Field of View: Sand Sculpting in San Diego

By Annie Lane

The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge took place in San Diego over Labor Day Weekend, with artists from all over the world coming together to compete. The subject matter of the sculpting ranged from the local Metropolitan Transit Service to steam punk designs to a shark attacking a boat.   [Read more…]

Field of View: An Early Summer Visit to New England

By Annie Lane

I recently traveled to Newport, Rhode Island, for a long weekend to attend my brother’s graduation. A Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, he had just completed a stint at the prestigious United States Naval War College.

Basically, he’s a badass. Although I now wonder if he’s the one who was actually adopted since the rest of my family tends to lean on the peace-loving, tree-hugging, hippie activist side of things. My brother assures me, however, that there were as many lessons on communication and negotiations as there were on strategy and tactical combat. Of course this news left my mom considering petitioning the college for a name change. (Tactical Peace College?) But I digress.

The good southern California weather came along for the trip, as the warm sky was often a crystal blue with fantastic cloud formations — a welcome respite from a tiring and long winter, according to the locals.
  [Read more…]

Field of View: A Walkabout in City Heights, Part II

By Annie Lane

At the corner of Euclid and University avenues in City Heights there is a wonderland of activity, architecture and, perhaps, some of the friendliest people in San Diego. That is where this Field of View will focus, with a quick jaunt up the street to some nearby Buddhist temples.

Cerberus Motorcycles is owned by Dave Hargreaves and Erik Borowitz, who moved here from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Housed inside the famous Egyptian Garage on Euclid Avenue, the pair is guarded by garage dogs, much like their business motif would suggest.   [Read more…]

Field of View: A Walkabout in City Heights, Part I

By Annie Lane

After spending a solid three hours wandering the streets of City Heights, I found that it’s possible to do so and still only see a fraction of what the charming, lived-in neighborhood has to offer.

Freeper and longtime City Heights resident Anna Daniels served as my guide, taking me on streets less traveled to see sights like the 47th Street Canyon, where a sign read, among other things, that no guns were allowed. We also visited the nearby Cambodian Buddhist Society of San Diego, its signature orange facade a stark contrast against the blue sky.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Torrey Pines State Park and Gliderport

By Annie Lane

Torrey Pines State Reserve is a scene I will never tire of seeing. Striking colors, views and wildlife surround easily accessible paths making the excursion enjoyable for hikers of all skill levels.

On this particular day, we ended our outing at the Torrey Pines Gliderport (a short drive), where we ate lunch at the Cliffhanger Cafe and watched paragliders and hang gliders flying among the birds. The food was decent, and made all the better by the scenery. We also met two of the birds from West Coast Falconry, who were hanging out cliffside with their trainers and would fly alongside them while they went paragliding.   [Read more…]

Field of View: 1 Year Anniversary Potluck for the San Diego Free Press

By Annie Lane

Well, we certainly know how to party! On Sunday, the San Diego Free Press celebrated its one year anniversary with a potluck at Golden Hill Park. It was a wonderfully windy-sunny day filled with great food, interesting conversation and, of all things, croquet.

Of course, it must be noted that most of the success of the San Diego Free Press is due to the wonderful friends, contributors, readers and supporters who have been right here beside us this past year. Thanks for your tireless reinforcement. We need every single one of you.

On June 4, 2012, the San Diego Free Press officially launched. We have since published nearly 1,700 articles, more than 7,200 comments and average 1,600 unique visitors every day. The end, thankfully, is nowhere in sight.   [Read more…]

Field of View: A Journey Through the Golden Hill Historic District

Written by Jim Miller; Photos by Annie Lane

To walk in Golden Hill is to wander through a patchwork quilt of history and wonder.  As a renter in a community full of grand old houses that I’ll never be able to afford to buy, I frequently think of Thoreau’s ruminations on ownership in Walden: “As long as it is possible, live free and uncommitted.  It makes little difference whether you are committed to a farm or the county jail.”

Indeed, the grand old houses of Golden Hill may now be well beyond the reach of most folks in the neighborhood to ever buy, but, if they have eyes to see, they can, as Thoreau says of the poet who truly sees the landscape, own the whole neighborhood.  And I think of that as I watch the working class families out for walks with their kids, apartment dwellers strolling with their dogs, halfway house residents stretching their legs, or even my homeless neighbors lounging on the steps by the manicured lawn and lush garden of some lawyer’s office.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Golden Hill

By Annie Lane

Among other amenities, the historic Golden Hill neighborhood boasts a community garden on Russ Boulevard, which was started in 2004 and now has 26 plots tended to by individual gardeners. There’s also the 25th Street Musical Bridge, a piece of public art hidden in plain sight that can be found where 25th Street crosses over the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway, or SR-94.

Designed by artist Roman de Salvo and funded by a $39,000 grant from the City of San Diego Arts and Culture program, the Musical Bridge is a series of chromatic bells that plays Crab Carillon when struck with a pipe or stick while walking the length of the bridge.

But various works of art can be found in nearly every direction of Golden Hill, from the brightly painted flower shops to the rich and extravagant architecture — much of which predates the 1900s. Even with its steep inclines, wandering around Golden Hill is worth every minute.   [Read more…]

Field of View: 43rd Annual Chicano Park Day

Surrounded by the famous murals that make Chicano Park a powerful and spiritual refuge on a regular day, it is impossible not to be affected by the deep traditions that make up the Chicano culture while visiting during the 43rd annual Chicano Park Day.

Not even the blistering sun could keep hundreds from coming to celebrate . This year marks the first that the park and its murals have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since being established by Chicano activists on April 22, 1970.

The event showcased classic cars, vendors, food, music and Aztec dancers, and was attended by couples and families alike — many of whom have been taking part in this celebration for years.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Barrio Logan

In spite of being surrounded by freeway on-ramps and overpasses that attempt to make it appear like an oversight, Barrio Logan represents a culture and community that’s decidedly alive. It’s something that can be felt within seconds of parking, and seen in nearly every direction by way of the skillfully executed murals throughout the neighborhood.   [Read more…]

Field of View: North Park

What I enjoy most about North Park is the diversity of the neighborhood. Within minutes you can be transported from University Avenue, a central hub with its “big city” grunge (in a good way) feel to a more traditional residential area — complete with charming Craftsman homes of every color and accompanying architectural landscapes. I have spent many an hour walking the streets of North Park’s neighborhoods with my dog and never, ever got bored of the scenery.

Also interesting is the fact that there is a relatively even mixture of apartment complexes and homes — a cohabitation of owners and renters that doesn’t work so well in many other parts of San Diego. I lived in North Park near Morley Field for two years and never had a problem despite the foot and car traffic along Texas Street. In fact, if you’re looking for some good trick-or-treating action come Halloween, Texas Street is the place for you.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Traveling the World via the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla

Thanks to a suggestion made by our SD for Free columnist, my dad’s birthday was blissfully easy to plan this year. We decided to go to the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla and were able to arrange for a private tour — completely free of charge.

The museum is housed within the Merrill Lynch building on Fay Avenue, and is estimated (they won’t disclose the actual number) to showcase a collection worth around eight figures. It is made up of mobile walls and an elaborate hanging system that allows for changes to be made depending on the exhibit.

The museum is the brainchild of Michael Stone, a local philanthropist with an insatiable love for cartography and a desire to share it with the world.

The best part of the whole tour is guide Richard Cloward, a retired U.S. Navy captain without whom we would’ve been done in 20 minutes and wouldn’t have understood a fraction of what we were seeing. As it was, we ended up staying almost two hours — and there was still so much to learn.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Blue Sky Canyon Ecological Reserve in Poway

Poway’s Blue Sky Canyon Ecological Reserve is the perfect place for an early morning walk — or any time of day, really. A variety of trails can be chosen along the way, but I stuck to the main wide, beaten path for my first outing. The trail is ranked moderate and is a total of 2.5 miles out and back. It features a lake and is a dream come true for dogs; I’d left mine at home and still feel guilty about it. Next time.

Effects of past wildfires are still obvious — the gnarled and burnt branches of some trees seem to take on a caricature-ish life of their own. I was reminded of Dr. Seuss on more than one occasion. New growth is abounding, however, and the desert oranges and greens stretch as far as the eye can see.   [Read more…]

Field of View: 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade – Then and Now

Tuesday, Jan. 22, saw the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, in which abortion was officially legalized.

Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest celebrated the anniversary with a fundraiser dinner that highlighted the past and present of the organization’s history, including it’s pro-choice fight for safe and legal access to reproductive healthcare.

Abby Silverman-Weiss, a local attorney and champion of reproductive rights, was honored as the 2013 Defender of Choice.

“Tonight is a tremendous sense of belonging and empowerment,” Silverman-Weiss said.   [Read more…]

Field of View: City Farmers Nursery in City Heights

Family owned and operated, City Farmers Nursery is the lifelong and ever expanding passion of Bill Tall — a man who’s on site daily in his signature blue jeans, forest green company t-shirt and yellow measuring tape suspenders to help customers, share stories and offer sage gardening advice.

Bill Tall has spent most of his life on the property, and currently lives in the house he built there in 2001 — a handcrafted upgrade from the trailer that used to be called home. His three children, Rebecca, Sam and Sara, grew up on the nursery property. They are currently each pursuing their own careers, but are never too far from the nursery for too long.
  [Read more…]

Field of View: The Liberty Station Esplanade

Formerly the Naval Training Center, Liberty Station in Point Loma continues to exude an undeniably heavy military presence, from the USS Recruit — a landlocked dummy of the famous naval training vessel — to the large caliber training guns lining parts of the road.

The Liberty Station Esplanade is a windy path found along the canal that is shared by bikers, joggers, dogs and their owners.   [Read more…]

Field of View: SDFP Contributor Meet-and-Greet, Round 2

On Sunday, Dec. 9, the San Diego Free Press held its second contributor meet-and-greet at the home of Patty Jones and Frank Gormlie in Lemon Grove. Approximately 10 contributors attended for a pleasant afternoon of introductions, brainstorming and food (because the former isn’t impossible without the latter).

Come inside for all the photos!   [Read more…]

Field of View: Bob Filner’s Mayoral Inauguration at Balboa Park

There was standing room only at the Balboa Park Club as Bob Filner was sworn in as San Diego’s 38th mayor on Monday, Dec. 3.

Mayor Filner thanked City Council members and outgoing Mayor Jerry Sanders for “reforming city finances and for getting us on the track to financial stability” before reaffirming his campaign promise to focus on San Diego neighborhoods, eliminate homelessness, protect our beaches and expand maritime operations.

“For the first time in a decade, we can see the possibility of restoring city services, of rebuilding our neighborhoods and of planning for our future,” Filner said. “Because the real heart and soul of our city are its neighborhoods. They define our city’s character and our residents’ quality of life.”   [Read more…]

Field of View: Old Town San Diego

Old Town happens to be my very first home in San Diego. As a baby, I lived on Conde Street in a house that has since been torn down. In fact, a lot has changed in the (muffled)-something years since then. Much of the surrounding area has become a tourist hot spot that is faithfully avoided by the locals, but Old Town proper still remains a charming a step into the past for me literally and emotionally.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Election 2012 at Golden Hall

An animated crowd gathered at Golden Hall to watch live election results, many cheering when President Barack Obama won re-election with 303 electoral votes to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s 203. Florida continued to remain an electoral toss up and both candidates were nearly tied in the popular vote when the race was called.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Kayaking Along La Jolla Shores

If you’re looking for something fun to do that gets you beyond the beach but not soaking wet, kayaking is one such activity.

La Jolla Kayak offers a 2-hour tour in a single or double kayak along the La Jolla shoreline. Each tour is led by two guides that are great at a little educational humor, and offers the opportunity to enter a sea cave and learn about the wildlife inhabiting our local natural reserve, which is a part of University of California system. On this trip I saw sea lions galore, cormorants and pelicans–but turtles, Garibaldis (California’s state fish), tiger sharks and dolphins also frequent the area.

All photos by Annie Lane.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Michael Jackson’s Lead Guitarist Holds Multimedia Workshop (Videos)

Guitarist Jennifer Batten led a multimedia workshop Saturday in Rancho Santa Fe for an intimate crowd of fans and aspiring musicians. The former lead guitarist for Michael Jackson during his Bad, Dangerous and HIStory tours played several songs, describing the techniques she used in detail.

Batten was candid and charmingly quirky, offering up show biz advice when asked and stories about her time spent with the King of Pop as well as Jeff Beck. She went well past the scheduled two hours for the event, and made sure all questions were answered. Pictures and autographs followed the workshop.

The workshop was hosted by The Fine Tune Academy, a music school that caters to North County musicians and strives to provide access to big-name entertainers. Big Fish Studios provided the venue, and has been used by bands from Switchfoot to Blink-182.

Photos and videos by Annie Lane.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

While Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery received its designation in 1934, it has been a burial ground since before 1847. In the early 1880s, it became the final resting place for the fallen in the Battle of San Pasqual, who were transported and eventually reinterred at the hillside cemetery.

In addition to an extensive list of those who have been honored with medals for their service, the cemetery is also known for commemorating the death of 62 sailors who died aboard the USS Bennington after a boiler explosion in July 1905.

According to officials, Fort Rosecrans is currently at capacity for casketed remains, though space is still available for cremated remains. The cemetery overlooks both the sea and the bay and is located on the Fort Rosecrans Military reservation in Point Loma/Ocean Beach.

All photos by Annie Lane.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Glass Blowing at Spanish Village

It’s difficult to stroll through Balboa Park’s Spanish Village without imaging what a life spent exploring your inner artistic child would be like. This trip I decided to focus (mostly) on Hand Blown Glass by Andy Cohn & Partners over at Studio 19, where Kevin Baker created a vase I ended up taking home. On the way out, I got to witness some miniature feather painting nearby.   [Read more…]