Robert Arends

Dr. Seuss on the Loose in La Jolla

The_Art_of_Dr_SeussThere’s a tale of a Cat, so cool in a Hat, that…did you hear…was created right here! 🙂

Yep Dr. Seuss, that master smith of rhyming words for kids, lived atop a hill called Mt. Soledad in La Jolla (north of downtown San Diego) where his fantastical world of Cat in the Hat and other memorable characters came to life for readers of all ages.

I’ve always been a big fan of Dr. Seuss whose real name BTW is Theodore (Ted) Seuss Geisel. His widow Audrey still lives in lovely seaside La Jolla.

On the heels of Dr. Seuss’ recently released new book, Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories, me thinks with my thinker that a fun way to tinker would be an incredibly fun linker to a few Seussian sights and events in La Jolla:

Wish Dr. Suess at Happy Birthday at UCSD

Dr. Seuss birthday celebration at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla

Dr. Seuss birthday celebration at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla

Every year in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, the aptly named Geisel Library at University of California at San Diego (UCSD) in La Jolla exhibits selections from their Dr. Seuss Collection of over 10,000 items(!), including his drawings, rough drafts, notebooks and other cool memorabilia. It’s the world’s largest repository of original works by Seuss. Last year Mrs. Geisel substantially added to the collection, donating an additional 1,500 items from his personal archive!

Look for an announcement of next year’s big b-day bash on Geisel Library’s news page after New Year’s.

7 ½ foot Cat in the Hat

Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat sculpture at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla

Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat sculpture at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla

In the meantime, next time you’re in La Jolla, check out the life-size bronze sculpture of Dr. Seuss and a towering 7 ½ foot Cat in the Hat in front at the library. Seuss selfies are encouraged!

Secret Art of Dr. Seuss

Secret Art of Dr. Seuss at Legends Gallery, La Jolla includes Unorthodox Taxidermy

The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss includes Unorthodox Taxidermy

In the charming Village of La Jolla, the Legends Gallery displays some wonderful imaginings in its “Secret Art of Dr. Seuss” exhibit. Visitors can view the sophisticated, technically accomplished and unrestrained side of Seuss’ talent, including lesser-known paintings, illustrations and sculptures from his Unorthodox Taxidermy collection (a fun fav!).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Old Globe

"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" at the Old Globe in Balboa Park

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at the Old Globe in Balboa Park

And though it’s not in La Jolla, I should mention the whimsical annual Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! musical that takes place each holiday season at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. It’s a magical must see for the whole family!

See you in San Diego, Dr. Seuss fans!

Robert Arends

Historic Highways 80 and 94 Road Trip this Saturday!

Mountain views along Historic Highways 80 and 94.

Road trip! If you’re up for adventure this weekend and looking to hit the open road, I’ve got the trip for you: the 6th Annual Passport Through Time Road Trip on Historic Highways 80 & 94.

For those not familiar with Highways 80 and 94, they’re like San Diego’s very own Route 66 – a slice of Americana traversing a scenic rural landscape leading to some fun and surprising roadside treasures.

The caravan of cars and motorcycles will cruise through San Diego’s “backyard’s backyard,” covering a distance of about 100 miles! It’s so leisurely paced though, with a dozen plus pit stops along the way, that you’ll hardly notice the miles fly by.

Speaking of pit stops, following are my Top 3 favorites on each historic highway…

Highway 94:

  • Barrett Junction Café is a favorite back road stop. Opened in 1946, the cafe is famous for its family-style fish fry. Check out the funky collection of antiques and historic photos lining the café’s walls and counters. A vintage ice box and antique phone (that still works) add to the country charm. 
  • Step back in time at the Potrero General Storewhich dates to the stagecoach era of the mid-1800s and has a friendly, small- town feel.  Café 94, a popular local diner connected to the general store, is the place for home-style comfort food.

    Motor Transport Museum.

  • The Motor Transport Museum in Campo one of my favorite backcountry attractions – home to 200+ antique trucks and other motor transport vehicles, plus an eclectic collection of photos/memorabilia related to automotive pioneers. It’s housed in the historic Campo Feldspar Mill, built in 1929.

Highway 80:

Wisteria Candy Cottage - delish!

  • The famous Wisteria Candy Cottage in Boulevard a family-run sweet shop housed in a one-room schoolhouse from 1921, is famous for its hand-dipped chocolates and other old-fashioned candies. Yum!

    Live Oak Springs' cozy cabins.

  • Live Oak Springs Resort, also in Boulevard, is a cozy and romantic mountain getaway known for its picturesque, two-story A-frame cabins. Nestled amongst the giant oak trees, they look like something right out a children’s storybook.

    Colorful Tryyn Gallery.

  • The Tryyn Gallery in Guatay a little-known artistic jewel, featuring a collection of handcrafted wooden cooking utensils and other unique wood carvings by craftsman Bill Chappelow, whose fine-wood designs are part of the Smithsonian collection in Washington, D.C.!

The Passport Road Trip begins at 9 a.m. at Simpson’s Nursery in Jamul (registration $20 per car) and ends at the Downtown Café in El Cajon at 3 p.m. with a sumptuous no host buffet, live entertainment and auctions to win some fab prizes.

Get your motor running and discover the delightfully diverse communities of San Diego’s East County!

Courtney

Arts Month San Diego: Little Italy

This week, Arts Month San Diego is highlighting the cultural neighborhood of Little Italy.

Little Italy, located on the northern edge of the San Diego bay, is a vibrant neighborhood steeped in history and tradition. The area is well-known for authentic Italian restaurants and shops that stock Italian imports, but also boasts a nascent art and design district centered around galleries, design showrooms, and marquee arts and culture events.

WINDOW SHOPPING

With galleries, antique shops, and home accessory stores Little Italy North (North of Grape Street) has been dubbed San Diego’s newest Art & Design District.

The Art and Design District of San Diego’s Little Italy was modeled after New York City’s trendy SoHo and Chelsea districts

Two popular galleries are Meyer Fine Art and The Andrews Gallery. Meyer Fine Art specializes in limited-edition prints and works on paper, ranging from pieces by Miró and Chagall to vintage Italian posters. The Andrews Gallery is an artist space that combines the roles of art gallery, creative studio and performance venue in one interactive environment. The Gallery focuses on solo-exhibitions of emerging and mid-career artists, as well as hosts musical performances, poetry readings, and other creative happenings.

Insider Tip:  Many of the art galleries in Little Italy have limited business hours, but will open by appointment only. Kettner Nights is a great time to explore the area and get a lay of the land.

FALL EVENTS

Little Italy hosts Kettner Nights and Festa, two signature arts events that offer fun for the whole family.

  • Kettner Nights (Sept. 9): Discover the art, design and antiques on display and for sale in Little Italy during Kettner Nights, an art walk held the second Friday of every other month from 6pm to 9pm.

Authentic chalk art at Little Italy Festa

  • 17th Annual Little Italy Festa (Oct. 9): Celebrate the romance of Italian culture with authentic music, fine foods and specialty crafts. Don’t miss the Gesso Italiano chalk art painting exhibition created by more than 150 artists in two days.