Category Archives: Out & About

Some days are longer and more glorious than others

Out & About

Today is going to be a long but glorious day, first teaching chess at a fabulous Rancho Santa Fe mansion….

2014 National High School Chess Championship in San Diego, California

Rancho Santa Fe home

….then a home inspection at a beautiful City Heights home….

Home inspection

….followed by an outing with the Pacific Photographic Society at Comic Con’s Zombie Walk.

Going anywhere with the Pacific Photographic Society is fun, but fun events make it even more fun!

Here are a few pictures from past Zombie Walks and Comic Cons:

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Headless Horseman at 2014 Comic Con International

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Sea lions at play in the wild

Out & About

As much as I love visiting zoos, aquariums, and animal sanctuaries, there’s still something special about seeing wildlife in the wild.

So yesterday Jim and I took a walk along Fisherman’s Landing between Harbor Island and Shelter Island. We were there rather later, when the day fisherpeople were coming in and the night fisherpeople were leaving.

At the side of one of the just-arrived boats were three sea lions playing in the drainage from the boat. Normally the docks are private, for owners and fisherpeople, but since there was an arriving crowd and a leaving crowd, I snuck onto the docks and got a 3-minute video of the sea lions at play.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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A visit to La Jolla, California, jewel of the Southern California coast

Out & About

If you have been following along with my recent posts, you might have detected that I was in La Jolla recently, several times since Hillary Clinton was here signing books a month ago.

Let us stay with the La Jolla theme for one more post.

Following are Photographic Art based on pictures in and around La Jolla, mostly along the coast and in the central business district.

Let’s start at the coast first, the La Jolla cove, which is where you’ll find billions and billions and billions of brown pelicans, white-breasted cormorants, harbor seals, and sea lions.

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Look back at the very first picture, the panorama, smack dab (smack dab?) top center, you can see a little platform. Here is what was happening on that platform the morning I was there:

La Jolla, California

The coastline is awesome, so you can find all sorts of art for sale. Of course, the best La Jolla art is in the La Jolla Gallery of Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America! (I might be slightly prejudiced.)

La Jolla, California

There are many art galleries in La Jolla, and some of them put their art outside for the enjoyment of all:

La Jolla, California

Along with murals on exterior building walls….

La Jolla, California

….you can find “trash can” art. Virtually every trash can and public utility box is painted on all four sides….

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Native Indians (the Kumeyaay and the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians) enjoyed La Jolla before the white man (actually Spaniards) ever got there. One trashcan’s art features an American Indian, and the feathers spell out the names of several areas along the San Diego County coast:

La Jolla, California

I find it amazing that we have so many murals, trash can art, and utility box art here in San Diego yet California schools continue to dismantle K-12 art (and music) programs. Of course, sports programs live on…. Sad….

You can find wall art at restaurants and on the front walls of many homes:

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Some restaurants and stores make art out of plants:

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Because of the cool, coastal climate, as well as natural watering via night mist and dew, virtually any plant will grow in La Jolla, and they make some beautiful Photographic Art:

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Of course, La Jolla would not be a seaside, (rich) beach community without common seagulls:

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

If you plan to visit San Diego County, be sure your plan includes a trip to La Jolla for awesome views of the coast and the amazing wildlife which choose to hang out there. You might even see me walking around with camera in hand!

La Jolla, California

Visit La Jolla on Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Marine mammals of La Jolla, California

Out & About

I have accomplished so much today that I thought I would treat y’all to an extra blog post.

Since my blog post earlier was Photographic Art of the brown pelicans of La Jolla, I thought I’d stick with the wildlife of La Jolla theme and show you the harbor seals and sea lions.

Smile (or leave a comment) if you know the two quickest ways to tell a harbor seal from a sea lion.

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

If you plan to visit San Diego County, be sure your plan includes a trip to La Jolla awesome views of the coast and the amazing wildlife which choose to hang out there.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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The brown pelicans of La Jolla, California

Out & About

The first time I visited La Jolla in 1993, it was to watch the people.

Over the years, though, it has become much more fun to watch the wildlife—pelicans, cormorants, harbor seals, and sea lions—as they seem to have taken over the La Jolla Cove.

Following are some Photographic Art of pelicans based on pictures from a recent trip to the Cove. We’ll get to the cormorants, seals, and sea lions in a future post.

If you plan to visit San Diego County, be sure your plan includes a trip to La Jolla for the views of the coast and the wildlife.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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It’s San Diego Gay Pride weekend!

Out & About

Gay flag in Hillcrest, San Diego, CaliforniaThis weekend is Gay Pride weekend in San Diego.

If you ask yourself why we have Gay Pride weekends in virtually every major city throughout the world, well,

  • as soon as we can get married to the person we love throughout the world;
  • walk down the streets holding hands;
  • make out under the street lamp on the corner like so many straight couples do;
  • put pictures of our loved ones on our desks and walls at work;
  • U.S. and Gay Pride flagsall with nary a second thought….

well, we might not need a Gay Pride weekend anymore. Until then….

This might be the first San Diego Gay Pride weekend that I have missed completely since my first one in 1993.

So here are some pictures of past Gay Pride weekends:

Rainbow balloons

God loves all her children

Lining up for the parade

Colorful costumes

When do i get to vote on your civil rights

San Diego Pride

Gay dog

Rainbow flags

Celebrate diversity

San Diego gay pride parade

Proud ally

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Gay Pride Weekend is one of the few 3-day gay pride events in the world and, because of our weather and the beaches, is always well-attended. They were expecting around 200,000 people for the 2-hour parade this morning, and more for the festival today and tomorrow, ranking it as San Diego’s largest civic event.

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I finally learned its name!

Picture of the Moment

San Diego State University is just a mile down the road from me.

I often ride my bike to campus and then ride around campus, or I’ll walk down the hill from my house to the 70th Street trolley station and take the San Diego Trolley over to SDSU.

Either way, a ride or walk around the SDSU campus invariably provides many picture opportunities.

Following are two Photographic Art of Hepner Hall, the iconic building on the campus that appears in anything and everything about the university. I never knew its name, even after 21 years in San Diego, until Julian and I were uploading pictures to our galleries at Fine Art America.

Hepner Hall on the campus of San Diego State University

Hepner Hall on the campus of San Diego State University

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

See San Diego State University on Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (7-14-14)—Take me out to the dead man’s party

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Yesterday I got to tour Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Looks like this from centerfield:

Petco Park panorama from center field

Speaking of center field….

“Centerfield” by John Fogerty, 1985

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The views of San Diego were more spectacular than actually touring the ballpark. For example, here’s a picture of the two-year-old Skybridge that connects the Hilton Bayfront and the San Diego Convention Center with Petco Park and the 9-month-old San Diego Central Library:

Skybridge San Diego

Speaking of bridges, here’s an underappreciated song:

“Seven Bridges Road” by The Eagles, 1980

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Speaking of eagles, here’s….

“Fly Like An Eagle” by The Steve Miller Band, 1976

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Speaking of Miller, that reminds me of beer, which takes us back to the ballpark….

“I Like Beer” by Tom T. Hall, 1975

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Speaking of Tom T. Hall, one day in 1968 I got in trouble at school. The principal called my wise old grandmother to come get me. Playing on the radio on the drive home was “Harper Valley P.T.A.” by Jeannie C. Riley, written by Tom T. Hall.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I had been expelled from school for two days, and I’ll just leave it at that. There’s a reason I didn’t become a teacher—I would have had a class full of little monster Russels…………….

Speaking of monsters, Comic Con International starts on July 24. Zombie Walk is Saturday, July 26. It’s basically a….

“Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo, 1986

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

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Tony Gwynn statue at Petco Park in San Diego

Out & About

This morning I went with the Pacific Photographic Society for a private tour of Petco Park, which is where the San Diego Padres profess to being a major league baseball team. Their current record as of today is 41-54, good enough for third place in the National League West, out of 5 teams in that division.

Oh, well.

At least the tour was much better than our major league baseball team is.

On the north side of the stadium is a statue of Tony Gwynn, also known as Mr. Padre. Looks like this:

Tony Gwynn statue at Petco Park in San Diego

Sadly, Tony Gwynn died on June 16, 2014, at the age of 54, after battling salivary gland cancer for about a year. I don’t know what caused the cancer, but chewing tobacco used by major league baseball players comes immediately to mind.

Gwynn was born in Los Angeles and attended college at San Diego State University where he played baseball for three years and basketball for four years. He was drafted on the same day in 1981 by both the San Diego Padres baseball team and the San Diego Clippers basketball team, ultimately choosing baseball.

Gwynn hit left handed and won eight batting titles, was an all-star 15 times, and won seven Silver Slugger Awards for his offensive skills and five Gold Glove Awards for his defensive skills. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, his first year of eligibility.

Gwynn played in the World Series in 1984 and 1998, the only two World Series appearances in San Diego’s franchise history. He had a .338 career batting average and never hit below .309 in any full season. Gwynn retired with 3,141 career hits with the San Diego Padres, one of just ten players to reach the 3,000 hit club while only playing for only one team.

Following his retirement from professional baseball, Gwynn was hired as the head baseball coach at San Diego State University, which is when I got to know him as I hung out often at Aztec baseball games.

The Padres retired his #19 jersey number in 2004.

RIP, Tony.

Location of Tony Gwynn statue
Location of Tony Gwynn statue at Petco Park in San Diego, Californai

Go to location on Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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At least they have new fences….

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you go to the world-famous La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California (a neighborhood of San Diego), you can stand looking at the ocean and see this:

La Jolla Cove panorama, La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Seals and sea lions at La Jolla Cove, La Jolla, California

Sunset at La Jolla Cove, 10-17-12, La Jolla, California

If you turn and look behind you, this might be what you see:

Red Roost Neptune cottage in La Jolla, California

Red Rest Neptune cottage in La Jolla, CaliforniaNeptune cottage in La Jolla, California

Those two houses, named Red Roost (top) and Red Rest (bottom), were built in 1894. They are the region’s oldest surviving examples of late-Victorian beach cottage architecture.

They were bought in 1967 by the La Jolla Cove Motel and Hotel Apartments, today known as the La Jolla Cove Suites. On adjacent land sat the La Jolla Bath House, demolished to make way for part of the La Jolla Cove Suites.

The owners intended to demolish the red cottages and build an apartment building. They met with community resistance, although the San Diego City Council withdrew its objection to demolition in 1975. In March 1976, the cottages were placed on the register of the California Office of Historic Preservation, an action that the owners knew nothing about.

That designation, a subsequent designation from the National Register of Historic Places, and the fact that San Diegans passed Proposition D in 1972, setting a height limit of thirty feet on new construction in La Jolla, have prevented the owners from developing the properties.

Since they could not develop the property as they wished, they evicted the tenants in 1977 and began what appears to be intentional and prolonged neglect.

There have been many plans over the years to develop or restore the properties, but none of them have come to fruition.

In 2010, the two properties were put up for sale at $10 million each. I’m sure the land itself in this location is worth $20 million, but the hassle of trying to develop or restore these two houses precludes any logical, sane person from spending that kind of money on them.

Historic structures are required to be kept weatherproofed and free of litter and excess vegetation. I’m not seeing that here and wonder why the City of San Diego doesn’t do something. This is so sad.

Well, at least the houses have new fences around them……..

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos