1 Because Chris Anderson left Wired magazine to run a drone company here in San Diego.
That’s right—the editor-in-chief of a big, glossy Condé Nast title gave up his chiefhood to move here and build a business with our very own 26-year-old robotics hobbyist, Jordi Muñoz. Visit 3drobotics.com to learn more about their genius, direct-to-consumer (yes, we said consumer) drones.
2 Because one of our local filmmakers (Jason Russell) can go from creating the most viral video in history (KONY 2012) and inspiring a global movement to a public nervous breakdown to turning a new leaf, landing an Oprah interview, and launching his most successful campaign yet.
3 Because we have the best sailors in the world!Qualifying rounds are this month and three San Diego Yacht Clubbers are already in the new Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, representing the best skippers on the planet.
4 Because every fifth-grader in THIS TOWN is carrying a school-issued iPad.Well, sort of. The SD Unified School District bought 20,000 iPads last year, and we’re betting we’ll produce an entire future generation of Jordi Muñozes (see #1)
5 Because we love our beaches enough to upgrade the sand qualitySANDAG just finished dredging up sand through a huge tube from the bottom of the bay, treating it, and then moving it to area beaches to replenish the sand stash.
6 Because we run like someone’s chasing us, and we like itWe’ve got 5Ks for fans of zombies, mud, paint, lasers, dogs, cancer survivors, beer, ’80s flashbacks, and turkeys. So what are you waiting for? Lace up those Nikes and giddyup.
7 Because all of California eats bananas, thanks to us.
San Diego is a loose-cargo port, and unloads 185 million bananas each month. We move more bananas than any other port city on the West Coast. (Dang you, Delaware! Wilmington has us beat in the east, importing 260 million bananas each month.)
8 Because, like it or not, we are the yoga capital of America
Whether it’s Vanity Fair citing Encinitas as one of the birthplaces of Ashtanga Yoga in the West, or Encinitas schools making waves for teaching yoga to elementary students, hey, at least we’ve got people breathing.
9 Because on a two-block stretch in North Park, you can get a haircut, learn karate, cash a check, repair your radiator, drink craft brews, party with drag queens, pray with a bishop, pawn some jewelry, attend a children’s musical, and buy flowers for the lead in that musical.
10 Because at BFD (Big Front Door), you can get an open-faced sandwich so stacked and loaded, they serve it with a fork and knife.
The standard preparation for making the O.F.T. (open-face turkey) includes roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy on a slice of sourdough, but adding green beans, stuffing, and cranberries takes it to another dimension of deliciousness.
11 Because we’re inventive
In 2010, our city logged 231 patent applications per 100,000 residents!
12 Because we throw our Zoo animals flippin’ birthday parties
If we were lions, we would want to live in San Diego. The folks at the Zoo threw 9-year-old Izu a birthday bash fit for the king of the jungle. Cake. Decorations. A press release. Maybe it was that $9 million anonymous donation? Whatever it is, we’re happy to report that with lavish parties like this, the world-famous San Diego Zoo is living up to its rep and making us more than just a dog-friendly city. We’re lion-friendly, too.
13 Because our beaches are world-famous, and not in the Baywatch way
Tom Wolfe immortalized Windansea in The Pump House Gang(1968) and Andy Warhol made a movie about La Jolla, also in 1968. (San Diego Surf will debut here next month at MCASD La Jolla. The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh held onto it for 40 years before screening it for the first time this past fall at MoMA in NYC. One of Andy’s last projects, the film features actors like Taylor Mead and Louis Waldon.)
14 Because we’re helping to make space tourism a reality
Physician-scientists Ravi Komatireddy and Paddy Barrett at the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla are working with NASA to prepare future tourists for space. Since the 500 travelers who’ve signed up for Virgin Galactic suborbital flights probably won’t be quite as fit as real astronauts, Komatireddy and Barrett are making sure that the Average Joe’s meds and pacemakers will work in zero gravity. And because of these tests, they’ll pave the way for the space tourism industry to hit $1 billion in 2021.
15 Because we attract some of the most creative talent in the country