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happy friday + a sunny move ahead…



I have some exciting (and also scary) news! Next summer, we’re packing up the apartment, the studio, and our cats…and moving to sunny San Diego! Yes, it’s true. East Coast mouse is moving to the West Coast…at least temporarily. My husband’s job is taking us there for one year beginning summer of 2009. To start prepping, we’re heading there next month for a short vacation and to start scoping out neighborhoods.Yikes!

If any of you have advice, thoughts, or suggestions about great areas to live and rent an apartment for that year..I am all ears and would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment here or email me directly to: info{at} Thank you in advance!

{photo of Balboa Park at sundown by Seven Bridges}


  1. wow big move!
    i used to live in la jolla which is a very cute and posh beachside town. not very diverse though. i think a neighborhood like hillcrest would have more of an east coast, urban flair but it’s been 10 years since i lived in the area so who knows what it’s like now. get ready for AMAZING mexican food. yummmm.

  2. Greetings from San Diego! I’m in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, which is coastal North County -cute and laid back. There are many great spots to choose from; suppose it depends on how far your husband is willing to commute. Downtown has been built up with lots and lots of aprtments, condos and lofts; Golden Hills and South Park are east of downtown with bungalows, small homes and old spanish style aprtment buildings.
    Good luck and I’d be happy to help with any questions about this town.

  3. San Diego is wonderful! My cousins live in Escondido and the views are gorgeous, the weather is gorgeous, it’s just about perfect. I’m sure you will love it there.

  4. I’m a native San Diegan, and would be happy to show you around once you arrive! As far as apartment-renting goes, Craig’s List is pretty much the most used resource, with drive-bys and the local paper (San Diego Union Tribune) coming in a distant second. My favorite neighborhoods are in central San Diego (South Park, North Park, Hillcrest, Golden Hill), but a lot of where to live depends on what part of town he’ll be working in. Gas is expensive, and minimizing the commute is worth it.

  5. Oh yay! I’m in San Diego.
    What time of neighborhood are you looking to live in? Urban? Suburban? One where you can walk to stores and restaurants? Old house? New condo? By the beach? By the mountains?
    I love living here… I have a two-story condo in Mission Valley (across from Qualcomm Stadium and IKEA) if you’re interested in renting…

  6. Thanks for your comments guys!
    To answer some of your questions..since we may only be there for a year, I”m def. looking for somewhere that has stuff in the neighborhood..shops, restaurants, etc..I don’t need to be right in the middle of everything, but also don’t want to be secluded out in the suburbs. It would be nice to be able to walk to some places and not have to drive everywhere.
    We’re looking to apt, condo, or townhouse with ideally 3 bedrooms or 2 large bedrooms.
    Those of you who emailed or commented me with specific suggestions, I am writing back to you individually.
    Thanks again!

  7. Yay! I’m in San Diego and am thrilled you’re moving here! You’ll love some of the new up-and-coming areas… North Park has lots of little restaurants and boutiques I think you’d like. Plus, everything is in walking distance. Kensington is great too, the homes are gorgeous.
    Good luck with the move!

  8. You will love it here I have a boutique in PB called Lilygrace and my blog is check it out. Oh I read your BLOG DAILY thanks

  9. hi.
    i used to live in san diego for about 2 years and really loved it there, and visit it quite frequently. the weather is perfect, and the beaches are beautiful. as for neighborhoods, we lived in Normal Heights, and it’s wonderful as there are small coffee shops there, an indie movie theater, small restaurants (even a yummy vegan one) and so on.
    close to it are neighborhoods of hillcrest (home to many creative folks, designer boutiques, a very cute ace hardware, and so on). if i were to move back, hillcrest would be at the top of my list.
    university heights, kensington and the areas around balboa park (BEAUTIFUL park w/ many major museums housed there) are top notch too.
    if you want to live close to the beach, la jolla is great (a bit more expensive), ocean and mission beach is cool too (a bit harder to find parking if you live closer to the beach).
    the more north you get, like mira mesa and up, if you don’t have a car, public transpo is difficult unless you take the train (10 dollars from oceanside to mira mesa). the houses are newer and larger, and there are more chain restaurants and stripmalls.
    personally, i LOVE hillcrest, kensington, university heights, normal heights and downtown sd.
    hope this helps. let me know if you need more info 🙂

  10. San Diego’s sunny and laid back-hope you’ll love it. I’m a former east-coaster who lives in Cardiff. If you’re into slow paced surfer communities, coastal north county is great. If you want a more urban setting, hillcrest is great-it’s got an arty movie theater, cool shops, and proximity to downtown, Balboa park, and much more. wE’VE GOT ALOT of micro-climates here-the further east you go from the coast, the hotter it gets. Feel free to email with any specific questions.

  11. How exciting. I live in downtown san Diego and I love being able to walk around or catch the bus and go to Hillcrest, South Park and North Park. I walked a different way home tonight and I just found a new cup cake place. So many great places to eat and new shops popping up every day. Don’t forget to bring a coat it does get cool in the winter.

  12. You’re going to just love it here!
    I used to live just south of Hillcrest and North of downtown in Banker’s Hill and I loved it. We had a gorgeous 1920s apartment with hardwood floors, built-ins and beautiful garden views out the windows.
    The picture above the word “Residential” in this link was out apartment:
    We were right next to Balboa Park with its amazing museums and the zoo:
    It’s not too far from the airport and I used to ride my bike down to the bay and beach.
    There are a lot of great restaurants nearby as well.
    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

  13. I am from there and I would check out Point Loma for sure. Very nice and close to Ocean Beach and the light house and you can get downtown without taking the freeway!

  14. Yay! I love your blog and I’m glad you are bringing the creativity to SD!
    I love North Park a lot, but am also a North County girl. Consider Del Mar, Encinitas or Carlsbad. They have the fun, laid back, beach feel and are also really close to downtown San Diego.
    Have fun planning the move!
    xo, B

  15. how exciting! i’m from the philadelphia area and lived in san diego for 2 years…and i miss it everyday now that i am back in PA. what an exciting adventure! for city-ish living, i would suggest looking for places in university heights or mission hills. banker’s hill is great, too, as suggested above. very cute neighborhoods filled with sweet little homes and nice cafes, etc. i can only imagine how you could cute up a craftman house in one of those neighborhoods! a great place to live outside of the city (in north county) is encinitas. totally beautiful and socal lovely.

  16. Congrats Joy! I cannot believe that the time has already come… Seems like forever but now that it’s here it’s coming fast and furious I’m sure. We still want to move to southern California but not so sure right now. San Diego is really nice, you’ll love the fish tacos and the gorgeous beaches there. We looked at apartments in the Little Italy neighborhood back in 2005 and found that area of town to be really nice. You may like it too.
    Talk to you soon!

  17. Congrats! My husband & I moved recently from Bryn Mawr (back) to Los Angeles (sorta close). It’s so amazingly beautiful in SD… have fun! We took the opportunity to do a cross country drive together…have fun!

  18. That’s a big move…you might wanna check out the nearest vet for your cats, that’s the number one thing i look for my rabbits if i hv to move. Hope all goes smoothly 🙂

  19. I’m excited that you are moving here, even if it’s only for a year. I’m sure you will unearth things about San Diego that I’m yet to discover. Neighborhoods can be a little tricky here. You will want to make sure you are out of the flight path. I live on the border of South Park and Golden Hill. I love the neighboorhood, but hate the planes. I’m looking in Mission Hills right now and a little more north into South Park.
    Our AIGA here is really strong and a ton of fun. I would love to introduce you to people. You can email me. I hope you find a place and you have a fun recon vacation.

  20. I moved to Sunny San Diego a year ago and it is lovely indeed! I echo the suggestions of many others and recommend th South Park, Normal Heights, or North Park neighborhoods. If you are only in San Diego for one year, you might want to look into the beach neighborhoods (Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach), however they tend to be overrun with tourists and 20-something party goers. Every neighborhood offers it’s own charm. Feel free to contact me if you’d like more info! Let’s have coffee when you arrive. 🙂

  21. I grew up in San Diego and have such wonderful memories of it. My family lived in Mira Mesa, but my grandmother lived in Mission Valley. I adored the areas around Balboa Park, but other areas that people have mentioned were great too, like Cardiff, etc.

  22. How exciting for you! My family moved here from NY when I was a kid and my folks are still blissed out!
    Like many of the other posters, I would recommend Little Italy (hub of interior design showrooms, great boutiques & restaurants, and easy transit around the city on the trolley), South Park (very cool historic neighborhood with up-and-coming design vibe), and Banker’s Hill. I agree that Craigslist is THE resource for apt listings.
    I live in Normal Heights and there’s more crime here than I like so I don’t personally recommend it.
    Write me if you have any questions!
    Have fun with the move!

  23. How exciting! I live in La Jolla—you are going to love the weather. =)
    I’ve only been here a year, but if you have any questions, feel free to email me.
    San Diego will be so lucky to have you!

  24. I currently live in San Diego and loved living in the Bankers Hill/Mission Hills neighborhood. You are close to downtown, rents are a bit cheaper, and the properties are really cool! Hardwood floors and old spanish style apartment buildings abound!

  25. hey joy! congrats on the move, you’re going to love san diego. i’m a native and am currently living in little italy, which i think you’d love. its in downtown, but theres definitely not as much going on and you can enjoy the relaxed feeling of the neighborhood. there are tons of great restaurants and shops within walking distance but its also a very homey type of place.
    i’d also reccomend hillcrest to you, there are TONS of great vintage shops and boutiques in the area and its a very active community.
    kensington is nice as well, lots of amazing coffee shops and a few nice boutiques as well.
    youre going to love it here!

  26. South Park was definitely my favorite neighborhood to live in in San Diego, followed closely by University Heights, Hillcrest, Mission Hills and North Park. South Park is close to downtown, close to Balboa Park, close to Hillcrest … there is a great yoga studio, terrific neighborhood bar, and great new retail shops and restaurants were popping up when I left a couple of years ago. We miss it terribly and would love to live there again. Have fun!

  27. Fun! I loved San Diego when I lived there. You might want to check out Ocean Beach, very laid back beachy community peppered with fun little antique shops and little cafes.
    The Mission Valley and Hillcrest area was pretty nice too. Cute and many little shops to explore.

  28. ughh san diego, how I envy you. I am from Coronado now living in Boston. I can’t agree more with people who are recommending north park, hillcrest, kensington area…even mission hills would be nice but it is more residential.
    Also you must eat at las cuatros milpas…please for me. wait in line, it is worth it.
    Love your blog!


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