Aug. 1, 2013 @ 10:43 a.m.
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.
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