Lots of wide-ranging conversations buzzed in the San Diego Natural History Museum after VOSD’s fourth “Meeting of the Minds” event Wednesday night. The night centered on Balboa Park.

I caught up with a few attendees to see what they might check out or try to learn more about in the city’s cultural heart. Here’s a cross-section. And please, tell us below: What’s sticking with you?

Kevin Swanson, Paradise Hills

What idea is sticking with you?

Well the idea that we should be reaching outside of Balboa Park. So, Balboa Park was the center of the exposition back in the 1915 and 1935, but there was also a regional outreach. And, you can see in some of the things that Kim presented this evening, what an influence that had on people who visited both the 1915 and the 1935 expositions.

What might you go explore that you didn’t know about?

Well I certainly am going to continue to explore the interrelationship between San Diego and Tijuana. I grew up in San Diego, I’ve been here since 1958. I spent 2010 working in Balboa Park as a volunteer and as a consultant, so a lot of what they were talking about, I already knew about.

Kathy Myers, La Mesa

What idea is sticking with you?

That the park is not just one thing. When we hear the word park, we think it’s a place that you come to for recreation, that you can come and play tennis or you might come out for a 5k walk. But the park is really an experience that exists as fleeting moments of time. And that we try to capture those in the sculptures and that seemed to be kind of the thread, the moments in time. And so seeing the creation of some of the sculptures of our historical figures — Kate Sessions, of course — and then, getting a tour of the sculptures by Kim, our head park ranger, really gave me the feeling of experiencing the park and all of its different fleeting moments.

Vi Nguyen and Rick Calbo, University Heights

What idea is sticking with you?

Rick: The landfill talk was really interesting. I didn’t know it was here. And the last talk that looked at how a lot of the elements that are seen around in Los Angeles were in Balboa Park and they kind of lend from each other and I thought that was really cool.

Vi: I like the landfill one also. And then I liked the one where the woman spoke about the sculptures. I was kind of hoping the guy who spoke about the Tijuana and San Diego, I wish he had spoke more to the culture in between there and building those cultures together.

What might you go see or explore that you didn’t know about before?

Vi: Oh, the trails!

Rick: The trails, yeah. I never really walked the trails here. I want to check out the other side of the freeway and see that.

Andy Martin, Little Italy

What idea is sticking with you?

The community aspect of the park, I would say. It was interesting to hear about the sculptor who was, I believe, a San Diego native, and the efforts that she went through to memorialize the founders of the park. And just the turnout in general, that people are really interested in the history of the park.

Cheryl Nickel, University Heights

What idea is sticking with you?

I’ve always loved the park and I consider it the most extraordinary urban park, maybe in the world, that I have ever seen. Better than Paris, better than other cities. But I don’t know enough about it. So, it was really a pleasure to learn the kind of offbeat stuff about it.

What might you go explore that you didn’t know about?

I think the model railroad museum. (It’s) just something that I ordinarily would never see. Also, the rangers and the people who work here — that’s such a great part of this. It’s what it’s about.

Dale Peterson, San Carlos

What idea is sticking with you?

The diversity of Balboa Park and the various people who utilize it. With the new leadership coming into San Diego government, this is the perfect catalyst for the way things are headed. It’s exciting, it’s refreshing with the 2015 program coming up.

What might you go explore that you didn’t know about?

I could start off with the trash area. I mean, I’d be interested in just walking around and seeing that area, because I play golf across the street. But then, there are the other, more pedestrian areas. Then the trail maps pointing different directions, I’d like to try four or five of the trails.

Christina Shih, La Jolla

What idea is sticking with you?

Well, I work in Balboa Park and there are so many things that I don’t really know about. It’s making me get outside of my office. I definitely need to take more time to walk around the park.

What might you go explore that you didn’t know about?

I used to go to Girl Scout camps, where Marlene lives, so it will be fun to revisit that as an adult or just explore the trails in the park, just utilizing the space beyond the Prado walkway.

And here are some more photographs from the night:

Maren Dougherty

Ruth Hayward

Marcos Espinosa

If you missed the event or want to watch a presentation again, watch for videos and links to check out in the coming days. Stay tuned.

Sam Hodgson is a freelance photojournalist and contributor to Voice of San Diego. You can contact him at samhodgsonphoto@gmail.com and check out his work on his website.

Sam Hodgson is a freelance photojournalist and contributor to Voice of San Diego. You can contact him at samhodgsonphoto@gmail.com and check out his work...

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