Friday, August 31, 2007

Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill

I've heard rave reviews about Blue Water. Their motto is "All we do is fish!" You choose from over 12 kinds of fish, pick what kind of marinade, and then you eat it as a whole 8 ounce portion ($15 and up) or, as a sandwich ($7 and up) or in a salad ($9 and up). It is really hard for me to decide when there are this many choices. Often I am the last one to order because I can't decide. So, after more than 5 minutes of trying to decide, I finally got the fish and chips ($9) which was perfectly crispy and delicious. One good thing is that when I go next time I'll have already narrowed my choices down to either the seared ahi plate or the dungeness crab and shrimp salad with creamy avocado or mahi mahi fish tacos or the lemon garlic butter red snapper sandwich or...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Most irritating palm tree

This palm tree, located in the strip of grass on the other side of the sidewalk right in front of my house (the city's responsibility), assaults me with seeds about 2-3 times each year. You'll notice that it's not just one huge bunch of them, but FOUR, seeds nicely staggered in age to keep reigning my yard, sidewalk, & street with little pellets for months to come (GRRR!). Here's a shot of the ground littered with seeds. The city trims the trees once every OTHER year; not enough! (although with the city bankrupt, I should be thankful it happens that often)

My palm is the only one on the block to do this - In fact, I've rarely seen any palm producing fruit. It clearly has some personal vendetta against me.

As if being pummeled by the seeds weren't enough, once dropped, they attract hundreds - no, millions - of flies as they rot on the ground & in the street. So I sweep them up, and within hours it looks like I'd never been out there. When a car is parked underneath, it almost sounds like hail - ping! ping-ping!

I fantasize about making this tree disappear (Jimmy Hoffa style would be best, wouldn't it? Or maybe I could get my hands on a stick of dynamite!). But sadly, I just look like a comic book character, on my knees with my fist raised & shaking in the air, shouting, "Nooooo! You dastardly dev--Ow!" (as another seed smacks on my head)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Beach combing

When I was a kid I remember finding many whole complete sand dollars at Dog Beach, but since then I haven't found many great shells on our beaches...maybe my eyes are not as keen as they used to be. In this photo you can see a smattering of the types of shells and rocks from a beach in La Jolla.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Little Italy

San Diego's Little Italy is a thriving neighborhood and a hot spot for dining. The Little Italy neighborhood association has done a lot to keep Little Italy looking beautiful, like providing these spiffy trash cans and chairs, hanging banners of famous Italians, and keeping the district lively by organizing the annual Festa in October, stickball tournaments, Carnevale, and other events.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Make way for air conditioning

Beauty and function - qualities I admire. I don't know if these stained glass windows were built with the synagogue in 1925, but the artist sure was smart to plan space for the air conditioning unit! Hope you have been staying cool this summer.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

True colors

I needed a little color "pick me up" today because it is raining here and in some parts of the county there is actually a flood watch. I read somewhere that taking a photo of a morning glory is a good test for your camera to see if it captures the true color. Okay, so I enhanced this photo a little bit, but I think the color is pretty close to real life. P.S.: It ended up being a sunny warm day after the heavy morning showers!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Root canal anyone?

This is a look inside the dentist office of one of the historic buildings in Old Town. You can see a little bit of the tools and wrenches that they used in the old days to pull teeth. Ouch!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hob Nob Hill

Hob Nob Hill is another oldie but goodie offering all American food in Bankers Hill. They've been around since 1944 serving homemade food. For all you meat eaters: filet mignon, pork chops, and baby beef liver are offerings you can find at breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel

When you are driving doesn't it seem like construction work is always in the most inopportune places? In this photo I was walking downtown through this makeshift sidewalk and thought the light was nice. I've always liked these temporary tunnels, especially when they are freshly plastered with posters.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Number three

This is one of the art studio doorways at the Spanish Village Art Center. Each studio offers something different, from jewelry, to glass, pottery, oils, watercolors, and photography. Click here to see another photo of the village.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fairy ballerinas

A group of ballerinas flutter about as they wait for their photo to be taken in Balboa Park.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Children's Park

Children's Park is located in the Marina district downtown and is close to where the new Children's Museum building will open. Behind the pool of poles are grassy knolls, kind of like snow moguls but green. It looked like lots of homeless people make the grassy knolls their home, but this may change once the museum opens next year.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rare street sign

Here's something unique that Expat Stu found... I've never seen signs like this anywhere except San Diego -- and hooray for the City for making it possible. There can't be many of them. This one is in Bay Park, near the elementary school, and I believe there's one somewhere in Point Loma as well. Anybody know of others?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

More Magic

I showed photos before of Queen Califia's Magical Circle and other works by Niki de Saint Phalle, but I just love her stuff so much I thought I'd share a few other photos I took of the magic sculpture garden. Click here to see all the photos I've posted of her work in San Diego.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Strip Club

Some people like the "wow" factor of saying that they are going to The Strip Club. It sounds oh so exotic, but it's just a restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter downtown where you cook your own steaks at grills set up near the tables. If you like cooking your own meat in public and you are over 25, there is also another older low key restaurant called the Turf Supper Club in Golden Hill.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Storytime at Java Mama

There's a great little coffee shop in La Mesa called Java Mama. It's a parent & kid paradise. It's been set it up where you bring your kids, plop them in a play area, grab a coffee (and they're really good here!) and settle in to whatever your poison is, be it catching up on reading, knitting, or quite possibly just sitting peacefully pretending you haven't lost your mind due to the apparently minor task of attempting to put shoes on your 3-year old that morning.

There are many other activities that go on in the space as well, from yoga & tango to spanish class. The above pictured is a weekly storytime done by local mom of two, Elaine (10 a.m., Wednesdays).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Grantville Trolley

One of the newer trolley stops is called Grantville station, off of the 8 freeway at Fairmount Ave. It's high in the sky - sitting about 3 stories in the air. You kind of feel like you're floating in the sky while you're sitting on one of the benches waiting for your trolley to come.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Firemen Practicing

Once a year the Firefighters out in Ramona (in San Diego County) have a Open House day where they welcome the public. They have crafts for the kids, demonstrations, and all sorts of fun. Here, the firefighters are demonstrating the "Jaws of Life" on a practice car. Looks like that car might've been practiced on a little in the past, eh?

The Open House happens in October each year.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Coronado bay bridge

The famous Coronado bay bridge.

Going under the bridge is quite possibly cooler than going over it. You really get to see how impressive the structure is from underneath, whereas when going over it, you just feel oogly in the stomach - small lanes, on coming traffic racing past you too closely, sides of bridge, and the thought of tumbling over them too close on the other side...yep, going underneath is WAY cooler than going over it! ;-)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Yea, I'd like some too.

The best time to make it to the Wild Animal Park is early enough to catch feeding time for the animals. If you squint, you can see the zoo keeper in the upper left, in the process of throwing the gorilla some food.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ramona's mail boxes 2

Just before you enter Ramona, Ca. (which, even though it's 40 mins. or so east of the city, is still in San Diego County), you pass this row of picturesque mailboxes. It makes me think of other places...This isn't the sort of lineup you see very often here, but I know it's much more common in other parts of the U.S.

I drove by these mailboxes easily for at least 5 years, thinking, "I gotta stop some time and get a photo of that!" before finally pulling over and doing it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Chicken Pie Shop

Look for this painted red chicken electrical box outside the Chicken Pie Shop on El Cajon Blvd. Inside there are hundreds of ceramic, plastic, feathered, and wooden chickens that line the walls of the place. They have been in San Diego since the 1930's and still serve the same fare: good cheap comfort food. Pie dinners include a chicken pie, whipped potatoes, gravy, vegetables, cole slaw, a roll and dessert for $6.50. They also have chicken giblets or livers for the adventurous eaters. Click here to see a review and food photos.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Concert in the Park

On Friday evenings at Trolley Barn Park (which, interestingly enough is no where near a trolley line), during the summer you'll find the whole neighborhood, as well as those of us who drive in for the festivities. ;-)

Bring a picnic dinner, some wine (a must!), and enjoy the music & great company! See you there!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Johnson House

The Johnson House is among several historic buildings in Old Town that are open for tours. The house was built around 1869 by George Alonzo Johnson who was a steamboat operator and later became a California State Assemblyman.
Today it is a little store that sells hats, gloves, canes, and like the sign says "finery". Do you remember the days when men and women didn't leave home without a hat?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Kangaroo paws

I saw this funky plant known as "kangaroo paws" or "monkey paws" as I was walking in the Hillcrest neighborhood. It's a native of Western Australia and gets the name because it resembles furry animal feet. Do you have anything in your yard (or attic) that resembles furry animal feet?

Monday, August 06, 2007

View from the park in the park

So these are the cheap seats at Petco Park. Not a bad view for $5. And you can see practically everything on the big screen tv (the black square on the right). This statue is of Tony Gwynn, aka Mr. Padre, who played his whole 20 year career with the San Diego Padres and was known for his consistent batting.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Running the bases

We went to the Padres game this afternoon. They have $5.00 tickets called the Park Pass and when you have little kids that like to run, it's hard to actually watch the game! Here's a small field within the stadium where kids can take a swing at bat and run the bases.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Another promotional animal seen beside route 163

Photo and story from Expat Stu's travels around town... To go with the promotional rhino I posted some months back, here's a promotional puppy on the other side of the highway, distracting motorists who may already be distracted by cellphone use. I guess this pup is promoting RVs. He's quite close to the infamous Sunroad building, whose owners have now agreed to slice off those surplus storeys.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Bon appétit

After the breakfast theme day this week, I got a craving for pain au chocolat. For pastries and yummy French food, check out The French Gourmet restaurant and bakery in Pacific Beach where this cute chef guy greets visitors.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Feedin' ducks

One of the many cool things you can do year 'round here is go to one of the local lakes and feed ducks. It's a great activity to do during the summer in the early evenings, once it's cooled off some.

This photo is from Lake Murray, which is a water reservoir, so there's no swimming, but there is boating & fishing allowed. There's also a lovely paved walk around the lake so you can get some exercise before you get to feedin' the ducks.

Lake Murray was done in these two previous posts: here and here

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Typical breakfast - Theme Day

Like I ever cook breakfast...okay just this one time. How do you like your eggs - scrambled, poached, sunny-side up, over easy, hard or soft boiled? Scrambled it is! If you don't like scrambled eggs, visit these cities around the world for other breakfast offerings:
Saint Paul (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - New York City (NY), USA - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hyde, UK - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Stockholm, Sweden - Paderborn, Germany - Singapore, Singapore - Haninge, Sweden - Nottingham, UK - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Manila, Philippines - Boston (MA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Singapore, Singapore - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Paris, France - Sequim (WA), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Boston (MA), USA - Chennai, India - Madison (WI), USA - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Toulouse, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - La Antigua, Guatemala - Selma (AL), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Sheki, Azerbaijan - Sydney, Australia - Mumbai, India - Seoul, South Korea - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - New Orleans (LA), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Villigen, Switzerland - Montréal (QC), Canada - Stayton (OR), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Moscow, Russia - Springfield (MO), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Arlington (VA), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Manila, Philippines - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Stavanger, Norway - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Wailea (HI), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Sydney, Australia - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Kansas City (MO), USA - Grenoble, France - Paris, France - Evry, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Prague, Czech Republic - Cape Town, South Africa - Brookville (OH), USA - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Shanghai, China - Zurich, Switzerland- North Bay (ON), Canada - Lyon, France - Naples (FL), USA - Olympia (WA), USA