On Monday night this past week, my buddy, Gabe, and I went out and took the condensed Creepy San Diego tour. It is a tour I used to lead when I was a young twenty-something back in the early nineties. It was unofficial and mainly for friends visiting from out of town. But it seems to have become creepier since then.
We only hit a couple highlights, since Gabe was aware of a few of them. What he had not seen was the "guard house" at the San Diego Presidio Junipero Serra museum. Specifically the stone and brick inlaid roof sporting a 20 foot pentacle.
(The Roof of the Guardhouse beneath the Father Serra Museum)
This rooftop is on the West side of the museum, above the old guardhouse which stands at the southern end of the parking lot. Public access to it is available and encouraged. Just be sure you have some Vicks Vapor Rub to put under your nose when you get up there. The odor on the roof is shall we say, "urine-esque."
Why is it there? That remains a mystery to me. I have yet to find a museum person who has a solid answer. I'm open to speculation, however, the odd part remains; why is it that the roof of such a building is open to the public? There isn't even a hint of "No trespassing" posted anywhere around the structure. No "employees only" or other such restriction is posted. So, it is meant to be publicly accessible. Weird, right? The obvious wax remains from candles in the past make me wonder who is using this for ceremonial reasons. I mean, personally, I'm all for this Star being open to the public. San Diego has several giant sized crosses in public spaces. Stars should have equal treatment.
The only information I can find on the building is about the shape of it. The five sided pentagonal structure is said to have been a common Shape for guardhouses in the years around the Mexican American war. That's all I got.
Moving along now... We drove up the hill and over to the Mission Hills Park, officially known as Pioneer Park. The field of green grass slopes across from Grant Elementary to the small parking lot which abuts the houses in the neighborhood. This is of my favorite parks. I taught my oldest daughter to ride her bike here when we lived close by.
(Part of the row of headstones)
The park is surrounded by a low 150 year old adobe wall and in the south east corner of the park is a long row of various headstones. Yes, this was once a cemetery. In fact many of the people interned into this cemetery remain. In fact, looking down on the headstones is a large slab of concrete inlaid with several brass tablets with the names of those known to still inhabit the earth beneath the grass here. It is a beautiful tribute of respect to the deceased.
One of the more curious points about this park is the parking lot. After sundown, it is easier to see. When the headlights of your car shine across the pavement at night, the light reveals depressions from the ongoing deterioration of the caskets. The neat rows of coffins are clearly visible despite the years of the city filling in the pits, time and time again. I think this creeped out Gabe the most.
Once we left the park, we called it a night. But, once creeped out, my appetite was piqued. So we headed down the hill to Lucho Libre Taco shop on Washington St. The Nachos killed.
(Our Large Nachos From Lucho Libre)
Don't look for the Nachos on the online menu. It is only available in person. And that is the weirdest part of today's blog.
Tomorrow, Monday, I will be releasing the long awaited first installment of The Beggar's Cup. It is a San Diego Original and San Diegan's will get a real treat unraveling in this eccentric and delightful story of an unusual city treasure. (Wink, wink)
Stay tuned. Changes and updates to the website are coming.