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164 posts in this topic

thank you, very useful info. But it seems mesa and coast have a very long waiting list! Anyway, I've put my name on the list, let's see what happens.

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thank you, very useful info. But it seems mesa and coast have a very long waiting list! Anyway, I've put my name on the list, let's see what happens.

I know grad housing is a great deal if you really want to stay near the campus, but if you are willing to drive a bit, there are great deals in much better parts of san diego. If you at all want to try off campus, let me know and I can give you some good tips if you tell me the types of things you want in a neighborhood.

My life improved 100% when I moved to a different part of san diego away from la jolla.

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I know grad housing is a great deal if you really want to stay near the campus, but if you are willing to drive a bit, there are great deals in much better parts of san diego. If you at all want to try off campus, let me know and I can give you some good tips if you tell me the types of things you want in a neighborhood.

My life improved 100% when I moved to a different part of san diego away from la jolla.

I got accepted to both UCLA and UCSD, so right now I am still not sure which one i'll attend.

I know that I wont be having a car for now, at least for the first quarter. So I was looking at areas near the campus. I also like to be close to coffee shops, restaurant, clubs, bars, beach etc :)

But why are you saying your life improved when you moved away from la jolla? where are you living currently and how far is it to the campus?

thank you

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Hi, so here's my deal, and i may have acted to hastily...

I'm pretty sure i'm going to UCSD. I will be bringing my car. I already applied for Miramar as my first choice, coast for my second and third. That said, which is the best location for someone who wants easy access to campus and other social activities.

Additionally, is it a bad idea to put yourself in a 2-bedroom if you're going in blind for a roommate? I don't know anyone else going to UCSD but want to pay cheaper rent. Is this a bad idea?

Lastly, should I consider another alternative knowing I do have a car?

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Hi, so here's my deal, and i may have acted to hastily...

I'm pretty sure i'm going to UCSD. I will be bringing my car. I already applied for Miramar as my first choice, coast for my second and third. That said, which is the best location for someone who wants easy access to campus and other social activities.

Additionally, is it a bad idea to put yourself in a 2-bedroom if you're going in blind for a roommate? I don't know anyone else going to UCSD but want to pay cheaper rent. Is this a bad idea?

Lastly, should I consider another alternative knowing I do have a car?

Coast is closer to campus, but hard to get. Grad housing is the best deal if you want to be near campus for cheap. You will have to drive 10+ minutes to school if you want to live off campus for a reasonable price. But, if you are willing to drive or take the shuttle to live in a more fun neighborhood, check out hillcrest, north park, or normal heights. Lots of graduate students live in these areas and there is a shuttle that runs every 15 mins from Hillcrest to campus.

As for the blind roommate, it is often a good way to make friends outside of your department. But like any matching, you could end up with a weirdo.

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Coast is closer to campus, but hard to get. Grad housing is the best deal if you want to be near campus for cheap. You will have to drive 10+ minutes to school if you want to live off campus for a reasonable price. But, if you are willing to drive or take the shuttle to live in a more fun neighborhood, check out hillcrest, north park, or normal heights. Lots of graduate students live in these areas and there is a shuttle that runs every 15 mins from Hillcrest to campus.

As for the blind roommate, it is often a good way to make friends outside of your department. But like any matching, you could end up with a weirdo.

Coast is only closer if you're talking about the east side of the university. Most of the engineering students living in university affiliated housing end up in Mesa and use the shuttle and that's about the same distance as Coast if you were to go to that part of campus.

In fact I can't think of anyone in CSE who lives in Coast. Seems like a cool place, but the communities are slightly fractured that way. :)

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Coast is only closer if you're talking about the east side of the university. Most of the engineering students living in university affiliated housing end up in Mesa and use the shuttle and that's about the same distance as Coast if you were to go to that part of campus.

In fact I can't think of anyone in CSE who lives in Coast. Seems like a cool place, but the communities are slightly fractured that way. :)

yeah, sorry I was thinking of the social sciences. Mesa is definitely closer for hard sciences and engineering.

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So no one else is going to San Diego??

Anyone else going to UCSD? I want to start a UCSD thread and advertise it so I can meet fellow incoming students.

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yeah, sorry I was thinking of the social sciences. Mesa is definitely closer for hard sciences and engineering.

I think you mean Coast is closer to the west side of campus (yes, being from the east coast I still mess up east/west at times too). That being said, I'm really responding b/c Coast is definitely closer to Chem and at least some Bio and Physics. You're right that engineering is closer to Mesa. I don't know why engineering is completely across campus from Chem/Bio/Physics, but I have plenty of time to be annoyed by it when I walk between the two areas.

As for housing, I live in grad housing and like it. Sure I'd love to live somewhere move vibrant or w/ a dishwasher and washer/dryer, but grad housing lets me live off my stipend and not be broke. I use my car to get to museums/etc during the weekends, and I'm not much of a clubber (so maybe I am the boring La Jollan). Anyhow, if you're thinking its cheaper to live far off campus and commute, I will warn you that the parking permits were something like $800 per quarter! (Thankfully its free for grad housing other than single grad) I know a lot of people do bike/bus from other areas, and many of the single grads off campus have roommates.

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I think you mean Coast is closer to the west side of campus (yes, being from the east coast I still mess up east/west at times too). That being said, I'm really responding b/c Coast is definitely closer to Chem and at least some Bio and Physics. You're right that engineering is closer to Mesa. I don't know why engineering is completely across campus from Chem/Bio/Physics, but I have plenty of time to be annoyed by it when I walk between the two areas.

As for housing, I live in grad housing and like it. Sure I'd love to live somewhere move vibrant or w/ a dishwasher and washer/dryer, but grad housing lets me live off my stipend and not be broke. I use my car to get to museums/etc during the weekends, and I'm not much of a clubber (so maybe I am the boring La Jollan). Anyhow, if you're thinking its cheaper to live far off campus and commute, I will warn you that the parking permits were something like $800 per quarter! (Thankfully its free for grad housing other than single grad) I know a lot of people do bike/bus from other areas, and many of the single grads off campus have roommates.

Yes, parking passes are EXTREMELY expensive, but if you want to live off campus (hillcrest, northpark), there is a free shuttle that goes from hillcrest (ucsd hospital) to ucsd every 15 mins. I know lots of people who bike or even drive to the shuttle to avoid paying for parking (me included). It is reliable and on time, and allows you to live in more vibrant places (not clubs really, but more eclectic coffee places, bars, bookstores, restaurants, etc).

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That shuttle really works? The 9:30 cutoff scares me...but then again, why would I have to go to campus at 9:30 pm? I'm sure I'll dig myself into some hole that makes it necessary. I guess I ask because when I visited all the students mentioned how the grad housing shuttles are sometimes so full that you have to wait for the next one.

Any recs for a real estate agency to use? Craigslist can be unreliable, and when I lived in Austin I actually found much more cheap stuff through a broker.

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That shuttle really works?

Yes, it's very effective.

why would I have to go to campus at 9:30 pm?

I've had research meetings that *started* at 10pm.

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That shuttle really works? The 9:30 cutoff scares me...but then again, why would I have to go to campus at 9:30 pm? I'm sure I'll dig myself into some hole that makes it necessary. I guess I ask because when I visited all the students mentioned how the grad housing shuttles are sometimes so full that you have to wait for the next one.

Any recs for a real estate agency to use? Craigslist can be unreliable, and when I lived in Austin I actually found much more cheap stuff through a broker.

Most people use craigslist. There is also an off campus housing site hosted by ucsd: http://offcampushousing.ucsd.edu/

But craigslist is usually best. All landlords post there.

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I've lived three places in SD:

1) Ocean Beach: COOL neighborhood and right on the beach but a little crazy and it eventually got annoying. Fast access to the freeways - I could be downtown or in La Jolla in 20 minutes during rush hour. Parking is a nightmare come summer. Really it was OK until the summer months, then all the tourists ruined it. Still, very workable and parts of Pacific Beach may be an improvement.

2) La Jolla Colony: Right at the foot of the huge Mormon temple on I-5. You can't miss it. Also right across the freeway from UCSD. Miserable though - just a weird suburban-type lifestyle. Strip malls full of chains. The students who live near campus are often the stranger and less sociable ones. I would avoid this area, nothing really fun or interesting about it. And it's the most expensive area I've lived.

3) University Heights/Hillcrest/North Park: Where I was staying (and am still paying rent - boo) most recently in SD. Great place to live. 25 minutes to UCSD in rush hour. 10 minutes to the beach, 15 minutes to Mission Trails for hiking. Fun, interesting, dynamic, walkable neighborhoods. Reasonable rent for the right parts of the neighborhood, there's a few shady sections but not many (stay west of the 805, period). The free shuttle to UCSD from Hillcrest makes this a great deal.

I'm jealous of everyone who gets to move to or stay in SD. I've lived in many parts of the country and SD has a special place in me heart. Even though I knew UCSD's IR/PS wasn't the best school for me I still applied just so I could hold out hope of staying in my favorite big US city. Instead I'm off to the cold for a couple years. Hopefully I'll be back :)

If anybody has any more questions about living in SD let me know and I'll be happy to talk with you.

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What's the best bar in the Hillcrest/North Park area? I have no specific criteria; just tell me where you like(d) to go.

Best coffee shop to sit around in for a while?

Will I kill myself riding a bike down University Ave. to get to the UCSD Medical Center shuttle?

Can one realistically expect to see any pedestrian traffic in either neighborhood?

Where in Balboa Park can one just kinda camp out and read/nap for a while on a nice day? Frisbee? Any free tennis courts?

How much police activity in the area? How sensitive are the residents (and how old)? Likely that I'd be noticed/chastised for taking a piss on the street at 3 AM? Will the neighbors call the cops if friends and I are loud while walking down the street at this hour? It may look like I'm straining to seem "crazy," but answers to these questions will honestly help me determine if it's worth shelling out the extra money to live there.

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Best bar? Yikes, there's lot of good ones. Depends what you're looking for. I tend to like pubs, dives, and music venues. The Ould Sod is a great Irish pub right next to the Normal Heights neighborhood sign on Adams and about 34th St. There's a bunch of bars on that strip of Adams. Northpark is up and coming for sure, getting nicer all the time. U-33 (or something like that) near 30th and University is a decent place for dancing. The Red Fox on El Cajon near Texas is a weird little gem even if you're the youngest person in there by 20 years - worth visiting for the experience alone. I didn't spend much time in bars in Hillcrest since it was far enough away to be a drive and if I was getting in a car I was going to OB or PB (Winston's in OB is the best underground-ish music joint in SD - I love it) :) Hillcrest is home to more upscale bars, more expensive bars, and gay bars.

Best coffee shop to hang out at? There's lots, but Pete's in Hillcrest on University was may favorite.

Biking on University? Not the worst call in the world, but definitely not the best. I'd use side streets as much as possible - luckily, just one block off University/Washington/El Cajon and there is no traffic.

Yes, particularly Hillcrest. A lot there, actually. Substantially less in Northpark, but not absent by any means. My car was broken down a lot and I was unemployed a lot while I lived in the area, so I would walk all over just because it's always so nice outside. It was never weird or dangerous or anything.

Don't know about tennis courts being free (there are a bunch near the dog park, but I was always walking a dog and never looked at them), but just about all of the western part and the north eastern part of Balboa is great for hanging around and throwing a frisbee. Beach is great for that too. I love to hike and there are several great hikes within 15, 25, and 50 minutes of Hillcrest/Northpark.

As for police, there is a "hole" in the middle of the area from Park blvd to Texas and El Cajon to Balboa Park that's a bit rougher and has a stronger police presence than the rest of it. However, it's SoCal and there are cops everywhere - I've never seen so many just driving around. Very annoying. In the nightlife areas (most of Hillcrest, Park St. in University Heights, Adams St. in Normal Heights, and near University and 30th in Northpark) you won't have any problem being loud at night. Don't live east of the 805. Honestly, if you want to go nuts OB is THE place to live. It's insane. Really fun, but after six months I honestly got a little tired of being accosted by people wandering around on hallucinogens four nights of the week. I lived most recently on Adams near Texas overlooking Mission Valley and have liked that location best for price, neighborhood character, etc. Good luck and if you have an addresses you're looking at that you don't know are sketch or not message me and I'll let you know. Enjoy SD - I'm jealous!

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I noticed that all of you are talking about UCSD, what about a little SDSU love? lol.

My question is: "when is a good time to start looking?" SDSU begins Sept. 2, and I don't want to look for an apartment too soon and risk paying 2 months for an empty apartment, and I don't want to wait until there isn't anything else except the most expensive units. I'm currently thinking University Heights, Normal Heights, Hillcrest...

any ideas? :D

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I noticed that all of you are talking about UCSD, what about a little SDSU love? lol.

My question is: "when is a good time to start looking?" SDSU begins Sept. 2, and I don't want to look for an apartment too soon and risk paying 2 months for an empty apartment, and I don't want to wait until there isn't anything else except the most expensive units. I'm currently thinking University Heights, Normal Heights, Hillcrest...

any ideas? :D

Start looking in july. I live in the area(s) you are looking at, and they rarely put up places more than a month in advance of the move-in date. I didn't attend sdsu, but I'm going to recommended you keep to the neighborhoods you listed (adding maybe northpark, southpark, and kensington), and not get too close to campus. Way too loud for a grad student. Browse craigslist and see when the move-in dates are for ones up now. Get an idea.

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Its pretty fresh over here. kinda hot sometimes. we usually have some over cast but its beautiful here. its not humid at all!

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1700 a month... is do-able with a roommate in Pacific beach or the University city area. If you're looking for a social scene then Pac Beach is the answer. If your looking for quite suburban life (think highlight is Surf soccer cup or the UC 4th of July celebration) then go with UC.

Bike paths are everywhere... although if you live in PB you better get a car. UC on the other hand is walking distance to the University. There's a Henry's Market Place, Bristol Farms (think super expensive health food store), plenty of fast food joints.

I did not go to UCSD, but I am from San Diego and grew up in the UC area. It's not the most exciting place if you are a broke grad student. Im sorry to say, but a lot of the fun of san diego requires money (money I do not have either...Im not trying to rain on your parade or anything). Sure there's the beach...yes it's free...and the bay....but to get there you must have gas and a high tolerance for traffic and people who can not drive to save their life. But other than that the main attractions are pretty expensive: Sea World, Zoo, Wild Animal Park, really good restaurants, comedy shows, casinos, even movie theaters..... and I do not imagine that you will have a whole lot of time to delve into a lot of this, with school and all..

good luck with everything

if you ever need any pointers about the city or anything at all just let me know.

Also: just a word of warning. The housing market right now in SD is really bad. Many homes are in foreclosure. There has been a lot of shady stuff going on with people renting out houses they do not own and pocketing the rent money. It's a huge scam. So if the rent appears to good to be true...it probably is.

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where's a good place to stay in the area? i'm originally from sacramento and am looking for a place that's not uncomfortably small, in a good area, and within my budget (aprox. $1600/ mo). anyone have any ideas?

--robby =]

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