10 October 2014

Urban State of Mind | Nathan's San Diego

Putting together Feature 'Blogorations' has been so much fun for me! 
I've gotten to meet new people + I've had the opportunity to get to know those I do know a little better. The later is the case with today feature.

Meet Nathan (+ San Diego)! 
He is a friend of Nelli's who I have met a handful of times + you may recall Nelli + he collaborated on a post earlier this year: Caramelized Leek, Basil, + Black Pepper Biscuits
Nelli wanted me to be the one who interviewed Nathan because:
1) She wanted us to get to know each other more intimately
2) I'm the 'feature lady' at BSOM. 
So, Nathan + I came together to bring you this lovely Urban Feature on what his life was like when he lived in San Diego, CA.

"I'm 26, born and raised in Sacramento, graduated from NewSchool of Architecture + Design in San Diego + work as a Designer at the architecture firm Lionakis in Newport Beach,CA I love traveling, photography, cooking, wine, + great cocktails." - Nathan

Current City: Irvine, CA

BSOM: Where are you originally from + why did you move to San Diego?
Nathan: I was born in Sacramento, and moved to San Diego in 2010 to complete my Bachelor's of Architecture degree.

BSOM: What's the biggest difference between Sacramento + San Diego?
Nathan: San Diego reminds me a lot of a 'Sacramento by the beach,' with the city sprawling out with lots of suburban areas, but a really exciting and lively urban core downtown.

BSOM: How long did you live there + why did you move away?
Nathan: I lived in San Diego for 3 years, from July 2010 - August 2013. I moved because of a job opportunity in Newport Beach. I think that if I didn't have that opportunity, I would have stayed in San Diego.

BSOM: What did you enjoy most about life in SD?
Nathan: Living in downtown San Diego was always exciting, there was always something going on and you could just walk out your door and be within walking distance to restaurants, the nightlife, basic amenities. I liked how relaxed the atmosphere is, the weather was always nice (even when it wasn't it was great), and there's a scene/neighborhood for everyone.

BSOM: Best experience you had living there?
Nathan: It's hard to pinpoint one particular experience that I had, I think that it was a great place for me to transition from living at home to being on my own.

BSOM: What negatives (if any) were there to living in SD?
Nathan: Relative to the whole of San Diego, the downtown is very small; while this created some interesting pockets within the sprawling neighborhoods, the vast suburban neighborhoods were also a major detractor in creating a vibrant urban environment outside the downtown area, and walking between the neighborhoods didn't really happen. 

BSOM: One piece of advice you'd give someone who is considering moving there?
Nathan: Spend some time in San Diego exploring the neighborhoods before you commit to moving to any area, and realize that most of San Diego isn't at "the beach".

BSOM: What was the biggest change you've had to make in order to adapt to life in SD?
Nathan: I had a pretty smooth transition, I moved down with a lot of friends from home and knew a lot of people in San Diego prior to moving down. I think just finding a place to live was my biggest obstacle. 

BSOM: Transportation: How did you get around?
Nathan: For getting around most of the time downtown, I would drive just because my daily schedule of activities was very unpredictable, but I more often than not walked to class because parking enforcement was terrible.

BSOM: Favorite "locals only know about it" hang out spot?
Nathan: The funny thing about San Diego is that so much of the population are from elsewhere, and not many people are actually "locals". And San Diego is also a huge tourist town, so even the "local" non-Gaslamp places will often have plenty of out-of-towners. My favorite place in the East Village (the "artist/up and coming part" of downtown SD east of the Gaslamp) is called Neighborhood and the attached Noble Experiment speakeasy with their amazing mixologists.

BSOM: Any local artists/street art you recommend we check out? 
Nathan: A classmate of mine started to make a name for himself doing live art pieces at venues and in the San Diego art scene, his name is Max Mcilwee. He specialized in urban art work with spray paint as his medium. 

BSOM: Favorite restaurant + coffee shop in SD?
Nathan: My favorite restaurant is Underbelly in Little Italy, a hipsterized/trendy ramen restaurant in a converted wine bar. Local beers, great food, and windows that fold down into communal tables. Caffe Calabria in North Park is a great cafe with cold brewed iced coffee.

BSOM: Favorite "day trip spot" in SD?
Nathan: I have two favorite spots to just walk around and enjoy the city, both different but equally the epitome of San Diego. The first place is The Prado in Balboa Park - what started off as the stage for the Panama-California Exposition is now a concentration of museums, art and culture, and gardens with great views of downtown sitting above the city. The second place is the Cabrillo Point tide pools, natural unobstructed, non-tourist overcrowded waterfront with incredible views of the setting sun.

BSOM: If someone only had one day to experience your city, what would you recommend they see/do?
Nathan: Eat and drink you way through San Diego, avoid the Gaslamp unless you're going clubbing, and stroll along the wind sandy beach front of the Hotel Del Coronado.

BIG thanks and shout out to Nathan for his contribution to this blog!!

Until next time friends...Cheers!!! 
<3 Noonie

P.S. Would you like to be featured right here on BSOM?! Email us! We'd love to hear from you! 

Check out our Contact page for more info! :)

The Prado in Balboa Park

Hotel Del Coronado