Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We Live in a Mobile World

Before I moved to San Diego I had traveled to California quite a bit for business and pleasure. So I was pretty used to the traffic and all the freeways - back East there is really nothing to compare to the roads here in terms of size and traffic volume (BTW we called them highways on the East Coast!). Wow - there are 21 lanes of cars at the junction of the 5 adn the 805 at La Jolla. That's impressive!

Once I moved here it really hit home, however, about how we live in a mobile world, and how dependent we are on our cars. I know that is nothing none of you readers don't already know. It is not only the volume of cars (more cars in LA than people I've been told), but the distances people travels, the speed at which they drive, the number of expensive cars, and so on. People often drive rather than walking, even short distances - I remember the Steve Martin film "LA Story" poking fun at this and other traffic related stuff (e.g., the electronic signs along the freeways in LA).

One of the things I really like about being here is the easy access to beaches. You can park just about anywhere near our favorite beach and for free. I expect folks here take that for granted - it really IS much more car friendly - but back East this is a rarity. Even lots of beaches are not public, and finding parking is often a challenge, and pricey (unless you are a resident).

But it is much more than us and our cars on the road.

We have mobile pet grooming - I see these services all over the place. There is mobile car detailing (that's another thing I have noticed - seems folks here are much more into caring for their cars, inside and out - car washes everywhere, getting you car detailed regularly, and so on). Mobile advertising is becoming much more prevalent - magnetic car signs, license plates, painted signs on car windows, the big mobile sign trucks.

Certainly drive through fast food is EVERYWHERE and has been for years, but now it seems just about every type of food imaginable can be obtained without leaving your car. There is drive-through coffee, drive-through liquor stores, drive-through pharmacies and drive-through groceries. Food deliveries by car have become even more popular, and higher end restaurants will deliver - or a chef will come to your home and cook for you. And you can have your pet food delivered too!

The list goes on. I have not seen them but there are drive though funeral parlors if you want a quick viewing. And there are mobile veterinarians and mobile doctors and mobile dentists. Vehicles will come pick up the elderly, the disabled, your kids for day care, your dogs for doggy day care. Your dry cleaning is now mobile - you can drop if off from your car or have it delivered to you.

I find it fascinating...and I know this is just a small list of the mobile services and products out there. Who knows what will be next?

Any unusual mobile services you have seen? What are your thoughts on our mobile society - it must be strange for someone from a country where these sorts of things do not exist.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Feng Shui: Love and the Blissful Bedroom

Your Master Bedroom is considered to be the most important room within your house, namely because it supports such things as health, wealth, love and partnership. Whether your married or single, you can create a bedroom that will support you in long-term love by keeping in mind the following:

1. The function of the space:

Think of your bedroom as a happy haven and a romantic retreat. For starters, the room should not double as a home office or a workout room/gym. (Too distracting.) Move photographs of family & friends to a less private area, such as the East area of your home (or consider creating a photo gallery in one of your hallways for added visual interest). Did you know that the smaller the bedroom, the better? It’s true. A smaller bedroom suggests more intimacy and closeness between a couple.

2. The position of the bed within the bedroom:

Make sure that your bed is not positioned under anything heavy, such as a large ceiling fan or lighting feature. (Heavy = weight & stress which leads to arguments.) Along these same lines, do not site your bed directly below a structural beam, particularly one that runs the length of the ceiling and down the center of the bed, "dividing" a couple. It’s also not favorable (for love or health) to have your bed-head share a wall in which a bathroom or commode resides on the opposite side.

3. The use of symbolism within the bedroom:

The bedroom is the best place to display happy photos of you and your partner. Or select other "romantic" artwork—such as pieces that depict love and partnership rather than, say, a lone individual. (Even a neutral image like two palm trees, side-by-side, would work.) If you do have a larger Master Bedroom, create an intimate seating area for two, or bring in a love seat. (At the very least, move the single chair because it’s sending out the wrong message.) The objective is to create an energetic "pattern" that suggests couplehood & partnership and that will nurture you now and in the future. Enjoy!

Feng Shui Resource ~ ~ 858.492.8506

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Friday, June 22, 2007

New Art Exhibit at the Cannon Art Gallery in Carlsbad

The Cannon Art Gallery opened another winning show last night, June 21, with the annual exhibit and contest of works by Carlsbad City Employees and their families.

This show is definitely worth a visit before it closes in late July.

What is so wonderful about this exhibit is that is showcases amateur as well as professional works by employees of the city and members of their families, across all age groups including children.

The full breadth of artistic mediums is explored including photography, prints, drawings, oil paintings, watercolors, sculpture, pottery and ceramics, quilting and much more.

There is no admission fee to see this terrific show of more than 200 works of art at all levels.

I wrote recently about the Plein Air Brunch Fundraiser at the Gallery, just another example of the exciting activities that take place at this Carlsbad gallery.

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Tastes is What it is All About

Nope, the title is not a misspelling or a grammatical mistake.

TASTES is a fairly new restaurant in Encinitas that I just discovered. Actually, I knew it was there, and have been driving by it for the last couple of years on the Coast Highway. But like so many other places I see, there just has not been an opportunity to stop in to learn more.

I finally did yesterday. And I had a chance to meet one of the owner's parents who have been very involved with the restaurant and who gave me a great tour...and sparked my enthusiasm for trying the place out in the future.

Tastes is a total wine experience. They have a retail operation, with a great wine selection of reds and white from California, Spain, Italy and elsewhere, thanks to co-owner Mark Dubiel. But there's more.

Tastes is also a fine restaurant (and since I came at lunch time and they only serve dinner, I have not yet had the pleasure of eating there...but I will soon, now that I saw the menu), with a great selection of dishes prepared by an award winning chef, Sean Fisher (who has also catered for most of the top rock stars around with "Behind the Scenes Catering").
There are new dishes added weekly and others drop off, so you have an ever-changing opportunity to enjoy wonderful food. And, the added bonus is that they offer a selection of wine pairings with each dish to best compliment the food. You can dine outside as well on the back side of the restaurant.

Tastes also offers a series of wine flights so you get to try highly recommend wines and decide what you like for yourself. And, of course, you can then purchase the bottles at very reasonable prices to enjoy at home (or have them uncork and decant one for you for dinner).

Tastes is definitely on my list now to enjoy for dinner, and I plan to do so soon. They have lots of regulars and have become quite popular, so reservations are important for Friday and Saturday nights.

They are located on the east side of the Coast Highway at #641 not far past the Lumberyard. They can be reached at 760-942-9549. Stay tuned for my review once I enjoy dinner there.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Fun at the Playboy Jazz Festival in West Hollywood

The Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in West Hollywood is one of the pre-eminent jazz events on the west coast.

This year's 29th Playboy Jazz Festival was no exception. I had the pleasure (for the 3rd year in a row) of attending this past Saturday.

The Hollywood Bowl is a great venue...certainly an icon of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. The weather was perfect, the crowd was in a party mood, and the entertainment was top notch. Some I enjoyed more than others, of course. We took a fabulous picnic and had a great dinner, as most folks do...what could better than great live jazz outdoors (e.g., Chris Botti, Angelique Kidjo) in a terrific setting with amazing views of the Hollywood hills and a wonderful sound system?

If you have not been, take the opportunity to go next year, or attend one of the many other events this summer at the Hollywood Bowl.

Hope you enjoy the virtual show (click WATCH THE SHOW at the bottom of the screen)

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's Fair Weather!

Lots of folks know this already, but in case you don't, it's fair weather...the San Diego County Fair is back at the Del Mar Fairgrounds (the fair has been there since 1936).

The fair runs from June 8 to July 4 with some closed dates (June 11-12, 18-19 and 25). Admission is open 11 AM to 11 PM Friday and Saturday, 11 AM to 10 PM other days.

Tickets at $12 for adults, $6 for those age 62+, $6 for children 6 - 12 and FREE to those lucky enough to be 5 or younger.

Of course this means the traffic on the 5 becomes horrendous at times...more than the usual, coupled with the increased car volume we see in the summertime anyhow. So be prepared!

There is an incredible array of stuff to see, do, taste, listen to, and try. And crowds of folks to watch.

Bungee jumping, ostrich racing, onion bowling, all sorts of deep fried stuff, the Gym Class Heroes band, plenty of animals, contests, and so on, and on, and on.

I haven't been this year, yet, but I always enjoy county fairs, having been to them in Minnesota, the Boston area, in Ohio and elsewhere where I have lived over the years. Lots of fun no matter what your age.

The website has all the information you need to decide what to do and when, or just take a day and go and simply experience all the fair has to offer. Expect the crowds, but that's part of the fun.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Take a Visit to the Art Community of Laguna Beach

One of the neat things about living in Southern California is that, in addition to great weather most of the time (hmmm, has June gloom decided to move on? Let's hope so), there are lots of things to do in San Diego...within the county as well as within a hour or so.

A quick drive up the coast to Laguna Beach is one example. I can get there in about 45 minutes from my home in Carlsbad (not much longer than getting to downtown San Diego), unless the traffic is really horrendous, and like other coastal towns it is beautiful, with lots to do and see.

Laguna Beach has a world-renowned reputation as an art colony and has been one for decades. So if that sort of thing is of interest to you, it is definitely worth a trip for a day or perhaps a weekend. There are lots of events related to the arts during the year (art fairs, The Sawdust Festival, The Pageant of the Masters, The Festival of Arts), as well as a bounty of art galleries, shops, and restaurants.

I recently spent the evening there for their 1st Thursday Art Walk and had a great time. Read more about this in my post Laguna Beach - an Ocean Front Town with Arts Galore.

Or you can simply take the virtual tour here.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Neighborhoods...Maybe, Maybe Not!

As a fairly new resident in these parts (well, now 2 years, but still feeling like I am learning my way around), it has been fun discovering new neighborhoods and communities.

Some of that comes about simply by accident, or by driving to a destination downtown, along the beach, or simply exploring. Some results from my business as a REALTOR covering North County, primarily along the coast, when I am out showing homes.

There are some areas that have names that are not, in the strict sense, neighborhoods. Just as in any major city, San Diego has these as well. The names are pretty indicative of what's there, or the history. They have a different feel to those I am accustomed to in Boston, but there are distinct nonetheless.

Here are some "neighborhoods" I've found and explored:

  • Oldtown

  • Marina

  • The Gaslamp District - everyone knows about this, and it really IS a neighborhood, with more to do (shopping, eating, drinking) than there is time to do it.

  • Restaurant Row - there is one in Cardiff, along the beach between Cardiff and Solana Beach, and another one in San Marcos (with more than 20 restaurants) - there may be others I have yet to find

  • Furniture Row - also in San Marcos - a myriad of various sorts of stores for, you guessed, furniture - indoor, outdoor, office, formal, casual, teak, contemporary, designer, and so on.

  • Car Country - in Carlsbad, adjacent to the 5 and off Palomar Airport Road

  • The Barrio - near old Carlsbad

  • The Walking District in Cardiff

  • The Composer District in Cardiff

  • Del Mar Beach Colony

  • Little Italy - downtown near the airport, with lots of newish condos, restaurants, and shopping

  • Windansea - in La Jolla

  • Banker's Bill - downtown just east of the 5

  • Balboa Park

  • Birdrock - also in La Jolla

  • Oceanside Redevelopment District

  • Leucadia - not just a neighborhood in Encintas but a pretty cool, funky area to visit.

The list could go on, but is pretty striking how different these areas all are. Some are commercial, others are residential. It will be fun to continue to learn about new areas.

Any favorite neighborhoods you would like to share, or places folks should explore?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Not About San Diego

This is NOT about San Diego. But since I live here, it's worth mentioning, as least in my opinion.

Want something to do for a weekend? Have you been up the Central Coast of California, from San Luis Obispo to Big Sur? If you haven't it is definitely worth your time. The views are amazing, and while I already have a great appreciation for all that California offers in terms of scenery, THIS was an eye opener.

I just posted an article about a part of my very recent car trip to San Francisco, via the coast to Monterey. It was such a great visual experience I will may probably share more photos just for fun (even though I shared a link to some photos in my post the other day). We'll see.

Hope you enjoy it!

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Back Home Again

We are back home again, after a 5 day trip to San Francisco (SFO) by car. We left early Thursday morning and drove up the coast to Monterey (if you have not been along Route 1 to Big Sur, it is truly an amazing trip with incredible views).
We stayed over night there with my cousin, then arrived in SFO mid afternoon on Friday. Took in a number of sites including Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, some great restaurants (of which SFO excels - Millenium and Frascati for dinner, Herbivore and Canteen for breakfast), then drove on Sunday south to wine country at Paso Robles (several hours north east of LA) where we stopped at J. Lohr and Tobin James (our favorite). About 1200 miles all total. Gas topped out at $4.59 for premium along the Big Sur coast - we are lucky here!!

Making a trip such as this made me realize, even more so, how incredible California is in terms of the diversity of geography, coastal views (the picture was taken south of Big Sur), towns, weather, people, and the agricultural offerings.
Click here for photos of my drive up the coast on Day 1.

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Jeff Dowler (RE/MAX Associates): Real Estate Agent in Carlsbad, San Diego County, California on