to be the editor of the San Antonio Report in the fall of 2021, I had to find an apartment, fast. I didn’t have time to come back out to San Antonio before the move, so the internet was my best friend in the search process. Sight unseen I found a great building at The Flats at Big Tex in Southtown. I’ve loved my third-floor apartment, complete with a dishwasher, walk-in closet and a Juliet balcony — all luxuries that were essentially unheard of in the one-bedrooms of my recent past. Apparently, everything is bigger in Texas (including the Big Tex pool, shaded by massive yellow grain silos that were part of the former Big Tex Industrial Complex, which operated as a large industrial and shipping complex between 1917 and 1952).

Beyond the history, what I loved about the building was that it’s right on the river. I can just hop on the trail and go. I have plenty of options for coffee within walking distance at places like Southbound Coffee, Halcyon, Alley Cat Coffee, San Antonio Gold and Brown Coffee Company. I’ve never met an oat milk latte I didn’t like, so trying as many of San Antonio’s coffee trucks and shops as I can has been a blast.

On weekends, I love to grab some breakfast tacos at the Rosas Kitchen truck on the corner of Probandt Street and Steves Avenue or the drive-thru at Lupitas La Cocina, and get lost in the stacks of the Mission Branch Library. When I can’t make it there in person, I use the Libby app to read e-books from the library on my Kindle for free. 

I’ve also gotten really into audiobooks during my time in San Antonio, now that I do a lot more driving. In Washington, I didn’t even have a car! My favorites recently were Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office by Brian Baumgartner and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. I have this thing where I only like to listen to nonfiction audiobooks, and only when read by the author. Maybe it’s because it feels more journalistic that way, like a really long podcast.

In Washington, I spent my weekends playing grass volleyball with my friends in various city parks on a net we set up ourselves, going on long trail bike rides and being active at my church in Dupont. I still spend my weekends playing volleyball here in San Antonio. There’s a great, active open gym/sand volleyball community, and so many leagues that I could play every day of the week if I wanted to.

I had a pretty not-fun bike crash along the Mission Reach on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, so I’ve been slow getting back on the bike. But if you see me around town, ask me about the time I got distracted by a bug and went over my handlebars face-first into the concrete. It’s a good one! I’ll never forget washing up at the Mission San Juan de Capistrano and laughing with other cyclists about how silly I felt, but how glad I was to be OK. As for churches, I’ve loved visiting a bunch of different community churches here in San Antonio, which has been a great way to meet people and make friends.

One of my favorite experiences so far in San Antonio was when Monika Maeckle, one of our San Antonio Report co-founders and a contributor, took me kayaking with her north of Blue Star. I had already put my water bottle in the cupholder before I realized that the dried pink gunk in there was a bunch of invasive apple snail eggs she had pulled out of the river on her last trip. 

Leigh Munsil works on a new map showing all of the Where I Live submissions published by the San Antonio Report since 2019. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

During my neighborhood search process, I asked several people in the newsroom where they live and why — and I browsed the archives of our “Where I Live” series to see what people in our community had said about the neighborhoods they love. 
Now, you can browse those archives, too. We’ve spent the past several months working to put all our recent “Where I Live” stories onto a searchable, functional map, so you can get to know parts of the city you haven’t spent much time in before. I’ve gotten tons of ideas and recommendations from the previous authors and I hope you will, too.

The absolute best part of my apartment has been my balcony window, which perfectly frames the Tower of the Americas. At night, it’s all lit up and just gorgeous. The first time I saw it while walking through the darkened hallway, it stopped me in my tracks and actually took my breath away. Every day it’s a reminder of why I’m here: to do great local journalism in the city of San Antonio.

This city is so beautiful. I love its history, culture and entrepreneurial spirit. Everywhere you look, you see long-standing traditions, as well as new ventures — art galleries, businesses and companies — thriving in surroundings that are decades and even centuries old. The San Antonio Report, for example, just had its 10th birthday. 

Now, as a new San Antonian, I feel so honored to get to be a part of the years to come.

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