Driving down Mission Boulevard...dodging impetuous beach cruisers, oblivious tourists, hyped-up 20-somethings and shopping-cart-pushing vagrants, it's ironic to be writing about being grateful for beautiful Pacific Beach.
It's also hard to believe that less than 50 steps from the chaotic frenzy of the streets of Pacific Beach and Mission Beach is a 3.2-mile stretch of pristine Pacific Ocean beach with mesmerizing sounds, movements, and textures of surf, sand, and sea life. Head a few steps east to Mission Bay and experience the serenity of tiny waves lapping at the shore, rays of sunshine dancing on the water, and colorful sailboats gently meandering to no place in particular.
For those of us who live here, the Pacific Beach and Mission Beach area is full of contradictions. Home to some of the wealthiest and the poorest people in Southern California, our beaches seem to call on us to learn to appreciate the full spectrum of life experience. There's no doubt that certain aspects of living in PB are annoying, frustrating, and even border on dangerous. The same things that attract wealthy individuals and families also attract those who are barely surviving.
Get Involved and Give Back to Beautiful Pacific Beach
What is encouraging is that there is a great sense of community here as well. While we know that our beach areas have some serious issues, groups have organically formed to try and smooth off some of the rough edges.
One of the groups who is taking positive action around the homeless issue is the Pacific Beach Street Guardians. They are tackling tough issues with practical solutions. Rather than try to drive out the homeless, they are giving them jobs that help improve the neighborhood. Discover PB is joining in the efforts with their PB Clean and Safe Program.
Beautiful PB is another organization with a mission to continue to help build a sustainable, eco-friendly environment through projects like bike pathways, parks, public art and community gardens.
Living the beach life is imperfect. It pairs fast-food wrappers and cigarette butts in the same view as bright orange hibiscus blossoms, and a passed-out drunk in a grove of Bird of Paradise steps from an amazing sunset. We'd all prefer to see more of the natural beauty and less of the human messiness. So, in this season of thankfulness and giving, perhaps take a moment and pick out one thing that you can do. It might be joining a community group, making a donation, or perhaps picking up a piece of trash on the street instead of just walking by.
As quoted by Edmund Burke, "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” Let's all get out there today and do a little to make this day in PB more beautiful.
In the month of November, Beach Mailbox and Gifts is donating $1 for every purchase of $25 to the Pacific Beach Street Guardians cause.