Brandon Hernández 5 p.m., March 30
- Community Blog
- Surfing the Three Faces of Encinitas
Leucadia: The first face of Encinitas
Encinitas: 1:09 PM
GT: Let’s begin with the where of it. Encinitas is defined by Batiquitos Lagoon to the north and the San Elijo Lagoon to the south.
Dr. Bill: Who came here first?
Who were the first undocumented immigrants?
GT: I don’t know what you mean by first. The Solana Historical society has an excellent short history of the area, as does the Del Mar School District. The first known undocumented immigrants of the area came from Asia across the Alaskan Land Bridge about 9,000 BC. The illegals continued down through Southern Oregon, the Mojave Desert and into Imperial County. This group later became the San Dieguitos. Then, came the La Jolla Indians about 7,500 years ago. The La Jollans lived in small bands around the lagoons and dined out on lobster, clams, abalone and seeds. A recent group of undocumented immigrants came from the Colorado River within the last 1,500 years and are known as the Diegueno Indians. They fished, gathered acorns and pinon nuts and were described as “peaceful, healthy, attractive and good-natured.”
Dr. Bill: Why do you call them undocumented?
GT :None of these tribe members had a visa, passport or green card. These early tribes were the first people in the area to leave their mark.
Dr. Bill: How did Encinitas get its name?
GT: In1669, the land we are biking across land that was Spanish Territory. The Governor of Baja California. Gaspar de Portola, was travelling by horseback down El Camino Real Blvd. on a crusade to build schools, missions and spread the Catholic word. Gov. Portola’s plan was to create a chain of missions from San Diego to Monterey that were each about a one day journey apart. Accompanying him were Franciscan Fathers, whose job was to convert the American Indians encountered to Christianity and use them as workers to build the Missions. Many of Diegueno tribe became Christians as a result of the Franciscan Fathers. The Diegueno’s packed up and left Encinitas, Solana Beach and La Jolla and moved to the San Diego Mission area after the Mission was founded in 1769. In the 1821, possession of the area switched from Spain to Mexico.
President Polk tried to buy California and the land north of the Rio Grande River. Mexico wanted no part of this. So, President Polk decided that to purchase the land, Mexico would need a bit of poking. He started a war with Mexico, invaded and attacked Mexico City. The fighting in Mexico City lasted one week and Santa Ana was deposed as President. Hearing its bones crunch, Mexico succumbed to the arm twisting. A peace treaty was signed on February 2nd, 1848. The United States was given the desired land for 15 million dollars. Good old American entrepreneurism-the means justifies the end.
The Three Faces of 101 Encinitas: The Leucadia Personality
Dr. Bill: Why do you say that Encinitas has multiple personalities or a dissociative disorder?
GT: The Historic 101 has at least three radically different personalities: Leucadia, Old Encinitas and Cardiff. Each have fought to maintain their separate identity. We are at the northern border of Encinitas, which is Leucadia. Leucadia was named after a Greece island by a group of Greek mentalists. Leucadia means Isle of Paradise or Place of Shelter in Greek. The tracts of Leucadia, as do the street names reflect the Greek influence and were named after Greek gods and mythical figures. The city is a little poorer, more artsy-craftsy, more rowdy and free spirited than Carlsbad. For me, all this translates into a community of families, who are closer to the middle income range and are a little more non-conforming than other cities on the 101. The city is famous for the droopy Eucalyptus trees which line the 101 and shops selling local art. On Sunday morning, Leucadia hosts one of the best farmers market in the area. You can buy anything from grilled artichokes, hand made sausages filled with cheese to worm castings. Debra and I went for the sausage and worm castings- not in the same bun.
We stop to inspect the colorful mural on the back wall of the Mobile Gas Station on the right. It portrays the Southern California beach in summertime with the center piece being the Self Realization Fellowship down the road. It feels like Summertime and the living is easy. In my head, I hear Sam Cook kicking it out. Sam Cook and I are close. We went to LA’S Belmont High School together at different times. We never met. It's summertime and the living is easy Fish are jumping and the cotton is high Your daddy's rich and your mama's good-looking Hush, little baby don't you cry don't cry, don't cry, don't cry no no no no don't cry, don't cry Dr. Bill (singing): Southern Cal. and the living is easy. The beaches are jumping and the pelicans do fly. GT: George Gershwin composed Summertime as an aria for his 1935 opera, Porgy and Bess. There are 2,600 versions that have been recorded. Billie Holiday (#12 on US pop charts) was the first in 1936, then came Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitxgerald, Sam Cooke and Janis Joplin, etc.
The Leucadia Bar is a local gathering place for those who like to hang in bars, play pool and get slightly rowdy. A friend of mine got drunk here on Christmas day, called the wrong woman fat and three Marines took offense. The next morning he awoke badly beaten, no shoes and dressed only in his pants. I’d guess my friend is more discrete about using this f word. They have bands that rock on Friday and Saturday.
We are at the Best Apple Fritter on Earth at the Leucadia Donut Shop. I have second thoughts.
Dr. Bill: I feel the force. It is sucking me in. What shall I do?
GT: You’re an aroma guy. To avoid temptation, hold your nose as we surf by.
Dr. Bill: Thanks. It worked! I fought the force and won.
Now, I put my aroma guy nose to the wind and catch the rich scent of roasting coffee and sweet pastries. The Pannikin, in my opinion, has the best combination of coffee, pastry and atmosphere in the area. This is the old Encinitas Train Station. People are sipping their drinks and treats in the garden-like outside sitting area with patio chairs and tables. Try a Cinnamon Roll warmed with extra butter. They melt in your mouth. Their espresso is as good as it gets, except in Italy. Here is why.
For a special sensual treat, go downstairs toward the bathrooms. Use your nose as your guide. Breathe in the aroma of 10’s of gunny sacks filled with coffee beans and, more profoundly, the aromatic aura of the coffee bean roasting that takes place here. Inhale this rich coffee infused air into your lungs, your blood stream and to every cell in your body. Now, that is what I call taking in the atmosphere of a place. But, the voice calling me is frozen yogurt. As is our custom, we pull in through the back of The Pannikin to steal a branch from the striking orange, candy red or regal purple bougainvillea. Then, depending on how obvious it is, as we pass the white roses in front, I bend over to smell the roses and strip off a rose or three. I attach the bouquet to GT’s handlebars.
Dr. Bill: The three white roses added a nice contrast for your bouquet.
GT(gushes): You brought me roses. You’re my Sweetie.
We enjoy having flowers on our voyage. Once again, we proceed as almost one. My stomach grumbles and I have a hissy fit at having passed all the goodies.
Dr. Bill (pouting): Why live, if you have to live without the BAFE or a cinnamon roll?
PT: The BAFE and cinnamon roll would be a done deal and all you’d have is a heavy gut. But, you can look forward…
Dr. Bill: Ah, gotcha. There is a plain vanilla Yogurt with coconut and mango on top that is waiting there for me.
I peddle even faster and enjoy thinking of how those few words from GT had changed my perception and consciousness. Could PT have come up with a new Psychotherapy?
Just ahead on our right is the famous Capt. Keno’s. Home of the some of the cheapest mixed drinks on 101. The Bloody Mary’s are good, but the Magaritas are made with battery acid and a cheap, bottled lime mix. The happy hour starts with breakfast at 6 AM and lasts until 12 PM. This is the right place to drink straight shots. I personally like the alcoholic, lower class nature of Keno’s. It has an odd kind of charm, even the bathrooms. The restaurant is totally 50’s and probably hasn’t had a face job or deep clean since then. I was at a graduation party at the Capt.’s. The star of the show was this singer/guitarist who was drunk on his ass, sucking intermittently on a somewhat concealed whiskey bottle and trying to sing. Dean Martin and Axle Rose could do it, this guy couldn’t. You can purchase an endless soup bowl and fill it as many times as you want with clam chowder or vegetable soup for $3.39. The clam chowder is pretty good, though I am sure it’s origin was a five gallon can. They advertise spaghetti for 2.99 and meatloaf for $3.99. I haven’t tried either of these. It was encouraging to see Capt. Keno eating his own food. I usually get ice water with a couple slices of lemon and add sweetening for lemonade. The menu and production is all rather pedestrian, but their New York Steak at $11.99 and baby back ribs at $9.99 are the real deal. I rate the steak to be as good as most of the upscale joints up and down the street charging two or three times that. The salad is chilled iceberg, which is palatable with their chunky blue cheese dressing. Get an extra blue cheese. The rest of the menu is ample, basic and leaves me with an OK feeling.
I was lucky enough to hear Cezar Chavez speak 3 times, followed the farm worker cause and attended several demonstrations. Since then, my stomach automatically rebels at iceberg lettuce. My beautiful wife, Barbara, who died of Alzheimer’s, used to contemptuously call it “Old, white lettuce.” She knew that it has fewer nutrients than other non-stigmatized lettuces