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When I first moved to San Antonio for law school in 2016, I decided to start a blog as a way to balance my studies with another passion of mine, which is sharing affordable fashion finds and style tips. Not only did it help keep me from being buried in books all the time, it helped me get to know San Antonio and fall in love with the city.

I got to explore all the local boutiques and was able to get to know local businesswomen who are doing such great creative work here. It’s been a great way to build community. I’ve loved working with Treasure Jewels, a local earring company here known for its statement earrings for Fiesta. They just opened up a warehouse and they sell to a lot of local boutiques in San Antonio.

Through my work on Barely Blonde, I’ve been able to meet some great people and discover cool locations. The photographers here are amazing. There’s so much talent in San Antonio. We so often get compared to Austin, and, having lived in both cities, I can say that San Antonio has its own creative community with such unique and inspiring talent that can’t be found anywhere else. 

And, of course, living by the Pearl, it’s so easy to get involved with events. As part of the advisory committee for the Pearl, I get to work with some of the restaurants and businesses here. We meet once a quarter to talk about events going on at the Pearl. It’s a way to connect with residents and business owners and keep my finger on the pulse of the community. Unfortunately, this year because of the pandemic we haven’t been able to work on any events, but in the past, we’ve had Bidi Bidi Party to celebrate Selena’s birthday, which was a lot of fun. We also had Olé, San Antonio during the tricentennial to celebrate San Antonio’s connection to Spain.

The Pearl Brewery is marked on the map. Credit: Courtesy / Google Maps

The farmers market is one of my favorite things about the Pearl. I’ve gone just about every Saturday for the last three years. I always have to pick up some empanadas from Yapa Empanadas to freeze and have for lunch during the week. And Ming’s Thing, a restaurant that just opened nearby, has the best steamed buns. But my absolute favorite spot is Down on Grayson. I can’t get enough of their Thai steak salad and onion rings. 

If friends and family from out of town come to visit, I always take them to Down on Grayson, Sternewirth at Hotel Emma, and the Alamo. Cervecería Chapultepec is a new spot I like to take people. Everything on the menu is $3 and they have a great outdoor space, which is perfect for relaxing and enjoying time with friends.

My apartment complex has kept our spirits up during the pandemic. They’ve had food trucks come by, and we’ve been able to go down and grab a free cocktail or sandwich. They recently brought in pumpkins for a mini pumpkin patch so we could go down and pick a pumpkin for our home. And there was yoga on the lawn last week. I really appreciate what they’ve done for residents this year, especially since we haven’t been able to socialize.

Christine Lozano sits outside of Sternewirth at the Pearl. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

With more time at home, my husband and I have had more time to spend on hobbies and projects. He got an Xbox, and I started a garden on our patio that’s gotten a lot bigger than I anticipated. But now that I’m back in the office, I’m glad to be able to work on putting together some workwear looks for my blog and think about upcoming holiday content. I’m particularly excited about a local business-focused gift guide I’m working on.

That’s one of the things I love most about the Pearl. Everything is local, so you know when you spend money here, you’re supporting someone’s dream. I love to see locals being creative and building up their businesses. I’d like to see this area continue to grow and see more small businesses open up and flourish.

Even as the Pearl grows and the city grows, I appreciate that San Antonians take pride in the culture and history of the city. It’s so easy to focus on the new and shiny, so I love that San Antonio cares about its historic buildings and homes and that they are being protected and renovated with special care for preserving their history and place in the community. Though I haven’t been here long, I’ve truly enjoyed making my home here over the last four years. It’s an easy place to love.

Christine Lozano founded Barely Blonde in 2016 as a safe space to share affordable fashion, connect with the San Antonio community, and empower women to feel like the best version of themselves.