Saturday, September 12, 2009

On Foot in San Diego: Ocean Beach, the Haight Ashbury of San Diego

I intend to finish my stories about Scotland and Morocco, but I couldn't resist writing about our excursion to Ocean Beach.

This past weekend Hayley, Jennifer and I decided to check out Ocean Beach, a funky little coastal town north northwest of downtown San Diego. On the drive down, I had the girls read the history of the neighborhood - naturally - and they were taken by Wonderland, an amusement park built on the beach in 1913 and washed away by high tides three years later. I was able to locate a photo showing it was quite the structure.

O.B.- residents are OBecians - was laid out by a couple developers, Billy Carlson and Frank Higgins, in 1887, during the first boom of San Diego, at the time Jesse Shepard was building his Villa Montezuma in Sherman Heights on the other side of downtown San Diego. In spite of its beautiful location, the town was a remote and hard to get to place until Interstate 8 connected in 1971. In the 1960's O.B. was the Haight Asbury of San Diego and still has that organic store, mom and pop business atmosphere.

Our plan was to check out any history and sights of the town but I sweetened the deal with a promise to do some shopping in the Newport Avenue vintage shops. I heard some groans when I suggested we browse an antique store - by vintage, they had more in mind some clothes - but they thought the store was pretty cool, and I took advantage of the opportunity to slip in some more historical stuff.

We checked out the clothing shop next door...

Jennifer is always the hat fashionista,

Then we walked the length of the Ocean Beach Pier, 1,971 feet, more than one third mile long, the longest concrete pier on the West Coast.

I wondered why in 1966 they decided to build this pier. No boats around, no harbor. Well, it's purely for the purpose of recreation, walking and fishing. Sounds like something OBecians would do.

We didn't find any feral parrots that hang out in OB, the O.B. "air force", but Hayley and Jennifer checked out the pelicans.

These guys are so regal flying up and down the coast.

End of the day is coming,

Hug your sister, and let's be off to World Famous for dinner.


Pat said...

Some hippie you were - it's Haight Ashbury, not Asbury...and I'm too lazy to fix it!

Sounds like a very cool place for three very cool women to hang out for the day. The most important question, though, is - did you buy any antiques?

Katharine said...

Nope, my buying days are over but it's fun looking.