Saturday Photo Throwdown, Part 1 - Sign People and Lurid Flamingos
- 2009-02-01 16:09:03<<< Previous - Planning a Raymond Chandler Evening...er Afternoon | Next - Saturday Photo Throwdown, Part 2 - Merchandise and Random Birds, Flowers, and Lizards >>>
So I've culled through the photos I took yesterday and there are about 80 something worth sharing. Important - note that when I call something "worth sharing" what I really
mean is "the photos aren't always epic, they're sometimes blurry, but some are simply an excuse for me to comment about something." Yes, in my world photos are an excuse to tell an anecdote. I'll leave the craftmanship of the perfect photo to Jon
Since there are so many of these photos I can go on with them for multiple entries, so enjoy.
Oh and I should admit that I'm able to cheat during our Photo Throwdown because Jon's driving. This means that I can take random silly shots of things we're passing - and of course he has to keep his hands on the wheel and can't.
For example, on our way to lunch...
In California you can't drive in any area with shops without seeing some of these Sign People at a street corner. Is this only a California thing or are these folk now everywhere? I can't remember seeing any of them in the south when I lived there, and when I was an east coaster I didn't have a car so I'm not sure about the Sign People in those parts.
Sign People twirl their signs, sometimes in an entertaining way, and wave and shout at the passing cars, hoping to interest drivers in the deals on said sign. I'd never assume it's an easy job - the people spend hours on their feet, often in hot sun, and I'm sure it's also incredibly dull. In the past most signs I'd noticed had to do with real estate open houses. This one really caught my notice because I'm in desperate need of a haircut, to the extent that my Mom was threatening to pack me into her car and take me to any hair salon to help out. The hard part about finding someone new to cut your hair is having to deal with the Search for a Salon. Because - and I think most women can relate to this - we've all been to a place for a haircut and come away unhappy. I'm at the point where all I want is a trim, but even that can end up with a resulting Bad Haircut. Eventually I'll get in a mood where such a haircut won't bother me, and I'll venture out and try someplace new. But...probably not the place advertized on this particular guy's sign. Even though it's really close to where we live.
The other thing I wanted to point out about that photo - the gas station in the background. No matter how long I'll live in California there will always be some things that amuse me - like gas stations with tile roofs, and other architectural elements nicer than many apartments I've lived in. This is a particularly tidy station with lots of room to move your car around the pumps, and the entire area covered and thus shadey. The landscaping around it is lovely too. It's a station that's much nicer and cleaner than many a restaurant I've eaten at in the south. Which I'm not sure is a good or
a bad thing. I won't even go into the television screens at each pump so that you can watch little "fake news" videos while you pump your gas. I spend a lot of time thinking about how surreal this all seems every time I fill the tank.
For lunch we tried Habañeros Mexican Food
(Plaza Sorrento, 6755 Mira Mesa Blvd). I think I ate there ages ago when I worked nearby, but the place seems nicer now and I think the menu has changed - in any case, it was like a new restaurant to me. (Or could just be my bad memory, we eat a lot of Mexican food.) Plus it was a great day out for us since both Jon and I have been in recovery mode from the recent Evil Stomach Virus - this was the first meal of anything more interesting than baked potato for me in about two weeks.
In that photo you can see Jon taking a similar photo - and yes, there's the cute lil camera (Canon PowerShot SD790IS) we're both using. I can't remember what his combo platter was - mine's the carne asada, and it was quite tasty. Only "meh" part is that dollop of guacamole - the light green color and smooth texture is a tip off that this isn't really that good, and mostly sour cream plus a bit of avacado. But since it's more of a garnish and less the star here, nothing to get worked up over. The meat and refried beans were what I was focusing on, and both were excellent. Adding both of these to a nice flour tortilla made me a happy person, and I could be a wimp and avoid any hot sause and appease my picky stomach. There's a salsa bar and chips available, so if salsa is your thing you'll have something to keep you busy while waiting on your food. Habañeros is really a "grab something fast on your lunch hour" type of place, and as that it's comfortable and the food is good. Now if only it had a drive through.
Back on the road, headed to the zoo. (It's always better to eat before going to the zoo as the restaurant there isn't really that great. Especially when you have so many good places to eat in this town.)
One of the reasons I love having a camera while driving is for moments like this. When I see a website on a car like this I admit, I always wonder and want to get online and check the place out. For those who are similarly curious: the restaurant is Monsoon Fine Cuisine of India
. The website itself
is still under construction (or is when I'm writing this). Oh and be sure to notice the license plate humor as well.
One thing I forgot to do before we left...
...clean the windshield. I dearly love this bridge (Balboa Park's Cabrillo Bridge
) - from this perspective it always looks like a Roman aqueduct
. And I always want to get a photo of it from this angle - except the only place you can get a photo at this angle is from the highway. There's no place to pull off and take photos - thankfully, as traffic here is usually messy anyhow. I'm sure there's a way to manage to hike to a location where you could get this photo - but it would take much more effort than I've wanted to put into the project. Meanwhile - enjoy the view through our dirty windshield!
So once we arrive at the zoo and enter, we're faced with the Flamingo
area. And hot pink flamingos in bright sunlight results in a somewhat lurid amount of color.
I'm used to pink flamingos - but many of these birds were a deep shade of coral that I didn't think I'd quite seen before. Or maybe I've just not appreciated it. According to wikipedia, "zoo-fed flamingos may be given food with the additive canthaxanthin, which is often also given to farmed salmon." I'm thinking that's some very intense, uberfine vintage canthaxanthin being injested here.
For some reason ducks are never intimidated by the flamingos and seem to peacefully share the area with them.
This flamingo is observing the gang of ducks who are scuffling with each other, and are hogging the entire area of this pond. You'd think the flamingo would eventually be tempted to nip one of them. But it's probably hard for him to bend over that far.
Lest you think all is peace and mellowness among the flamingos, check out this area...
Two flamingos eye each other...
At first it's just a staredown...
And then it's on - beak nipping time! I love how the other flamingos aren't paying any attention and pratically seem to be yawning at these two.
Here's a close up. I don't know about you but having been nipped by ducks and by a turkey (I have had such an exciting past) I think I'd avoid anything with a beak this big.
Meanwhile, this flamingo spent the entire fight relaxing on the sand. So I suppose some flamingos are just more laid back than others.
More photos to follow. I actually have to wait for Jon to post at least one before I can continue on. So anyone wishing him to pester him a bit can check out his blog
and see if he's posted yet.
(Though theoretically that will only get me into trouble. Maybe. Heh.)
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