End of my first year in OB – ‘Thank you Ocean Beach’

by on April 1, 2009 · 17 comments

in Health, Ocean Beach

One year in OB, and I couldn’t be happier

Today, April 1st, marks the one year anniversary of my girlfriend and I moving to San Diego. It really has gone fast, and I have to say that it has been a year of learning and self realization – I owe most of it to the beauty of living in a community as tight knit and open-minded as Ocean Beach.

Coming to San Diego in April 2008 without a job, an apartment, or any idea of how I was going to settle down was a risky move. My lovely girlfriend, Carianne, and I embarked on what was essentially a life changing journey: two weeks traveling across the country starting in New Jersey to a final destination filled with uncertainty. As I look back on the past year, a number of things come to mind that I am thankful for being able to experience – almost all of them distinctly OB. Below is my top ten list of OB favorites – please feel free to add your own!

Sunset Cliffs (particularly at Sunset): This is a stop off for anyone who steps foot here in San Diego, let alone OB. Every person that has stayed at my apartment on vacation has been dragged down to Sunset Cliffs, only to be amazed that such an awesome sight is right in my backyard. In my opinion, watching surfers battle the waves as the sun goes down over the horizon is a perfect representation of the relationship between human beings and the ocean.

Rolling out of bed on a sunny summer day, throwing on a bathing suit, and walking down to the beach: Not everyone in OB lives a block from the beach, but most people who have lived here for a while did at some point. Nothing completes a weekend like a day spent on the sand!

The Farmers’ Market: For the first two unemployed months I spent in town, I would look forward to Wednesdays more than the weekend. The smells, the action, and, (especially during the summer) the atmosphere of the OB Farmers’ Market makes it second to none in San Diego.

Sunday Funday: San Diegans know how to enjoy their weekend, and it is never more apparent than on a Sunday morning – especially during football season. I can’t begin to count how many Monday mornings were spent dealing with a (sometimes severe) hangover. This also leads into…

The many options for a daytime cocktail: Sitting outside and sipping a bloody mary or a mimosa is something I, and many other Obecians, truly treasure. I prefer the “make your own” style, but Juan over at Lucy’s also makes a delicious bloody.

OB Politics: Looking back on the library protests, the Presidential election, the progressive, forward thinking online community we are building into a legitimate political force here at the OB Rag, and other movements in OB is something to behold. The community’s ability to relate politics and personal freedoms to every day life makes me proud to say I’m an Obecian.

The smells/sounds of OB: Being a vegetarian, I do sometimes miss a juicy cheeseburger here and there. Nothing makes me happier than the smell of neighbors cooking breakfast, grilling on the patio, or smoke from a bonfire drifting up the alley. I close my eyes almost every evening to the echo of waves crashing up the alley right to my window.

Dog Beach: While not a dog owner myself, I am a dog lover. Watching canines play along the water, fetching tennis balls while diving relentlessly into the ocean is a naturally calming sight.

Peoples Co-op: Say what you will about the expense of shopping at Peoples; if what you are looking for is fresh, delicious, natural foods and produce, there is nowhere that compares here in San Diego (don’t DARE mention Whole Foods).

I want to thank the community of Ocean Beach for providing such a welcoming atmosphere for Carianne and I. I think the best way to thank you, the community, is to respect and carry on the very things that we have learned to love.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar OB Joe April 1, 2009 at 9:43 am

I know, I know, you just wanted a pic of you and your girlfriend mugging in front of the camera up on the blog.


avatar lane tobias April 1, 2009 at 10:48 am

obviously that was a plus.


avatar mr fresh April 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm

right on!


avatar Dickie April 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm

This post sure gave me shivers . . . wonderful reminders of my own arrival in OB on Thanksgiving Day 1972. OB was the first stop in a winter of travel visiting friends in California before going back to Vermont. I arrived with a backpack and a dog, was greeted by friends, immediately introduced to new friends, given Thanksgiving dinner and got updates on what was going on . . . I knew of OB, of the youth culture here, of the community projects, the OB Rag and People’s Food Store . . . I had heard about the Collier Park riot and the Del Mar trial (anyone remember that?) which involved one of my friends here. I knew I would love OB . . . I could not conceive I would stay here for 7 years (and be a frequent visitor for many more). Within a couple of months I was a regular on the OB Rag, a participant in all the community organizations and had found friends and community on a level I had only fantasized about.
Lane, your piece, though it seems you came there with a bit more intention to stay, moved me so much, remembering my own “learning and self realization – [thanks] . . . to the beauty of living in a community as tight knit and open-minded as Ocean Beach;” it really was and seems to be still a wonderful place to live.
. . . and it IS a great picture of you two . . . if I knew how, I would send the Rag Blog a great picture of me and my dog taken about 9 or ten months after I arrived . . . truly iconic . . .


avatar Dickie April 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm

. . . and I’m happy to say that so many of the friends I met over 35 years ago arriving in OB are still among my dearest friends . . .


avatar annagrace April 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

So Lane- you’ve traveled 3,000 miles to find your own kind in this place! Pretty amazing…. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your voice in the key of OB. Cheers to you and Carianne.


avatar jon April 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm

OB is lucky to have you here Lane.

One of my first memories was in high school one of my buddies had his first car and said he heard Ocean Beach was a fun place to hang out. We hit the highway and drove until the freeway ended. We parked right outside Dr. Jefes (now Apogee) and walked around town for hours talking to various hippies and punk rockers, went swimming by the pier and shopped for hours at COW records (we were 16 years old, not much more you can do) Also I think there was a candy store next to the Strand at the time(?). OB made an impression on me right away and I came back time and time again, knowing all the while when I got older I was going to call this place home. I succeeded and have called OB home for more than 10 years! Some of my closest friends are here and I even met my fiancee right next door!!! haha!


avatar Frank Gormlie April 2, 2009 at 4:04 pm

amazing, I happen to know that Dickie and Lane grew up only a few miles apart as the crow flies, but different generations.


avatar Frank Gormlie April 2, 2009 at 4:04 pm

…mo’ amazin’ – Jon – you’re marrying the girl next door???!!! wow!


avatar jon April 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm

I had to borrow A LOT of sugar.


avatar Patty Jones April 2, 2009 at 7:11 pm

I’m a day late but happy anniversary Newbceans! And I have to say I agree, almost point for point.


avatar OB Joe April 3, 2009 at 8:54 am

Lane – welcome!

While you’re enjoying yourselves in the wonders of OB, please remember all the people over the years that have worked to “Save Ocean Beach” – from the jetty battle, to Collier Park, to the resistance to the original Precise Plan – the developers’ original design for the community, to the folks who started Peoples Coop in someone’s backyard in a shed, to those who initiated OB’s first Childcare center, to those who picketed the Strand when it was a porno theater, those who blocked World Oil’s gas station plans, those who opposed the Boardwalk planned along the sand, to those who protested high-rise, the large-scale constructions, to all those good-hearted people who sat for hours and years on the OB Planning Board doing thankless work, to the surfers who paddle for clean water, to the merchants who fear over-development in the business area, to the people who pick up trash at the beach, to the green thumbs of OBGO who did the garden at Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs, to the various “Save OB Coalitions” over the years, to the grassroots journalists from the OB Liberator, the OB Rag, the OB Streetlight, to the Ocean Beach Preservation League, to those who fought to keep the OB Library doors open, … the list goes on.

The point of all this is – that the good things we enjoy in OB were not handed to the community on silver platters. Often, the community had to get up off its collective ass and do something about threats coming down the pike. It took sweat, tears and hard work at times to keep OB the way it is. We didn’t always agree on how to do it, but our goal was usually the same: Save Ocean Beach.


avatar Frank Gormlie April 3, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Can we at least get this decided: how do you spell ‘OBcean’? Is it OBcean or OBcian or …?


avatar Eva April 4, 2009 at 4:26 am

Lane and Carianne,
Happy Anniversary in OB!
How courageous you were a year ago to make the journey that would change your lives. You have forgotten the one ingredient in the mix of your happiness recipe…. you!
You are both special and bring with you spirit,intelligence,energy and a
desire to help the world(and OB)be a better place to live.


avatar Dave Gilbert April 4, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Absolutely welcome you two! We’re lucky to have you here. I can’t think of much else right now to add to your list except maybe just walking around our little town and engaging our fellow OBceans (Frank I like the combination of OB + Ocean) in conversation. It’s a beautiful place to live and “OBe…” and yes, I got that from a sticker from OB Attitude at the Farmers Market ;)


avatar Danny April 5, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Jersey misses you homie.


avatar Neighbor Guy April 5, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Very cool piece, Lane. I’m glad you and yours have found a home here, as I’m trying myself to do even though my point of origin is only twenty miles or so away eastward yet eons away in cultural perspective. Your writing is beautiful, your commitment to your causes admirable, your perspective priceless. Best wishes to you and yours.


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