We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Another year is over of Bird Dog dragging you to a museum or a show in Manhattan. Now, for a quick tour of the San Diego area...where the betters live better.
Friends are visiting from New York for a few days. They’re staying in the downtown Gaslamp.
This used to be the area south of Market full of strip joints, seedy bars, and such. Over the past twenty years it has become a magnet of fine restaurants, dance clubs, fancy hotels, with the huge Convention Center along the bay, next to the excellent sightlines from every seat Petco ball park. San Diego's costs are a fraction of New York’s. My friend is an expert on the Near East. They had dinner Thursday night at an Afghani restaurant, which they both said was some of the best they’d had from that part of the world. The weather this week: 70F+ and sunny.
Yesterday, I took them to Old Town, several acres of authenticish early Spanish and Anglo San Diego...
(Lots more of a tour of lovely San Diego below the fold)
Lunch there, which they said was the best Mexican food they’d ever had. Then on to a stroll along the promenade over the ocean at La Jolla, the seals sunbathing as pupping season begins.
Next stop Balboa Park, whose restored century old buildings are awesome, with some interesting museums all within short walks of each other.
Ending with sunset over Mission Bay, with its miles long paved path perfect for walks, biking, rollerblading.
Today, they’re returning to some of the museums and to the San Diego Zoo.
I left them with a map to rent a car for a circle around the county. First, through the desert.
Then, up to Wild West town Julian, famous for its apple pies. Great desert and mountain hiking and camping.
Then, back westerly through north county backlands past the Wild Animal Park, then down along the beautiful Pacific on Highway 101 (not a highway since the Interstate 5 was built about a half-mile inland, but the mainstreet through beachtowns Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar), and back into San Diego city.
As for me, tonight for the tenth year running, I’m going with the boys to Legoland ( a few miles up the road from my house) for rides and fireworks. For those of you who have paid a fortune for Disneyland, Legoland costs far less, the food is better, the lines shorter, and a perfect delight for kids as well as parents.
We've got everything cultural and outdoors. And, none of the constant irritations or anxieties of New York. I was born and raised in NYC (actually, Brooklyn, where real New Yawkers come from), and left as soon as I could, as have millions of others.
Happy New Year, wherever you are. I'm already in Paradise.
Our economy is good here, better than the rest of California's, because it's a friendly and beautiful place to live, yeah, really live. Do we have, or need, a Chamber of Commerce? We do have a pretty good opera, BTW, with translation subtitles for us commoners. Our symphony is top-rate. We have everything NYC has, without the hassles.
Motto for NYC: nice place to visit, wouldn't want to live there.
Motto for San Diego: Thanks for visiting; now go home.
Happy New Year to you and your family, Bruce, and to all the other maggiesfarmers and their families. We hope for a quiet New Year, but we do have the occasional rowdy here in Texas. And they frequently set off fireworks next door to us on the bayou bank. Hope they don't do that tonight.
Bruce, as a resident of Carlsbad I second everything you said!
If your friends have any time left, the USS Midway Museum is about a half mile from the Gaslamp. Most of the tour is self guided except for the the control tower which is led by a docent. Lots of airplanes to see too, from a F4u Corsair to F-14 Tomcats. It's wonderful they've preserved all this.