Dorian Hargrove 4:30 p.m., June 24
- Community Blog
North Park San Diego.
There's a whole heck of a lot that can be said about North Park.
What people always neglect is the feelings that places offer. Each experience for every single person is different, but so rarely do men and women in a place that they love actually sit back and think about the things that make a place particularly special. There are thoughts, memories, everything possible that can be associated with a particular location, but what it means to an individual is...well...to my eyes seemingly never discussed.
Which is terrible, because it should be discussed. It should be written about and shouted to the heavens because coming from the standpoint of a young adult living in San Diego, there's not enough focus on how relaxing the city can be or how calming even being in the center of San Diego's urban structure can sometimes be the most wonderful sense of zen in the world.
In this case? North Park is my center, my place of zen. I'm at the center of a powerful man-made Bhavacakra, a wheel of becoming, and I owe it all to the urban center that runs along university and stretches with Adams into the nethers of San Diego.
It's not the only influence, but it's a large part of it. I think it's also a large part of the growth that people aged 18 to 30 might feel. We are men and women on a cusp of change and the best place to be is in a place that's ever changing.
In a place that changes almost as frequently, from rebuilding to destruction, from gentrification to decay, North Park houses all of these and tailors them to each viewer's individual perception. It's a skin changer, a nerd's paradise, avante garde and hip-twenty minutes from the convention center, ten from San Diego itself giving all of us students room to grow and spread whatever wings we can build for ourselves.
I well and truly believe that the thoughts and emotions of a place are what make it special. That more people need to be honest and describe the world s othat the rest of us gain a greater understanding. I can speak passionately about a number of places in San Diego (I truly believe it's a paradise and that most of California lives up to it's practically-hollywood-backstory of being named after a place filled with gold and naked women)
So right now I'm sitting on a couch in my roommate's house. There's a corgi sleeping on my feet and my hands smell like dish soap. I've just cleaned our kitchen and there's a pleasant ache in my joints that says accomplishment. I'm watching horror movies on my laptop and the wind smells like leaves and wood fires and the faintest smell of cigarette smoke. There's a gentle breeze and rustling in the trees and at any second the people I live with will come back with Julian pie.
See that? Does it paint a picture in your head? The sensitive texture of the breeze, the quiet and quaint nature of the neighborhood? Sure the Corgi barks, but the world loves him anyway. And tomorrow it'll be entirely different. New smells and new experiences.
I came here from a place where I needed to rebuild myself. I needed to make a new me, or perhaps a real me, and between the sights and the smells I'm learning to find a calm place for myself. Learning to take care of myself in a way I couldn't anywhere else. Making time for things that I want to do...all the while being here in this microcosm of the world at large.
Because the world is always changing. It's always growing and shifting and there are good experiences (the smell of the wind, the feel of a comfortable and safe place) and bad experiences (the sirens at night, the occasional drunken partiers, the occasional party). Smaller then New York, more quiet then Los Angeles, San Diego is first and foremost a navy town and a quiet little pier for the west coast to sit back and relax.
But nestled deep near it's harbor in a colorful little neighborhood is a slice of something much bigger, ready and able to prepare us for the world at large.