Why San Diego is Awesome

Ok, so, this video is not why I think San Diego is awesome, but it’s so spot on that I had moments where I forgot that it’s a parody. I’m pretty sure I’ve been to that Rigoberto’s…

And I don’t even need to write a comment because Michael here had the same thought:

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 3.54.10 AM

Obviously, as a gay female feminist, ‘bro culture’ is not my most favorite thing. When bros are going on bragging about taking advantage of women (or trying to score blow jobs) I tend to get kicky. Otherwise, I’m usually amused by the way they talk and their gentle sort of simplemindedness. Oh, and I love when a brah grasps for those profound thoughts, I really do. Have you ever noticed how their faces soften, their mouths start to form the o-shaped awe of their childlike wonder?

Also, turns out the ridiculously blissful weather is not why SD is particularly awesome, though of course I admit I’m completely dependent on it and I would be utterly lost if it actually snowed ever. I would be embarrassed for myself, except I really don’t care that some people out there are proud of themselves for being “rugged” and “weather-wise” — if I move and need to deal with the realities which come from a variety of precipitation falling from the sky, then fine, I’ll learn. Otherwise I’m busy focusing on weighing my ambitions with my social survival needs — not fantasizing about some zombie apocalypse where my ability to light a fire with a shoelace is going to be important.

All the flowering fruitless plums? That's "snowy" enough for me.

All the flowering fruitless plums? That’s “snowy” enough for me.

Anyway, the weather is not my “big deal” here.  I don’t see a lot of daylight anyway. Not only because my schedule keeps me inside on a computer most of the time but I’ve also kind of elected to avoid the sun and outdoor activities. For example, of course I have surfed (has any local never surfed? Tell me in the comments) but I didn’t really get into it because 1) my glorious princess hair turns to ratty straw with all that sea water 2) I sunburn in 13 minutes when the $4-per-ounce 110 SPF sunscreen is finally battered off my skin by waves & sand and 3) I’m not really a meditative person so I don’t get “totally stoked” to sit on a buoyant piece of foam covered in fiberglass for hours not talking to anyone and collecting skin cancer.

And before the 5th person gives a "helpful suggestion" I *do* own a rash guard.

And before the 5th person gives a “helpful suggestion” I *do* own a rash guard.

Most people will tell you SD is awesome because it’s relaxing, “nice,” friendly… They laud the small town atmosphere and remark that it seems like everyone knows each other (they don’t, but it’s okay, we like pretending).  Also, most importantly, it’s “better than LA.” Which it’s really not, and anyone who says so probably lived there and submitted to the soul-crushing forces and insecurity that comes from being surrounded by beautiful, successful people. I’m honestly not sure how well I’d fare in our city’s big sister but I will say it’s lovely to feel like a big fish in a little lake (or a whale’s vagina).

Those kinds of conversations, about how SD is so nice and the weather is fucking rad, are immensely boring to me.  I’m too young to be grateful for a pleasant atmosphere to the point of making it my perpetual focus of small-talk. (I’d rather just take it for granted.) In fact I willfully throw myself into the chaotic fires of the night. Turns out, this is not a bad place to do that.

The underground scenes in SD are cushioned from the watchful eye of the media and/or your catholic grandparents because everyone is too busy defending how “pleasant” this place is.  They call our city a “town” and drink in the big clear skies and hum the word “quaint” as a daily mantra. The fact that the only problems with this town are First World Problems (although the crumbling sidewalks are fucking shameful) gives us a kind of cushion that allows us to build hidden lairs of resistance.  Or just, you know, dens of sin.

Slowly we will start to face the kind of scruple laid on places like NY and LA, but for now, expectations are low or nonexistent. It’s quite easy to squirm your way out of conversations where you’ve said too much about what happened last night since the imagination factor for the “normals” out here is quite scant.

I think many a creative mind lashes out against the ennui here, and we make our own fun out of thin air. We build playgrounds in the desert, we have subterranean punk shows, we put tails on and dance in warehouses. After two years (I was less cool in college) of paying attention, I finally know where to look. I’ve found something awesome in San Diego.

Is San Diego Really Boring?

San Diego Survival Guide just hit its 6 monthiversary. Yup, that means I’ve made about 24 regular weekly posts (mostly on time, too). I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing with this blog, and my relationship with this city.

In college I sustained a group created by Robert Turner and Grace Nam, in which we made an effort to go out exploring almost every Thursday night (…hey that’s when this blog updates). We took turns leading adventures, burning mixed CDs, and sharing adventurous spots in San Diego. We made a night of surveying pedestrian suspension bridges (there were three). We looked at the topiaries off vine street. We climbed the Secret Stairs of La Mesa. We went to a steel bridge in Jamul because it looked cool on Google Earth.


A blurry nighttime photo of the Secret Stairs of La Mesa

In the past two years, I’ve made going out part of my regular schedule. Katelyn and I get cabin fever because our hobbit-hole apartment has low ceilings and our third roommate is her extensive hookah collection, which really doesn’t leave much room for us… Really, it is all of her research and voracious appetite to get out of the house that I have to thank for my knowledge of places, events, subcultures and what’s happening right now in the city.

So, I feel more focused than most on discovering the truly interesting parts of SD and analyzing its culture. Most people living here are transplants, lost in a sea of tourist traps. The locals that remain are either jaded and fantasize about leaving, or they are comfortable, heavy with their habits.

This town is uniquely apathetic in a glossy-eyed, vacationer-sucking-on-a-Mai-Tai kind of way. We just don’t care, and while this may make us seem culture-less and unambitious, we also are strangely accepting of weirdos. This is where the subcultures have room to flourish. Punks throw subterranean rock shows, burners dance naked in large suburban backyards, polyamorous lovers gather in gigantic cuddle puddles, kinky kids suspend their wives from rafters.

When I started the Guide, I envisioned a personal blog which would examine my life’s intersection with the SD underground. I’d gather email addresses and beacon out parties to the people. I’ve found, however, that I am protective of the secret places and secret societies. I want the world to know they exist, but only the worthy to find them.

The truth is, this Guide is still very necessary.  Yes, when I first did a Google Trends analysis on “San Diego nightlife,” my heart sank.

google-trends-san-diego-nightlife-clubsThe golden years seemed to be 2004 and before. Had I missed my chance? Was I wasting my efforts on non-“trending” topic?

But, no, this is only further evidence that the few young and exciting people out there need help. We’re the last fun warriors. We are in survival mode.

So many people find my blog because they search “Why is San Diego so boring?” or some variation thereof. There’s bored people out there hungry for something real, something exciting, something fun… or just pizza.

why-is-san-diego-so-boringAlso one lonely person found my blog by typing “baptism vagina” in the Google. I don’t even…

Screen shot 2013-09-12 at 6.52.57 PMI know there’s plenty to do, I know there’s stunning and quirky and intelligent and sexy people in this city. I am making it my mission to connect these people together.

Soon, I’ll get my first smart phone and I’ll take care of my more casual visitors by posting pictures and short reviews when I’m out at my favorite late-night establishments to this blog and/or my facebook page. I may be very drunk. There may be selfies.

Next, I’m gathering an army of survivalists and I need your help. If you have interest in being part of the movement, put your facebook profile link in the box below, and we’ll form a group (and I’ll add you as my friend). I’ll be working with local business owner and my good friend “Keshet” to set up parties with all sorts of crazy bad stuff and alcohol, and more alcohol, and unlike the other guys out there, there’s no way we’re charging cover.  Here’s a teaser picture:


Fill out the form if you want to help me throw parties…

I’m pretty excited. But also I made this today and it makes me happy:

animalshurtingsmallchildren.tumblr.com lol

AnimalsHurtingSmallChildren.tumblr.com … I have problems.