“Oh, you live in South Park? I looove South Park.”
I hear that from a lot of San Diegans.
San Diego, if you hadn’t guessed, is the “SD” in South Park SD. Zip code 92102.
And from anyone who visits. Family, friends, acquaintances. They all looove South Park.
The thing is, my wife and I really do looove South Park SD, with all three “o”s, for its:
- Deliberate Beauty
- Grape Street dog park
- Diverse Architecture
- Free Libraries
- Clean Up South Park
- Murals and Artwork
- Old House Fair
- Grape Street Square
- Home gardeners
- Balboa Park!
- Adorably quaint lighting
- Houses of Worship
- Convenience to downtown
- and Performers.
Don’t get me started on the shops and eateries. Seriously, this post will get even more insufferable.
We feel safe walking the streets day or night, and are on comfortable, even social, terms with most of our surrounding neighbors. One neighbor’s dog knows to come to our front door when she’s home alone and thunder rumbles.
Yeah, living here is really that good.
Not perfect, though. Let’s not be naive.
- Home prices are ridiculous by any measure except Manhattan and Hong Kong.
- High rents have forced out long-time residents and businesses, including neighborhood institutions such as Rebecca’s.
- Sections of unmaintained sidewalks are treacherous. Neglect to march knee-to-chest and risk catching a foot before faceplanting into concrete. This happened to a friend and led to an urgent care and several dental visits.
- Dale Street is roughly 6-acres-wide south of Juniper Street and, with a pronounced lack of guidance from lane dividers, treated as the Bonneville Speedway by passing motorists.
- Fern Street’s “elbow”, at its intersection(s) with Grape Street, is a bother in every direction for everyone. There is no good solution and there never will be.
- It’s unreasonable to make southbound 30th Street vanish at the corner of Juniper Street only to reappear 40 feet west.
- Northbound 30th at “A” Street is more like a practical joke. Rather than simply re-appearing 40 feet immediately west, as it does 10 blocks north, 30th vanishes entirely, only to unfurl from the impressive entrance of the Albert Einstein Academy… on Ash Street one block north! Visitors understandably feel insane when working out the details.
Okay, I was reaching for some of those.
All told, how can you NOT looove South Park?
As I’ve learn about its history, though, I’ve wondered whether I should call the area South Park SD or Golden Hill. Or adopt a kid brother complex about neighboring North Park. Or just be really glad I didn’t live here 45 years ago. Or feel sad and angry on behalf of the people I’ve helped displace.
“#ETHNIC CLEASING” and “#Hipster Pacifism” were recently spray painted on a new mural 5 blocks from my house. Sure, it’s vandalism, but that message is damning to the neighborhood. Read more here.
So I have two questions to start this blog.
- What is South Park SD?
- And what will it become?
This blog is born from my irrational affection for this neighborhood and hope to help South Park SD become what it can be.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned!