Ever since I made the fateful decision to work night shift at a local nursing home to fund my college education many years ago, my biological clock has never been the same.
So, here is a musical slide-show of what I see when I go out and walk around downtown San Diego this time of year. I'm afraid I use an amateur camera... and kept the flash off (which was quite a pain since I'm not that good at keeping my hands still these days). The photos look brighter than it really is... and the clouds (which is actually what the locals here call 'marine layer') don't look that devilish to the naked eye.
Downtown is pretty heavily patrolled by the local police... And on a week night like this, it is pretty quiet by the time midnight comes around. I took off from home in East Village area and stopped at Albertson's store to pick up some snack before heading west (toward the bay) through the northern part of the Gaslamp Quarter and the Core-Columbia District (along Broadway).
You really don't run into as many homeless folks while walking around town at night... Though I still did manage to run into this wacky dude who seems to find a new camera cellphone in the trash bin every week (I've been running into him walking around town for years now). Broadway west of 4th Avenue is really quite nice at night, though I tend to stay to the south of it (made a brief excursion for the sake of getting a shot of the Civic Theater, home of the San Diego Opera, though).
One thing about walking around the Columbia District (where the tall buildings are) and the Embarcadero (waterfront) at night, though, is that they actually let freight trains thru... And those thing are REALLY long! I had the appropriately bad timing to arrive at Santa Fe Depot as one was passing to the south.... for 15 minutes. I finally got to cross to the Embarcadero side of the track at 11:15PM and was quite surprised to catch 2 planes landing at Lindberg Field (San Diego International Airport) since I thought they have a no-flight between 10PM-6AM policy.
The downtown bank of the San Diego bay doesn't boast any beach, but a long concrete hiking/cycling path called the Embarcadero Promenade. It is lined with artsy modern sculptures... well.. I don't know if I should call them that since they are made of various sorts of materials and some are really pretty flimsy. Most are pretty amusing, though, like that giant octopus you see by Anthony's Fish Grotto in this video. Some are more... serious (?) like that bronze Pele not far from the Maritime Museum (where all those historic tall ships are). During the day it is a busy bay with all sorts of ships (row boats, canoes, fishing boats, water taxi, bay cruisers, sail yacht, cruise ships, navy cutters, etc) roaming about... not to mention the speed boats that patrol North Island Naval Air Station on the opposite bank. During the night, though, it is beautifully still and quiet (I'm sure the Navy speed boats are still doing their patrolling, but they stick pretty close to their shore that you can't really hear them from the downtown side).
Anyhow... if there is anything in this city that can remind me of the sense I get staring out into the grassy plain of eastern Missouri at night it is sitting along the Embarcadero Promenade and gazing over the dark water of the San Diego Bay. After a while you can even see the water birds flying about noiselessly and you wonder why time ever matters at all.