I’ve been staying in San Diego for a month in between cancer operations. It’s a lovely city (see my write-up on it called “Paradise on the Left Coast” in the New York Resident in the November 2010 issue—the one with Brendan Fraser on the cover). It’s known for the best weather in the U.S. As a result, it has the prettiest and most numerous golf courses in the country.
People outside of the city may not know this but it has a thriving arts and cultural life. Many artists live in an area called North Park, which is as its name describes, north of the park around which much of San Diego circulates, Balboa Park. There are active studios with galleries, inexpensive tasty restaurants and cozy affordable homes geared to germinate creative types.
There are several free papers in the city, including funky night life City Beat and the San Diego U-T’s entertainment guide, Night and Day. But the Numero Uno free paper is the San Diego Reader. That’s where you find out whose giving an open mic poetry reading or which artist is in resident at the Lux. This week I was shocked to see Ms. (sorry, Mrs.) Sarah Palin dressed in a spiffy suit on the cover of the Reader photoshopped in the doorway of the Filter Coffee Shop with the headline, “The Fall of Western Civilization…at a North Park Coffeehouse.” The enemy combatants within are people armed with words, discussions and ideas which they flaunt at meetings twice a week. On Wednesday there’s Meeting of the Minds and on Thursdays there’s Civilized Conversations where adults come to talk about matters that extend beyond a computer monitor.