The city-not really a city but rather a number of detached houses peopled by cowboys for whom the horse had been replaced by the car-terrified me. I was used to a city with sidewalks and streets, a deteriorated city but one where a person could walk and appreciate its mystery, even enjoy it at times. Now I was in a plastic world, lacking all mystery, where loneliness was often much more invasive.
-Reinaldo Arenas on Miami, but it could just as easily be San Antonio
ive always subconsciously known the reasons for not living in san antonio and there was always subtle relief when i would get back to austin from a visit, but this trip confirmed that i dont belong anywhere near that sorry excuse for a city.
my first impression was driving from the airport. most of my impressions are from driving because you have to drive everywhere! i must have logged 400 miles in sa alone, not counting my trip to ausitn. sprawl is the name of the game and they have it down to a science.
i even had to drive to get a newspaper, and a shitty newspaper at that. it was painful to read the express news, it leans (lays down) to the right. i got this rag on friday. each day after that, i would go further out looking for the ny times, for real news, and didnt find it until monday when i was leaving.
san antonians are also cheap, and im not talking garden variety cheap, theyre uber-parsimonious. a quick search of http://yp.yahoo.com gives a glimpse. just type in the word "dollar". austin: 1 result. boston: 5 results. san antonio: it stops at 100. there must be at least a dozen discount chains there with some play on the name dollar, not counting the others like big lots, lots off, and mcfrugals. then there are those that are trying to undercut the dollar stores, the 99 and yes, 98 cent stores. my family is no exception to this rule. at one point, using a sponge that wouldnt absorb water, i made the mistake of asking whether a sponge should be absorbant. the only answer i got was how much it cost, yes, three for a dollar. ack!