Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Landmarks can be places, buildings or structures that are easily recognizable to others and sometimes hold cultural significance. The world over knows the Statue of Liberty, The Eiffel Tower, even the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles. I myself stand in awe of some of these landmarks when I see it person.

But the odd in me likes the landmarks that hold more of a significance to the locals. These landmarks are treasured for being unique to their city, a tad bit weird, and shall I say charming.  

smiling water tower
(via flickr by gfpeck)
The Smiling Face Water Tower in Grand Forks, North Dakota is adorable.  One side of the tower has both eyes open, but the other side is what gets me: the sly wink and the dapper blue bow tie. Almost makes me wish they would build another Smiling Face 'Girl' Water Tower next to him so he'll have someone to flirt with.   

Jimmy Carter peanut
(Franck photos/Alamy)
The smiling Jimmy Carter peanut in Plains, Georgia is a little creepy to me with his big Jimmy Carter toothy smile and absence of any eyes--but after awhile I'm sure he grows on you and he becomes a bit cute.  And if you know me, I like me my creepy and cute.

troll in Fremont
(photo by Jeremy L Wilbur)
Okay, the Fremont Troll in Seattle, Washington, is not that cute, but he is odd in a charming way. He was built in 1990 under the George Washington Memorial Bridge. He is clutching a VW car (which we will assume he grabbed from the bridge) and has a hubcap for an eye. Apparently in Fremont, there have been "troll sightings" ever since the bridge went up in the 1930s. I guess now there is a permanent troll sighting. 

Which brings me to my own town.  I grew up in San Diego near a community called Lemon Grove that had this big yellow lemon near the trolley tracks. 

Lemon Grove lemon
(via San Diego blog)
The giant lemon would definitely be considered a distinctive landmark in San Diego, but my heart actually belongs to another landmark in Lemon Grove that has stood the test of time and still captures my attention when I pass by it: The Lemon Grove Lips.

Lemon Grove Lips
(via Flickr)
The lips are actually natural formation of rocks on a hillside off route 94.  Legend has it that in 1977 a teenager named Steven Garcia saw lips in this rocky formation and painted it bright red. Over the years, the locals have maintained it's plump lips and on occasions the lips would be painted for special occasions (I still remember when they painted Charger bolts on it when our football team made it to their only Super Bowl in 1994). 

Any local landmarks you know of that are a bit odd, but beloved?

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