Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day at Balboa Park

Happy Earth Day, Earthlings! Apparently Earth Day is not just a day dedicated to Mother Earth and conservation anymore, but has attained a sort of holiday status among many. I would seriously run out of fingers and toes if I try to count how many time I was wished a 'Happy Earth Day!' today. Not that there is anything wrong with that. If only more holidays could be so universally appreciated (or at least appreciable... After all, there's only one earth we can live on, and we all have to share it!)!
Zoro Garden, my favorite bit of Balboa Park, is having a bloomy green spring!
The big Earth Day celebration here in town is, of course, at Balboa Park. Having a little break in between work assignments this weekend, I hopped on the mountain bike and pedaled over to soak in the scene a bit. The place was already pretty busy at 9:30AM, so I was contemplating finding a place to park my fat wheels before proceeding on foot (lest I run over a baby or a dog while distracted by something else) when I spotted a roped off section of the lawn by the Casa del Prado with a 'Bicycle Parking Valet' sign on it. How cool was that??? The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition volunteers, a really friendly bunch of people, registered my bike, parked it and watched over it (and others) while I went out enjoying the festivities. They even provided area biking maps for free! Gosh knows you can't know too many bike-friendly routes around this town.
SDCBC Valet Bike Lot by Casa del Prado
El Prado, the park's main pedestrian thoroughfare was lined with vendors of various shades of green. It can be a bit dangerous browsing through these. If you don't watch it you'll end up signing a bunch of petitions supporting various green and/or environmentally friendly causes. Not that supporting worthy causes isn't good, but I'm a tad paranoid about giving out my contact info to organizations.

I wouldn't have minded giving my contact info to this free-loving and irresistibly cute Bonita Blue Bin, however...

I mean... look at her. Isn't she the perkiest Earth Day party-er you've ever seen (aside from your own kids, that is)??? She took one look at me and tried to recycle me on the spot (thankfully nobody took a picture of it... wouldn't want a foto of me getting swallowed up by a blue recycling bin floating around on the internet now, would I?). Mesmerized, I felt a sudden mad urge to propose on the spot, but some other old geezer beat me to it, so I went off to pet the stuffed raccoon at the Friends of the Laguna Mountains tent instead...

Alas, it wasn't all happy a celebration. A bunch of evangelical Christians turned up trying to scare the crowd into conversion via threats of hell and eternal punishment.

Compared to the passive and cheery Hare Krishna nearby, they were something of a killjoy, I'm afraid. The Christian leader dude got so carried away drowning everyone out by his amplified preaching that a few unwilling audience took offense and told him to cut it out (I spotted one of them telling the park police about it a bit later). I'm sure even this preacher guy and his crew meant well, but their tactics really didn't come off well. The Hare Krishna folks didn't try to evangelize at all, and drew a much more positive crowd reactions.

There was a parade, of course. I didn't follow them beyond the Plaza de Panama (that big round-about where the Museum of Art is), though. It was already almost noon and I wanted to ride on a bit and stop by to see the Maritime Museum's San Salvador Build Site, so I went back to reclaim my bike and took off.


Anonymous said...

This has taken me several sittings to complete but I can now appreciate what a good day you had - and weel deserved too!

Smorg said...

Thanks, Eyes! :oD It really turned out well. I had a good roll down the hill to the waterfront and then to the San Salvador Build Site, too. Too bad it was a Sunday, so nobody was actually working ship-building, but it was still good getting to look at the frame and imagining how it'll look a year or so from now when it's done.

And then I had to ride back up all the hills, of course... That part was less fun, but it burned enough calories for me to justify a flan for dinner. Don't know if you have flan there in Europe. It's like a Mexican version of custard/cheesecake and it is fabulous! :oD

Hope your week is going well! Ours is turning out better than expected (it was supposed to rain all day yesterday and today, but most of the rain dropped last night and today's been dry enough for more yard work. Hooray!).