Thursday, May 31, 2007

Daredevil's Paradise

For some reason Southern California attracts adrenaline junkies - people who constantly come up with new ways to push limits. Here's an example of a new sport, parasurfing. Ok, in all honestly it looks like one heck of a lot of fun, too! These guys are in Cardiff, just north of Solana Beach, enjoying a gorgeous day. A few more photos are here and here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The California Building

I thought I'd show you the building that yesterday's electrical box was based on. Some think of it as the symbol of San Diego. The tower is called the California Building and is part of the Museum of Man in Balboa Park. Click here to see an old photo and here to see a night view of the building.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

San Diego scenes - electrical box #9

Across from Balboa Park sits this special painted electrical box that features San Diego landmarks. Facing us is Balboa Park and to the side is Mission San Diego de Alcalá. The other sides feature the Hotel Del Coronado and the downtown skyline. Click here to see the other 8 painted electrical boxes shown previously.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Summers Past Farms

This is a photo of Summers Past Farms which is about 15 miles to the east of San Diego in Flinn Springs. The farm consists of beautiful gardens, a coffee house, and two stores - one with soaps and another with garden gifts. They also sell plants and offer a few classes. Next weekend they are hosting a fairy festival featuring live music, a parade, and a fairy garden contest.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Beach time

Since it is Memorial Day weekend, I thought it was a good time to post a beach photo. This weekend kind of marks an unofficial start of the tourist crowds at the beaches. This is the view looking toward La Jolla and the Scripps Pier. I took this photo when I went on a hike near Black's Beach and the "mushroom house".

Saturday, May 26, 2007

à table

I couldn't help taking another photo of this table setting at the Bazaar del Mundo. Click here to see the previous photo. Every time I go to the Bazaar they have redecorated with more new wonderful festive items. On my last visit there was some construction and it seems that they are expanding into the building next door to sell more items for the home.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Thai Time

We ended up at Thai Time restaurant in El Cajon last night because when we drove up to one of our favorite sushi places they had gone out of business. Here we got this appetizer with fish patties, spring rolls, satay chicken, and wonton wrapped shrimp for $8.95. This was our first time at Thai Time and one of the best things was the service. (Really good curry too.) Of course, my first preference is a great meal with great service, but I would rather have a good meal with great service versus a great meal with bad service. What is more important to you?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry fields abound near the water in North County San Diego. There are a few that you can come in and pick your own, but most of the farms' strawberries are picked by migratory workers. I've never had a sweeter, tastier fruit than the sun-warmed, just-picked strawbs from these seaside farms.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Inside the Botanical Building

Orchids were on display in Balboa Park's Botanical Building this past weekend. Some of you may remember the scene from the movie Traffic with Catherine Zeta-Jones that was filmed in this building. Click here to see a photo of the outside of the building and a waterlily from the reflecting pond.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Agricultural fertility wall

This is the east facing wall of the Casa del Prado building in Balboa Park. It was built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. I thought this scene interesting and found an article with a detailed history of the building with this description: "The tableau is supposed to represent agricultural fertility, with the large woman in the center representing California who is protecting the Indian race and welcoming the white. Women to the right and left represent Anglo-Saxon and Latin-American culture. (It is difficult to determine which woman represents what.)" And the man with the plumed hat, "...could stand for the refinements of civilization that the Spanish conquest made possible."

Monday, May 21, 2007


This is the front of the recently opened Ricardo Vela Studio Gallery, a place where Latino artists can showcase their work. Interestingly, this "CAUTION" sign is a highway safety sign that was intended to alert drivers to immigrant crossings near checkpoints and the San Diego/Mexico border. The signs were put up in the 1990's after too many people were killed crossing the freeways. Click here to read a story about the sign's symbolism and reincarnations.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cactus blooms

Most weekends the San Diego Floral Association and San Diego Botanical Foundation hosts a flower show and plant sale in Balboa Park. Last weekend the featured flower was epiphyllum, shown above. After the show exhibitors were handing out these beautiful blooms to anyone walking by. Upcoming shows will feature bromeliads, cactus & succulents, ferns and a release of 1,000 butterflies. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Not so fast, Mr. Developer!

Stu sent me this photo and story more than a month ago and yesterday the city finally issued a stop work order....
Speaking of the proximity of aircraft and immovable objects -- know why the top two floors of this building look different from the other ten? It's because an injunction is preventing the developer, Sunroad Enterprises, from completing those floors, and if our combative City Attorney and our equally feisty city councilwoman Donna Frye have their way, they'll not only never be finished -- they'll be sliced off. This is shaping up to be San Diego's political scandal of 2007, and it's all to do with the nearby take-off path from the general aviation airport, Montgomery Field. Read all about it here (story from 4/2/07) and read the latest story here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

DZ Akin's

DZ Akin's is a restaurant, bakery, deli, fountain, and gift shop. Their menu boasts hundreds of sandwiches, breakfast all day, ice cream sundaes, and ethnic food favorites: blintzes, borscht, bread pudding, chopped liver, kishka, knishes, lox, matzo balls, pirogen. How many famous people do you recognize from DZ Akin's wall of stars (enlarged photo)?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dolphins Checking Out Dogs

Normally a post about Sea World, in my opinion, would be a bit... well, lame. Eveyone knows that there's a Sea World in San Diego, and what it's about.

However, I really wanted to post about this off-the-cuff animal interaction I witnessed while there recently. This dog was one of about 8 that were on a walk in the park, between performing in their own show.

Not one dolphin was near the viewing area of the dolphin pool until the dogs showed up. Then suddenly every single dolphin was front & center in front of the glass checking out the dogs. I also think it's interesting to note that the dogs pretty much didn't get why the crowd was gathering to watch the interaction - they each had an expression like, "what? huh? What's everyone oooh-ing & awww-ing about? I don't get it." lol.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

One happy hippo

My friend Brian went to the zoo a few weeks ago and said I could share this photo with you. He had a great day where it seemed all the animals were out and about smiling for his camera. I've visited the hippos many times without getting a clear view like the one above. Usually if there is an animal in view, there are also 50 people standing in front of me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

View of Mission Valley

Can you see why settlers decided to build their fortress (called the Presidio) on this hilltop? I showed this same window opening before but this day was much clearer with a view into Mission Valley and the Riverwalk Golf Club.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Warped door

This is the door to Warp 9 Imaging a full service digital imaging service center. They are located on Ray Street and participate in Ray at Night.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

To all the ladies

Happy Mother's Day! Hope your day is filled with flowers and smiles. This is one wall of Florence Elementary School in Hillcrest close to where these kids hang out.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ray at Night

One of my neighbors is a clay artist whose collective Clay Artists of San Diego participates in Ray at Night, an art walk that is put on every 2nd Saturday of the month. Join the fun and support local artists tonight from 6-10 pm.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Festive fruit

I took this photo at the Cinco de Mayo Festival, thus the papel picado decorations. Hot sauce, lime juice, sugar, or chili powder on your fruit? Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lou's Records

Inside the two ugly brown buildings of Lou's Records you'll find a music mecca. One building sells exclusively new CDs, the other is dedicated to used. This independent store is located along the 101 highway in Encinitas (North County). They specialize in music that you won't necessarily find on the radio - and most importantly, they sell it at a reasonable price. But even if you happen to not be a music snob, you'll still find the more mainstream music at a great price, although you just may have to suffer the condescending look of the employee you purchase your discs from! ;-)

One more photo: Here

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

All aboard!

I saw this stained glass window on a tiny house in North Park. The composition of the wall struck me as unusual and even more so when I realized the design in the window was a train. This artistry reminded me of a nice story about a stained glass window maker that Sally of Sydney Daily Photo posted last year.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Purple ice plant

This purple ice plant is blanketing the city. It is so bright, it is almost blinding!

Monday, May 07, 2007

City bunny

I think we've all been inspired by Brookville Daily Photo's animal photos. I know that I've been inspired, how about you? I've been looking for wild animals to photograph and found this cute cottontail rabbit just steps from my office door. Sorry, it's not nearly as cute or close up as the critters from Abraham's backyard.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cliff crash

From Stu: At 3:25 pm last Tuesday, April 24th, tons of sandstone sloughed off Sunset Cliffs opposite Osprey Street and tumbled down just north of what the locals call "No Surf Beach". Quite surprising that this non-event even made news, considering nobody was hurt, and erosion of the cliffs has been going on for eons, although runoff down trails and watering in the neighborhood to the east have sped the process up. This is what the resulting debris pile looks like, from Luscomb's Point. Photo by Craig Barilotti, a friend who lives on Osprey.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cinco de Mayo

There's a big Cinco de Mayo celebration today and tomorrow here in Old Town. Here's a photo of local ballet folklorico dancers that I took last year. Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Rancho's Mexican Restaurant

Rancho's, originally uploaded by Digitalexx.

Rancho's is worth mentioning above the many other Mexican food restaurants because of it's focus on healthy food (and you know how much we Southern Californians love our tofu!). They specialize in vegetarian & vegan dishes, but do sell dishes with meat in them too. The decor is fabulous - outside seating where you're surrounded by beautiful plants & flowers, and inside seating with such colorful decorations you feel like you're in a homey Mexican village. This is a chain with 3 restaurants, this one located in North Park, on 30th near University. Click here to see one of their enchilada dishes and a photo inside the restaurant.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Garden Statue

This statue sits in a front garden at Mission de San Diego de Alcala. This mission is California's first. Each of California's missions were located a day's horseback ride from each other, starting here in San Diego. This is just one of many beautiful spots on the Mission's grounds. Here are a few more photos, here, here, and here. This location was also used in this previous post.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

More Magical Garden

I wanted you all to be able to get a sense of Queen Califia's Magical Garden. Everywhere you look you will be amazed - the work and the details are spectacular. I read on Wikipedia that she was influenced by Gaudi's Parc Güell in Barcelona and decided that she wanted to make something similar; a monumental sculpture park created by a woman. At one point during our visit my heart sang when a bunch of young girls about 8-10 years old came into the garden and were running around from sculpture to sculpture yelling out "Here's Niki!" and "I found another Niki!" They were looking for places on the sculptures where Niki de Saint Phalle had put her name. From their conversation I gathered that there were 9 or more places where her name was hidden. It is truly a magical place.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"City exchange" - Daily Photo theme day

The idea of this month's theme is to show a photo from our city that looks like, refers to, or reminds us of somewhere else. The above photo is part of Queen Califia's Magical Circle, a sculpture garden by Niki de Saint Phalle in Escondido. I hope this made you think of Gaudi's Güell Park in Barcelona, or of Niki's other works around the globe such as the Stravinsky Fountain in Paris, the Tarot Garden in Tuscany, Noah's Ark in Jerusalem or somewhere else ???
To be really confused about which city you are actually visiting, stop by other cities around the world participating in this theme day:
Monte Carlo, Monaco - Rome, Italy - Singapore, Singapore - Tenerife, Spain - Rotterdam, Netherlands - London, UK - Montréal (QC), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Naples (FL), USA - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Mazatlan, Mexico - Buenos Aeres, Argentina - Manila, Philippines - Arradon, France - Madison (WI), USA - Evry, France - Seoul, Korea - Shanghai, China - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Sequim (WA), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Budapest, Hungary - Baziège, France - Hamburg, Germany - Toruń, Poland - Nelson, New Zealand - Madison (WI), USA - Vantaa, Finland - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Mainz, Germany - Dubai, UAE - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Cork, Ireland - Stockholm, Sweden - Menton, France - Tel Aviv, Israel - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Kitakami, Japan - Stayton (OR), USA - Szentes, Hungary - Stavanger, Norway - Grenoble, France - Villigen, Switzerland - Paris, France - Hyde, UK - Moscow, Russia - Joplin (MO), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Greenville (SC), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Asheville (NC), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Madrid, Spain - Auckland, New Zealand - Oulu, Finland - Lubbock (TX), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Vancouver, Canada - Seattle (WA), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Manila, Philippines - Lyon, France - New York City (NY), USA - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA -
Hayle, UK - Wailea (HI), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - San Diego (CA), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Torino, Italy