Tuna Harbor Dockside Market grows downtown!

Artistic chalkboard tells curious customers how to prepare yummy rock fish.
Artistic chalkboard tells curious customers how to prepare yummy rock fish.

I recently heard on the local news that the new Tuna Harbor Dockside Market in downtown San Diego has grown quite a bit since its modest beginning. When I went to the outdoor fish market’s grand opening a month or so ago, there were two tables with freshly caught fish and tanks of crabs and sea urchins. And a really, really long line!

During my walk late this morning I decided to see how things are going. So I headed down to the Embarcadero with my trusty camera. I arrived at the pier just north of Seaport Village about eleven o’clock, and it appeared most of the shopping crowd had already departed. Some of the commercial fishermen were removing unsold seafood from their tables.

The dockside market has certainly expanded! The tents now number half a dozen or so, and stretch in a row a good distance down the pier.

Today’s catch included live sea urchin, rock crab, top snail, whelk snail, rock fish, black cod, thorny head rockfish, sheepshead, yellowfin tuna, albacore tuna, box crab, razor crab, mackerel and perch! I’m told many chefs at local restaurants have become happy customers!

The number of fresh fish tables has more than doubled in one month.
The number of fresh fish tables has more than doubled in one month.
Late in the morning, frozen albacore looked to be a pretty good deal.
Late in the morning, frozen albacore looked to be a pretty good deal.
Lots of colorful rockfish including starry, Bocaccio and Santa Maria.
Lots of colorful rockfish including starry, Bocaccio and Santa Maria.
Looking toward downtown along the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market this morning.
Looking toward downtown along the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market this morning.
Fishing boats docked at pier where fresh fish are sold every Saturday.
Fishing boats docked at pier where fresh fish are sold every Saturday.
Fisherman checks live crab on top of a trap.
Fisherman checks live crab on top of a trap.
Sign board at foot of pier indicates today's prices.
Sign board at foot of pier indicates today’s prices.

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Tuna Harbor Dockside Market’s grand opening!

Fresh fish on display await customers at dockside market.
Fresh fish on display await customers at new dockside market.

The new Tuna Harbor Dockside Market had its grand opening on the Embarcadero this morning! The fresh seafood market, which will be open Saturdays from 8 to 1 on the pier adjacent to Tuna Harbor (between Seaport Village and the USS Midway Museum), is San Diego’s attempt to recreate Seattle’s famous Pike Place Fish Market and San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. It appeared to be a modest but very popular beginning!

There were tables and tanks of fresh fish and invertebrates caught locally by fishermen from the large fleet of boats docked nearby. The ocean off San Diego offers a bounty of healthy and sustainable food that can now be more affordably purchased by the public, direct from the source.

The catch this morning included stone crab, box crab, sea urchins, top snail, kellet’s whelks, black cod, ling cod, rock fish, sand dabs, bluefin, yellowfin, yellowtail, sheepshead and even octopus!

According to what I read on the internet, Tuna Harbor Dockside Market is the production of the San Diego Fishermen’s Working Group, which was established in 2010 to promote commercial fishing in San Diego. With the assistance of the Port of San Diego, these hard-working fishermen are adding to the vitality of an already extremely active waterfront!

A huge line of customers was still growing well before the market’s morning opening. Looks to me like they’ll need more fish!

County Supervisor Greg Cox checks out a tank full of crabs.
County Supervisor Greg Cox checks out a tank full of crabs.
Lots of fresh fish sold to the public on San Diego's Embarcadero.
Lots of fresh fish sold to the public on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Fisherman takes fresh catch from ice in cooler.
Fisherman removes fresh catch from ice in cooler.
Television reporters and San Diegans await opening of dockside market!
Television reporters and San Diegans await opening of dockside market!

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Folks enjoy House of Austria lawn program.

Dancers from House of Austria in Balboa Park.
Dancers from House of Austria in Balboa Park.

I got a few pics of another Sunday afternoon lawn program at Balboa Park’s International Cottages. This weekend it was Austria’s turn!

Dancing, singing and food were abundant for the entertainment of anyone interested in Austrian culture.  Many in the crowd wore traditional folk costumes.  There was a beauty queen and opera performances and it all concluded with many participants singing the popular favorite Edelweiss.

Austrian beauty queen smiles for my camera!
Austrian beauty queen smiles for my camera!
Folks watch lawn program of House of Austria.
Folks watch lawn program of House of Austria.
Food tent has sausage and other tasty Austrian food.
Food tent has sausage and other tasty Austrian food.
Everyone applauds a fantastic operatic duet.
Everyone applauds a fantastic operatic duet.

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Lots of yummy food at San Diego County Fair!

Every kind of yummy food at the San Diego County Fair.
Every kind of yummy food at the San Diego County Fair.

Holy macaroni! I want to eat everything in sight! Much of it is deep fried, most is super sugary, and it all appears delectably scrumptious! At the big San Diego County Fair, which takes place every year at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, all sorts of tasty food are easily found. Food stands are waiting for you in every direction! It’s a shame my blog doesn’t feature savory smells. You’d press your nose right up next to the screen!

Fresh squeezed lemonade in the Fun Zone.
Fresh squeezed lemonade in the Fun Zone.
Funnel cakes and bacon donuts!
Funnel cakes and bacon donuts!
Tecate beer at Plaza de Mexico.
Tecate beer at Plaza de Mexico.
Visitors feast at picnic benches during the 2014 Fab Fair.
Visitors feast at picnic benches during the 2014 Fab Fair.
Lots of ribs, burgers and colossal curly fries.
Lots of ribs, burgers and colossal curly fries.
Caramel apples, cupcakes, and Indian fry bread.
Caramel apples, cupcakes, and Indian fry bread.
Hot dogs and sausages on sticks!
Hot dogs and sausages on sticks!
Eating on the run with so much to see and do!
Eating on the run with so much to see and do!
Giant smoked turkey legs and roasted corn.
Giant smoked turkey legs and roasted corn.
Turkey legs are popular at the San Diego County Fair.
Turkey legs are popular at the San Diego County Fair.
Chicken and waffles, fried Oreos, zucchini curls!
Chicken and waffles, fried Oreos, zucchini curls!
Gotta sit down my stomach is so full!
Gotta sit down my tummy is so full!

Is your stomach growling yet?

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San Diego’s annual Sicilian Festival in Little Italy.

Sicilian Festival dignitaries parade flags down India Street.
Sicilian Festival dignitaries parade flags down India Street.

I took an enjoyable walk today. San Diego’s heat wave has ended and this weekend was perfect. The best part of my walk was just wandering randomly through Little Italy’s annual Sicilian Festival. India Street was streaming with crowds enjoying Italian food, romantic music, art, history and several blocks jammed with colorful sights. I devoured some yummy pizza and spoke with a few interesting people.

Here are a few cool pics!

Tuscany Italian tablecloths line a vendor's tent.
Tuscany Italian tablecloths line a vendor’s tent.
Italian food up and down India Street smelled great!
Italian and other food up and down India Street smelled great!
Wagon painted with colorful scenes of Medieval chivalry.
Wagon painted with colorful scenes of Medieval chivalry.
Sharing his Sicilian legacy from past generations.
Sharing his Sicilian legacy from past generations.

One block was devoted to Sicilian culture and the history of San Diego’s Little Italy. Several interesting people were sharing their own stories.

Local novelist Corey Lynn Fayman sold some books!
Local novelist Corey Lynn Fayman sold some books!

Local author Corey Lynn Fayman sold me his novel Border Field Blues. It’s a detective story set at the Mexican border. I’ve read a few pages and so far it’s great!

Jim Bregante shares his childhood experience of the waterfront.
Jim Bregante shares his childhood memories of the waterfront.

I caught the last few minutes of Jim Bregante’s historical presentation, called San Diego’s Waterfront through the Eyes of a Child. He was remembering the colorful nicknames of the local Italians that he knew when he was young. I wish I’d heard his entire talk! What a great treasure trove of historical memories. Other people in other places should follow his example!

What Italian fishermen used to catch off San Diego.
What Italian fishermen used to catch off San Diego.
Many old photos of tuna fishermen from Little Italy.
Many old photos of tuna fishermen from Little Italy.
Crushing grapes was part of the Sicilian Festival!
Crushing grapes was part of the Sicilian Festival!
Various musicians played the accordion.
Various musicians played the accordion.
Banner shows Italian Padres player Chris Denorfia.
Banner shows Padres player Chris Denorfia.
Some kids had an awesome bungee experience!
Some kids had an awesome bungee experience!
The frantic pasta eating contest is underway.
The frantic pasta eating contest is underway.
The sauce-faced winner raises his arms in triumph!
The sauce-faced winner raises his arms in triumph!

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Dazzling colors at Little Italy’s Mercato.

Ripe red strawberries mixed with Easter candies.
Ripe red strawberries mixed with Easter candies.

Every Saturday thousands of people converge on Date Street to take a stroll through Little Italy’s Mercato, an amazing Farmers Market that stretches half a dozen city blocks! Residents of downtown San Diego and the surrounding communities mingle in the sunshine, checking out an amazing variety of organic produce, freshly cut flowers, unique arts and crafts, tasty food and live music.

I took a walk through Little Italy’s Mercato this morning and was struck by the many vivid colors. There were over 150 booths to check out. I hardly knew which direction to point my camera!

I hope you enjoy these cool pics.

A variety of fresh produce at Little Italy's Mercato.
A variety of fresh produce at Little Italy’s Mercato.
These brilliant colors are ready to eat!
These brilliant colors are ready to eat!
Hand-crafted pizza at Little Italy's farmers market.
Hand-crafted pizza at Little Italy’s farmers market.
Colorful crafts line Date Street in Little Italy.
Colorful crafts line Date Street in Little Italy.
Purses of every hue at one of over 150 booths!
Purses of every hue at one of over 150 booths!
Checking out crafts for sale near Amici Park.
Checking out crafts for sale near Amici Park.
Lots of colorful tiny cacti and succulents.
Lots of colorful tiny cacti and succulents.
Endless bright flowers can be found at the Mercato.
Endless bright flowers can be found at the Mercato.
More tasty food in Little Italy!
More tasty food in Little Italy!
Smiling lady sells a bunch of organic preserves.
Smiling lady sells a bunch of organic preserves.
Saturdays in Little Italy are brimming with color.
Saturdays in Little Italy are brimming with color.

Pig wearing baseball cap is food king.

phils bbq stadium food king pig

I saw this funny sight and had to take a photo. It’s a sign in the form of a pig.

Phil’s BBQ serves barbeque in the Park at the Park during Padres home games. Seems they were winners this year of the Stadium Food King Challenge, a tastiest food contest put on by USA Today. Phil’s tri-tip sandwich beat out the Diamondbacks Sororan Dog, the Brewers pulled pork parfait, and the Royals Cheesy Brisket-acho for top honors.

Here’s a pic I took another day…

Giant pig with Padres logo and baseball cap seems trapped behind bars at Petco Park!
Giant pig with Padres logo and baseball cap seems trapped behind bars at Petco Park!

Mexican cafes and cantinas in Old Town.

Just one of many colorful eateries along San Diego Avenue.
Just one of many colorful eateries along San Diego Avenue.

These pics offer a sample of the sort of Mexican-themed eateries one encounters in the commercial part of Old Town, which runs several blocks south of the State Park along San Diego Avenue. Lots of seating outdoors, an eyeful of festive colors and a cool, laid-back Southern California atmosphere.

Eating great Mexican food outdoors in San Diego's Old Town.
Eating great Mexican food outdoors in San Diego’s Old Town.
Fountain and splash of color in courtyard of an Old Town restaurant.
Fountain and splash of color in courtyard of an Old Town restaurant.
Keep Calm and Drink Tequila.
Keep Calm and Drink Tequila.
Old Town pedestrians can buy hot buttery tortillas.
Old Town pedestrians can buy hot buttery tortillas.
Ladies prepare fresh tortillas for people passing on the sidewalk.
Ladies prepare fresh tortillas for people passing on the sidewalk.
Bienvenidos a Old Town! Where great food and a festive atmosphere mingle with San Diego's rich, colorful history.
Bienvenidos a Old Town! Where great food and a festive atmosphere mingle with San Diego’s rich, colorful history.

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Downtown Donut Bar’s window of treats!

downtown donut bar's window of treats

While walking to the Fifth Avenue trolley station yesterday morning, I passed the window of the Donut Bar on B Street. They’d just filled it with the day’s freshly-baked yummy treats and were preparing to open for business. I almost began to drool right there on the sidewalk!

The Donut Bar is frequently listed as one of the top doughnut shops in the entire country!  Wow!

Thought you’d like to have a peek! Good morning!

A pic taken later…

Oh no! The Donut Bar is Sold Out!
Oh no! The Donut Bar is Sold Out!

Look at this bonus pic!

Homer Simpson was out greeting a long line of Donut Bar customers one Saturday morning!
Homer Simpson was out greeting a long line of Donut Bar customers one Saturday morning!