Hotel Del Coronado Christmas Fireworks

November 29, 2012 by ·  

hotel-del-coronado-christmas-fireworks-2012

Hotel Del Coronado Christmas Fireworks

    Hotel Del Coronado is the best neighbor to have in all of San Diego. It is the hub, the center of the wheel around which everything else revolves. Most of the amazing things you’ve heard about San Diego are on Coronado. If you have just landed at San Diego International Airport the first thing you should do, regardless of where you are staying is cross the Coronado Bridge, walk through The Del and then walk along the beach. You won’t believe your eyes and your remaining four senses will struggle to force your brain to accept what is really happening; you are having the best time of your life and Coronado is the best place you have ever been.

    Last night, there was a full moon so Hotel Del Coronado threw a Christmas party that was free and open to the public. The party was all things Christmas and culminated with a fireworks show. Yes, The Del rang in Christmas under a full moon with fireworks on the beach.

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Sandcastle On The Beach Of Coronado

    Merry Christmas is what I say during the Christmas season. What is written on the sand castle above is something I don’t say and will not write on my blog. I’m taking a stand on this one and drawing a line in the sand. Basically my take on the whole politically correct thing is this; if you are not a politician looking for votes but still try or want to be politically correct then you are fucking GAY! That being said I want all the people that are dreaming of a white Christmas to realize that you don’t have to include OR exclude others from your holiday. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you get to say whatever you want; it means sometimes you have to hear things you don’t want to hear. In America you can wish a group of people a Merry Christmas, even if that group is in a synagogue, a mosque or surrounding a sandcastle on a beach in California. No one has a problem with saying Merry Christmas, but there are people that have a problem with hearing it. God bless the former and God damn the latter for attempting to water down the most sacred event in all of Christendom and America’s favorite season. Merry Christmas!

hotel-del-coronado-fireworks-show-christmas

Fireworks On Coronado

    So far I’ve gushed about Coronado and bitched about political correctness so now I’d like to talk about photography and what I was actually doing during this awesome Christmas party. I was making friends with the fireworks crew!

    They let me photograph the fireworks from their command station so I was something like 30 yards from the show with a completely unobstructed view of the fireworks and Hotel Del Coronado. The reason being this close was a treat was because I was packing my 8 mm fish-eye lens. The photo above shows the crew on the right, The Del on the left, fireworks up top as well as a full moon and Mexico in the background; just a typical night from my neighbor, Hotel Del Coronado.

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4 Seconds Of Coronado Fireworks

    Earlier this year there was a fireworks show that went completely haywire. I’m referring to The Bungle in the Bay that was our annual 4th of July celebration here in San Diego. I was embedded with that fireworks crew as well, but I didn’t get any photos of the event because all the pyrotechnics exploded at the same time. I know that sounds cool and people that were far enough away got some great video of the debacle but for me and the crew I was with it was a little different. We were running for our lives! Don’t get me wrong, it was very exciting but I have no photos from the night so it was ultimately very disappointing for me.

Christmas Fireworks On Coronado

Mouseover For Fish-eye vs. Human-eye

    I’m going to wrap up this erratic and disorganized post with an image that takes advantage the IMG Mouseover plugin for WordPress. The photo above is a lens corrected version of the original photo. If you hover your mouse over the image above you will see the original, as it looked through my 8 mm fish-eye lens. There are good and bad things about both photos, but the bullet point I want you to notice is that I was really, REALLY fucking close to the fireworks yet I managed to have to entire explosion, plus The Del and the full moon in the frame. That is the joy of a wide angle lens at Christmas.

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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Skating by the sea at Hotel Del Coronado 2012

November 26, 2012 by ·  

Skating by the sea Hotel Del Coronado 2012

Ice Skating In Front Of Hotel Del Coronado

    Hotel Del Coronado is the place to be in San Diego during the Christmas season. I have many posts and photos of The Del that will help convince you if for some reason you are a doubting Thomas. For the better part of a decade The Del has upped the ante by installing an ice rink on their beach during the Christmas season for their annual Skating By The Sea event. You heard me; there is an ice rink on the beach in Coronado, during Christmas. How do you like them apples? Hopefully you like them sunny, warm and within throwing distance of the Pacific Ocean. I live in a place where I can swim in the ocean, walk up the beach, go ice skating and then have a drink as I watch the sunset.

    In the interest of full disclosure, the alcohol prices at The Del are very expensive so I would bring my own flask if I were you. No, you can’t take swigs from it whilst skating nor can you drink on the beach but you can take bathroom breaks. 😉 Welcome to California!

Skating by the sea Hotel Del Coronado 2012

People Enjoy Skating By The Sea

    Skating by the Sea has become unbelievably popular; probably more anticipated than the Christmas decorations of The Del itself. Who would have ever thought that installing an ice rink on the beach would draw such a crowd? Not me, that’s for sure! There are two skate sessions everyday during the week and each session lasts three hours and costs $25. On holiday days and on the weekends there is an added matinee session that lasts two hours and will set you back $20. Those are the adult prices; skate rental is included in that price but children are not. A child, as far as Hotel Del Coronado is concerned is 10 years or younger and they are welcome to skate with the adults for either a regular session or the matinee for $20 and $15 respectively.

Skating by the sea Hotel Del Coronado 2012

Children Are Welcome To Skate Too

    When you are walking or skating around Hotel Del Coronado, you really start to get a sense of just how great a place San Diego is. San Diego receives more visitors per year than the entire state of Hawaii. I’ve lived in both places and San Diego is better than Hawaii in every way except one; the ocean here is too cold! Yeah, even the surfers wear wetsuits out here so I would recommend activities that keep you near or on the water, not necessarily IN the water.

Skating by the sea Hotel Del Coronado 2012

The Sun Sets On Coronado

    The skate sessions are well timed and basically give you the options of skating until the sun goes down or skating under the moonlight. What looks like a nuclear blast in the photo above is our nuclear powered sun as it prepares to dive into the Pacific. I’ve been skating in a lot of places but this rink is by far the most unique and has the best view. Thanks to The Del, you can go ice skating on a San Diego beach; how cool is that? It’s very, VERY cool and it makes for a wonderful experience that you won’t soon forget. Below is a video I produced at the ice rink last year. Cheers!

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Hotel Del Coronado is a California Christmas

November 25, 2012 by ·  

Hotel Del Coronado lobby and Christmas tree 2012 as seen with an 8 mm fish-eye lens

Hotel Del Coronado Lobby and Christmas Tree

    I live right down the street from Hotel Del Coronado. You have no idea how fortunate a person I am to be able to say that. Residents of Coronado know what I mean and visitors to San Diego have a slight idea what I mean, but no one else does. The Christmas season is a quintessential holiday; it involves all five senses. As a person from Denver, I want the rest of the Christmas celebrating world to know exactly what I mean.

    In Denver, during Christmas you can stand outside with your eyes closed, breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth and KNOW that you are in Denver during Christmas. After that breath, when you open your eyes you’ll see that what you felt on your skin was the sun, touching you before it touched anyone else. That is the joy of Denver, the Mile High city during the Christmas season.

Hotel Del Coronado with Christmas decorations 2012

Outside Hotel Del Coronado

    Coronado does suffer from Christmas envy, though no one on the island knows it. It’s not a problem, it just is was it is. Coronado is a quintessential San Diego beach community; all five senses are dominated by the ocean and fish tacos every day of the year. Again, this is not a bad thing but it is NOT a Christmas experience. Palm trees are not pine trees, white sand is not white snow and rolling bluffs are not the Rocky Mountains. When you dream about a white Christmas and roasting chestnuts on an open fire, you are dreaming about Colorado and my beloved mile high city of Denver.

Hotel Del Coronado lobby and Christmas tree 2012

Christmas 2012 in the Lobby of Hotel Del Coronado

    This brings me back around to Hotel Del Coronado during Christmas. The Del has been doing Christmas for 125 years and over 100 of those years have involved electricity and decorating trees with electric lights. Yeah, it is the resident expert in San Diego when it comes to lighting up a Christmas tree and launching off the Christmas season.

Vintage Santa Claus inside Hotel Del Coronado during Christmas 2012

Vintage Santa Claus Inside Hotel Del Coronado

    It’s not just the lobby and roof of The Del that get decorated; every square inch of the place gets the treatment. The Victorian Era was a very beautiful if not cluttered time to make a statement and it was right in the middle of this era that The Del was built. The unsinkable Molly Brown was a Denver socialite that survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Her house in Denver is a museum and my dad used to be a tour guide there. I bring this up because during a tour of the Molly Brown house, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Victorian Era, including the fact that it was very stylish to pack every flat surface in the house with knick knacks. If the term “flaunt it if you got it” existed back then, this is how it was done.

Hotel Del Coronado lobby and Christmas tree 2012 as seen with an 8 mm fish-eye lens

Fish-Eye View Of Hotel Del Coronado – Christmas 2012

    Please allow me to talk about photography for a minute or two. I was packing an 8 mm fish-eye lens when I visited The Del on this particular day. I’ve had the thing for almost a year and it has become my permanent accessory. I find it very ironic that wide angle lenses like this are referred to as “fish-eye” because it is the best way to get a human-eye view from a photograph. Besides that, it forces the photographer to physically move closer to their subjects; this is abnormal because for 150 years photographers have been backing away from their subjects just to fit them all in the frame. You don’t have to do that with a fish-eye lens. For the photo above, I was standing right in front of a 25 foot tree yet it doesn’t even come close to filling the frame. I’m telling you now that a fish-eye lens allows you to photograph the world the way you see it rather than the way your camera or lens allows it.

Hotel Del Coronado Incinerator Tower At Christmas 2012

The Incinerator Tower of The Del

    And so this concludes my third annual Christmas pilgrimage to Hotel Del Coronado. Shortly after the New Year my 7 year San Diego anniversary will be presenting itself. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing bad to say about Denver, it’s people or the Broncos but, San Diego has the best weather in America. You all know that I’ve been around the world and back again so please believe me; San Diego is a great place to live and Coronado is the best part of San Diego. I like all four seasons, but I love living here because I get to skip the shitty ones. It rained a few times back in January and that was all the winter I had to endure; it’s been in the 70’s and mostly sunny ever since. Yes, this is the life I lead. You can have this life too if you just remember that you can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead. Merry Christmas!

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Space Invader In San Diego

November 23, 2012 by ·  

Space Invaders In San Diego

Space Invader In Horton Plaza

    Invader is an international street artist who, back in 2010 invaded the city of San Diego, California. He’s the guy that uses tiles to create 8-bit themed, video game inspired mosaics which he then sticks onto whatever public structure or building strikes his fancy. Space Invaders, the 1980’s video game from which he drew his alias and inspiration for most of his art has become a universal symbol for the artist. This has had the affect of combining his alias with what he does. He is a space invader, participating in one invasion after another. His technique for displaying his art is brilliantly simple; if he wants a city to see what he’s up to, he just sticks his art up all around that city! The hazy shade of illegal that street artists like Invader cultivate is a very good thing because of how it affects and encourages the people of the invaded cities.

    Street artists transform urban landscapes into interactive adventures that will inspire you to get out and explore your city. Street art cannot be accomplished or observed from a couch; you have to get up off your ass and GO SOMEWHERE in order to see it! This adventure involves a lot of walking, smiling and photography.

Space Invaders In San Diego

Space Invader In Gaslamp District – San Diego, CA

    When Space Invader was in San Diego, he placed twenty-one mosaic pieces on various buildings, overpasses and structures. Souvenir hunters and black market art collectors are starting to chip away at what Invader left behind, so I would very highly recommend that you do a little homework and then set out on a downtown San Diego walking adventure. Street art is not always easy to see, even when you know where to look, so keep your eyes peeled. What you will discover is that an adventure like this is a gift that keeps on giving because you will find OTHER things that you’ll want to come back and see some other time. When you go on a street art walk, it’s very different than going on a regular walk. Street art forces you to engage the city in a completely different way, and you will notice that right away. Cheers!

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Imperial Beach Has Spice

November 12, 2012 by ·  

Imperial Beach Syringe

A Syringe in Imperial Beach

    Woodward & Bernstein are names that resonate in America because the men behind those names are the men that broke the Watergate story in the early 1970’s. This is 2012 America so most people don’t know that Woodward & Bernstein is not an office of legal counsel or that Watergate is a not some sort of door that swings open and shut for running water. Come to think of it, most people in America probably can’t even define the word, “resonate.”

    I am not one of the people I’ve just described. I am VERY smart with a hyper-analytical brain. Technically that makes my brain abnormal, just like Albert Einstein, retarded folk & the creature from the film, “Young Frankenstein.” Abbey something. Abbey what? Abbey Normal.

    I live in Imperial Beach, which suffers from a lack of journalistic talent. There are no Woodwards or Bernsteins in South Bay San Diego. If the Coronado Bridge caught fire, reporters in Imperial Beach wouldn’t find out unless they read about it competing newspapers or saw photos of the event on my blog. A reporter in Imperial Beach wouldn’t know a good story even if someone broke into a hotel, stole classified papers & brought down a presidency for them. I’m just saying.

    There is a drug out there called, Spice, that has crippled Imperial Beach. You smoke it like weed, or so I’ve heard. Not that I care, but nobody seems to care. Anyone in a position to talk about it or stop it has been mute on the subject. I threw a bone to the powers that be and the powers that don’t, but there are no Woodwards or Bernsteins around to run with the information.

    I had taken it upon myself to create a nice, neat little package for anyone to look at. This package would contain details of the Spice trade and trade routes. That’s right; the Spice trade now is run just like the spice trade from 1000 years ago. Why? Because law enforcement of today knows FUCK ALL about how merchants from the Middle Ages operated. Get it? I’ll give you a hint… No phone calls, emails or texts. No FaceBook updates, Twitter posts or Skype teleconferences. No bank accounts, wire transfers or PayPal payments. There are only the people that produce & use Spice. There are no middlemen, no wasted steps.

    But nobody cares. So, Imperial Beach, the only photo in this post is a portrait of you, taken today with a junkie’s syringe on your face. The needle isn’t mine and yes, I know it wasn’t used to inject spice, but, finding this needle on Palm Ave was a catalyst for this post. Cheers!

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Top Ten Lists & How To Posts

November 7, 2012 by ·  

10 Reasons Why You Post How To & Top Ten Lists

    1. They make you look like an expert.

    2. They coddle to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

    3. People you think are experts at SEO have told you to make “top ten” and “how to” blog posts.

    4. An ordered list gives the impression of teaching rather than preaching.

    5. You want people to think you are smarter than you really are.

    6. You think you can make dumb people smart.

    7. You think you’re smarter than dumb people.

    8. Dumb people love being told they’re right.

    9. Your audience can’t count higher than 10

    10. See reason number 9.

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