Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Golden Hill, Feb 2008

Spent the day yesterday in San Diego with the family, doing some exploring. Looked at some potential properties in Golden Hill. Had lunch at Luigi's. Walked around the neighborhood a bit. Had some coffee and goodies at Krakatoa (the cinnamon blueberry cake was incredible). Caught some street art here and there. Golden Hill seems filled with it, when you look for it. A chicken-wire sculpture hanging outside in front of a purple office building. Sidewalk stencils. Art hanging from a tree at Krakatoa, or high on a bathroom wall. The place seems full of surprises, and creativity.

Had our first encounters with some questionable locals during this day trip, which was a little unsettling for Sophia and I (the girls were oblivious, for the most part). Reminded me that I'm not in Kansas anymore. This is an urban area, not South Orange County, and requires an adjusted sense of awareness as I walk its streets.

Found out that much of GH has free wifi. Seems to have been started by a grass roots effort by some locals who put up powerful wifi repeaters on top of their homes and buildings. It's not clear to me how much of GH gets this free wifi, but definitely something I want to find out more about.

Visited the local Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores, just across the freeway from GH (within walking distance). Sophia is the thrift store queen, and gets a lot of our clothes at "segundas," as they are called in SPanish. I scored a very cool sweater/shirt (wearing it now, as a matter of fact), and Natalie got some stretchy-pants she's been wanting (the kid is all about comfort, less about style). The Salvation Army is a bit further into downtown than Goodwill, and the shoppers reflected that. Had a buff-looking transvestite in a short pink dress shopping the furniture section (whoa!), a couple of homeless-looking dudes, and a bicycle riding guy that could have been the poster man for eco-friendly living (do I read too much into appearances?). The people working there seemed to know most everyone. When one shaky guy—who looked to have just exited rehab—walked in, the lady working the register seemed to know him and asked "how ya doin'?" He replied, "feeling spiritual." Cool.

The girls had never driven across the Coronado bridge, so we did that. I've been across it a few times, but it was different for me this time, thinking back to our conversation with Jason Evans at Barrio Logan, in the park underneath this behemoth of a bridge. The large, unmistakable suicide-prevention signs were sobering as well. Once on Coronado, we stopped at a park along the bay for the girls to play at, then took them to the Hotel del Coronado for a look at that amazing, historical place. Only, my kids didn't really give a rip about the hotel. They saw some small dunes on the beach and rocks to climb on, so that's what captured their attention. For dinner, we decided to head back to downtown, and found a great little Mexican place at 5th and E street called El Panchos. Food was terrific, and the prices were real reasonable.

Made what seemed like a dozen potty-stops during the 90 miles home (in truth, I think it was only twice though). It was a good day.

— Jon

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Photos from downtown

I had a video shoot for a client in downtown San Diego earlier this month. Stayed at a hotel there, just a few blocks from Golden Hill. Getting to love this area.

The Wrong Trousers

So on one of our first excursions to the Golden Hill area, we spent some time in Balboa Park. If you've never been there, it's a really spectacular place. So we're walking down the main promenade (or whatever they call it) in Balboa Park, and there's this live music gig going, this trio of teenage kids playing called The Wrong Trousers. A guy on a mandolin, and kid on a stand-up bass and this girl on harp. As we walked up they went into this killer rendition of "Video killed the radio star," a big hit (and dig at MTV) from the 80's. I loved it!

Seems to say something about this area, and its funky and eclectic bent (which I love). I just know you'd never see a group like this playing in the town I now live in, and I think that's a bummer.

So here's the goofy sidenote... I shoot video of them playing, and YouTube it. I'd never YouTubed anything before (it shows, the quality is really bad). That was about a year ago, and to date, the video has over 46,000 views and a five-star rating. Go figure.