Sunday, November 20, 2011

Discovering My City: Otay Lakes

I’ve spent time in San Jose and Denver, and while these great cities each contain neighborhoods with names, their flat landscapes cause these neighborhoods to blend together. I never feel like I’m in a unique place, just a different block with different style storefronts. Aside from signs, there are few visual clues to determine where one neighborhood ends and another begins.

One thing I love about San Diego is that due to its dramatic topography and diverse residents, each neighborhood possesses its own distinct personality -- a world onto itself. Hills, valleys, ocean, and deserts envelop communities and create clear lines of delineation. And despite the city’s large size, the efficient highway system makes it seem compact. I can get anywhere to anywhere in fifteen minutes. It’s cozy.

I have lived in San Diego for ten years and while part of me feels like I have investigated every nook, I certainly know better. There are many places yet to be discovered and explored.

A few weeks ago I read an article about a nursery in the town of Jamul that was closing down. Pictures accompanied the article and I found myself intrigued. I had never ventured southeast.  A mini-road trip was in order. Saturday morning, Jules and I began a trip that took us from our North Park home (A), through Jamul (B), to a quick peek at Dulzura (C), and over to Otay Lakes (D).

Along the switchback road from Dulzura to Jamul, we spotted a coyote.

I feel conflicted about graffiti. I hate the act, but can appreciate the art. I found the graffiti on this wall visually engaging, perhaps due to its juxtaposition with nature and the clean lines of the concrete wall.

I adored Otay Lakes. The area provided a wealth of visual sensations. I can’t wait to bring my easel here.

I loved this tree and its background.

It reminded me of a Schiele painting...

Egon Schiele, Four Trees (Galerie Belvedere).

We visited the Olympic Training Center and wandered around its extensive and empty grounds. We watched Olympic rowers in the distance from our high vantage point.

To get a better view, we descended to the lake’s shoreline. While there, we were approached by a slow moving cavalcade of zombie ducks.

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