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Here’s to What Comes Next for San Diego Magazine

Executive editor Mateo Hoke reflects on 75 years of SDM and what makes this anniversary edition so special
San Diego Magazine Cover November 1978

San Diego Magazine Cover November 1978

Pour the Champagne. We’re partying over here. With this issue, we’re celebrating three-quarters of a century of San Diego Magazine—and bringing you our favorite spots of 2023. It’s a very special edition, full of timeless San Diego memories combined with the best of the city’s now. We hope it becomes a venerated fixture on your coffee table for a good while, or at least a long-lasting coaster.This 75-year milestone is the beginning of a whole new era for San Diego Magazine. It’s a big deal. And it’s been a long road. When SDM began in 1948, the average American income was about $3,000 per year. The median home value was around $7,000. Harry Truman was president, and the city’s population was barely 300,000.Super Glue hadn’t been invented, and the first Super Bowl was yet to be played. Alaska and Hawaii weren’t states. No Vietnam War, no moon landing, no trickle-down economics, no 9/11, no Covid. It was a different world, and a different San Diego. But through it all, San Diego Magazine remained a premier voice in our city, covering culture, politics, food, fashion, and so much more. We’ve published in nine decades and two centuries. We’re proud of this history. We hope our readers are, too.In honor of our longevity, we decided to celebrate just how cool it is to be 75 years young, while nodding to the fact that we have big plans for the future. We threw ourselves a party at Turf Supper Club, an 80-year-old fixture of Golden Hill, where, inside, it smells like history.We asked our readers to find us stylish models in their 70s, tapped one of the most photogenic young musicians we know to join us, and brought in a dog groomed to look like a lion, just to get weird. Cake, candles, confetti. Bubbly, bolo ties, balloons. You can taste the vibe: Smart. Sexy. Wild. Provocative. Everything we’re seeking to be as we grow older.If we’re being honest—and we always strive to be—previous SDM anniversary covers have fallen flat, so we wanted to make up for lost opportunities. We hope you dig it. You can see a lot more from the shoot— including other images that could have made the cover.As you can see, we’re having fun. We’re septuagenarians, but we’re in our prime, full of the wisdom that comes with age and ready for what’s next. While putting together this issue and reflecting on all SDM has accomplished in the last seven-plus decades, I’ve also been asking myself what kind of magazine we want to be in another 75 years, and considering what kind of San Diego we want to see.Local media is a vital part of a city’s fabric, and we want to make sure that SDM keeps contributing to a more interesting, more vibrant, and more inclusive San Diego.We’ve inherited a 75-year-strong foundation to build from, and, with new-ish ownership and a talented, hungry editorial team, we’ve got ambitious goals for where we want to go. Our staff views it as a great honor to be stewarding this magazine into its next chapter.So pop that Champagne and raise a glass. We’re just getting started.

By Mateo Hoke

Mateo Hoke is San Diego Magazine’s executive editor. His books include Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary, and Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation.

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