15 thoughts on “A Local Millennial To Atlantic Cities: Next Visit to San Antonio, Dig a Little Deeper

  1. Great article, Kevin! I think many people focus far too much on the “horseshoe” and miss all the great development and evolution downtown, as well as midtown and southtown, have seen over the last 10 years or so. When I was younger, I wanted to leave SA for many of the same reasons Nona Willis Aronowitz enjoys the city. Since moving downtown about three years ago, the desire to leave, simply for quality of life regardless of employment, has diminished significantly. In fact, I find myself participating more in the community and promoting San Antonio (downtown, specifically) far beyond what I would have even imagined just 3-5 years ago.

    While Austin might still be “cooler” for the time being, I see that changing for both cities. Austin’s fame, as well as major university presence, has really changed the levels of “weirdness” since the time I was at school there in the mid-late 90’s. Austin has really transformed into a more cosmopolitan city, while still great, it has lost much of the uniqueness and charm the city has been known for for so many years.

    San Antonio, on the other hand, is really coming into its own. Long the bastion of empty strip centers, cheap eats/drinks, chain everything, and general unabashed mediocrity, San Antonio has really stepped up in developing the city’s core and developing uniqueness in the different neighborhoods and attractions.

    About 12 years ago, I was a department manager for H-E-B (where I’m still employed and work with the author), when I was introduced to the then-burgeoning Blue Star and First Friday. For the first time, I really saw the potential San Antonio, and downtown, possessed. While attending my first First Friday, I felt like I was in the Austin I lived in when I was in school. Over the years, I have seen downtown develop hoping for it to become as rich and vibrant as other great cities, including Austin. After Pearl was developed (which I, personally, think is one of the single moments we can point to as “critical” to the development we see now), living and entertainment development exploded, and I was compelled by friends and my own experience to move to the city’s core. For me, it has been an experience that has changed my life and I think I found a city, and more importantly, a downtown where I want live for many years to come.

  2. Thanks so much for posting! It’s so important for us to change our brand and share with others how wonderful San Antonio is!! Please tweet directly to the Atlantic author @nona and invite her back for a second visit!!

  3. Thanks so much for posting! It’s so important for us to change our brand and share with others how wonderful San Antonio is!! Please tweet directly to the Atlantic author @nona and invite her back for a second visit!!

  4. I agree completely with the two Millennials that wrote in response to the Atlantic Cities article about San Antonio. A young professional myself; I came here straight out of college to get away from *gasp* Austin. Honestly, at first I was skeptical about moving to San Antonio it did seem to be a much more laid back city where everyone came to raise a family; at the time, from the outside looking in, it didn’t seem to have a thriving young professional scene; but, at the same time I was extremely happy to be getting away from the “cool” Austin, with its gridlocked traffic (now ranked one of the highest in the US, with the likes of LA and New York,) jam-packed food and nightlife scene, and high cost of living. Don’t get me wrong I loved every minute I spent at school in Austin, and there is so much for the city to offer, but “cool” is all a matter of opinion, and once you see everything that San Antonio has to offer, from its up and coming food and cocktail scene, to its well established music scene, to its beautiful parks and trails, it rivals Austin, both in culture, and in its recreational activities. Having live in the downtown San Antonio for the last five and a half years, it has been amazing to see the transformation that has happened in such a short time. I think that most people that are criticizing this city are still looking at the San Antonio from a decade, or two decades ago. From everything I see, and from talking with all my friends from Austin, Houston, Dallas, and across the country this is now THE “cool” city to be moving to, especially if you’re planning to stay in Texas; and that is why many people are packing up and moving from our weird neighbor to the north and coming down to San Antonio, it’s not just for the low cost of living, and arguing the point shows that you really don’t understand this city. We are not a city of people just happy to have a “stable” paycheck; we are a thriving city with entrepreneurs in the visual and culinary arts; in the medical and construction industries; from tech start ups to financial institutions; and from energy exploration to Military City USA. San Antonio has as diverse of industries as it does its people. To categorize the city by anyone of them would never tell the complex history and complex future that San Antonio sees for itself.

  5. Very well said. We don’t want people like the author to move here anyway! You didn’t have time to mention our progress with the linear parks, the bike rental system, and so much more. Plus, We don’t have state income taxes!

  6. That lady is from NYC. They are proud of everything and will constantly compare and contrast with it leading to a “NYC is better” slant. Even their pollution is better so they say.

  7. I think residents of a great city shouldn’t be so defensive. Every place is a mix of better and worse qualities, and to deny that seems insecure.

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