Jewel sparkles in new ‘neighborhood’ book

By Roger Li

Student Intern

Olivier Dalle and Paul Burlingame have a passion for art and a passion for neighborhoods. These two interests have amalgamated in their latest endeavor, a book of photography focused on La Jolla appropriately called “La Jolla / 92037.”

The authors said the book focuses on the gem-by-the-sea today, its residents, oddities, public places and local artists.

Burlingame is originally from Colorado, but he has previously lived in La Jolla for 10 years. He’s been involved in photography for more than 30 years and his grandfather was a photographer. Currently, he runs Paul Burlingame Photo, with ambitions to become a national wedding photographer.

Like Burlingame, Dalle has also previously lived in La Jolla for a number of years. However, he has spent many years abroad, residing in his native France and writing books in the Middle East. In San Diego, he teaches French at Palomar College while pursuing his passion for writing.

Four years ago, Dalle came up with the idea of creating a collection of books about neighborhoods, highlighting their unique cultures and most interesting residents.

“I realized that Americans really care about their neighborhoods. They are (very enthusiastic about) everything local, reacting against a standardized way of living,” said Dalle. “In Europe, the relationship between residents and their neighborhoods is more natural.”

Added Dalle, “We wanted to showcase everything local — local artists, local culture, local characters. We wanted to focus on what defines La Jolla.”

This definition included profiles on many of La Jolla’s most fascinating, and sometimes most eccentric, residents.

Raymond Chandler (creator of the genre of pulp fiction), Niki de Saint-Phalle (local artist), and Dr. Seuss are all mentioned.

Compiling this book, however, was no easy feat. “We went everywhere in La Jolla and did a lot of asking and a lot of people-watching. We talked to many residents and followed whatever leads they gave us,” said Dalle. “We spent 3 1/2 years preparing this book.”

Dalle and Burlingame plan to create more collections on neighborhoods, including Little Italy, Hillcrest, Coronado, Encinitas, and some neighborhoods in Tijuana.

“La Jolla / 92037,” $25, will be released to area bookstores in October.