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Cosmos’s Guide to Forgetting about the Chargers

Wexler - a black poodle. Ask Cosmos. Balboa Park.Wexler writes: Dear Cosmos, Now that the Chargers have dogged us, my family and I couldn’t give a rat’s rear-end what happens in the NFL playoffs anymore. What’s the best way to fill our Sundays and forget about being treated like a whipped dog?

Cosmos: There’s nothing worse than feeling like an abandoned puppy, pooch-kicked to the curb by someone you’ve offered your unwavering loyalty to for decades. But instead of sitting around all day licking your wounds, the best revenge is to offer your loyalty to another venerable San Diego institution that will never leave you.

Botanical Building in Balboa Park seen from lily pondBalboa Park is home to dozens cultural institutions, attractions, and venues, many of which have been around since before the Chargers decided to (temporarily) call San Diego home. In fact, the Botanical Building is one of several buildings in the park—along with the Cabrillo Bridge, California Tower, and Spreckels Organ Pavilion—that are over 100 years old!

Although it’s not going anywhere, the always-free Botanical Building, which serves as the hub of Balboa Park’s network of 20 gardens, could use (and deserves) a little love and support from its fans. For probably less than the cost of paving a new stadium’s parking lot, residents can ensure this San Diego landmark is enjoyed by tens of millions of visitors for another 100 years.

If lush plant displays and exotic flowers aren’t your jam, there are two dozen other museums and performing arts venues in the park—home to everything from fine arts and airplanes to dinosaurs and puppet theater—all offering plenty of distractions on any given Sunday.

For the price of a couple of tickets to an NFL game, for example, you could buy a Balboa Park Explorer pass that admits an entire family into 17 different park museums for an entire year. Or, you could treat your family to a first-class theater production at San Diego Junior Theatre, an IMAX film and gallery admission at the Fleet Science, and still have plenty of bones left over for lunch.

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