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The Where I Live series aims to showcase our diverse city 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 husband and I moved to the Thousand Oaks area five years ago after a two-year stint in Las Vegas. Having grown up on the Northeast Side of San Antonio, the area was comfortable and familiar to me, which I appreciate since I’m terrible with directions.
Though we mostly keep to ourselves, it’s a nice community with friendly neighbors. Our apartment complex has a nice gym and pool, and the staff is great. We spend most of our time inside our apartment with our two cats, so we’ve put time into projects to make the space our own. We’re like an old married couple, so we work on projects on the weekends and have recently been working on shelving for different parts of the apartment to make it homier and make more space for decor.
I don’t have a green thumb whatsoever, but I got a plant a few months before the pandemic and, since then, plant shopping has become one of the only reasons to leave the apartment. We have Milberger’s Nursery nearby and I love Shades of Green a bit south of here. Once I got started, it was hard to stop and I now have 22 plants. The reason we’ve added so much shelving to the apartment recently is to have somewhere to put them all. It’s nice to be able to bring the outdoors in and so rewarding to take care of something and watch it grow.
Though I prefer this way of getting in touch with nature, my husband and I do enjoy riding our bikes at McAllister Park nearby. Luckily, we both got bikes before the pandemic hit and everyone was looking to buy bikes. It’s been nice to get out of the house once in a while for some exercise and fresh air.
There have also been some new additions to the area that I’m excited about. Las Palapas, LA Crawfish, and Hops & Hounds have really added to the neighborhood, and I’m excited to have those options. I would love to see cute little coffee shops or restaurants in the area that are locally owned so that I don’t have to venture to the downtown area as much.
One of my favorite things to do in San Antonio is going thrifting. Family Thrift Center is an experience I would recommend if you’re brave enough, but I would advise waiting until post-pandemic because it can get crazy in there. Every day has different pricing, so one day it will be 50 cents per item for everything in the store. Some days it will be 25 cents before noon. You can’t beat those types of deals, but you’ll have to deal with a lot of people and not a lot of order. For something less stressful and more organized, I recommend Texas Thrift, which is like the H-E-B of thrift stores. I especially love Texas Thrift for home decor.
A lot of the clothing items I find on these thrifting excursions I’ll post on Instagram, where I like to post affordable fashion finds against San Antonio backdrops. My aesthetic has two extremes – it’s either grungy cityscapes or pretty greenery. I scour the city for these backdrops and have gained a deeper appreciation for San Antonio this way. When I first started my account, I saw this city as very one-dimensional because I was comparing it to big cities like New York and Los Angeles. But through exploring different parts of the city and seeing what it has to offer, it has opened my eyes to how cool San Antonio is. I’ve actually had people reach out to me and say that they didn’t realize that the picture I posted was in San Antonio, that they never saw San Antonio that way. I love being able to show different sides of the city through my own lens and recently put together a post on my website Luxe and Labeless about some of my favorite places to take photos.
Having grown up here, I like seeing the ways in which San Antonio is changing and how it’s becoming more diverse. I like that downtown and the urban core are becoming more metropolitan because I enjoy the hustle and bustle of a city. San Antonio’s traditionally been more about slow living and has had this family-friendly reputation that isn’t exactly a draw for younger people. But that’s really changed in recent years, and I like that it’s opened up the city to people who aren’t just looking for a safe, quiet place to raise their family but also a place to make friends and explore and build their careers. We’re not quite a bustling city just yet, but we’re getting there.