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Gonzo Report: EDM meets May Gray at Belmont Park Beach House

Getting loud under the clouds

A gray day, but still a good time, at the Beach House
A gray day, but still a good time, at the Beach House

It’s Sunday morning: the sun is out and the sky is blue — perfect weather for a visit to the Beach House at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. But by the time I arrive at 2 pm or so, the sun has vanished into the May Gray and the air is decidedly cooler. Oh well; I’m here anyway, smiling as I get close enough to start hearing the rickety rattle of the Giant Dipper rollercoaster. A couple more years, and it will turn 100.

Place

Beach House Grill

3125 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego

I’m limping a bit, thanks to a bicycle crash a few days ago, and I hobble past a gaggle of bikers of a different sort, all delighting in each other’s rides. Happily, there’s no line at the Beach House entrance: I get wanded by security, pay my $40 to get in, and make it to the bar for a beery respite. It’s hard to hear over the thumping bass, but I think the bartender mentions Shock Top, Miller Lite, Modelo, and a few IPAs. I wind up paying $11 plus a 55-cent surchange for a Modelo — Mexican banditry or just inflation? — and stake out a spot at the bar with a view of the waves crashing on the beach and the girls walking past on the boardwalk.

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Sponsored

The event for the day is FNGRS CRSSD presents Loco Dice + Harvard Bass. Except for a few raves in my early twenties, this could be considered my first EDM show. For the first hour, it’s just me and ten or so others, so I do a bit of exploring. The Beach House’s neighbor is the Plunge, another recreational wonder from 1925. At the time, it was world’s largest saltwater pool, holding 355,000 gallons. (It was converted to fresh water in 1940.) Today, there’s a retractable roof and an inflatable obstacle course. Families are having birthday parties for their kids; a few folks are slipping out for a smoke break. Cigarettes, joints, or vapes, who knows? Another Beach House neighbor is the Belmont Skatepark. But there’s no skating today; the place looks more like a storage area. What I don’t see is a restroom, until a security guard points out the white trailer that’s right in front of my face. Inside, it’s very clean, with polished floors, bright white toilets, and a shiny sink. I wonder what it will be like at the end of the evening.

Earlier, I had declined a friend’s offer of pasta because I planned to eat here, but for that first hour, I don’t see any food options. Then I see the vendors coming in to set up for the evening: either pizza from Round Table or Concert Tacos. Two carne asada tacos for $12, two chicken for $10, two carnitas for $10, and add guacamole for $3. My choice is a slice of pizza, $5. As I munch, I notice people starting to arrive, even as the temperature drops further. There’s a wooden walkway that connects the bar and the wooden dance floor; other than that, the floor is covered in sand. Palm trees line the outside edges. There are people sitting on the boardwalk wall, bouncing their heads up and down to the music, enjoying the free show. I overhear a few of them trying to figure out how to get as close as possible.

The dance floor is starting to fill up with twentysomethings. Some of the men wear shorts and T-shirts, because this is the beach, but most of them come bundled up in jackets and hoodies, because this is May Gray. Still, the cold doesn’t seem to bother the women in their halter tops and miniskirts. Maybe their dancing helps them keep warm. The scene is enough to give you hope for the future; everyone seems well mannered, fun-loving, and happy to be there with their friends. As for me, I can see how enjoyable it would be to see a concert here on a warm and sunny day. But just now, I’m a bit chilly, and so I head off to my next adventure.

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A gray day, but still a good time, at the Beach House
A gray day, but still a good time, at the Beach House

It’s Sunday morning: the sun is out and the sky is blue — perfect weather for a visit to the Beach House at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. But by the time I arrive at 2 pm or so, the sun has vanished into the May Gray and the air is decidedly cooler. Oh well; I’m here anyway, smiling as I get close enough to start hearing the rickety rattle of the Giant Dipper rollercoaster. A couple more years, and it will turn 100.

Place

Beach House Grill

3125 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego

I’m limping a bit, thanks to a bicycle crash a few days ago, and I hobble past a gaggle of bikers of a different sort, all delighting in each other’s rides. Happily, there’s no line at the Beach House entrance: I get wanded by security, pay my $40 to get in, and make it to the bar for a beery respite. It’s hard to hear over the thumping bass, but I think the bartender mentions Shock Top, Miller Lite, Modelo, and a few IPAs. I wind up paying $11 plus a 55-cent surchange for a Modelo — Mexican banditry or just inflation? — and stake out a spot at the bar with a view of the waves crashing on the beach and the girls walking past on the boardwalk.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The event for the day is FNGRS CRSSD presents Loco Dice + Harvard Bass. Except for a few raves in my early twenties, this could be considered my first EDM show. For the first hour, it’s just me and ten or so others, so I do a bit of exploring. The Beach House’s neighbor is the Plunge, another recreational wonder from 1925. At the time, it was world’s largest saltwater pool, holding 355,000 gallons. (It was converted to fresh water in 1940.) Today, there’s a retractable roof and an inflatable obstacle course. Families are having birthday parties for their kids; a few folks are slipping out for a smoke break. Cigarettes, joints, or vapes, who knows? Another Beach House neighbor is the Belmont Skatepark. But there’s no skating today; the place looks more like a storage area. What I don’t see is a restroom, until a security guard points out the white trailer that’s right in front of my face. Inside, it’s very clean, with polished floors, bright white toilets, and a shiny sink. I wonder what it will be like at the end of the evening.

Earlier, I had declined a friend’s offer of pasta because I planned to eat here, but for that first hour, I don’t see any food options. Then I see the vendors coming in to set up for the evening: either pizza from Round Table or Concert Tacos. Two carne asada tacos for $12, two chicken for $10, two carnitas for $10, and add guacamole for $3. My choice is a slice of pizza, $5. As I munch, I notice people starting to arrive, even as the temperature drops further. There’s a wooden walkway that connects the bar and the wooden dance floor; other than that, the floor is covered in sand. Palm trees line the outside edges. There are people sitting on the boardwalk wall, bouncing their heads up and down to the music, enjoying the free show. I overhear a few of them trying to figure out how to get as close as possible.

The dance floor is starting to fill up with twentysomethings. Some of the men wear shorts and T-shirts, because this is the beach, but most of them come bundled up in jackets and hoodies, because this is May Gray. Still, the cold doesn’t seem to bother the women in their halter tops and miniskirts. Maybe their dancing helps them keep warm. The scene is enough to give you hope for the future; everyone seems well mannered, fun-loving, and happy to be there with their friends. As for me, I can see how enjoyable it would be to see a concert here on a warm and sunny day. But just now, I’m a bit chilly, and so I head off to my next adventure.

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