University City

House yourself in the Golden Triangle
Price: 500 - 750 USD

Nostalgic of suburbia's lawns and garages? University City, located in the "Golden Triangle" between the Interstate 5, the I-805 and state Route 52, may be the place for you (and three of your friends to fill up the other bedrooms). Yes, here you can rent a house not just an apartment - no pseudo-safe parking garages, communal pool, creepy across-the-hall neighbors or overhead sex noises (try to get an upstairs bedroom if your new pad's a two-story). University City offers more privacy than the dense forest of high-rise apartments in UTC, and lets your wallet breathe a little easier to boot.

One major perk of living in the neighborhood is its close proximity to campus. Bus stops are generally convenient, and the closest Cityshuttle stop (at UTC mall) is just a few minutes away by car. University City also offers the option of driving to campus without dealing with freeway traffic (although Genessee Avenue can be kind of a bitch, and you'll still have to deal with UCSD parking).

The older part of University City lies toward the south, anchored by Governor Drive, and is less expensive and more heavily populated by families, so raging parties might not make you popular with the neighbors. But house parties are pretty much the only thing you can do here at night, so perfect your beer pong game and ready your keg tap. Older houses are also likely to have smaller bathrooms (and fewer of them), so get comfy with your new roomies; although on the plus side, the limited amount of models means that you can sneak off to the good bathroom at someone's else party. To work off you beer belly, try Rose Canyon, located on the border of University City, for hiking and jogging trails. The less ambitious can hit a few balls at the Town Park Villa Golf Course.

The shits of suburbia also apply, however - bland cuisine options, no nightlife to speak of and landscaping maintenance (hiring a gardener might be worth the extra bucks if you're lazy). If you don't want to venture too far from home, Lorna's Italian Kitchen serves up authentic fare in an intimate setting and Papa Chitos Mexican Cafe offers large portions of quality Mexican food without breaking the bank.

From Heather Welles, UCSD - The Guardian, Monday, April 30th 2007 - www.ucsdguardian.org

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