San Diego: Ruling Out Downtown.

"I am interested to see what you think of Downtown. I think you'd like it."

These were the words written by a digital (now in-person) friend who lives in the San Diego area. We've known each other digitally for a few years. This past weekend, as I finished off my Asia/Indonesia/Australia trip with a stop in San Diego, I got to meet her and her husband for lunch.

Knowing that I had been living an urban life for the past 14 years, she was convinced I would be looking to move to San Diego and live in Downtown. Or at least, she wanted to see what I thought about it.

"You should check out Little Italy," she said. "It's changed a lot."

She indicated that it was a trendy area to live in, with restaurants and a good amount of new condo development. So after our lunch, I walked over there from my hotel...


(Shot of a Little Italy "seashelled" path.)

My hotel was in Downtown, on Broadway and 5th. So the walk to Little Italy only took about 20 minutes. It was nice. But as I took in the sunshine while discovering new ground, I was able to determine... 

"Yep. I am done living amongst the tall skyscrapers for now."

Downtown is great for convenience. Close to job opportunities, the airport, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, Taco Bell... It's the kind of place I've been attracted to living in for many years. But these days, I crave sunshine that's not broken up by tall buildings. And there's no close Bikram studio that I could walk to. So I would need to park a car in the garage or rely on public transportation to get me to the studio.

Later that evening, I met another digital friend of the past few years for dinner in Downtown. She was incredibly sweet and smart - not that I was surprised. And I enjoyed my non-pork, non-alcohol dinner with her...

Chicken and waffles! The cuisine in Downtown rivals that of what I get in Boston, which means, "It rocks."

And I was surprised by the detail of the waffle that came with my chicken... 

That's corn in there! Savory waffles are awesome. My new new favorite thing!

The next day, I met another friend to who I've known for a long time. This time I ventured to Balboa Park - another part of Downtown. We spent a few hours walking around the place while I took in more sunshine and the desert landscape...

I almost want to call this cactus a "Fiddlehead Cactus." I don't know if there is even such a thing. But it reminds me of the Spring vegetable, fiddle heads. Yum!

We popped into the botanical garden in the park - which is a recurring theme in my life these past few weeks - and saw gorgeous orchids.

I am in awe of the talent it takes to grow these things! It's not easy. I've tried multiple times, with no success. They die after a few weeks.

With so much to see and do and eat in Downtown, you would think I would find a convenient home in Downtown. But unlike the guy on the Downtown waterfront who has a talent for stacking rocks...

I can't find balance in Downtown. I definitely need to have a refuge further out.