29 July 2007

Catching up with miscellaneous mileage

Comic-con has a special place in my knitting life not because I'm a big Sci-Fi sort but rather because this was how I came to know, and now that she no longer makes the trek South miss, Paulette Lane and her SO Tony.

This year, however, just as I was breathing a commute sigh of relief as the Padres ended their home stand for a road trip, here's Comic-Con and grid lock on the 163 Southbound.

This made connecting up with pal Rick (visiting from Michigan) and his beautiful female family members (wife and daughters) more complicated and therefore less likely to happen on this outing.

Hopefully I will meet Melissa and the girls before the girls grow out of pink mode. My STASH has a surplus as the little girls in my life insist on growing older and expanding their colour palette before I can produce FOs from the pink pile.

After the first "this is so not happening" trek, I opted to stay at the office a little later and further delay the commute with a shop Carmel Mountain and environs foray before getting onto the Southbound lanes.

With no great knitting milestones to report on this weekend, Stitch N Pitch in my rear view (and Yarn Group volunteer mode still ahead of me), ad far too long since I did a mostly walkabout posting, my Sunday plan was to showcase another some of the hidden gems of the hood and get in some serious mileage to boot.

Hllcrest, like many other locations in San Diego County has a certified farmers' market. The market is virtually on my door step but still, more often than not, even with the best of intentions, if I manage to get there at all, it doesn't happen until things are about to shut down.

And so it was today when I set out, new camera in tow and slow going cheque book cover knitting in hand, a full half hour after the market officially shuts.
Oh well, some stands were still making sales as they packed up so I walked the length of the market and back before continuing on my way.

The seemingly never ending construction in the hood has been a challenge. As a local, the street/lane closures, steel plates, diesel fumes and other environmental aspects have added to the charm of street/lane closures and other traffic joys of living in our unique urban environment.

As a pedestrian, it has offered additional challenges above and beyond construction waste (watch out for roofing/framing nails) and detours round closed sidewalks.

I headed South Richmond, and turned West onto Myrtle Avenue. After Vermont, yes there's a block of Vermont there, two actually. Myrtle Avenue winds round to become Myrtle Way. In one of those you don't come here very often do you moments, I found this instead of one of my favourite hidden local gems.
The good news is that this isn't a sign of a stupid sell off but rather another untended and unfunded infrastructure issue. Apparently the Myrtle Way pergola collapsed in 2005 due to wood rot. The reconstruction is one of the unfunded projects for Parks & Rec's fiscal year 2008 budget -- bummer.

Disappointed, I carried on knitting and walking.

South on Vermont, it ends (yes, really this time) at Upas. Directly across Upas is the somewhat controversial Boy Scout facility.

To the West, Upas "sort of" continues on a Parks and Recs road that crosses the 163 before coming out on the other side of Balboa park near 6th & Upas.

In the years before my bee sting allergy was diagnosed, I thought nothing of taking this not so shortcut year round. Nowadays, I consider the weather and buzz factor before venturing down that path. As every Epi-pen carrier knows the goal is to always have handy but never have to use it.

East on Upas and next to the Boy Scouts facility is the less controversial and somewhat less desirably located Girl Scouts facility.

There's a bit of construction going on here too but as it is contained inside the chain link fence it is just a curiosity.

When Upas meets Park, I turn South on Park opting to take the longer route past the zoo.

Somewhere between Morely Field Drive and Zoo Drive, a tall lanky blonde fellow pedestrian asks me if we're near Balboa Park as she's been walking a very long time to get to something in the park. I explain that we're actually in the park even as we walk on Park. Further discussion reveals that she was following good driving directions to her destination. Those good driving directions are also bad walking directions if you're not prepared.

She explains that she's headed for the World Beat Center because there's a Caribe Gospel event planned and since it is easier to explain the return route (all the way back up Park to Robinson and over to 2nd & Fir indeed!) by pointing it out along the way, I modify my planned route again.

As we walk, it is clear that this is a strong draw on the day as one person after another asks us if that's our destination, how much farther etc. So I'm glad of the detour and delighted in the company and opportunity to expand the knowledge of an interested party.
Although the sounds were very seductive, I didn't linger long at the event because I was on a mileage mission. In addition, one of women who'd joined us along the way was trying to navigate her way back to her school group who were at the Houses of Hospitality. So I walked on with her. West on President's Way, we wound round to her destination with a detour and new to her stop in the United Nations/UNICEF shop.

Parting ways, I continued on, stopping to browse in the Mingei Museum Shop. After making a pit stop, I made the mistake of stopping to look at the on display and in process jewelry of two delightful members of the San Diego Art Institute.

I like jewelry -- a lot. I'm a bit of a jewelry junkie and Balboa Park has lots of jewelry temptations. The pair of earrings that caught my eye failed the hair test. The hair test is that a pair of earrings should be visible regardless of whether I am wearing my hair up, back or down. The second pair border line passed the motion test that says earrings that dangle should actually move. Turning my attention from the earrings, I was charmed by a fresh water pearl necklace. I ended up buying both the necklace and the second pair of earrings before tempting fate further and stopping in at the Museum of Man gift shop
Inside, I decided to finally look at the silver lotus earrings in the case. Beautiful, large, but for me actually too large and no motion. Then I spied the golden tone of the Fulani brass earrings -- a slam dunk companion to the necklace I'd just purchased.

Purchases all tucked up I continued West on Prado and was just East of 6th when I doubled back and walked East through the park to Park Boulevard and wound my way round stopping to shop at Trader Joe's and Ralph's in Uptown before finally walking home. The day's mileage = 8 miles and change.


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