The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California, is a highly upscale, coastal community within the city of San Diego. It is located on and north of Mount Soledad, extending toward Torrey Pines State Reserve. Its population is 44,440 as of January, 2003 [1]. La Jolla is noted for the high standard of living the inhabitants enjoy, and by the presence of several higher-education and research institutions, such as University of California, San Diego (including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the San Diego Supercomputer Center), the Scripps Research Institute, and the Salk Institute. It is also the location of Torrey Pines Golf Course, made famous by the PGA TOUR Buick Invitational held there each February (in 2005, the competition was held in January). Down the steep cliffs from the Salk Institute and the Torrey Pines Golf Course is the famous de facto nude beach, Black's Beach.

The people of La Jolla, wanting a separate identity from San Diego, often refer to their community as if it were a separate city. This is especially true of the world-famous institutions that make their homes there. Even the U.S. Post Office will happily deliver mail addressed to "La Jolla, CA". However, La Jolla is a part of the city of San Diego.

Beaches in La Jolla, from the south to the north, are Wind 'n' Sea Beach, La Jolla Cove, La Jolla Beach and Tennis property, La Jolla Shores, Scripps, and Black's Beach, leading up to Torrey Pines State Reserve.

Walking along the beach walkway at all times but especially at sunset is a very popular undertaking for both couples and singles.

In recent years, harbor seals have taken over the Children's Beach, a small man-made cove near downtown. The seals are protected animals under federal law, so removing them has become a difficult and controversial issue. As of now, the beach is open; the rope is down. However, the harassment of the animals is prohibited; swimming is allowed but not recommended.


Origin and pronunciation

The area was known as La Jolla Park at least as early as 1886. The origin of the name is obscure. It is pronounced "Lah HOY-ya", not "Lah Ho-ya" as it should be in Spanish. Some say it is a corruption of ahoy, called out by sailors seeking the attention of people on the shore. The people of La Jolla claim it is a misspelling of La Joya, meaning "The Jewel" in Spanish. Perhaps the most-likely, although least-glamorous theory, is that La Jolla is a corruption of the Indian word "Woholle", meaning "hole in the mountain", referring to the caves in the north-facing cliffs next to La Jolla Cove Park.

Notable Residents of La Jolla

Kary Mullis, a surfer from La Jolla, invented PCR (polymerase chain reaction) a very important process of genetic engineering that is vital in researching cures for various diseases (such as cancer).

Until recently, Deepak Chopra ran his Center for Well Being in La Jolla.

Doug Flutie NFL Quarterback makes his home in La Jolla.

Literary La Jolla

Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, was a resident of La Jolla at the time of his death in 1991. Unlike many celebrities, his address and phone number used to be listed in the local phone book. In fact, the main library at the University of California, San Diego, is dedicated to him.

Raymond Chandler, among the earliest and most influential noir novelists, moved to La Jolla late in his career. He died there 13 years later, but not before delivering a bleak aphorism about then-stuffy La Jolla, "A nice place -- for old people and their parents."

The title article in Tom Wolfe's The Pump House Gang is about a group of surfers from Windansea Beach in La Jolla who "attended the Watts riots as if it were the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena." (see [2] for an excerpt)

External links

Last updated: 05-07-2005 13:41:49
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04