Solo Adventures in San Diego (Part Four)

Here is part four of my solo adventures in San Diego.  This was my last day in San Diego and it was the most beautiful.  Before visiting any more museums, I wandered around Balboa Park taking photos of the lovely buildings.  After that, I headed to the Timken Museum of Art.

Day Five

The Timken Museum of Art is similar to the San Diego Museum of Art, except it is smaller and more importantly, free.  It houses European artwork, 19th century American art and artwork from Russian icons.  Also on display is San Diego’s only painting by Rembrandt.  This museum, also know as the “jewel box,” came about thanks to the Timken family and the Putnam sisters, who purchased many of the pieces on display there.  One of the exhibits on display when I visited was “El Lissitzky: Futurist Portfolios,” which featured geometric artwork by a Russian artist.  Unfortunately I was not allowed to take photos at this museum, so you will have to see this one in person.

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Solo Adventures in San Diego (Part Three)

Here is part three of my solo adventures in San Diego.  I started off the day by going to a museum just a few blocks from the convention center and then heading over to Balboa Park to visit more of the museums there.

Day Four

My first stop of the day was at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.  This museum promotes the history and culture of the original Chinese immigrants.  San Diego’s downtown used to be a Chinatown.  The building that now houses the museum was once the church and school for the local Chinese community.  In the 1990s, this building was slated for demolition but the San Diego Chinese Historical Society was able to save it.  In 1996, it became the museum it is today.  It has expanded throughout the years and now includes two other facilities and a garden behind the original museum.

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Solo Adventures in San Diego (Part Two)

Here is part two of my solo adventures in San Diego.  Instead of going to see more museums at Balboa Park, I decided to head over to San Diego Zoo.

Day Three

I hadn’t been to a zoo since I was a teenager in Japan, so I was kind of excited to see the famous San Diego Zoo.  My main goal was to see the Giant Pandas.  This zoo is huge and I walked the entirety of it probably several times but it was worth it.  The day started out with peacocks, flamingos and ducks.  I also got to take a ride on the guided bus tour, allowing me to see where everything was before I started walking around.  I also rode the Skyfari (cable cars that cut across the park) a few times to save my feet.  The view from there is amazing and totally worth the sometimes long wait.  You can see the entire zoo and beyond into Balboa Park.

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Solo Adventures in San Diego (Part One)

Back in July of 2014, I got to spend a week in San Diego.  A fellow Long Beach student got a free week long pass to attend the ESRI User Conference (UC).  ESRI UC is held every summer, typically in June or July and at the San Diego Convention Center. This is the biggest conference for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professionals hosting numerous presentations and vendor displays, all discussing the latest and greatest in GIS.  While I was not able to attend the conference because I didn’t have a pass, I was able to explore San Diego.  I did get to see some of the conference later, thanks to the Family Night event they had.

Day One

My first day in San Diego was mostly spent in the hotel room.  I was rather tired from the journey there.  The drive was about two hours, but since I had to wake up early that day and I’m an anti-morning person, I really had no energy to go out.  The next day though I was ready to take San Diego by storm.

Day Two

On Tuesday, I grabbed my stuff and headed for Balboa Park.  This park is filled with museums!  You could probably spend an entire week just visiting all the museums located within this one place.  Before leaving for this trip, I had spent a few days researching where I wanted to go and more importantly, how to get there.

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Whale of a Day Fair: Exploring Rancho Palos Verdes

An interesting little event I attended in April of 2015 was the Whale of a Day Fair at the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.  This event takes place at Los Serenos de Point Vicente where there is an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and a lighthouse.  The event is co-sponsored by the city and the docents of Los Serenos.  Whale of a Day celebrates the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale from its summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Chuchki Seas in Alaska to the winter breeding and calving grounds in Baja California.  You can view the migration from December to April along the Californian South Bay coastline.

The event is free and open to the public and features activities for kids, exhibits, food and craft vendors and a raffle.  The main location is the Point Vicente Interpretive Center which has aquatic displays and history on the Rancho Palos Verdes area.  The lighthouse is open for tours that day as well but the line gets long quickly.  I was unable to get in for one of the tours.  But there were many other things to see.

The coast guard was present along with a few of their boats and helicopters.  You could even get inside of them if you wanted to see more.  One of my favorite exhibits there was the one featuring birds of prey.  And yes the birds were real!  They also have a beautiful long trail right along the edge of the cliff with a perfect view of the ocean.  I was only disappointed that I couldn’t walk the whole trail and take more photos.  A final stop was at the City Hall, which also provided free parking for the event.  I got to walk along the areas behind City Hall and see some prickly pear cactus and California sunflowers.  Most were all dried up because of the drought, but I managed to find one alive and thriving.

If you live in the area, I highly encourage you to visit during the fair.  It was a lot of fun and a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.

Discourse Analysis in Downtown Los Angeles

Our next Field Methods class took us to downtown Los Angeles (DTLA).  Thanks to a previous geography class called Urban Scene, I was already familiar with DTLA.  You can see the post I did on that trip here: Downtown L.A.: A Geographer’s Perspective.  For this class, instead of examining the physical and architectural aspects of the landscape, we examined the social constructs that define DTLA.  There are several districts within DTLA, such as the Historic District, Fashion District, Arts District, Civic Center, Bunker Hill, Chinatown, Financial District, Gallery Row, Historic Core, Jewelry District, Toy District, Little Tokyo, Flower District, Skid Row and so on.  My group attempted to walk through each of these areas and analyze the social-spatial construction of each one: what kind of people and business were found in each one, and what kind of socially constructed rules were found there as well.

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Cultural Nights 2015

Let’s hop back into this blog by playing catch-up.  There have been quite a few events, lectures and conferences that I have attended since I posted here last year.

As some readers may remember, the geography club at my university has Cultural Night, an evening out at a particular ethnic restaurant to celebrate and learn more about that culture.  Last year we went to three different places.

In February, we went to Nomad Asian Bistro, which serves handmade Chinese cuisine.  The dish that everyone raved about was the one serving their handmade flat noodles.  And yes, it was good.  According to Nomad’s website, they serve not only the well-known Chinese dishes but also Hui specialties, which they state come from the Hui tribe who originated along the Silk Road.  The Hui food culture stems from a mix of traditional (Han) Chinese food as well as Mediterranean, Persian and Middle Eastern due to the influences of travelers along the Silk Road.  You can read more about the Hui tribe here.

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