Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Taking Flight

Taking Flight is another amazing San Diego Rep Theater production, adding to their already stellar list of terrific plays and wonderful actors that I have have the great fortune to see this last season [photo is from the San Diego Rep site].
I got to see this play last night, as the last in our series of season plays. I have nothing but accolades and rave reviews for this one-woman show. Adriana Sevan, actor and playwright, was incredible, with an amazing story to tell. And she tells it stunningly!
Rather than try to articulate a critique, let me share a quote on the play from the Rep's website and PR materials. It really says it better than I could have. The memories of 9-11 are poignant (can we EVER forget the sight of the Twin Towers collapsing, and the pain, suffering, and death, AND the stories of heroes), yet the humor, the emotion, and the joy of discovery are palpable in this story of healers, shamans, and women who care. A real celebration of life!

And Sevan is FABULOUS. The last night, unfortunately, is April 1. If you can...go!!

"A deeply compelling, truly funny and sexy tale that celebrates the life force, through stunning encounters with healers, shamans and women who care. Adriana is a Dominican - Armenian New Yorker turned Californian with an amazing story to tell. Adriana was all set to play Maid of Honor for her best friend Rhonda, when Rhonda was caught beneath the Twin Towers on September 11. Rhonda emerged barely alive. What could Adriana do? The answer is her extraordinary story about finding the Goddess within, while dedicating her life to saving her best friend. Adriana shows us how one woman's love can make a giant difference in our post - 9-11 world. Laugh, cry and cheer with Adriana as she discovers why the heart is the strongest muscle in the body.

Consider getting season tickets. Up until early June you can save 36% and the plays are excellent (and the prices are almost too reasonable to resist). You won't regret it.


I am off to Idyllwild this weekend. I will write and post pics when I return. Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Construction Everywhere

I have been amazed at the amount of construction going on here in the San Diego area, since arriving here less than 2 years ago. now that may seem somewhat surprising, coming from someone who lived in Boston and put up with the BIG DIG for 16 years, beginning in 1991. Granted, the Big Dig was a monumental project of unprecedented proportion and budget (yep, they overran the budget by, I believe, $50 billion), and Bostonians and visitors have been putting up with the aggravation, traffic jams, detours and overall mess for an incredibly long time. And there have been a myriad of delays and recent defects have been discovered. Oh, and yes, the lawsuit. But I digress.

First, there is the housing construction. Since I am a real estate professional I take more notice of these things, I suppose. The hills near my house in La Costa (which used to be almost bare and that I can see from my yard) are now mostly covered with houses at La Costa Greens. And La Costa Ridge is now being built atop the highest hill in La Costa. Bressi Ranch is nearby and the hundreds of homes there have changed the California landscape forever (and not, IMHO, in a good way). Should I mention San Elijo Hills (yes, I think it offers alot for buyers, but wow what a change to the area. And the on-going obliteration of the terrain along Rancho Santa Fe Road. Incredible. I have to acknowledge that I am more used to seasonal construction (for the most part) in Boston due to the weather, but here it is all year long.

There is also all the new housing that has been built at Santaluz, and at The Bridges and The Crosby in Rancho Santa Fe. And the new luxury condos in La Jolla. You can't help but notice the pages of new construction information in the Sunday Union-Tribune.

So what else? Well, Oceanside is seeing dramatic changes to the downtown area and in the redevelopment zone (6 projects, I believe, in the works or planned). The pic to the left was taken during one of my picture-taking journeys around the Oceanside area - the view is from The Strand right along the ocean.

Then there are the massive changes going on with the widening of the freeways, especially the 805/5 junction - at that point in Sorrento Valley I believe there are 21 lanes (new lanes to open in a few days I believe). Amazing.
Some other construction...we have a new racetrack surface being installed at the Del Mar Racetrack, that will supposedly be safer and help avoid the tragedies of this most recent racing season (28 horses had to be euthanized - so sad). And Del Mar voters will get to vote on the proposed median to be installed on Del Mar Heights Road - now that should be a fun construction project. Imagine the traffic at rush hour! And then there is the new public golf course, The Crossings, being built in Carlsbad and due to open in July of this year.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the numerous condo/high rise and commercial projects in San Diego - completed, in progress, or planned - with hundreds of new homes in the financial area, near the marina, in the Gaslamp District, etc.
I could go on...and this is just in the areas I normally travel to. But it's amazing to see especially when you see old photos of the area, even just a few years ago. I guess it's progress.

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La Costa Ridge - Another Carlsbad Master Planned Community

La Costa Ridge is the last of the three La Costa Villages being built high on the hills of La Costa (La Costa Greens and La Costa Oaks being the other two).

If you are looking for Carlsbad homes for sale with fabulous views (panorama, ocean, lagoon, back country?), great floorplans, and terrific amenities, then take a look.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

La Costa Greens at La Costa in Carlsbad

I just compiled a community information profile on La Costa Greens, a master planned community in the La Costa area of Carlsbad. There are some nice photos, links to some virtual tours on Carlsbad, La Costa, Aviara and Rancho Carrillo, information on homes for sale, and more.
This is a great community with some terrific views of the golf course, panorama, and ocean. If you like master planned communities, this is a winner.

Take a look and let me know your thoughts. I'd love your feedback.


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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My JOTT Blog From my Phone to You

Jott to self on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 2:29 PM

Hi, this is Jeff. I wrote about Jott the other day on my blog and I thought I would test out blogging from my phone directly to the blog itself. Hope it works. You have to try it out, it's fun, take care.

Listen to audio
Set reminders, assign, and manage this jott on
Search the Web for this jott

Brought to you by Jott Networks, Inc.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Great Donut Place and Bakery in Cardiff, CA

I am a bit of a foodie, as I probably have mentioned (and you may have gathered from some of the stuff I write about). I don't eat fast food, but I have a definite soft spot for desserts, especially chocolate. And good restaurants in general tend to appeal to me - dining out is a favorite activity, which I have tried to do as much as possible since arriving here almost 2 years ago (this April).

Regarding sweets, I discovered a great place in Cardiff (yes, those of you who know about it may laugh, but it was new for me, so I get to write about it!) on the advice of a good friend. And coincidentally, there was a great article in this past weekend's paper on the place.

Probably best known for its donuts, VG (people I know just refer to it as VG's), just off San Elijo and a block north of Chesterfield, has earned a notable reputation for its donuts, and other treats. Established back in 1966, it is known far and wide, and is a popular spot for residents to drop in for coffee and donuts - surfers, families, business folks, tourists and day trippers, campers from San Elijo, and so on.
We recently had a cake from VG's with raspberry filling and a white chocolate frosting that was simply divine. Good thing it is a few miles from my house in Carlsbad, or I would be there weekly, or more frequently.
If you haven't been there, make a trip it is absolutely worth it. If you have, you know what I mean. Here's to sweets.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

An Interesting View on the Sub-prime Market Problem

I know that most of what I have written about here is on San Diego life - some on housing, but more on just living here in general - what I enjoy, things I have learned as a new resident, and more.

I am stepping out of that tradition just a bit to talk some about the foreclosure and short sale problems we are seeing here in San Diego, and the newer issues surrounding the subprime market. I can't help it, because I am in the industry, as a Carlsbad REALTOR. You have all heard about it, no doubt - the media has certainly done their job of publicizing the increase in both types of sales - it's been everywhere in the headlines, on the TV, the radio, and all over the Internet. Some people who are facing financial troubles are fortunate and able to sell their homes before foreclosure occurs. but many are not...or perhaps don't try, or don;t see that they have any choice.

While the foreclosure rate here is high, and has increased since last year, it is not anywhere near the rate some other states, like Michigan, Florida and Colorado, are seeing.

Coupled with that, we have recently been bombarded with news about the subprime market and the financial difficulties that certain lenders, most notably New Century, are facing. Potential bankruptcy, and more. But it also means that buyers who are trying to get financing, at least 100%, may NOT be able to do so, although it was easy in the past. Or that buyers who have been approved for such a loan, but not yet closed, may find themselves in a bind with no loan.

It's not clear what the source of all these problems is - is it the fault of the mortgage lenders and the kind of programs they encouraged buyers to obtain? Is the foreclosure and short sale rate rising rapidly because so many buyers are not being responsible, or got themselves in over their heads with huge mortgages?

And what about the potential impact on the economy if these problems continue to escalate?

I read a recent article in Inman News about this very issue, and I thought the author's take on the matter was enlightening. Rather than put the blame on these troubles on the homeowners who took on these mortgages that are now creating their financial woes, as we tend to see in the media, Scott Thompson, the writer, takes the position that we must really look at the mortgage companies themselves as the source of the problem. "A Short-sale Tale" is an interesting read.

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Do you JOTT?

This has nothing to do with San Diego per se. But it is pretty cool technology, so I thought I would share it with you.

Check out JOTT

Need to send yourself a reminder but away from your PC? Leave a voice mail on your cell phone and it will get transposed and emailed to you. Or to anyone in your contact database. Lots of possible uses for this. Try it out.


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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Feng Shui Basics

Feng Shui Basics

Feng Shui centers around three core issues in life: family, health and good fortune. It’s about making subtle changes within your environment that will offer you long-term benefits. Since small details can make a big difference, it’s useful to keep in mind the following:

1. Take comfort:

  • Monitor for fluctuations or extremes in temperatures, or the lack of proper circulation.
  • Toss any item that doesn’t function, that isn’t reliable, or that is physically falling apart
    (The Law of Attraction contends, "broken" energy attracts things that don’t work.)
  • Be mindful of furniture and other items that can sabotage you and your efforts. This would include such things as: rugs, runners, or mats that trip you; corners of tables that bruise you; chairs that don’t offer adequate support; improper lighting, or cramped quarters that don’t offer freedom or comfort of mobility. (A cramped work area also symbolizes the "limited growth" of a business.)
  • Physical clutter can also cause you to feel unmotivated and stuck in life. If you feel like you’ve been in a "holding pattern"—waiting for new clients, income, or opportunities to come in—chances are the energy that surrounds and supports you is blocked and not flowing. There’s a saying in Feng Shui, "If you continue to do what you’ve done in the past, you’ll continue to get the same (results) in the future." So shake things up!

2. Health & well-being:

Check for sources of (high levels of) electromagnetic radiation which can have an adverse effect on your immune system and sleep patterns. Sitting behind a computer for extended periods of time can cause you to feel fatigued and mentally depleted. Take short breaks to stretch and enjoy the outdoors which will instantly replenish your inner Ch’i (energy). At home, be mindful of how close your bed is to walls that contain internal wiring, wall outlets, or electronic equipment such as electric blankets, heating pads, water beds, even clock radios. Avoid positioning your bed (head) against a wall where a bathroom/commode or meter box shares the opposite side of the same wall. At work, check your proximity to computer wires and cables under your desk and do not use your CPU as a foot rest. To reduce the effects of electromagnetic radiation, simply create a safe distance of 18 inches to 3 feet between you and the source of the electromagnetic fields.

3. Create cohesion and balance:

Your home and office should offer you the ability to effortlessly juggle privacy and social-ability, productivity (work) and creativity (play), renewal and activity. You can accomplish this by having designated areas designed to suit your specific needs. It’s okay to have rooms serve dual-roles, just make sure that they are similar in nature. For instance, a master bedroom can also serve as a quiet retreat to read, write or contemplate since bedrooms are intended for rest and renewal. (Yin) They should not, however, double as a home office or work out room. Home offices are best sited in the East, Southeast, South, or Southwest sectors of the house since these areas contain a more vital, active (Yang) energy based on the cycle of nature and the seasons.

Kathryn Holt, Feng Shui Resource, 858.492.8506

Feng Shui Resource

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Market Update (Guest Blog)

$ $ $ $ $ $

Here is a great update on the housing market in San Diego with a focus on the issues we have all heard about in the sub-prime lending area. If you have any questions, be sure to contact Chris at Pacific Mortgage. Rather than try to paraphrase, I included it here verbatim.

To All,

What a crazy time for lenders. As you may have heard, subprime lenders are going under by the day and the repercussions are being felt throughout the entire mortgage industry. We're finding more and more buyers who were qualified are now not. This whole shakeup has cause all lenders to revamp their lending standards in order to generate mortgage loans that are marketable on the secondary mortgage market. From what we're experiencing here at PCM, the biggest changes are with 100% financing, increasing minimum credit score standards for qualifying, and more scrutiny with Alt-A lending (stated income, no ratio, no doc, stated income/stated assets, etc.) For now, the days of free flowing money from lenders has ceased. If you'd like to discuss this further, please give me a call.

Now on to the good news. Inflation in check, easing job market, slowing GDP, mortgage market issues, slowing national housing market, and an overbought stock market has helped push the 10 year bond yield to 4.49%. The bond yield briefly hit this level earlier this year and last December but we haven't seen it hold at this level since January 2006. Should bond yields hold or move lower, we can expect mortgage rates to do the same. We're still in that narrow band of 5.75% to 6.25% for all programs but rates are moving to the lower end of that range and I'm optimistic they'll remain there for the short term. There is still talk of if and when the FED will start to lower rates but that's all it is, 'talk'. Until the market data is continuously bearish for say 2-4 months, it's unlikely the FED will make a move.

Right now it's not a bad idea for borrowers to float their rate. As long as their loan officer has a handle on bond market tendencies, then that loan officer should be able to shield their client from market increases and possibly get them a lower rate if the market moves lower. Keep in mind too, with many sellers offering incentives, 5 year and 7 year ARMs can be bought down to the low to mid 5% range.

For more daily market updates, please visit my website at Ask Comer.

As always, I'll keep you posted.

Best Regards,
Chris Comer
Pacific Capital Mortgage

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Friday, March 09, 2007

More Cat Humor

A little humor for cat lovers on Friday.

This one is listening to Hip Hop.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Upcoming Feng Shui Class at Mira Costa College

Fine Tune Your Feng Shui
Greetings from Kathryn Holt!

Just a quick reminder that the "Fine Tune Your Feng Shui" class begins next week. This is a great class for refreshing the energy within your home. It's also a useful class for Real Estate professionals who may be in need of some helpful tips for their slow-moving listings. The class will be held at MiraCosta College (Cardiff Campus), for three consecutive Monday evenings: March 12, 19 & 26th. (6:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.) I only teach this class a couple of times a year, so this could be a good opportunity . . .
Most people associate the practice of Feng Shui with "placement" . . . the placement of cures and enhancements (plants, mirrors, crystals, and wind chimes), furniture, and so on. What many don't realize is, Feng Shui is also about the removal of items within an environment. Afterall, it doesn't make sense to activate or enhance energy that isn't healthy. Removing unhealthy energy from your home provides an excellent starting point and it will assist you in getting the best overall results.

Energy awareness and clearing work is essential to creating a truly supportive and healthy home/listing. (A house that not only looks beautiful, but that also feels beautiful.) Topics will include the detection and removal of:
  • Blocked or stagnant energy
  • Any residual energy (known as "predecessor chi") and basic space clearing techniques
  • Geopathic stress and electromagnetic fields

I'll also be sharing some advanced Feng Shui tips for the year ahead (the 2007 L'o Sh'o)

Price: $43

This is a fun, informative and very empowering class. Space is limited, so please register now by calling MiraCosta at: 760.795.6820

Wishing you abundant good fortune, Kathryn

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Impossible to Forget?

Impossible to Forget is the title of the upcoming show at the Cannon Art Gallery in Carlsbad, photographs of the Nazi concentration camps 50 years later.

This show, featuring 88 photographs by English photographer Michael Kenna, promises to be a troubling, emotional pictorial of the condition of these camps in nine countries as they currently exist.

The Cannon Gallery always features rewarding, skillfully-created shows, and this one promises to be yet another. This show is traveling nationally, so don't miss your opportunity to see it. It will be a memorable one, in many ways.

March 25 through June 3, 2007 at the Cannon Art Gallery, adjacent to the Carlsbad Library at 1775 Dove Lane, the 1st light past the intersection of Alga/Poinsettia and El Camino Real as you head north on El Camino.
[photo, by Michael Kenna, taken directly from his website - "Topiary and Column in Northamptonshire, England, 2005"]

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Daylight Savings Time is Approaching

Just a quick reminder (put it on your calendar) about Daylight Savings Time.

It's new this year and starts THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 11 at 2 AM (well, I think of it as Saturday night), 2 weeks earlier than in the past.

Don't forget.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Consumer Information Website


I wanted to share a consumer information website called eHow that I learned about today. Check it out if you have a chance. There is all sorts of information on how to do just about anything. Cool site.

[credit for finding this site goes to Bruce Slaton, a Sacramento, CA real estate agent]

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The LA Marathon and Acura Bike Tour

I was up in LA over the weekend to ride in the Acura Bike Tour, a 23 mile or so ride early on Sunday morning before the LA Marathon. It was a fun ride, with around 17,000 other bicyclists, and apart from having to get up at 4:15 AM to get from the hotel to the start, it was most enjoyable. It was all over in 1 hour and 20 minutes.

I also went to see the end of the LA Marathon with my daughter, whose boyfriend was running. There were 35,000 runners (a small city!), I believe, and the weather was great, albeit just a bit warmer than comfortable for running.

Saturday night we had dinner at a terrific burger place called Lucky Devils, in Hollywood. I don't much care for Hollywood, although Saturday night is pretty interesting for people watching. Incredible neon lights everywhere, all sorts of people dressed up like Star Wars characters and others, folks out looking at the stars on the sidewalks, a couple of movie premiers, and so on.
But this burger place was fabulous - you have a choice of Kobe beef or Black Angus sirloin, and you can create your own burgers with lots of add-ons or order one of their amazing creations, among other foods (like mac and cheese). Probably the best burger ever! Pricey, but well worth it. All in all a great weekend.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

A Great Restaurant Find in Leucadia

I really enjoy finding new restaurants in the San Diego area, especially when I have a recommendation from a friend or colleague. I tried one last night that I think you would enjoy. Don't know why it took so long...I have been driving by for a year and a half along the Coast Highway but didn't stop in until I was told it was worth a visit. I'm sorry I didn't discover this before last night.

Le Papagayo (it may already be on your list if you know Leucadia/Encinitas) was a great find. This smallish, funky, local hangout on the Coast Highway, about 1 mile south of La Costa Avenue, offers a terrific mix of seafood, pasta, vegetarian and other dishes with influences from around the world (Cuban, Hawaiian, Thai, Mexican.) in 2 rooms decorated with large original paintings, and surfing videos on the 2 TV screens. The food was excellent (great prices, too) and the service friendly and attentive without being intrusive. The crab cake appetizer (they call them appeteasers) with the Ahi tuna was really flavorful and a meal in itself.

This restaurant, formerly Le Petit Calypso (same owners, same food) also offers music 6 nights a week (every night in the summer) including their well-known Cuban Thursdays, plus jazz, blues, rock and more. Tuesday night is Happy Hour all night (other nights it's 5:30 - 6:30) so you can really feast on their great food at amazing prices. They also offer breakfast and lunch, including weekend brunch, and you can dine outdoors when it's warmer.

I really like the atmosphere here - the music last night was excellent, the food as well, and it feels like a neat place to just hang, without any pretension. This could become my next favorite place out here. They have a full bar too, and a pretty good wine list with reasonable prices (J. Lohr chard was $25). And they take reservations (a good idea, especially on weekends as it gets crowded. Check it out!

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Cardiff, CA - Take a Tour of this Great Beach Town

I love living in Carlsbad, and chose to live here for a number of reasons.

But I also like Cardiff (formally, Cardiff-By-The-Sea), a charming coastal community just south of Encinitas (and 20 miles north of San Diego), and can see myself living there as well, provided I could afford to buy an ocean view home...not likely. In any case, I like showing and selling homes there, and just completed a marketing piece about the area for folks who are interested in the town and pondering a move there, or who are just curious about the area. And perhaps some of you live there, or know the town, already.

Here's the link to the Cardiff tour. If you have any feedback, or there are some other exceptional things we should all know that I did not mention, please let me know.

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Jeff Dowler (RE/MAX Associates): Real Estate Agent in Carlsbad, San Diego County, California on