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Best of San Diego

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Best of San Diego 2018


Generational slang and colloquialisms come and go. One generation’s “that’s groovy” is another generation’s “that’s the bomb” is another generation’s “that’s lit.” But if there are two words that have somehow withstood the test of time and are still used regularly by both kids and adults, it’s “hot” and “cool.”


While the words can sometimes be contextually similar, there are still fundamental differences in the moments and circumstances in which we would call something “hot” and when we’d call something “cool.” For example, if we were thinking about going to a bar and asked a trusted friend for their opinion, a descriptor of “it’s hot” is way different than “it’s cool.”


For our annual Best Of issue, we decided to embrace the concept of “Hot & Cool.” So what makes something “hot” and what makes something “cool”? Well, while it’s obviously subjective, something that is “hot” is relatively new and/or has a lot of buzz and notoriety. And while that buzz is sometimes fleeting, we tried to pick things that are both of the moment and seemingly built to last.


For our “cool” picks, we wanted to select more established things that have continued to be, well, cool despite passing trends and moods. These selections can be well-known or under-the-radar. For example, a boutique like Pigment is “cool” precisely because it has remained a go-to retail shop in a neighborhood where so many have come and gone. But for our piece on “cool” politicians, we selected some more under-the-radar people who have been diligently working behind the scenes, but don’t have that “hot” level of recognition yet. 


In any case, we hope that readers will keep this issue around on their coffeetables or as a bookmark on their browsers. We think it’s a useful guide to some of the coolest and hottest people, places and things in the city. We hope you feel the same.


2017

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Let’s not kid ourselves here—San Diego is a city of drifters. 


Sure, we’ll occasionally run into that rare unicorn who was born and raised here, but if we’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s likely they moved here from somewhere else. It makes sense, really. In addition to being right next to an international border, there’s also the fact that we’ve historically been a military town. There’s also the steady stream of non-locals who move here seeking the California Dream (whatever that is). 


Some of those people move back home after a while or move on to other cities, but for those of us who stay, it’s worth analyzing the things that keep us here. Many of the reasons why we really stay here, despite the high cost of living, aren’t the typical things like sunshine and beaches, but rather the everyday things we often take for granted. The favorite dish at the neighborhood restaurant. The nature hike that’s off the beaten path. The delicious beer that’s only available at the local bar. 


In honor of our 15th anniversary, we asked some of our regular contributors to give us 15 reasons, in no particular order, why they choose to live and remain in San Diego. Sure, the beaches and sunshine are great, but if these lists are any indication, it’s the little things that make all the difference. We like to think that readers will keep this issue around, perhaps circling some of the items they want to check out for themselves. We’d also love for readers to send us their own lists of reasons why they love San Diego. But most of all, we hope that our little weekly paper is one of those reasons.


—Seth Combs