Moving to San Antonio

Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2004

My husband and I are considering a move to San Antonio TX. We visited the city and didn't see any real show-stoppers, but we have reservations. We're agnostic - it was odd to see cruxifixes prominently displayed in every home we entered (realtor tours). We're not republican. We, but some fluke it seems, have many lesbian friends and didn't see much of a gay community in SA. Most homes are in gated communities which rubs us wrong, we don't want to live in an enclave that is, or pretends, snootiness. On the plus-side most of these gated communities had a central park and pool which would encourage neighborly play, we like that as kids are in our future. Air quality and crime seem slightly worse than here but not significantly. A 3-day visit didn't allow deep assessment of these impressions to see if any warrant greater concern. Any ex-texans or san antonioians who can give a SF Bay Area impression of living in SA? Would you return? What do you or would you miss? roots might be pulled

Hi, I grew up mostly in San Antonio (ages 1-6, and 10-13, then moved 1 hour away, to the Canyon Lake/New Braunfels & San Marcos areas until grad school). I'm 37 now, so it was quite a while ago, but I must say, it was a nice place to be a kid, at least then. The heat, or should I say the humidity, was not a favorite feature of mine, but everything is air-conditioned. We lived in the Valley Hi area, in what was then a middle-upper class area near Lackland AFB. The local elementary school was decent, quite integrated, and walkable for us. I have fond memories of playing into the evenings in the tree-lined neighborhood; there were a lot of kids. The summers are all about water--swimming in it, boating in it, playing in it... There's a nice zoo, Sunken Gardens, the Riverwalk, Tower of the Americas, Hall of Texan Cultures, all kid-friendly. Now there's a music-based amusement park, and I'm sure a lot of other new attractions. In the ''country'' I attended a high school of 600+, with quite a few Mexicans, a couple Asians, but NO blacks. A good friend of mine was gay (but not out) and he encountered some slack from the overwhelmingly macho, cowboy-guys at the school. He does insist there is a large gay community in S.A., but I don't have memories of it. I would be happy to answer more questions if you want to email me. I didn't really appreciate Texas until I moved away. There is definitely a more Christian, conservative feel there, but as a kid of agnostic Democrats, I grew up not too affected by it, and there is a level of openness and friendliness I miss. Heidi

To the people considering a move to San Antonio, TX: I grew up in San Antonio from sixth grade through high school. My family was totally non-religious and Democratic, too. Now I live in Berkeley with husband, two kids, and many friends who are gay/lesbian +/- liberal Democrats. Here is my impression of San Antonio: It is a very nice community to live in. Great place to raise a family--affordable housing, good weather, great Mexican food, easy commutes, etc. Politically, it is still Texas. Besides being conservative and Republican, you will notice a certain macho-ness that is very Texan. Texans are not sympathetic to ''weakness'' so there is less tolerence for ''otherness'' there than here. There is a ''clubbiness'' to the community, too. It's very small-town in that there are a limited number of powerful, rich ''founding families'' who intermarry, throw expensive balls, and run the yearly city-wide celebration called Fiesta.

Still, there is some funkiness and diversity to be found in San Antonio, and a lot of my friends from childhood who still live there love it a lot. Feel free to e-mail me if you'd like to hear more. Lauran

Hi. I read your post about San Antonio and I was happy to see that you were thinking about moving there. I'm what they call a ''Natualized Texan''. In other words, I wasn't born in Texas but lived there from age 3-19, so I'm almost a native. Texas is great. Whole Foods started in Texas. Texas can be scary. George Bush, Dallas, Phil Grahm are all examples of Texas at it's scariest. Texas is usually both great and scary at the same time. Texas will never be California. Last year I started thinking about other places in the US I could live comfortably without living in California. Texas did come to mind but I would only consider 3 cities. My first choice was Houston because it's large, cosmopolitan, and diverse. It was also the last city I lived in Texas. Then when I started looking at job opportunities etc. it looks like a long shot. My second choice was San Antonio. It's beautiful and fairly liberal. We do still have liberals in Texas even if you don't believe me, I know it to be true. My third choice was Austin. Austin has changed so much and most of it not for the better. The small town quirky Berkeley like atmosphere isn't there as much as it used to be. Besides, they are in a tech slump just like we are here. Suggestions on San Antonio? I doubt everywhere in San Antonio is gated. I lived in Houston and yes a large percentage of the houses were gated, but there were other options that weren't ghetto either.

The crosses. Jesus is a big thing in the south and it's almost as big as football. However, that doesn't mean that everyone you meet is a Jesus freak. Like I said before, we do have liberals in Texas. If you were looking for a diverse and tolerant place in Texas to live, San Antonio is one of the better choices.

Lastly, as much as I love the Bay Area, by the time I finish graduate school (next year), I'm going to be up to my eyeballs in student loans and I want to own a home that's comfortable before I'm a hundred years old. That's why I'm looking back south. You might want to check out this article from INC. magazine: Atlanta was listed #1 for large cities, job diversity, human diversity etc. San Antonio was listed #7.

Also, check out Craigs List in San Antonio for events etc. It'll help give you a better idea of what is going on there. The Texas Monthly is an excellent magazine full of liberal politics, culture and fun. Hope this helps. Beth

San Antonio. Well. I haven't lived there, but my mother has for about 6 years. She's currently trying to find a job back in California. I have been there probably 5-6 times to visit and I would have to say I would never choose to live there. It's incredibly hot and humid for 6 months of the year and the winters are not as mild as they are here. The older part of the city is interesting and a bit charming, but really, San Antonio is miles and miles of sprawl and strip malls. The Mexican food is good, but no better than what you find here. And yes, it's very conservative there. I know we are spoiled living in the Bay Area in terms of weather, culture, amenities, etc, but I don't think I could ever recommend San Antonio. I am very interested to see what kind of replies you receive from SA natives... anon