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18 Love Letters and Hate Haikus to San Antonio

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Hate

Melissa Jones
Sexologist and Executive Director, Sexology Institute and Boutique

Hate may be too strong a word, but there are a few things that for a city of this size, depth and breadth, San Antonio is lacking. One of the motivating factors for me moving Downtown was to hasten the daily commute and avoid a public transportation system that is severely deficient. Even though I previously lived in a well-established suburb, there was no bus stop within two miles, and then it took over two hours to get Downtown or to the Medical Center. (Thank goodness for Uber!) Now that I live in the heart of the city with the world-famous River Walk out my doorstep, I and the other pedestrians and bicyclists are still brushed aside by the car traffic that routinely snarls Downtown streets on the weekends. San Antonio needs to become a city for and of people and not one for and of automobiles.

Ron Nirenberg
City Councilman, District 8

San Anto, city on the rise.
It is true, best I can surmise.
But quiet on the boat?
Heck no, go rock the vote!
See, what good are you otherwise?

Dino Foxx
Burlesque Dancer and Producer

#NoNewFriends
Love affairs in San Anto run deep, all the
way back to childhood, honoring history
and loyalty and change can be hard.

You can tell who you are talking to and
just how long they have lived here in very
simple ways, those born and raised here
are the ones I want to chill with.

Veteranas Mexicanas who remember how to take
the 82 bus through the West Side, a baby on one hip,
a clear beeper tucked into her belt on the other.

Those who know that this isn’t the first
time Wonderland Mall was actually
called that.

Those who grew up having birthday parties
at Kiddie Park, spent summers chasing
the raspa man and ate Fritos and bean dip
at the night parade.

Those who remember getting buzzed from
stacking cups at NIOSA long before $12
craft cocktails became cool.

Those who remember when going outside of Loop 410
was a crazy trip and who trip out driving outside
of Loop 1604 surrounded by Land Rovers and
soccer mom vans.

Doc Watkins
Pianist and Bandleader, Doc Watkins and His Orchestra

A great city is like a great woman. She ain’t necessarily perfect, but don’t let me be the one to say so.

Jennifer Herrera
Community and Media Engagement Coordinator, KLRN

Loop 1604, you slay me. Day in and day out, I find myself scheduling my life around you. Your endless construction, delays and almost daily accident-ridden roads have tested my patience. Yet, I crawl back to you and travel your loop like a record’s needle skipping and sliding around. I, too, find myself sliding around in hopes of avoiding you and exiting before I get myself caught up with your evil ways once more. But I don’t. I think you’ll change, and I tell others the same. “It’ll get better.” “Give it more time.” Your time has come, yet you remain the same.

Shea Serrano
Writer, Hip-Hop Historian and San Antonio Native

Dear San Antonio,

I hate you. I suppose I always have, I’ve only just now realized it. I hate the hurt you’ve made me feel. Some of it was small and silly hurt, hurt that I recognized immediately, like when Derek Fisher hit the 0.4 shot or when Manu fouled Dirk in Game 7. Some of it was philosophical hurt, hurt I felt but wasn’t able to accurately describe at the time I was feeling it, like how small you began to feel as I grew into maturity (or, more accurately, how small you made me feel). And some of it was big hurt, hurt I understood when I became a father, like how you swallowed up so many of my friends and their dreams or how you laid road to ruin for some of my family members. You can be a hard place, San Antonio. I just wanted to say that to you.

Jacob Burris Bar Manager, Stay Golden

Woke up hungover
Where is the late night diner?
And please don’t say “Jim’s”

Heywood Sanders
Author and Public Policy Profesor, University of Texas at San Antonio

San Antonio is a special place, with its own character. But some folks keep trying to make it just like anyplace. They keep using language like “world class” and “major league.” And they keep arguing all we have to do is build something big — or bigger — or get something that some other city has in order to be a real city. John Carrington of the Chamber of Commerce could write in early 1911, “In order for San Antonio to realize her opportunity as a convention city … it is absolutely essential that a coliseum or convention hall shall be erected.” So we built the Municipal Auditorium. And now, a century later, we’ve just spent $325 million in a continuing quest for a bigger convention hall.

Then there was the talk in the 1930s that a new stadium — Alamo Stadium — would bring “big time” football here; just like the implicit argument in the 1980s for building the Alamodome. And there are still some in town that think what we most need is an NFL team, like the Oakland Raiders, to be a real place. We already are.

Rey Saldana
City Councilman, District 4

I hate that the Mission Drive In on the South Side closed. Although, I can understand how the business model buckled under the pressure of hidden children in the back seat avoiding payment and boxes of outside food that kept us from paying high prices for concession.

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