Shades Bistro, Ocean Beach, San Diego

9 03 2011

Shades Oceanfront Bistro

Met some very friendly OBians at the bar at Shades Oceanfront Bistro today. Featured is a wide selection of martinis and cocktails. They could improve the quality of selections for wine by the glass, however. I ordered the Chicken Breast Stuffed with Artichoke Hearts. Pretty yummy with generous portions including a nice selection of side dishes. Be sure to go between 4 to 6 p.m. for their 1/2 off drinks happy hour. If you’re alert, you may snag a seat outside. The Ocean Beach Pier always looks good. I’ll go again. The Vagabond Wahine


Ocean Beach: #2 of 48 Places

25 02 2011

I made the great leap across the big Pacific pond: I’m now living in Southern California. I wasn’t sure which beach town I’d wind up in. I only visited the San Diego area twice, many years ago. I remembered La Jolla as being especially beautiful. Although I looked at a couple of places there and one in Pacific Beach, I found a great place in Ocean Beach, only two blocks from sand and sea.
I love this little town already. Unlike so many busy, touristy beach towns, OB (as the locals call it) is quiet and laid back. The mornings are especially slow. When I walk the three blocks to Newport Avenue (the main drag) at 9 a.m., there is very little traffic and very few people out and about. OB hasn’t been too cold for me, but I do walk on the sunny side of the street. I still get chilled walking in the shade. I think there is a lot happening late at night here: many bars, many with live music. The young, party crowd must be sleeping it off in the mornings. Also, it’s only February. I assume summers are more touristy and much warmer.
I love the “vibe” here. People really care about their town and are active in protecting it from chain restaurants and big-box stores. Apparently there was quite a fuss made before a Starbucks opened on Newport. I would imagine there are some die-hard OBians who refuse to get coffee there. Fortunately there are lots of other choices for breakfast or coffee.
Do I miss Maui? Naturally. I left many good friends in Hawaii and do miss the warm weather. I’m sure I’ll make new friends here and eventually my body with get acclimatized. Due to having such a nice landlady, I’ve met several of her friends already. Such a nice group: very friendly and accepting of new arrivals. She is a musician, so some of the women I met (Annie, Joyce and Brenda) are also singer/songwriters. One of the first evenings I was here, we went to hear some of them perform at Winston’s: an OB institution.
Of all the places I could have landed, I’m so pleased with where I’m living. It’s not the house with a garden and cat that I dreamed of … but it is safe, comfortable and I feel right at home in my room in a condo. I love that I’m within walking distance of all I need. The San Diego bus system is pretty good when I do need to leave this area.
So all of San Diego waits for me to discover. I went with my landlady and two of her friends to Balboa Park to see “Hubble” at the science center. Afterwards we walked around the concourse. There is so much to do and see here, I know I’ll return to visit the art museums and gardens. One of the sites I visited on my first trip to SD was the zoo. I know I’ll want to see that again too.
So I’m happy as a clam: amazed that my 48 Places journey is off to such a good start. I’m looking forward to my three months here. After that: the world awaits.