Chicano Park

This past weekend’s tour of San Diego with my cousin Katie and Casey included a stop at Chicano Park, and I am embarassed to admit I had never been there before. What an amazing place! And, an inspiring story of community acitivism and a neighborhood’s desire for self-determination.

Hanging out under the freeway offers a unique perspective. More lines. These freeway lines initially divided the community, but in the end served to unite.

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And I felt really secure seeing the support structure of the freeway. I always wondered how those bridges stay up:

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My cousin Katie the artist was wowed as well, and hopefully inspired since she will be working on some murals in Portland soon.

I’m not sure if this is a regular occurance, but last Sunday several Lowrider car clubs had gathered, showcasing some awesome classic cars, totally restored and tricked out.
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Check out the rest of the pictures of Chicano Park.

We also visted the San Diego Mission– another place I had never visited. (In my defense, I have been to the Mission San Luis Rey, also in San Diego County, as well as half of the other Missions in California) Are there places in your community you’ve never visited?

Community Blogging in San Diego

As you may or may not know, I used to contribute to SanDiego Blog. In fact, I almost bought the domain from Joe Crawford after he moved to Simi Valley, but I decided if I was going to pay $1500 or more for the website, to really make if pay off, I would have to treat the venture like a business. After some careful consideration– taking into account that I already had a job and I’m writing a book– I passed. Some other guy bought it, and in my opinion has run it into the ground. It is now cluttered with ads, and spam comments are allowed to pass through. The saddest part of all is that no one posts on the blog anymore.

There are other community blogs, like the KPBS Cititzen Voices project— but that is strictly political, and of course limited to the six authors selected. Blog San Diego is another community blog, but the focus there is arts and culture. Both have great content, but are hierarchically focused rather than being true Web 2.0 network / social media sites allowing the community itself to determine the content.

So, with the demise of SanDiegoBlog, I was kind of excited to see that the Union Tribune is finally embracing social media. They just launched SD Backyard which appears to be a media rich social networking site.

I admit, I ridiculed one of their early attempts at Web 2.0– “America’s Finest Blog” and still think it is too stiff and boring, but this new site looks promising. Users can participate in online discussions, write their own blogs, flog events, and even upload video.

It will be interesting to see what the community wants the site to be, to see how the Union Tribune handles this site, or whether the publishers will step in. (remember the L.A. Times Wikitorial?)

If I weren’t moving to The Duke City in July I might just jump in and start community blogging there….

Do you community blog? if so, where?