Friday, February 29, 2008

Scallop burrito

El Zarape is a local favorite for their burritos, seafood and vegetarian food. It is a small place with a huge menu, located on Park Blvd right before Adams Ave. I had a combination plate with a fish taco and a scallop burrito for about $8. My friend had the roasted vegetable burrito - no rice or beans inside, about $5. I think it is something about their spices that makes their food so mouth wateringly delicious. Click here for a review and photos - 99 cents fish tacos, shrimp chimichanga, and shrimp quesadilla.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grab...and Go!

Grab & Go Subs is located in Little Italy, near downtown & the Embarcadero. They make the superior sandwiches. In my opinion it's the bread that is crucial, and they use really tasty Italian bread. I used to make the drive periodically when I worked a 20-30 minute's drive north!
They're only open for the lunch rush, so you'd better hurry on down!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gateway to Egypt

I was going to title this photo "I want my mummy!" because this is the entrance to the Discover Egypt Children's Discovery Center at the Museum of Man. They have an impressive permanent collection of Egyptian artifacts, coffins, masks, amulets, figurines, and jewelry. The Children's Discovery Center is a great place where parents don't have to continually say, "Don't touch that!"

Gateway to China

In the heart of the Asian historic quarter of the Gaslamp district is this formidable door that was the entrance to the family business of Ah Quin, a founding father of San Diego and the unofficial mayor of Chinatown. I don't think there is a produce business at this location anymore, but the door still stands as a reminder of the community leader and successful entrepreneur.

Monday, February 25, 2008

MCASD La Jolla

More nautical...Sticking straight out of the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla is a conglomeration of rowboats, canoes, jet skis, and surfboards called Pleasure Point by LA artist Nancy Rubins. For the young and/or hip: the MCASD is free for those 25 years and under and also has a program called Thursday Night Thing (TNT) where they have a "happening" (slide jams, DJ lessons, poetry readings to live bands, artists' talks, & video projections) at their downtown location.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Tom Ham's Lighthouse isn't the only place with a nautical theme. This is a private residence in Pacific Beach with lots of nautical details that I've admired. Click to enlarge and see a trusty wooden sailor at the lookout point, nautical stained glass windows, and another sailor on the look out from the base of the lamp in the corner window.
Happy Birthday to SuSu!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Downtown lights

If you find yourself driving around the terminals at SAN waiting for a flight to come in, take a little detour over to Harbor Island to see this view or take a bite at Tom Ham's Lighthouse (photo from yesterday). Michael sent me an email confirming that Tom Ham's has great views and the food is pretty good. He said one interesting feature at Tom Ham's is their nautical theme with the buffet trays installed into a rowboat. Thanks for the inside scoop!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tom Ham's Lighthouse restuarant

Okay, here's the story. I took this photo because Tom Ham's is near the airport and whenever I pick someone up and their flight is delayed, I drive over to Harbor Island and either park or drive around. The views of downtown are fabulous and it is much better than navigating airport traffic. I kinda feel bad for showing you places I've never eaten at before, but anyone that has been to Tom Ham's Lighthouse restaurant please let us know what you think of the place.
P.S.: Happy Birthday to my cousin Yvonne! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Julian, Ca

When San Diegans want apple pie, a quaint small town experience, or to play in the snow, we head up to Julian. Julian is located in the mountains, about an hour east of San Diego (still within San Diego County, though). On a recent trip up there (to play in the snow), I looked up and saw this shot and the colors & shapes made me happy.
For more Julian info:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Looking south to Crystal Pier

I don't want y'all to think that it is always sunny and warm here in San Diego - these last few weeks we've had snow and rain, as well as some daytime temperatures in the 70's. Today it is drizzling and grey with an overcast look much like in the above photo of Pacific Beach and the Crystal Pier. If we had groundhogs here they would be very confused.
P.S. Mid-day and it is now raining and looking real soupy - drive carefully!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I thought that this guy who was cruising along on Mission Bay was on some kind of special water toy, but it turns out he was balancing on his surfboard and pushing himself along with an oar.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Low tide at Mission Bay

Low tide at Mission Bay is not nearly as interesting as low tide at the ocean. But actually, this time of year is when San Diegans really get to enjoy Mission Bay because during the summer it is crowded every weekend. Now is the time for a weekend picnic or bbq - practically the same weather as summer, lots of parking, and no crowds. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Year of the Rat

The 26th annual Chinese New Year Fair was this weekend celebrating the year of the rat. This is a photo of Chinese paper cuttings that were for sale at the fair. Click here to find your Chinese zodiac sign - what are you? Gung hay fat choy!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

South for the years

We see a lot of brown pelicans here year round. I've seen a few all white cliff areas from where pelicans and other birds have "marked their territory". Unrelated to the white cliffs, I thought my mom might like this photo for her birthday today, because she flew here about 4 years ago from a warmer climate to be closer to her family. Sorry mom...I know it's TMI, but happy birthday!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sweet surprises

After yesterday's snow, you should try these chocolates to warm you up and give you that melt-y feeling. Chuao (pronounced chew-wow) Chocolatiers are a local company specializing in Venezuelan chocolate. Last night, four of us had a little tasting of some of their signature flavors: Spicy Maya - chocolate with pasilla chile and cayenne pepper, Chevere - dark chocolate with goat cheese, buttercream and black pepper, Modena - dark chocolate with caramel, strawberry pulp, and balsamic vinegar, and Earl Grey infused milk chocolate. We all had a different favorite, but overall each piece was a sweet layered surprise. I think their latest creation, the Firecracker bonbon with pop rocks, is symbolic of their products overall - my brother said it "brought the fun back to chocolate". P.S.: Thanks to Karen at Chuao for letting me take photos and for helping me pick from over 30 bonbon choices!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

This may look like a typical Valentine's Day in many places, but here it's VERY odd! This was taken in Ramona, within San Diego County, about an hour ago. For those of us who live here, it's quite shocking to have snow this close! Adding to the oddity, we just had a beach day this past weekend - how quickly the weather changes!

So it must be a special Valentine's Day, indeed. Stay warm, dry, & enjoy it, everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

View of La Jolla Shores

Here is a partial view of what you might see from the buildings and bridge at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. This is La Jolla Shores - a very accessible beach for swimming, kayaking, surfing, running or walking. Here are a more photos of La Jolla Shores that I posted before - the 1/2 marathon, close-up of algae, some kayakers, and a private strip of this beach.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Scripps Crossing

Here is another highlight of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography campus, just up the hill from yesterday's photo of the Munk Lab conference room. This 135-foot pedestrian bridge was designed by Frieder Sieble and built in 1993 to connect two parts of the campus.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Munk Lab Conference Room

Here is the Munk Laboratory, another building that is part of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) and also designed by Lloyd Ruocco. From the second floor entrance of the building, you can look down a long hallway to where the conference room perches above the ocean and see a little square of water and sky. I didn't go inside but I could see from where I took this photo that the room has a spectacular view and a nice telescope for visitors.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Surf breaks

This is a photo of some of the offices at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) at the Scripps Institute for Oceanography. The sculpture from yesterday, "Spring Stirring" is located nearby and was given to the school in 1964, the same year the IGPP was dedicated. Made of redwood and glass the IGPP buildings, designed by Lloyd Ruocco, are like a natural extension of the hillside. Many of the offices have views of the ocean and a path leads down through the campus to the water and Scripps Pier. I wasn't so surprised to see several offices with wetsuits hanging on the door or drying outside like this one.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Spring Stirring

Donal Hord was a San Diego artist who contributed several sculptures and art pieces to this community. One characteristic of his work was that he used materials that were very hard and difficult to work, such as with the above sculpture called "Spring Stirring" made of diorite during 1947-1948. This sculpture is located at the Scripps Institute for Oceanography . Click here to see two other Hord sculptures I showed before and here for a list of more works around town.

Friday, February 08, 2008

El Fandango

I can't say much about the food at El Fandango Restaurant because I haven't eaten here. It is a great tourist trap though - right on the square at Old Town State Historic Park with an enticing outdoor patio.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cracked Cliff in Ocean Beach

There are many little (and not-so-little) cracks along the cliffs of Ocean Beach/Point Loma. The waves wash in and out of them sonorously and make for a pretty photo to boot.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

University Ave Bourbon Street, Hillcrest

It was a toss up between Super Tuesday or Fat Tuesday, luckily Expat was able to share this important happening with us. P.S.: Hamburger Mary's is now called Urban Mo's, but it will be permanently etched in locals minds as being Hamburger Mary's. From Expat:
San Diego isn't truly a Mardi Gras kind of city, but Hillcrest loves a party so Hillcrest does its best to rise to the occasion. The blocks between 1st and 4th Avenues were closed to traffic yesterday. I took this picture about 3:30pm when, as you can see, the ingredients for 1,000 or so hurricanes were all laid out ready. Nobody had yet been allowed in, but Hamburger Mary's was already raucous with party noises. I'm sure it was fun.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday

Today is the day. :-) Unfortunately, voting won't solve our budget problems. :-(

Monday, February 04, 2008

Get off my arm. I said now.

Hey, what is a baby siamang supposed to do all day long? All the apes in the Absolutely Apes exhibit at the San Diego Zoo get to suffer from having a little "monkey on their back" or arm or leg.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


I love this succulent and prickly welcome to the San Diego Zoo.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Small rodent day

Since we don't have groundhogs here in San Diego this squirrel was the closest relative I could find to the real thing for this Groundhog Day. This little guy was scurrying around and under this cement picnic slab at Lake Murray. Will we have 6 more weeks of winter?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Theme Day - What SD is known for

It is theme day for the Daily Photo blogs and this month's theme is "what your city is known for". I try to do a food theme every Friday as well and San Diego is known for its Mexican food. Don't you just miss it so? Here is the surf and turf burrito from JV's Mexican Food. Yes, those shrimps are as big as a quarter and the carne asada was delicious too. The whole thing weighed about 4 pounds and cost around $7.00. On the plate is about 1/4 of the whole burrito. P.S.: JV's salsa isn't for babies. More cities highlighting what their city is known for:
Portland (OR), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Memphis (Tennessee), USA - Manila, Philippines - San Diego (CA), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - New York City (NY), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - San Francisco (CA), USA - Mumbai (Maharashtra), India - Mainz, Germany - Weston (FL), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Turin, Italy - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Bicheno, Australia - Durban, South Africa - Joplin (MO), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Brussels, Belgium - Chicago (IL), USA - Montpellier, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mazatlan, Mexico - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Toulouse, France - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Susanville (CA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Helsinki, Finland - Pilisvörösvár, Hungary - Lisbon, Portugal - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Trujillo, Peru - Dunedin (FL), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USAPort Angeles (WA), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - London, UK - Baziège, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Mumbai, India - Naples (FL), USA - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Setúbal, Portugal - Stayton (OR), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Arradon, France - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Athens, Greece - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Jackson (MS), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Budapest, Hungary - Rotterdam, Netherlands - St Malo, FranceChandler (AZ), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cleveland (OH), USA - Nottingham, UK - Kansas City (MO), USA - The Hague, Netherlands - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Wrocław, Poland - Chateaubriant, France - Cheltenham, UK - Moscow, Russia - Monrovia (CA), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - Toruń, Poland - Grenoble, France - Lisbon, Portugal - New Orleans (LA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Boston (MA), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Wichita (KS), USA - Radonvilliers, France - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Christchurch, New Zealand - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Wailea (HI), USA - Aliso Viejo (CA), USA - St Francis, South Africa - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Seattle (WA), USA - Pasadena (CA), USA - Vienna, Austria - Orlando (FL), USA - Torun, Poland - Delta (CO), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Paris, France - Stavanger, Norway - Niamey, Niger - Le Guilvinec, France - Bogor, Indonesia - Saarbrücken, Germany - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Juneau (AK), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Glasgow, Scotland - Chicago (IL), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Sydney, Australia - Riga, Latvia - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Terrell (TX), USA - Terrell (TX), USA - Inverness (IL), USA