We have been in San Antonio for a week now, finally arriving after our long and winding road trip across America. I wanted to give you a little taste of the city and the neighbourhood we have moved to, the East Side of Antonio. Some of these observations might be blindingly obvious to some, but as an outsider moving to live in America for the first time, and especially with the eyes of somebody living in a poor neighbourhood some things are immediately striking.
You probably didnt know this but San Antonio is the tourist capital of Texas. The Riverwalk and the Alamo, the San Antonio missions and the Fiesta attract millions of people each year. The downtown area is bustling with people all year round and the luxury hotels are booked out. From our new house we can walk to downtown in 20 minutes, our neighbourhood looks very different however.
Our neighbourhood begins at the railroad tracks on the edge of downtown, and it really does look and feel like a different city. This seems to be common in a number of the American cities I have visited, not all of them but certainly most. The inner city neighbourhoods are usually poor, with a high population of migrants and ethnic minorities, and they usually surrounded by surburbs mostly inhabited by white people. Apologies if this final comment offends anybody as I may be generalising too much here.
Back in the mid 60’s, Martin Luther King did however fight against the conditions and inequalities that exist in the inner city neighbourhoods across the Unitied States, Its only 25 years since the Rodney King riots in LA, and more recently there has been unrest in Feguson over the shooting of Michael Brown. Even today, when driving to the local supermarket I saw a continuation of those protests here in San Antonio, with about 30-50 people demonstrating and highlighting the ‘Black lives matter’ campaign. It seems to me that there is still a deep frustration that exists in many of America’s poor urban neighbourhoods.
Anyway, we wanted to include some photo’s for you, so you can see some snapshots of both the downtown area and our new neigbourhood