San Diego "Art Walk by the Bay"

Exploring your own backyard

Trip Report 20120923

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The Experience

My "virtual daughter" Jessica informed us of an art walk that was being hosted right on San Diego bay.  The weather was nearly perfect, although quite hot and sunny, so we decided to check it out.  Having just returned to town after a 6 month road trip, seeing your own city was rather shocking, but in a good way.  We almost never go downtown and have not seen this area of the bay before so it was a pleasant surprise.

The photos below are what we saw.

I just bought a new camera and am still learning how to make it do my bidding.  I attempted a timed shot from my tripod, but I did not get the auto-focus fully on the money.  But, technical quality of the photo notwithstanding, you can't argue with the quality of the subject matter.

Kathleen found a parking area that had some kind of deal with the Art Walk and it was a flat rate of $3 for the whole day.  We parked and headed out on foot.  Just north of the parking area for the downtown baseball park, AKA "Petco Park" was some new construction in progress.  I am not sure what it is, but it does look interesting.

This vehicle caught my eye.  I guess you can rent these, but to be honest, I have not paid for a tour in my own home town.  Perhaps I should (once) so I can get the full scoop on what they are telling the tourists.  The fellow in the photo above looks way to big for this car.

I am not much of a sports fan, but truth be told, I have been to Petco Park.  Once.  It was interesting, but not that interesting.  The taxpayers paid for the structure supposedly to allow the team to perform better.  That did not happen of course, but the same scam is being run again, but this time for benefit of the local football team.  It will be interesting to see if the local voters swallow the bait again.

We had to cross an interesting pedestrian bridge to get from the parking area to the bay front walk.  The bridge gave us a nice view of the trolley tracks and the San Diego convention center.

The bridge was cool, no doubt, but I am sure it was appallingly expensive.

The structural components were made from solid stainless steel.

Looking to the east from the bridge gave us a view of the trolley yard and the rail yard that is part of the San Diego and Imperial Valley line that services the Port of San Diego.

Each exhibitor at the art walk had a covered booth to display their wares.  Some were paintings, some sculptures, others photographs and a few were jewelry.

Jessica and Kathleen check out some of the pieces offered for sale.

Some of the works were actually quite nice.  The top one is of the Ocean Beach pier.

This colorful piece caught our eyes.

While we were browsing, a loud noise made us look up.  I believe that these WWII planes can be rented (with a pilot) for tours.

It was sunny, hot and we needed something to eat so we went to the outdoor grill at the Hilton.  From our table, we could see the Dole Ecuador unloading at the 10th Street dock facility.

Lunch was mediocre.  What was I thinking: eating at a tourist hotel??  After lunch, we explored the area further to the west.  We saw these cool sculptures.

Many of the pieces displayed were quite colorful.  These were interesting, but not sufficiently interesting to cause me to get my wallet out.

These were rather novel and had deep texture on the surface of the painting.

The painting above does not have white speckles on it; these are reflections from the sun on the enamel paint.  Try though I might, I could not get them to go away with Lightroom (my photo processing software).  That is actually tragic as the photo was quite nice.

From the art area we walked west toward Sea Port Village along the boardwalk.  We could see some huge (and expensive) boats that were tied up at the Marriott Harbor.

A loud noise from the bay caused us to turn our heads.  There was a pumped-up speed boat going full-out across the bay.  In the photos above, homes over on Coronado Island are visible with Point Loma also being visible on the distant skyline.

One straggler painting caught our eye.

Look at this garbage-scow.  This fellow must be loaded!  The boat (sorry, ship) is from London and it is a work of art.

While thinking about how rich that boat owner is, I realized that I am rich as well.  And what makes me rich are things of the two-legged variety.  Fully appreciating my wealth, I had to take another photo of the assets.  These assets don't pay interest, but they are interesting.

The bow end of this fellows ship was just as impressive as the stern.

Near the convention center, we spotted this nice sculpture.

The San Diego waterfront used to be a "no-go zone" complete with hookers, junkies and gang-bangers.  But the area has been effectively cleaned up and now has many nice high-rise buildings.

I believe this is the Marriott Hotel.

We finally got to Sea Port Village and the girls found some accessories for a nice photo.

There were some fantastically nice boats in the Marriott Harbor.

We had a nice view of the entrance to the southern portion of San Diego bay and saw a commercial tug transporting a Navy tug south into the lower portion of the bay.

Across at the naval station on Coronado Island, we saw DDG-111.  This is the USS Spruance a guided missile destroyer and cost ONE BILLION DOLLARS to build.  While a very formidable machine, I question whether it is worth the monies spent.  Some defense contractor really, really needs an audit.  This ship hosts Tomahawk missiles, ASROC, MK46 torpedoes and 2 SH-60 SeaHawk helicopters.  The Spruance went active in October, 2011.

This is the USS Maklin Island, AKA LHD-8.  The Maklin Island as an amphibious assault ship that hosts a squadron of attack helicopters.  This ship is conventionally powered via gas turbines and therefore needs refueling for long deployments.  The Maklin Island went active in 2006.

This is the ship that performs the refueling while underway.  This is the USNS Yukon an "un-rep oiler" that has the ability to resupply fleet ships while underway.  The Yukon was involved in a collision with the USS Essex in May of 2012; the Essex was claimed to have steering problems due to faulty maintenance.  Hopefully, it was not a billion-dollar ship as well.

This aircraft carrier is undergoing retrofitting and upgrades at the naval station.

This white craft is actually a barracks barge that has bunks for 200+ crew.

I am used to seeing all manner of freeloaders and panhandlers in public places.  I have seen dancers, face painters, magicians, musicians, mimes; the whole gamut.  But I have never seen a fellow that stacks rocks for tips.  His signs clearly states that he expects a "donation" if you take a photo of his "work".  I passed on that opportunity and chose to keep walking.

I was hoping for an unobstructed view of the Coronado Bay bridge, but we ran out of land before we got a clear view.  The photo above is the best I could do.  The bridge connects the mainland to Coronado Island and greatly reduces travel time versus the south entrance to the island.

Heading back to the parking lot required a substantial hike along the bay front.  We had to cross the bridge again to reach our car.  This view of the bridge shows that it is really something quite different.

Jessica was nice enough to take a photo of us at the end of the day.

Despite the heat and the intense sun, we had a great time.  This area of town has been greatly improved since the last time I was here and we will surely visit again soon.  I saw no hookers or junkies, but I am sure that they only come out at night, if at all.

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