Saturday, February 28, 2009


Can you believe that The Simpsons animated tv show is in its 20th year? There were a bunch of old peeling posters, including these ones of Homer (above), on this vacant boarded up building downtown that is just one block from a well known luxury hotel. Kind of ironic, pathetic, funny, and sad all at the same time.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I liked this mural for the restaurant Mariscos El Titanic Seafood in City Heights. I lived in Massachusetts for some years when I was a kid and I remembered Fridays being fish days. I also remember most stores being closed on Sundays, but I did not realize the significance until I got older. Here is one of my favorite mouth watering seafood recipes for ahi tuna. Anyone have a great seafood recipe they'd like to share?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chicano Park 2 - General Zapata

General Zapata, located in Chicano Park, overlooks one of the playgrounds in Chicano Park. A famous Mexican General in the 1910 Mexican Revolution, leader of the Liberation Army of the South.
Wikipedia has a pretty complete profile of the man, here. This post continues a series of Chicano Park imagery, the first of which is here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cost of living increases

I found this website that has a cool collection of old San Diego photos from the Library of Congress and other sources. I was browsing the photos and saw a photo from 1941 of the above house in Mission Hills (click here for the old photo). The caption in the old photo says, "rent has been increased from $28 to $50..." Isn't that outrageous? When I went to take a photo of the house as it stands today, I picked up the sales flyer listing the 2 bedroom, 1 bath with the 1 bedroom "helper unit" in the back as "just reduced to $775,000".

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Laissez les bons temps rouler

We went to Little Italy's Carnevale over the weekend. It was fun to see lots of people in Mardi Gras masks. And of course, collecting piles of beads is the other half of the fun. The above photo is of our lovely hostess at Mimmo's restaurant and below is a photo inside the restaurant. If you are looking for something to do tonight there are two big events in the city - one in the Gaslamp and another in Hillcrest. Or stay at home and make your own masks! We made some on Sunday using these templates with instructions or you could print out pre-made ones here.
Last, but not least, wishing my friend Susan a very happy 40th!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Clermont/Coast Hotel

In 2001, with a lot of research and determination, Karen Huff and the Black Historical Society of San Diego had the above building at 7th and Island named a Black Historic Site. Today, the Society continues to work toward preserving buildings as well as giving tours downtown that highlight African American history in the Gaslamp, offering a genealogy library and outreach programs, hosting the annual Black Film Festival and a weekly farmer's market.

P.S.: Here's a link (pdf) to a very thorough article about the history of the Douglas and Clermont hotels and the founding of the Black Historical Society.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Douglas Hotel

The Douglas Hotel was more than just a hotel - it had a restaurant, barber shop, and a jazz club (with world famous acts like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington). From when it was built in 1924, the hotel was owned by, employed, and served African Americans in downtown San Diego. Unfortunately, in 1985 it was torn down to build apartments as part of the city's redevelopment plan.
Karen Huff established the Black Historical Society of San Diego after seeing the destruction of the Douglas Hotel. Today their mission is "to preserve, protect, and interpret African American history in San Diego County." Tomorrow I will show you a photo of one of the first places the Society saved.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Art Deco Drinking Fountain

Here is another one from Gayle - and something that I never noticed either!
I've been doing a lot of walking around Balboa Park lately and appreciating some of the small details in the buildings and gardens and general layout. I came across this two-tiered drinking fountain, between the Casa del Prado and the Japanese Tea Garden, which I've probably passed a hundred times before but never really saw. I don't know what its story is, but just looking at it makes me want to bend down and take a long cool sip.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Naughty Boy in the Fountain

Here's another one from Gayle: This little urchin nestles in an alcove below the balcony of the Casa del Prado and opposite the wedding arch, looking just like a naughty child about to disrupt the proceedings.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chicano Park 1

Chicano Park is a picturesque park beneath the mainland side of the Coronado Bridge. Located in the primarily Mexican-American community of Logan Heights, also called Barrio Logan, it is a place where you'll find quincinieras every weekend, families gathered, children playing. It is a place where Latin artists painted murals that the community is proud of. In a way, it is the heart & soul of Barrio Logan. I remember as a little girl there was an uproar about the City's plans to retrofit the posts - which would erase the murals. I don't remember much more, except that the community won, the retrofit, as far as I know, didn't happen and the murals stayed. Does anyone know the full story?
Click Here for the history of Chicano Park. Also, a few years ago, Felicia posted here about Cesar Chavez Day in the park.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wedding in the Rain, Anyone?

Gayle kindly sent this photo and description of a beautiful wedding spot in Balboa Park.
This garden patio behind the Casa del Prado is a popular spot for outdoor weddings, fully booked throughout the summer months. Something about its aspect empty and wet with rain on Valentine's Day weekend in February appealed to me. I'll bet someone out there will see this and remember their own wedding here... happy memories, we hope.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tea time

This is a photo of the Burton House (built in 1893) in Old Town's Preservation Park. This is the location of Mrs. Burton's Tea Room where afternoon or high tea (I'm not sure of the difference, but I know a certain Englishman that may like to comment) is served. Click here for a nice round up of other locales that make a fancy to-do of serving tea and little finger sandwiches.

Monday, February 16, 2009

'Twas the night before St. Valentine's...

....and all through Hillcrest, hardly a restaurant table unoccupied. We squeezed into a tiny bar table at the new (to us) French place, Hexagone. What a delight the food was! The picture, taken by Gayle, is of my lamb shank cassoulet. Such perfect meat, such a beyond-perfect madeira sauce. The dressing on Gayle's spinach salad was excellent, too -- there must be a very talented saucier (or perhaps saucière) back there.
I can't praise the service, even though our bar-side server became our "new-best-pal" of the night, and one of the dining room waiters was an old friend and veteran of "My Place" in La Jolla. It was us who did the waiting, alas.
"The hexagon" is one of two nicknames for the nation of
France, simply because the geographical shape of metropolitan France is a rough hexagon (the other name is Marianne, a sort of patron saint who is these days portrayed with a startling resemblance to Catherine Deneuve).
There are twofer coupons around for
Hexagon. Go there. Order the frogs legs. Or not.

I was happy to hear that the tables are being filled this weekend for Valentine's Day. Thanks to Expat for sharing this delicious looking photo and story with us! P.S.: Happy B-day to my mom - are you still reading this blog?!***

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Here is a cute troll wedding that I saw in a display window in a tuxedo shop. They sure are a cute couple!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Happy Valentines Day! Here is a sweet painted electrical box in City Heights. See more painted boxes from around town: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lovin' it

This window display made me smile. I interpreted it that someone loves my look, but I guess you can also think of it like, "you should love your look, so get in here and buy some of our clothes!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

San Diego River at Fashion Valley

It rained here in San Diego last week. That's not so crazy. What is crazy is that it rained for 4 days straight! That is not normal. On the fourth day, my preschooler actually said, "It always rains!" Which got a good laugh out of us.

I digress. One thing that I always think about when it rains is how the San Diego River floods various parts of the Mission Valley area. One entrance to Fashion Valley Mall crosses over the river - this routinely floods, even in more mild rain storms. Another freeway underpass near that mall fills up completely with water in moderate to severe storms. After all, the valley was created by the San Diego River passing through there over millenia, so it makes sense. This is one reason I just can't get over the fact that they've built so many apartment homes down there. When I was a kid it was all shopping areas. Not that I think shops should be flooded out, but at least it wasn't someone's home!

This photo was taken at that Fashion Valley mall entrance that floods. While the raging waters have receded somewhat, it resembles in no way the trickle that it is mid-summer!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


No, this is not a photo from my tropical island vacation paradise. This is the maitre d' stand in front of the Wave House Bar & Grill, where the entertainment is watching people "surf" in a pool that has a wave machine. You'll see lots of palapas (an open structure with a thatched roof) and bamboo here. You could also go to Rubio's to have a great fish taco and sit under a palapa, but if you want a MTV Spring Break experience, then go to the Wave House.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where to see real ducks in a row

If you want to see lots and lots of ducks then Lake Murray is a good place to go. Alexandra and I both seem to frequent this place often, see here and here.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Ducks Boats in a row

This looks toward downtown as you cross over the Coronado Bay Bridge. Not much to say about the view, except that I wasn't driving! And I have a bad habit of taking photos while driving - see this cross, rainbow, "how to" guide, trolley, sign, restaurant, view, and another view.
P.S.: It is not sunny here today like in the above photo. We've been getting lots of rain the past few days, and this is great because we keep getting dire warnings about a looming drought.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

More beautiful tile work

Outside the restrooms in Old Town, there are more beautiful tiles to be seen. The above photo is of a mosaic on the front of the Serra Gift Shop which is part of the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Potty talk

How often do you get to sit down on the toilet in a bathroom with beautiful tiles like this? I can guess what you are thinking...why do I have my camera in the bathroom? I often carry my camera by the strap around my neck because I get tired of taking it out and putting it away, so I just never put it away. This is from a public restroom in Old Town and I hope they never tear it down!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Pretty fence

This bright blue ocean scene painted on a fence in Pacific Beach really stood out as I drove down Grand Avenue.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Yes, but - where's the rest of the car?

At the edge of a high school near me was located this pile of car parts. Was it once a car, and bandits removed everything that they wanted, leaving these pieces? Or, is the car sitting on a cinder block somewhere, without a hood, muffler, shocks & whatever else is in that pile?!

Inquiring minds wanna know.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A walk along the shore

Good thing herons are light on their feet. I tried to walk along the shore a little ways and almost slipped in the gushy gooey yucky mucky mud.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Eucalyptus trees are pervasive in San Diego, some might even say invasive. There are several parts of town where there are groves of the trees, mostly blue gums and sugar gums. Thousands of the trees were planted in the mid to late 1800s because it was thought that the wood could be used for timber or fuel (read more here or here). The one in the photo is a special pink barked eucalyptus in the residential area of the La Playa walk.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Waterfront property

Along the walk on La Playa there are many beautiful homes. I thought this one was interesting because it looked more "east coast" than west. Another interesting thing is that the next door neighbor to this house does not have a back fence, so their green rolling hill extends right into the walking path and open to the waterfront. To each her own.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Theme Day - Paths & Passages

This is a great short walk (about 1 mile round trip) by the water. The area is called La Playa (the beach) and is in Point Loma. Click here to read about more San Diego walks (with photos and maps). Or check out other paths and passages around the world by clicking here to view thumbnails for all Daily Photo theme day participants.