One of the more peculiar facets of the Inferiority Complex is that we seem to have an unhealthy obsession with our neighbor to the west, San Marcos.
Some Escondido residents can't seem to get enough of San Marcos. They love its sparkling newness. They're envious of its seemingly endless ocean of new shopping centers and housing developments. In some cases, they find creative ways to use these San Marcos positives as bullets in their arsenal of anti-Escondido, self-loathing weaponry.
Other Escondido residents bemoan San Marcos. They view it as a threat, and they almost seem to wish for its failure. Any exciting development that happens in San Marcos is somehow an attack on Escondido. As a result, they adopt an attitude that absolutely any idea or development opportunity that presents itself needs to be done in Escondido at all costs, solely for the reason of keeping it away from San Marcos.
The truth is, both approaches are misguided.
Admittedly, San Marcos has done a really good job in certain areas, and they should be commended for that. In particular, what an amazing coup it was to land Cal State San Marcos decades ago. Universities have time and again proven to be major economic engines for the cities they call home. Yes, we still see many benefits from the fact that CSUSM is physically located so close to our western city limits. However, I can only imagine the additional benefits that Escondido might be realizing today if one of the "power players" in Escondido in the '70's and '80's had "thought grand" and fought to have the new Cal State campus established within our own city limits instead...
But the past is in the past. San Marcos is here to stay, so is Escondido. There is no need to be either envious or venomous. Both cities can coexist and prosper.
In full disclosure... I happen to work at Cal State San Marcos. In fact, it was getting a job in San Marcos that brought me back to Escondido over three years ago. When I knew I got the job and was considering which of the two cities to live in, the choice quickly became clear... I wanted to live in Escondido because of the "heart and soul" I noted in the second Pep Talk article. I simply prefer living in a larger city that has a defined urban core with a real downtown and real history. I'm not a big fan of suburbs and strip malls, and from my point of view, that's primarily what San Marcos seems to offer.
Now, let me be clear... My statement above was not an attack on San Marcos. Instead, it's simply a statement of fact that there are all types of people in the world, and all types of cities and neighborhoods, and people need to embrace who they are and choose a home that they can truly love and enjoy.
Collectively, we need to do the same, both as individuals and as a community. We need to reject the notion that for Escondido to succeed, San Marcos needs to fail. We also need to reject the idea that Escondido needs to carbon copy everything San Marcos does.
Instead, we need to adopt the attitude that for Escondido to succeed, Escondido needs to stand proud, embrace itself, and simply be the best it can be.
Next in The Pep Talk, let's take a look at what outsiders really think about Escondido, and what it means for us...
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