Sunday, August 31, 2008


I didn't go to Tijuana to get my "Sister Cities" photo, but I was a stone's throw from Tijuana. I went to Las Americas Premium Outlet shopping mall which is on the US side of the border in the city of San Ysidro (in San Diego county), just over this fence is Tijuana. I happened to be sitting in the parking lot waiting for the stores to open when I took the above photo of the Border Patrol.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The border

I'm leading you to our Sister City theme day on September 1st. We are on our way to Tijuana, also called just TJ, one of San Diego's 15 Sister Cities. TJ is less than 20 miles from downtown San Diego.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Step back in time

The Red Fox Room Restaurant is right next door to the Lafayette Hotel. If you are looking for a lounge-y night of steaks, strong drinks, dark wood paneling, red vinyl booths, and live piano music, this is the place for you.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rose Maker

Walking along down at the harbor near the Star of India (tourist central), we happened upon this guy - making roses out of palm fronds. It was fascinating to watch how quickly he was able to put one together! It was also fun to play tourist for a few hours. A lot of time we don't do that enough in our home towns. We should!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lafayette Hotel

The Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard opened in 1946 (then named Imig Manor) and its first guest was the comedian Bob Hope. The hotel takes up a whole city block and has an Olympic size swimming pool on the property. Back when it opened it attracted Hollywood stars and today it still attracts the young and glamorous. One of my cousins who lives near here said that on hot summer days, "all of North Park" is poolside at the Lafayette.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


These are only temporary, but these cool murals on the old San Diego Stage and Lighting building have made a very ugly corridor look great. The project is part of the Boulevard Arts District revitalization efforts. Click here to see their Flickr set of some of the newly painted electrical boxes on the Boulevard.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's a small world

Here is a nice fountain and seating area to sit and hang out at in Little Italy. The Piazza Basilone and fountain was completed in 2004 and is a veterans memorial.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

At the end of the rainbow

This building in Hillcrest is currently up for lease. And in case you ever wondered what is at the end of the rainbow, well it is a trash can. :) Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Clouded leopard

I've never gone to the show at the Hunte Amphitheater at the San Diego Zoo, because it is one of the farther points from the entrance. (I also walked out to the polar bears this visit, ugh!) The show was worth the walk because we got to see this clouded leopard named Norman do his thing. Happy Birthday to my son who turns 5 today!

Friday, August 22, 2008


My friend said, "I'm going to Brians' tonight for dinner" and I thought he meant his friend Brian, but he really meant Brians' American Eatery. It used to be called Topsy's Diner and was bought almost 10 years ago by two guys both named Brian. Click here to see the old Topsy's sign. American diner food, coffehouse, big menu, and big portions. Click here to see mmm-yoso's review with lots of pics.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grant Park's headstones

There is a line of headstones located at the back edge of Grant Park, a little reminder of what this park used to be. Recently, a whole new playground was put in at this park, & we went recently and had lots of fun getting acquainted with the new landscape.

Everytime I go to this park I think it's a little more beautiful than I did the last time I was there, and this time was no different.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Golden Hill sign

Golden Hill is an old neighborhood on a hill east of the downtown area and south of Balboa Park. I tried to find out why Golden Hill is called "golden" but I couldn't find anything, maybe you know?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rug doctor

Brent posted some really nice close up photos of the Majestic Rug Cleaning a while back. I was passing by this way and I've always thought this place was intriguing. In the top photo to the right you can see a trellis-like set up where I think they do some rug beating, although I've never seen this place open. The bottom photo looks down Reynard Way.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wall flowers

These flowers on Reynard Way really brighten up the place.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reaching for the gold

It was a hot one today. Congratulations to all the runners of the America's Finest City Half Marathon! Special congrats to my husband, Carla, and Brian - way to go!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mural on Adams Ave

This is an interesting mural that has very similar architectural features in it as the building next door. It is like an extended scene to the building...I guess I should have shown the neighboring building too. I like this mural most for how realistic the paint palette looks.
Happy Birthday to my friend Carla!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blue Bohème

If you are in need of a French food fix, Blue Bohème has all the standard French fare - escargot, charcuterie, coq au vin, moules, frites, fromages, crème brûlée, and of course, les vins.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Hidden Beauty

Tucked away, deep in the heart of La Mesa is the Rec. Center. And that is where you'll find this beautiful arbor. With the ornamental fig vines growing all over it, and it's location on a hill, it really should be used for small weddings, but I've never seen any evidence to suspect that it is.
Instead, most of the time it seems to simply be a place where kids love to run through, perhaps playing a quick game of tag after their classes held at the building nearby.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cow parade

Thanks to Expat for the photos and story. From January to March next year, 200 life-size fiberglass cows will appear on San Diego's streets, malls and byways. Don't say we didn't warn you.

But they'll be PRETTY, thanks to artists like Chris Keller, seen here working on her artcow. Cow Parade Artists Lab (in Liberty Station, handily close to Wine Steals) offered a sneak preview last Saturday, and we took the digicam along.

San Diego is the latest city to be cow-decorated. We're following in the cowsteps of Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Bucharest, Florence, London, Rio, Stockholm....

More deets at

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Georgia Street Bridge

A nice little urban bridge that was built in 1914 by James Cromly.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The fruit

I've been waiting a long time to show you all these photos. This is the same cactus that I posted awhile ago here when its flowers were blooming. But I've also wanted to show photos of the "fruits" as seen for sale at the grocery store. I finally found a friendly grocery store that allowed me to take the photos (boo to big chain stores that get uptight when people take photos inside!). You can make a salad from the "leaves" part but I'm not sure what the "fruit" part might be used for. Anyone know?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It can stay, for now

It has been almost 20 years of legal battles over whether the Mount Soledad cross violates separation of church and state and a recent ruling by a federal judge says it can stay. But there will most likely be an appeal. Click here to see a view from the bottom of the hill.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic spirits

Did you watch the opening ceremonies yesterday? It is one of my favorite parts of the Olympic games, watching atheletes from around the world parading proudly. This is a photo of a little dock behind the Catamaran hotel. How many of the flags do you recognize?
Happy Birthday to my brother!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Street tacos

During the summer some major chain grocery stores set up a bbq out front, but this was the first time I've seen a smaller store do the same. Niko's Market, the local grocery and carnaceria on Adams Ave in Normal Heights, is now serving up $1 "street" tacos with lots of meat.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cool down at a water hole

It's hot! It's humid! This is crazy!

We're sitting around here in the heat; wilting, mostly. Begging for some mercy, surely. I had to post a nice, cool photo, something that would at least visually cool us down. At least we can think about the idea of jumping into this nice, cool stream, even if the drive to go do such a thing is out of the question, and impossible to do before dinner (about 40 mins. into the hills of San Diego County). This place is called Green Valley Falls, and I wrote about it earlier this summer.

Now, I think I may head outside to dowse my head under the hose, and pretend it's a neat local stream.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Just Books

There is a bookstore down the street from the Rare Hare Studio and Lestat's whose sign simply says "Books", aka William Burgette Books. There are tons of books and you would think that this place wasn't organized, but it is. They also have quite a collection of mannequin heads (some shown above) and other interesting decor including a totem pole, a mannequin with a Nixon t-shirt and political buttons, and a bunch of other stuff. Best of all, I saw a guy with a peace sign tattooed on his bald spot. This neighborhood is called Normal Heights, but people joke that it is Abnormal Heights, can you see why?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Across the street from Lestat's is the Rare Hare Studio which offers art classes for kids. This robot made from recycled materials stood in their front window. If your wine cork or button collection is overflowing, consider donating them to the studio.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Just a few words about Lestat's Coffeehouse...Open 24 hours, features Diedrich Coffee (best cup I've ever had), serious people watching, and "vampires". Next door at Lestat's West - comedy, live music, open mic nights.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Lunch time

I can't say enough about how fun it is to watch the monkeys and apes at the San Diego Zoo. You'll have to see them in action for yourself when you visit. The Zoo is open until 8:00 pm for Nighttime Zoo until September 1st.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

What do you want to be when you grow up?

My daughter who turns 3 today recently told me that she wants to be a butterfly when she grows up. Sounds like a nice and easy life. The flower in the photo is called agapanthus and seems to attract lots of good insects. Happy Birthday to my little butterfly!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Theme Day - Metal

Clickity, clackity go the tap shoes - it seems all little girls love to dance. Watching them learn how to make their shoes clack-clack is really heart-warming, and one of the simple joys life has to offer.

This photo courtesy of Elaine G.

As usual, there are many participants (183)in this theme day throughout the City daily Photo community and you should pay them a visit. Either one by one (see links below), or click here to view thumbnails for all participants.Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by freefalling, Arradon, France by Alice, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Baruch, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan, Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Birmingham (AL), USA by VJ, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Brantford (ON), Canada by Nancy, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by agrajag, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Château-Gontier, France by Laurent, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chennai, India by Ram N, Chesapeake (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Cincinnati, USA by Erik Laursen, City of the Blue Mountains, Australia by Richard, Corsicana (TX), USA by Lake Lady, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Edinburgh, UK by Dido, Edmonton (AL), Canada by , Evry, France by Olivier, Folkestone, UK by Piskie, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA by Gigi, Gabriola, Canada by Snapper, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Hanoi, Vietnam by Jérôme, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jerusalem, Israel by Esther, Kansas City (MO), USA by Cate B, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Leipzig, Germany by weltbeschreiber, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Lynchburg (VA), USA by June, Mainz, Germany by JB, Manila, Philippines by Heyokity, Mashhad, Iran by Meead, Melbourne, Australia by John, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Menton, France by Jilly, Mesa (AZ), USA by Mesa Daily Photo, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Middletown (MD), USA by Bernie, Milwaukee (WI), USA by karl, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Scott, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Molfetta, Italy by saretta, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Nancy, France by yoshi, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Delhi, India by Delhi Photo Diary, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •, New York City (NY), USA by Kitty, Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Oklahoma City (OK), USA by ananda.tashie, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Owasso (OK), USA by Jennifer, Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Petoskey (MI), USA by Christie, Philadelphia (PA), USA by Stephanie Craig, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Cheryl, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Sharon, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Pretoria, South Africa by Sam-Ruth, Quezon City, Philippines by ann pablo, Quincy (MA), USA by slim, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Rancho Palos Verdes (CA), USA by Sarah Adams, Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Rouen, France by Bbsato, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Schenectady (NY), USA by Buck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Eponabri, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Zannnie, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, South Pasadena (CA), USA by Laurie, Springfield (IL), USA by Aubrey, Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Ann, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica by David, Tempe (AZ), USA by angie, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Villigen, Switzerland by z, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by D.C. Confidential, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,