The eighth largest city in the US is San Diego. It is also the site of a three game series between our San Francisco Giants, and the San Diego Padres. I have attended games at the old Jack Murphy Stadium, now called Qualcomm Stadium over in Mission Valley. The climate is mild, the city/suburban area is close to Mexico, and the Navy has a presence, which began back in 1901. Lately, biotech and golf club manufacturers have taken over the areas north of San Diego. One of my favorite golf venues, Torrey Pines is located up the road in La Jolla. It is always rated in the top ten public golf courses in the country.
I had an office here back in the 70s, as well as access to a company apartment, which I did not care for. The office was in Mission Circle (Mission Valley area), near the shopping center, and most of the time, I stayed in a Mission Circle hotel. It was only a ten to fifteen minute trip over to the San Diego Airport. Not many people know that San Diego has hosted two world’s fairs, the 1915 and 1935, well before I was born. I was responsible for setting up the professional relations department, which included peer review, provider relations, and quality assurance for our company.
Downtown San Diego, where I will stay on this trip, is the home of the revitalized Gaslamp Quarter, home to snazzy bars and restaurants. And the new Petco Park is easily within walking distance from downtown hotels, the harbor, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza, and the San Diego Convention Center. Both of my sisters have some history here. One, lived just up the road in Del Mar with her husband Norm, and their two now grown boys. My youngest sis graduated from San Diego State here in the 70s.
Obviously, the climate is a big deal here, as San Diego enjoys one of the most temperate climates in the world. The population of 1.4 million would not trade it for the fog of the Bay Area, or the humidity of the east coast (or the smog and traffic of LA). Median income is about $70,000. It is also one of the ten safest cities in the US. Tourism, the US Navy (largest employer), and the port are San Diego’s big three of commerce. The border between Mexico and San Diego is the busiest international border crossing in the world. But be careful if you decide to cross!
Among the leading high tech companies based here are Qualcomm, Nokia, LG, Kyocera, Cricket, and Novatel. Among the leading biotech firms are Elan, Celgene, Neurocrine Biosciences, Nventa, BD Biosciences, Biogen Idec, and Vertex, and research organizations like the Salk Institute, Scripps Research Institute, the West Wireless Health Institute, and Sanford-Burnham Institute. Also, famous golf club manufacturer, Callaway is just up the road in Carlsbad. In fact, I am currently playing Callaway irons that my son bought for me a few years ago.
The major sports teams are the NFL San Diego Chargers (now in Los Angeles), and the MLB San Diego Padres. The current Los Angeles Clippers began their franchise here under the name of the San Diego Clippers, who moved here from Buffalo (Braves). San Diego State University fields Division 1 sports teams. And of course, the successful San Francisco Forty Niners head coach, Jim Harbaugh, learned his trade here at the University of San Diego.
Tourism is a major industry here, led by the great weather and beaches, followed by the San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Sea World, and Balboa Park. Old town San Diego is worth a stop, if for nothing else but a good southwestern or south of the border meal. It is also a pretty good convention town with lots of great seafood joints, and lively bars, especially in the Gaslamp Quarter downtown. And do not forget to check out beautiful Coronado Island.
Anyone famous from San Diego? Here are a few including Heisman winner Marcus Allen, actress Annette Bening, golfer Billy Casper, Hall of Fame hitter Ted Williams, Ted Danson, skateboarder Tony Hawk, NASCAR’s Jimmy Johnson, Gregory Peck, Tony Romo, the late Junior Seau, Craig Venter, Bill Walton, Pete Wilson* (one of my favorite Republicans, believe it or not), Raquel Welch, Eddie Vedder, Phil Mickelson, Ray Kroc, Wyatt Earp, Cameron Diaz, and Dennis Conner.
I am here only to cruise the Gaslamp Quarter, watch a few Giants games, and enjoy the great seafood and weather here in San Diego. I may have ventured out to La Jolla, and Torrey Pines but the Giants have significantly improved from their lousy .500 start (equal wins and loses). Someone also suggested I go out to the famous San Diego Zoo, more to practice my animal photography than anything else. I think that is a great idea.
Mostly, Go Giants!!!!
Fast forward to today: I always enjoy attending Giants games at Petco Park against the Padres. The weather is great, the ticket prices are better, and it is so easy to get around, not just to the game, but to many of the city’s best venues. And the fresh seafood.
My friends, Julie and Jim are here too.
We actually once thought about relocating to this area. But soon realized we had no support system, read that as friends and relatives. The weather is great, but the cost of living has become very similar to Orange and Ventura Counties. And the traffic is unbearable!