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It’s a Thing: San Diego Is a Morning City

Planning a guide to San Diego in the early hours


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Our chief content officer Erin Chambers Smith has always said that San Diego is a “morning city.” Until I had kids recently, I was a big sleeper-inner, so I never had an appreciation for the early hours. But I knew we were definitely not a night city, having grown up in Carmel Valley at a time when the McDonald’s closed at 9 or 10 p.m.

The editors and I started talking about a feature that would explore all the things readers miss out on if they are not up at the crack of dawn. My mind works in sidebars, so I’m thinking Best Boot Camps, Archana Ram’s Favorite Coffee Roasters, Early Bird Life Hacks, a script for guided meditation, and reader-submitted sunrise pics. I see first-person quotes from early risers: news anchors, commercial pilots, bakers, military personnel, and brokers who work on east coast time. Perhaps a former night owl could explain how she made the switch.

I called a newspaper distributor to learn about the life of a paper boy (now called contractors, or carriers). He said carriers are a diverse group who arrive at one of the county’s six distribution centers around 2 or 3 a.m. to bag newspapers. Now that’s early!

But how to make a morning guide compelling? What’s the coverline? “72 Things To Do Before 9 a.m.”? Sounds stressful. “Dawn Patrol”? People might think it’s a surfer's diary. “Makeover Your Mornings” could work, but I don't feel any urgency or motivation to change my current routine. I even toyed with “Reasons to Get Out of Bed,” but it sounded depressing, and magazines must always be upbeat.

Are you a morning person? What's your "early" feedback on this potential feature? Do you have a favorite thing to do in the a.m.? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @emeanley! Let’s make this story happen!

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