First San Diego Courthouse Museum in Old Town.

Likeness of Agoston Haraszthy, first Sheriff of the County of San Diego. He was elected in 1850 and served one term. He was a pioneer when it came to growing grapes and became known as the Father of California Wine.
Likeness of Agoston Haraszthy, first Sheriff of the County of San Diego. He was elected in 1850 and served one term. He was a pioneer when it came to growing grapes and became known as the Father of California Wine.

Visitors to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park can get a taste of the city’s early history when they step into the First San Diego Courthouse Museum.

One of many free attractions that can be found around Old Town’s central Plaza de Las Armas, the First San Diego Courthouse Museum is a recreation of our city’s first fired-brick structure, built in 1847 by members of the Mormon Battalion.

From 1847 to 1850 the original building served as the office of el Alcalde (Mexican mayor) of San Diego. Beginning in 1850 it contained the office of San Diego Mayor and City Clerk, and was used for meetings of the San Diego Common Council. The building was also used as a city and county courthouse and First District Court beginning in 1850.

Other uses for the building would include a meeting place for Masonic Lodge No. 35, headquarters of the U.S. Boundary Commission, office of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and a place of worship for San Diego’s first Protestant church.

Come with me inside the museum. Let’s have a peek at a few very small rooms and their fascinating exhibits.

Photo of the modest brick First San Diego Courthouse Museum in Old Town, a recreation of the city's first courthouse.
Photo of the modest brick First San Diego Courthouse Museum in Old Town, a recreation of San Diego’s first courthouse and city hall.
In 1847, the Mormon Battalion built the first fired-brick structure in San Diego. For a couple decades it would serve as courthouse.
In 1847, the Mormon Battalion built the first fired-brick structure in San Diego. For over two decades it would serve as courthouse.
Visitor to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park enters a fascinating recreation of the city's first courthouse and city hall.
Visitor to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park enters a fascinating recreation of the city’s first courthouse and city hall.
The portrait is of Oliver S. Witherby, He was appointed First District Judge in 1850. He served for 3 years. He is considered the Father of San Diego Jurisprudence.
The portrait is of Oliver S. Witherby, He was appointed First District Judge in 1850. He served for 3 years. He is considered the Father of San Diego Jurisprudence.
A time capsule lies in a corner of the first San Diego courthouse. It is scheduled to be opened in 2050.
A time capsule lies under this cornerstone of the first San Diego courthouse. It is scheduled to be opened in 2050.
A display case in San Diego's first courthouse contains artifacts from the 19th century, including old pipe bowls and an antique lawyer's briefcase.
A display case in San Diego’s first courthouse contains artifacts from the 19th century, including old pipe bowls and an antique lawyer’s briefcase.
In 1872 a fire destroyed the San Diego courthouse. The fire burned a large part of Old Town's business section.
In 1872 a fire destroyed the San Diego courthouse. The fire burned a large part of Old Town’s business section.
Sign explains the first California courts. The district court convened here, and acted as the highest court in the state.
Sign explains the first California courts. The district court convened here, and acted as the highest court in the state.
This room in the small building was the mayor's office. Portraits of some early San Diego mayors are on the wall. Joshua H. Bean was San Diego's first mayor, elected in 1850.
This room in the small building was the mayor’s office. Portraits of some early San Diego mayors are on the wall. Joshua H. Bean was San Diego’s first mayor, elected in 1850.
A peek into the adjacent sheriff's office. I see rifles, handcuffs and keys to the outdoor jail cell.
A peek into the adjacent sheriff’s office. I see rifles, handcuffs and keys to the outdoor jail cell.
This iron jail cell was the size and construction of the original courthouse jail from 1850.
This iron jail cell was the size and construction of the original courthouse jail from 1850.
Break the law, and you might end up in here!
Break the law, and you might end up in here!
the San Diego Courthouse and City Hall museum in Old Town is open free to the public every day.
A small museum depicting the first San Diego Courthouse and City Hall in Old Town is open free to the public every day.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Sitting on a bench next to Tuna Harbor.

Someone poses for a photo on a bench next to Tuna Harbor.
Someone poses for a photo on a bench next to Tuna Harbor.

Yesterday I spent some time writing. I sat in the San Diego sunshine on a bench next to Tuna Harbor. From time to time my lifted eyes spied something interesting, so I’d take a photo.

Fishing vessels docked in Tuna Harbor. A pier, sailboat and the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the distance.
Fishing vessels docked in Tuna Harbor. A pier, sailboat and the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the distance.
A cluster of (mostly) red floats.
A cluster of (mostly) red floats.
As I sat on one of the benches writing, the commercial fishing boat Tommy John entered the harbor.
As I sat on one of the benches writing, the commercial fishing boat Tommy John entered the harbor.
Fishermen on the boat get ready to dock.
Fishermen on the boat get ready to dock.
Gulls swirl about hoping for fish scraps.
Gulls swirl about hoping for fish scraps.
Folks walking by appear to be enjoying the day.
Folks walking by appear to be enjoying the day.
Another nearby boat is home to a curious dog.
Another nearby boat is home to a curious dog.
I see a blue sail jutting up from San Diego Bay, just beyond the G Street Pier.
I see a blue sail jutting up from San Diego Bay, just beyond the G Street Pier.
A gull swings on by to give me a look.
A gull swings on by to give me a look.

My short stories can be read here.

Cool street art in two alleys on National Avenue.

Bold faces peer from a wall in one alley on National Avenue.
Bold faces peer from a wall in one alley on National Avenue.

Yesterday I walked from East Village into Barrio Logan.  I headed southeast down National Avenue, making my way to the Chicano Park Day celebration. And look what I discovered!

Two alleys on National Avenue northwest of Beardsley Street contain some street art murals that absolutely blew me away!

Check them out!

Cool graffiti in Barrio Logan includes butterflies and a Mesoamerican pyramid.
Cool graffiti in Barrio Logan includes butterflies and a Mesoamerican pyramid.
A beautiful blue face and symbols on Mexican papel picado.
A beautiful blue face and symbols on Mexican papel picado.
More colorful graffiti on another wall.
More colorful graffiti on another wall.
A jaguar leaps from an amazing street art mural in San Diego's Barrio Logan neighborhood.
A jaguar leaps from an amazing street art mural in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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Colorful photos of Chicano Park Day celebration!

Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year's Chicano Park Day Celebration. Many of the cars were fitted with hydraulic systems.
Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year’s Chicano Park Day celebration.

I headed down to Barrio Logan this morning to enjoy a bit of the 47th Annual Chicano Park Day celebration!

The big festival celebrating Mexican and Chicano culture drew huge crowds as usual from all around Southern California. There was traditional folklorico dancing, Aztec indigenous dance, and a huge contingent of lowriders and motorcyclists who converged to enjoy the scene and showcase their cool rides. Families enjoyed great food, the park’s playground, and a look at artwork and unique gifts at the many vendor tents. It was fun to just hang around, absorbing San Diego’s warm sunshine and the lively entertainment. The famous murals of Chicano Park infuse the much-loved event with a sense of history and potent meaning. The murals tell of the hard-fought struggle for civil rights.

Chicano Park Day this year was dedicated to Ramón Chunky Sánchez, a very popular musician and a leader of San Diego’s Chicano community who passed away late last year. Speakers also provided emotional tributes to the four who died last year at the annual La Raza Run motorcycle festival in Chicano Park when a car tragically plummeted onto the crowd from a ramp to the Coronado Bay Bridge.

On a happier note, I must mention that in January Chicano Park was designated a National Historic Landmark! Chicano Park contains our nation’s largest collection of outdoor murals.

Please enjoy some colorful photos from this morning!

A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Many were fitted with hydraulics. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
Cool cars in a world-famous park.
Cool cars in Barrio Logan’s world-famous park.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park's picnic tables.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park’s picnic tables.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of Chicano Park.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of San Diego’s unique Chicano Park.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A large crowd had gathered around the pavilion to hear family members remember the deceased and thank the community for its undying love.
A large crowd gathered around the pavilion to hear surviving family members remember the deceased and thank the local community for its undying love.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
And then the entertainment began!
And then the entertainment began!
People enjoy Chicano Park Day Celebration among the many expressive murals.
People enjoy Chicano Park Day among the many expressive murals.  A beautiful image of Virgin Mary has a shrine at its base.
Another photo of the festival today.
Another photo of the festival today.
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park's pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park’s pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
And more cool stuff.
And more cool stuff!
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day Celebration wore resplendent Aztec costumes.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day celebration wore resplendent Aztec-inspired costumes.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Italian American baseball players on India Street.

Mike Napoli
Mike Napoli

Dozens of Major League Baseball players are hanging out on Little Italy’s India Street! I saw them yesterday! I took their pictures!

One great thing about Little Italy is there are always lots of colorful street banners.  They celebrate the neighborhood’s Italian culture and rich history. As baseball season gets underway, a bunch of banners have been hung along India Street that feature Italian American baseball players, past and present.

Joe Garagiola
Joe Garagiola
Tony Conigliaro
Tony Conigliaro
Bart Giamatti
Bart Giamatti
Phil Rizutto
Phil Rizutto
Tommy Lasorda
Tommy Lasorda
Joe Torre
Joe Torre
Anthony Rizzo
Anthony Rizzo
Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio
San Diego Little Italy's neighborhood boys who played baseball, circa 1938.
San Diego Little Italy’s neighborhood boys who played baseball, circa 1938.
Jason Grilli
Jason Grilli
Sal Maglie
Sal Maglie
Christopher Denorfia
Christopher Denorfia
Frank Torre
Frank Torre
Christopher Colabello
Christopher Colabello
John Montefusco
John Montefusco
Alessandro Liddi
Alessandro Liddi
Joey Votto
Joey Votto
Nick Punto
Nick Punto
Frank Crosetti
Frank Crosetti
Dave Giusti
Dave Giusti
Gus Mancuso
Gus Mancuso
Frank Viola
Frank Viola
Mike Piazza
Mike Piazza
Dom DiMaggio
Dom DiMaggio
Paul (Li Mandri) Lattman
Paul (Li Mandri) Lattman
Barry Zito
Barry Zito
Jason Giambi
Jason Giambi
Devin Mescoraco
Devin Mescoraco

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

More cool artwork I’ve randomly stumbled upon!

Symmetrically painted figures practice yoga under crescent moons as the sun rises. Cool street art in downtown San Diego.
Symmetrically painted figures practice yoga under crescent moons as the sun rises. Cool street art in downtown San Diego.

Here’s another batch of colorful art. As usual, I stumbled upon these cool discoveries while walking around the city, perhaps on one errand or another. Most of this fun urban artwork was photographed in downtown San Diego…

More cosmic yoga street art on another side of the same transformer box.
More cosmic yoga street art on another side of the same transformer box.
Boldly painted colors on a row of electrical boxes in Little Italy.
Boldly painted colors on a row of electrical boxes in Little Italy.
This super cool car made of colorful wires recently appeared at The Garden Project of the New Children's Museum.
This super cool car made of colorful wires recently appeared at The Garden Project of the New Children’s Museum.
The Eiffel Tower has magically appeared inside a shop on Sixth Avenue!
The Eiffel Tower has magically appeared inside a shop on Sixth Avenue!
Fun utility boxes near Pantoja Park feature lots of artistic flowers and birds.
Fun utility boxes near Pantoja Park feature lots of artistic flowers and birds.
Natural scenes painted in a big city.
Natural scenes painted in a big city.
I love this carved wooden bear bench! But for the life of me, I can't remember where I photographed this! I think somewhere near Petco Park . . . maybe.
I love this carved wooden bear bench! But for the life of me, I can’t remember where I photographed this! I think somewhere near Petco Park . . . maybe.
More random colorful street art on a downtown sidewalk.
More random colorful street art on a downtown sidewalk.
I stumbled upon these rocketing pie slices in Hillcrest!
I stumbled upon these rocketing pie slices in Hillcrest! I’m not sure if these spaceships belong to the strawberry fleet, rhubarb fleet, or the cherry fleet. But I’m certain they’re piloted by the good guys!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Fun photos at the Red Bull Air Race!

Skateboarder at end of G Street Pier looks out at Red Bull Air Race course an hour before the cool event begins on Saturday in San Diego.
Skateboarder at end of G Street Pier looks out at Red Bull Air Race course about an hour before the cool event begins on Saturday in San Diego.

Have fun checking out these photos! I took them during a long walk up and down the Embarcadero, before and during today’s Red Bull Air Race.

What did I see? Read the captions!

And if you happen to be in San Diego, the event continues tomorrow! There’s lots of cool sights to see!

Smart people grabbed seats on the Seaport Village wall by the water before the air race began. The guys on the boat are there to rescue pilots should they crash into the water.
Smart people grabbed seats on the Seaport Village wall by the water before the air race began. The guys on the boat are there to rescue pilots should they crash into the water.
Some aerial entertainment starts early! It appeared several pilots were practicing the course before the official time trials would begin.
Some aerial entertainment starts early! It appeared several pilots were practicing the course before the official time trials would begin.
The little airplanes are awfully fast and super maneuverable. The pilots had to steer a twisty course between those inflatable pylons and avoid losing points.
The little airplanes are awfully fast and super maneuverable. The pilots had to steer a twisty course between those inflatable pylons and avoid losing points.
A crowd is gathering by my friend Mitchell's spot--he plays didgeridoo. I held the fort while he bought a pretzel. That ice cream looks pretty good.
A crowd is gathering by my friend Mitchell’s spot–he plays didgeridoo. I held the fort while he bought a pretzel. That ice cream passing by looks pretty good.
Near one paid entrance, at Embarcadero Marina Park North, a sign showed the event schedule and provided info about the Red Bull planes and pilots.
Near one paid entrance, at Embarcadero Marina Park North, a sign shows the event schedule and provided info about the Red Bull race planes and pilots.
The public could purchase all sorts of Red Bull merchandise and souvenirs at a trailer by the boardwalk.
The public could purchase all sorts of Red Bull merchandise and souvenirs at a trailer by the boardwalk.
And at nearby Seaport Village, kids could visit the Easter Bunny!
And at nearby Seaport Village, kids could visit the Easter Bunny!
These poor guys had to work during the big event. Superyachts docked behind the convention center need constant maintenance!
These poor guys had to work during the big event. Superyachts docked behind the convention center need constant maintenance!
I saw this below in the water and had to take a photo. Love the color.
I saw this below in the water and had to take a photo. Love the color.
Then I had to climb to the top of the San Diego Convention Center...
Then I had to climb to the top of the San Diego Convention Center…
...where I discovered a great view of the Marriott Marina and a good portion of the Red Bull Air Race course out in San Diego Bay!
…where I discovered a great view of the Marriott Marina and a good portion of the Red Bull Air Race course out on beautiful San Diego Bay!
As I walked south toward the Hilton, more pilots were practicing out on the bay. Zoom!
As I walked south toward the Hilton, more pilots were practicing out on the bay. Zoom!  I see the Coronado Ferry Landing across the water.
Lots of people were finding spots to watch the action.
Lots of people were finding spots along the water to watch the action.
Another guy who had to work today. But one couldn't find a better workplace!
Another guy who had to work today. But one couldn’t find a better workplace!
A Red Bull pilot rolls in the sky high above marina masts!
A Red Bull pilot rolls in the blue sky high above marina masts!
Meanwhile, this guy was testing out a water jetpack. A bunch of these daredevils entertained the crowd later, as you'll see.
Meanwhile, this guy was testing out a water jetpack. A bunch of these daredevils entertained the crowd later, as you’ll see.
Almost time to start the official racing! Lots of people got free seats on the grass. The Embarcadero was jammed with spectators!
Almost time to start the official racing! Lots of people got free seats on the grass. The Embarcadero was jammed with spectators!
This line contained folks who paid to get an up close view. The paid area also featured videoboards, exhibits and special refreshments.
This line contained folks who paid to get an up close view. The paid area also featured videoboards, exhibits and special refreshments.
Here's that sign again. I've been walking my way back north.
Here’s that sign again. I’ve been walking my way back north.
The San Diego course map for the Red Bull Air Race.
The San Diego course map for the Red Bull Air Race.
The racing has officially begun! Those pilots are fast and super skilled! They probably drank some Red Bull, too! You need to be on edge!
The racing has officially begun! Those pilots are fast and super skilled! They probably drank some Red Bull, too! Because you need to be on edge!
Planes make multiple passes through the difficult course.
Planes make multiple passes through the difficult course.
Just cleared that pylon!
Just cleared that pylon!
Uh, oh. One pylon deflated for some reason. Sometimes pilots would clip them. Anyway, now it's being refilled with air.
Uh, oh. One pylon deflated for some reason. Sometimes pilots would clip them and lose points. Anyway, now it’s being refilled with air.
All of San Diego seems present for the big international race!
All of San Diego seems present for the big international race!
Look at them go.
Look at them go.
This pair of pylons at the north end seemed the most difficult to clear. Pilots had to make a hairpin turn through them.
This pair of pylons at the north end seemed the most difficult to clear. Pilots had to make a hairpin turn through them.
Made it!
Made it!
Young aircraft enthusiast has pins from many aviation events and air shows.
Young flying enthusiast has pins from many aviation events and air shows.
These kids simply like ice cream.
These kids simply like ice cream.
Now I'm out on the pier just north of Seaport Village. A great view of the race can be enjoyed here, and for free!
Now I’m out on the pier just north of Seaport Village. A great view of the race can be enjoyed here, and for free!
A big wake made this fishing vessel bob by the pier like crazy, causing a moment of excitement!
A big wake made this fishing vessel bob by the pier like crazy, causing a moment of excitement!
During a lull in the aerial action, which allowed ships and boats to pass through the course, the paying crowd was entertained by a bunch of water jetpack guys.
During a lull in the aerial action, which allowed ships and boats to pass through the course, the paying crowd was entertained by a bunch of water jetpack guys.
Coast Guard guys check with pilot rescue guys during a break in the action. The rescue guys had wetsuits and fins on, ready to be on the scene of a crash in seconds.
Coast Guard guys check with pilot rescue guys during a break in the action. The rescue guys had wetsuits and fins on, ready to be on the scene of a crash in seconds.
The dog was enjoying the sunny San Diego day as much as the humans.
The dog was enjoying the sunny San Diego day as much as the humans.
The Red Bull Air Race has resumed! A pilot descends toward the starting pylons!
The Red Bull Air Race has resumed! A pilot descends toward the starting pylons!
Here he goes!
Here he goes!
Now to bank rapidly around a couple of single pylons...
Now to bank rapidly around a couple of single pylons…
That's pretty darn fast!
That’s pretty darn fast!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!