The 38th Annual Newport Boat Show will be held at the Lido Marina Village this weekend. If you get a chance, on Saturday April 30, from 2 to 4 p.m.,right in the heart of Lido Village, Jeff Delaney will be signing copies of his brand new book, “Newport Beach: Then and Now” (Arcadia Publications) at Lido Village Books. Delaney puts vintage photos of Newport Beach landmarks side-by-side with photos of the same place today. Delaney shared the some thoughts with the Newport Beach Independent on his latest book about Newport Beach.
NBI: What was the inspiration for “Newport Beach Then and Now”?
Delaney: Local histories can often come off as dry and a bit boring. I wanted to bring Newport’s history to life by juxtaposing vintage images with modern pictures of the same landmarks. My hope is that those who read the book will view those landmarks with a greater appreciation for what came before.
How long have you lived in Newport?
I grew up in Costa Mesa, and moved to Newport 15 years ago.
In your opinion, what has been the saddest change and what has been the best change in Newport Beach?
I’m saddened by the proliferation of sober houses on the Peninsula. I know that some of these facilities are doing good work, but their presence detracts from the neighborhood feel of the area. On the plus side, the new Civic Center and Park currently under construction between MacArthur and Avocado looks to be a wonderful facility. Also, it appears that the State Lands Commission will finally approve plans for the Marina Park development between 15th and 19th Streets on the Peninsula. The project includes a community center, a park, and a marina.
What other books have you written?
I’ve written two other books. The first, “Newport Beach (Postcard History Series)” is a pictorial history of Newport Beach told through vintage postcards. The second, “Newport Beach’s Balboa & Balboa Island,” is a pictorial history told through vintage photographs. All images in both books are fully captioned, offering a concise history of the area.
Do you have a favorite spot in Newport Beach?
The wonderful thing about Newport is that it’s impossible to pick a single favorite spot. Some of my favorites include: Watching the moon rise over Fashion Island from the bayside 10th Street beach, the roof of Ruby’s Diner on the Balboa Pier on a hot summer day, and watching the boats enter and leave the harbor from Peninsula Point.
Did you take any of the photos for the book?
My favorite part of putting this book together was throwing my collection of vintage Newport images into my backpack, jumping on my bike, and riding around town to photograph the “Now” images. There’s something very special about holding up a vintage image and comparing it to what stands in the same location today.
For more information and to find out when and where Jeff will be holding more book signings nearby, go to www.newportbeachpostcards. Also, Jeff has posted photos from his collection there.
Owner of Lido Village Books, Daneil Schmenk was also excited to share that the Newport Beach Historical Society came upon some brand new copies of Judge Robert Gardner’s “Bawdy Balboa.”
“Everyone thought it was completely out of print, but we now have some copies for sale!”