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Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

Aircraft carriers, Comic-Con, border with Mexico and avocados: a great trip to San Diego

Here they know how to clean avocados, save the planet from plastic and hold the world's largest festival Comic-Con. In San Diego, fur seals roost on coastal cliffs, and Americans continually include the city on the list of the best for life in the United States. Offers a great trip to San Diego offers "Voice of America".

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

San Diego is called the birthplace of California, it is one of the most populous cities in the United States. Here the highest concentration of the military, and this is not surprising: the city is the main base of the Pacific Fleet of the United States. It is a city of high technology and advanced scientific discoveries, conservative and liberal at the same time.

For a long time, San Diego was in the shadow of San Francisco and Los Angeles, but, according to local residents, the city only benefited.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

It is impossible to describe San Diego in one sentence. A city with a population of about 1,5 million people looks like a patchwork quilt: carefree surfers are adjacent to office workers, in the neighborhoods right on the border with Mexico, they tell terrible stories about drug cartels, and in San Diego Bay, sea landscapes are hidden behind the masts of the most powerful in the world aircraft carriers. It is a city of perfect weather, where there are no seasons and +20 degrees all year round. Climate, fertile land (in the city of almost 6000 farms) for centuries attracted new residents to San Diego.

The first colonists arrived here in the middle of the 16th century, but it will be almost 200 years before new settlements appear here. It was from this place that the story began not only of San Diego, but of the entire state of California.

In 1850, San Diego became part of the United States. The first warships arrived at the nearby Cape Loma. The San Diego navy base was founded in 1922. To this day, the Navy is the main employer in the city, where about 100 military personnel live.

“San Diego is the birthplace of naval aviation. A hundred years ago, it was here that the first aircraft landings on aircraft carriers took place. Here is the world's largest airbase and the largest number of veterans. So when people come to San Diego, they want to know as much as possible about the city's military history, ”says naval historian Scott McGow, director of marketing for the largest museum ship in the world.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

McGaw talks about the story on board the USS Midway aircraft carrier, which served the US Navy for a record 47 years.

“It’s very difficult to know how big and powerful Midway is until you’ve been here,” says the historian. “This ship is like three football fields in length. 37 meters wide, 70 tons, 000 rooms. Solid steel. It's incredibly powerful: while the average car has 2000-200 horsepower, the Midway engines produce all 250. ”

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

The ship was launched a week after the end of World War II. For a decade, he remained the most powerful aircraft carrier in the world. The scale is amazing today: it is a real military base on the water, protected as a fortress, capable of accommodating 137 fighters.

“Aircraft carriers are always at the forefront, we call them pioneers,” says McGow. - If things are bad, the first question that the president asks is: "Where is our nearest aircraft carrier?" He sends it to Vietnam, to Korea - where the crisis is. For anyone who served here, it was the pinnacle of a military career. ”

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

The baptism of fire for Midway was the Vietnam War. And he ended his service half a century later, after Operation Desert Storm, the first in history, won exclusively by forces from the air. From the side of Midway, built in the 40s of the last century, supersonic aircraft took off without difficulty. 3000 sorties - and not a single loss. The air commander - Boss and his assistant Mini - were responsible for all air operations on deck, for every takeoff and landing, for nearly 200 people, whose average age is 19, who charged bombs and fueled rumbling planes. These guys were on the high seas.

The conditions on the ship were also only for the hardened, while at the same time, 3000 people served on Midway. All but the officers lived in such cabins: three-level beds and no personal space. Most smoked, there was no air conditioning.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

Smoking was prohibited near fuel tanks and in some other parts of the ship, including during emergencies. But men still smoked in their free time. Many worked at night, so they did not turn off the light, they only dimmed from 19:00 to 7:00.

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He graduated from Midway service in 1992. It's hard to imagine, but they wanted to send the aircraft carrier for scrap. Or “on razor blades,” as Scott jokes. And only thanks to the efforts of volunteers, it turned into a museum. During the first 15 years of its existence, the Midway Museum not only broke all records in popularity, but also became a very wealthy museum, earning $ 50 million over the years.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

The sense of duty and discipline of the military in San Diego marvelously coexist with the nonchalance found only in coastal cities. In the morning - yoga and jogging, in the evening - surfing and freshly squeezed smoothies in one of the fruit bars, there are literally several in every block.

San Diego is, of course, a military city first of all, but a tourist city second. 36 million people visit it every year. Tourism is the second largest sector of the San Diego economy.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

The glory of the world famous resort came to the city with the opening of the Del Coronado hotel. The first visitors were received here in 1888. Today, the hotel, with its Victorian towers and façade, is one of the last remaining wooden buildings of the time.

“Coronado was the largest electrified resort west of the Mississippi,” says hotel employee Gina Petrone. "It was to the liking of wealthy Americans, who usually came here for several months and brought with them all the domestic workers."

Eleven US presidents have arrived in Coronado to breathe the healing air. He became known to the general public thanks to scenes from films. Located just 11 hours from Hollywood, the hotel has often been turned into a movie set. It all started back in 2, when the film “A Dog Playing with a Surfer” was filmed here. Then a lot of silent films were filmed here. In total, the staff counted 1897 films and shows, the events of which unfold in Coronado. The most famous was the 64 film “There are only girls in the jazz,” starring Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

Out of season, the cheapest room at Coronado is $ 350. At its peak - at least $ 800 a night. For example, when San Diego hosts the world's largest Comic-Con festival in July, there are more celebrities than Hollywood. San Diego's cultural life can be divided into “before” and “after” Comic-Con. Tickets for the festival are sold out six months before its start. The event only lasts 4 days, but for fans of comics, video games, TV series and superheroes, the International Comic-Con Festival is San Diego's calling card.

It all began in 1970, when a group of comic book lovers gathered in one of the city's hotels to discuss the latest in pop culture. They could not even imagine that these meetings would eventually turn into an international festival. On Comic-Con days, entire neighborhoods are covered and houses are even repainted. Instead of the usual bricks, the facades are full of advertisements for TV shows and movies. Instead of passers-by - heroes of films and comics.

For decades, the area now hosting Comic-Con has had a notoriety for having bars and strip clubs for sailors after the storms of the ocean. But in the 80s, the city authorities began large-scale reforms and decided to build an exhibition complex here. It has become the center of the city's new business and entertainment life.

At the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con was first held in 1995, when the prefix “international” appeared in the name of the festival - Comic-Con International. In just 4 days of Comic-Con, the city receives an investment of $ 150 million, and film presentations are attended by top actors - from Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson to Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The only thing that the regulars of the festival are nostalgic about are the times when the heroes of drawn comics were in the center of the festival's attention, and not their copies brought to life on the big screens of Hollywood.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

The proximity of the Dream Factory in San Diego is felt in full: movie stars, sports stars and even politicians are willing to buy real estate in the fashionable areas of the city. Such, for example, as La Jolla, famous for Spanish architecture and white beaches. Convertibles, trendy electric cars, art galleries and spas are everywhere.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

Oceanfront homes are selling for $ 20 million. And this is despite the peculiar smell in La Jolla, which can discourage visitors even in local gourmet restaurants. Due to its special location, a very mild climate has formed in La Jolla Bay: it is never colder here + 10-12 degrees and even in summer the temperature rarely rises above +25. The local sea lions really liked this pleasant climate and became one of the attractions of La Jolla beach. They are also a source of a persistent smell, especially in areas near water. The city authorities spray the rookeries with a spray, but this procedure is not allowed everywhere. And while the municipality is racking its brains, and the locals disgustedly cover their noses, happy tourists take pictures of sea lions basking in the sun and happily posing as families.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

Downtown San Diego houses one of the largest zoos in the United States. In just a few hours, you can visit the rainforest, the African desert and on an ice floe with polar bears. In the zoo, animals are not only fed, monitored and looked after in every possible way, but they also come up with an entertainment program for them. In fact, everything is like in kindergarten.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

But the main pride of the zoo is the list of animals that have been returned to the wild. There are already 44 species in it, and this is just the beginning.

“We are working on more than 140 projects in 60 countries, and we have a lot of stories with happy endings to our account,” says Zoo employee Elisa. “Our program dedicated to pandas and the California condor was a great success. We managed to restore the population of these birds after there were only about 22 of them left in the early 80s, and now there are more than 400 of them. ”

The zoo is located in Balboa Gardens - this is one of the oldest parks in the United States and, perhaps, the main attraction of San Diego: its famous corners are depicted on postcards, cups and magnets. The park covers an area of ​​almost 500 hectares - this is not only larger than New York's Central Park, but also the largest park in North America. There are 17 museums, a huge number of park areas and architectural monuments. Balboa Park largely reflects the history of San Diego itself: during the First and Second World Wars, the military was located here, and in the turbulent 60s the Beatles and Rolling Stones performed.

In Balboa Park, everything reminds of the period of Spanish colonization - and in the city itself, as well as throughout California, they speak two languages. San Diego is located right on the border with Mexico. This checkpoint is considered to be the busiest not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

“We are at the US border on the San Diego side. Behind is Tijuana, a Mexican border town, ”says activist and human rights activist Pedro Rios.

Tijuana is San Diego's closest neighbor. The city with the highest murder rate per capita in the world. It is fenced off from the USA by two border walls.

“The next one is a new fence. Previously, the height of the wall was 3,5 meters, and the new one is higher than five, says Rios. “The closer wall will be finished before the end of the year, it will be three stories high.”

San Diego is often at the epicenter of migration crises. Pedro helps those who, fleeing persecution in their home country, are trying to get asylum in the United States. According to him, according to statistics from the FBI, San Diego (like El Paso in Texas) is one of the safest cities.

“It’s very disappointing to hear on the news that criminals are crossing the border,” Rios said. - This is not true. But people who do not live in border towns do not believe in this. Border towns are real gates to the country's cultural and economic development. A lot of products and labor are imported from Mexico to the USA ”.

America cannot really be fed without Mexican vegetables, but San Diego is a completely autonomous city. The most popular concept in recent years is “from farm to table”. Only organic and only locally grown. These are the products that the Staley family offers.

“People trust our name,” says Christina Staley, owner of Stehly Farms Market. - It's synonymous with quality. We have been supplying San Diego County with fruits and vegetables for the past 20 years. We have worked with the largest stores and people know our products. ”

Avocado toast is the king of all kinds of breakfasts, brunches and lunches, not only in America, but also quickly gaining popularity around the world. In the USA, most of all avocados are grown in San Diego. Avocado is very popular, it is a trend.

“When I graduated from college, we had a record crop in California, something like 27 million kilograms. Farmers earned about 25 cents per kilogram. And today we grow billions of kilograms and earn more than $ 2 per kilo. This is because popularity and consumption have grown enormously, ”says Christina's husband Noel Staley, a third-generation farmer.

Noel grew up in San Diego and wanted to be a Secret Service agent, earning a master's degree in international relations. But I soon realized that real passion is a family affair. Noel manages the farm with his brother. Under their leadership, the business model changed: they began to pack the fruit themselves, expanded the range, received organic certifications and opened stores. The largest supplier of avocados in the US market, Mexico, is not to compete with, says Noel, as local producers can only supply 20% of demand.

“Each of us - in Mexico, Chile, California - has our own market segment. People know our brand: what it looks like, what it tastes like, and the taste is really different, ”explains Noel. "If anyone suffers from Mexico, it is Chile."

Despite the popularity of avocados, the golden vein green fruit did not. Due to the sharp jump in water prices, San Diego began to lose its status as the capital of avocados.

“Avocado production in San Diego County depends on the amount of water available,” says Noel. “It’s brought here by canals from the Colorado River and northern California. Farmers can take only what remains after meeting the needs of the population. But as the population has grown and the supply has not, water prices have jumped. "

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The city imports up to 90% of the water intended for consumption. Deficit primarily affects farmers, many of whom go out of business. Noel complains about other restrictions, he recently sold to Arizona a piece of equipment that, according to California laws, is outdated and emits too much carbon dioxide. However, even despite the difficulties, he remains in his beloved business. And even, according to him, he doesn’t eat oranges not from his garden, even if someone picked them for him.

For two, Noel and his brother have six daughters, three each. Whether they will continue the family business of growing avocados and fruits, the girls have not yet decided.

Noel shared a secret on how to clean an avocado.

“Here's my theory,” he says. - You just need to cut it into two halves, then chop the bone with a knife and turn it over. And then you can eat straight from the halves. ”

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

Stephen Mayfield, a professor at the University of California at San Diego, is also cultivating a green plant. Using biotechnology, he turns it into oil and plastic. In Mayfield's lab, shelves are lined with flasks of green liquid. The poisonous substance is algae, the so-called duckweed, which collects on the surface of the water. 30 years ago, Stephen began studying this primitive plant to understand how genes affect the phenotype - color or size. However, he soon came to the conclusion: a simple algae is not so simple.

“We call it domestication,” Steven shares. “This can best be traced back to dogs or agricultural plants. But let's take the dogs. In the past, they were wolves or coyotes, and they were not very pets. But then over a thousand years, due to changes in genetics, due to crossing and selection, we made domestic animals out of them - for example, such as the Chihuahua. We change genetics to make a watchdog or hunter. We can do the same with algae: we teach it to be what we want. ”

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

By manipulating molecules and genes, Stephen was able to turn the algae into a medicine for treating viral infections, and then into fuel. Replacing gasoline with algae has proven too expensive due to the flourishing electric vehicle market and the US offshore revolution.

“I’m not going to say we wouldn’t get a competitive price,” Mayfield says. “We could increase efficiency, but no industry goes from zero to competing with the world's largest industry. It just doesn't work that way. ”

Mayfield's experiments did not end there, now his main goal is to shoe humanity in such slippers.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

They are, of course, also made from algae and are able to dissolve in water in just 2 years. This will help solve one of the key problems of environmental pollution from plastic waste. Algae slippers are very difficult to distinguish from plastic ones. They look exactly the same and are worn for several years. The main difference is that these slippers are soluble. The University of San Diego already has agreements with the largest shoe manufacturers to develop special models. Steven, meanwhile, assures: algae can not only cleanse the planet, but also feed.

“The future is for foods that don't require a lot of water and land to grow,” says Stephen. - These resources are more and more in short supply. The population is growing, which means we will need more protein. And algae can provide us with it ”.

San Diego does not live by patterns. The US Naval Power Center and the capital of superheroes, a beach paradise and border checkpoint, a mecca for farmers and celebrities.

No matter how different its inhabitants may be, in San Diego everyone finds their own marina. Whether it is the first California colonists or modern dreamers, the magic of these streets easily turns guests into citizens.

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