La Jolla Country Day School is located on the corner of Genesee and Eastgate Mall. It is listed as La Jolla 92037. Fire Station 35 across the street on Eastgate Mall is addressed San Diego 92037, as is the Northern Division Police Station. Good Samaritan Episcopal Church on Eastgate Mall too, only on the east side of Genesee, is San Diego 92121.
Drive south on Genesee a few blocks to the popular Costa Verde Center and Westfield Shopping Center and the ZIP is San Diego 92122. Yet, Bristol Farms in Costa Verde is advertised to be in La Jolla, and Westfield claims the La Jolla destination, if not that 92037 ZIP. The upscale Vi at La Jolla Village, a retirement home highrise is San Diego 92122. AMC La Jolla, close by in La Jolla Village, is back to La Jolla 92037.
Are you still with me?
How can there be four different ZIP codes in such a small chunk of North University City? "Who cares?" is a question some readers might pose in light of all the more serious events going on in the world. An MLS (multiple listing service) wrote the following: "University City has a loose boundary that sometimes gets confused." Really?
Well, lots of people, La Jollans and University City locals, would like to take back their own communities and end the confusion on one hand and the robbing community identity on the other.
Interstate 5 used to be the dividing line between these two communities. La Jolla was mainly the village, Mt. Soledad homes, La Jolla Shores. When the Scripps family decided to build the "new" hospital in 1964 to replace the old one built in 1924 in La Jolla proper, the family insisted on having the ZIP code west of I-5 become 92037. The slippery slope began.
What awakened this midsummer madness in me was the title of my last article "La Jollans building bridges, not walls with Peace Corps." Several University City residents questioned my loyalty to my neighborhood and my geography skills. After all, the subjects of the story were local U.C. residents for decades, Patty and Bill Mittendorf. Neither one had ever lived in La Jolla. I explained this affront to the editor. This was an uncivil war not written in history books.
Almost all of South University below Rose Canyon is clearly identified as U.C. except the newest apartment complex lining our main street, Governor Drive, has La Jolla in its name. This name choice was insensitive to U.C. locals who feel the creeping in of La Jolla for financial gain. Years ago, a couple owned a donut shop on Governor at the corner of Regents Road. They named it La Jolla Donuts and promptly changed it when customers boycotted the place. U.C. Donuts provided their family with a good income.
La Jolla, whose nickname is "The Jewel," is lovely with its ocean views, vacation amenities, and pricey residences. University City is also lovely with its Rose Canyon, better weather, closeknit neighborhood to the south and urban action to the north.
The Golden Triangle, defined by Interstate 5 to the west of U.C. and 805 to the east and 52 at the base, reflects that all that glitters is not gold. The name La Jolla may raise the real estate values, but U.C. feels the way Native Americans did when the white men discovered them.
In utter lack of respect to University City, whenever our hometown newspaper printed in L.A. writes about a crime in the Golden Triangle, it always says it happens in University City, no matter what the ZIP is. Should that bother residents here? Of course.
Let us not forget that both U.C. and La Jolla lay claim to UCSD, but U.C. will agree it is west of I-5 and is entitled to the La Jolla ZIP, 92037. But wait, UCSD on Gilman Drive has 92093 as its ZIP. But that's a story for another day.