Pardon my French

Cul-de-sac, the name I chose for this blog, makes us think of dead ends. It’s the end of the line. It’s where things stop and can go no further. It’s the essence of the city I live in.

San Diegans ended up in the nation’s southwestern cul-de-sac for a variety of reasons. Some of us were native-born. Some came here following a job. Some came for the weather and the surfing. I supposed some people got lost on their way to LA.

I remember the first time I drove west in San Diego on I-8 and I saw the freeway sign that told the direction you were going. “Beaches,” said the sign. I had to confess that would be a nice place to be once you reached the end of the road. What will be our final reward after years of hard journey and earthly toil? Heaven will be the beach. Naturally.

You’d think that our modern multinational world would make San Diego a transit point and not a cul-de-sac. But whether you’re a businessman leaving town to strike deals in Asia or an export good to be sold, the transit point is LA. As for going south… well, the barrier between here and Mexico is just getting higher and harder.

Am I being glum? Of course not! I hate people who complain about this place.

I love the undulating landscape. I love the way the canyons stop the streets. I love the old houses in the old neighborhoods. As a community, we have our faults. But as individuals the people are friendly and tolerant. We may be a terminus, but San Diego is desirable enough to have been a destination for visitors and vagabonds from many places and cultures.

My biggest problem with this place is that I would never move here today. I arrived a dozen years ago when the cost of living was high but tolerable. Now it seems the only people who can afford to accept jobs and buy houses in San Diego are people who already live here. This threatens to make us parochial and it will stand in the way of progress.

Okay, I’m complaining. In fact, I’m complaining about something that old timers around here must think is terrific. The outrageous cost of living is the gate, surrounding this city, that they’ve always wanted to build to keep out as many people as possible.

Now that I’m here I may be stuck. Maybe I’m addicted to the good weather. Maybe Prop 13 has imprisoned me in a house with unnaturally low property taxes that I can’t bear to leave.

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One Comment on “Pardon my French”

  1. james stouder Says:

    Indifference is the road to self-destruction. A different world can not be made by indifferent people.
    The nearly perfect climate of our transplanted paradise gives rise to a culture of self-absorption and indifference to others. It is always “they” who will pay the costs (taxes?) as we enjoy the benefits. But now the chickens have come to roost and the piper must be paid. Thus a charming cul-de-sac can become a dead end very quickly.


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