San Diego is considered one of the most attracting, enticing and interesting cities in the Southern California. Actually, the city is located in the southwest of the United Stated of America. San Diego’s population amounts more than one million people and, therefore, the city is claimed to be the second largest city in California and, consequently, the seventh largest city in America. San Diego is also a county seat of San Diego Country with area covering about 3 million people. San Diego is a beautiful natural harbor that managed to entice the Spanish missionary Father Junipero Serra who was too charmed by the city and, thus, decided to found the first series of missions in the city in the middle of the 17th century. San Diego is a seat of US primary Pacific naval base which was established during the World War II to defend US sea borders. (Official Website)
Nowadays, San Diego is large metropolitan center being a year-around resort for tourists from the whole world. San Diego is a thriving commercial seaport possessing large naval base. Main advantage of the city is that, despite its large size, it seems less frenzied and congested that New York and Los Angeles. Today, the city encompasses several distinct communities spreading south and north along the foothills of the mountains. San Diego is seen as a fascinating combination of high-rise hotels, resorts and modern office buildings. The city is famous for its restored “Gas Lamp Quarter”. (Official Website)
Visitors and tourists are allowed to see large convention centers, extensive yacht basins, unique shopping centers and variety of luxurious bars, clubs and restaurants. The city offers wide range of museums, one of the best zoos and other cultural attractions. San Diego International Airport makes it easier for tourists to reach the country and to breathe its heady air. Nevertheless, it is necessary to admit that life isn’t cheap in San Diego. According to recent estimations, the cost of living in San Diego exceeds such cities as New York and Chicago. Despite, the residents say that costs are nothing compared with alluring life in the city. (Official Website)
San Diego provides a significant base for technological researches and innovations due to the University of San Diego and the affiliated office of UCCSD Medical Center. Economy of the city is mostly agricultural, though special attention is paid to development of biological science, computer technologies, electronics manufacturing, financial and business services, defense-related manufacturing, telecommunications service, and, indeed, tourism. The number of tourists amounts hundreds of thousands annually. (Official Website)
Climate and Weather
Typically, San Diego has about 150 sunny days and about 120 party cloudy or rainy days annually. Therefore, the climate is considered a semi-arid warn steppe. It means that the city enjoys mostly sunny and mild weather throughout the whole year. Thus, the weather is hospitable having comfortable temperatures in all seasons. Winters are characterized by warm and sunny days, though the nights are rather cool. Summer days are pleasantly warm and breeze from the Pacific Ocean moderates the heat not to be tropically hot and sun. The city doesn’t have problems with air pollution compared with New York and Los Angeles. Speaking about average temperatures, they are varying from 57-72 Fahrenheit. The hottest periods are late summer and beginning of autumn. It goes without saying that colds, ice and snow rarely occur in the winter, they are present only inland from the coast. (Hagaman 2001)
One interesting moment is local saying “May gray and June gloom” symbolizing that San Diego has often troubles with fog appearing in the mentioned months. The temperatures may significantly rise only on rare occasions, especially when Santa Anas (easterly winds) bring dry and hot air from deserts located inlands. Speaking about rainfall, they are mostly concentrated in the cooler seasons, in particular from December till March. Nevertheless, precipitations are lower than in other cities of the Western coat. Rains are rare in summer months; therefore, the city is subjected often to floods and droughts. Practically no hurricanes and thunderstorms are observed. Summing up, the comfortable weather is one more reason to visit or to reside in San Diego. Despite fogs and Santa Anas, the climate is really mild and tender for most people. (Steinberg 2005)
Population, Demographics and Income
According to estimates of 2000, San Diego amounts more 1,223,400 people. The number of households is 271,315 and the number of families residing in San Diego is more than 270,000. Thus, the density of population equaled in 2000 3,771.9 people per square mile. Today, the city is culturally diverse meaning that many races and ethnicities along with native population form city’s identity. Major residents include: white population – 46.4%, Hispanics – 25.4%, African Americans – 10.8%, Filipino Americans – 6.1%, Vietnamese – 2.2%; Native Americans – 1.3%, Chinese – 1.9%, Japanese – 0.8%, Korean – 0.6% and, finally, Asian Indian – 0.6%. Apparently, whites and Hispanics are dominant population within the city. (Official Website)
Out of 450, 690 households about 30% had children under full age who lived with their parents. About 50% were married coupled living under one roof and about 10% were characterized by one female householder without husband. About 39% of households were non-families. About 28% of households in 2000 consisted of individuals, whereas about 7% were made up of aged people. The city’s population: 24.0% – young people from 18-24; 34.0% – people from 25-44; up to 19% – middle aged people from 45-64; 10.5%- aged people over 65 years of age. Interestingly, according to statistics, for every hundred of females there were 101.7 males. Therefore, San Diego’s women are provided with better choices. (Official Website)
Speaking about income, it is known that the median city income for a household equaled $45,733 meaning that the income for a family amounted $53,060. Men are observed to earn more than women – $36,984 and $31,076 relatively. San Diego’s income per capital was about $23,600. It is necessary to admit that about 15% of residents live below the poverty line. Among those people are 20.0% of children under full age and about 8% of aged people over 65. (Official Website)
Nevertheless, the positive trends are present in San Diego. According to estimations, in 2006 the median income has significantly increased. Thus, San Diego in 2006 had the 5th largest household income among cities with population over 250,000. Estimations for future indicate that in 2030 the city will have slightly large population with increased median household and per capita incomes. The city will be characterized by substantially different ethnic population. In particular, large ethnic groups such as Hawaiians and Hispanics will increase their population, whereas whites and African Americans will decrease. (Official Website)
Tourism and Places of Interest
As it is mentioned above San Diego welcomes visitors and tourists throughout the year. The city entails lots of culturally and historically interesting places, museums, monuments and simply beautiful places which are really worth visiting. Among places of interest are Birch Aquarium, nude Black’s Beach, Cabrillo National Monument, Miramar Airshow, Mount Soledad, Old Globe Theatre, Old Mission Dam, Presidio of San Diego, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Star of India, San Diego Zoo, Seaport Village and Sea World at Mission Bay. (What to See 2005)
However, every tourist coming to San Diego should visit the beaches of Coronado Peninsula. Balboa Park, for example, contains numerous museums and one of the best zoos in the United States. Most tourists tend to visit Junipero Serra museum to listen to the history of the city and restored Mission San Diego. The city offers enticing boat excursion around the city harbor to sea the nave base and a stroll along embankment to see the famous Gas Lamp Quarter. More adventuresome tourists have an opportunity to arrange fishing excursions, air-combat experiences and hot air balloon rides. (What to See 2005)
The city is also famous for its unique shopping centers situated downtown. Among them is Horton Plaza Shopping Center. Small luxurious boutiques and shops can be easily found along the Embacadero and at the Fisherman’s Village. Old Town district tempts tourists. Among nearby attractions of San Diego is, certainly, Los Angeles being in two hours drive from the city. Los Angeles includes Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Long Beach and dozens of other communities. Actually, many tourists prefer visiting the city during Adams Avenue Roots Festival, Asian Film Festival, Comic-Con, Holiday Bowl, Open Air Book Fair, Over-the-line, Poinsettia Bowl, San Diego Pride Parade and Street Scene Music Festival.
San Diego’s employees are provided with certain employment benefits and job opportunities. Employee Benefits Department of San Diego offers cafeteria benefits plans, ensures holiday rest and provides savings and retirement plans. “Cafeteria” plan responds to demands and changing needs of all employees because it allows them to select the benefits which they consider the best suited. For example, employees are provided with health insurance, life insurance, dental and vision plans, 401K retirement plan, medical reimbursement, illness protection plan and cash payments. (Employment Opportunities 2001)
Saving plans are available for employees as well. There are two main saving plans – mandatory and optional saving plans. Mandatory plan provides “a convenient way for eligible employees to add to their savings for retirement income which will be independent of, and in addition to, City Employees’ Retirement System (CERS) benefits”. (Employment Opportunities 2001) Optional saving plans – 401K and deferred compensation, give and opportunity to place certain amount of salary into special account, where “it and the interest it earns are not subject to income taxation until they are actually paid out to the employee”. (Employment Opportunities 2001) Variety of jobs is available in the city. Despite the fact that unemployment is still present, many people tend to be promoted to ensure better future for themselves and their families. San Diego’s main income comes from tourism and, therefore, one-third of population is occupied in the related sphere.
The city is characterized by privileged position on the Pacific Ocean and comfortable climate. Therefore, San Diego’s residents enjoy abundance of quality dining. The city is provided with fresh organic products from Chino Farms and with tender wines from nearby Temecula and San Pasqual Valley. The city is ethnic and cultural mist and there is no surprise that it entails wide range of cuisines. For example, San Diego is charming mix of Mexican, Italian, Spanish, French, Greek, German, Latin, Asian, Indian and Filipino cuisines. Additionally, the city is famous for its seafood restaurants and steakhouses. Mexican restaurants are highly appreciated due to close proximity to Mexican border. However, the city has its own original homemade and haute cuisines. Due to favorable climate and open access to the Pacific Ocean San Diego is a center of fishing and growing vegetables and exotic fruits. San Diego benefits from tuna industry and supply of seafood. (Hagaman 2001)
Among the famous Mexican dishes are rolled tacos, carne asada, burritos, enchiladas, fish tacos, ceviche and carne asada fries. Woodfired and California-style pizzas are appreciated among city’s population. Asian specialties and flavorings provide usual dishes with string and spicy tastes. No city can exist without original beer. San Diego’s brewing community amounts 22 brewpubs and one specialized brewery called Stone Brewing. City’s brewers are famous for pioneering Double India Pale Ale. San Diego locally produced sweet and hard apple cider, grows vegetables and fruits such as olives, eggplants, tomatoes, olives, avocados, mushrooms, lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, apples, persimmons, melons and pomegranates. Actually, no resident or visitor remains indifferent to abundant and tasty cuisines because food production and supply is impressive. One can find food complying with personal preferences and tastes. (Steinberg 2005)
San Diego’s culture is diverse and vivid as well. It is known that city’s culture is greatly affected by tourism and, the city is trying to develop new tourist attractions and to improve existing ones as, for example, Zoo, Seaworld and Wild Animal Park. Spanish influence is observed in many historic sites throughout the city – Balboa Park and Spanish Missions. Balboa Park is famous for San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Museum of Photography. La Jolla is famous for its Museum of Contemporary Art located in ocean front building. Historic ships are exhibited in the Maritime Museum. Art scene is small, though rapidly growing. For example, “Kettner Nights” arranges exhibitions in design stores and galleried on selected Fridays. “Ray at Night” contains small art galleried and arranges exhibitions on Saturdays each month. (Steinberg 2005)
The San Diego Symphony regularly performs and the San Diego Opera is ranked as one of the best opera companies in the country. Old Globe Theatre produces more than 10 musicals and play annually. Other smaller theatres produce dancing, musical and theatrical shows. San Diego is known also for its annual Gay Pride Parade. The crowds usually exceed 100,000 people. The city has great index of gay and lesbian population in Southern California and the index is higher even than in Los Angeles. (Hagaman 2001)
Summing up, San Diego is a modern American city being ethnically and culturally diverse. The climatic and weather conditions allow comfortable living and city’s cuisines impress due to their mixture of tastes and flavors. The city is of historical important and large number of museums proves that fact. San Diego’s employees are provided with wide range of job opportunities and benefits.