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Letter from the Editor: Character Study

Editor in Chief Erin Meanley Glenny dishes on the March issue of San Diego Magazine
Sydney Prather

When I began researching “A Tour of Classic San Diego,” I imagined it would touch on the history of San Diego and the physical character of our built world. Photo-wise, I wasn’t thinking beyond the surface, really—just exteriors and curb appeal. But as I continued to talk with local historians and architects and real estate agents—more than 20 in all—I kept hearing about the interior life, not just of the home but of the person inhabiting the space. Realtor Elizabeth Courtiér says that after she asks a client how many beds and baths they want, she asks how they want to feel. She even asks what kind of music they listen to on a Saturday because, she says, historic homes do something psychological to us.

I realized she was right. The older, classic homes I’ve visited in San Diego have stayed with me. There was that party inside a 1963 midcentury modern in La Jolla, with the pebbled entryway that carried the outside in; and the 1950 Old Town enclave with an indoor Jacuzzi looking out onto the bay—passed down through generations, that house was virtually untouched, and the kitchen especially was like a movie set. Even my great-grandparents’ 1929 Spanish Revival that was torn down for the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library—running through the corridors as a kid, feeling the sun coming in through wide archways around a courtyard. And a fireplace in every bedroom! You don’t forget.

In this issue, we also look to the future of housing in San Diego. Co-living, microunits, and 3D-printed homes—it’s all coming to our neighborhoods, especially downtown. And a lot of us will be living near transit. I’m excited for what that brings (hopefully more small-town intimacy).

An anecdote: Not long ago, I was getting my hair done in Leucadia, on Vulcan by the train tracks. The salon has a garage door that my stylist, Janea, leaves up, but she hangs a shade down to block the sun. The other day while in the chair, I heard the toot toot of the Coaster heading north. Janea casually pulled aside the blind and waved. Then I saw a train engineer passing by at 40 mph, poking his head out and waving. My jaw fell open. She explained, “Oh, yeah, we wave at each other every day. Usually they blast the horn right here, but he gives me a special honk ahead of time.” You see? Even as San Diego is growing by leaps and bounds, we’re still finding ways to connect. May you experience the warm hug of a small town but also open your arms to all the possibilities of the future.

Honk if you love San Diego.

Letter from the Editor / March 2020 – 1

Sydney Prather

Letter from the Editor / March 2020 – 2

Letter from the Editor / March 2020 – 3

Letter from the Editor / March 2020 – 4

Andrei Booriakin

Letter from the Editor / March 2020 – 5

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