Thoughts on the North Park neighborhood of San Diego?
May 4, 2010 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Any thoughts on the North Park neighborhood of San Diego?

I am thinking about renting a 1BR apartment in the North Park neighborhood for 3-5 months, near the corner of University and Utah. Any thoughts?

I've never been to San Diego before moving here Monday. The neighborhood seems really cool and full of options for food, etc - University itself seems a bit noisy, but the apartment is fourth floor, so..

posted by xmutex to Travel & Transportation around San Diego, CA (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Past living situations? Likes/dislikes? Personality? It's not for everyone but, at the same time, anyone could fit in. I think you'll like it :)
posted by Lukenlogs at 6:23 PM on May 4, 2010

Great neighborhood. Has lot's of character and is a good central location. Close to downtown, not far from beaches and Mission Valley. Wonderful food spots, definitely have to go to Alexanders on 30th for Italian food. Best lasagna I've ever had.
posted by slim at 6:24 PM on May 4, 2010

If I were you I'd go for it.

North Park is one of those areas "in transition" and it's got a huge influx of new restaurants and bars (the late night places are closer to 30th, so you probably won't hear a lot of drunk people hanging out or walking by) which are starting to get the residents a bit on edge. Regular businesses aren't moving in quite so fast (although I did recently notice that the corner business of your building is now one of those "pole dancing for fun and fitness" joints). Overall, though, I think North Park is doing better than other areas at striking a balance between the old and the trendy.

And yes, there is a ton of stuff to do within walking distance. Thursday afternoons there's a farmers market on Herman, and there are quite a few small music venues as well. You're on or near public transit lines and could probably easily do without a car if you wanted.

I live not far from there, so feel free to MeMail me with any questions about the neighborhood.
posted by stefanie at 6:30 PM on May 4, 2010

I absolutely adore it -- we're trying to move there in the next year or so. A ton of character, though is is becoming gentrified in a sense; it's seeming more like Hillcrest (to the west) every year, with trendier shops & restaurants & galleries & so forth. But that's not a bad thing, since Hillcrest rocks.

Nearby, South Park is what North Park used to be a few years ago: even more affordable, a little grittier, but poised to bloom. We're checking out that area too. Altogether, they're the closest thing to San Francisco you can find in San Diego, which is where I'd live in a second if weren't for my husband's job. Good choice!
posted by changeling at 6:42 PM on May 4, 2010

I live in the North Park area of San Diego near the intersection of 30th & University. I love it here. There's a lot to do here, especially if you are interested in music, art, miscellaneous indie stores & things, and delicious food. In my opinion, the neighborhood is pretty queer-friendly and caters to the 20s & 30s demographic.

A few of my favorite things... The aforementioned farmer's market nearby on Thursdays (and one in Hillcrest on Sundays). Ray at Night is about 1/2 mile from you - a monthly evening event that the galleries and stores on Ray Street sponsor - it's full of art & music & food. Paesano's is a great Italian dive restaurant on 30th. Rubber Rose is an indie 'sexuality boutique.' Ranchos is delicious & vegetarian-friendly. You didn't ask for recommendations, so I'll stop before I get carried away.

Living right on University would not be my first choice, since it is a bit noisy & I'm sensitive to that, but 4th floor sounds great. Utah is relatively quiet.
posted by studioaudience at 8:43 PM on May 4, 2010

I've lived in North Park for the last 6 years and love it! We should all hang out.

There's a lot of cool stuff right by University and Utah, as people have mentioned above. thoughts on the idea are positive! Do you have any specific concerns or questions?

Feel free to memail or email me as well.
posted by exceptinsects at 10:11 PM on May 4, 2010

Another North Parker here.

This is a great neighborhood. Easy walking to almost everything you need - bars, restaurants, newsstand, coffee houses, library, post office, grocery (can't wait for Fresh N Easy!). Plus, you have the best proximity to the rest of the city - Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Balboa Park are all within an easy bike ride. You've also got great highway access - the 805, 8 and 15 are with about a 5 minute drive.
posted by 26.2 at 10:46 PM on May 4, 2010

You could practically fall out your door and trip on good food and beer from Utah and University.

For another perspective, I lived right up the street in University Heights for a year (the year before Small Bar opened, boo!) and I loved it. Quieter, less right in the middle of things but still some good businesses in walking distance, between North Park and Hillcrest proper with easy access by bike to anything on University or Washington in either direction. I had three grocery stores to walk to; TJs, Ralphs, and Henry's, and the DMV parking lot farmer's market. You will have more small food markets right next to you in North Park, and you'll need to go east towards where University hits the 805 for Vons.

If you wanted to be a pioneer of gentrification, the hipsters are starting to colonize further east now, into City Heights across the 805. There is still a dramatic difference on the other side of the freeway, but it's the same difference there was between Hillcrest and North Park a few years ago.

There is no where else in San Diego outside of downtown with so much to do and so many amenities in the same 5 mile radius, so you can't go too wrong.
posted by slow graffiti at 10:48 PM on May 4, 2010

Try to avoid these!
posted by Z if for Zillah at 10:23 AM on May 5, 2010 I think every city has one of these now, yes?
posted by Z if for Zillah at 10:27 AM on May 5, 2010

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