Battle of the Beach Houses: Ocean Beach’s Best Dressed House

By Leslie TuckerAll the houses that competed were endearing, but one house eclipsed all others. Congratulations to 1st Place Winner, 342 Surf Road! An array of flags and decorations filled the yard, but as I got closer to 342 Surf Road’s front yard and looked over the fence, I noticed a giant picnic table structure sporting a massive red and white gingham cloth. I saw rows of red and white picnic plates shaping the stripes, and a field of blue picnic plates, each securing a white cutout star. A red paper banner reading “COME AND GET IT!” crawled along the table’s front side. Could this be a call to action? Then, at yard left, I saw a smaller gingham covered table filled with toy picnic food, a cooked toy lobster outside of its pot, blue utensils, napkins, toy ketchup and mustard bottles, all encircling Statue of Liberty and Freedom Tower centerpieces. Comfort food and freedom, united. I chose 342 Surf Road as the winner because of its originality, the handmade craftsmanship plus the creativity of clever, thoughtful design – everyday, store-bought picnic plates transformed. Yet there was another level of creativity that truly thrilled me, a theme emerged. Sustenance, represented by those picnic plates, paired with our iconic symbol of Democracy, reminded me that in order to cross the 2020 finish line, we’ll need all the nourishment we can muster. We awarded 2nd Place to 329 Surf Road. There were head-to-toe decorations, from balcony to garden. Several blow-up statues commanded attention. A Statue of Liberty stood on a scenic cloth, an American flag, a peace sign, a heart, flocks of standing flamingos festooned with patriotic garlands, and a small evergreen tree decorated for a red, white and blue Christmas in July. Layers and layers of visual energy for sure, all lit up at night, but that giant picnic table stole my heart. Leslie Tucker was a co-judge for the 2019 competition. Ocean Beach Association invites all Ocean Beach residents to consider participating next summer. Like and follow their Facebook page to stay in the loop about this and other OBA events.