San Diego was named after the Spanish Catholic saint San Diego de Alcala, for whom a feast is celebrated on November 12th. It is now the sixth largest city in America, though it doesn't feel that way because the population is spread over a very large area. This contributes to the overall "suburban" feel of the city. Unlike other major cities in the country, San Diego lacks a developed urban culture. Perhaps the predominant beach culture displaces and prevents the growth of vibrant music and artistic scenes. Its proximity to Los Angeles is probably another major factor. In short, the San Diegan lifestyle is arguably oriented around the ocean shores.
January 28, 2002: Some further musings about life in San Diego. The only way to get around the place is, unforrtunately, to drive a car. San Diego is a collection of neighbourhoods, each accessible to the other by a handful of roads. As a result, it's very difficult to get from one place to another on a bike -- a green-minded luxury that the more progressive layout of other cities like Vancouver made possible. A friend of mine who works for the transit authority swears up and down that it's absolutely impossible to organise an efficient bus system because of San Diego's evil geography.
It is also nearly impossible to get a decent bagel. God save us all.