Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stones, stones, stones

Expat sent me this photo and story about this massive pile of rocks. Mercy Hospital is digging out a new underground parking garage, on the North side between 4th and 5th avenues. This picture shows the problem excavators have to contend with any time they dig in the Hillcrest/Mission Hills area. SDDP has featured these glacial boulders before -- in their useful role as building material.

Monday, September 29, 2008

UCSD Biomedical Library

There has been lots of ongoing construction projects on the UCSD campus and the expansion of the Biomedical Library was completed just a few years ago. In the above photo on the left you can see the original building that was built in 1969. What I love about the new building is that the designers integrated and echoed the distinctive style of the original building but gave the new addition a modern look as well.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

UCSD's "Stonehenge"

Here is another piece from the University of California San Diego's Stuart Collection. It's official name is the La Jolla Project, but as you can see why, it is known as Stonehenge.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

UCSD fountain

School started for University of California San Diego's students this past week. Two things that students probably don't know about the campus. First, that it is a former military training facility called Camp Matthews. And second, legend has it that before an exam it is good luck to take a drink from this granite drinking fountain, an art piece that is part of the Stuart Collection. Studying might help too.

Friday, September 26, 2008


This is the interior of a new restaurant on the UCSD campus called Jai by Wolfgang Puck. It is tucked away within the La Jolla Playhouse theaters and they do a brisk business for evening theater-goers. The food is "Asian fusion". My friend went to dinner before one of the shows and said the spicy big-eye tuna tartar - sesame miso cone was a delight of texture and taste. Some of the other menu items are potstickers, sashimi and sushi, spring rolls, Hunan "chicken lollipops", noodles, Cantonese duck, and lots more!There is a cafe that is part of the restaurant that serves sandwiches and salads for lunch. I had a yummy green bean cashew salad for only $3.50 and I'm looking forward to when they will be open for lunch too. The above photo is the outdoor patio dining area.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

PSA Flight 182 remembered

I wasn't living in San Diego in 1978, but those that did live here will remember September 25th of that year with vivid and lasting memories. A Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) flight carrying 144 passengers crashed through the above street, killing everyone on board and several on the ground. To this day it is counted as the deadliest aircraft disaster in California history. Go to the San Diego Blog, where hundreds of people have posted personal accounts of their memories of this day 30 years ago as well as links to the details of the crash. Reading these accounts is gut/heart wrenching, but it also keeps the memories alive of the loved ones lost and the community that grieved and rebuilt together. Click here for photos by our local paper of the crash and aftermath. St Augustine High School, above, is less than one mile away and the school gym was used as a temporary morgue.
I took this photo yesterday of these two houses which are a few blocks from the corner of Dwight and Nile. The brown house is post 1978 style next to an old 1920's style on the right. The neighborhood is almost completely rebuilt except directly across from these houses is a large empty lot.
P.S.: Thanks to Randy for reminding me of this important anniversary in San Diego history.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Anthony's Beer & Oyster Bar

In the middle of the tourist mecca that is also known as The Embarcadero sits Anthony's Fish Grotto. It sits out over the water, with great outdoor seating offering diners views of the bay and cool off-shore breezes while they nosh. This place was one of my favorite places when I was little. On one side of this restaurant, seen peeking at the top right corner is the Star of India. On the other side, reflected in the glass, is the cruise ship docking. The day I was down here, there were lots of people milling around the cruise ship dock, dragging their luggage behind them.
And right in the middle, is some beer & oysters for any and all travelers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Look out for surfboards!

Brent commented yesterday that the beach in yesterday's photo, Swami's, is a hot surfing spot. This "surfer crossing" sign is posted in front of the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) on the Coast Highway 101 and it ain't no joke. The Coast Highway is the main drag through Encinitas and is a busy thoroughfare.

Monday, September 22, 2008

SRF view of Swami's

Here's the awesome view from the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) in Encinitas. It overlooks the beach known as Swami's. The SRF acquired the property in 1937 and other than the temple, hermitage, and meditation gardens, it has remained untouched from development.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

SRF garden

The Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) in Encinitas has a stunning Meditation Garden which is open to the public. The garden overlooks the ocean and has lots of beautiful blooming plants, koi ponds with the largest fish I've ever seen, and several nooks and crannies with benches to find your inner peace.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tree suicide in Mission Hills

Expat sent me this sad notice earlier in the week. Dateline Pioneer Park, 8 am Sunday, September 14th: Neighbors report the sound of this event was quite impressive -- a wild fig tree committing suicide. Looks like it just grew too much fruit for its own good. Since it was quite early on a Sunday, I don't think they'll find any squashed kids in strollers under there when they finish cleaning up. Note: Here are a few other photos of this park - click here, here, or here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Adams Ave Grill

My mom and aunt went to the Adams Avenue Grill a while ago. I give the place a mixed review - nice atmosphere, good service, my pulled chicken bbq sandwich was okay, but my mom liked her chicken tenders and my aunt liked her pasta. Everything was on the heavy greasy side for me. The best thing about lunch is that it comes with dessert and the key lime pie was really good.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chrysalis Tree - Balboa Park

A butterfly garden is nestled within Zoro Garden in Balboa Park (kind of like those Russian nesting dolls - a park within a park, within a park). They've planted a bunch of butterfly-friendly plants - it's a joy to sit there and have butterflies flit around you. To complete the butterfly effect, they've even interwoven some branches to make a little chrysalis tree. Although, I didn't see any chrysali on it - do the butterflies know this is where they're supposed to transform? Here's the official page for Zoro Garden.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wild ones

This is the last of the Quail Botanical Gardens photos, so I'm going to bombard you with a few wildlife photos from the garden. We saw tons of butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as these dragonflies caught in the act while hanging on this water lily seed pod.
You can see the water ripples where my son threw a pebble at this frog to find out if it was real or not. This frog was not fazed by a little pebble, but we found out it was real when we took steps closer toward it. We were looking for the quails, roadrunners, and woodpeckers, but we only saw a hawk.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Giant water lilies

This a spectacular pond over in the Bamboo Garden area at the Quail Botanical Gardens. These giant lily pads are called Victoria amazonica and can grow up to 3 meters or more than 9 feet in diameter! These ones were about 2.5 feet across.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tropical rain forest falls

Quail Botanical Gardens has over 30 acres full of plants from around the world. Some of the garden areas are: Africa, Madagascar, Mediterranean, Mexican Garden, Old World and New World Desert gardens, Canary Islands, Middle East, Australia, Central America, Himalaya, Native Plants-Native People, New Zealand, Bamboo Garden, and more. The above photo is the Tropical Rain Forest area.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Quail Botanical Gardens

I went to the Quail Botanical Gardens this weekend. The gardens are located in Encinitas which is about 20-25 minutes from downtown. I'll give you a little tour over the next few days.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Point Loma cliffs

Stairs and a short path lead right to this spot in Point Loma where shelves of land have been washed and somewhat smoothed into perfect benches. The cliffs in Point Loma and Ocean Beach are very accessible and are a great place to connect with nature, meditate, or get sprinkled with salt water as the waves crash ashore.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Veggie re-touch

Expat found this re-freshing scene - the veggies used to be covered in gold leaf a long time ago - click here to read more about the building. The City Deli, at University & 6th, is a New-Yawky sort of place where you can get stuff like hot corned beef with pickles, and the waitresses offer wisecracks along with the ice-water. It has no pretensions to vegetarianism whatsoever, but for historical reasons it occupies a building with a famous veggie frieze.
The exterior is getting a paint job, and I was delighted to see that they're taking pains to get the veggies right. Thanks, owners...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Balboa Park Rose Garden

Off to the side, across the street from Park Ave. in Balboa Park is the Rose Garden. It's lovely and full of flowers most of the year, and can be accessed via a pedestrian bridge that starts near the fountain and crosses over busy Park Ave. At the center of the garden is this covered area - where small ceremonies can be performed. Mostly, though, it's simply a pleasant place to sit in the shade on a hot day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Burlingame house #4

This is the last house I'll show you from the Burlingame tract. This house on San Marcos was considered so avant-garde for its time that it was unsold and was occupied as a rental property for 8 years before it sold. Click here to see an old photo of this house and others from the tract.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Burlingame house #3

In this photo you can really see the reddish-pink of the sidewalks. This house on Dulzura was considered "yeoman's cottage style" and was another one of the houses completed during the summer of 1912 in the Burlingame tract. Again, click here to see an old photo of this house and others in the tract.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Burlingame house #2

As the house in yesterday's photo was being completed, the one above was being built. One of the distinctive features of the neighborhood when it was laid was, and still is, its red (some say pink) sidewalks. In the above photo you can see the red walkway leading up to the stairs and house. Click here to see a series of photos from this neighborhood and an old photo of this house.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Where is Burlingame?

I thought Burlingame was a city in Northern California, but it is also an old neighborhood in San Diego in between North Park and South Park. Burlingame is a tract neighborhood that began building in 1912 and included diverse and cutting-edge (at the time) architectural styles. One awesome thing about this neighborhood today is that practically every person that owns a house here is a preservationist. I read this very detailed and interesting article about the formation of the neighborhood and decided to go take a look at what these old houses look like today (click here to see old photos of this house and some others that I'll show over the next few days). This is is the Norris House, built in 1912, and was one of the first completed houses of the tract.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


This is the take off/landing point for paragliders and hangliders at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. An exhilarating trip around this stunning coastline (with views of La Jolla beaches, Torrey Pines State Reserve, Torrey Pines State Beach, and Torrey Pines Golf Course) will set you back approximately $150-175.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Grilled grande bowl

Rubio's is a chain "casual dining" restaurant that was founded in San Diego and specializes in fish tacos. Besides tacos, this is my favorite thing to order at Rubio's. The grilled grande bowl has chicken, guacamole, black beans, cheese, salsa, rice, and cabbage. Very filling.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Zoro Garden Song

This guy was sitting in the grotto at Zoro Garden in Balboa Park - switching instruments back & forth as he played. This sort of thing is pretty typical to find in Balboa Park, which is why I thought I'd share it.

Note the dog, who is either too old or too hot to find any of the music interesting. Maybe he's both.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

USD - ode to Spanish architecture

School starts today at the University of San Diego. The USD campus buildings were modeled after the University of Alcalá de Henares in Spain, near Madrid. This is a photo of some lamp posts and buildings along the main walkway that are characteristic of the Spanish Renaissance architectural style on this campus.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

SDSU crossing

School starts today at San Diego State University. This pedestrian bridge is about 5 years old now, but boy has it gotten a lot of foot traffic! It is a direct connection from parking areas and residence halls to the campus. Here is another photo from a different angle.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sister Cities - theme day

The goal of the Sister Cities is to "Promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, & cooperation - one individual, one community at a time." This is the view from San Diego (county) of our sister city Tijuana, Mexico which is about 20 minutes from downtown San Diego. You can see the border fences, the Mexican flag, and the landmark Tijuana Arch built in 2000. Check out more cities and their sisters: Click here to view thumbnails for all participants or by city: Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Arradon, France by Alice, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Aurora, South Africa by shelagh, Avignon, France by Nathalie, Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan, Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Busan, Korea South by iamnbinb, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cavite, Philippines by Steven Que, Château-Gontier, France by Laurent, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Chateaubriant, France by trieulet, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chennai, India by Shantaram, Chennai, India by Ram N, Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Darmstadt, Germany by Elsch, Edinburgh, UK by Dido, Edmonton (AL), Canada by , Evry, France by Olivier, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Gothenburg, Sweden by Lo/David, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Hanoi, Vietnam by Jérôme, Helsinki, Finland by PPusa, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Honningsvag, Norway by J., Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Istanbul, Turkey by mustafa34, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jerusalem, Israel by Esther, Karwar, India by Yogesh, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, London, UK by Mo, London, UK by Ham, Madrid, Spain by Tr3nta, Mainz, Germany by JB, Manila, Philippines by Anthony, Mashhad, Iran by Meead, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Muizenberg, South Africa by Pentaxjunkie, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, 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 Kitty, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •, Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Nice, France by Angelaj, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash, Paris, France by Eric, Paris, France by Elsa, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pensacola (FL), USA by P J, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Petoskey (MI), USA by Christie, Philadelphia (PA), USA by Andrew Foderaro, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Sharon, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Portland (ME), USA by Corey, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Rancho Palos Verdes (CA), USA by Sarah Adams, Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos, Rouen, France by Bbsato, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by Burd Zel Krai, Schenectady (NY), USA by Buck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Seoul, South Korea by Phil, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Singapore, Singapore by Zannnie, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, South Pasadena (CA), USA by Laurie, Springfield (IL), USA by Aubrey, Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Ann, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Tamarindo, Costa Rica by David, Tel-Aviv, Israel by Olga, Telluride (CO), USA by mtsrool, Tempe (AZ), USA by angie, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torino, Italy by Fabrizio, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Turin, Italy by Livio, 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, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn