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Friars Road Construction Goes On...and On
Plus: Jasmine Restaurant on Convoy, New Mural in LV, Remarkable Teens Win Honor, Inside SDPD this Saturday, How to File a Police Report, LV Farmers Market, and LV Update Takes Break Next Week
We all know the familiar saying….”Rome wasn’t built in a day.” The use of this expression is intended to remind us that the noble virtue of patience is oftentimes required when waiting for a project to be completed.
Chances are good Linda Vista resident have most recently found themselves referring to this saying when driving along the stretch of Friars Road between the CA-163/Friars Road interchange and the part of Friars Road that extends west to Sea World Drive. Construction currently dominates this segment of the thoroughfare. For example, on Friars Road we have construction going on at the apartment complex opposite the Fashion Valley Mall, the construction happening across from the golf course related to the Riverwalk project, and then the construction of the Morena Pump Station along the segment of Friars Road extending past the Napa Street intersection. The unusual amount of construction occurring on and along this heavily trafficked route is providing a long-term driving challenge as commuters are repeatedly forced to stop and slow down in our tracks by giant construction vehicles maneuvering in and out of the construction area, by lines of orange cones that narrow the road to one single lane, by detours that require more driving time, and by rude jostling caused by crudely repaved road surfaces.
All this construction—which seems to be going on forever—makes driving on Friars Road similar to taking on a challenging automotive obstacle course. This is quite a contrast with the way Friars Road used to be—when it was a fast, uncomplicated straightaway that allowed drivers to speed back and forth with few encumbrances. In fact, it seems like just yesterday that I found myself sitting in my Honda Civic at the Friars Road and Via Las Cumbres intersection, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, when an overly loud muscle car pulled up alongside me, revved up its engine, and eagerly taunted me to race down the drag strip once known as Friars Road. Of course, as a law-abiding citizen I turned down that challenge, but I did briefly fantasize about stepping on the gas pedal and speeding my way down the Friars Road raceway as if I were a character in a Beach Boys car song. Sadly, those golden California car culture days are a thing of the past for Friars Road—at least until all the construction is completed. But this still leaves the all-important question….when will all this construction be completed?
A recent article in the SD Union-Tribune explained that the Pure Water Project will eventually “recycle treated sewage into potable water that is suitable for drinking". Unfortunately, the.project has encountered all kinds of construction delays at various sites throughout the city. These delays impact Linda Vista drivers as the project-related construction pertaining to the installation of the Morena Pump Station along Friars Road and Sherman Street—the construction that has closed west bound traffic since 2021—will probably not be finished until 2026. That’s a long time! And this means that certain lanes of Friars Road will continue to be closed.
All this talk about construction and time leads one to think…is it too unreasonable to expect a construction project like the Morena Pump Station to be completed in less time, especially when it seriously interferes with our commuter traffic flow? Or are we just being too impatient?
To provide some context, here is the result of a little research that provides the following historical project construction times:
Empire State Building: 1 year and 45 days
The Pentagon: 16 months
Petco Park: 4 years
Hoover Dam: 5 years
The Burj Khalifa (World’s tallest building located in Dubai): 6 years
The Pyramids: estimated 15 to 30 years each
Buckingham Palace: 150 years
Rome: estimated 800 years
Great Wall of China: estimated 2500 years
Based on the above figures, one can presume the long wait for the Morena Pump Station completion will be worth it. After all, the lengthy construction time devoted to both the Great Wall of China and Rome produced noteworthy products. The Pure Water Project promises to help alleviate our city’s search for water via recycling, and this apparently can’t be done without the Morena Pump Station. We have to believe this interminable traffic inconvenience will prove satisfactory when San Diegans can finally enjoy a reliable, sustainable water supply.
And I’m sure the City will do all this without raising water prices, right?
Okay, we’ll save that discussion for a future article.
Jasmine Offers Tasty Dim Sum in Convoy District
We at the Linda Vista Update have been writing restaurant reviews for about three years. Each week we look to see if any new restaurants have opened, or if something catches our eye that sounds interesting. Unfortunately there are only so many restaurants in Linda Vista and we have reviewed them all, some more than once. So until some new restaurants open in Linda Vista, we will have to go out a little further. Of course, that’s not a problem because you don’t have to go far up Linda Vista Road and on to Convoy Street to find a plethora of quality eating establishments.
Lately, I have had a craving for real Chinese food. The kind we used to get when we lived in Hawaii, and the kind we had when we visited China. Mostly I have been craving Dim Sum.
For those of you who might not know, Dim Sum is a “large range of small Cantonese dishes that are traditionally enjoyed in restaurants for brunch” (Wikipedia). This small dish concept started in the 10th century in Canton when commercial travel increased and teahouses would serve tea and accompany the tea with small portion meals. Traditionally, the restaurant has servers pushing carts that contain many types of small dishes, usually consisting of three or four pieces, of a variety of foods including seafood, meats, savory and sweet dishes.
I recalled dining at Jasmine Seafood Restaurant (4609 Convoy Street) many years ago, and was impressed by their selection of dim sum. We decided to give the place a try for lunch to see if it is still as good as I remembered it. It is said there are thousands of different kinds of dim sum in China, but since we don’t eat meat, we were just interested in those containing no meat.
The restaurant is very large, and at lunch time on a weekday, it was not very crowded, but still loud with people enjoying their food. We were seated quickly and tea was brought to the table.
There were no menus, but the carts were soon being pushed around and stopping at tables offering their wares. Although the bbq and pork buns looked good, we expressed our desire for no meat dishes. We were immediately shown shrimp dumplings (har gow), shrimp siu mai, and vegetable dumplings, and we took an order of each. We were told the won ton soup was shrimp, so we ordered that as well. The condiments were put on the table and we found the chili sauce a little hot for our taste. When you sit down, a ticket is put on the table and when you get any food, a mark is made by the server as to whether it is an A,B, C or D item and at the end of your meal, the tab is totaled. Since you don’t see the prices, it is good to acquaint yourself beforehand of the prices of each category as the cost can go up very quickly. I assumed the tea was free but found out it was $4+ for the pot. It was steaming hot and very good.
All the items were delicious. We love shrimp so we really got our fill of it in each of the dishes. The won ton soup was filled with shrimp won ton and greens and very filling. We could probably have done with only two dim sum items of 4 each instead of 3, but we really enjoyed all of them. The vegetable dumpling was a nice change from all the shrimp.
Jasmine has a website where you can look at the items they have before you go, so you can decide beforehand if you want chicken feet or steamed buns or whatever. The prices are also included.
Historic Faces on New Mural in LV
We recently noticed an interesting piece of artwork gracing the facade of a newly built apartment building in our Linda Vista community. A mural painted on the wall of The Carl on Lauretta—an apartment complex across the street and down the hill from the University of San Diego campus—got our attention with a colorful depiction of famous people as a way to attract new tenants. We checked with the muralist—San Diego artist Matt Spangler—who confirmed for us the identities of the historic figures included in the mural. The figures include (starting at the top left) President Barak Obama, Warren Buffet, Nipsy Hustle, Greta Thunberg, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Kobe Bryant, Vice-President Kamala Harris, and Cesar Chavez.
Spangler let us know the mural is 21’ x 25’ in size and took seven days to complete.
You can see all of his mural projects at http://muralsbymatt.com
According to its website, The Carl at Lauretta was “Designed by University of San Diego alumni for University students.” The website boasts that “Providing all-inclusive housing in a stress-free environment will help you achieve your most successful academic career.” The apartment complex (located at 1211 Mollie Street) includes 1-4 bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from $2750.00 to $5995.00. Back in June 2021, this newsletter noted the artwork on another Carl apartment complex located in the same neighborhood, but a couple blocks away at 5548 Riley Street. That artwork featured what we presumed to be Carl himself on the apartment complex’s facade.
You can check out more details regarding what the Carl at Lauretta offers to potential USD renters by clicking here. In the meantime, however, we want to spend some time speculating about who would grace a mural featuring the faces of famous people associated with Linda Vista, if such a mural was ever to be painted somewhere in our community. We immediately thought of the possibility of such luminaries as:
Eleanor Roosevelt (She visited the Linda Vista Mall back in 1942)
Tony Hawk (Helped fund/plan the Linda Vista Skate Park)
John Baca (Medal of Honor recipient)
Cleavon Little (Famous actor of Blazing Saddles fame)
Gary Stang: (Former owner of Skateworld)
LV Man: (See this issue of the LV Update)
We would like to hear from our readers regarding who else might qualify for such an honor. Let us know by messaging this newsletter with your recommendations, because you never know when the community leaders of Linda Vista might find a suitable blank wall and a talented muralist that wants to show off his/her talent.
Local Students Receive Honor from County
Two local teens who attend school here in Linda Vista were among a group of students recently recognized by the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office. The two local teens included Arden Pala of the Francis Parker School and Aiden Gruby from Kearny High’s School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design. These students were recognized as two of the “25 Most Remarkable Teens in SD County.” According to the County’s News Center, “the 25 teens were selected from among 77 nominated by the community for their inspiring contributions and efforts in categories such as civic involvement, activism, commitment to personal excellence and courage to overcome personal adversity, science and arts and culture. The program recognizes youth ages 13 to 19 for their accomplishments. Every nominee was interviewed by the San Diego County Public Defender Youth Council panel. All nominees received a certificate of recognition.”
These 25 students were recognized at a ceremony held at the County Central Library.
This is the sixth year the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office has recognized teens for this honor.
We are happy to report that Arden Pala was featured in the October 2022 issue of the Linda Vista Update for his work starting a non-profit organization called Spotts4All that provides opportunities for low income youth, and for his literary accomplishments related to publishing three children's books to raise money for a scholarship program ar Francis Parker.
You can read about our two local teens’ accomplishments below:
Arden Pala, 14, at Francis Parker was presented the award in the category of Community Service. Arden is the founder of a 501C3 nonprofit organization, Sports4Kids, which includes a team to mentor and coach elementary-aged athletes. Its primary focus is on low-income and homeless youth who lack access to sports opportunities. His organization has raised funds to help feed the homeless, provide back-to-school backpacks and provide care packages for those who are temporarily without a home. His program has helped 7,500 individuals. He directed a documentary about individuals who experienced homelessness when he was 12 called “A Second Chance.” The film has won several awards including American Youth Film Festival best middle school documentary.
Aiden Gruby, a student at Kearny School of Engineering, Innovation and Design, received the award in the Food Justice Advocate category. Aiden began volunteering with Feeding San Diego at just 6 years old. His leadership and passion for the cause means he is now a Volunteer Team Leader and coordinates with over 100 volunteers on Saturdays. He is an Eagle Scout and his project was designing, building and installing a cash donation machine in the Feeding San Diego lobby. Aiden motivates volunteers by showing the impact that one individual can have on the fight against hunger and fosters teamwork by showing the power of community and the potential to inspire change in the world.
The Linda Vista Update wishes to congratulate both local students for receiving this honor.
Sign Up for Saturday’s SDPD Experience
The San Diego Police Foundation is hosting Inside SDPD on Saturday, November 18. Inside SDPD is a dynamic, behind-the-scenes experience that allows community members to walk in the shoes of a police officer for a few hours. Attendees will see the K9 Unit in action and experience first-hand what it's like to be a cop. Tickets are a suggested donation of $20 for seniors and students, and $25 for children 12+ years old and adults. All proceeds go toward supporting SDPD.
Registration is at this link: https://www.classy.org/event/inside-sdpd-november-2023/e507723
San Diego Police Department News Brief
Officer David Surwilo, the Community Relations Officer for SDPD’s Western Division, offers the following guidance for Linda Vista Update readers:
Are you the victim of a crime and need to file a Police Report or would you like to Submit a Tip About a Crime? The San Diego Police Department provides a variety of ways that you can report crimes that occurred within the City of San Diego, including an easy online reporting system. On the same webpage you may also submit an anonymous tip or report drug related activity.
To learn more please go to the link pasted below.
Love, Linda Vista Farmers Market Today
The Live Well on Wheels Bus will be at the Love, Linda Vista Farmers Market today November 16 to provide one-on-one assistance with EBT applications and Medi-Cal applications/renewals.
Thanksgiving Break for LV Update and Our Readers
We at the Linda Vista Update hope all of our readers have a great Thanksgiving.
With Thanksgiving requiring so much time devoted to eating, gathering with family members, and the watching of football games, we thought it wise to not place any rigorous reading demands on our readership, so we will take a week off next Thursday and return with our next issue on November 30.
Subscribe to the Linda Vista Update
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The Linda Vista Update is a weekly digital newsletter that publishes informative, interesting and fun news about Linda Vista and its neighboring communities.