As I’ve stated previously, Dena and I are currently searching for a new home. On Friday, our search took us to San Diego and its many different neighborhoods. We started out downtown, in an area near the gaslamp district known as the East Village. Plenty of lofts are available there, but unfortunately getting in touch with management turned out to be slightly more difficult than winning the Iditarod. On the plus side, we did see two different people walking pot bellied pigs on leashes. Fortunately there were no elephants around (you South Park fans will get the reference; everyone else can copy the below url into your browser.
Our next stop was Hillcrest, which is the obligatory “trendy” neighborhood in San Diego. We walked through sprinkling rain, stopping here and there to check out bookstores, thrift stores, and the like. At one of the shops I found, I swear, a David Justice rookie card in a mountable plaque. An Atlanta Braves card in San Diego? Coincidence, I think not. Why would such a completely random thing be there if not for me to find? Following our shopping extravaganza, we headed to Mama Testa for lunch. We first experienced this taqueria during our intial visit to California in 2011. After discovering the place almost by accident, it immediately assumed a place of prestige on my “favorite restaraunts” list.
While there are many good dishes at Mama Testa, for me it’s all about the fish tacos. I’ve had fish tacos in many different places, but man oh man. Fried catfish pieces on crunchy corn tortillas. Between the tacos and the salsa bar, which offers about ten different options (including mango salsa!) this place is hard to beat. Check out the URL below for more on Mama Testa, including owner Ceasar Gonzales’ cookoff beatdown of” famous” chef Bobby Flay.
Later that evening we took a long walk along Park Avenue, checking out available apartments and taking down phone numbers. The air was cool but comfortable, and most of the buildings were covered in Christmas lights. Passing the big neon sign which arches over the entry to El Cajon Boulevard, I was reminded again of our trip to San Diego in 2011. We stayed at the Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon, and it was amazing; especially the Sunday afternoon pool party (which happens at a pool designed by Johnny Weismuller of Olympic and “Tarzan” fame) which features music, drinks, and every type of person you could possibly imagine. Check it out at the URL below.
We got a late start on Saturday, in no small part due to the substantial quantity of alcohol comsumed by yours truly on the previous night, and didn’t arrive in the city until 4:00 pm. But we quickly made up for lost time, wandering around the North Park area searching for apartments. There are lots of apartments in this neighborhood, so we were able to find several possiblities. Rent seems to be a bit cheaper here, so further investigation will be necessary.
At dinner time, we decided to visit the Olympic Café on University Avenue, which turned out to be an excellent choice. The gyros, spanakopita, mousaka, greek salad, and pita bread were all delicious. The atmosphere is equally inviting, with a feel almost like eating at someone’s home. As usual when dining at a place I really like, I walked out feeling as if I would never eat again.
To wrap up our weekend “on the town,” we headed to Pacific Beach to check out AC/DC tribute band “Back 2 Black.” The band was playing at the 710 Beach Club on Garnet Avenue. We’d never been there, but immediately took to the place upon entering. Covered in Chicago Bears, Cubs, and White Sox memorabilia, the first impression is of a sports bar. While 710 does have multiple televisions for watching games, it has so much more: open mic nights, game nights, and of course, live music.
The opening band was called “Trailerpark Rockstar.” They performed a solid set of covers and originals, and then hung out at the bar with us as we waited for Back 2 Black. When the headliners took the stage, they didn’t disappoint. “Angus Young” lived up to his namesake, hopping around the stage in shorts and a tie, shredding on the guitar, and leaping off the speakers to punctuate each song. “Brian Johnson” showcased an amazing voice, belting both earlier and later AC/DC tracks equally well. By the time the band finished the set, I had consumed five Pacifico beers, sang along until I was horse, and had an all around awesome time.
Which brings me to this weeks top ten list: favorite AC/DC songs. There are definitely arguments to be made about AC/DC; Bon Scott or Brian Johnson? Early stuff or later? But for the purposes of this list, the band members are not important. What is important is the songs. Both versions of the band are given equal weight here. Without further ado, here are my personal favorites, as usual in no particular order:
- For Those About to Rock
- Highway to Hell
- Whole Lotta Rosie
- Shoot to Thrill
- Back in Black
- Have a Drink on Me
- The Jack
- Big Balls
Without a doubt, some of you, even most of you, will disagree with some of my choices. Some of you are probably even now coming up with your own lists with the intention of proving me wrong. Feel free to post your own list in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading. See you next time.