As fans flock to the famous sci-fi, fantasy and comic convention, we skip the event halls in favour of the best of the Californian city’s outdoor life
High above me, traffic rumbled along the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge as commuters headed to work. But in Chicano Park, directly beneath the huge, curving structure, life was quieter. I soon realised, though, that this hadn’t always been the case. The park, in Barrio Logan, one of San Diego’s oldest neighbourhoods, is not a conventional urban space, nor is its history straightforward.
Adorning the many concrete bridge supports are large, colourful intricate murals – often the work of several artists – that tell the story of the park’s controversial creation, as well as conveying defiant slogans and mythical images with resonance to the Mexican-American community. The city’s Chicano population (a chosen identity for some Mexican-Americans) saw Barrio Logan affected by freeway building in the early 1960s, with families forced out during construction of the bridge, which was completed in 1969.