South (Balboa) Park
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San Diego has a number of
nice, quaint neighborhoods that have been undergoing
"gentrification" as of late. After an extended trip to
Argentina we were anxious to get back in synchrony with our
hometown. So, we loaded up Kathleen's new Fujifilm X-1H
camera and my Sony A7R3 and headed out with our friend Steve.
The photos below are from my new Sony A7RM3.
The photos below are
what we saw.
Parking is always a challenge in these neighborhoods as most
homes have 2 dwellings on the lot resulting in plenty of cars
and contention for parking. We found an open spot at the
end of a street that dead-ended into a canyon. Looking
into the canyon, we saw plenty of weather damage from previous
storms. Huge eucalyptus trees had fallen over and
cluttered the canyon floor with debris. The structure at
the bottom is likely a water line.
The trail that goes into the canyon was covered in huge logs
that were cut from the fallen trees and left to rot.
Most of the houses are on smallish lots and some have additional
dwellings in the rear. This home is older, but has been
reconditioned and painted to match the local motif.
Even the smaller Craftsman-style homes look great when they are
mixed with new paint and nice landscaping.
We passed many houses that had dense cactus gardens. This
house had some kind of African euphorbia and a huge "firestick"
Kathleen spotted this nicely restored Studebaker pickup truck
with snoozing cat.
This place was one of the few that had artificial grass and it
The secret dark side to the Balboa Park area is that it is on
the flight path for Lindbergh Field, San Diego's main
airport. Planes were coming by every 5 minutes or
so. The good news is that they were landing and therefore
the engine noise was at a minimum. But, minimum noise for
a jet is still really loud. I am guessing that the
residents learn to ignore it after a few days.
Kathleen was enjoying looking at the houses.
Being springtime, there were flowers in bloom. I have no
idea what species this is, but it had a very intricate inner
Steve thought this flower was a California Poppy, but I do not
Rather than a complex center, this flower had almost nothing.
Blooms within blooms within blooms.
This bush had nice pale purple flowers.
Note the custom brickwork on this place; it was atypically
nice. Note that the rightmost roof support is not plumb.
Lots of trees were in bloom.
We spotted a nice dracaena draco tree in one of the yards.
These are succulents that are native to the Canary Islands and
will grow huge if rainfall allows.
Some of the older homes had really interesting architecture.
A nicely-restored Spanish style house.
Roses, it would seem, have fallen out of vogue in these
neighborhoods. We saw a very small number of them.
This is a bloom on a euphorbia plant.
The street we were on dead-ended into a neighborhood dog
park. This lot is a duplex with a nice parking area.
The dog park emptied into canyons of native brush, succulents
and imported eucalyptus trees.
At the dog park we decided to head back to the car on a
different route and passed this interesting tree in bloom.
Even the small bungalows can look great with paint and a nice
Spring always brings out the ice plant flowers and foraging
has some great neighborhoods (and some not-so-great
neighborhoods). The areas around Balboa Park are
particularly nice (assuming the houses have been renovated and
maintained) and are definitely photo-worthy.
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