It's no secret San Diego has the best weather. Each month we ask one of our favorite San Diegans:
What else makes this city great?
Live: Normal Heights
Work: University Heights, a short bike ride from home at 3rdSpace.
How Long: How long: 25 years (with a 4 year hiatus in Phoenix and London)
My parents moved us to Encinitas (Olivenhain) from Mission Viejo when I was about 2 years old. I had a quintessential ’80s childhood in coastal suburbia: skateboarding, bike racing and epic outdoor laser tag battles. We were pretty much like the Goonies, but with regular, everyday adventures instead of treasure hunts.
When did you move to the city and why?
The decision to move me here in the beginning was not mine obviously, but I support the decision retrospectively. When it became my choice later on in life (circa 2002 after some time away), I knew there was no other place I wanted to be. Sure, free rent for a few months at my parents’ helped, but when my friend toured me around and caught me up on the creative bloom occurring in neighborhoods like North Park and Hillcrest, this new version of San Diego I was seeing really felt like home, perhaps even more so than before. That sense of belonging and the feeling of community I experience here have not faded and the urge to jump to other flourishing cities like Portland or San Francisco has never grown compelling, despite my love for them and all they have to offer.
I’ve always really appreciated San Diego’s ability to stay fun and relevant, yet simultaneously grounded and down to earth. We seem to be able to match much of the creativity and ambition of many larger, perhaps better known cultural cities, but we tend not to take ourselves too seriously and this keeps the city from consuming itself and becoming tragically hip or ridiculous. Perhaps it’s that bit of beach culture permeating at all times that continually insulates the city and keeps it casual, no matter how adventurous or bold we are at the exact same time. It’s a very comfortable environment for me.
Besides the weather, why do you continue to call San Diego home?Given this week is San Diego Beer Week, its pretty hard not to mention that first and foremost. Even without this ten-day, “week-long” blowout, I’d already be mentioning that the city’s food and drink are a major force in my decision to be here, but it’s inescapably clear this time of the year. San Diego is the heart of the craft beer renaissance, and I feel very lucky to be here witnessing it. I sense it as being very historically and culturally significant.Besides the city’s talented brewers who inspire me year-round, there are many local chefs and restaurateurs here that capture my heart with our classic, big and bold west coast flavors. Combine those huge flavors with some of the best beers in the world and produce that can be easily sourced locally, and you have a pretty rare and dynamic combination. It’s also getting easier and easier to dine artfully here as a conscious consumer regardless of your particular inspiration (vegetarian/vegan, organic, local, etc.), and that’s very exciting to me. We’re becoming more demanding as consumers, both in the sophistication of our palates and in our awareness of a larger perspective. I can’t see myself leaving because I really want to stick around to see where this all goes.
I also have a special connection to the music scene in San Diego, with its subtle yet consistently significant place in punk and rock history. We’ve had some incredible musicians and bands call our city home and create a great place to see live music, even if on a whim.
And although I can’t mention the weather, let’s just say I love the fact that I can regularly play Frisbee outdoors, and easily maintain a raised bed of veggies and homegrown hop vines.