Aug 20, 2009 | 969 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Old Town is fun again!... We went once to the dismal disaster created by Delaware North at formerly colorful Bazaar del Mundo: dull shops filled with large, expensive replicas of an era that few cared about–and even fewer visited. Forget that image. The color is back and the shops, while different from the original Bazaar, are filled with a delightful mix of items for tourists and locals. (And an even more sensibly wide range of prices.)

I know. Old Town’s not in PB, but it’s still one of the first places we like to take our out-of-town visitors. It’s called Fiesta de Reyes now, with San Diego County restaurateur Chuck Ross in charge. Casa de Reyes, serving traditional Mexican-style dishes in Casa de Pico’s old courtyard location, once again features umbrellas (banned in Delaware North’s austere version).

We had tasty Indian fry-bread tacos at Barra Barra, offering a more casual, contemporary menu in a ranch-house setting.

The best part? After wandering through surrounding historical buildings and shops on adjacent streets, we came back to relax in the courtyard at dusk. A Latin group played in their bandstand, and a new fire pit drew families as little ones danced to the music.

One last compliment: The landscaping is drought-tolerant, yet colorful; more subtle than the former bazaar, but well-suited to both old and new San Diego.

San Diego mini-vacation… On Monday we toured San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park. At 100 degrees heat – surprise – it was not crowded! The tram ride and the cool breeze that followed was terrific. Tuesday we explored the Midway Museum, climbing up and down narrow steps and ladders. What a view from the end of the Midway! Dinner at Anthony’s reminded us, again, what a lovely harbor we have.

We quickly visited downtown before ComicCon took over. Petco Park on a non-game day is impressive, an architectural jewel with attractive drought-tolerant landscaping.

Old Town, downtown, San Pasqual Valley – we are indeed fortunate. But coming home to PB’s even better.

Solar specials… When developer Mike Turk built four houses on Malden (replacing Carmelita and Bern Swarts’ old “Gingerbread House”), they were billed as environmentally friendly.

Interviews with several residents confirmed this. “Wonderful light floods the place,” said one. “With solar panels, electric bills are much lower,” declared another.

His new condo complex on Mission Boulevard at PB Drive is also “sustainable development.” It’s attractive enough – wood and stucco with stone trim in front and copper above the three-bedroom condos.

In front, 10 tall palms and brick sidewalks add a nice touch.

Will on-site parking in that busy area be sufficient? Only time will tell.
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