It is a little passed 8am and the sun has been up for well over an hour. The clouds cast just enough shade that I can visibly see the steam radiate from my freshly poured coffee. A mild breeze rolls from the bay, over the my balcony, and makes its way towards the sea. Even though it’s late November all I need to stay warm is a hoodie in the ever mild weather of San Diego. Not a bad place to be right now.
The rental house I’m in is a stone’s throw away from dozens of other structures. What’s difficult to distinguish is whether my neighbors are fellow visitors or the rare-to-find locals. Each building is packed so closely to the next there is only space for a small sidewalk to separate the walls of every dwelling. Our location, Mission Beach, is a popular part of town. Roughly one city block separates us from the Pacific and Mission Bay. The sort of place where everyone wants to be here but no one is “here”.
For as many livable units as there are it feels surprisingly empty. Fully furnished patios and balconies lie dormant waiting for the next inhabitants to host an event. Sand shovels and water pals sit idol, no one has played with these toys since August. The biggest shame is the wasted views. Every morning the sun rises in the bay and sets on the ocean while being observed by few. While hundreds would love to live here many simply can not.
Perhaps the wage needed to live in Mission Beach is too high. Perhaps the property owners are real estate firms more interested in cash flow than community betterment. Perhaps the house has been owned by a private owner so long they moved to Phoenix and use it only a few times a year. It’s all ok, this is the way the market works. I think most would prefer the quite idleness of neglect to the sprawling condos of despair.
My time here is almost up. Back inland and away from the sea. The sun will still be shining and the weather will still be perfect. In fact my neighborhood should be brimming with folks out and about. They say life is for the living and that’s exactly what I intend to keep doing.