Monday, August 11, 2014

The Hidden Gems of San Diego

I've lived in San Diego, on and off, for close to 20 years and I'm always on the lookout for new places to explore. This past weekend I uncovered several gems.

Friday: Latino Film Festival

Instructions Not Included
Friday night's showing of Instructions Not Included at the Jacobs Center was a pleasant surprise, especially since I don't speak Spanish.

I highly recommend this English subtitled movie. It's the highest-grossing Spanish-language film released in the United States. This movie is an unpredictable comedy that will tug at your heartstrings so keep a tissue handy.

The Jacobs Center for Innovation community center is a hidden gem I'd never been to. I can see myself attending more events at this venue.

Saturday: Kate Sessions Park

Kate Sessions Park
Last week's celebration of coworking culminated with a BBQ at Kate Sessions Park. I've never been here before. It has panoramic views of downtown San Diego, including the Coronado Bay Bridge and Mission Bay. This would be the perfect place to watch Fourth of July fireworks or simply seek solitude and inspiration.

Sunday Morning: Black's Beach

The way to Black's Beach
In the mid-1990s I had a running mentor, Harry Hunt, at the Orange County Track Club. He talked me into my first ultra-marathon in 1996 – the 50K Mule Run in Bishop, California. On the roadtrip to Bishop, Harry told me about his experiences frolicking in waters of the Pacific at Black's Beach. For nearly 20 years this item was on my bucket list.

Getting to Black's Beach is not a casual walk in the park. It's a secluded beach requiring a hike down the cliffs beneath the Torrey Pines Glider Port. After all, one does need privacy in these matters. It seemed that nearly everyone at the beach was a content provider, but it is optional.

Swimming in the Pacific under these conditions is quite liberating. A few things stood out. First, the regulars are well groomed and have very even tans, especially compared to my farmer's tan. Second, there's simply no way to casually stand in knee-deep water without looking awkward. I was surprised how unnatural we look in our natural state. And, finally, I made no eye contact with my fellow frolickers – this takes some getting used to.

Sunday Afternoon: In the Heights

In the Heights
This musical, performed at the San Diego Junior Theatre in Balboa Park, was remarkable. At first I thought the performers were college students. After the intermission I learned that they were in high school or younger – one of the leads was only 13 years old. With beards and gray hair they looked like full grown adults. It was only after the play was over, when I met the cast, that I fully appreciated they were simply kids in makeup and costume.

Sunday Evening: Ice Cream Social

Beer floats made with Guinness
There's no better way to end a summer weekend than with my fellow co-workers from 3rd Space at an ice cream social where I tried my first beer float. To be honest, it was meh. It tasted like beer and ice cream mixed together. Imagine if a pancake tasted like flower, baking powder, milk, etc, instead of an actual pancake. But we were just winging it. I hear that my neighborhood chocolatier, Eclipse Chocolate, does justice to a beer float.

Finally, I have to thank Junvi, not only for photobombing my beer float picture, but also for the great Q&A write up she gave me last week.

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