Sunday, May 10, 2009

Scottsdale vs. San Diego

Many years ago I lived in Scottsdale, Arizona. I remember it well. The people were extremely friendly, an endearing trait I never forgot. Years later when I moved from the East Coast to San Diego, I expected the same warmth. What a shock. Down here, a friendly hello will often be greeted by a cold stare or a look of horror. Banter is a foreign language. Your dog may even be snubbed. San Diegans love to bash Los Angeles. But I have found the big city warmer than down here.

We just returned from a week in Scottsdale. And the same friendly mentally still exists. A warm hello from strangers is common. Pleasant small talk is a delightful change from the distant stares and constant paranoia San Diego residents deliver. Ah, yes, San Diego has nice weather and the ocean. But grow older than forty, or expect neighborliness, and you might find a wall. A tall, unfortunate wall. San Diego is still a small town with a big ego, yet a city of strangers, all of them dressed like hell.

I have many friends here. But all were hard won. And many of them don't have friends. San Diego people prefer large groups with very little intimacy.

As a close friend who moved away to Santa Fe used to say: San Diego is a dumb blonde. But dumb blonds get old and tiresome.