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Out on the Limb

Moving Forward

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I searched for the "right" apartment during the entire month of August.
I made a list of neighborhoods I liked.
I scanned rental ads morning, noon and night.
Most days were full of hope; others were borderline despair.
I was convinced that I belonged near the ocean (being a water spirit and all...).
But the Gods had other ideas.

Then I remembered a trip to San Diego four years ago. During that visit I had taken a bus ride to a very likeable neighborhood and had thought at the time it would be a lovely place to live some day. But where on-the-map was I four years ago? I remembered a Russian deli and a vegetarian restaurant. And I knew I had taken a bus from downtown, through Balboa Park, making a right-hand turn somewhere. I set out to find the place of my memories...and it was Normal Heights.

After re-locating the "feels right" place of distant memories....a variety of suitable apartments jumped out at me. I signed a lease within the week, but am waiting for some upgrade work to be completed before I can move in sometime this month. To those of you who know me, living in Normal Heights is as close to normal as I'm ever likely to get!

After signing the lease, I began exploring downtown NormH, aka Adams Avenue. I'm right where I need to be. Lestat's Coffee House is an excellent place to begin a Normal Heights tour. Most local businesses make an effort to support local artists, and Lestat's is no exception. On my list of things to do is to drop in on Mark Serritella's comedy act at Lestat's.

Adams Ave is packed with book stores. I have disappeared into the black holes of a couple amazing bookstores. I lose all track of time in bookstores such as Burgett Books & Collectibles. Oh, joy!!

Don't leave the area without treating yourself at Mariposa Homemade Ice Cream. It's the complete treat -- good socially-active people making great ice cream. Mariposa just happens to be right next door to Mama Mia's pizza. I'll be needing to set some boundaries for myself!

Also of interest is the Eritrean Community Center. Hmmmm.....who are the Eritreans??, I wondered. And now I know. The Eritrean's are big on weaving. I would love to see their handicrafts and perhaps learn a thing or two. Speaking of fabrics, Normal Heights is also packed with fabric shops I have yet to explore.

My new neighborhood is so vibrant and exciting. Adams Avenue is also home to an Olympic fencing and theatrical swordsplay studio known as the Cabrillo Fencing Academy. Cool stuff.

And on the last weekend of September (by which time I should be getting settled into my flat), Adams Avenue will come even more alive with Southern California's largest annual free music gathering at the Street Fair. I'll be setting my sights on being a vendor at the 2007 event.

It seems I have stumbled smack into the middle of a thriving artist community minus the stuffy high-end galleries. Normal Heights appears to be my kind of place, and I am eternally grateful to the powers that steered me here.
posted by Deb, 11:45 AM | link | 3 comments |