BY TRACY LeROUXMy husband and I took our life savings to move to “the Jewel” in 2006 - from Rhode Island. We bought into the whole notion - hook, line and sinker.
We live in the Village, we rent an office in the Village and have no problem paying “the fair weather tax” for everything from groceries to real estate prices. However, in the three years we’ve been here, what we see is referred to by the rest of the world as Urban Decline: streets loaded with homeless people, empty retail spaces, ill-maintained streets, candy stores opening and moving out overnight, toy stores that can’t afford to be in town after 50-plus years, ridiculous home prices that the “above average” American can’t afford, crazy office rents, and neighbors who won’t take a minute out of their day to say hello and have no sense of community.
But we have decided to pack it in and leave this “Jewel” for something more real.
It is so disheartening because it was a lifelong dream to come to California - my husband is a doctor and I own an advertising business - and it is not that we can’t afford to live here. But, the question we ask ourselves is “Why?” We don’t mind paying full-blown retail for everything, but at what cost.
We have a 4-year-old, and last week, the straw that broke it for me was when we walked to the candy store and - It vanished! It is a weekly occurrence that I need to explain to my 4-year-old why “her favorite” (toy store, sandwich shop, candy store, seals etc ...) are no longer here.
I have become desensitized. I don’t want my daughter to grow up with a hardened heart. We moved here because we wanted her to have it all.
I love the weather, so I turned my cheek for quite a while, but after one two-week trip back East, it was so apparent that The Jewel has lost its luster (at least for this family of three).
Tracy LeRoux will soon be a former La Jolla resident.