Why Mexico makes San Diego SoCal’s coolest city
Jan 18, 2019 -
It’s now well-known that San Diego is more than just a sleepy beach town. Some even say it’s “the best kept secret in the United States.” With our thriving tech and life sciences ecosystem, plus killer food and beer scenes, you can say that San Diego has got it all. But many people don’t realize that a lot of what makes us so special is our proximity to our neighbors south of the border. Yes, we do have great tacos. But our ties to Mexico also give us culture, music, art, and a vibe unlike anywhere else in the U.S. Read the Travel + Leisure article below to learn why Mexico is what makes San Diego the coolest city in SoCal.
Walking to Chicano Park in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood, I got the distinct impression that I was lost. According to my phone’s GPS, I was less than a block away from the seven acres that locals had described to me as a stronghold of the city’s Mexican-American community. All I could see, however, was a colossal highway overpass — a sea of highway overpasses, actually. It was hard to imagine that the thing I’d come to San Diego hoping to understand — how the city is continually shaped and reshaped by its standing on the border with Mexico — would be revealed in what looked like an urban no-man’s-land.
But as I entered this imposing tangle of concrete, the atmosphere brightened. I saw majestic bands of color crawling up the gigantic pillars — dozens of intricate murals painted with the aggression of graffiti and the precision of fine art. This near-mystical constellation framed sculptures, plantings of cacti and wildflowers, a skate park, and swaths of grass where children played and people lounged at picnic tables painted in the colors of the Mexican flag.