San Diego - My New Home Town


 The New
Wild West!

   Latest update:
Oct, 2008

For a "guided" tour of San Diego, see my
Tourist's Map (JPG: about 400K for about 10 photos and a map)

There's goin' to be a hot time in the old town tonight! I had lived most of my life in the East, but, because I had lived in California during some of my schooling, I knew something about it before I came. Californians have style and spirit as evidenced by these beacon-like buildings in downtown San Diego! Another thing you have to understand about California is that you have to travel longer distances to get anywhere. In northern New Jersey where I lived before, the traffic moves modestly because the roads are not built for speed: in compensation, everything is closer together. Because California is more spread out, it has innumerable freeways which are limited-access, divided highways designed to support 70mph speeds although only the less-traveled freeways are posted at 70, the remainder being 65. But here is the current real-time traffic report ! Until I stopped driving a few years ago, I found that I was driving about four times as many miles each year as I did in New Jersey due to the spread-out character of California and to the fact that I could go farther in a given time-frame. I usually measure distances in minutes rather than miles. My feeling is that I'm closer in minutes to anywhere I want to go than I was formerly.

As I said on the Home Page, Helen and I chose San Diego because it supported year-round golf which was her game. I love the San Diego weather - - weather which is, to me, too boring to monitor: warm and sunny. Oh - - we have minor variations from time to time. It rains in the winter occasionally - - hallelujah! And it's warmer in the summer than in the winter. But after 22 years in Illinois, 30 in New Jersey, 3 in central Pennsylvania topped off by a year and half in the Great Salt Lake Desert, this is living close to heaven. Actually to be in heaven, you would have to live in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands (off the west coast of Africa and a part of Spain). At least, this is the conclusion of Thomas Whitmore in "Pleasant Weather Ratings" from Consumer Travel Publications, PO Box 9175, Lexington, MA 02173 ($13.45 in case you're interested). His book rates 600 cities around the world and arrives at the conclusion that San Diego is second only to Las Palmas in favorable weather!

After Helen's death in 1994, I moved here according to our plan. It was a little scary at first not knowing anyone, but I started several activities and found the people to be friendly. I can't tell you much about the golf courses since I don't play anymore. We do have a famous public golf course just a few miles from my house. That is Torrey Pines where the Buick Open is contested every February, but I can't tell you anything about it because I've never actually played there.

I first lived on the far north side in a relatively new neighborhood of San Diego called Carmel Valley. It is just east of Del Mar which is an independent upscale town with a famous race track of the same name. Since everyone knows about Del Mar (Spanish meaning: of or by the sea), people sometimes referred to Carmel Valley as Del Mar to make me feel important. But remember everyone: I was living in Carmel Valley - - and it has its own charm. Here are two colorful sights (JPG: 93K) in Carmel Valley.

In 1995, I bought a house in the University City neighborhood of San Diego, where I lived until 2002. One way to enter University City is to exit from I-805 northbound at Governor Drive where every spring the flowers (JPG: 45K) are striking.

When you finally decide to travel to San Diego having never seen the burg, you will probably be coming south on Interstate 5. Just south of the Solana Beach exits you will be greeted by a sign proclaiming the San Diego City Limit (JPG: 20K). When I first saw this view, I was amused. Where then is this fabled great city if all I can see to the horizon is mostly open field? Is this after all only a one-horse town? No, siree - - and I can prove it with a scene right inside San Diego in Carmel Valley within a mile of my first home. This is a multi-horse town (JPG: 30K).

My first activity was an adult-school, Spanish Class in Solana Beach, an independent community just north of Del Mar. You can read about my Spanish adventures later by clicking the Spanish link at the bottom of the page. At first our class was held in one of the Solana Beach municipal buildings at Fletcher Cove. It was always a kick to go there because it was such a breezy scene (JPG: 86K).

If you liked the above "breezy scene" and you are a beach person; well welcome home! There are beaches in abundance , but, because it's not on my Tourist's Map (JPG: about 400K for about 10 photos and a map), I'll only mention one in the northern part of San Diego: La Jolla Cove in La Jolla where you can see real sea lions (JPG: 47K) on the beach.

Sometimes you are told that La Jolla is Spanish for The Jewel, but that is only half true: the pronunciation is about the same as the real Spanish word for jewel: joya. Correct Spanish pronunciation for both Jolla and Joya is the same: Hoe-ya with the ya being pronounced like the German word ja=yes. (However, in Valladolid, a city north of Madrid, I'm told they still use the traditional Castilian pronunciation for the ll meaning that Jolla would be pronounced hole-ya).

Recently I read that Jolla came from a native-American word hoya which supposedly means cave because there are small caves at seaside in La Jolla. But hoya also seems Spanish to me: my dictionary says that both hoyo and hoya mean "hole". Indeed, when my late wife Helen and I played golf in the Dominican Republic, we found small signs directing us to each hole: Hoyo #1, Hoyo #2, etc. Perhaps La Jolla (or, in this case, San Diego, for La Jolla is a neighborhood of San Diego) should do as the Spanish Academy of the Language does when it finds that the spelling of a word confuses: officially change the spelling. Then it could be La Joya : The Jewel!

In 2002, I moved to Classic Residence by Hyatt at La Jolla Village, a senior retirement community. I am only on the 6th of 21 floors, but, on a clear day I can see the distant mountains to the east! Actually there are only 20 floors because they don't want to spook people so they just skip number 13. In spite of "La Jolla" being in the name, this high-rise building is in University City, the San Diego neighborhood just east of the La Jolla neighborhood. In early 2008, Hyatt completed the building of a comparion tower which mirrors very closely the one I live in. Of course, this means that I am meeting new people in the dining room with regularity.

To learn more about San Diego, the best thing I've found is to GO THERE because GOTHERE.COM has a good introduction to San Diego.

If you have comments, questions or corrections, please send them to the WEBMASTER.
All designs, texts & graphics of this website are JSP Schwarz, San Diego, California, United States of America. Permission is granted to reproduce anything within this website as long as it is not-for-profit & proper credit is given for the source.


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