A great place to watch small commercial fishermen unload their catch or load up with ice is the dock just north of Seaport Village, opposite the Chesapeake Fish Company. Folks walking past can also peer through a glass window nearby and see workers in a refrigerated room cleaning and processing the fresh fish that ends up at restaurants throughout the region. I once heard the Chesapeake Fish Company is the largest fish broker west of the Mississippi.
The sign in this photograph details the history of San Diego’s fishing industry–tuna fishing and canning in particular. At one time San Diego had the largest tuna fishing fleet in the world. Many of the fishermen were Italian migrants, which gave rise to the Little Italy neighborhood, about a mile to the north on downtown’s waterfront.
Tuna Harbor, adjacent to this dock, now is home to a ragtag group of local fishing boats. It’s also a great place to spot sea lions!
There’s a surprise around every corner in Seaport Village. The inviting place, with its meandering paths, specialty shops, eateries, historic merry-go-round, tranquil duck pond and fountains is a fine place to spend a sunny afternoon. Even native San Diegans enjoy it! One can fly a kite in the neighboring Embarcadero Marina Park, barbeque by a picnic bench, and watch buskers perform. One can walk along the water and gaze out at the sparkling blue bay, sailboats and Coronado Island, or walk out on a working public pier for sweeping views from the Coronado Bay Bridge to the USS Midway, and beyond to Harbor Island.
You can see one of the Manchester Grand Hyatt towers in the background.
Here’s a fun pic of an artistic Halloween display seen on a random shop wall in Seaport Village. I don’t recall the name of the store. The colorful arrangement of crafty witches, owls and pumpkins is a feast for the eyes!
I notice this morning that temperatures outside are cooling. Autumn is in the air and Halloween is around the corner!
One of the best things about Seaport Village is its historic carousel. I like to buy a hot dog or onion rings from the nearby food court, or an ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s, then sit down at a shady table and watch families and kids flock to the merry-go-round. It’s also pleasant to take in a bit of live music from local artists who perform near the carousel on weekends.
This fun Looff carousel was built in 1895 and features over fifty colorful animals including a dragon, a giraffe, a teddy bear, a lion, and two horse-drawn chariots. Master wood carver Charles Looff is famous for inventing the uniquely flamboyant Coney Island style of carousels. In his lifetime he produced many popular carousels, amusements parks, roller coasters and Ferris wheels. Very cool!
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During my morning walks, I often see military personnel jogging through Balboa Park. Sometimes they can number in the hundreds. They wear distinctive yellow t-shirts marked “NAVY” and lustily chant military cadences as they proceed. I’m not sure whether they are sailors from one of the several nearby naval bases or marines from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Usually one or two men will be holding a flag, and a few men in front will lead the way, suddenly changing direction at a moment’s notice.
My camera’s flash in this photo reflected brightly off safety tape on the joggers, making the energetic scene appear kinetic and dazzling.
A large plaque affixed to a boulder near the House of Hungary in Balboa Park’s International Cottages remembers San Diego’s first sheriff, Agoston Haraszthy.
Haraszthy, born in 1812, was the first Hungarian to settle permanently in the United States. Before coming to San Diego, he founded the oldest incorporated village in Wisconsin and operated the first commercial steamboat on the upper Mississippi River.
After moving to San Diego, he formed a partnership with Juan Bandini and began many business and agricultural projects. He planted fruit orchards, operated a livery stable and stagecoach line, and opened a butcher shop. He was instrumental in organizing a large portion of San Diego called Middletown, which many called Haraszthyville. He imported grape vines and planted a vineyard near the San Diego River.
In 1850 he was elected first sheriff of San Diego County.
I took this photo while strolling down El Prado, Balboa Park’s breathtakingly beautiful central promenade. Lined with fountains, fine museums and Spanish Colonial Revival buildings designed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, it is one of the most scenic walks in San Diego.
I caught this man taking a stroll with his dog in front of Casa del Prado, one of the spectacular buildings along El Prado.