Tag Archives: la jolla california

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California

Out & About

Many decades ago my mom took us kids down to the courthouse to get the latest polio vaccine. I remember it well because it didn’t involve a needle. In fact, the vaccine came via a sugar cube, and as an 8-year-old child, the lack of needles and someone giving me a sugar cube was pretty cool.

What we had received was an oral polio vaccine developed by Albert Sabin in the late 1950s. It underwent human trials in 1957, was selected by the U.S. National Institute of Health as the polio vaccine of preference, and licensed in 1962.

The first widely available polio vaccine, an “inactivated poliovirus vaccine,” was developed in 1952 by Jonas Salk while at the University of Pittsburgh. After two doses, 90% of the people develop protective antibodies to all three types of poliovirus. After three doses, that increases to 99%. Sadly, it is given by injection, which involves needles…….

In 1960, Salk founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, a suburban neighborhood of the City of San Diego, about 20 miles north of downtown San Diego.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Salk Institute is an international center for medical and scientific research. Architects and those who know architecture rave about the Salk Institute campus. Personally, I find the architecture dull, boring, and uninteresting, verging on flat-out ugly. But what do I know?

Here are some pictures of the Salk Institute campus:

img_3091 salk institute stamp img_3087 salk institute stamp img_3078 salk institute stamp img_3097 salk institute stamp img_3095 salk institute stampPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Salk Institute consistently ranks among the top institutions in the United States in terms of research output and quality in the life sciences. In 2004, the Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Salk as the world’s top biomedicine research institute, and in 2009 it was ranked number one globally by ScienceWatch in the neuroscience and behavior areas.

The institute employs 850 researchers in 60 research groups and focuses its research in molecular biology and genetics, neurosciences, and plant biology.

The campus was designed by Louis Kahn. According to Wikipedia sources, “Kahn created a style that was monumental and monolithic; his heavy buildings for the most part do not hide their weight, their materials, or the way they are assembled. Louis Kahn’s works are considered as monumental beyond modernism. Famous for his meticulously built works, his provocative proposals that remained unbuilt, and his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century.” Suffice to say that he and his style are not among my favorites.

The original buildings of the Salk Institute were designated as a historical landmark in 1991. The entire 27-acre site was deemed eligible by the California Historical Resources Commission in 2006 for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Salk’s personal papers are stored at the Theodore Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego. You might recognize the name of Theodore Geisel as that of Dr. Seuss. Geisel’s personal papers also are stored at the Library.

The Geisel Library is what I consider beautiful architecture:

Geisel Library at the University of California San DiegoPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

(More on the Geisel Library can be found here: The Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego.)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Mall walking

Out & About

During my first year at Texas A&M University I lived on campus. Sadly, the two dorms I lived in, Moore Hall and Puryear Hall, were destroyed several years ago in the name of progress, i.e., bigger, more beautiful, more progressive dorms.

During my second year, I moved off campus into an apartment that was, at the time, way out in the boondocks. Fortunately, my bicycle found a back roads shortcut to campus.

I lived out in the boondocks for my remaining years of college. After graduation I spent five years in Houston before moving back to College Station where I bought a duplex in the same boondocks. However, that area was no longer the boondocks. With several new apartment complexes, sorority row with 12 sorority houses, and the new Post Oak Mall, it was pretty much the center of non-campus activity.

Post Oak Mall stores didn’t open until 10:00 a.m. but the mall itself was open at 7:00 a.m. for the Post Oak Mall Walkers, of which I was one, probably the youngest one.

I still like to walk malls, but I do it more now to get pictures rather than simply exercise.

Recently I walked one of San Diego’s largest and more beautiful malls. It was 8:00 a.m., and here are a few of the pictures I got:

University Towne Center, La Jolla, California

University Towne Center, La Jolla, California

University Towne Center, La Jolla, California

University Towne Center, La Jolla, California

University Towne Center, La Jolla, California

University Towne Center, La Jolla, California

University Towne Center, La Jolla, California

University Towne Center, La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The mall in question was Westfield UTC in La Jolla. Those of us who have been here more than a few years still call it University Towne Center. It’s a great place to shop, a great place to eat, and, if you enjoy putting on ice skates and falling on your butt many times, a great place to go ice skating….

University Towne Center La Jolla

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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That much I could have guessed

My wise old grandmother

My wise old grandmother was a Master Gardener before there was such a thing. She is the one who developed my love of gardening, To be fair, though, she also is the reason why I have never had a grass lawn, have a great dislike for oleanders and roses unless they are on someone else’s property, and love cactus and succulents, especially if they are on my property.

She used to fertilize her grass like there was no tomorrow. Who am I lying to? No she didn’t. I—me! the one and only!—used to fertilize her grass like there was no tomorrow…. under her direction, of course. I was the one who had the privilege of mowing the lawn twice a week, pruning the oleanders after a norther came through and froze them, pruning the roses so they would bloom more (and have more thorns!).

Air conditioning compressorOne day I asked her if I could have a garden. She said yes and took me to the worst part of the property, where the heated wind from the air conditioning compressor (picture ►) killed everything during the summer months, and told me to make something out of it. I was so depressed. Instead of getting a beautiful garden to call my own, I had a patch of hard, dry, brown soil kept that way by a huge, ugly compressor.

I was able to block the compressor, and it’s heated windstorm, by building a rock wall around it. Then I planted cactus and succulents amongst the rocks, creating a rock garden.

I was reminded of my little cactus and succulent rock garden recently when I was traipsing around La Jolla, a San Diego enclave of the rich and famous. I came across this:

Succulent wall panorama la jolla

(click on image for a larger, more detailed view)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That, of course, is much more elaborate than the little rock wall I built, and theirs is designed to hide the ugly stairs leading from the street up to the house. The landscapers were still building it, and I jokingly commented, “Wow! Nice! I wonder how much that cost.” To which the landscaper replied, “It’s expensive.” That much I could have guessed….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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The Sea Lion Dance

Out & About

Photographic Art stamps based on pictures of the wildlife at La Jolla Cove this past Monday.

Seagulls at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Wading bird at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pelican at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pelican at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cormorants at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea lion at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I love the little girl dancing for the sea lions in the last picture. I’ll call it the Sea Lion Dance.

I’ll end with another sunset picture from Monday’s trip to La Jolla:

Sunset at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla is a great place to visit at any time. The tide pools and beaches are more accessible during low tides, and the there seem to be more wildlife, probably due to the sea creatures stranded in the tide pools.

You can find tide schedules here: La Jolla tides.

The best place to see the tide pools is at Rocky Point, shown on the map below.

Parking throughout La Jolla, especially during Tourist Season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), is scarce so be prepared to drive around for a while looking for a parking spot or park the first place you see a spot and walk to Scripps Park. A walk through downtown La Jolla is a great experience all on its own!rocky point la jolla map

Go to Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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La Jolla tide pools looking like something from another planet

Out & About

I taught chess at Birdrock Elementary in La Jolla yesterda. Class ended at 4:10, and I got all my chess sets put away and got back to the car at 4:30.

Instead of sitting in rush hour traffic for 1½ hours to get home, I decided to go to La Jolla Cove for 1½ hours.

I took 214 pictures—sunset, pelicans, cormorants, seagulls, squirrels, seals and sea lions, tide pools, and the gorgeous views.

Here are five pictures of the tide pools, looking like something from another planet:

Sandstone cliff at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tide pools at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tide pools at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tide pools at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tide pools at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

And one of my favorite pictures from last night’s sunset at the La Jolla Cove:

Sunset at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California on March 23, 2015

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla is a great place to visit at any time but the tide pools and beaches are more accessible during low tides.

You can find tide schedules here: La Jolla tides.

The best place to see the tide pools is at Rocky Point, shown on the map below.

Parking throughout La Jolla, especially during Tourist Season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), is scarce so be prepared to drive around for a while looking for a parking spot or park the first place you see a spot and walk to Scripps Park. A walk through downtown La Jolla is a great experience all on its own!rocky point la jolla map

Go to Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Out & About—Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Out & About

My wise old grandmother introduced me to the joys of gardening, so anytime I see a plant nursery or anything related to plants, including pottery, I tend to stop and take a look.

When I found Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, a little sign was zooming by me at about 50 miles per hour…………Wait. Maybe I was zooming by it………!

Therein is the problem. The poorly marked entrance to Pottery Canyon Natural Park is on a curve on one of La Jolla’s busiest roadways. If you don’t plan your method of attack appropriately…. an accident in the making. Not only that, but Pottery Canyon Natural Park is not on any map anywhere. Here’s where it is, though:

Location of Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The little stub of a street on the right side of Torrey Pines Road is Pottery Park Driveway. Although there is a traffic signal there, I have never been through there on Torrey Pines Road where the signal was anything other than green with cars going up the hill at 50 mph or more. That presents a problem if you’re coming out of Pottery Park Driveway because the light is always red for the Driveway and traffic on the other side going south backs up from all the traffic signals at the messy Torrey Pines Road/La Jolla Parkway intersection. As you’re leaving the Park, I recommend turning right and going north to La Jolla Village Drive to get back to Interstate 5. Otherwise, plan on a long wait at the traffic signal in order to go south.

Pottery Park Driveway leads to a small parking lot big enough for four motorcycles or two Mini Coopers or one 2002 Toyota Camry V6, black.

With that said, what did I find at Pottery Canyon Natural Park? Well, it’s a eucalyptus grove with a hiking trail that is wide, mulched, and short, maybe a half mile, round trip. Easily hiked. Heck, even my husband, Jim, went hiking with me and he’s not the outdoorsy type like me.

That’s it.

Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is history behind this little park, though. According to research, there is a sign about the history. I couldn’t find the sign, which is kind of odd since the park is so small. Nonetheless, according to the La Jolla Historical Society, here’s what the sign apparently says:

Cornelio Rodriguez, an accomplished potter, came to La Jolla in 1928 from Tomatlan in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. He was looking for a suitable site where he and his brothers, Abraham and Ubaldo, could start a pottery works. Here, at the bend of what was then called La Jolla Canyon Road and which was the main route to Los Angeles, he found potter’s gold, the perfect clay deposit, otherwise known as “barro.”

Mission San Diego de AlcalaHe purchased the property, and he and his brothers established the La Jolla Canyon Clay Products Company and built it and their houses here. Their families and their company flourished. They produced handmade roof tiles, unglazed floor tiles, and adobe brick for more than 20 years. Tiles used in the restoration of Mission San Diego de Alcala [picture ►], the construction of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and La Jolla’s Mary Star of the Sea church came from here, as did the roof tiles of numerous houses of the Mission Revival architectural period.

In the 1950s, the brothers were no longer able to use the large oil-fired kiln of earlier days. Many in the large family moved, but Abraham and Cornelio lived out their days here. Cornelio and his wife, Matiana, continued making pots and other clay products on a more limited scale. Using hand-dug clay shaped on a potter’s wheel and fired in a circular wood-burning kiln of ancient Roman design, they supplied the community with unique pottery and delighted generations of school children with deomnstrations of their skill.

All that remains of the original tile works is the old wood-burning kiln, which continued in use until the 1980s.

Sadly, I did not find the old wood-burning kiln either. The missing sign and kiln makes me wonder how long ago that was written by the La Jolla Historical Society.

Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Out & About—The La Jolla Munchkin House

Out & About

There is so much to see and do in La Jolla. After 21½ years living in the San Diego area, I’m still going to La Jolla to see and do things.

Recently I made a trip to La Jolla just to see the famous Munchkin House. Looks like this:

The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There used to be four of these Munchkin Houses, and there are many rumors about them, foremost of which is that after the success of “The Wizard of Oz” movie, released in August 1939, several “Munchkins” took their earnings and built four houses high up on the hillside overlooking La Jolla, houses that were not as tall as traditional homes.

Sadly, the facts aren’t near as exciting as the rumors.

IMG_9271 framedThe last of the remaining houses is located at 7477 Hillside Drive in La Jolla. Public records indicate that the house was built in 1935. That right there destroys the rumor that Munchkins took their earnings from a 1939 movie and had the houses built.

The house was designed by noted architect Cliff May (1909-1989). May grew up in San Diego and is best known for developing the suburban post-war dream home, the California Ranch House. He designed over 1,000 custom residences, and over 18,000 tract homes bear the imprint of his model house prototypes. He died at his mansion in Los Angeles in Brentwood, a neighborhood made famous worldwide by O.J. Simpson in 1994.

The Munchkin House has 1,176 square feet, two bedrooms and one bathroom, and was last sold in August 2003 for $975,000. Although 1,176 square feet certainly is small for a La Jolla home, look at the rear of the house—love the wraparound deck!—as well as the sweeping view it has of La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean:

The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Ocean view from The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The other reason why the Munchkin rumors hold water (pun intended) is due to the lay of the land. I could easily touch the top of the roof without jumping. The house is built into the hillside, so some of it is below street level, leading to the optical illusion that the home’s height is lower than normal, perfect for Munchkins!

Look at the first picture, paying close attention to the doorway. See the path from the street to the door, below ground level? Then look at the window north of the doorway. See how the ground slopes up, making it look like the window is not as high as normal? It’s just closer to the ground is all.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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