It's Friday night and I have a flashlight, and friends, and camera. And wanderlust.
October 19, 2007 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Hi I was wondering if anyone could recommend to me any sources, either on the internet or of personal experiences and recommendations, of urban exploring in the San Diego area. I am a student at UCSD and Fridays need to be better than catching up on homework. Thank you!
posted by albernathy0 to Travel & Transportation around San Diego, CA (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh and in the past I've checked out the San Diego Urban Exploration and it was just wasn't for me or my friends. Thanks!
posted by albernathy0 at 6:11 PM on October 19, 2007

I am a former UCSD student. I can tell you that if you have a car, San Diego gets so much cooler than La Jolla when you start getting into all the little neighborhoods to the south.
General things to see:
-Mt. Soledad- big cross on top of a hill, nice view, still in La Jolla
-Tidepools in Point Loma
-Ocean Beach is a cute old beach town, what La Jolla would look like if you replaced all the rich jerks who hate college kids with hippies who never went to college. Go to Hodads and get a burger.
-Hillcrest/Northpark are cool neighborhoods with lots of preserved and renewed architecture, coffeeshops, and little pockets of neat stuff. They're gentrifying faster than you can say "hipster." There are big neon signs in this area over the intersections of the focal points of the neighborhoods: Hillcrest, Adams, University Heights and Kensington that I know of. Go find them.
-Take the stadium tour of Petco; even if you don't like baseball that much it's kinda cool

And UCSD itself is plenty worth exploring. Have you seen the art/graffiti halls in Mandler? Keep an eye on the door at the top of the stairwell in the west wing of AP&M- in my day this was regularly left open until some kid jumped off the roof. There is awesome graffiti throughout those stairwells dating back 30 years, that they tragically paint over a little every year. Of course I never personally broke any rules, especially not breaking on to as many roofs of tall campus buildings as possible in a single evening, but just saying, that might be a fun time.
posted by slow graffiti at 8:21 PM on October 19, 2007

Sometimes what you're looking for is right under your nose. ;)
posted by 777 at 8:42 PM on October 19, 2007

slow_graffiti: the kid who jumped was a friend of a friend. sadly, he had appealed to the campus psych people for help but they just gave him pills. The pills made him feel good enough to jump. I know this is kind of off topic, but, well, it's sad.
posted by rbs at 10:57 PM on October 19, 2007

Both my boyfriend and I grew up in San Diego (and he graduated from UCSD), so here are our suggestions:

Get someone to drive you to Encinitas (under ten miles to the north from La Jolla). It is one of my favorite places in San Diego. Good (and not too expensive) restaurants like Swami's, The Roxy and Siamese Basil. E Street Cafe is a good hangout spot. Also check out the Self Realization Center (free to get in and walk around, nice ocean view, koi & vegetation).

explore the tunnels under UCSD (though apparently you can get kicked out of school for being down there?)

check out the asian restaurants/karaoke in Claremont Mesa

start another drum circle on Black's Beach

go to shows at the Che Cafe

seconding the Hillcrest suggestion, especially since you can take a free shuttle from UCSD there

And yeah, I haven't lived in La Jolla myself, but it is pretty impossible to explore San Diego enjoyably without a car. If you're new to college this might be an unavoidable fact of life, but if you can find anyone with a car and an adventurous spirit the job's mostly done.

Good luck & have fun!
posted by liverbisque at 2:04 AM on October 20, 2007

San Diego is a shithole, but you can make the best of it by going to the Che or sometimes The Casbah, eating at Pokez or one of the myriad of good thai restaurants, going on Critical Mass once a month (on a Friday night, too), watching a film at one of the Landmark cinemas or renting some obscure film from Kensington video (but beware the next-day return). Generally, though, there isn't much that's worth doing at night in San Diego, sorry. You should move away as soon as you can.

If you want more recommendations, yelp is pretty useful.
posted by beerbajay at 7:00 AM on October 20, 2007

Ah, but perhaps you were looking for weirdly abandoned spaces. Unfortunately, as you probably know, most of San Diego is not really urban, but suburban. The UCSD and SDSU campuses likely provide the most dense and interesting terrain you'll find without breaking in to the ballpark, a mall, or military installation. Cycling around downtown or balboa park at night can be nice, especially since there's significantly fewer cars on the road. But, overall, you're probably in the wrong spot for this kind of fun.
posted by beerbajay at 9:19 AM on October 20, 2007

As for the tunnels, I tried, and that was three years ago. The entrances are all mostly locked/inaccessible.
posted by slow graffiti at 9:24 AM on October 20, 2007

A couple of roommates and I spent a night visiting all the different Stuart Art Collection pieces. I think this one is probably one of my favorites, as well as one of the least well known (especially out of those not in the medical school).

May not be your cup of tea, but one of us was an art history major, so we had a good time...
posted by natabat at 6:31 PM on October 20, 2007

Response by poster: Oh yes, I have in fact seen that stuart art collection piece. My friend told me in the past this piece caused issues, and was subsequently modified?, because of privacy issues with students telescoping into the apartments. It is a really cool piece, thanks for the rec.
posted by albernathy0 at 1:25 PM on October 22, 2007

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