Mira Mesa

Suburbia with cultural flair
Price: 400 - 650 USD

Nestled between Interstate 15, Miramar Boulevard and Sorrento Valley, Mira Mesa is a quiet suburban hamlet perfect for college students. Composed of cookie-cutter housing tracks and filled with numerous strategically placed shopping centers, Mira Mesa offers a wealth of cheap dining and other activities for students tired of La Jolla's secluded blandness.

For the UCSD student on a budget, Mira Mesa is hard to beat. Instead of wading through apartments, where you can hear your neighbors having sex one wall over, in Mira Mesa there are actually houses where you can afford your own room - and have money to spare (I only pay 492.50 USD!).

Although the rent may be dirt cheap, the commute to UCSD is, well, shitty. Students with cars can expect to spend an average of 15 minutes each day driving down pothole-peppered Mira Mesa Boulevard toward campus, and the commute home is even worse. Around 5 p.m. the drive is a bumper-to-bumper mess that can last up to 45 minutes, which is annoying considering that Mira Mesa is only 8 miles northeast of La Jolla. And if you don't have a car, consider asking your roommate for a ride, because the bus takes about 40 minutes on normal days.

If you're willing to put up with the commute, then Mira Mesa is definitely an agreeable place to live. Target, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, a large Asian market and a movie theater are conveniently accessible, and practically every fast food joint in existence can be found somewhere in the area.

And speaking of food, Mira Mesa is hardly lacking in the ethnic realm. Numerous Indian, Vietnamese and other ethnic restaurants provide a delicious alternative to their fast food neighbors, and hole-in-the-wall Mexican eateries are plentiful as well.

For concert lovers, Epicentre hosts year-round shows, and there is also Mira Mesa Lanes, which offers cheap bowling and beer - need I say more? Though the bar smells like salmon and old people, it's definitely fun to throw a few bowling balls while slightly intoxicated. Just make sure you go early if you want a lane, because the alley can be pretty crowded.

From Matthew McArdle, UCSD - The Guardian, Monday, April 30th 2007 - www.ucsdguardian.org

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