Sculpture and mural at San Diego stadium.

Those who’ve attended events at SDCCU/Qualcomm/Jack Murphy/San Diego Stadium might have noticed two works of public art outside. One, situated between the trolley station and stadium, is a sculpture of Jack Murphy and his dog. The other is an enormous, very colorful mural on the back of the scoreboard.

According to a plaque at its base, the Jack Murphy Sculpture, created by San Diego artist A. Wasil, debuted during the rededication of Jack Murphy Field on January 21, 2003.

A. Wasil was a sculptor who became known internationally for his work in cast bronze. He created several major pieces. Many of his sculptures have religious themes, such as the installations at Mission San Luis Rey and Notre Dame University. His bronze bust of Christ was accepted by The Vatican.

His 16 feet tall Jack Murphy Sculpture depicts the San Diego Union sports editor and columnist who advocated for a new San Diego stadium. He influenced Barron Hilton, who would move his Chargers football team from Los Angeles to San Diego. In 1965, a 50,000-seat stadium in Mission Valley was resoundingly approved by San Diego voters. Jack Murphy also helped convince baseball owners to bring the minor league San Diego Padres into the National League. The Padres would play at Jack Murphy Stadium until 2004, when they moved to the new downtown Petco Park.

Given current plans to redevelop land under the old stadium and its enormous parking lot into SDSU West, this historic sculpture might not remain here for long. But who knows?

The sculpted Jack Murphy is accompanied by his Labrador Retriever, Abe.

That huge colorful mural on the back of the stadium’s scoreboard is titled The Fan Game. It was created in 1989-1990 by artist Mario Uribe.

The 13 panel mural measures 45 feet by 150 feet, and depicts excited fans cheering in the stands. The mural is so huge it can be seen from both Interstate 15 and Interstate 8!

Mario Uribe’s fine art has been collected by many museums, and he has created other notable works of public art. Learn more at his website here.

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Nature and art at San Diego River Garden!

There’s a very special garden in San Diego that few people visit. It’s called the San Diego River Garden. It’s situated near the center of Mission Valley, a short distance south of the San Diego River.

Every so often I drive past this sprawling native garden, but I never see a convenient place to park. The stretch of Camino del Rio North it’s on is used mainly by people going to and from nearby office buildings, and no street parking is available.

The gate of the San Diego River Garden’s small dirt parking lot is usually shut. The only other way in is to walk along a dirt path beside the road and pass through an entrance in the fence. Which is what I did this morning!

All was quiet. The early morning summer breeze was pleasantly cool. The few picnic benches were empty. I saw no other people. But I did see many active birds. And bright flowers. And lots of flourishing native plants including some cacti. And modest planters holding more greenery. And many winding trails. And Bigfoot! Yes, you heard me correctly! And–to my additional delight–a whole lot of nature artwork created by young students, including painted tiles scattered here and there on the ground and a cool mural on a shipping container!

According to the San Diego River Park Foundation website: “This site used to be a vacant area reserved for future use by the City of San Diego. But thanks to the City and the many volunteers, sponsors, groups that have come out to garden, the River Park Foundation is caring for this 5 acre area to make it attractive for the community.”

If you or your group would like to volunteer and do a little gardening out in the warm San Diego sunshine, or if you simply want to visit this beautiful kid-friendly park or learn more about it, click here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Read a book and take flight!

I love this fun street art on Aero Drive. You can find it right next to the Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch Library parking lot. Painted on an electrical box is what will happen when you read a book. Your imagination will take flight!

If the library is closed and books are unavailable, your mind can take flight in a different way. Simply turn north and watch as small airplanes take off and land at nearby Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (which is more commonly known as Montgomery Field.)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A graffiti-style Greetings From Serra Mesa!

Graffiti-style mural by @NatronWasHere offers Greetings From Serra Mesa.
A mural by @NatronWasHere offers Greetings From Serra Mesa.

Check out this elaborate graffiti-style mural in Serra Mesa! It was spray painted on the side of San Diego Sandwich Company, next to the Valero gas station on Sandrock Road at Murray Ridge Road.

The message, which can be seen by motorists passing through the nearby intersection, is a friendly: Greetings From Serra Mesa!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Demolition and redevelopment at Horton Plaza!

Parts of Horton Plaza are now being demolished. The redevelopment of a downtown shopping mall that used to be a major tourist attraction is underway!

I walked around the old shopping mall and saw several places where the exterior facade is being torn down. At the south end, the large building that used to house Nordstrom (which closed its doors 4 years ago) and 24 Hour Fitness is wrapped up in white plastic. Check out the very odd-looking photograph above!

As you can see in another photograph, I walked past the small Post Office at Horton Plaza and it’s also now closed. Everything inside was being loaded onto a postal vehicle.

Horton Plaza Mall, when it opened in 1985, quickly became a popular San Diego tourist attraction, largely due to its unusual downtown location and wildly imaginative and colorful architecture.

I remember going there as a young man and being fascinated at how ramps and escalators led every which way, as if the mall were some crazy, asymmetric, three dimensional maze. The shopping center was designed using an idea relished by science fiction author Ray Bradbury. In his essay “The Aesthetics of Lostness” he extolled the virtues of getting safely lost in the world’s great cities, and how small adventures can result.

Horton Plaza, which gradually lost its popularity, is now being redeveloped into a 10-acre office campus that hopes to draw tech companies into downtown San Diego. There will be some retail space, too, with places to shop and eat. I’ve read that some of the interior bridges that I’ve always loved will be retained.

You can see photos that I took inside brightly colorful Horton Plaza many years ago here and here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Music, eating, cycling and flying brains!

There’s a crazy batch of colorful street art painted on electrical boxes at the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and 43rd Street.

I see music, eating, cycling and flying brains! And masks, eyeballs, history, culture, art…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Colorful mural celebrates El Cajon Boulevard.

Gaze up toward the east side of a tall building in City Heights and you’ll see a colorful mural that celebrates El Cajon Boulevard. The building is home to the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association.

In the late 19th century, long before San Diego became a thriving metropolis, El Cajon Avenue was a dirt road into East County that eventually developed a small business district. In 1937 the road was improved and renamed El Cajon Boulevard.

Old U.S. Highway 80 ran east from San Diego where much of El Cajon Boulevard is today–all the way to the East Coast! When Interstate 8 was built, the new freeway replaced a segment of U.S. Highway 80 through La Mesa.

Today El Cajon Boulevard is a very busy east-west route through many of San Diego’s oldest and most diverse neighborhoods. Generations of San Diegans have traveled along The Boulevard.

Every block echoes with history.

Eventually I’ll blog about the grand Lafayette Hotel, where Hollywood celebrities once flocked, and where Bob Hope was the first guest. Or the original Jack in the Box where modern drive-thru fast food service was invented. Or the nearly century-old Chicken Pie Shop, where legendary boxer Archie Moore, longest reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion, liked to hang out. Or…

Mural in City Heights depicts vintage cars heading down El Cajon Boulevard.
Mural in City Heights depicts vintage cars heading down El Cajon Boulevard.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Little Saigon mural and colorful street art!

Little Saigon postcard mural on the side of Sin Lee Food Whole Sale on El Cajon Boulevard.
Little Saigon postcard mural on the side of the Sin Lee Food Whole Sale building.

Enjoy these photographs of colorful street art along El Cajon Boulevard between Highland Avenue and Euclid Avenue, the heart of an area in San Diego known as Little Saigon!

I made certain to photograph the 2018 postcard-style Little Saigon mural, which was painted by artist Victor Ving and photographer Lisa Beggs during their extensive Greetings Tour.

(Two other cool Greetings Tour murals can be enjoyed in San Diego. One at Liberty Station here, and one in North Park here!)

Come with me and let’s walk through Little Saigon to see some street art!

An imaginative San Diego version of the famous Chợ Bến Thành market, which is located in the center of Hồ Chí Minh City.
An imaginative San Diego version of the famous Chợ Bến Thành market, which is located in the center of Hồ Chí Minh City.

I believe this faded street art in Little Saigon celebrates the 20th Anniversary of The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association.
I believe this faded street art in Little Saigon celebrates the 20th Anniversary of The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association.
Many diverse languages are spoken here.
Sign in front of a market in Little Saigon. Many languages are spoken here.

I love this dragon street art. I had to add contrast to many of these photos, because much of the artwork has been faded by time and weather.
I love this dragon street art. I had to add contrast to many of these photos, because much of the painted artwork has been faded by time and weather.

Banners, lamp posts and architecture reflect Vietnamese culture in San Diego's Little Saigon.
Banners, lamp posts, and even some examples of architecture reflect Vietnamese culture in San Diego’s Little Saigon.
Planter on sidewalk with tile mosaic depicting a lotus, symbol of divine beauty. The lotus is Vietnam's national flower.
Planter on sidewalk with tile mosaic depicting a lotus, symbol of divine beauty. The lotus is Vietnam’s national flower.
Plaque on side of the planter indicates The Little Saigon District was established on June 4th, 2013. Vietnamese refugees have built a new life here.
Plaque on side of the planter indicates The Little Saigon District was established on June 4th, 2013. Vietnamese refugees have built a new life here.

The oft-photographed Little Saigon mural, near the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and Menlo Avenue, created by @GreetingsTour.
The oft-photographed Little Saigon mural, near the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and Menlo Avenue, created by @GreetingsTour.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Little Saigon Stories in North Park windows.

...You are the bright pearly moon at night...Thousands of distant stars Am I...
…You are the bright pearly moon at night…Thousands of distant stars Am I…

Little Saigon Stories can be glimpsed in the windows of a North Park building, at the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.

A project of Media Arts Center and The AjA Project, Little Saigon Stories celebrates and recounts the history of the Vietnamese community in East San Diego. Various events were held in 2019, including lectures and the creation of public art recounting the stories of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants.

The area called Little Saigon is generally located along El Cajon Boulevard, in the neighborhood of Euclid Avenue.

Little Saigon Stories in windows at El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.
Little Saigon Stories in windows at El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.
Despite living here for so long, I've actually never gone back to Vietnam...
Despite living here for so long, I’ve actually never gone back to Vietnam…

I speak four languages. English, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Chinese...
I speak four languages. English, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Chinese…

I came here under the ODP program, parental sponsorship...I sponsored my son to come here...Now he has a child...
I came here under the ODP program, parental sponsorship…I sponsored my son to come here…Now he has a child…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Happy street art near El Cajon and 54th.

Be happy. Be bright. Be YOU.
Be happy. Be bright. Be YOU.

I was walking along El Cajon Boulevard just east of 54th Street–part of the El Cerrito neighborhood–when I noticed lots of fun street art painted on electrical boxes.

I took photos!

Sometimes you have to make your own sunshine.
Sometimes you have to make your own sunshine.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!