Scott Marks 3:29 p.m., May 24
Call me crazy, but it seems San Diego is becoming more dog-friendly than kid-friendly. I have never seen so many stores dedicated to the spoiling of one's pooch in my twenty-four years of life. You do not have to venture far from home before you come across a dog grooming business, or a dog clothing boutique, or even a dog motel.
This didn't really bother me until recently. I do not have a car and I avoid public transportation like the plague, because toddlers and the bus do not mix well. And also because everyone on the bus avoids each other like the plague, which can damage one's self-esteem. So I usually walk to do my errands around North Park. The other day, I set out in search of a children's clothing/toy store. I figured I would come across at least one or the other. There are families all over North Park and the surrounding districts; such as, City Heights, Normal Heights, South Park, and I know I have seen at least a few in Hillcrest. Well, after walking along University Ave from 35th Street to Park Blvd, I had come across no children's clothing stores and no children's toy stores. Not a single one. The Salvation Army Thrift Store, Walgreens, and CVS are the only stores on this stretch of University that have at least a small collection of toys or clothing suitable for children. But guess what I did find? PLENTY of businesses selling dog clothes, dog toys, and dog haircuts. Now, I know that Hillcrest is right next door to North Park and the majority of gays do not have children. They do have dogs though. I understand why the dog stores exist. But not even one children's store? My daughter enjoys walking (part of the way) with me around the neighborhood. She likes to wave to all the dogs while they get their nails done and gossip with each other. But it would be nice if we could walk to a toy store every once in a while so she can pick out a new toy, preferably not a chew toy... San Diego seems like a good place to raise...dogs? I like North Park, but it is becoming less and less of a kid-friendly neighborhood. The coffee shops, the bars, the adult boutiques, and the dog stores have left little room for parks, recreation facilities, and stores for me to spoil my cute daughter in. The rent is more affordable in North Park than in most of the more kid-friendly neighborhoods. But I am starting to debate a move, even if I do not know how I will afford it. I love dogs, but I love children more. The ridiculous amount of dog stores on that stretch of Universtity Ave, and the complete absence of any children's store made me question what North Park has to offer to single-parents of small children.