So as most of you know, my husband and I recently moved to San Antonio. People always ask how I like it, so I thought I’d answer!
It’s a lot different than I thought it would be. I’ve lived for short periods in both Dallas and Austin (LOVE Austin), so I thought I vaguely knew what to expect. But I was wrong.
- This place is SO big and SO populated. It’s not crowded in the sense of Japan or NYC, canned sardine-style – it’s just huge, and there are a ton of people to fill it. And cars. Even if there isn’t stop-and-go-traffic (which there frequently is, at random times, in unexpected places), the streets and highways are always filled with trucks (err I mean cars). They never stop coming. And because the city is so big physically, it takes so long to get anywhere – 30 minutes minimum unless we’re going to the nearest shopping center (which can still take 30 minutes to get home from during busy hours – it’s 3 miles away).
- Speaking of cars, driving here is…awful. Terrible. TerriFYING. Not only are the drivers insane (let’s just say Texans do what they want, when they want, and don’t get in trouble), but there is always road construction (the city is expanding so quickly they’re always building new highways and such), accidents (did I mention they’re crazy drivers?), and there are only almost 30 highways, interstates, and loops (let’s not even talk about the loops) to navigate. And somehow, my trusty GPS, which I was always able to rely on in California and elsewhere…well, let’s just say it’s not so trusty anymore. Since the day my husband and I arrived here we were astounded by how off our ETA always seemed to be. It must be the unpredictability of construction, accidents, and traffic. It takes me on different routes from one minute to the next, wants to update to a “faster” route only to get confused and get me lost, or it will wildly miscalculate traffic delays. Oh, and there are six giant humps in our neighborhood between our house and the main street and that one mile takes me four minutes to get through. Yes, I do avoid going out unless I have to and always combine errands and don’t go out if it’s raining hard (flooding is a real threat here), how did you know.
- The people are very friendly, but wow, are they another species! Did you know Texans have their own anthem? As in, after the national anthem is said in school – they say the TEXAS one?? They don’t like laws (Motorcycle helmet? Anyone? Red light violation? What do you mean, what is that? Wait, did you just drive over that median?), the culture here is not young or “hip,” and, as everyone knows, Texans really – really – really like Texas.
And here are things I can’t confidently judge due to my limited experience, but I’ll share how I feel so far:
Food: Where is the good food? Seriously. I was SO excited to try San Antonio BBQ and Mexican food. I know Texans love eating out, so I had high expectations.
BBQ: Whenever I ask someone where the go-to place is for BBQ, I just haven’t gotten the enthusiastic “THIS is where you should go!”, much less any kind of consensus, that I was hoping for. Bill Miller, the unique-to-San Antonio BBQ chain, is good, but cheap. Really cheap.
Mexican Food: They call it Tex Mex. First of all, let me say that even Texans can’t seem to agree on what Tex Mex is. Is it a fusion of Texas and Mexican food? Is it Mexican food that is in Texas? Here is what I think it is – Tex Mex is what non-Mexicans think Mexican food is. It’s not authentic. And it’s not good. Coming from the city with the BEST Mexican food in America (San Diego – don’t argue with me!), I am so sad that I have still been unable to find delicious authentic Mexican cuisine prepared by Mexicans who grew up in Mexico and who don’t invent stupid dishes like “puffy tacos.”
Asian Food: Ok, I won’t dive deeply into this one. Too depressing. There are no Asians here, and there are no good Asian restaurants (or markets). Ok, maybe I should update that to East Asian places (Japan, Korea) since I love pho and pad thai and some Indian food and such but haven’t tried any here yet. But one of the most popular ramen places? I’ve heard they literally serve packaged ramen with additional toppings. Can’t confirm, but…yes. That is how little San Antonians know Japanese food.
Things To Do: I thought there would be more to do here. Granted, I haven’t explored as much as I would like. And there are a lot of cities AROUND San Antonio too. But within, there is…the River Walk. That’s cool, but you can’t exactly walk around a little river and eat touristy food over and over and over. And I’m looking forward to some of their annual events I’ve heard a lot about. But on holidays, such as New Years or July 4th, I’ve heard it recommended to just plain stay away from downtown to avoid the traffic and crowds and no parking. Things I hate. So I guess I’m staying home.
Ok, so that is my new-to-San Antonio view of life here. Is it a bit harsh? Maybe…let’s just say the things I like about my favorite place (do I even need to say the name at this point? Ok, San Diego), San Antonio just doesn’t compare to. But am I open to liking things about San Antonio I didn’t even know I could like? Absolutely! Do I think I could come to love San Antonio? Highly possible. And I’m absolutely excited to find those things.
Let’s just say, I’ve discovered big city ≠ modern/hip/fresh. But, there’s more exploring to do!
Web Dev Updates:
- Listening a lot to two podcasts, starthere.fm and The Versioning Show.
- Working on redesigning my website. So hard to decide on things like layout, fonts, etc. since I am such a perfectionist, and since I know my site is the first impression I am giving to prospective employers and clients.
Hope you liked my post! And if I am wrong about anything, or you have recommendations on places to check out in San Antonio, please, comment!