Jay Allen Sanford 10:15 a.m., Dec. 11
Four years ago, I left San Diego heartbroken from a marriage that was never meant to be. I sought comfort in Boston, but haughty sophisticates and frigid winter temps provided none. Focusing more on the temperature issue, I turned the Civic around and headed as far south as I could. Next stop: Ft. Lauderdale, playground of the South. I knew the town well, having there invested (perhaps squandered!) countless years in my youth. Perhaps I should have remembered why I left Ft. Lauderdale in the first place. I did not recognize the mistake immediately. This playground provided a relentless assault of annoyances that made me regret ever driving away from San Diego: obnoxious, New York born waitresses, cockroaches large enough to be saddled and ridden, irritating mosquito bites, and endless sweaty summer nights. However, the area provided one great discovery. I met and married a wondrous Bahama Mama (obviously an import, so don't credit the area too much). We got married with one inspired proviso: after one year, we must somehow return to my beloved California, ideally to San Diego. So the trek began. My first job took us to Bakersfield, benzene capital of the nation. Next we moved to San Luis Obispo, home of U. Cal. Polytechnic. This was scholastic central (as well as nerd central) with little to do. But finally, we just pulled all the stops and headed HOME! The first challenge upon arriving in San Diego was to pick the right neighborhood. Having lived in Point Loma and Serra Mesa, I tried to stay in the central zone. Pacific Beach always appealed to me, even back in the early seventies…but now I’m an old dude! At 55, how the heck do I fit in, surrounded by a 20-30 something demographic? I’m not a Wannabe, but I “totally” love the youth culture all around me. So I threw down the big bucks for a rental in one of those massive complexes on Ingraham, near Crown Point. The plan was simple: I just accept what’s different. I wouldn't judge what I didn’t understand. Keep my opinions to myself (unless you really want them in a second blog). With a little luck, who knows, maybe they won’t tie me up, gag me, and drop me off on Girard in La Jolla! Three months have gone by. We’re still here. Weekend nights get rowdy in our building. Hey, at least they’re having a good time, right? So what if I smell a certain sweet, pungent smelling smoke coming from a balcony, as I shortcut my way across the lawn to my car? Best of all, I’ve got Mission Bay a block away. The ocean is walking distance, and there are more unique eateries in one neighborhood than in all of South Florida. Traffic on the freeways is way better than it was when I left (Thank you, Caltrans!) The Downtown and Gaslamp are still totally terrific. Hey, it’s still fabulous San Diego! Well I’m felling pretty good about all of it right now. Antoinette and I are getting ready for bed. My next door neighbors just fired up their stereo, full blast. They’re playing rap from that new group “Plies”. It’s OK, I don’t mind. If I hadn’t of moved here, I never would have heard of Plies, or a lot of other good stuff. Gosh, it’s good to be here in PB and it’s really great to be home!