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You Are Here, Or So

Often I get confused looks, even from longtime San Diego residents, when they ask where I live. "South Park...heh heh...they killed Kenny!" Ha. "No really, where is that?"

"Near downtown, on the other side of the park," I say. Or, "South of North Park."

"Oh yeah? Huh."

I air-draw Balboa Park as an upright rectangle, swirl around the area beyond the bottom-right corner. "Down here by the golf course. You ever play Balboa 9?"

These descriptions provide a general idea, but because this hood isn't really in between or on the way to anything, you don't stumble upon it and lots of folks don't know where the hell "South Park" is, other than late-night Cartoonland. Which is just fine, thanks. Don't bother. The neighborhood sucks. No services, rinky-dink old houses, bad cell reception, diverse ethnic mix (gasp), you wouldn't like it. Seriously.

But for the diligent among thee, where is there, exactly? South Park Neighbors provides a historical description:

"South Park is one of downtown San Diego's first suburbs. A subdivision called the South Park Addition was registered on May 17, 1870. Its original boundaries were a rectangle formed by Park St. (now 28th St.) on the west, A St. on the south, a canyon running along the line of 32nd St. on the east and an arbitrary line between Cedar and Date streets on the north."

If we impose those boundaries on the current grid, South Park OG Rectangle looked something like this:

Photobucket

The South Park That Time Forgot. This original subdivision leaves out a lot of what is definitely South Parkian. Hmm. Maybe SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organisation) can give us a little guidance:

SOHO

Whoa. We lost ground to the East but gained a block and a half to the North. How did...a-ha. SOHO isn't describing a neighborhood but a historic district:

"The district is called "South Park," and is roughly North of A Street, South of Elm Street, West of 31st Street, and East of Balboa Park. ... A survey conducted in 1996 of the area buildings proposed a historic district boundary that lies within the original South Park subdivision map and also includes part of the Seaman and Choate subdivision map. These maps adjoin in the middle of several blocks."

Cool. But where's the rest? Help me, City of San Diego. What does the actual city government consider the neighborhood to be?

SanDiego.gov

That's helpful, sort of. Balboa Park to the West and A street to the South, ok. And...a panhandle to the Southeast, a squiggly line to the East, and somewhere about halfway up the park to the North. Clearly not an exact science. We're getting closer but still don't have a definitive map.

Tune in tomorrow, or so, when I manually draw what South Park seems to be. Consider thyself Whetted.

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Often I get confused looks, even from longtime San Diego residents, when they ask where I live. "South Park...heh heh...they killed Kenny!" Ha. "No really, where is that?"

"Near downtown, on the other side of the park," I say. Or, "South of North Park."

"Oh yeah? Huh."

I air-draw Balboa Park as an upright rectangle, swirl around the area beyond the bottom-right corner. "Down here by the golf course. You ever play Balboa 9?"

These descriptions provide a general idea, but because this hood isn't really in between or on the way to anything, you don't stumble upon it and lots of folks don't know where the hell "South Park" is, other than late-night Cartoonland. Which is just fine, thanks. Don't bother. The neighborhood sucks. No services, rinky-dink old houses, bad cell reception, diverse ethnic mix (gasp), you wouldn't like it. Seriously.

But for the diligent among thee, where is there, exactly? South Park Neighbors provides a historical description:

"South Park is one of downtown San Diego's first suburbs. A subdivision called the South Park Addition was registered on May 17, 1870. Its original boundaries were a rectangle formed by Park St. (now 28th St.) on the west, A St. on the south, a canyon running along the line of 32nd St. on the east and an arbitrary line between Cedar and Date streets on the north."

If we impose those boundaries on the current grid, South Park OG Rectangle looked something like this:

Photobucket

The South Park That Time Forgot. This original subdivision leaves out a lot of what is definitely South Parkian. Hmm. Maybe SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organisation) can give us a little guidance:

SOHO

Whoa. We lost ground to the East but gained a block and a half to the North. How did...a-ha. SOHO isn't describing a neighborhood but a historic district:

"The district is called "South Park," and is roughly North of A Street, South of Elm Street, West of 31st Street, and East of Balboa Park. ... A survey conducted in 1996 of the area buildings proposed a historic district boundary that lies within the original South Park subdivision map and also includes part of the Seaman and Choate subdivision map. These maps adjoin in the middle of several blocks."

Cool. But where's the rest? Help me, City of San Diego. What does the actual city government consider the neighborhood to be?

SanDiego.gov

That's helpful, sort of. Balboa Park to the West and A street to the South, ok. And...a panhandle to the Southeast, a squiggly line to the East, and somewhere about halfway up the park to the North. Clearly not an exact science. We're getting closer but still don't have a definitive map.

Tune in tomorrow, or so, when I manually draw what South Park seems to be. Consider thyself Whetted.

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Comments
2

I've often wondered about a district within the district of South Park: Brooklyn Heights. As in Brooklyn Heights Elementary -- which was on Ash Street until Albert Einstein took it over and the new Brooklyn Elementary opened on 33rd Street.

I consider the northern boundary of South Park to be Switzer Canyon -- but guess that means it also envelops the "district" of Burlingame -- and the eastern boundary to be the 15.

Feb. 26, 2009

Agreed that the canyon is the Northern boundary...not sure about the 15, so I will keep looking for "official" documentation and report in another post. Thanks!

Feb. 28, 2009

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