Editor: Have you been around in OB long enough to remember “Hitchhikers’ Corner”? It was a site right next to the gas station as you’ve leaving Ocean Beach where folks who wanted a ride would stand with thumbs outstretched or holding signs where they’d like to go. It was a dirt lot, but people would gather at all times of the day and night. And it worked: many, many people would stop and open their vehicle doors to complete strangers! Imagine that!
Well, now we have “the Hitchhikers’ Guide to Ocean Beach” – a series about the interesting and little known quirks of OB. “Citizen Cane” is the nom de plume for a local historian of unknown proportions and known wisdom. Please welcome him or her. We look forward to more of these attractions.
by Citizen Cane
This is the first part of a series of stories to give people a view of Ocean Beach that can’t be found in the usual tourist guide books.
Our first attraction is the Sideways Tree of Ocean Beach.
The tree is in plain view across the street from the Holy Trinity Church on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard near Brighton Avenue.
It’s rarely noticed by the people passing by. Tour buses don’t slow down at this attraction. Most of the people driving by are too focused on going to or from Ocean Beach. Many people fail to look up. The tree is high up on the side of a large palm tree growing on private property. Such a tree probably wouldn’t be allowed on public property.
It also defies geotropism by growing taller in a mostly horizontal direction. Some people I’ve spoken to call it a parasite. I think that’s a bit harsh. I can’t fault the tree for where it was planted.
Rather I see it as the poster child for growing where you are planted. You can call it whatever you want. Interpret it as you will. I list it here in the Hitchhikers Guide as the organic monument to the nonconformists of Ocean Beach.