Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Surf dogs

I went to the Loews Surf Dog Competition on June 20th in Imperial Beach, but since I just started my footbridge series and I didn't get such great photos, I'm posting them now. This is a really fun competition with lots of people and dog spectators. I don't think this little dog above was even in the competition, just out there having fun with the rest of the surf dogs!

Monday, June 29, 2009

THE shell shop

Bibbey's Shell Shop is an Imperial Beach landmark and is THE place for shells. Tons and tons of shells - from the cheap stuff to rare shells for serious collectors. Including the above shark, the whole building is covered in murals painted by a group of young artists called The Art Kids who change it up every few months. Read more about the shop here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Newest footbridge

This is the last photo I'll show in my footbridge series. Let me know if you know of other San Diego footbridges you'd like to see. Here are two others that were not in the series that I showed a while ago - the Scripps pedestrian bridge and the San Diego State University pedestrian bridge. The above photo is of the David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge which just opened last month. It is a stress ribbon bridge, a skinny thing - 990 feet long and 12 feet wide. A very cool bridge, um, except the outdoor temperatures are pretty hot right now - 85-90 degrees.
Here is the view looking to the west of the bridge. There are two entrances - one is just off the 15 freeway at Pomerado Road and the other is at the end of a mile long hike that starts near Sunset Drive and Via Rancho Parkway.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bridge for baseball fans

I thought of saying something about the Pads or, er, um the Pods, but how in the heck do you spell the nickname for the Padres (our baseball team)?! We pronounce it like "pods" but I think it is spelled "Pads", okay, how about those Friars! Anyway, the Omni Hotel makes it convenient for guests and fans to get to the game with this "sky bridge" (built in 2004) to Petco Park. The hotel also has a pretty awesome collection of baseball memorabilia displayed throughout the hotel.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Walk on over and smell the roses

I hadn't really thought much of this short pedestrian bridge in Balboa Park until Gayle mentioned it. The bridge is near the Natural History Museum and it crosses over Park Boulevard to the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden and the Desert Garden. As you can see on the right side of the photo, the roses are still blooming.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The New Children's Museum

People seem to either love or hate the new Children's Museum. We always have fun when we go, so I'll admit we're in the "love it" camp, however, I totally understand the "hate it" camp. Children's Museums in other cities tend to have a lot more activities for the kids. A lot more could certainly fit in the spacious & open location. But I take it from my children's perspective, they don't get bored when we visit and have loads of fun with what there is there.

Above is a close-up of the car that the kids can paint. You can see there's layer upon layer of paint piled onto that poor VW bug (and my daughter's hand).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Over the hills and through the woods

This little footbridge is called the Upas Street Footbridge and is located in Balboa Park and can be accessed from the Bridle Trail near Upas Street & 6th Avenue. As you can see from the above photo (this looks toward 6th Ave), it was built in 1946. The bridge crosses over the 163 freeway and connects into the neighborhood near Richmond & Upas Streets behind Roosevelt Middle School.
Here is the view looking up the hill toward Richmond and Upas Streets.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Most traveled footbridge

I drive under this footbridge a lot, but I never really noticed it from below. This is a "high traffic" footbridge connecting the University Heights neighborhood to Hillcrest. On the Hillcrest side is the Trader Joe's/Ralph's shopping area which used to be the site of a Sears Department Store. Click here to see an old aerial photo of the Sears store and the bridge. The old timers probably know the history of the bridge - it was a wooden trestle bridge built in 1916, torn down in 1979, and rebuilt with steel and reopened in 1995. Read more about the bridge here. The small photos show each of the entrances.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A wooden trestle bridge

This week I plan to show you some of the footbridges in San Diego. The Quince Street Footbridge is the oldest one, built in 1905, and connects 3rd and 4th Avenues. Click here for more details about the bridge.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Swinging Bridge

I decided to start a little series on San Diego footbridges and it happens that Gayle sent me this photo and facts about the Spruce Street suspension bridge:
I'm sure Felicia has probably shown you the swinging Spruce Street suspension bridge in Hillcrest before (here it is), but it's always worth another look and a walking detour when you're in the neighborhood. I recently encountered a large group of people on a walking club jaunt heading toward me the other way across the bridge. Suspended a hundred feet or so off the canyon floor with the bridge swinging grandly back and forth, I just for a moment wondered how many people the bridge was designed to hold safely. The answer, found here, is 2,186 people with an average weight of 150 lbs. No sweat - swing away!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mail call

I saw this cute little "general store" mailbox in Hillcrest. I've heard that people raise their mailbox flags for all kinds of reasons, but that the true purpose of the flag is to let mail carriers know that there is outgoing mail. No outgoing mail today. Hey, when was the last time you even wrote a letter?! Or received one for that matter?! You've got to play to win.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Purple Confetti

Ah, summer begins this Sunday, but we are still celebrating spring- here's a photo and story from Gayle about the beautiful purple jacaranda tree: We're coming to the end of the season of the jacarandas blossoming. This is fast becoming the favorite streetside tree in San Diego -- despite the fact that the blossoms are very messy, leaving their resin behind on parked cars, and staining sidewalks and carpets. We forgive them because they are so beautiful. Searching for a different way to photograph them, I saw this puddle of blossoms scattered through the shadows of the tree branches above.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

San Diego County Fair!

We go to the fair several times when it's open (been lucky enough to score some multiple entry tickets the last couple of years). There's so much to enjoy - random things, like cattle round-ups, goats, chickens, horses, music...and then there's the rides, random fried foods.

There's always a new food to discover at the fair. This year, I found a food that just can't be associated with the fair. Healthy salads? What? It can't be. Perhaps they smother it with some Ranch, making it much more fair-food-worthy.

Here's a link to fair info.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm frocked... FROCKED, I TELL YOU

Expat sent me these photos and the 411 on Frock You!: I don't usually go in for bad puns but really, I'm simply following suit in this case. We've mentioned before in this space that the strip of 5th Ave between Robinson and University is Second-hand Clothing Central -- pioneered by "Wear It Again, Sam." The exception is this outlier with a very risqué name.
If you feel like getting frocked, it's on Park Blvd almost opposite the Gulf Coast Grill -- same block as the European Market that makes the best lamb plate in town (but only Fri/Sat). Nothing like a good frock, I say.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Visitor Center

The San Diego Visitor Information Center was established in 1969 and is located right off the interstate 5 at Mission Bay. I always thought it was run by the city, but it is a private company offering discount tickets, maps, and info on the area's attractions. There is also a gift shop and snack bar in the building too.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pioneer Splashpark

We went to a birthday party this weekend at Pioneer Splashpark in the 4S Ranch neighborhood. 4S Ranch is total suburbia so I'm not sure what other things there are to do out there. But if you want an awesome good time filled with hours and hours of playing in the water, on the playground, basketball court, or in the park, then go here.
P.S.: The park is located
on Sienna Hills Drive near Albert Avenue in 92127. 

UPDATE: I guess this place is governed by a home owner's association because they fenced it and key-carded it so only residents of the area can use it. Serious bummer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One more...

I know you never get tired of seeing our skyline! More downtown views: an almost identical view, from Coronado, near the airport, at night, from above, from the Coronado Bridge, from Chula Vista, and lastly from Balboa Park Golf Course.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Under the OB Pier

The Ocean Beach Pier was built in 1966 and is said to be the longest concrete pier on the West Coast (1,971 feet). Click here to see a view looking back at the neighborhood, here for the catch of the day, here with big waves, or here for a view from the crest of Niagra Avenue.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Frings and things

I can imagine that some of you (Gayle) won't go any where near Hodad's because of the calories. Hodad's is well worth the occasional indulgence - some say the best burger in town...and it is very Ocean Beachy. They serve beer in canning jars, burgers are fresh and large (bacon is good and crispy), service is friendly and fast, and my son really liked the sign that said, "No shirt, no shoes, no problem". Here is the inside of the restaurant and some million calorie frings - half french fries, half onion rings.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Exhibit Opens at the Zoo!

Elephant Odyssey is a brand new exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. It's really great, for the parts that we saw; really pretty. Unfortunately, our day didn't quite go as planned (one or two wrenches cropped up, mangling our plans), so we weren't able to check it out as fully as we wanted to. The plan was to capture it all and report back here. I'll have to reschedule that for another time.

This sculpture is in the very beginning of the new exhibit, near a very neat Condor exhibit, where the birds impress visitors with their massive wing span just on the other side of a glass. We'll go back soon, and I'll get loads of interesting pics of the beautiful, new exhibit. Pinkie swear!

Here's some more information on the Zoo's Web site. Go check it out soon!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

PLNU Boney Hall

Here is another building from Point Loma Nazarene University. This one wasn't part of Madame Tingley's Theosphical Society, but I think it was built later in the 1970s when PLNU was established.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

PLNU Meiras Hall

From what I gather Madame Tingley's Theosophical Society included public buildings for the community and several private homes. The building in the above photo is called Meiras Hall and was the private residence of Albert G. Spaulding (the sporting goods tycoon). The Society's Academy Building and Temple of Peace once surrounded Meiras Hall and all 3 of these buildings were topped with these amethyst domes which were lighted at night and could be seen from downtown and offshore. Click here or here to see some old photos.

Monday, June 08, 2009

PLNU Greek Amphitheatre

I really wanted to visit the Point Loma Nazarene University campus after reading this article about Madame Tingley and her development of the Theosophical movement and establishment of the Raja Yoga school out on the Point. Here is the Greek theater which was built in 1901 and where students of the Raja Yoga school provided music to some of the performances. My aunt and uncle who graduated from high school in San Diego about 50 years ago said that their high school graduation took place here.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Diamonds are...

This is a sculpture near the airport called "Engagement" by artist Dennis Oppenheim. Read more about the piece here.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Stone drinking fountain

Cobblestones like the ones used to build this drinking fountain are a common building material in San Diego. I saw this drinking fountain in the Old Town Historic Park square. Click here to see a whole house built from cobblestones.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Casa de Reyes

Casa de Reyes is the restaurant in Old Town where the old Casa de Pico restaurant used to be. *sigh* There is a beautiful outdoor patio setting and the decor is more subtle than before. One smart thing that the new management did was to move the entrance from the side walkway to the courtyard. I think the food is a hit and miss - I had some boring tacos and my cousin had a really good carnitas enchilada. Some say that you can't go wrong with carnitas because it is slow cooked, I'll try to remember that next time.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Etna's Restaurant, El Cajon Blvd.

Etna's Restaurant is a small pizzaria tucked into a block near 46th & El Cajon. It's been there for generations, and it's with good reason it's lasted so long. It's the pizza. It's really good.

Next time you're hankering for a slice, you should make a special trip out to this part of the world.  Mmmm, pizza.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


If you have ever visited Old Town then you may have seen these marked up cacti. I don't know why people do this on plants or even on walls and fences. Click here to see another inane place for graffiti.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The wall

Are you ready for the beach now? We San Diegans, myself included, don't get to the beach enough even though it is so close. This is the Mission Beach boardwalk where on a weekend summer day will be overflowing with walkers, skaters, and bicyclists. Happy Birthday to June, Tom, and Nathan!!!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Feat Feet - Theme Day

This theme day was a "no-brainer" for me because yesterday was the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Lots of feet and feats. Click here to see more feet from Daily Photo participants.