Photography . . . Travel . . .

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sea Horses and Jellyfish - Scripps Birch Aquaium

The Birch Aquarium at UCSD's Scripps Institute of Oceanography has a special exhibit of sea horses going right now. Because of the low light levels and all the glare on the tanks they're pretty hard to get a good picture of, but they are a lot of fun to watch.

This first one is a leafy sea dragon. I can't imagine how they came up with that name.

The regular (non-leafy variety I guess) sea dragon looks like something right out of a Dr. Seuss book.

I forgot what these little ones are called, but they look more like what you generally imagine when you think of a sea horse.

The aquarium also has a couple of small but nice jellyfish tanks. These sea nettles sure don't look like something you would want to run into while out swimming.

They have the coolest moray eel there too. His eyes have this really sinister blue look, and they appear to have some sort of membrane over them that makes them look cloudy.

Click here for more images from my short walk around the Scripps Birch Aquarium this afternoon.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ethnic Food Fair at the International Cottages - Balboa Park, San Diego

The Ethnic Food Fair at the International Cottages in Balboa Park is always held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. It's one of our favorites, and we try to attend each year. This event seems to get bigger every year too, and this year it seemed like everyone and their dog was there.

We did a quick walk around the whole place first, in order to check out what was being offered by each of the countries. After we had checked all of them out, we decided to try the House of Ireland first, the Banger and Champ was excellent. 

The potatoes were served with slices of Irish sausage and carmelized onions. (At this point I should mention that the food photos you're about to see are nowhere near as good as the food itself. There was no place to put anything down or to be able to control the lighting.)

From Ireland we headed over to Argentina, which consistently had the longest lines of the day. Both the Choripan (sausage) and the Spinach Empanadas were excellent. The Chimichurri Sauce on the sausage was great, as was the roll (it had never seen the inside of plastic bag, so it had a nice crust). The only picture I have of the sausage sandwich itself is really bad, so we'll go with Chef Frank cooking them instead.

Next stop was China, where we tried the Dumplings (potstickers) and Green Onion Pancake.

At that point we were thinking it was probably time to take a break, and our plan was to wander down to the Art Museum to check out the new Greek Heroes exhibit. We got as far as the House of England when Heather spotted the Chicken Pies. We started talking with ladies running the booth, and one of them insisted on going to get us some fresh out of the oven pies. She came back a few minutes later, but I could not get her to look up for the picture.

So now we were finally ready to head for the Art Museum for a little break. No photos allowed in the special exhibits, but I did get this one of the fountain in entrance area.

When we stepped back outside this girl asked if I would take a picture of her and a friend with her camera. It was the coolest Polaroid I've seen in a while, and I had to get a shot of the camera.

Time for some desert, back at the Food Fair. First stop was the House of Finland for a Crepe with strawberries and whipped cream, and a glass of cold Blueberry Soup (no picture).

Our last stop of the day, staying with the northern European theme, was the House of Norway, where we had Vaffler, a waffle with jam and sour cream.

We had a nice little talk with the ladies serving the waffles. Like everyone else at the Fair, they seemed to be having a great time.

Click here to see more images from the Ethnic Food Fair at the International Cottages in Balboa Park this afternoon.

An Evening in Pacific Beach

Heather and I joined LaRee for an early dinner at Hennessey's in Pacific Beach on Saturday so that we could listen to local singer / songwriter Alyssa Jacey perform. She is definitely worth watching for.

The food at Hennessey's is pretty good too. I had the corned beef and cabbage (and forgot to take a picture). After that we went for a walk along the Boardwalk. In some ways it's changed a lot since I was last there, but in many ways it's still the same. Pacific Beach has always been a collection of "colorful" people and sights.

Heather found a new friend along the way.

I snapped this shot of LaRee while we were waiting for the sun to set.

Pacific Beach might not be my first choice of a beach to walk along, but between the music, the food and the company, we had a very enjoyable evening.

Click here to see more images from our Saturday evening in Pacific Beach.

Click here to learn more about Alyssa Jacey. Be sure to turn your speakers on.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More Night Photography - Santa Fe Station, San Diego - May 25th

I spent a few hours walking around the waterfront and the area around Santa Fe Station in downtown San Diego on Tuesday evening with Rae and Robert. We parked out by the Maritime Museum, had dinner at Anthony's, and just walked around for a few hours enjoying a nice evening and shooting pictures. 

There was an older private coach from I think the 1930's or so hooked to end of the Amtrak train to Los Angeles. Right after I got this next shot a security guard came running out and told Rae and I that it is against some law (he could not be more specific) to take pictures of the trains. He said the buildings and tracks were okay, but we had to have special permission from Amtrak to photograph the trains themselves. Granted, we were on station property, so maybe that was the issue. We moved off to the sidewalk for a while.

This next shot was taken from the sidewalk right after our little chat with the security guard. I can't guarantee that viewing these photos won't make you an accessory after the fact to some sort of heinous crime. My suggestion for anyone viewing these would be to remember that, if the Feds come to speak with you, you have the right to remain silent.

We had not planned to be out breaking any laws, but Heather said it was a good thing that she had stayed home, so there would be someone to come and bail us out if necessary. On the street in front of the train station I took a long exposure shot of the trolley passing by. The exposure was so long that if you look closely you see Rae and her tripod on the other side of the trolley.

Before we went inside the old station itself we got some shots of the San Diego Trolley going through the main station at One America Plaza. This is one of the coolest modern structures in town.

The train station itself is a great old building with lots of tile work both inside and outside.

Click here to see more images from our evening walk around San Diego.

Monday, May 24, 2010

San Diego Maritime Museum - Sunday, May 23, 2010

On our way to the Sicilian Festival we parked a few blocks out on Kettner, and I finally got around to taking a shot of this wall of a building that you can see from India Street. I've been driving by this for close to 30 years, and never bothered to stop. I think I got a shot of it a long time ago, but who knows where that slide might be now. The light was pretty good so I took advantage of it.

A few friends had met us at the Festival. After we finished up there we walked down past the County Administration Building to the Waterfront, and toured the San Diego Maritime Museum. The wind was really blowing the palm trees around, it almost looked and felt like Hawaii, except that it was a lot colder.

The Maritime Museum is always a fun stop. We spent about 3 hours wandering around on the various boats, pretty much until 5:00PM, which was when they started serving over at Fat City Steakhouse down the street. Here's the ferry boat Berkeley, the USS Dolphin, and a couple of old steam yachts in the background.

Here's Robert and Rae in the sitting room on the steam yacht Medea. Robert felt it was most appropriate to pose in the manner that someone from 1904, when this yacht built, would. He seemed pretty certain that they took their photos quite seriously back then. 

Next stop was the USS Dolphin, the deepest diving submarine ever. They don't say just how deep, you have to take their word for it. Here's Robert checking out the view. 

This is the view through the periscope.

Looks like we had a choice, and of course we choose "More Boats". There were a lot more boats to see too, including the ferry boat Berkeley, the Californian, the HMS Surprise, the Star of India and the Russian submarine.

Here's the forward torpedo room of the Russian submarine.

The periscope was pointed right at CVN76, the USS Ronald Reagan, which was tied up at North Island across the Bay on Coronado.

Here's Heather peering out from one of the cabins on board the Russian sub,

Click here to see more images from our afternoon at the San Diego Maritime Museum on Sunday, May 23rd.

Sicilian Festival - Little Italy, San Diego - Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Sicilian Festival in San Diego's Little Italy has gotten to be quite a big deal. For me at least, I think it's gotten a bit too commercialized compared to what it was many years ago, but it does draw a huge crowd, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. It was fun to walk around for a few hours, and we had some good food too. They even had a carrettu that looked pretty nice, but the horse, I think, has seen better days.

Here's a bit of the detail from the back of the cart.

The whole experience was certainly lively and colorful, and it was crowded.

She sure got a lot of attention.

I wonder if any of these dancers are actually of Italian heritage, but they do put on a good show.

Just in case you got this far and still hadn't figured out about the horse, here's a better view. He was definitely not going anywhere.

Click here to see more images from the Sicilian Festival in Little Italy, San Diego.

About Me

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San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage. You can also see more on my Instagram page @frankbaiamonte.

Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.