Miles Today: 46
Miles to Date: 9,556
States to Date: 25
Sunday morning in Southern California seems to trigger dual devotions: coffee and the ocean. Dozens of coffee shops were jammed with cyclists, surfers and motorist’s starting their day. But the dead end overlooks along the Coast Highway were also lined with solitary souls contemplating the sea.
Swami’s in Encinitas is both a mystical self-realization compound and an internationally famous surfing spot. There’s logic in that, sort of.
I visited Louis Kahn’s renowned Salk Institute. The older I get, the less impressed I am by architecture designed to shape behavior rather than allowing human potential to blossom. Unlike Richard Meier’s nuanced and suggestive work at The Getty Center, The Salk Institute is heavy-handed. Despite Kahn’s signature attention to hand and body dimensions, humans are subservient to the relentless order. The complex doesn’t even relate to the sea very well, which I suppose is the point. You’re always supposed to focus on the architecture. Despite my misgivings, I can appreciate Kahn’s discipline in creating his vision. Unfortunately, that vision isn’t weathering well. Wood is splintering, concrete’s spalling, and terrazzo’s cracked. Buildings conceived as monumental testaments need to be solid.
LaJolla is full of extravagant houses. Any style will do, as long as it looks expensive.
I rather liked Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, which are funkier, tighter neighborhoods.
But what is ultimately cool about San Diego is how the sea and the city sit tight to one another.