Barrio Logan might not seem revolutionary as you approach it from the freeway or downtown. Trolleys rattle by, a marine saunters back to base, children’s voices echo down the block. Yet the neighborhood is known for its legacy of perseverance and protest, as art studios and cafes set up shop in color-washed spaces that line the street.
1. Chicano Park: The hypercolorful impact of Chicano Park makes even Day of the Dead festivities look bland. Images of the Virgin Guadalupe, Aztec gods and residents climb concrete supports in the indelible 60+ murals, under the Coronado Bridge and I-5 Freeway. In fact, it was infrastructural developments that didn’t always consider the best interest of community that fueled resistance and gave rise to the park.
2. Woodbury University School of Architecture: What exactly is a “Barrio Scenario”? It’s part of the Woodbury School of Architecture’s lecture and exhibition series, introducing visitors to the history of the site and responsible and responsive architecture. The San Diego campus is not just an innovative school for budding architects but also a standout example of adaptive reuse by Rinehart Herbst.
3. Technomania Circus: Billed as the “world’s only backyard circus,” expect a performance unlike anything you’ve seen before. Part gallery and part theatre but all about performance art, Technomania Circus at the Center for Amusing Arts incorporates everything from puppetry to Vaudeville to zombies in their experimental shows meant to break down expectations of traditional theater.
4. Blueprint Café: Best sweet potato fries in town. Blueprint is named for the architecture firm next door that rents space to the compact café and catering business. Dine in the impeccable interior or out on the patio. A seasonally inspired menu focuses on comfort food, with local Ballast Point Brewery beers and Moto Cafe coffees and teas served; the wine selection is international.
5. Of course, you won’t want to leave Barrio Logan without sampling some of the county’s most authentic Mexican eateries. Don’t expect the fanfare and enormous margaritas of Old Town’s festive hangouts; these joints are simple and to the point, and boy, are their tacos tasty. La Fachada, Tacos El Paisa and Las Cuatro Milpas are among the local favorites.