Evans Mission Bay Magazine Issue 2 - Page 41

Shopping in the Gaslamp Quarter weekends—except when special events are scheduled—Old Town Harney Street Market gets underway with works by local artists that range from turquoise jewelry, pottery and hand-painted glass to wood art, paintings and even clothing and accessories. GASLAMP QUARTER Bordering the area where Petco Park and the San Diego Convention Center are located, the Gaslamp Quarter still reflects a bygone era when gas lamps cast their glimmering light over San Diego. The area offers many shops and, once the sun begins to slip toward the horizon, rooftop bars and restaurants provide a whole different per- spective on this part of the city. Within this lively 16-block chunk of city, mixologists craft artisan cocktails and the club scene heats up nightly with every type of music and show imaginable, from jazz and dance mixes spun by celebrity disc jockeys to staged flamenco and burlesque shows. Some of the popular wine bars and clubs include Vin de Syrah, which is below street level with decor that evokes “Alice in Wonderland”; Omnia Nightclub San Diego, a multilevel venue including a balcony and rooftop terrace for dancing to beats pro- vided by top DJs; and Noble Experiment, a speakeasy with a wall of golden skulls that’s so hip and off the radar, you have to text in advance for reservations. “The Gaslamp Quarter’s newest addition is the Horton Plaza Park with its center- piece landmark fountain, created in 1910,” Arends says. Towering light sculptures, an interactive pop-jet fountain and a Cabrillo arch-style amphitheater have catapulted this outdoor venue to huge popularity. The space plays host to year-round events including live entertainment and concerts, plus cul- tural performances and Plaza Play games such as lawn darts and giant Jenga. “Close by, in the downtown area, the city’s famous Embarcadero now boasts a beautiful new waterside park, ranking as the largest city park opening here since Balboa Park,” Arends adds. “Once filled with parked cars, the revitalized area is known as Waterfront Park, with an 830-foot-long fountain with water jets, a landscaped playground and space for festi- vals and music events.” The new park is positioned just across the street from the departure point for harbor boat excursions, along with the USS Midway Museum, and the Maritime Museum of San Diego. When you’re ready to take a break from sightseeing, you can always sink into a comfortable seat and take in a performance at one of the world-class concert halls and theaters. Among the options, enjoy plays and musicals at the more-than-a-centu- ry-old Spreckels Theatre, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, or Balboa Theatre, which began its life in 1924 as a vaudeville and moving pictures palace. Classical concerts are presented by the San Diego Symphony at Jacobs Music Hall (or Embarcadero Marina Park South during the summer) while Broadway San Diego offers top musicals at Civic Theatre. Ultimately, your perfect escape to San Diego is up to you. Go retro, splash in the water, satisfy your hunger or just unwind and drink in the warm sea breezes. In San Diego, you can have it all. n INSIDER TIP When it comes to their historic city by the sea, locals know the best spots, from restaurants to the latest hangouts worth discovering. San Diego resident Robert Arends, public rela- tions manager at the San Diego Tourism Authority, sug- gests setting out Paraná’s empanadas for the brand- new Liberty Public Market in Point Loma, still well below the radar for most visitors. “The market is housed in an indoor space at Liberty Station where the Naval Training Center used to be,” Arends explains. The market is home to a wide selection of dining and enter- tainment venues with special events, Le Parfait Paris plus organic foods, wine, chocolate, hand-crafted pastries and baked goods, and a natural supply store for dogs and cats. The market’s rustic seaport ambi- ence extends to Mess Hall restaurant and its nod to the building’s military history. All of the ingredients used in the menu are sourced from the food purveyors at the market itself and the restaurant offers a Sunday brunch and a three-course Sunday Roast dinner featuring wood- fired meats. Shops are open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with some vendors open- ing earlier, and there’s also a weekday Market Mess Hall Happy Hour. 41