Why Sunny San Diego Is Sweet for Twentysomethings

STAY CLASSY in SAN DIEGO
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Unpack your board shorts and flip flops and leave your formal wear and winter coats at home. We’re heading to San Diego, where it’s always sunny and Ron Burgundy rules the news. (Okay, only in a fictional San Diego of the ‘70s, but still. He’s kind of a big deal.)

If you’re looking for a guide to staying classy in San Diego, here it is. Recent graduate Chanelle Doucette shares what makes this city such a special place for twentysomethings.

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Recent Grad: Chanelle Doucette

College, major, graduation date: Reed College, Psychology, May 2014

Current gig: Residential Specialist at YWCA of San Diego County

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What brought you to San Diego? I grew up just north of downtown, in a sleepy beach town, my whole life. I recently moved back and moved in with my sister to downtown East Village. I am just down here for a year in between Reed and graduate school.

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What are the pros and cons of living in San Diego?

Pros

San Diego is of course known for its beautiful beaches and weather, but it is also just a few hours from the mountains, LA, and the border of Mexico. Living really close to the border also creates a really unique vibe and blend of Mexican-American culture with great food. :)

One of my favorite parts is the new library (nerdy, I know). It has seven floors, with beautiful views of the entire city, has a charter school on one of the floors, and attracts a blend of all different types of people.

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There are attempts to become more bike friendly with a new bike sharing program, but there is still a long way to go—there are still very few bike lanes, and buses as well as drivers have almost run me over on multiple occasions.

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Cons: public transportation, cost of living.

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What should recent grads/twentysomethings know about living in San Diego?

Downtown San Diego is really changing, especially East Village. Previously there were a lot of abandoned lots and run-down places. Recently a new energy has come to downtown (largely from a growing population of young people) and old parking lots are being converted into community spaces, gardens, cultural hubs, and San Diego’s version of food carts (in old storage containers, like Quartyard). We are mimicking similar movements by becoming an emerging contender in microbreweries, coffee roasting, and a growing tech scene.

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