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What am I doing in Eastlake?

Elizabeth: I think your piece was well-written and I can completely understand why you feel conflicted about your new neighborhood. I grew up in a planned community like this -- where every house and street looks the same, lawns are manicured and HOAs rule with an iron fist. To add insult to injury, I played soccer, too. It was the kind of living that the TV show “Weeds” made fun of. When I left for college, I also found myself running away from suburbia and drawn to grimy, chaotic cities, such as New York -- just because it was so different than what I knew. But when I look back on how I grew up, I realize how fortunate I was. My neighborhood was extremely safe. As a tween and teenager, I never felt in danger -- nor did my parents ever have to worry -- if my friends and I walked home in the evenings or when I went for a run, alone. That planned community has one of the best public high schools in the state, and the kids that went there viewed their education as a priority. I went away to a good college and so did most of my classmates -- and the college that I chose opened doors for me to study abroad and travel. I know for a fact that my life would have been very different had my parents not been able to afford to live in this planned community. I doubt that I would have had the same opportunities that I’ve enjoyed had we lived somewhere else. I can see why you’d view suburban life as boring. The commute down South DOES suck, and I know it’s a huge adjustment. But you need to remember why you moved there. You have a child. So it’s not about you anymore. I currently live downtown. But I don’t have children, and there’s no way in HELL I’d raise a child here. I would not want them to go to an under-funded, inner-city school, have their sleep disturbed by the sounds of police sirens every night, or risk them being accosted by homeless people and drunks. How unfair would it be to them and their development to raise them in this environment, just so that I could still FEEL “urban chic,” or whatever you want to call it? When I do have children, Eastlake is exactly the kind of community I would want to raise them in. That’s why they exist and why urban planners and development companies create them – for families. You’ve had your time. Your life is not over, and you’re not over, just because you're living in the burbs. Embrace this new chapter in your life, and think of what you are offering your daughter. It will grow on you. If anything, be thankful that you’re able to enjoy some QUIET and get a good’s night sleep regularly -- I’m at the point where I’d kill to not be awoken by a siren, just once.
— August 5, 2013 11:17 a.m.

Bad service in San Diego

Good to know that it's not just me! I was starting to wonder if it was, having been slighted so many times, too. Many of my friends are originally from San Diego (I'm not) and they never get annoyed with bad service -- they are so complacent that I started to wonder if I was crazy and uptight! It seems like getting good service is a total crap shoot -- it's been either over-the-top great or abysmal in my experience. I cannot keep track of the number of times that a server will disappear and is no where to be found when I need the check or will leave me hanging for a long time after I've been sat. The inefficiency and slowness I see regularly amazes me, especially at the prices these establishments are charging, particularly in the Gaslamp. I feel for waitstaff because I waited tables all throughout college. I also wish that restaurants paid their staff a living wage, like Nordic countries and Japan do, and that servers wouldn't have to be so reliant on tips. It is a crappy job, however anyone in the industry needs to remember that they are not entitled to a 20 percent tip, or any amount. If you want a good tip you have to give good service, it really is that simple. I don't know if the beach culture and laid-back vibe can be blamed. I've never encountered such poor service anywhere on Oahu. And for a town that depends heavily on tourist dollars, San Diego really needs to step up its game. I'm sorry to hear about what happened at URBN Pizza. I won't be going there after reading this. If I were the owner I'd be horrified to find out that an employee was treating my customers this way.
— June 17, 2013 6:01 p.m.

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