Wednesday, October 26, 2011

San Diego Tour Guide (Day 5)

Hey There:

Today is a Wednesday, the last day I'll be helping with my friend's packing, this time it was the closet. As a last favor to her I volunteered to take the unwanted clothing to Goodwill on my way home so she had one less errand to run. It was unbelievable, she got rid of about 30% of her clothing and that filled my trunk and all the back of my car. Thank Goodness we didn't have to go through her three dressers and a cedar chest since the movers would be taking the furniture with all the contents inside.

Unfortunately, the tiredness of the packing, lifting, bending, driving, talking, cooking, etc took it's toll and today I didn't do a lot with my NY friend. I really needed a rest and he understood, but he still got some sight-seeing:

What and where? Balboa Trails

Why? I wanted him to take a different hike, one that would take him through the park and cactus garden. So I left him at the corner of Upas and 6th Street where the trails start, initially he said he did start a trail, but ended up walking all over Banker's Hill and taking pictures of the buildings, palm trees and everything he found interesting.

What and where? Look at the Chicano Park pillars in Barrio Logan

Why? The park itself has a deep meaning to the community, to make a long story short, 42 years ago a piece of land that had been promised to the Chicano community for a park was on the verge of being converted into a parking lot for a Highway Patrol station. A student walking by saw the bulldozers, asked what was going on and when he found out, he immediately raised the alarm to the community. This was 1970 and at this point the community had seen the bridge divide and displace thousands of families, not to mention the "influx of junkyards, metal shops and other toxic businesses"; so the building of the parking lot was the last straw. Families went to the site and forming human chains prevented the bulldozers from doing their work, while at the same time started planting nopales, magueys and flowers. The community won, created the park and celebrates it every year.

The pillars that hold the Coronado bridge are covered in murals with historical and socio-political themes and are now going through a Mural Restoration Project. Some are already finished and they look truly amazing!

And on a related note, earlier this year I bought a photograph print entitled "Chicano Park" by local artist Candace Van Assche, check her flicker photo-stream and be amazed by her talent!

"Aztec Archer", restoration finished on September 2011

"Undocumented Worker" restoration completed on August 2011

In the distance you can see some scaffolds
18 murals are to be restored

Chicano Park by Candace Van Assche

What and where? Sightseeing at the Coronado Ferry Landing

Why? You can get there two ways, drive through the bridge by car or go on a ferry from the San Diego Harbor, either way you'll see great sights. If you go by car, they have convenient free parking; by ferry it's $4.25 one-way or $8.50 round-trip. The Ferry Landing has very cute shops, several casual eateries and fine restaurants as well. My favorite shop there is Scottish Treasures and my favorite place to eat is Spiro's Gyros, but next time I think I'll try Lil' Piggy's BBQ.

And that was it this time, actually at the Ferry Landing I sat down and told him to go on without me, I just couldn't take another step. On our way back home I bought some ribs and mashed potatoes from Albertson's and I was off to bed, slept almost 10 hours that night.

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