Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I know I've talked about the old hood before

but there are just some times when you see something and it all comes back at you. I posted awhile back, ok maybe it was just this past February, about the old hood. It was, however, more of a criticism of how it isn't all that. That wasn't entirely true, it's kinda all that. Sometimes. I was on Facebook and an old classmate of mine, like really old, like elementary school old, like what omg almost 30 years ago old. Yeah I know, I am just that old. He had posted a steam of like 35 pictures of my old hood. And when I say hood I mean exactly where I grew up. Like I have baby pictures of me in the sand and on the jettys there.

Like most large cities there are neighborhoods in San Diego that are each very distinct. Since I had never been anywhere else as a child I did not know how wonderful and unique Ocean Beach was (we all call it OB, there's a bunch of different beach communities in San Diego). Ocean Beach is very small, it's the upper west side of a peninsula that is part of San Diego. If you have ever driven interstate 10 west it turns into interstate 8. The very very end of interstate 8 is where OB begins. And not far off from that is where you'd hit the Pacific Ocean. I'm talking like 6 blocks and then it's ocean. Back in the 70's it was a kinda of hippie place, the co op that existed back then that my mom and I stocked shelves at to earn groceries still exists but it's sleek now. Not the funky patchuli and wood place worked by stinky dread locked hippes that I remember. It is home to San Diego's last head shop, The Black. The owner actually lived 2 houses down from us for awhile when I was a kid. OB is so hippie that in 2001 Starbucks rented space there to open a store and it was seriously protested. Seriously. It didn't work though but then again neither did most of that hippie crap from the 60's and 70's. Go figure.

What I remember though is being a child of a college student and a working dad and everyone hung out and smoked pot. All the time. I didn't know parental types did anything else to enjoy themselves. All this kid-centric stuff we do out here in suburbia? None of that. The back yard bbq's served brownies that we kids couldn't eat. It was different but none of us kids knew it was different because we didn't know anything else right? I had forgotten how poor we were too until another elementary school classmate reminded me. He was talking about how he'd spend the day collection cans and it would get him enough money to buy dinner. And I thought, damn we were really poor weren't we? Ah well, you can't control your childhood of days past.

The up side was OB really was an amazing place and we had available to us some absolutely beautiful places to enjoy.

This is the OB pier, the longest pier in San Diego. This is the north side of the pier, all of OB's beaches are north of this pier.

This is the view of the south side of the pier, the tide pools reside here if you are there at low tide. I really have got to take the kid here someday, tide pools are awesome.

See here, this is further in the tide pools...

All those lovely crevices hide a variety of life form, see...

As you move further south in the terrain becomes cliffs, Sunset Cliffs to be specific. Not all are accessible by walking down from the pier. Sometimes you have to scale the cliffs. These areas have wonderful surf spots and beaches that are unknown to tourists and can only be reached because someone was nice enough to tie a rope to a big big rock that you could use to repel down the side of a rock formation. Yeah I know, just ready to hop down one of these cliffs aren't ya? It's worth it though, these places are lovely.
Here's a little blurb that explains the names of these little 'beaches':
Garbage Beach at Ladera Street is named for the large amounts of odiferous kelp among its rocks. Built-in stairs lead down the cliff to this beach. Beware; the descent is very steep. Two other beaches — No Surf Beach (Hill and Froud Streets on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard) and New Break Beach (south of Point Loma Nazarene College) — have no identified route leading down to the water’s edge. Trails to these beaches exist, but finding them can be challenging.
Challenging, hah, you should try it when you're dragging a 3 yr old and all of the crap one brings to the beach with said nugget. Precarious at best.

No place is without it's faults, growing up in OB was obscure at best. I just saw these photos and I swear it all cam back to me. We lived a 15 minute walk from this beach. I spent most of my childhood on this beach while my mom surfed, this beach could entertain me for hours. Good thing too.


Violet said...

What a gorgeous place to grow up! I am a water girl who grew up in central Illinois, surrounded by corn and soybean fields and I thirsted for bodies of water and picturesque surroundings (still do). I lived in LA for a couple of years in my 20s and made the two-hour bus trip to the beach as often as I could.

Thanks for sharing these pics! I'll think about them as I drift off to sleep tonight. (Drift - get it? heh heh)

MichelleSG said...

2 hours? Gawd so cal transit has always sucked. Or was it that you lived just that far inland? LA is HUGE and no self respecting San Diegan will go up there unless they have to. Or to go clubbing. Really though, LA is much to big and only people from the mid west live there. Oddest place ever.

Tabitha Kim said...

OK. I'm tempted.

MichelleSG said...

Oh gilrfriend you'd LOVE it. Really.