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Deductible Junkets

So, you think of San Diego as just the gateway to Tijuana? Well, as Supercomputing '95 and VRML 95 attendees will discover, this Southern California city is a multifaceted urban canvas with an evergrowing Latino culture, a waning US military presence, and a wave-riding community as perpetual as the tides. They'll also discover San Diego's civic treasure - its idyllic Mediterranean climate.

On a clear day from the Cabrillo National Monument, at the end of Point Loma, you can see forever: the arching sweep of the bay, the sandy coastline stretching into Mexico, and, on the horizon, the barrios of Tijuana. Of course, you can also see nuclear submarines floating like crocodiles in the naval harbor below.

This city is really a collection of neighborhoods and sleepy coastal communities. Check out the surfing culture described in Tom Wolfe's The Pump House Gang thriving on the shores of La Jolla. Low-tech thrill seekers can still ride The Giant Dipper, a restored wooden roller coaster on the Mission Beach boardwalk (this whirligig was built in 1925, the same year Seymour Cray was born).

Wander along the serene Sunset Cliffs, a sandy ribbon on the west side of Point Loma. Go at dusk, and as the luminescent orb slips over the Pacific horizon, discuss the existence of the green flash phenomenon. Continue the debate over gin and tonics at Pacific Shores, a funky bar decorated with Formica seashells and marine motifs. Black lights make this a glowing experience.

In keeping with local tradition, watch the tortilla makers as you wait in line for a chicken burrito at El Indio Shop, a takeout taqueria that has been here on India Street since the calle was part of Mexico. But don't burn your tastebuds - there are dozens of delicioso dishes to be tried in this city. Munch on tapas or tap your toes to the live flamenco music at the festive Cafe Sevilla, located downtown. The nearby Cervecería Santa Fe serves the most authentic Baja-style whole fried fish north of the border. And as for raw fish, the defection of the chef from Mister Sushi, in Pacific Beach, to Sushi Ota has caused a ricey rift among maki lovers. Both eateries are superb.

For a peaceful picnic, pick up a layered tofu supreme at the scrumptious Kung Food Deli and walk down El Prado into Balboa Park. This tranquil commons offers walking trails, shady eucalyptus groves, and 13 museums, housed in old Spanish-Moorish buildings dating back to the Panama/California Exposition of 1915.

Theaters and entertainment venues abound throughout the city, and Zoom san diego is your comprehensive guide. Check for the up-and-coming local acid jazz group, The Greyboy All Stars. Or, if you're tuckered out from the techie talk, slide deep into a crimson leather booth at The Red Fox Room and let the timeless mood of this piano bar relax you. The locals might be right when they say "There's no life east of I-5."

By Jessie Scanlon

Sunny thanks to natives Julianna Goodman and Amy Johns, Texas transplant J. V. Everst, and the madame of Zoom, Gayle Kidder.

W e b   s i t e s   t o   s u r f   b e f o r e   y o u   g o 

San Diego Freeway Speeds: Wondering what's up with the rush hour? Check here for a map of the San Diego highway system and the current traffic conditions.

The Source: Check out this site for listings of San Diego's restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, and more. Do you drink coffee? Then you may want to look at SAIC's list of 70 local coffeehouses.

San Diego Museum of Art: A complete guide to the collections and special exhibits.

Diving in San Diego Page: Explore San Diego hundreds of feet below sea level....


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