Photo Credit and Photo Copyright

The photographs of San Antonio and Dignowity Hill used within this blog are the property of Juan A Garcia East Light Images. All rights are reserved to the owner. Copy and use of these pictures is forbidden without written permission. Contact Juan at for permission.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cooler Weather

Finally....some cooler weather and rain! Fall officially arrived last week. A little cool front brought much need rain and nicer temps. We had over 5o days of 100 degree temps this summer with little or no rain. My poor yard and gardens took a beating. We were pretty good about restricting our water use so now our landscape is a looking a little tired.
But it's amazing what a little rain and cooler weather can do for your plants and your spirit......the old neighborhood suddenly feels a little more alive!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rehab Politics

I have to wonder what the majority of our elected council members was thinking when they recently voted to approve a re-zoning request that will allow the operation of a half way house in the middle of one our Eastside neighborhoods. The half way house will house federal prisoners and offer an opportunity for re-entry into society. Nothing wrong that, everyone deserves a second chance in life.......But the council went against both staff recommendation to not approve and the Eastside community's strong opposition to the re-zoning request. It's certainly the prerogative of council members to vote as they see fit......But the mayor and council showed a remarkable lack of integrity by not offering a credible rationale why this would be a good idea for the Eastside and not somewhere in their own districts. This decision will linger long in the memory of the Eastside community.

Kudos to Ivy Taylor, District 2 rep, for showing courage, poise and rationality in the midst of a firestorm. She showed that she is responsive and sensitive to her constituents concerns.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Corner Stores....Literally

When you walk or drive around the neighborhood you're likely to notice buildings that were at one time corner stores. Long time residents tell me that the neighborhood was once dotted with these mom and pop stores.

The buildings still stand, most of them shuttered or converted back to houses. Would love to the know the stories of these old corner stores. Would also love to see these old buildings come back to life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Looking Back and Moving Forward

A couple of days ago one of my neighbors dropped off some clippings of newspaper articles about Dignowity Hill. One of the articles was dated September 1985 and was titled "Neatness Contrasts with Neglect". The article contrasted the grand old homes set against neglect amid the beginnings of a turnaround for the neighborhood. The picture in article shows the Elmendorf House with the caption referring to the character of the neighborhood.

Fast forward to September 2009. Well, some things have changed and others have not in the 24 years since 1985. We are in the midst of a renaissance that appears to be gaining momentum and we still have a good inventory of old houses yet we still have a ways to go in dealing with neglect. But one thing is certain: Dignowity Hill has character and it has to be preserved as we move forward.

The neighborhood plan for Dignowity Hill lays out a blue print for addressing land use, traffic and noise issues, safety concerns, historic influences on the neighborhood, etc. The hope is that the plan will help preserve and enhance much of what makes Dignowity Hill attractive as a neighborhood. As the neighborhood continues to revitalize my hope is that we can retain our sense of community, attract folks to our artistic community and continue our acceptance of newcomers. I hope that real estate agents learn to understand and convey the character of not only the houses but of the people who live here. I also hope that neglect will turn to appreciation of what we have in Dignowity Hill and result in action to tidy up.

Some things take time to change. Not a bad thing when you're talking about a neighborhood's character.