A letter to san diego: maeko

I once lived there. All of my formative years, and most of all my childhood memories were formed there. It is sometimes my pride for close to twenty years to say I grew up there. It’s such a golden, warm, beautiful town that it’s really easy to forget that there’s a whole world out there to be experienced and explored. In Southern California, we all lived in some sort of sheltered bubble, encased with our endless seas and perfect sandy beaches.

About five years ago I met a man on the internet that tore me out of dull-brained existence, and woke me up. Meeting him left me salivating for a greater world. And in June of that year, I packed up most of my worldly possessions and moved across the country to Detroit.

Before I left, I wrote San Diego a good-bye letter.

Dear San Diego, Once upon a time, I loved you.

As a little kid, growing up on the border of the ghetto, I would feign a ghetto-fabulous accent and holler “reppin’ the 6-I-9″ (for 619, the original sole area code of the Greater San Diego Area). I’d frequent San Diego-only chat rooms on AOL as a teenager. If we saw a San Diego Store (like the Made in Detroit store in Detroit) I’d go there and try to find a bunch of San Diego gear to sport my loyalty for you.

But the thing is, you’re just one big typical Southern California town with a big attitude, pretensions of being a big, bad bustling metropolis with edgy urban things to offer, but you’re really just a vacation town for old Republicans to retire in if they have the money, and stupid fat head frat boys and sorority girls from all over the US to come and make party time hell for the people who actually live here.

You’re stunningly beautiful, don’t get me wrong. Very beautiful. And you have a history and culture all your own. There’s no denying that. There is an artistry in some of your neighborhoods that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. There is a poetry that can be felt in the nature found here.

Balboa Park and it’s gardens and museums. Historic Gaslamp Quarter and its restaurants and old building facades, and the many drunken Friday and Saturday nights I spent there, giggling and dancing with my best friends… Hillcrest and all its vintage shopping grandeur. La Jolla Cove and its cliffs and small grotto. The beaches. God, the beaches. The mountains. The quaint tea and coffee shops hosting acoustic folk pop and poetry slams well into the indigo night.

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