If you laid any given day's crop of visitors at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park end to end, it's a cinch a few bystanders would wonder what the deal is. Seeing all those people strewn along the sidewalks and streets might make them suspect foul play, in which case the authorities would be summoned, with your imminent detention to follow. A perfectly wonderful time at a major San Diego destination disintegrates into a regrettable, possibly deadly confrontation with local law enforcement—all because you, in your blissful ignorance, decided today was the day to test some cockamamie theory about the human body's role in urban geography.
You prolly should've hit the Wine Cabana first. The visit to this venue might not have deterred you from your stated purpose, but you'd at least have been out from under the hot sun in your effort to reconsider it. While you were at it, you could have lingered over a Merlot flight ($20) that features the tart, grapey Covey Run, from Washington State's Columbia Valley, or split a bottle of Spain's raspberry-intensive 2006 Solaz Tempranillo ($19) with your imaginary friend. The latter is great with the Cabana's Italian antipasto—and if that's not enough for ya, the place offers cheese plates, hummus and several other light items, all eager to round out a pair.
Go to 2549 Congress St., at Old Town's southern tip, and you'll see what I mean. Just make sure you do it between 5 and 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 3 p.m. and midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 3 and 10 p.m. Sundays (when the happy hour lasts all day; phone is 619-574-9463). And if you make it safely inside, you may want to lay low. That mob of bystanders is looking mighty ugly just now.
—Martin Jones Westlin