Restoring an iconic mural and 5 Big Moves.

America's Finest City newspaper mural
America’s Finest City newspaper mural.

I learned yesterday during a Pacific Beach mural walk that there are exciting plans to restore San Diego’s most iconic downtown mural!

Artist Kathleen King, co-creator of the America’s Finest City mural in 1989, informed our group that the historic mural’s restoration will be in conjunction with SANDAG’s San Diego Forward “5 Big Moves” initiative.

As I understand it, the America’s Finest City mural will be a centerpiece for the planned Fifth Avenue trolley station Mobility Hub!

Very cool!

America's Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.
The iconic America’s Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.

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!

A cool mural walk in Pacific Beach!

One of many cool works of art a group learns about during a guided mural walk in Pacific Beach.
One of many great works of art a group learns about during a guided mural walk in Pacific Beach.

Today I was lucky to go on a really cool guided mural walk in Pacific Beach! The tour was led by Leslie Dufour of beautifulPB, which is a volunteer organization formed by PB residents and businesses who are working to create a sustainably beautiful Pacific Beach. You can learn more about beautifulPB by visiting their website here.

During the walk, I learned that the folks of beautifulPB have a PB Murals program, and they’re looking to add even more public art to their already colorful community.

The murals we saw today were all fantastic, and there were many that I hadn’t seen during my various Pacific Beach walks over the years. We even got to meet one the artists, Kathleen King. She painted an iconic PB mural that you will see in my upcoming photographs, plus the landmark America’s Finest City mural in downtown San Diego!

Today’s amazing tour began in a small courtyard area behind Randall’s Sandals on Garnet Avenue, where we learned from Leslie Dufour about the history of murals, particularly their early 20th century renaissance in Mexico led by artists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. That movement continues to influence muralists today.

After the fascinating presentation our group embarked on a looping walk of perhaps a mile or less. Future walks featuring additional murals are planned!

Thank you to Yerba Mate Bar & Empanadas, where we paused to enjoy some vegan treats that were really delicious! They intend to turn their outdoor courtyard space into a Pacific Beach arts center. Very cool!

Okay, let’s see some photos! Read the captions!

Our group heads through the beautifully painted walkway of Randall's Sandals, where the long mural opens up for all to see.
Our group heads through the beautifully painted walkway of Randall’s Sandals, where the long mural opens up for all to see.
We learn about the history of murals beside the work of muralist Jared Blake Lazar.
We learn about the history of murals beside the work of muralist Jared Blake Lazar.
Mural by @MatthewMillington depicts a very colorful Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent diety of ancient Mesoamerican people.
Mural by @MatthewMillington depicts a very colorful Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent diety of ancient Mesoamerican people.
A mermaid mural by @LovePaperPaint (Katie Gaines) is inspired by the traditional La Sirena image in Mexican Lotería.
A mermaid mural by @LovePaperPaint (Katie Gaines) is inspired by the traditional La Sirena image in Mexican Lotería.
This female superhero mural was painted by artist MDMN (John Moody) during a past San Diego Comic-Con.
This female superhero mural was painted by artist MDMN (John Moody) during a past San Diego Comic-Con.
Our group meets muralist Kathleen King, whose 1988 mural was painted from a 1943 photo of Garnet Avenue, looking west toward Crystal Pier.
Our group meets prolific artist Kathleen King, whose 1988 mural was painted from a 1943 photo of Garnet Avenue, looking west toward Crystal Pier.
Plaque explains the mural depicts the corner of Cass Street and Garnet Avenue as it was in 1943.
Nearby plaque explains this mural depicts the corner of Cass Street and Garnet Avenue as it was in 1943.
The historic brick building in this iconic PB mural still stands at the nearby corner.
The historic brick building in this iconic PB mural still stands on the street corner.
And here is that building!
And here is that building!
A cool John Lennon mural on the side of Five Guys was painted in 2006 by Steve Gorrow, Creative Director of Insight Clothing.
John Lennon with a daisy in his eye. A cool mural on the side of Five Guys that was painted in 2006 by Steve Gorrow, Creative Director of Insight Clothing.
Left part of fantastic shark mural at Even Keel Tattoo, by artists Nate Banuelos and Kyle Walker.
Left side of fantastic shark mural at Even Keel Tattoo, by artists Nate Banuelos and Kyle Walker.
Right side of mural, with many fantastic, romantic, sea-themed elements.
Right side of the same mural, which contains romantic, sea-themed elements.
Learning about one of Pacific Beach's many amazing, colorful murals during a guided walk!
Learning about one of Pacific Beach’s many beautiful, creative murals during a guided walk!

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Dark storm clouds off Crystal Pier.

Today I enjoyed a very cool guided mural walk in Pacific Beach. I arrived early, however, so I walked along the beach just before a heavy wave of rain arrived.

As I approached Crystal Pier, the remaining sunlight on the breaking surf and the pier’s rows of white cottages contrasted very strongly with the black storm clouds. The photos I captured, just moments before a heavy rain, are visually interesting.

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!

The fun, very fishy Positivitree!

Look what I spotted this evening as I walked through Seaport Village!

A cool sculpture titled Positivitree!

The tree-like thing appeared very peculiar from the distance–almost like fish bones–but as I got nearer I saw all sorts of objects including trashy plastic items had been recycled by the artist to create happy, colorful fish and other marine life! This super creative art features a positive environmental message!

According to a nearby sign, Positivitree was created by Rodney McCoubrey with the Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter.

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!

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Amazing sunset along the Embarcadero!

After taking an amazing sunset photo from the top floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt (see previous post), I headed down the elevator and walked up the Embarcadero.

The sunset across San Diego Bay became even more dramatic as I passed Tuna Harbor, Ruocco Park and the USS Midway. I took one last photograph when I finally arrived at Broadway Pier.

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!

Sunset on the bay from atop the Hyatt.

Just before sunset this evening, I took an elevator to the 40th Floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. I knew there would be an incredible sunset.

From one of the hotel’s large observation windows, I watched boats moving beneath dramatic clouds across the water.

I then walked along the Embarcadero as the clouds turned rosy. Those photos are coming up…

WonderCon art at the Comic-Con Museum!

Another super cool exhibition opened this evening in Balboa Park at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum!

Sense of Wonder: The Art of WonderCon Anaheim features a gallery full of original artwork used for the covers of WonderCon program books. Many top comic artists have created these covers over the years, and visitors this evening were admiring sketches, thumbnails and finished pieces by the likes of Jim Lee, Dan Jurgens, and many others.

Before everyone filtered into the gallery, the 2020 WonderCon program book cover by artist Jen Bartel, winner in 2019 of an Eisner Award, was revealed: a stunning rendition of Wonder Woman with her golden Lasso of Truth! There was applause all around!

This great exhibition will be open to public on select dates through May 31, 2020.  If you’re in San Diego and love either WonderCon or Comic-Con, or if you have kids who love superheroes–particularly DC characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman–don’t miss it!

Follow the Comic-Con Museum’s Facebook page here for more info!

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!