|Two poinsettia earrings hang from my "jade plant cuttings in plastic cup" Christmas tree|
One day J&C and I decided to spend a few hours at Balboa Park, perusing some exhibits at the San Diego Museum of Art. I live in a town where cosmopolitan cultural offerings are at best minimal and at worst nonexistent, so it was a thrill for me to visit a real big city museum.However, it did not take me long to realize that the early 20th century architecture here was as captivating as the 14th century paintings I had come to see.
|San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park|
Balboa Park is one of the oldest urban parks in the United States; it was set aside for public recreation in 1835. It hosted the Panama–California Exposition (1915–1916) which celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, and the California–Pacific International Exposition (1935–1936) which helped to promote San Diego and support its economy in the wake of the Depression. Today, Balboa Park and its historic Exposition buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
|Casa del Prado|
|Arch along El Prado Arcade|
|El Prado Arcade|
|Botanical building with reflecting pool|
|My urban camping hosts!|
|Casa de Balboa|
In 1910, San Diego had a population of around 37,500 inhabitants and Balboa Park was primarily open space. However, the landscaping and building completed for the Exposition transformed the Park into an important cultural center that today houses San Diego’s major museums. In conjunction with the Centennial observation, for the first time since 1935 the California Tower will be open for public tours starting in January 2015. Hidden staircases, a seven–floor ascent, and finally a climb up a spiral stairway will present to the 21st century visitor views of the southern California landscape that the 1915 Exposition participant might hardly recognize.
|California Tower with arcade and dome|