San Antonio, Texas Comments



"San Antonio - A Mixed Bag"


San Antonio - A Mixed Bag - 10/1/2009
18 3
steve

It is interesting to read many of the reviews on Sperling's to look for biases that can influence a truly objective review. For instance, anyone living in a place 25 years or more is probably not traveled enough (or has established their roots where they are) that they are going to see things very differently that someone with more exposure to the US or even international cities. From a disclosure standpoint, I'm 45, a father of two kids, have two degrees (BBA, MBA), have Fortune 500 experience, and have built a successful entrepreneurial business. I say this not to gloat (I give God the glory for the blessing) but to assist readers in knowing my bias/views. I've lived in New England, upstate NY, the UK, Houston, and Dallas -- and I've made several dozen international business trips to Europe.

My family decided to leave the vanity/materialism, traffic, and pace of Dallas to create some life balance in a city area that has a more laid-back atmosphere. Like most in Texas, we'd done the river walk, Sea World, etc. and been captivated by the Hispanic influence and friendliness in the city. So, we sold the home and moved to a cute rural town outside San Antonio with my home-based business intact (that was 2007).

The global economic meltdown meant the crash of my business at the end of 2008 -- thus, I needed to look for a job. In Dallas, I could access nearly 40 Fortune 500 headquarters with a wide variety of industry options for a veteran marketer like me. Here in SA it is very different and boy did I underestimate this during the "love affair" of moving here. USAA is the only Fortune 500 employer left in town (AT&T relocated their HQ and most of the good jobs with it in early 2009). There are only entry-level positions (under $50K) in service/retail industries (great if you're single, but you're not supporting a family of four properly) and industry sectors are confined to: real estate, tourism, military, and medical. If you're not in one of these four industries you will STARVE here.

The education here is lower, the wages are 15% below national average (job for job) in white collar professional jobs. I have talked to at least a dozen other dads at our kids school who electively relocated their families to SA and in every situation they are either being paid under industry average -- or when they've had to seek other jobs the jobs are just not there. It's laughable, do a search on "Director" or "Marketing" on TheLadders.com, Linked In Jobs, or Monster.com and see 1 employer (KCI) come up in the search. Try that for Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, etc. and see multiple pages of search returns. Crime in the Hill Country towns is minimal, but SA suffers from some levels gang violence this is attributable to low education, illegal aliens, etc. that is unfortunately part of the stereotype.

City leaders have no vision for bringing the city into the 21st century. For a population of 1.2MM people, the airport is a joke (smaller than Chicago Midway or Dallas Love Field -- both regional airports), and everything in this city is named "Alamo" (e.g. Alamo Cleaners, Alamo Pediatrics, Alamo Burgers, etc.) The entire city identity is wrapped up in driving people to expensive restaurants along the river walk. Look, I'm all for heritage and every city in the US has neat heritage, but you can't define the future of the city by banking on 24MM tourists to spend money at hotels and restaurants every year (these are low paying jobs that don't bring economic prosperity to a city). The lack of airport, employee pool, etc. is one reason why San Antonio can win a Toyota truck plant but they can't keep AT&T (or any other high paying employer).

From a "raising your kids" standpoint -- hands down, this beats Dallas, Houston, etc. Communities are friendly, the hills are beautiful along I-10, churches are small/welcoming, and there is adequate shopping, restaurants, etc. Cost of living is low compared to other Texas cities.

However -- unless you're in military, tourism, or medical be prepared that San Antonio is "a place where careers go to die." We're not sure we'll be here in 2010 given the lack of opportunity and the need to survive so I really feel bad for those with less education and job experience than I have.

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Ann
San Antonio, TX

Variety of cultures and recreation - 7/27/2016

Many city parks all over town, most with walking and bicycle trails, some with skateboard parks. Several state parks up to two hours away in any direction, the gulf coast about 3 hours southeast, Austin is two hours north. Theme parks: Sea World on the NW side (new dolphin swim attraction), Fiesta Texas Six Flags on the north side, Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels about an hour NE of town. ****** Culture: very diverse. Used to be primarily Hispanic heritage, and the parades are Hispanic still, yet restaurants include Eastern heritage now. I can honestly say that growing up in a city of diverse ethnicity has helped me realize that people are people no matter the color of their skin. I've grown up having friends of various cultures and so have our children.

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Ann
San Antonio, TX

Keeps growing and growing and growing - 7/27/2016

I've lived in San Antonio for 45 years and have seen tremendous growth in my lifetime. Economy: What used to be primarily a tourist and military city has expanded to several business industries, so the economy has more variety. Texas is a red state, business friendly, so new businesses have been moving in for the past several years. The school districts in San Antonio are constantly building more schools to try to keep up with the population explosion.

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Ann
San Antonio, TX

Variety of education available - 7/27/2016

Public Education: high stakes standardized testing for children, though there's been pressure to reduce it in recent years, and rely more on class test scores. Texas doesn't use common core in the curriculum at this time. Some will spend an exorbitant amount of money for a house in a certain school boundary. I don't agree with this decision. All public schools are teaching the test. It's just in a rich neighborhood. Christian schools are great! There's no standardized testing and the kids get recess, the attention they need, and learn what's necessary to succeed in life, not just for a test. Homeschooling is very popular, too, because so many parents have concerns about the quality of public schools. Colleges and universities: Several, including a medical and dental school.

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Ann
San Antonio, TX

One of the most affordable places to live in the c - 7/27/2016

I don't know why this city isn't ever on the lists of lowest cost of living? Just look at housing online and you'll see what I mean. Those who move in from out of state buy so much more house than what they had before, they feel like they're in a mansion, so to speak. Gas prices are the lowest anywhere, even in the state. It makes it difficult to afford to move out of town or state, given there's only so much you can get for your own house.

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Ann
San Antonio, TX

Very humid! All year long! - 7/27/2016

Humidity makes the heat in the summer feel hotter (100+ temps feel a few degrees  hotter and heat exhaustion is a real threat) and the cold in the winter feel colder, to the bone colder. Summer swim teams are big here! Just about every neighborhood with a junior Olympic size pool has a summer swim team. There are opportunities for year round swimming for those kids who are interested. A common myth is that winter clothing isn't necessary. Usually, the people wear coats only in the morning and night outside, not needing them on sunny afternoons. I recommend thermals for days that get to freezing temps, because it will feel like it's in the 20's. Those days don't happen too often. Even those from snowy climates admit that it feels cold here at those times. It's extremely rare for it to snow here, but we do have ice storms which will close schools and some businesses. We don't have any snowplows. We get 3' of rain each year and the common joke is that it's all at once. We have droughts with water restrictions, severe floods, then weeks later back to restrictions. I recommend the best times to visit are between October through May. The climate is the main reason we want to move. My family loves to play in the snow and enjoy being outside in the summer.

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Hate
George West, TX

Hate San Antonio - 2/23/2016

This place is the worst place ever!!!! The roads cannot keep pace with the amount of people here. It is dirty every where... Don't buy a house here...the builders can't get good workman ship. No good jobs....The only place you will find nice people is at resturants -- and this is because they want your money.

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Brenda
Schertz, TX

San Antonio - 1/1/2016

Excellent weather and a large city with a small-town feel.

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Kaira
San Antonio, TX

San Antonio is rat poison for the soul. Go to Aust - 12/22/2015

Been stuck in San Antonio for almost 15 years and it is another world down here, a very small, ignorant, uneducated world. Abandon all hope ye who enter here. It feels like Summer all year around. Those cute snow boots I bought from Jersey almost 10 years ago have still gone unworn. DRIVE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Most people in SA don't formerly learn how to drive and they come straight from Mexico. There is a MASSIVE drunk driving problem due to all the illegal Mexicans that never gets addressed. You will constantly see lives cut short down here due to drunk driving and many other accidents caused by the sheer stupidity of these people. If you value your own life I'd advise you to be off the streets by 1 a.m. every morning and midnight on the weekends if you can help it. It's ridiculous. There is a big problem with recycling too. I always tell people you'll know when you're in San Antonio when you start seeing mounds of trash everywhere. Beer bottles outside neighborhood parks and plastic everywhere all along the highways. It's a hideous sight, not to mention all the dead animals you'll come across on your travels. Seeing roadkill here is almost as common as seeing 20 year old Lupita walking down the HEB grocery aisle with her 9 kids and another one on the way. Holy hell. There is also a major problem with unchecked growth. I'm not racist just keeping it 100. Mexicans multiply like rabbits and they get pregnant at very young ages, so the city is constantly growing and this creates a butt load of construction all over the damn city. Traffic is already horrible but the city is under constant construction always at rush hour. Apartments and other subdivisions are getting put up EVERYWHERE and anywhere they can which just makes the city look even more like a ghetto. So now they finally have to do something about the roads which the city has been putting off for ages. It's a mess. If you are young, a professional, or both, then you're screwed if you move to SA. The job market is super limited due to a number of factors. SA is a city that prides itself in ignorance. Most of these good but albeit uneducated people just want to live paycheck to paycheck, drink, smoke, eat tacos and Whataburger, party, and wear "GO SPURS GO" t-shirts. Education, diversity, and building a better future is not a big deal to the sect of Mexicans that live here, and the job market reflects that. HOWEVER, Mexicans look out for each other here more than anything and if you're not in the "clique" then you stand a small chance competitively. A Spanish speaker will get a job over an English speaker even if the person who only speaks Spanish isn't as qualified. As a young person myself, one of the worst things about SA (and there's a lot of bad things) is the social/dating life. Dear God it's terrible, and SA has been rated one of the worst cities for dating and relationships, mostly if you're not a Mexican. You'll just have to go to Austin to have yourself any kind of healthy social life. Why? Mexicans in SA are extremely lacking in diversity and tend to have a lot of family and friends all in the same place since they never leave and they're very cliquish. Due to this most of them are already in close relationships with each other and they pair off with each other at young ages (which usually ends up in teen pregnancy). Now enter people who are new to the city looking for new friends to make and new relationships to build. That creates a problem. It's like a new kid going to a new school but there's no other new kids to make friends with at any point. All the other kids have just so happened to have been there their entire lives and already have their own exclusive groups. And strangely and hypocritically enough, SA Mexicans tend to be very prejudice towards other Latinos and extremely prejudice towards blacks. Some are prejudice of whites but many are more accepting since many try to emulate whites a lot, which is beyond bizarre. So overall, if you're not already in their group or if you're not Mexican or white, you won't be accepted into the fold very easily. This is very true for black people though, especially black females. If you are a black female you will have a hard time finding positive relationships in SA. Mexicans are very family oriented people and many Mexican women seem to not like black women for reasons I'm sure have to deal with insecurity. If you're black and have a Mexican boyfriend his mothers and sisters will most likely give you hell, and because Mexicans stick together this will ruin any kind of relationship you have. I've seen this happen at least 3 times. It can go either way with a black guy and a Mexican female, but it's something about black females some mexicans here do not like. I've found out a lot of mexican guys will find non mexican women attractive but are afraid to do anything about it due to fear of their families' disapproval, so they just stick with each other almost all the time while considering you as their side piece. This overall makes for a very horrible dating experience and just a bad life experience. Bottom line is the only place worth living in Texas is Austin. You'll have a much better quality of life there in all areas. Take heed.

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Anne
San Antonio, TX

Worst Place Ever - 12/3/2015

I have had the misfortune of living in San Antonio for 2-1/2 years now. Too hot, too crowded and too ignorant. It is estimated that 40% of the drivers here don't have driver's licenses and since that means they've never been formally taught HOW to drive, the drivers here are horrible. One out of every ten cars uses turn signals. And it is also estimated that 60% of the drivers here don't have insurance. So when you get in an accident, and you will, good luck. Drivers are aggressive and mean as they pull out of the many mega church parking lots down here. Hypocrisy abounds. The Hispanic women all dress like prostitutes. I've never seen so many stillettos and painted on eyebrows. Recycling is not mandated, and there is litter everywhere. I don't think Hispanics care too much about littering. And since the city is suffering from unchecked growth, subdivisions are going up EVERYWHERE. House upon house, 10 feet apart. But the roads haven't changed much for decades, and the traffic is horrendous. (Congestion AND horrible drivers. Most of the money at the school's go to FOOTBALL which is a big deal down here. And Texas doesn't keep a record of football related injuries. How convenient. My son's school has a Jumbotron and pays the coach six figures. I only wish the same amount of money is allocated for academics. the state of Texas just announced that it is sueing the federal government for trying to place SIX Syrian refugees in Dallas. And yet in San Antonio, there are illegals EVERYWHERE. More hypocrisy. I'm not even going to dwell on the crime rate, which is super high here. So why would anyone want to move here? I have absolutely NO IDEA. I am counting the days till I can get out of this hell on earth.

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Rebecca
San Antonio, TX

Not for Hard Working Professionals - 9/11/2015

San Antonio is simply a city of vacation and festivals. I moved here thinking that I could find employment * I am a experienced and licensed professional. Everyone here has a really slack attitude regarding work, recruiters don't call or come to interviews on time, companies don't want to pay you and there seems to be a complete disregard for people trying to get ahead in life. I will say there are a million programs to pay or supplement your housing, food, living expenses etc. It's almost like San Antonio wants you to not work hard, just chill out and get welfare of some sort. I am leaving immediately.

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J
Round Rock, TX

Spurs, Riverwalk, Corrupt Cops, Meth - 8/4/2015

Enough said.

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Sonja
Helotes, TX

Hot, hot, hot in San Antonio, TX - 8/4/2015

San Antonio is a great place to live if you don't mind the weather in the summer. For me, it's simply too hot and I'm looking at moving. But, if you can handle the heat, there is lots to do, great people, lots of job opportunities and home prices are still very reasonable.

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dale
San Antonio, TX

crime - 3/30/2015

very bad. to many non citizens. drugs.

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Willie
San Antonio, TX

Worst place next to hell - 3/18/2015

San Antonio Texas is the worst city I've ever lived in the people are fat and ignorant the job market is loaded with low paying jobs.Hispanics here are very prejudice towards blacks every job I've had in the last few months I've been laid off due to my supposed work ethic.All the streets have huge potholes in them and the traffic is terrible in a sense people out here got their license from a cereal box I'm moving back to Georgia where things are a little better

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Tegwyn
San Antonio, TX

no review - 1/28/2015

I have no review at this time

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Brent
San Antonio, TX

Overall - 1/4/2015

Very reasonable cost of living. Friendly people, east town to get around! Love it!!

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Marie
Superior, WI

How good is it - 12/15/2014

I wanted to know how good is the bus service there? Can you get around good to get to places?

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Anikka
San Antonio, TX

No work or friendships for non-Hispanics - 10/13/2014

I moved here after my unit finished Desert Storm. I WAS an outgoing, friendly, trusting, happy person. NOW? None of the above. Yes, the indigenous men and women are very unfriendly and clique-y. They come off first as being outgoing and wanting to be friends (they will tell anyone who wants to listen all their life's history in 5 minutes) but you WILL get the chill. This has happened to me time and again. I would make plans to have a friends' night out with some of the local ladies and men and then would end up being ALONE at the venue. Later I would get strange excuses of "family" this and that, etc. ad nauseum. Why am I still here? No work for someone who has an M.A. degree but doesn't speak Spanish. So I work for myself doing service jobs' work. Saving up nickels, dimes and pennies to get the hell out of here hopefully by 2015 when I will have saved enough $$$ to pay cash for a modest home in a PROGRESSIVE state....Washington State.....where it isn't a black mark on your history if you speak ENGLISH and are educated and NOT Mexican Hispanic!

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Sherry
San Antonio, TX

Wiki - 8/6/2014

If you enjoy hispanic culture, this town is for you. If you don't speak Spanish and are looking for a job after relocation, good luck because you will need it. Very few applications on line here or in person do not include the question of whether you are bilingual. The heat in summer is not tolerable without air-conditioning, and if you are not of hispanic culture then you are in the minority here. While the night life downtown is active most weekends, it again revolves primarily around Tex-Mex and hispanic culture. The jobs are present for Master's Degree holders in Teaching, or high school level service jobs. If you are somewhere in between these levels you may be looking for a job for a while. The town is set up nice for tourism if you enjoy shopping, lavish hotels, and touring the city. The river walk is pretty and clean, but mostly hotels and food on the walk. Not to many places to sit unless you are eating at a cafe. The Zoo and Sea World are great for kids. The parks for walking and biking are plentiful but not safe at night. Lots to do and see but do a lot of homework about the area before you move here permanently.

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Elise
San Antonio, TX

Great place to live - 8/5/2014

There's always something to do in San Antonio if you don't mind a short drive to any given side of town. It is a rapidly expanding city that is home to a ton of young families. Everyone is very friendly and you couldn't ask for better people to have as neighbors. Not always as entertaining for young 20 something's, for that I would recommend Austin as a place for the 20-30 range. But still a very great place to live with a lot of solid job opportunities.

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