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A big kiss from Lemon Grove

Heymatt:

Does anyone know the history behind the lips painted on the rock going out of Lemon Grove at Lemon Grove Avenue and High street? I'm 34 years old and always remember the lips being there. Obviously someone has bee repainting the "lipstick" (different colors) all this time. At one point, probably during the 80s, they were painted black. I have always wondered....

-- Jennifer, the net

Lemon Grove sure does love its quirky landmarks. Plaster lemons, geological lips, just two things that bring a little zing to the town, now that the actual lemon groves are gone. The lips inspiration is actually pretty well documented. It was originally an artist's joke that's been maintained by anonymous freelancers ever since. If you haven't seen them, the mouth is actually just a clever natural formation of rock faces that, if you have an artist's imagination, come together to form a set of not-too-sexy-plumpish lips in a large boulder. In 1977, artist, L.G. resident, and cheeky 17-year-old Steven Garcia decided that the lips he saw in the rocky formation needed some paint to help his friends see what he saw in the natural formation. So that year Lemon Grove got a big red permanent kiss from above route 94. Over the years embellishments have been added, but those were mostly stolen. The lips had accompanying painted-on eyes for a while, but nobody seemed to care about maintaining them. Garcia left the area at least 20 years ago, and ever since it's been random lighthearted Lemon Grovians who've kept the lips juicy and bright on a volunteer basis. Maybe the biggest secret about the lips is that they're actually, politically and geographically, in La Mesa. But you have to be in Lemon Grove to see them.

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Heymatt:

Does anyone know the history behind the lips painted on the rock going out of Lemon Grove at Lemon Grove Avenue and High street? I'm 34 years old and always remember the lips being there. Obviously someone has bee repainting the "lipstick" (different colors) all this time. At one point, probably during the 80s, they were painted black. I have always wondered....

-- Jennifer, the net

Lemon Grove sure does love its quirky landmarks. Plaster lemons, geological lips, just two things that bring a little zing to the town, now that the actual lemon groves are gone. The lips inspiration is actually pretty well documented. It was originally an artist's joke that's been maintained by anonymous freelancers ever since. If you haven't seen them, the mouth is actually just a clever natural formation of rock faces that, if you have an artist's imagination, come together to form a set of not-too-sexy-plumpish lips in a large boulder. In 1977, artist, L.G. resident, and cheeky 17-year-old Steven Garcia decided that the lips he saw in the rocky formation needed some paint to help his friends see what he saw in the natural formation. So that year Lemon Grove got a big red permanent kiss from above route 94. Over the years embellishments have been added, but those were mostly stolen. The lips had accompanying painted-on eyes for a while, but nobody seemed to care about maintaining them. Garcia left the area at least 20 years ago, and ever since it's been random lighthearted Lemon Grovians who've kept the lips juicy and bright on a volunteer basis. Maybe the biggest secret about the lips is that they're actually, politically and geographically, in La Mesa. But you have to be in Lemon Grove to see them.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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