Visiting San Diego was great. I stayed in East Village while visiting a Penn State friend, and visited Ocean Beach for their street fair and lobster tacos.

I’m glad I made the drive from San Francisco down the Pacific Coast Highway, but despite breaking up the trip with an overnight stay in Lompoc, the final stretch from near Santa Barbara through Los Angeles to San Diego was rough due to traffic. I’ll definitely fly next time.

San Diego’s East Village is not like New York’s East Village. It’s something closer to Hell’s Kitchen-style grittiness and industrial/residential change blended with a homelessness population the likes of which I frankly haven’t seen anywhere else so up front. I thought of Portland in 2011, but that was nothing in type or scope compared to what life on the street seems like in this neighborhood. Tragic.

Ocean Beach is everything you’d expect in a place on the water that “looks like someone left it in the 1970s” as my young Uber driver put it. He moved to Ocean Beach 8 years ago from Wisco and fell in love with the weather and the culture. (Ocean Beach is being discovered, though. Rents for a 2BR that were $1,350 a few years ago are $2,100 or more now.)

Did Ocean Beach’s street fair and ran into some new friends at Sunset Cliffs before heading home for the night.