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Rich Simons | Upper East 11th

Every month, Rich Simons answers readers’ most perplexing questions

Q: I don’t get it. All the time I read about or see a mention on the television about a famous person who is said to live in Del Mar. You know – maybe a popular athlete or a captain of industry, or maybe a Nobel Laureate. – But how come I never see any of these people around town? Like walking on the beach, or say dining in one of our restaurants? – b.d.

Well, I think we’ve got two fundamental problems here, b.d. Number one is the difficulty of actually recognizing people whom you have only seen in the media. In real life people can look quite different than you imagine. A case in point – recently I was standing in front of a shop on Camino Del Mar and a person walked right by me. The shop attendant pointed at him and said “look, there goes so-and-so” and named a famous football coach. Being a fan of the game I had seen him being interviewed on television maybe a hundred times, but I totally didn’t recognize him. He was shorter than I had imagined and a bit more well - portly. Also he was wearing a baseball cap which he never did when being interviewed. And the little bitty dog he was walking was definitely not gridiron material.

Our number two problem is the general confusion as to where or what is “Del Mar.” Since you are reading this I know that you, like me, are a resident of the fully incorporated City of Del Mar, population somewhere south of 5,000. The Sandpiper is distributed only within those boundaries. And hooray for us, because we have created what one pundit called a “little paradise.” And maybe we shouldn’t have done it, because people far and wide want to share in our “cachet” by adopting our name. The most proximate example is the thing called “Del Mar Heights” (a part of the City of San Diego). Then there is “Carmel Del Mar,” “Valle Del Mar,” “Rancho Del Mar,” etc., etc. A certain amount of blame for this can be placed on the doorstep of our little Post Office, which shamelessly distributes mail far and wide outside our boundaries under the address “Del Mar, CA 92014.” No wonder there is so much confusion. Of course any realtor trying to sell a property in one of these faux Del Mars will let you yank his teeth out before he will admit that his property is NOT in Del Mar.

There is an old story about a fellow who who bought a property in the Heights with the sole purpose of being able to run for Del Mar City Council. They say that when he found out the truth, he sought out the realtor who sold it to him and strangled him. He was acquited by the jury: “justifiable homicide.”

But back to our original problem: where ARE these famous people? Well – just the other day there was a flyer in the mail promoting custom homes in a place called “Alta Del Mar on the Del Mar Mesa.” Now who knows where THAT is! Hell, could be somewhere east of Escondido. So the bottom line, b.d., is that the Nobel Laureate you seek could be living anywhere in San Diego County. Happy hunting!


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