OB "Yeah, down by the Pier. That’s where it’s happenin’ Down at the edge of the Pacific. Down in the corner of California.
We call it OB And that's where you'll find me.

Ocean Beach is my neighborhood. It's a small enclave surrounded by the expansive domain of San Diego. A magical place lying between the outside world and the country we’ve left behind. Those of us that live here call ourselves OBecians, we call this town OB. We are a hodge-podge; surfers, travelers, peaceniks, runaways, drunks, college kids, liberals, veterans, old-timers, squares and everything in-between. Strange bedfellows, but somehow we've figured out how to get along with each other. Tolerance is our collective middle name. We're laid-back and that suits us just fine. It’s a haven of free thought where our only enemy seems to be convention. Some days I think Ocean Beach exists only because we believe it exists. We have a catchphrase that reads ‘Ocean Beach, an attitude not an address.’ a disclaimer we’re proud of. Stroll down our main street, Newport Avenue and you'll still get a sense of true community. On this street alone there is a hardware store, affordable café’s, clothing stores, gift shops, pet stores, and cocktail bars. We even have an authentic head shop that with a little imagination transports you back to the psychedelic sixties. You can find just about everything you need in OB without trekking to the malls. This is a walk-to-everywhere neighborhood, reminiscent of years gone by, a reminder of more idyllic times, of life spent in a simpler world. If you settle here long enough you’ll soon both recognize and be recognized by others on the street. Unlike other areas of San Diego, the marine layer can often cloud our summer days; it curls around our neighborhood hiding us from the rest of the county. OB is the port to hide and shelter from the storm. We've got tide pools and hidden coves, trails and eucalyptus groves. We’ve got awesome surf breaks. We've got our own historical society and a local merchants group. We’ve got a member-owned cooperative food market that’s been serving the community since 1971. We've got annual events where we welcome outsiders by the thousands to come and share the love. We’ve got a youth hostel that hosts an eclectic mix of young backpackers from around the globe. We've got a beach just for dogs, how sweet is that! Wednesday evening we boast one of the best street markets in San Diego - The Ocean Beach Farmer's Market. Newport Avenue comes alive with the smell of tulips and sandalwood, fresh bread and piping hot kettle corn. Hawkers and traders peddle their wares. The sounds of the strolling minstrels and drummers are so evocative that you might think you are part of a modern day renaissance faire. All of OB comes out for this event, our way of paying respects to one another. This small old-time beach community and bastion of counterculture holds on. Sadly though, there are signs that our charming seaside town is changing. We are on the endangered list. An east coast souvenir chain has replaced our local movie theatre. Java Joe left, his space now filled by Starbuck's. The Arizona Cafe closed its doors after providing over fifty years of saloon solace. Affordable housing is now an oxymoron and the rents are tipping the scales. The added populace of San Diego is spilling over into our neighborhood. These are a new type of resident, eager to gentrify OB. They see funky as shabby, quaint with 'it needs tearing down', and offbeat with 'off course NOT!’ Some of them try to hoodwink us into believing that they want to preserve Ocean Beach as they stroll the neighborhood in their designer scruff, jacking up the rents month by month, pushing the boundaries of affordability. This is the antithesis of what OB is all about. I'm hoping that we'll zealously fight to protect our neighborhood. It's going to be a battle, but OB is definitely worth it. Hope we'll stand up and shout ‘j'embrasse mon rival, mais c'est pour l'etouffer' Maybe that’s just the point, we don’t speak the same language.

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Comments

dkloo July 20, 2008 @ 1:17 p.m.

LOL, they socially accepted way of life in OB is one of binge drinking and substance abuse. if a dog attacks my dog, There are two things I did wrong, Let my dog associate with bigger , mean dogs.. and did not protect my dog. I am her owner and let me tell you , I would put myself in front of another dog if he/ she was aggressive. Never take you dog off the leash. I don't . No ,matter what people think, dogs are dogs and if they want to , they will attack. i agree, the owners of those dogs are just as bad as the dog. But hey, whay not put a special dog patrol that would monitor dogs on the beach and ticket people who doesn't have aggressive dog on a leash. you have to realize that people are attacked by Dobemans, rot's and Akitas just as often as Pits. But you haveto realize that if two dogs get into a fight, thats normal. If a dog and a pit get into a fight, it makes headlines. Almost 50% of attacks reported as " Pit Bull attacks" are actually other breeds of dogs, but they will get more coverage and readers if it says pit bulls.. We have been though this before, It was call the "Salem Witch Hunt" .. If enough people believe something, it becomes a fact.. Knowledge is power..

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sd4me June 29, 2008 @ 11:58 a.m.

I love OB and lived there for 10 years. Unfortunately due to economies of scale I have moved (temporarily) to Las Vegas. How to describe what I took for granted all those years in OB. The smell of the sea air, the lonely sound of the fog horn, the funky beat of farmer's market and living in the place where everyone really does know your name, your kid's names and even your dog's name. Rejoice OBcians and fight for your little piece of paradise. Now as I sit here in 108 degree weather, where it is even 100 degrees at night, I miss my town even more. How can you compare living here in the Devil's Armpit to the beauty, the innocence and sheer joy of OB?

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa June 30, 2008 @ 4:14 p.m.

If tolerance is your middle name, you're going to have tolerate these newcomers too, Trevor.

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trevor July 7, 2008 @ 9:25 a.m.

Dear Joaquin,

As tolerant as I am, one has to know one's limits. Being tolerant doesn't mean being stupid. Kinda like having all sorts come around to a party, the diverse crowd creating an interesting atmosphere and then a certain crowd start destroying the house and bullying the rest of the guests, forcing them to leave what was a wonderful, friendly party.

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dkloo July 9, 2008 @ 3:02 p.m.

I love this area.. but like someone else said , there is a limit. I think the bans on booze and increased police force has improved our way of life, the community has to step up and take back there city. I feel a lot of the problems we have are stemmed from all of the renters in this area. Not to say that all are bad, just some kids and other trouble makers, who's parents give them money to be someone else problem. I have neighbors that party every night of the week. I was young too , but there has to be a limit. If not, you will see the quality of life here diminish, not improve. Also the parking sucks if you have friends in town. Maybe they should rent parking spaces in the local parking lots after hours. Might make the city some more money. Well besides that , Have a wonderful day.

Derek

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trevor July 10, 2008 @ 11:01 a.m.

Hello Derek,

Neighbours that party every night of the week annoy me too, but 'problems from all the renters' . . . c'mon, most of 'us renters' do not party every night. most of us can not even dream of owning a home in ocean beach, but would love to. it's the diversity of people that live in ob that make this place a wonderful community. push the less fortunate out and this place is going to be orange county-by-sea.

trev

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DaynaCelise July 12, 2008 @ 6:17 p.m.

well said Trev! Dear Derek, Increased police force is improving our way of life? I got a ticket for having my dog off leash while I was picking up her poo, holding the leash! How many days do you walk by Horse Cop Poo on your way to the beach? The town needs more money so they tax the populace and take away our rights one by one while on horseback? Pitbulls can eat pomeranians on Dog Beach but the police are nowhere to be seen because they're off taxing BOTH Reckless & Responsible drinkers and smokers. Sometimes I don't feel very "Served and Protected." Renters pay taxes too, by the way. Kick all the renters/poor people out of town and build high rises, would that be the OB You Love? I think not. It would be La Jolla. You don't see 10-15 cops an hour there do you? No. Because then the American trend of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer wouldn't work very well! Dayna Celise

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dkloo July 15, 2008 @ 1:13 p.m.

Well it is like they say, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. My comment was to the fact the not only are most of the renters in this city, college student, but most of the people .. Old and young were either pot heads or drank everyday. Well the only thing I can say Is , One its the owner, not the dog. I have a pit bull and she is the sweetest dog, and if you look the most aggressive dogs towards humans and other dogs are dobermans, rotty's and akitas. So everyone is entitled to their opinion's but if you as a citizen want a change or improvement, you have to take action. Cops suck but with out them, society would and has failed.

Information is key... here is a mind altering look at the " vicious" pitbull that everyone thinks..

http://www.pitbullguide.com/members/PitbullGuide.htm

check it out, sharing is caring, watch the owners not the animals..

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DaynaCelise July 15, 2008 @ 3:47 p.m.

Wow, are you sure you aren't an alcoholic? You kinda argue like one...I had seen a 4 pitbulls fighting @ Dog Beach mere moments before posting that comment. MY POINT is not to stereo-type pitbulls. I am not ignorant to the fact that stupid people have stupid dogs. MY POINT is we are paying taxes to be taxed. Next time your sweet pitbull (btw, I believe you) is being mauled, make sure to watch the owner! They probably want to fight you, too. Hey, they probably are pothead renters who drink everyday! So maybe, just maybe, YOU will get lucky and the cops will show!

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