South (Balboa) Park Walkabout

  Viewing Quaint Neighborhoods

Trip Report 20180320

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The Experience

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" plant.

Kathleen spotted this nicely restored Studebaker pickup truck with snoozing cat.

This place was one of the few that had artificial grass and it looked good.

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 structure.

Steve thought this flower was a California Poppy, but I do not know.

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 fence.

Spring always brings out the ice plant flowers and foraging bees.

San Diego 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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