In the summer of 2007 I bought a house on Bandera Road, four miles east of I-35, just off Martin Luther King Boulevard. Buying a house on Bandera Road was an important milestone, the fulfillment of an adolescent promise made a quarter-century ago.
On a sweltering Saturday morning I stuffed my Honda Civic with books, clothes and CDs, and lit out for my new digs. As I crossed the freeway, the neatly maintained homes and xeriscaped yards on the west side gave way to a different reality on the east. Houses began to sag and wilt, grass turned to dirt and street corners rustled with fast-food wrappers and Styrofoam cups.
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