I live in San Diego.  San Diego has many “perfect” locations to walk: beautiful neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown, breathtaking beaches, and majestic piers like the one below.  I’ve strolled in all these places countless times and enjoy them immensely.



Scripps Pier


So I was highly skeptical, when a few Sundays ago, I had the thought that it would be interesting to walk in the Kearney Mesa district of town.  Kearney Mesa is an area that looks like it was mainly developed from the 1950’s through 1980’s.  I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say this period of development didn’t give the area any memorable architectural gifts.  Wikipedia states the ambiance of the area even more succinctly . . .


“The majority of the Kearny Mesa area is commercial and industrial.”



In summary, Kearny Mesa is the type of place where a person usually wants to drive from parking lot to parking lot, rather than embark on a leisurely walk.




Boat docked in the harbor of In-N-Out


Still a part of me wanted the challenge of snapping photos in a place where I didn’t imagine I would find anything special.


All I hoped for was a few halfway decent shots.  However, 3 hours and 24 shots later (not counting duplicates I took of the same scene), I decided to end my walk because:

A) It was dark out.

B) I was tired.



Carts corralled together make a very interesting and I would say almost beautiful design

I love how unique and colorful Wienerschnitzel is 

Sometimes unexpected beauty is found by looking up

RIP San Diego Mattress Man

I finished my Kearney Mesa adventure inspired and enchanted.

Inspired and enchanted!  What?


In Kerney Mesa, I even found Utopia


Let me explain the best I can.  I can’t say I completely understand this phenomenon myself, even though I’ve experienced it repeatedly over the last twenty years when I have walked in less-than-typically-assumed-beautiful-or-noteworthy areas of towns and cities across the country.


A San Diego Beach at sunset, appears perfect.  Treasure is readily apparent all around.   Even driving by that beach at 65 mph, you would behold treasure.  But in a place like Kearney Mesa, it often takes a little more digging to discover riches.  In this type of area, you may need to search for beauty and surprise in the ordinary and the often looked over.


Maybe, it’s almost more rewarding searching for the treasure in places where there’s less expectation of finding it.


If your daily life is anything like mine, sometimes it feels like the Kearney Mesa I expected to find before I setting out on my walk.  Sometimes it feels as if there’s nothing special to see or savor because nothing seems “California Beach At Sunset” perfect.


At times like these, we have an opportunity to take a deep breath and look closer.   There is literally so much beauty right under our noses.  “Right under our noses” is very cliche, but it works well here so I’m using it and using it proudly.  At this moment, I see the magnificence in this cliche.


Abundance is within and all around us.


We simply need to do our imperfect best to notice it.




So much going on in this ordinary commercial door

Noticing the colors and interesting shapes of Carl’s Junior