In the spirit of this census year, we offer this unofficial, informal, and unscientific census of daily life in San Diego. (No census workers were lynched or faked their own lynchings while gathering the following data.)

Friday, April 16, 2010
Mimmo’s Italian delicatessen on India Street, Little Italy, 12:22–1:00 p.m.

People: 87

Men: 62

Women: 25

People stopping on the sidewalk to read menu sign: 8

Toolbelted handyman working in the restaurant: 1

Men in jeans: 24

Men wearing ties: 4

Women in jeans: 19

Women in skirts: 3

Women wearing boots: 4

Men wearing three-inch gold medallion: 1

People in cardigans: 1

People in shorts: 4

People working behind the counter: 8

Non-Latinos working behind the counter: 0

Babies in strollers: 1

Asian people: 4

Black people: 3

Women above six feet tall: 3

Men with mustaches: 2

Mailmen in uniform: 1

Men wearing hats indoors (not including employees): 7

The Fountain, east end of the Prado, Balboa Park, 1:21–1:40 p.m.

People: 155

Men: 46

Women 52

Boys: 26

Girls: 22

Babies in strollers: 9

Brides being photographed in front of the fountain: 1

People running the full circle around the fountain: 7 (4 kids, 3 adults)

Consecutive laps run by a pigtailed four-year-old in pink: 4

Kids chasing pigeons: 2

People wearing straw hats: 2

Homeless people: 3

Homeless persons digging in the trash for cans: 1

People snapping photos: 7

Joggers passing through: 11

People wearing purple: 8

Sweaters thrown over shoulders 1980s style: 2

Persons using a cane: 1

Dogs: 11

Maintenance workers driving a tiny work truck: 1

Maintenance workers driving a full-sized pickup: 1

San Diego Police Retired Senior Volunteer Patrollers in an electric car: 2

Uniformed second-graders on a field trip: 17

Authoritative but loving young, male, Latino teachers: 1

Hipsters in skinny pants riding brakeless bikes too fast, too close to kids: 2

Non-hipsters on bikes, including two people on one tandem bike: 6

People eating bananas: 1

Out-of-state license plates in the parking lot behind the Fleet Museum: 13

Coffee Time Daily, 4800 block of University Avenue, City Heights, 2:20–2:30 p.m.

People: 14

Men: 14

Women (in or around the shop): 0

Non-Somalis: 0

Somali Men seemingly all talking in their native language at once: 14

Somali Men seated inside: 9

Somali Men seated outside: 5

Cooked fish with heads and tails intact being eaten by patrons: 2

Happy, bearded, middle-aged men behind the counter, pleased to be asked for Somali coffee by a non-Somali: 1

Types of heat in Somali coffee: 2 (temperature heat and ginger heat)

Somali women draped head to toe in bright-colored, multi-patterned garments walking by on the sidewalk: 13

El Cajon Grand, oldest bar in El Cajon, 437 East Main Street, 3:10–4:40 p.m.

People: 15

Men: 12

Women: 4

Bottle blonde, 40-something barkeepers calling each customer by name: 1

Non-whites: 0

Men wearing baseball caps: 4

People playing pool: 2

Black-and-white cats walking on pool table: 1

Customers in wheelchairs: 1

People having drinks other than beer: 2

People wearing patriotic-themed clothing: 4

Dollars for a well drink or domestic bottled beer: 2.5

Beers on tap: 0

People smoking outside: 5

Men named Don toting a four-foot hickory walking stick and chatting with a stranger about sports, family, politics, how El Cajon has changed over the decades, and what ­it’s like to live in a motor home: 1

Monday, April 19, 2010
Talavera Azul restaurant, 365 Third Street, Chula Vista, 9:15–10:05 a.m.

People in the restaurant: 33

Women: 17

Men: 16

People strolling by on 3rd: 65

Women: 31

Men: 34

Nursing students walking by: 46

Male nursing students: 18

Young ladies wearing a UC Santa Barbara sweatshirt and walking a Maltese: 1

Pedestrian with a tattoo of a star covering his elbow: 1

Ladies walking by under a red umbrella despite the perfect weather: 1

Tables occupied: 12

Tables at which Spanish is spoken exclusively: 8

Tables at which Spanish is spoken, yet “Happy Birthday” is sung in English: 1

Tables with only men seated: 4

Tables with only women seated: 4

Mexican women dressed to the nines to celebrate a birthday: 3

Pieces of talavera (colorfully painted Mexican pottery) adorning the walls: about 100

Hostesses sitting behind the counter, typing on a laptop: 1

Well-groomed, polite, reserved waiters: 1

Short, talkative, energetic waitresses: 1

The Ocean Beach Wall, foot of Newport Street from the pier to the lifeguard station, 1:50–2:20 p.m.

People: 183

Men: 107

Women: 76

Fat dudes with their shirts off: 7

Skinny dudes with their shirts off: 3

People with visible tattoos: 23

Tattoos of a cannabis leaf: 1

People eating: 8

Stoned women talking to themselves: 1

People playing guitars: 1

People playing hammered dulcimers: 1

People playing Australian aboriginal didgeridoo: 1

People playing drums: 0

Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Relax” T-shirts: 1

Couples romantically holding hands, kissing, or embracing: 11

Gay couples holding hands: 1

Babies in strollers: 4

Kids riding Big Wheels: 1

People riding beach cruisers: 4

People with dreadlocks: 5

People drinking from Starbucks cups: 2

Bikini clad women not on the sand: 3

People lying on the wall: 3

Overheard uses of the word “syntax”: 1

Motor homes in the parking lot being used as full-time residences: 5

Self-proclaimed veterans, missing a leg, greeting everyone who passes with a smile and a “How ya ­doin’?”: 1

Hoyt Park, Scripps Ranch, corner of Aviary Drive and Canyon Lake Drive, 3:45–4:26 p.m.

People: 10

Men: 2

Women: 2

Boys: 3

Girls: 4

Eucalyptus trees lining the park: about 250

People in park from 3:45–4:08 pm: 0

Young moms, sporting a platinum-blonde choppy bob and wearing a black maxi dress with gold polka dots; arriving at 4:08: 1

Two-year-old boys wearing red T-shirts and chatting their platinum-blonde ­moms’ ears off: 1

Octogenarians in navy-blue slacks and powder-blue windbreakers ambling through at 4:10: 1

30-something men in brown plaid shorts and green T-shirts, arriving at 4:13 to set up a volleyball nets: 1

Ponytailed teenage girls wearing volleyball gear and running into the park at 4:22: 1

Sloppily dressed teenaged boys staggering out of the woods at 4:25: 2

Teenaged girls in volleyball clothes, piling out of a silver BMW at 4:26: 3

Clearly rushed business-suited moms driving silver BMWs: 1

Kids playing in the park after school, not part of organized volleyball practice: 0

Families picnicking: 0

Lovers strolling through the park on this sunny, breezy spring day: 0

Houses along Canyon Lake Drive overlooking the park: 12

Signs of life coming from those houses: 0 ■

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