Parklets? Yes Please.



Parklets are a brilliant use of existing infrastructure. The idea is simple. Convert an existing street parking space (or two) into an urban destination. This example from Long Beach was installed as an extension of the adjacent Lola’s restaurant dining area. The improvements cost about $20,000 and have been a boon for the restaurant which had no outdoor dining until the City offered this pilot program. This was the first of it’s kind in all of southern California and other Cities are struggling to keep pace with Long Beach. Los Angeles has 4 parklets in the planning phases.

Here in San Diego we have no such urban destinations.. At least not yet. North Park’s planning committee will be deciding today whether they will approve the installation of the City’s first parklet. With North Park’s recent designation as the nation’s thirteenth best hipster neighborhood by Forbes, they would be loath to turn down such an opportunity.

Over the past year I have been advocating the design and installation of a parklet for Hillcrest. I serve on the Board of Directors for the Hillcrest Business Association and am active in our Beautification Committee where I have floated the concept on multiple occasions. Several businesses have expressed an interest and we hope to further our discussions in the coming weeks and months. We have also been approached by North Park’s parklet planners in an effort to combine our resources.

I also serve on the Board of the Uptown Community Parking District, I’m sure some of our board members would take issue with the “loss” of parking but I don’t see it that way. When you create more urban destinations like these you increase foot traffic and diversify the modes of transportation people use like walking, biking and transit.

The race is on for San Diego’s first Parklet and Hillcrest had better get in the game!

Quick update.. The North Park Planning Committee voted unanimously to approve the parklet and two bike corrals at last night’s meeting. Well done North Park!!

San Andres Colombia

San Andres Colombia

Are you looking for a beautiful, tropical island in the Caribbean?

San Andres Colombia may unfortunately, not be the choice. The sad truth is that the island is a bit tacky. This is a shame, because it has perfect sandy beaches and all the natural beauty of a perfect tropical island.

Why go there?

  • As the only gateway from Colombia to get to Providencia Island

I don’t want to push this island on you. Better find another of the many, gorgeous islands in the Carribean. Some recent hotel developments show more promise however, so maybe things will improve over time.

The further you get from the airport, the nicer things become. The town area didn’t appeal to me at all. It was congested, with too many people both in and out of the water. The town itself is not pretty.

We spent our honeymoon on the neighboring island of Providencia, a short flight away. Providencia is worth visiting and is much more quiet. We did layover for a night on San Andres, and were pleasantly surprised when we landed in Providencia after the letdown of the first island.

This type of destination in Colombia caters to tourists who choose package holidays and want organized events such as windsurfing classes etc. Food at the hotels tends to be mediocre. It can also be next to impossible to get out of your booking once you’ve given your credit card details.


Surprisingly far away from the Colombian mainland, the island’s location is geographically near Nicaragua, historically tied to England and politically part of Colombia. It’s the largest island in the country.


The nature is beautiful. We rented a small golf cart and drove around the whole island in a few hours. It gets calmer and idyllic as you head South, away from the main town and airport.

The island is fairly flat with some hills to the middle. We ended up going for a nice walk by a village known as La Loma toward the Southern end on the West side of the island, which was beautiful and quite charming.

Close to La Loma, and to give San Andres some credit, we had incredible shrimps in garlic with cold beer at a tiny restaurant you’d never guess made such good food. So yes, there are some gems.

The beaches are fantastic and surround most of the island.


There are too many of them who come on package tours. As the most pristine tropical island of Colombia, this makes sense but it’s a shame there aren’t more picture-perfect islands like this to choose from.

“El Centro”

The main town known as El Centro is where the airport and most of the hotels are located.

To the East, you’ll find San Luis which is a small tourist town with a decent stretch of white, sandy beach and traditional wooden houses. The calm water here makes it an ideal spot for snorkeling.


There are direct flights from Costa Rica, Panama and the larger airports in Colombia such as:

  • Bogota
  • Medellin
  • Cali
  • Cartagena


I find it difficult to recommend San Andres Colombia. Maybe one day it will become, a perfect island destination that belongs to Colombia, but that requires a lot change.

Welcome To My Blogsite!

Welcome to my new BLOGSITE!! What is that you may ask? It’s the best of both worlds, a website & blog, all packaged nicely into one! I’ll update with blog posts frequently, so bookmark the site & check back often! To see individual galleries, go to GALLERIES on the top menu bar – choose what you’re looking for & enjoy! xxooxx ~ Robin