I wanted to talk more about what I observed in San Antonio in May, what I have read about the situation with the federal promise grants, and what I have heard from the chefs featured in the episode–David Arciniega and Shane Reed–about what’s happened since I visited.
San Antonio’s Eastside neighborhood was the first area in the country chosen for President Barack Obama’s Promise Zone Initiative, which makes federal grant funds available to cities and nonprofits for neighborhood revitalization. I met with two chefs on the Eastside: lifelong resident David Arciniega of Amaya’s Cocina, and newcomer Shane Reed of Dignowity Meats. The two talk about some of the struggles of running a successful small business in the changing neighborhood, and the hopes they have to bring good food to the community.
After you watch the episode, read more about the Promise Zone program and see how David and Shane are doing here.
I got in a stranger’s car last week. Sorry, Mom and Dad.
It gets worse when I tell you that I had a few thousand dollars of camera equipment on my back and in my hand. And that I had met her just 5 minutes earlier.
I was filming in Atlanta on the sidewalk outside of Harold’s Chicken and Ice Bar. The next thing I know, a woman is by my side warning me about the neighborhood we were in.
“I wouldn’t carry that equipment out in the open if I were you,” she said. “What are you filming?”
I told her that I was filming a documentary series on the role of restaurants in revitalizing neighborhoods. She immediately suggested that I capture footage of the King Center (in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.) two blocks away. And the next thing I knew, she was getting into her car waving me in.
“I’ll take you there,” she said. “It’s safer for you this way.” Continue reading “Oh, The Strangers You’ll Meet”