posted on: 10/08/2014 - 10:40am by Cosmos
Being bred, weaned, and raised in San Diego, it’s easy to take certain things for granted: the sun, the beaches, another losing season for the Padres, and even our beloved urban oasis—Balboa Park.
The name “Balboa Park” is such an institution itself, I wonder how many of us ever stop to think about the person it was named after, or even the fact that it was named after a person as opposed to being another colorful Spanish word, like Tierrasanta or Del Cerro. With the Centennial Celebrations just around the corner, I’ve decided it’s time to teach this old dog new tricks and find out more about Balboa Park’s rich history.
Thankfully the House of Spain, part of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, is offering a series of presentations and events this week in celebration of the Park’s namesake: Vasco Núñez de Balboa, a 15th-century Spanish explorer who was the first European to lead an expedition to the Pacific Ocean.
If you can’t remember your fourth-grade social studies lessons, or are a non-native transplant, then you might want to sniff out some of the free presentations that are continuing on Thursday and Friday (October 9-10) in the House of Spain’s cottage. (The presentation titled “Who Was Balboa?” will be repeated at 10am and 12 noon on Thursday and Friday.)
But let’s cut to the chase. Study after study has shown that folks, regardless of species, can’t learn diddly-squat on an empty stomach. To that end, the House of Spain will be serving up vats of paella beginning at 12 noon on both Saturday and Sunday (October 11-12). On Saturday, the paella will be accompanied at 2pm by live music by Novamenco as part of a free Lawn Program. On Sunday, which happens to be Spain’s National Day, the 2pm Lawn Program will feature a free performance by the “Olé Flamenco” dance company. Olé!