Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Old Newport Avenue

Today is the 3rd anniversary of San Diego Daily Photo! Last year I posted some old photos and I received some very nice emails from people who knew our family or once lived in Azure Vista. I thought I'd go down memory lane again this year. My aunt has a few old photos of Ocean Beach that her brother had retrieved from a dumpster and this is one of them. The above photo is a close up of the below photo. I really wanted to see those signs - I recognized the Shoe Hospital sign from when I was growing up but it is no longer there today, and in the below photo - on the Strand Theater is says "Buy War Bonds" and further down the street on the right there is a sign for a Piggly Wiggly.
On the back of the photo it was typed: "Ocean Beach....1943. In the 1880's lots sold in Ocean Beach for $60 or $20 down, with a year to pay, no interest. Looking West on Newport. From the historical collection of Title Insurance Company. Union Title Office. 220 A Street, San Diego 12. California. Belmont 9-6081." Incidentally, the Title Insurance Company had quite a photo collection that was given to the San Diego Historical Society in 1979. Below is a photo of Newport Avenue today at about the same spot - a lot has changed including the trees!
So, yay! Why and how are we still doing this!? Because it is fun to see and learn more about our city, because we have great visitors like you, and we get to be creative and hopefully entertaining. Thank you to all of our awesome visitors and special thanks to Alexandra, Expat, and Gayle for their contributions! This city has so much to offer, we aren't done with it yet and are looking forward to another year!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Flood control

There are two levees adjacent to Robb Field that make up the San Diego River flood control channel. The top photo shows where the water flows out into the ocean and the photo below looks toward Mission Valley.
Okay, so we are in a drought right now, but there have been several floods in San Diego over the last 100 years. Hopefully, we will get some rain, but not so much that it will wash away Mission Valley!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I heart Robb Field

This is the skate park at Robb Field in Ocean Beach. Robb Field has spaces for soccer, baseball, rugby, football, tennis, handball, basketball, a workout and training room, a playground, and this skate park which was added in 2000. I used to go there a lot as a kid for sports, birthday parties, or just running around - it is still awesome.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

And now for something completely different from Gayle: On one block of El Cajon Blvd., between 47th & Menlo, all the light poles have been lavishly painted this bright red and yellow. I don't know who did it but it undoubtedly has something to do with the Vietnamese and Cambodian community that dominates this area. As you can see, the red matches the building that this pole stands next to. If you're feeling adventurous and looking for some good cheap eats, there are a couple of good restaurants in the immediate area. The Vietnamese spring rolls with shrimp and peanut sauce at the little takeout place at the corner of Menlo & El Cajon are worth the drive alone.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pit stop at Pam's

On our way to Anza Borrego Desert State Park, we made a pit stop at Pam's Place. This corner store is near Descanso just down the road a piece from the Interstate 8 freeway. She's got fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, honey and honey butter, nuts, hats, bear stuff, and emu eggs. Can you believe the color of those eggs!?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

MOCA La Jolla Sculpture

I guess I haven't been to The La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art in quite a while, because this sculpture was a surprise to me! Located right out front of the Museum on the sidewalk, near the cafe, it is sure to catch the 'eye' of passersby. (Sorry, bad pun, I know. Had to be done.)
This piece reminds me of Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation, a film festival that is shown at the theatre at MOCA in La Jolla, or at least it used to be the last time I checked. If you know anything about this festival, you know that this sculpture is quite appropriate - at least for the Sick & Twisted version, which is shown later in the evening than the more tame & innocent Festival. If you don't know anything about this touring festival, it's a lot of fun and you should check it out!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Beep beep or meep meep!

I am happy to say that we didn't see any rattlesnakes when we visited Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. But I was super excited to catch this roadrunner rustling around by the side of the road. I would have liked to have seen the famed Bighorn sheep, but the door to the Visitor Center with the Bighorn's profile (photo to the left) was as close as we got. Click here to read more about the Sunrise Powerlink project threatening the Bighorn or click here for a local's website that is a tribute to the park and is following the Sunrise story.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Still blooming

Unless you are familiar with the area, it is a must that you stop at the Visitor Center at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and talk to a ranger. As a newbie to the area, I found that the maps available or posted were not clear or sufficient to find a trail. The photo above is just outside the Visitor Center where we saw lots of yellow flowers from the brittlebush. The two dried sticks on the left are from an agave or century plant which used to have yellow flowers.
This barrel cactus above was just starting to open up its blooms.In the above photo, a purple lupine grows next to a prickly cholla cactus.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day trip to Anza-Borrego

So you are driving along into Borrego Springs and off the side of the road you see a family of giant mammoths, wild horses, a larger than life eagle, and then saber tooth tigers fighting horses. And there are more down the road. The huge metal sculptures are scattered on private property which is open to the public and is called Galleta Meadows.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mountain pass to the desert

Head out on 8 East and take the 79, pass Cuyamaca Lake, through the town of Julian, and you'll be at the top of these mountains overlooking the desert floor of Anza Borrego. From San Diego, it's about 1 hour to get to Julian, then another hour to get to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Over the next few days I'm going to show you what we saw.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pantoja Park

Pantoja Park is the city's oldest park and smack in the middle of downtown, next to condos and high rises. The park is named after Don Juan Pantoja y Arriola, a pilot who drew the first map of San Diego Bay in 1782. The above statue is not of Pantoja, but of Benito Juárez, a Zapotec Indian who served two terms as President of Mexico. Several cities and towns in Mexico are named after Juárez and today is his birthday which is celebrated in Mexico as President's Day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Golden sand

This is a photo from the beach at Coronado. It doesn't exactly capture the same golden color that pops out at you when you are standing on the shore, but you can see the gold a little bit. I knew someone who collected sand samples from their travels and it was interesting to see the variations. I can picture myself on fine grained white sand next to clear blue waters.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Local Pride: Point Loma Firetruck

I happened across this fire truck during a walk yesterday down at Shelter Island in Point Loma. The firemen were having a scenic run around the bay. I thought it was pretty funny that it had a big banner across the back of it, publicizing which firehouse it belongs to. I've never seen that before!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Predators at the park

Cynthia Hight is the artist behind the newly completed Predator mural on the second floor of the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center. Signs near the mural ask you to find several predators (hawk, mountain lion, rattlesnake, coyote, roadrunner, tarantula, wasp, crow) that you might actually see out in the park. I liked this sneaky little fox poking out from the rocks and the papery white Mantilija poppies.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Green day

At Mission Trails Regional Park we went on the Oak Grove Loop Trail which is an easy 1 mile hike right near the Visitor Center. We saw hundreds of these black and reddish caterpillars hanging out in the grass. It shouldn't be long before we see lots and lots of butterflies! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mission Trails Park Visitor Center

Mission Trails Regional Park is about 5,800 acres of easy to difficult hiking, right in the middle of our city. This is the view from the Visitor Center where you can learn about the park's history, animals, plants, and get maps and info. Click here to see a photo Alexandra took standing by the stairs in the middle right of the above photo.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop

In yesterday's photo, I showed some lucha libre masks that I've seen for sale around town. Well, Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop, which opened a little over a year ago, has taken the theme to the highest level. The walls are covered with lucha libre masks, photos, and paintings; the chairs have masks on the seat cushions; there is a very special champion's booth (shown above); catering is done by masked servers; let me just say that they have covered this theme down to every detail, even their website name: http://tacosmackdown.com. I was craving a TJ (Tijuana) hot dog which is a hot dog wrapped in bacon with ketchup, mustard, mayo, and grilled onions and peppers. I topped mine off with their yummy cilantro salsa - so awesome for only $1.50 per dog!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wrestle mania

Professional wrestling has been around for more than 100 years in both the US and Mexico. In the 1930's lucha libre (Spanish for "free fighting") became organized and promoted by Salvador Lutteroth and since then Mexican wrestling has developed into a hugely popular sport. You can see these lucha libre masks (above) being sold at vendor stands in Old Town, at some street fairs, and I saw them recently at Kobey's swap meet. Lucha libre stars are having an event at our Sports Arena on April 4th - click here for info.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kobey's Swap Meet

A few weeks ago I noticed that there were more than 60 garage sales listed for the weekend in our local paper. It seems as though we are all trying to make a little money here and there. For buyers or sellers, Kobey's Swap Meet is the biggest garage sale in town. They started out in 1976 and have been an active venue for swaps ever since. In the below photo, you will see a piano for sale at Kobey's and yes, I even saw kitchen sinks too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Flamingos at Sea World

Once again, I happened across some flamingos out for a stroll at Sea World during our last visit. This time I was much more prepared for the anomaly of a flamingo walking right up to you to check you out. Really. This one was less than an arm's length away! Looking into this eye, I couldn't help feeling as though I'd fallen down a rather curious rabbit hole. I didn't see any card men, though, and I managed to keep my head.

It really is so cool happen upon one of the little, special things they do at the park.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Torrey pine trees

If you want to see the rarest pine tree in the US, you'll have to come to San Diego where the Torrey Pine tree grows on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean at Torrey Pines State Reserve. Click here to read more about the pine and its special character.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blue door

I love this blue door in my neighborhood. The funny thing about it though, as you can see from the roof, is that the house behind the door is not in the same style.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Little mermaid

This is a sweet and sleepy looking mermaid over in Mission Beach. My 3 year old daughter saw it and said, "She is doing her exercises." See more painted boxes from around town: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sweet hereafter

I plan to be cremated, but this spot at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery near Cabrillo National Monument is not a bad place to rest.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


This is the Samuel I. Fox Building which opened in 1929. The Lions Clothing Store, owned by Fox, occupied the building-note the lions holding shields at the top of the columns. William Templeton Johnson designed the building as well as several other buildings in San Diego including the Serra Museum at Presidio Park, the San Diego Trust & Savings bank (which is across the street from the Fox Building and is now a Marriott hotel), the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art in Balboa Park, La Valencia Hotel, and the La Jolla Athenaeum.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Groovy apt bldg

Wouldn't you just love to live on the second floor of this glamorous looking apartment building in Hillcrest? Ok, maybe not. I used to live in a "box" apartment with neighbors above, below, and on each side. I remember a few times when we knocked on the floor/ceiling with the broom to "tell" our neighbors to be quiet.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Barrio Logan Cowboy

This week, another shot of Chicano Park. There really is so much artwork located here to explore and admire. You should take drive there & take a tour!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Jimi, Janis, John, Jim, and Elvis. I bet you can guess where this mural is.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Don't rock the boat

This is a sculpture fountain by Malcolm Leland called "Bow Wave". It was installed in 1972 in the Civic Center plaza downtown. Nice patina, don't you think?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Spreckels Theatre

The Spreckels Theatre opened in 1912 and continues to operate today showing operas, plays, and musical and comedy acts. There is a famous story about the theatre from long ago when Ben Hur was performed - they were able to have a horse drawn chariot race make a full run on and off stage and around the back of the building. Now I would like to see that!
I stepped into the lobby of the building and felt transported back in time. There is marble everywhere including around this sign for the elevators! Click here to see a photo of the lobby from 1913. I can tell you that not much has changed - Bravo to the owners for preserving and maintaining this beautiful theatre.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Glass - theme day

This is one of the stained glass windows inside the Christian House (built in 1889) in Heritage Park, Old Town. Click here to view thumbnails for all Daily Photo participants.