Syeira moved from Long Beach, California to San Antonio in 2002, to pursue “the great unknown.” At the time, she didn’t know if she’d stay for six months or six years. Nine years later, she is still here and enjoying San Antonio’s unassuming treasures and diverse celebrations.
She lived in three other areas of the city before moving to Lavaca Street in 2005, and has this to say about life in Lavaca: “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in San Antonio. The people, the history, and the proximity to downtown make Lavaca an endlessly interesting place to call home. It’s also a prime neighborhhood in which to live a car-free lifestyle. I gave up my car over two years ago and haven’t regretted it once. It’s a breeze to walk, bike, or take a bus anywhere I need to go.”
Syeira had the good fortune to move next door to the Carabins back when they lived on Lavaca Street, so she was immediately welcomed to the neighborhood and urged by Joan to serve as a Lavaca Neighborhood Association board member. She served from 2006 – 2007 and is serving on the board again this year.
She occasionally organizes a Lavaca house crawl, which is a great way for neighbors to get to know each other better. She is always looking for willing neighbors to open their homes for future crawls, so if you’re interested, let her know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Syeira was born and raised on California’s Central Coast, and claims that you can thank her “hippie musician” parents for naming her Syeira, which is English Gypsy for Sarah (and pronounced sigh-EAR-uh).
Syeira earned a degree in fashion design and worked in the Los Angeles apparel industry designing men’s and women’s street-wear before embarking on a more random career path. Some of her favorite jobs have been working summers at a fish market, being a secretary to an Episcopal vicar, and working at a Spanish tapas bar (Carmens de la Calle Cafe on East Mistletoe Avenue).
Currently, Syeira works for Villa Finale in the King William neighborhood. Walter Mathis — a leading San Antonio preservationist — left his home and collections to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2004 so it could become the first National Trust Historic Site in Texas. Syeira has been supervising the tour program since it opened in October 2010, but is transitioning to more community programming work this fall. She’s also looking forward to taking the museum shop to the National Preservation Conference in Buffalo, NY next month.
Syeira enjoys thrift store shopping (she’s always on the lookout for vintage stationery and textiles), taking road trips around Texas and beyond, swimming in lakes and oceans, and learning to play the steel drums. You’ll find her at the Central Library at least once a week and at a matinee movie at Rivercenter Mall every now and then.
She occasionally comes to the La Frite Happy Hour event, and has pledged that she’s making a 2012 New Year’s resolution to come more often. Syeira, we look forward to seeing you there regularly!