Hello San Diego.
Something is strange about this city, it pretty much defies everything the books taught me. I learnt that suburbs are horrible places to live in. Jacob’s taught me that social relations in the low density residential districts are almost extinct. That streets are unsafe and that play grounds are empty. They taught me that residential neighborhoods are boring, and that the lack of mixed use will make me feel like I am in some urban void. I expected to feel unsafe in the empty sidewalks of residential neighborhoods. I have to admit, it does get a little lonely here at night, but I find this city incredibly relaxing. Something about the integration with nature and quiet neighborhoods makes it appealing to me. And to my biggest surprise, I feel so damn safe here it’s scary. I am trying to convince myself that the segregation of residential and commercial uses makes places lonely and boring, because that’s what they taught me. However, I do not feel that way. I enjoy taking my children to the neighborhood park, and to my surprise there are always other children playing there as well. The park is not the boring place with restricted play rules as I expected. And no, I would not rather have the girls play on the streets either. I enjoy waking up to see a large number of people getting active every morning. I enjoy the good morning smile from all our neighborhood and I do enjoy the nature walks within every neighborhood. I must say, from the little experience I have, something about the silence in this residential only district makes me feel comfortable. Makes me feel relaxed.
Till we meet again, San Diego.
Words & Photos // Israa Shaarani
Israa is a young architect + urban planner with a passion for observing the built environment and understanding how it affects people’s lives. She believes the biggest value you get out of this life is obtained through giving back to your community. Also, she suggests spending any money you have on travel, you won’t ever need a refund!
Find her on instagram @izzy_shaarani