Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Looking down on downtown San Diego...

One of the best scenery-viewing spots in downtown San Diego is, of course, from the highest public-friendly observation deck on the west coast, the Top of the Hyatt lounge on the 40th floor of the Manchester-Grand Hyatt Hotel. The lounge is opened daily from 3-10PM and is located in the Harbor Tower (the south one next to the Marriott Hotel).

Above photo looks south (you see the round reflection pool of Children's Park. The walk way that parts it and runs along to the top right corner is the Martin Luther King Promenade that goes from Front St in the Marina District to Imperial Station at the end of Gaslamp Quarter. The dark towers are the twin towers of the Marina Club. The mountain range in the background is actually the Sierra Madre in Mexico!).

Looking south-west you can see the thin Silver Strand that connects Coronado Island to the mainland, the tall blue San Diego-Coronado Bridge. The little baylet between Silver Strand and Coronado Island is our precious little Glorietta Bay).

A wider look reveals the yacht club & marina of the Marriott Hotel. The park that encloses the marina is the Embarcadero Marina Park South and North.

The Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel has two towers with a swimming pool between them. It looks so much bigger from the ground level!

And now a look to the WNW. You can see the little red-roofed curve on the downtown side of the bay that is our bucolicishly boutique Seaport Village (and its pier). Across the bay is the Naval Air Station North Island (at the northern tip of Coronado), with its naval base and air strip. There are two aircraft carriers there, I think, along with many other battleships. The southward jutting peninsula in the distance is Point Loma... Our designated tsunami wave-breaker (hopefully). It has two lighthouses and the Cabrillo National Monument at the tip, along with Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery... one of the oldest military cemeteries in the USA (housing soldiers from the California-Mexico War of 1846 to date).

The tall buildings of the Columbia District are also visible from the Top of the Hyatt lounge... I'm afraid 'tall' here is relative since there is a height restriction on buildings here (500 ft/ 152 m maximum) due to the area's proximity to the airport. The slender brown-windowed high rise to the left is Electra, the tallest residential building at 475 ft/145 m. Its first 3 stories are actually the remains of the old San Diego Gas & Electric Station that was built in 1911. They preserved it and top it off with a modern condominium. The screwdriver-top high rise to the right of it is America Plaza, downtown's tallest building at 500 ft/152m.


Georg said...

Hallo Smorg,

You seem to be a little in love with San Diego and why not.

Have you ever been in those background mountains, the Sierra Madre?

Write another post about the nature surrounding the city. Try to make some photos, at least I would appreciate.

In your text "about" you seem to say you are living in a little drab inland town with the strange Latin name. Did you move to be nearer a concert hall and an opera??


Smorg said...

Hiya Georg,
Nah, I've never been up the Sierra Madre, unfortunately. :o) That side of the border isn't looking traveler-friendly at the moment.

I like to go up the Laguna Mtns to the east of us, though. There's a favorite spot on the Sunrise Nature Trail where you can look east and watch the sun rise from the desert and the Salton Sea (an accidentally manmade lake out in Imperial County).

Oh, nah, I sort of moved here in pursuit of an elusive woman. ;o) The opera and the symphony are sort of added benefits, actually.

Thanks a bunch for stopping by!
Smorg :o)