It is somehow fitting for my entry to this week’s photo challenge to post a place called Ocean Beach. Actually, there are some other places in California, perhaps the rests of the globe, with the same name. Only the one in San Diego has cool nicknames, OB or Dog Beach. I don’t have a frame of preference, but OB has its own charm and I’m so glad I took this side trip in San Diego.
Before anything else, the benefit of blogging once again ruled in my direction. I found out about OB from Nina’s blog “Wheeling It”, a former featured blog. I wouldn’t even consider coming here if not for that blog entry. Their RV is back on the road again! Perfect time to check out the blog. They already stopped in San Diego, Bakersfield, the ever-magnificent Shasta Lake, and a recent post in Ashland, OR.
Back to OB …
It was a perfect timing for me too because I got there with the California sun coming down all golden and glorious, even if it was after 7 pm.
See that wave. There are plenty of surfing going on in the area. Actually, on the pier are photographers who are also waiting to catch a wave. As Nina coined it, it’s “the only place where that hang-back surfer 60′s vibe is still abundant”.
People-watching, sports and other water activities are common to California beaches and tourist spots. This place actually reminds of Venice Beach. But, OB is less in aspect of commercialism and far more liberating than Venice Beach. On a side of the downtown strip, there were skaters who build their own wooden ramp. I approached them, and they were gladly to show off. Also, unlike Venice Beach, I get to freely take a picture of the art vendor on the pier. He appreciated that I asked to take a picture of his crafts, and was so nice to allow me to do so.
Less crowd, more genuine tranquility, carefee and perhaps, the most welcoming, this small area offers much more. More surfers come here. I saw a lot of people with guitars, and that’s not just the staged regulars of the beach. People reel their fish poles on the pier. Street arts are obscure. People are gingerly walking through a rocky coast at the very end of the beach. Not to forget, the long-hairs, buffs, hippies, bums and of course, dog-walkers. There’s a guy who makes and sells dog leashes in different colors down the beach. He’d be gladly to show you how he makes it.
I apologize for the crookedness of this pic. I saw two of these rectangle framed street arts. There might be more.
They didn’t just label the place “Dog Beach” for no reason. There’s still quite few of the beaches in California that don’t even allow pets roaming around, a commemorative plague at the entrance lay claim that it’s the first leash-free dog beach in the United States. Locals and visitors sure are living up that claim.
The main strip is great to explore as well. Plenty of colorful shops and inviting restaurants. Tattoo parlor are highly visible with all the overflowing designs. You know how music business in physical form is almost dead, the Cow Shop is almost a miracle. They sell old and new, indies and pop, different formats of music discs. There are couple of music instrument shops in the area as well.
I also spotted these interesting concrete blocks of excerpts exclaiming their visit to OB. There are some downtowns in California where you see these similar bars (see Paso Robles downtown area). I find Ocean Beach the best, which are aligned along the walkway to from the start to the very end of the main strip, both sides.
Check out this hilarious, triumphant post with her husband, Brendon as a guest writer, be careful what you asked for, you might just get it. I won’t spill any beans, just go ahead and have a laugh to this exciting post. desi becomes eclectic speaks highly of Bali, surfs a lot and provides great great photographies of their travel.
I suggest to do the same thing I did. After hustling and bustling with the crowd in the city side of San Diego during, get away from it all by heading to Ocean Beach while making sure to catch the sunset to view it at it finest. It was indeed a very pleasant side trip.