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.

I live on the Southwest Side of San Antonio, six minutes away from the home where I grew up, seven minutes away from my church, and just eight minutes away from my field office, at the beautiful Pearsall Park.

I visit my parents every day in Indian Creek, the resilient community that has helped shape me into who I am today. I learned a lot living in “The Creek,” and my love for older generations has stemmed from the interactions that I had with my loving neighbors, many whom have passed away, but continue to live in my heart. When people ask me where I’m from, I’m proud to say that I’m from “The Creek.” 

District 4 is shaded in dark purple on the map of San Antonio. Credit: Courtesy / City of San Antonio

The folks I attend my local church with have helped shape my character and passion for serving our community. Growing up I saw folks volunteering countless hours as lay ministers in the church, serving as election judges, and helping neighbors in need. I saw a true commitment to loving thy neighbor. 

We hosted a food drive recently with the San Antonio Food Bank for neighbors in an area that has many needs. When we went to some of their doors, many of them said that, although they could use the help, there are others that need it more. They encouraged us to get the food to those folks first. That’s the type of neighborly love that that exists in my community.

Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia (D4) delivers a meal to a family at the Arbors on Rustleaf Apartments near Pearsall Park in District 4. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Though COVID-19 has taken a toll, our commitment to one another is still evident in younger neighbors running errands for elderly neighbors or offering to fix things around their homes. That’s why I choose to stay and that’s the reason why I choose to continue to serve my community. I’ve been inspired all my life by folks who had very little, yet gave a whole lot.

I chose my current neighborhood in this same community eleven years ago when I decided to buy my first home, not only because it was so close to my parents, but because I felt the need to be close to my community always, to be able to care for them like they have for me. I fell in love with this new little community where I purchased my first home because it had the same promise of growth that my parents fell in love with when they bought their first home. 

My first home in this neighborhood was a beautiful two-story home with pink brick where I planted lovely knockout rose bushes that flourished beautifully and brought out the colors of my home in the sun. When I realized that, as an only child, I would be the one to care for my parents when they are older, I chose to buy a one-story home that would have wider doors and greater accessibility so that I can care for them when they get older. I made sure it was in the same neighborhood. I also took great care to make sure that even the outdoor deck that I had built would be accessible for them should they one day be wheelchair-bound. They love being outdoors so I felt the need to consider this as I planned for their future needs.

Even though the pandemic has many of us staying home, I do what I can to help the local economy. On weekends, I buy menudo for my parents at Taqueria El Charro de Jalisco, which has been a staple for military families for 25 years. El Coqui, a small Puerto Rican restaurant that’s located right next to a barbershop on SW Military Drive is another place I like to show off.

I also make it a point to support woman-owned and woman-run businesses. At least once a week, I drop by Sukhothai, my favorite local Thai restaurant, for chicken pad woon sen. Tripoli’s, a quaint little Mediterranean restaurant and coffee shop, is my favorite District 4 restaurant and my go-to lunch meeting spot, where I’ve even convinced a certain mayor and a certain state representative (I’m looking at you, Ron and Ina) that the food in my district is worth the trip. And on evenings when I need something sweet to brighten my day, I head down Zarzamora Street, to Chica’s Bakery (formerly Chico’s) to pick up some of the best donuts in town. And if there are still some left over from the morning batch, I always buy two dozen tamales – one, of course, for my parents.

Sukhothai is nestled in a small strip center near Loop 410 and Highway 90. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Curbside pick up these last few months hasn’t changed my commitment to supporting local businesses; it just means I get enjoy more quality time eating at home and talking over dinner with my son (who hates when I talk about him voluntarily). 

Our neighbors take great pride in our neighborhood, and although many of our homes are fairly new and we don’t have big trees yet, we all have a commitment to keeping up with our plants and lawns. In the evenings, our street turns into a buzz of kids playing out front in their yards and neighbors out for a walk, jog, or bike ride. I see neighbors with their perfectly groomed dogs on afternoon strolls, moms pushing baby strollers, and couples together on evening walks under the moon. 

We have packages delivered to the wrong door often, but don’t have to worry because neighbors deliver them to the correct address themselves. We’ve had neighbors who have forgotten to take out the trash and other neighbors pull the trash can out for them, and even neighbors who will cut the grass for you if they see you could use a little help. 

Once when my dog got out while I was away, my neighbors kept her safe for me and even gave her a sprinkler bath to keep her cool and had her brushed and ready to go by the time I got home. My neighbors even helped me when they saw I was a single mom struggling to teach her kid how to ride a bike. When my friends surprised me with a birthday serenade, my new neighbors came out with a camera to take pictures and join in on the singing. That’s the type of neighbors that surround me where I live and the type of neighbor I choose to be. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia is a lifelong resident of San Antonio with a passion for working with organizations that help San Antonio’s most underrepresented demographics. She is the president...