What am I doing in Eastlake?

It's all about the subdivisions, not the cross-streets.

In the end we chose square footage over location.
  • In the end we chose square footage over location.
  • Image by Howie Rosen

The first day I took my daughter to her new school, I questioned whether moving to Eastlake was the right move for our family. I had stopped by the Otay Ranch mall on enough weekday afternoons to know that the area has an abundance of fancy, perfumed stay-at-home moms. As a visitor, I found the idea charming — the way one might find charming the sight of backcountry women washing their clothes in the river. How lovely and provincial, one thinks, until one finds herself standing in the river with a pile of wet clothes, wishing for a washing machine.

 "Nobody spends time in their yards.”

"Nobody spends time in their yards.”

I was raised on the sound of lawn mowers, birds, and Little League baseball. There was a time when it gave me a thrill to live among the sounds of radios and car horns and sirens, but my tolerance has since diminished. It’s true that, when looking to purchase a home, had we been able to afford a four-bedroom, four-bath house on a semi-quiet street in Hillcrest or South Park, or maybe a spacious downtown high-rise, I would have been all for it. But in the end we chose square footage over location. And as much as I hated the idea of leaving city life behind, I yearned for afternoon runs along wide, quiet boulevards with landscaped medians.

Since the early 1990s, new home construction 
has been a constant in Eastlake.

Since the early 1990s, new home construction has been a constant in Eastlake.

And then here I was, with my house and my medians, somehow surprised that the parking lot of my daughter’s new preschool was crowded with minivans and moms in full makeup, large sunglasses, and exercise clothes.

Driving back to my home office, I was near tears.

Todd Galarneau, the senior vice president of project development at Corky McMillin, tells me that Millenia will provide a central urban center for the area, which as of now “lacks a really strong heart."

Todd Galarneau, the senior vice president of project development at Corky McMillin, tells me that Millenia will provide a central urban center for the area, which as of now “lacks a really strong heart."

What am I doing in Eastlake? I thought. I don’t Zumba.

No one drops by anymore. Football season 2012 was lonely. When we have parties, I feel the need to apologize for the drive. Recently, my husband had a work party at our place. When one of the guys arrived, he stepped into the house and said, “Man, you guys live way the fuck out in the middle of nowhere.”

The farmers’ market in the Otay Ranch mall.  Irene (and many Yelpers) complain that the one or two “token farmers” are not enough to call it a true farmers’ market.

The farmers’ market in the Otay Ranch mall. Irene (and many Yelpers) complain that the one or two “token farmers” are not enough to call it a true farmers’ market.

It’s true. For anyone who doesn’t know the way to Eastlake (and/or doesn’t care to pay for the toll road), take 805 South past National City and Bonita, and keep driving until you’re sure you’ve missed the exit. After that, head east on East H or Telegraph Canyon or Olympic Parkway. After another maddening five miles of intermittent large-intersection traffic lights, you will have arrived at our perfect little “has everything” planned community of storybook loveliness, complete with duck ponds and sprinkler parks.

One afternoon, I drove a ten-mile loop from the Olympic Training Center, past Otay Lakes Road, down the wide boulevards of Hunte Parkway and Proctor Valley Road, then south on Eastlake Drive, around the lake and down Eastlake Parkway, past the mall to the Border Patrol stakeout at the corner of Eastlake Parkway and Hunte Parkway. On the way, I counted 14 gardeners in orange-and-yellow vests, 4 Border Patrol vehicles, and 39 purple and/or yellow flags meant to draw the eye toward large signboards announcing homes available “from the low $300,000s.”

Reader poll

Do you like where you live?

  • Love my neighborhood! Can't imagine living anywhere else. 46%
  • Content with where I live. It's good enough for now. 32%
  • Would move in a heartbeat. 21%

198 total votes.

The western end of the loop consists of a series of shopping centers, all butted up against Eastlake Parkway, and all bearing names that declare their neighborhood allegiance: Eastlake Terraces, Eastlake Village Marketplace, Village Walk at Eastlake, Eastlake Village Center, Otay Ranch Town Center, and Marketplace at Windingwalk.

At the eastern end of that loop stand the developments of Eastlake Greens (2356 units); Eastlake Trails (1145); Eastlake Trails North (254); Eastlake Vistas (1326); Eastlake Hills and Eastlake Shores (a combined 1822); the Woods (344); and the Gates (64). CasaLago Eastlake, a new development of apartments and townhomes just east of Olympic Training Center, is a 427-unit community currently under construction. The Windingwalk community currently has 1965 units completed, with another 21 planned and/or under construction.

The entrance of each development is meant to be grander than the last, flanked with either sentinel clusters of palm trees, trickling fountains, and/or low stone walls bearing the name of the subdivision.

In San Diego’s city center, the boundaries between neighborhoods are usually major cross-streets or freeways, but in this area, it’s a little different. Joe Glover, my real estate agent, tells me the division between Otay Ranch and Eastlake “is all about the little subdivisions. It’s not about the cross-streets.”

And for those of us who are not developers or HOA managers, this makes for some overlap and variance in perspective. Case in point: if you look on the Barnes & Noble website and search for store locations, you’ll see that the one they call their “Eastlake” store has an address at the Otay Ranch Mall.

Although there are official boundaries, Joe says, “Eastlake is almost like a generic term for all these different subdivisions.”

For the managers of the area homeowners’ associations (three of which tend to Eastlake proper: Eastlake 1, Eastlake 2, and Eastlake 3), the distinction is significant. Debra Vaca, the operations manager of Eastlake 3, told me that her organization alone employs 21 gardeners and 6 guys on the “mow crew,” each of whom works 8 hours a day and tends to 151.24 acres, or 6,587,931 square feet. There is no overlap with these guys. They know exactly which median to manicure, which desert bush to trim back and away from the jogging paths.

For the sake of simplicity, however, when using the word “Eastlake,” I’m referring to the area east of the 125, between Birch Road to the south and East H/Proctor Valley Road to the north. Although it includes the Otay Ranch Town Center mall and the Windingwalk development, both technically part of Otay Ranch, they are within the area I generally refer to as Eastlake.

We live at the very eastern edge of Eastlake’s suburban landscape. At night, we can see the lights of Tijuana. Our bedroom window looks out over a wide canyon alive with sage and other desert brush, roadrunners, coyotes, bunnies, and rattlesnakes. On the other side of the canyon, across Hunte Parkway, sits Windingwalk, a development of single-family homes painted earthy yellowish tones, their roofs Spanish-red. At night, when the lights of the subdivision shine across the darkened canyon, I imagine that I’m in Oakland looking across the San Francisco Bay at the lights of an urban metropolis, rather than in one Eastlake development staring at a matching development in Otay Ranch.

It’s a holdover habit from a small-town childhood spent dreaming of big cities. When I was a kid living in Boise, Idaho, city planners completed Interstate 184 (known as “the connector”), a 3.6-mile stretch of freeway leading from the Interstate 84 to downtown. By that point, I had traveled to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, and the connector symbolized Boise’s coming up in the world. It seemed the first step in my hometown’s becoming a bustling metropolis. On the connector, I’d squint my eyes to blur the buildings around me and make them look larger, more multitudinous and imposing. In those moments, I fancied myself a city girl. Years later, when commuting daily from Brooklyn to the Bronx, I fought my way up the FDR in an 18-year-old Toyota Tercel hatchback with a sense of having arrived at my real self.

Now I’m back to pretending.

Which, in Eastlake, isn’t all that easy to do.

For one, no amount of squinting could turn a ten-mile loop of Edward Scissorhands-in-terra-cotta-stucco developments into an urban anything. There is only so much yellowish-beige and Spanish-roof-tile-color one will find in a big city environment.

For two, strip-mall living isn’t urban no matter how you look at it.

For the first eight months we lived in Eastlake, I kept my daughter in her school in Kearny Mesa and drove the 25 miles twice daily, spending my days and my money in North Park and Normal Heights coffee shops, where I’d work until it was time to pick her up and make the trek home, which, on the southbound 805, could take as long as an hour. My husband considered this a waste of time and money, but it was important for me to stay connected to San Diego’s urban core, and maybe more importantly, to my city self.

When I gave up the drive, put my daughter in a close-to-home school, and sold my soul for the convenience of an easy commute, I completed the descent into suburban life.

At the same time, I celebrated our easy access to all things suburban: Home Depot, Panera Bread, Banana Republic, Target (oh, my God, Target!), Pier One, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Sprouts, Best Buy, Macy’s, Vons, Albertsons, Aveda, Macaroni Grill, Walgreens, Payless Shoes, Office Depot, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Rite Aid, Lowe’s, an AMC theater, Barnes & Noble, Cheesecake Factory, Subway, California Pizza Kitchen, TJ Maxx, Jamba Juice, SuperCuts, Quiznos, Bank of America, Sprint, T-Mobile, Wendy’s, Union Bank, Wells Fargo, Navy Federal, Chase, Sleep Train, Panda Express, Rubio’s, Walmart, In-N-Out, and PF Chang’s. In short, everything that Mission Valley has but without the crowds and the traffic. I would not miss fighting my way past buses on the corner of University and Fairmount to get to the 15 or driving all the way to Hillcrest for takeout sushi.

Although I do have some business and socializing that takes me “to the city” regularly, I have to admit that I opt out of opportunities and events on a regular basis because of the often-tremendous effort it takes to leave Eastlake. I’m telling you, it’s a trap, and we’re all doomed.

“Eastlake is an island,” my new friend Jill tells me one afternoon while we stand chatting in her yard.

Jill lives a mile or two from me at the northwestern edge of Eastlake, in a 2800-square-foot house with a 10,693-square-foot lot. I met her while searching for a community garden in the area. There is no community garden in the area yet (though Debra Vaca, the manager of our HOA, says she’s looking for a location), but there is a gardening meetup group, the Eastlake Organic Gardening Collective, which Jill started in April 2012.

Jill’s nearly quarter-acre corner lot is a veritable jungle of an ecosystem in the middle of a neighborhood where all the other houses are fronted with plain-green-patch yards. She had to petition the homeowners’ association to remove the patch of grass in front of her house and replace it with lavender, fennel, orange poppies, and African basil.

“You can’t have a yard of rocks,” she says, explaining the HOA rules, “or half a Buick.”

Most of Jill’s yard is hidden by a stucco wall topped with an iron fence and overhung with white roses. Beyond the wall, in an area that includes a fountain, two seating areas, a fire pit, and enough rose-colored poured concrete for spinning donuts on a Big Wheel, Jill grows a Japanese mulberry tree, artichokes, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, corn, tomatoes, olives, melons, peaches, peppers, cucumbers, zucchinis, apples, and peanuts, as well as flowers and herbs.

“The minute I moved here in the summer of 2009, I started shoving things into the ground,” she says.

When Jill and her family moved to Eastlake, they’d been looking in Poway because they wanted to be in that school district. But when they discovered that many of the schools in Eastlake carry the same ratings of 8 and 9 on GreatSchools.org as do the Poway schools, they extended their search to Eastlake.

“I couldn’t find enough house for me [in Poway],” she says. “I didn’t want something that looked like it was from the 1970s. Everything up there was so dark. Everything here is so light.”

And then there’s the “everything” that Eastlake has. “We have three major grocery stores, and even my doctor is in Eastlake,” she says. “There’s no shortage of parks. I love Eastlake. The only thing I would say negatively is that people need to spend a week in the South, and learn how to make eye contact and say hello. Nobody spends time in their yards.”

As an internet sales rep for furniture vendors, Jill works from home and so doesn’t have to commute for her job. She does get most of her gardening supplies and “starts” (one step beyond seedlings) from City Farmers in City Heights and the Mission Hills Nursery, but she only makes that trek once or twice per growing season. Otherwise, she sticks to the neighborhood as much as possible.

“I joke that if I have to go anywhere past the 125, then I’m going to pack a bottle of water and a snack,” she says. “I even found a gym closer than the 125.”

Jill lives two miles (or four minutes, according to Mapquest) from the Eastlake Village Marketplace, a shopping area at the northwest corner of Eastlake Parkway and Otay Lakes Road. This intersection is one-tenth of a mile east of the Otay Lakes exit off the 125. Another tenth of a mile down the road, just under the overpass, on the left-hand side of the street, stands the LA Fitness sports club, where Jill was once a member but never could get herself to go. By Mapquest, that gym is a four-minute drive from Jill’s home.

“I just never went,” she says.

So she searched and found the Institute of Health and Fitness, which is even closer, near the post office, in a strange business park near the design district, where large warehouse spaces house gymnasiums, furniture stores, and temporary tax offices.

Jill’s new gym is 1.3 miles from her home.

“It’s like Cheers,” she laughs. “Everybody knows your name.”

Besides City Farmers, Jill says the only other reason to leave Eastlake is for two of her favorite kinds of food. And if she didn’t have to, she wouldn’t.

“If I could have Ethiopian and Indian [in Eastlake], I’d be home-free,” she says.

In March 2012, a user who goes by the handle “thepinksquid” started a thread in a forum on City-Data.com. The subject line read, “I’ll be blunt. Why is Eastlake/Otay Ranch so cheap?” She explained that she and her husband had been looking to purchase a house and couldn’t understand why, with so many conveniences, newer construction, and so few negatives (“except for the obvious, that it’s kind of bland and far out”), the house prices are so much lower than other parts of the county.

Echo42 suggested that the stigma of being a “thoroughfare for illicit border crossings more than 15 years ago” might be what’s keeping the area from being as desirable to the masses as it might otherwise be, “especially being within five miles of the border.”

Oddstray wrote, “Eastlake simply hasn’t yet had an opportunity to prove itself to be ‘a good place to live.’ After this financial mess calms down, which may take several years, I think, then whoever buys there at today’s prices will own a gem.”

Hitman619 wrote, “I think the biggest problem people have with Eastlake/Otay Ranch is race. Eastlake/Otay Ranch racial makeup is mostly Asian/Mexican Americans, with some whites and blacks mixed in.”

Kettlepot, who listed proximity to the border, foreclosures, and high Mello Roos fees among the reasons for lower housing prices in the area, also took up the race “problem.”

“After a certain tipping point in percentage of non-white ethnicity, property values decline,” Kettlepot wrote. “My guess would be that in San Diego, once the population drops below 50 percent white, concern begins to grow that an area might become a lower-income area with non-middle-class values.”

It’s the same north-of-the-8 vs. south-of-the-8 discussion that’s been going on since who knows when. The funny thing is that I remember the first time I heard someone say it, I thought they accidentally had it backward, and that what they’d meant to say was something to the effect of “South of the 8 is better.” Obviously, it depends on what you’re looking for, but my initial assumption was that everyone finds diversity appealing.

SANDAG’s 2008 statistics break down the 20,431 population of 91915 (which comprises the bulk of Eastlake) as: 8051 Hispanic, 5309 white, 907 black, 50 American Indian, 5172 Asian, 238 Pacific Islander, 13 other, and 691 two or more races. SANDAG’s regional growth forecast predicts that by the year 2050, those populations will experience triple-digit increases within the zip code — all but two. Other will increase by 1362 percent, and white by only 21 percent.

My friend Irene, who lives in Eastlake Greens, about a mile from me, moved to San Diego from Brooklyn with her husband and children in 2012. They first landed in a Tierrasanta rental, and in their search to purchase a house, they, like Jill’s family, chose Eastlake over North County, though for different reasons.

“You know, I can definitely say Rancho Peñasquitos and North County, I do not feel comfortable there at all,” Irene says. “I know people think everything above the 8 is desirable. I’m okay with north of the 8. It’s pretty, but I find it kind of sterile, like everyone works at the same office or something. Here [in Eastlake], I feel like there are all kinds of Navy people or nurses, bikers, and athletes. I do get a sense there is a very diverse population here, just by seeing people driving, peeking through their car windows, going to Parent Day at [Eastlake High School], or going to Target. When I drive, I know that people aren’t all just from the suburbs. I do feel like people have moved here from all parts of the world. I do feel an eclectic-ness, it’s just not in an urban form.”

I met Irene six months after we’d moved Eastlake. She was even newer to the neighborhood than I was. It turned out that we had hung in the same Afro-Bohemian circles in Brooklyn and knew many of the same people. We also had similar suburban upbringings, had spent parts of our young adulthood traveling and living abroad, and now have similar feelings about settling into marriage and motherhood in these particular suburbs.

“I love the amenities,” she says. “There’s a mall and an Apple Store. I can go get my computer fixed, go get groceries, get stuff for my kids. I can go to TJ Maxx. I can buy furniture. For day-to-day, Monday through Friday, I’m really good here. I have everything I need, and I have some peace and quiet.”

On the other hand, she, too, feels something missing. She doesn’t put it in exactly those words, but every time we meet up for tacos and beer at Tacos and Tarros (a Mexican bar/taquería on the outskirts of the Otay Ranch Mall), Irene comes up with yet another plan to make something happen in Eastlake. One week, she talked about starting an open-mic-type monthly event where people sing, read their poetry, or whatnot. The next week, she decided she wanted to host a reggae night. And she occasionally talks about starting an African-diaspora dance school, to give the Eastlakers a bit of flavor by way of samba, sabar, and moribayassa. I get the feeling that, even with all the diversity of which she speaks, the “peace and quiet” she likes so much is not quite enough to satisfy her.

Me, neither. And, like Irene with her daydreams, I too have ways of coping.

In African literature, one often reads references to “market day.” It’s always a big deal, people getting up before dawn, traveling from all corners with their wares, and setting up shop in a common location. The children in these stories are always exhilarated by the sights, sounds, and scents brought into the market from the larger world. I used to find the concept foreign because, as a child, market day meant my mom was going to the grocery store, and there was nothing novel in that. These days, however, I get it. If I haven’t ventured up the 805 and into central San Diego for a while, I look forward to the Tuesday farmers’ market and the Wednesday food-truck gathering maybe a little too much. I plan what I’m going to wear, to make sure it’s not what I wore last time or the time before.

The farmers’ market is rather strangely located on a narrow street in the middle of the Otay Ranch mall, rather than spread out in one of the large and mostly empty parking lots. Irene (and many Yelpers) complain that the one or two “token farmers” are not enough to call it a true farmers’ market.

I, however, hardly notice, because the rest of the vendors, serving prepared Ethiopian, Jamaican, Filipino, Japanese, and barbecue food, and selling gluten-free cookies, vegan Bitchin’ Sauce, and jars of anchovy-stuffed green olives transport me out of Chili’s-and-Cheesecake-Factory-Land and connect me to the world at large, without a 30-minute drive.

On warm evenings in spring and summer, when Eastlakers crowd the narrow walkway between vendor booths, I pace the length of the market two or three times, mulling over dinner options and digging the people factor. It’s the same when I go to the Wednesday food-truck gathering held in a roped-off area of the Eastlake Design District parking lot.

Jessica Lavender, owner of the Asian Persuasion food truck and organizer of the Eastlake Food Truck Gathering, calls it a “family-friendly tailgate-style party,” a fitting description. People set up collapsible tables and chairs in the parking lot and make an evening of it. Back when the gathering began, in September 2011, they had a DJ and music to help draw people. But the expense outweighs the profits, so there’s no more music.

Although Lavender says that, for now, she has enough trucks in rotation to keep things interesting, the permitting process for the City of Chula Vista is a turnoff to some truck owners. Not only is the permit $200 (in San Diego and La Mesa, it’s $70) but Chula Vista also requires fingerprinting and background checks, which costs an additional $86 for every person who works on the truck.

“Eastlake is one of those [gatherings] that we really enjoy,” Lavender says. “The community seems to love it. It’s one of the few things to do in the area. I’m trying to encourage more trucks to get their permits.”

Lavender and I agree the event would be that much better with a beer garden and some bands, but still, each time we go, my family and I stay longer than it takes to choose a truck and eat our food squatting on the curb (we have no collapsible table), because the gathering makes for good people-watching. As much as I like to stare out my window at sagebrush or read a book in the neighborhood’s clean, quiet parks, I also relish opportunities to bump up against my neighbors in places other than the checkout line at Target.

The people at Corky McMillin (the company responsible for Liberty Station in Point Loma, Torrey Highlands Center in Carmel Valley, Scripps Ranch Marketplace, and other commercial developments) have big plans to create an urban center for the area to give it a “focal point.” Their 206-acre Millenia project (officially in Otay Ranch, not Eastlake) promises “a hybrid alternative to traditional suburban developments and transitional urban neighborhoods” on a plot of land across the street from the Otay Ranch mall. They’re planning a Main Street commercial district, a business district, hotels, parks, plazas, more residential areas, and so on.

On the phone, Todd Galarneau, the senior vice president of project development at Corky McMillin, tells me that Millenia will provide a central urban center for the area, which as of now “lacks a really strong heart, and a strong employment element.”

Their website says the Main Street area “will be ‘the place to be’ day and night in South County.”

We’ll see.

For now, if you don’t live in Eastlake, there’s not much reason to visit, unless your aunt lives here or you have a soft spot for this particular Cheesecake Factory location. Our little island does, at times, feel isolated from the rest of the planet.

Those of us who spent our youths seeking the wide, wide world, and then later let our desires for quiet, convenience, and more square footage win out over our urban impulses, will never be fully content here. We address our need for urban connectedness by sucking it up and driving up the 805 to hold our grownup birthday parties at sexy downtown restaurants, take our children out for Ethiopian food in City Heights, and make contact with the wide, wide world whenever we can.

On the in-between days, we Zumba.

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Yes, living in the suburbs is different than living in Hillcrest-surprise! But it's not that "far out there." It takes longer to get to downtown from La Jolla or even Clairemont Mesa than from Eastlake. All neighborhoods have pros and cons, and the SoCal population is going to continue to rise over the coming decades, so growth and expansion are inevitable. The key is for City and County planners to work with developers to ensure success and sustainability for a hundred years, and not think in short-term ways. Thank you for taking the time to write this story! I'm sure moving to the San Diego 'burbs from Hillcrest or Brooklyn is a big change.

I am at a loss for words - and that is HARD TO DO!!!!!

Been here since I was 13.

my 'loss for words' - I believe it paints many Eastlakers to be rather shallow - and the many friends and family I have that are Eastlakers are far, far from shallow.

I have lived in the Burbs of Eastlake since its inception in 1987. I have to say, I truly love it here and have raised my family here. I still find time to go to the city and attend mass in Little Italy. What Ms. Salaam fails to realize is that Eastlake is a melting pot of culture and acceptance. My children have grown up with friends of all races and ethnicities. Not all the Moms of Eastlake wear big Sunglasses and go to Zumba! Maybe we are our own little World, but it is a great world to live in! What you have failed to mention in your blasting of the Eastlake Community is what this community has produced in its 20 plus years as a developing community, Top Ranked Schools, Little League World Series Champs, Adrian Gonzalez, a World Class Olympic Training Center, Several CIF Championship Teams, need I go on? Public records show that you purchased your current home as a bank-owned property in 2011 for $256,000! Not a bad deal for a 4 bedroom, 4 bath home in a community that has been Ranked the #1 Community in San Diego to live in since 1997 by the San Diego Union Tribune readers poll! If you are so unhappy here, I am sure that there are many people who would love to take your house off your hands for the bargain basement price in which you paid for it!

We have lived in Eastlake since 1997. Wouldn't trade locations anywhere else in SD county. We are 6 miles from the ocean, 22 minutes from Downtown SD, lots of great families and the demographics are not an issue, If you're a racist then simply leave. As a WHITE Anglo-Saxon, the community is wonderful. It's friendly, convenient & relatively crime free. It's MUCH better than dealing with the North Park or DT homeless folks that you so much adore! When are you moving back to the ghetto?

Dude. I have no clue what your saying or what is you point? It makes no sense.

I think Elizabeth Salaam should have done a little more research before moving to Eastlake! I am a 32 year old mother and have resided in Eastlake since I was 15.. I have crazy colored hair and plenty of tattoos. I have made MANY friends while living in Eastlake, none of them matching your absurd description of the typical Eastlake mom. Your article is ridiculous.. and I'm sure Eastlake wont miss you one bit. Move on out!

I am not sure what is more disappointing, someone complaining that they live in a diverse community, with a low crime rate, that is well manicured, has great schools, a large newer house at an affordable price (which will not put her in the situation most of Americans are in with inflated house prices), an abundance of conveniences, and friends who have embraced her and love the community OR that SD Reader has deemed this a newsworthy cover story. What really deserves the cover is what can be done to lower the crime rates in the areas the author loves so much and make them safer for the residents living there. I find this article insulting and feel the author and SD Reader should be embarrassed for publishing a whiney rant from someone who lives somewhere too nice. I am sure there are people reading this article in less desirable areas of the city and in much worse conditions that would give anything to be living in a community like Eastlake. Shame on all of you.

Spoken like a poet SDl1998! You have my vote for her job!

Sdl1998 - you found the words I was at a loss for!

Ms. Salaam, Having been raised in Chula Vista, I know the "blah" that you feel. I have also lived in a big city (Chicago to be exact) that is a smorgasbord of culture. The little pockets of "Little Italy," "Greektown," or "South Side" don't exist here. But that's exactly why you are here, is it not? Wrapped tightly within that mish mash of subculture is also the hard splits of "me versus you". The rigid edges that people have when in super-rich-with-culture places foster blatant difference, a push to run the rat race with more force so as to stand among the elite of the incredibly crowded subways. There is no divide like that here. We all kind of become that whole "melting pot" of life. You know, where you can be standing next to a prominent lawyer or doctor but you wouldn't know it because they will be in their workout clothes. Where the professionals, blue collar and such peel that hat off and become mom or dad. It's okay here, a little bland but no one whose never left would know or care because it is completely insignificant here. And THAT is the beauty of it. Unless you like wearing makeup to the gym.

I hated living in Chicago also! This is a much better place to live and I completely agree with you, there is no line in the sand (if you can see past the fake Louis Vuittons).

I grew up in chula vista , Have lived in various areas of this fine city . I tried Eastlake living a few years ago. Met very nice people but also many not very nice. Its all about choices i decided it was not for me. So i moved back to the hood. I guess i missed otay farms,santa fe meats and helping out the less Fortunate whenever possible, there are many out there. Chula Vista is a great city To live in. I just happen to enjoy living in old school chula more.

Wow, I'm not sure if i should be mad at Ms. Salaam or if i should thank her! I have lived in Eastlake since 1997. My wife and i have raised 3 children in this area. Both my wife and i grew up in the South Bay. If you value safe neighborhoods, great schools, affordable and beautiful homes, diversity, city close but quiet country living, the beach 25 minutes away, Jamul 15 minutes, great shopping, 20 minutes away from downtown, and only one homeless man in the entire area, then this is the place for you!!

Ms. Salaam, if you prefer North Park (where i lived for 2 years), or other similar areas, I'm sure you would complain of the traffic, noise, homelessness, dirtiness, diversity, high home prices for only 950 square feet, etc., etc.

Each neighborhood has its good and bad. Eastlake is no different. But it is a pretty fantastic place to live!!

Farmer is leaning against his fence when a guy in a car drives up. Guy asks the farmer for directions to the next town. He tells the farmer "I had to get out of the last town. I've been stuck there forever, I've never seen such a collection of dishonest, no good, uncaring people, in my life. What are the people in the next town like?" Farmer says "I think you'll find they're pretty much the same" and the guy drives off.

A little while later another car pulls up. Driver says to the farmer "I'm so sad I have to leave the last town. I spent many happy times there. The people were loving and open, and always greeted me with open arms. What are the people in the next town like?" Farmer says "I think you'll find they're pretty much the same"

I'm sure I have felt all of the things Ms. Salaam has said in this article, the Otay Ranch/Eastlake community has many great things going for it with affordability near the top, but the "Corporate America" Look and selections are near the bottom.

The things I miss most from previous, read older, communities are the Family owned or more eclectic choices, while I frequent Oggy's I long for a Crazy Burger and a small Brew Pub. While I occasionally shop at Trek Bicycles I really want an Adams Ave Bicycles, etc Why do I long for these things, I want to know who takes home the paycheck and the profits, I want to see my favorite places on Drive-ins, Diners and Dives, I like the interaction with the owners and workers at a true owner operated establishment.

I realize that since the start of "Eastlake" a meer 20 odd years is not much to start any real community traditions, I believe it is time to do so, live the diversity. We need to connect the dots between life, living and our unique cultural and sports opportunities. We also need to take charge of our community by linking with the rest of Chula Vista to protect the city itself from fragmenting into east vs. west politics. We need to revive the Sweetwater Union School District by making ourselves aware of the BS going on behind closed doors. We need to protect and grow our community with our activities, our spending and our intelligence.
20 years ago cycling out a two lane Otay Lakes Road I joked with my friend Scott about who would ever want to live out here, but when my family and I returned to the SD area look where we are, decient schools, reasonable housing costs, and reasonable expectations what more for a middle-class family? BBQ

How about Bonita for us horsey folks.

I grew up in the city of Los Angeles, lived in the city of SD while attending college and grad school, and moved to Eastlake almost 12 years ago when there were still cows on the hillside. I'm an Anglo liberal with a passion for environmentalism, local food, organic gardening and craft beer. Why am I happy living in Eastlake?

First, the sense of community and diversity. While in North Park (a short hop away on the 805), I can call a few friends to meet at a local brewpub, in my neighborhood I have friends everywhere. I run into my pharmacist at the food truck gathering on Wed nights. The folks at Trader Joe's know when to expect me and greet me by name. I know my neighbors well. There is a welcoming feeling of community here. I have friends who are Mexican, Anglo, Puerto Rican, Filipino, African-American, Chilean, Japanese, Iranian, Indian, and Chinese. There's also a whole bunch of hapas of whom I couldn't tell you their ethnicity, and none of us really cares.

Second, my husband and I are raising a family. We appreciate sidewalks, bike paths, hiking trails and parks. We love the fact that our local elementary, middle school and high school are California Distinguished Schools, and are consistently ranked at the top of Chula Vista's high-performing schools. The kids can walk or ride their bikes to school. Our children are able to pursue after-school activities in the area without a long commute, which means we have more time for family dinners and game nights.

Third, because it is a young community, there are a lot of opportunities for involvement. Jill, the organic gardener mentioned in the article and someone I also know, started an interest group for organic gardeners because one didn't yet exist. I ran a school garden in the area for five years because I have a passion for it. A friend runs a tennis program for returning veterans. My husband served on a local HOA board because he was frustrated with some of the policies, and was able to get involved and help change it. Of course, you can find opportunities in the city. Here, it's just easier to forge your own path and make a difference because many opportunities haven't yet been pursued.

Lastly, although there are other reasons I could mention, to keep it short, I will say that there are environmental benefits to living on the "island" of Eastlake. She doesn't mention how being able to remain in the same area for shopping, exercise, after school classes, medical, dental, orthodontic and eye appointments limits gas usage and pollution from car exhaust. Of course, sometimes the Hillcrest farmer's market is too compelling to resist, but I'm not averse to driving distances when it's worth it. We still drive to the symphony, to Stone Brewery, to Old Town, to Balboa Park. We enjoy our city. We just return to a peaceful community at the end of the day.

Ms. Salam if you aint happy move. What a story about nothing but wining about where you live. Lady you have issues and I dont think they come from Eastlake. I have friends in that hood and they are real nice and normal. BTW if you are criticizing those women at the mall what were you doing there? Stop stereotyping people and places and just be happy you have a home some of us arent so lucky.

So what's the point of this article? I assume you live in Eastlake, but your observations are of someone suffering from severe depression and not those of the many active residents. Get yourself treated and then take a high school level writing course. Your article is meandering, pointless, and not well reseached. And what the hell is the race "problem". Ignoramus! Go back to your crappy schools, high crime, noisy, dirty city you seem to miss so much.

BTW, the schools in Eastlake are far superior to those in Kearny Mesa (Eastlake High is ranked among the top in the NATION) so yeah, driving 25 miles to keep your kid in the same school was a complete waste of money, as your loving husband pointed out.

There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with the author or even hating her writing style -- but the ad hominem attack and telling her to take a high school level writing course?

She has a master's.

I found this article to be really odd. I am an Eastlake stay-at-home mom, and I can't help but be a little offended. You thought my lifestyle was "charming," but in the end I guess I didn't meet your expectations. What!? There are all types of women in this community (and yes, some wear makeup and sunglasses as I would assume most Southern Californian women do), yet you have us all figured out?

I looked you up on Facebook to see if I know you and found this, "At a school performance with all the fancy, perfumed Mexican moms. Kinda wish I'd plucked my eyebrows." You sound really insecure, and as someone above said, that has nothing to do with Eastlake. Instead of focusing on the negative, I would suggesting keeping an open mind and try being positive. I feel badly for you because you are missing out on meeting a lot of great women.

As a point to the Eastlake lovers that so reward the schools with adoration, I too moved out here for the schools, Please pull your heads out of the sand and look into the Adminstration of the Sweetwater Union High School District. The way the indictees on the board and the superintendent are going, what we bought into with our Mello Roos and home prices will be squandered, our district which is already a laughing stock for mis-management will be a shambles. As I tried to state before get involved and participate in the governmental processes for the two school districts and the city of Chula Vista, we still pay our fair share if not more... BBQ

bbq- Thank You for educating those who may not know. To make it real clear - SUHSD has 4 of its 5 board members under indictment in 'the largest case of corruption San Diego City/county has ever seen.

Wondering why the middle/high schools out there are so crowded - well the Superintendent of SUHSD removed the boundaries last year.

Mello Roos, ah yes the Mello Roos, wonder how many are aware that their Mello funds are being borrowed by SUHSD - now they say they back - but in my world when you pay something back on 1-1 and re borrow it on 1-2 have your really paid it back?

So many issues regarding SUHSD that great impact on Eastlake continuing to be viewed as a great place to educate our future leaders. If only the SUHSD super would be willing to take some lessons from the supers at our elementary districts.

Given my chosen moniker, I suppose I should feel somewhat defensive about this article, but it doesn't really bother me.

People make all sorts of statements in the attempt to be provocative, make a name for themselves and/or express frustration.

Ms. Salaam, if you really want to get to know the people in Eastlake, get involved with the school districts. Volunteer in the schools, serve on the committees, let your voice be heard when it comes to making sure the students are getting what they need from Chula Vista Elementary and Sweetwater Union High School Districts. The more you know, the better your position will be for actually being an active member of the community.

Do this and come back to us in a year with what you have learned!

I work for the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS. Our members help new owners find homes in Chula Vista. Many people buy homes in East Lake for arguably the best schools in the County. See for yourself: (http://www.cvesd.org/schools/allschools/Pages/AcademicPerformance.aspx)

Other buyers want to enjoy parks and open space. People who enjoy being outdoor acknowledge that Otay Ranch Town Center offers a unique shopping experience better than any other in the County. The 125 expedites travel north making the commute friendlier then many other suburban commutes in the County. The neighborhoods are beautiful. The properties are spacious. The city is friendly. The library's are fantastic.

Chula Vista is a secret that most in the County don't know about. It's important to do the home work before buying a new home. Maybe even rent in an area before buying. Some people buy a Porsche and miss their Mercedes. This doesn't make the Porsche a bad car.

psarceo - you are correct, the Elementary Districts are exceptional. However in doing a Google search what they will read about Sweetwater would most definitely give them reason to be concerned.

You need to be careful when using school scores when moving into the area. My coworker just moved into a house right next to Veterans Elementary because of their scores, and just found out that the school, and others nearby, are overcrowded. The school district would be sending her son Eastlake Elementary (about 3 miles away.) Looking at the scores, Eastlake isn't too bad, but their API scores are approx. 50 points below Veteran's. I tried to let her know that API scores aren't everything, but when that is a huge factor for deciding on location, it's hard to get around.

I spent my teen years in north county San Diego. After moving coast to coast complements of the Navy for more than a decade, I happily settled down in Eastlake in the fall of 2004. I must admit, when I lived north of the 8, I knew very little about life south of National City's mile of cars. Of course I knew 805 was the quickest way to TJ, even back then, everyone knew that! Fast forward to my life now, complete with a beautiful wife from Northern California and three energetic kids... I have embraced Eastlake as an ideal place to live and raise a family.

I agree with you, Eastlake to me is an island, but not in a lonely, deserted way! A unique confluence of physical and man-made geography consumes us; from the Mt Miguel mountain range to the north and east, the border to the south and the 125/805 freeways to the west. Inarguably, Eastlake is somewhat confined. On the plus side, for me, everything I need is right here. Since I must battle angry freeways every day, enjoying the convenience and simplicity of neighborhood restaurants and nearby quality shopping, when I am home, is indeed comforting. Who does not like easy? On the minus side, since so much of what surrounds us is new and chain focused, the personality of our young community is affected. Eastlake lacks history and a quirky personality that many San Diego cities have. Also, I think there are too many chains and big box stores and not enough of the "diners, drive-in's and dives" spots, as one of the previous commenter's mentioned, that we can embrace as ours. To me, however, the personality of our island is evolving.

Eastlake will never be a Southpark or a Hillcrest or a La Jolla, but that's ok. It's certainly not what my wife and I desired, clearly we are happy in the suburbs. Ok, in fairness, if I could transplant my house to Encinitas or Del Mar I would do it in a minute! (It's important to be honest.)

I laughed at your line, "for now, if you don't live in Eastlake, there's not much reason to visit, unless your aunt lives here..." That's true. But, I don't see too many reasons to visit San Marcos, Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch or Tierra Santa either, do you? Just because a community is not a well known destination does not make it any less idyllic. It's equally safe and serene, and that is why we continue to live here.

After my wife and I learned about the excellent schools and I fell in love with the cool ocean breezes and endless miles of meandering running trails, we knew Eastlake was for us. I am sure many homeowners can relate to your sentiment, "...in the end we chose square footage over location." Despite the shallow feeling this statement elicits, let's face it, growing families need space! Nothing wrong with that. A quaint 1400 square foot 50's style bungalow steps away from bustling downtown activities is perfect for some, but it's not what we were searching for. We enjoy our quiet space, the safe streets and ample green parks that surround it.

(continued) I will take issue with anyone who says homes in Eastlake are cheap. Although there are many apartments and condos sprinkled in within our zip codes, per DQNews.com, for June 2013, the average price of the 40 existing homes sold in 91914 and 91915 was $481K. For the same period, Poway's 66 homes sold averaged $563K. Granted, on average homes are pricier in Poway than here, but not dramatically. Factor in the monthly HOA and Mello-Roos, and perhaps the divide is even less? Ultimately, it's not just about value, but the vibe as well. Some dig it, others don't.

"Our" Eastlake is in its twenties. The ranches of Rolling Hills, San Miguel and Otay are even younger. Most folks I meet in this age group are still maturing and developing. It seems no different for neighborhoods. Although few communities are perfect, ours is easily one of the premiere master planned communities anywhere in San Diego!

I think some of us are taking this article too seriously. I thought this article was humerous because as much as we don't want to admit it, it has some truth to it. I have lived in many parts of the world and Eastlake is the best place I've lived in. My family moved to Eastlake in 2009 and have loved it since. With all the amenities this place has to offer, its perfect for raising children. As FriarsFan2013 mentioned, Eastlake does feel like an Island, but its a pretty, peaceful Island. Ms Salaam does mention all the good qualities about Eastlake, how everything is close by, the good schools and our diverse population. She is right about some things, I do tend to complain when I have to go to Michaels or to downtown San Diego when I can't find something in here. Our Mall can use another department store as well. At the end of the day, this is our little piece of heaven, I love Eastlake.

P.S. Eastlake is not cheap.

I thought the article was witty. Yes, Eastlake is a very nice place to live for all the reasons left by the commenters. I worked there for five years and saw a great deal of ethnic diversity. It's just not for everyone and neither is North Park and Hillcrest. I love living in North Park because it's such a walkable area. Plus, it's grown over the decades as shown by the wide variety of architecture and changes in the businesses. Cities and suburbs evolve over time. The trees grow taller, new businesses appear, the area becomes more "homey".

Elizabeth, maybe really all Eastlake needs for your taste is time to mature and become a tad less planned.

2014 is an election year for three board members of SUHSD. Please cast an educated ballot - take the time to Google Sweetwater and each board members names - the time for change is now. Our middle and high school students depend on us to ensure the educational, financial and athletic decisions being made are done by persons looking to serve vs. use their board seat for personal or political gain.

Don't do Zumba or wear make up on my workouts - but yes I do like big sunglasses. I'm open to poking a bit of fun to our 'suburbia' life. I'm sure any planned community can have some 'funnies". Obviously, that this writer decided to publicly rant about where she is raising her children - well, sadly she has bigger issues. What I'm not okay with is her advocating to not visit South County and the SDReader deciding that this would be great cover story grab. I guess the SDReader doesn't have many South County advertisers. Or maybe it hoped it would generate more readers. Whatever the case, communities need commerce and homebuyers for all the amenities most communities want - awesome schools, roadways, shops, entertainment.... . So not only was this article an insult to those of use living and investing in Eastern Chula Vista - it really was a slap to all those businesses and schools residing in the South County. Lady, you just added to the stereotype and discrimination many of us have been fighting against for years. Maybe next time instead of publicly crying about it ... maybe you can get civically involved to make some sustainable practical changes.

Why Elizabeth Salaam, you forgot to mention all the free government money you used to move to Eastlake, that you referenced in the article you wrote when you got the house. In fact you were practically bragging about the so-called programs you qualified for.

I'll tell you what. Sell the house, pay back the government grants, and move if you do not like Chula Vista. It's really that simple, right?

BOOM!!! ^^^^^^Enough said right here!^^^^^^^

You actually got paid for this article?! Too long and saw your opinion from get-go. 4 pages had to scan , all same not interested in. I'm a local but you knew what you were trading for driving if you wish to. Stop BS

Ms. Salaam - if you don't like it in Eastlake - no one is making you stay! My family and I have lived in Eastlake since 2002 and absolutely love the community and the schools!

Elizabeth: I think your piece was well-written and I can completely understand why you feel conflicted about your new neighborhood.

I grew up in a planned community like this -- where every house and street looks the same, lawns are manicured and HOAs rule with an iron fist. To add insult to injury, I played soccer, too. It was the kind of living that the TV show “Weeds” made fun of. When I left for college, I also found myself running away from suburbia and drawn to grimy, chaotic cities, such as New York -- just because it was so different than what I knew.

But when I look back on how I grew up, I realize how fortunate I was. My neighborhood was extremely safe. As a tween and teenager, I never felt in danger -- nor did my parents ever have to worry -- if my friends and I walked home in the evenings or when I went for a run, alone. That planned community has one of the best public high schools in the state, and the kids that went there viewed their education as a priority. I went away to a good college and so did most of my classmates -- and the college that I chose opened doors for me to study abroad and travel.

I know for a fact that my life would have been very different had my parents not been able to afford to live in this planned community. I doubt that I would have had the same opportunities that I’ve enjoyed had we lived somewhere else.

I can see why you’d view suburban life as boring. The commute down South DOES suck, and I know it’s a huge adjustment. But you need to remember why you moved there. You have a child. So it’s not about you anymore.

I currently live downtown. But I don’t have children, and there’s no way in HELL I’d raise a child here. I would not want them to go to an under-funded, inner-city school, have their sleep disturbed by the sounds of police sirens every night, or risk them being accosted by homeless people and drunks. How unfair would it be to them and their development to raise them in this environment, just so that I could still FEEL “urban chic,” or whatever you want to call it?

When I do have children, Eastlake is exactly the kind of community I would want to raise them in. That’s why they exist and why urban planners and development companies create them – for families.

You’ve had your time. Your life is not over, and you’re not over, just because you're living in the burbs. Embrace this new chapter in your life, and think of what you are offering your daughter. It will grow on you. If anything, be thankful that you’re able to enjoy some QUIET and get a good’s night sleep regularly -- I’m at the point where I’d kill to not be awoken by a siren, just once.

I HATE living in Eastlake too! I am with you 100 percent!

  1. I live in Eastlake and I don't Zumba. IIRC there no zumba locations in North Park or South Park or Hillcrest - right? I hope not - I prefer the Lips, Chetahs, Deja Vu locations so much more than a Zumba locations just as you do!

  2. You long for or grew up with little league - so do I! I mean the hotbed for little baseball is north county. I know the Park View fans of a few years ago or the current Eastlake little league fans are non existent - since no one out here longs for little league either. I mean when Southwestern college was full of non fans a few years ago to boo the Park View team for winning the local sandlot tournament - it was all the city folk laughing at our have not teams. I was so wishing I lived with the really good baseball areas up north that you speak of!

  3. I hate the Moms have to dress up to go to work and drop their kids off at school first too! I would prefer to live in the city where no one bathes too! I am sure Eastlake is the only neighborhood with stay at home moms! It is amazing that some of these moms wear exercise clothes - don't they know that exercise clothes are for the men only in Hillcrest!!! I agree with you - if you don't dress like a St. Vincent de Paul resident, don't take your kids to school.

  4. The worst part of Eastalke is the crime and homelessness rate - I mean ANY area north of National City is far more safe than Eastlake!

  5. I agree I go to the city to avoid people in large sunglasses!

  6. When I move out of Eastlake I am sure the few friends I have will go visit me in North County everyday. I mean if it takes an hour to go south on the 805 - it only takes 5 minutes going north. That is the best part of living in the city or the north county - NO Freeway traffic!

  7. I too hate all those city landscapers! I mean I love the trash city areas so much better too!

  8. Palm trees galors - yuck! Associations yuck! Thankfully no palm trees in the city! No HOA's in the high rise buildings either! I prefer when the citizens put their own stop signs to stop traffic near schools but they self police themselves.

  9. The view of the lights or the view of the other suburb - despicable. Would rather see the views of the neighborhoods bordering Petco Park anyday!

  10. I agree Kearny Mesa is sooo much newer, nicer, non traffic, non strip mall, so urban community I could find too! I mean you can go have lunch at several urban areas that have "no touch" zones that are so much better than zumba!

  11. The ONLY suburban city in San Diego that DOES NOT RESEMBLE New York is Eastlake! Hilcrest and Kearny Mesa are as close to New York as actually being there!

If you leave work in Downtown - Poway is the same mileage away as is Eastlake. Since the author is experienced in traffic - Will the drive to Poway be 5 minutes and the drive to Eastlake 1 hour?

I am sooo upset - I had to take my kid to school all dressed up to go to work as well. I wish I lived in the city where I can wake up at noon and decide whether to shower or not.... Oh well - the author and myself share the same feelings....

I was wondering the same thing.. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN EASTLAKE?" Go ahead and leave, make room for people who appreciate the area.

Words that come to mind: superficial, insecure, ignorant, judgemental, ignorant...

Your facebook implies you are every woman you complained about in this article.


Not only was this article biased and ignorant. It was POORLY written. Honestly, I could hardly follow what the writer was trying to say. There is no flow, it's boring, and it doesn't make sense. Why is this on the cover of the San Diego Reader? What a waste of space (as is the space she's living in). BORRRRIIINNNNGGG!!!

Dear Ms. Salaam,

I read your article and all the comments as well. A writer's viewpoint is usually offered to elicit commentary, provoke thoughtful ideas and spark intelligent discussion from readers. However, when a writer submits a piece that is loaded with racial remarks and derogatory comments, it clearly proves the writer is ill-experienced in the topic. If your sole purpose in publishing this article was to create a name for yourself, you've done exactly that - your name is not credible. Readers will not be able to take seriously a writer who loads text with complaints sans solutions, racial remarks and negative pessimism about the state of a community. Be a doer, Ms. Salaam. Invent something interesting for Eastlake. Create something meaningful for Eastlake's high-scoring school districts. Make a change. But do so positively. Your piece slams a community that you are not bound to. As my mother used to say, "If you don't like it, leave." Your slant is narrow and it is not surprising that you have not made solid friendships in Eastlake. Good people generally see transparencies in others, and if you have not built good relationships in Eastlake perhaps it's because what's clearly visible - your own inability to see past races, even the SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) race. Please be a responsible writer. The goal is not to offend, right? Isn't a writer's goal to expose their viewpoint to a larger audience via words? Words and their delivery should be chosen wisely. Your baseline viewpoint has been exposed now. As you note in your article, Eastlake is a small community. You may find it hard to build good friendships now that you have torn everyone down, including yourself.

sdsu4life - not to take anything away from the fine young athletes in North Park but


yes, the melting pot called Eastlake does know a thing about Little League!!!!

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Suburbs are suburbs. Barking dogs and screaming kids. All the same. Not really different from anywhere else that takes an hour to get to work. But it gets roasting hot out there. Might as well be Burbank.

But I try to stay humble. I might feel grateful were I to live there. I'm staying in the other burbs. Not that I want to be here. I have to for a while. I can't stand it.

But I am grateful because I'm seriously thinking that it could be worse. At any moment it could get alot worse.

Good! Please leave. Go raise your kids in North Park. I actually like nature. The peace and quiet! I spent a year living in Hollywood and commuted daily to Westwood for an entire summer. I shudder at the small mindedness of your world view. I have a toddler and I love it here. You have some serious issues. Must not be very hot yourself if you complain about the hot moms. Racist much? I can't believe the Reader would publish this. The only thing that I like about this article is that I hope it keeps people from wanting to live here. I hope I don't run into you at Trader Joe's and yes I love big sunglasses.

WOW! I read this article because I live in Eastlake and the past 6 years I've been here have been fabulous! I'm a New Yorker so I completely understand what it's like to miss the city but please if you want to live someplace that reminds you of the city, Downtown SD has plenty of places, stores and homeless people that would fix that city craving.

What stood out the most of ALL the NEGATIVE comments were all the comments made about Mexican's....what the F? Are there really that many RACIST PEOPLE in our so-called diverse community? Or are you just mad that other ethnicities are catching up to your social and/or financial status? Being a New Yorker I'm used to all cultures and it's not only Mexicans who wear perfume, drive BMW's, pluck their eyebrows and wear sunglasses!! I thought the most important thing was trying to raise your family in a nice neighborhood but if these are the parents of the kids our kids go to school with ....how can anyone expect that?! If you're really that INSECURE of being around other cultures maybe you should go back to where your original roots are from....I can almost bet it's not in the U.S.....oh but then again I'm sure you're racist to foreigners as well. SMH!

I grew up in Chula Vista and we raised our kids there and have owned homes in Eastlake. As a realtor, I have sold many homes in Eastlake to buyers and have sold many homes for sellers. There is a reason why it has been voted the best community since 1997. Not only does it have great homes, schools, parks, restaurants, shops, the Olympic Training Center, and activities for all, but it also has a rich cultural diversity. Not every neighborhood is right for everyone. If you don’t like a neighborhood, you can always move to another one that you might like better. Like I always say, a home is like a relationship, if you can find 80% then you can live with or fix the other 20%. The same goes for a community. Because we love Eastlake, we had a community video made and also are creating a Facebook page to bring people together. We also are supporting Eastlake Little League this year as well. Please check out the video at: www.oureastlake.com, and “like” our community Facebook page once it is up and running at “Our Eastlake.” Take care!

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