Hard Rock Hotel

Until I checked in, I thought the name of the place was an affectation, but it is actually attached to a Hard Rock Cafe, in San Diego.  They play bad and overly loud rock music in the lobby.  The front desk is usually unmanned.  The concierge looks and dresses like a 1970s hippie Deadhead.  There are guitars on the wall.  The bed is extremely comfortable.

Job candidates: you need a room key to work the elevator, so if you are coming here for an interview tomorrow a) I am leaving your name at the front desk, hoping it will be manned and they will help you, b) you can try to find someone else taking an elevator up, and c) you can call up and/or email.  In any case please give yourself a little extra time, our apologies.  I promise not to ask if you have brought your demo tape to the interview, even though I will be tempted to do so.

Addendum: It’s funny how many people are tweeting and emailing me that I don’t like San Diego.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I like it fine and I have come here repeatedly over the years.  The area where I have chosen to live and work — northern Virginia — also could be described as lacking in cultural importance for the broader United States and indeed the world.  And yet I chose it and prefer to stay there.  The whole point of public goods is that they spread far and wide!  Most generally, “reporting a fact or opinion which lowers the perceived relative status of X” does not translate into “source does not like X.”  This is closely related to the fallacy of mood affiliation.  One can have multiple moods about both San Diego and northern Virginia, namely something like “wonderful amenities and lifestyle, but culturally not nearly as impressive as the historical record of Kansas City.”  But when choosing whether or not to visit or live in Indiana, that Cole Porter was from there is really not much of a factor.  That all said, I’ll belatedly give San Diego credit for Roger Reynolds.


I believe that Rae Armantrout is the best living American poet. Also, the Crocodiles are a weirdly underrated rock band out of San Diego.

+1 for the Crocodiles. They often get overshaddowed by the Dum Dum Girls due to Welchez marriage to Dee Dee.

And for the skateboard community there is the "Leap of Faith" at my old high school, Point Loma. Every time I've gone back for a visit I've stayed at the Westgate Hotel as it has fond memories of 'old-line' San Diego.

San Diego and Virginia have produced lots of Navy Seals, for which at least Richard Phillips is grateful for. Seals trained in S.D. and based in Virginia have executed performance art on international stages of such exquisite attraction that it has been reproduced in a current feature film. A number of those Virginia and San Diego Seals have "written" books that are far more compelling than a literate reader would expect.

I do not think that Virginia offers a night of "camping" amidst lions, elephants and, possibly, an auroch. Since those animals are most active at dusk and dawn this is the best way to enjoy them.

The reason we have boring cities like the DC suburbs is due to globalization. Somebody compared it to cancer, since a cancer cell is undifferentiated (i.e. looks the same), is hard to kill, tries to spread widely, and readily feeds on other cells. Same with most US cities. Aside from NYC, parts of San Francisco, and maybe a few other places, most places in the USA look the same--somebody thinks TexMex is trendy and the Sleeping Sombrero Man becomes an icon exported to every corner of the USA via a franchise. You see the same thing outside the USA too. It pays to be an IP infringer (copyright, patents, trade dress) so it's a very easy and popular way to make money. It does not help that college econ professors are always encouraging 'more of the cheaper'. The only exceptions: the rich don't like to buy anything not unique, so social stigma drives them to encourage truly innovative stuff; hence these guys are often early adopters.

Roger Reynolds is from Detroit and went to University of Michigan for undergrad.

Awesome addendum.

Yesterday, Tyler wrote regarding San Diego:

"I’m sure to enjoy the weather, though I’ll look longingly at Tijuana just across the border."

Thanks, Tyler, for all the efforts you've put in over the years to make America less like San Diego and more like Tijuana!

Are hotel front-desks manned in Tijuana?

Nicely done.

Not born in San Diego, but Theodore Geisel's most famous works were written after he moved to La Jolla in the 50's. The UCSD library often has many of his works on display.

Lest people be intimidated by the cultural importance of Kansas City, I will note that it is an extremely underrated lifestyle city. It's lacking at the top end, but it more than makes up for this in the depth of middle class amenities. At $100K/year, you're starting to hit the regime of diminishing returns. Perhaps a boring city to visit, but great to live in.

Unlike it's northern neighbors of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the San Diego region has managed to confine it's stock of sel-absorbed pretentiousness to a small block of La Jolla. It hasn't metastesized across the entire region like those neighbors

Kansas City as a cultural icon? Boy, i need to get out more.

I don't get out much, but I really enjoyed the Nelson-Atkins museum (and bbq carryout to a baseball game) when I was in KC for a conference.

Obviously, the reaction Tyler got suggests that his highbrow blog has lots of readers either in the San Diego area or from San Diego area. (There are eight Nobel prize-winners in La Jolla.)

Most interesting people come from places that aren't that interesting.

"Most generally, “reporting a fact or opinion which lowers the perceived relative status of X” does not translate into “source does not like X.”"

Thanks Sheldon.

San Diego cultural contributors, in no particular order --

Kim Stanley Robinson

Rusty Preisendorfer

Cameron Crowe

Craig Venter

Frank Zappa

But I agree that San Diego punches underweight if you measure only cultural contributions made in doors. Especially since with TJ it makes up the largest bi-national community in the world.

I am staying in a Hard Rock hotel at the moment, my eight year old son loves it, but I would not have selected it as the hotel for Tyler!

Not a case of mood affiliation. More like mood connect the dots. Your mood (or like-dislike of the city) is ridiculously ambiguous in the original post. People read it and then try to infer your mood...lacking clarity they pick up the cues closest to their mood. When I read it yesterday it sounded snippy and tonight it sounds bemused, but that reflects a change in my mood not the words. Adding a simple "I like city, but..." would have cut way back on the personal pushback. You reap what you sow.


So what exactly doesn't Tyler get about SoCal Spanish Colonial style architecture, the modern zoo, 20th century astronomy, the fish taco, the US Naval & Marine warrior, the modern suburban house, the Salk Institute, and modern marine biology, etc.

Kansas City BBQ sauce counts for more than all that in Tyler's personal book.

There is no accounting for cultural judgment.

San Diego isn't vibrant enough.

Tyler has called for the spread of 3rd World-style shantytowns in the United States because of their vibrancy:


I just so happen to be staying at this hotel too, and I'd love to meet Tyler in person. Any suggestions for "casually" running into him? I have to imagine that he'll leave the hotel for breakfast though I haven't figured out what the Tyler joint is likely to be.

I always like Richard Walker's, but I'm a bit of a traditionalist.

Wherever the largest concentration of taxi drives is.

* drivers

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