Needles Hotel

Saturday, August 31, 2019


So those of you who have fled North County for greener pastures, you ever find yourself missing the place? Perhaps you have moved to Hawaii, to Thailand, to Washington, or to the inland empire to find a place a family can actually afford to live and raise a kid or two? Or you fled liberal California for a cozy right wing Klavan near Cave Creek? Maybe you now live in a tall urban highrise, located conveniently close to culture and cappuccino in some chic Gotham.

Well this picture is for you.

The view south from Swamis. An outpost of peace and serenity in the San Diego county coastal strand. Big stand of Washingtonia filifera, the only native Alta California palm, standing at a wavy salute, beckoning you to her azure water and beaches.

It is still awesome, take my word for it. And Swamis hasn't forgotten about you, asks about you all the time, remembers all the good times we used to have. Frisbee and fish tacos, OTL, bodysurfing, Shawn's rock and driftwood sculptures, big fatties on the beach. The best of times. Chill long before the big chill.

Secretly I think she wants you to come home but that is between you two. She is good at keeping her secrets. I never want to interfere...


island guy said...

The best of times......yes indeed. Thanks for your lyrical transmission of the siren’s call. I occasionally feel a pang, and you certainly caused one to come along. Swami’s, SRF, I Street Cafe, Gail and Evelyne? (yes, you sparked some memories with that prior comment of yours as well), playing wild fris, cold water that we enjoyed (too warm blooded now). OTL? Must have missed it, seems very Mission Beach soft sandish to me. After I left I went into mourning for the demise I foresaw for that privileged, innocent enclave, soon to be forever changed as OC finally leapfrogged Camp Pendelton and started to eat. After about 20 years I let go of focusing on the changes and looked around to realize some very real charms remained and that you could still feel whatever brought Paramahansa Yogananda to pick Encinitas. Would be a treat to share it with you again, maybe even more so because of all the changes in Swami’s and in ourselves since then.

island guy said...

Swami’s siren song indeed. What a great place, what a great time it was. Seeing OC starting to reach over Camp Pendleton and start to eat NC made me leave, and it was 20 years before I could really appreciate it again. But you are right, a lot left in the old gal, and I would feel welcomed back by the place, if a bit disoriented by the current occupants. Trader Joes would be great, the 805 merge a nightmare.....not sure I could handle the cold water anymore, but be happy to wander the beach.

Jerry Hall said...

I Street Cafe was incredible! Remember Da Kine restaurant? Many others. When you take the stairs down to the beach now, you can still forget about the hustle and bustle up above and find that same wonderful vibration that's always been there. 🕉

Anonymous said...

Da Kine was one of my favorite little places. It kinda embodies the whole vibe. The beautiful young family of blond haired surfer hippies that ran that place was so sweet and also quite serious regarding the organic ingredients of those perfect burritos. It's still the best burrito I've ever tasted. I have to admit that upon reading this thread I got emotional. When I read the reference to Da Kine, I cried a little bit.

Jerry Hall said...

Super Burritos. The best! John and Kim Hornbacher were the owners.

Blue Heron said...

Didn't he abuse her?