Mural on historical building celebrates Solana Beach!

If you’ve ever walked from Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach toward Highway 101, you’ve probably noticed a large, super colorful mural. The artwork is painted on the west side of the Saddle Bar, on Acacia Avenue.

During my most recent visit to Solana Beach, I ambled up to the mural and discovered the old building it decorates has a Solana Beach Civic Historical Society plaque.

The building was originally the Mayme and Charles Karn’s Bicycle Shop back in 1924. It served as a United States Post Office from 1936 to 1953.

The mural was painted in 2019 by Cardiff-by-the-Sea artist Dustin (Brane) Hull.

Images in the artwork include: a friendly dog; a woman surfing; carrying surfboards on the beach; a kid skateboarding; a musician performing at the famous Belly Up Tavern; a Coaster train and the Solana Beach station; and Fiesta Del Sol, an annual festival held on the nearby streets.

I love this mural. It really captures the happy vibe of this beach community.

I took these photos!

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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Sculptures beautify Paradise Creek Gathering Place.

On the south side of National City’s Kimball Park, near 16th Street, a footbridge crosses Paradise Creek. Look up near the bridge and you’ll spy beautiful small sculptures mounted atop high posts.

These shining metal sculptures at the Paradise Creek Gathering Place were created by San Diego artist Vicki Leon, in collaboration with high school students at A Reason To Survive (ARTS), an organization in National City that uplifts local youth using the power of creativity.

The Paradise Creek Gathering Place sculptures together are titled Migratory Flight. They resemble silvery birds taking wing. Solar-powered lights illuminate bits of colored glass in clear tubes beneath each sculpture.

The environmental sculptures, symbolizing wildlife that depends on Paradise Creek, were installed in 2018. Many in the community came out to help build and beautify the Paradise Creek Gathering Place, including the Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center’s Kitchenistas and students from San Diego City College and San Diego State University. You can read more about the project here and here.

Lead artist Vicki Leon has also helped to beautify her own City Heights Azalea Park neighborhood. You can see photos of more amazing public artwork that I took during a special visit to Azalea Park here and 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!

Public musical instruments in North Park!

Want to make some music? Head to North Park’s newly opened mini park located south of University Avenue behind the Observatory Theater!

The North Park Mini Park had its grand opening last weekend. It was all over the San Diego news. I hadn’t walked around that neighborhood in a long while, so yesterday morning I decided to check things out.

Look what I found!

The North Park Mini Park is not only a fine new community gathering place, but it’s full of musical instruments that people can freely play!

I saw xylophones and chimes and drums and a sign explaining the many health benefits of playing percussion instruments. (Perhaps it’s just plain fun, too.)

Young and old alike can reach out their hands at any time to create music.

How cool is this?

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!

Winter beauty by the San Diego River.

Please enjoy these photographs of winter beauty by the San Diego River in Mission Valley.

I framed this natural beauty during several January morning walks. Some photos were taken from the pedestrian bridge that spans the river by the Fashion Valley Transit Center; others near Mission Center Road.

Reflections created magic. White clouds in the sky floated on water. Trees were turned upside down.

Branches, leaves, river and sky danced together mysteriously.

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!

Mystical visions at 1st Street Bar in Encinitas!

A new mural was painted at the 1st Street Bar in Encinitas several months ago. I didn’t see it until this weekend, during my walk down South Coast Highway 101.

The mural is a colorful, mystical work by artists Amanda Lynn and Carly Ealey. It’s overflowing with visions of nature’s beauty and cosmic mystery.

This fantastic artwork replaces an older environmental Sea Walls mural at the same Encinitas location, painted by the same artists. I took photos of the previous 1st Street Bar mural in 2019 and posted them here.

It’s interesting to contrast the styles of the two murals. I particularly like this newer one.

Enjoy!

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!

Bright, colorful butterflies fill National City parks!

Giant butterflies take flight in the blue sky above three National City parks!

Should you visit Butterfly Park, Kimball Park or Las Palmas Park, you’re certain to spot many large butterfly wings! The colorful sculptures were created in 2015 by families throughout the National City community.

Every butterfly is composed of two pieces of cut aluminum, and the separate sides of each butterfly are uniquely decorated with different colors of reflective vinyl tape. I’ve been told that car headlights shining on the butterflies at night reveal bright bursts of life!

The project, led by local artist Roberto Salas, is called Butterfly Path. Its creation was made possible through a commission from the San Diego Museum of Art’s “Open Spaces” program, supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

The first time I spotted some of these butterflies–last year at Kimball Park–I didn’t know a thing about them. Comments made by readers provided great information. Revisit that old blog post here.

Since then I’ve seen more of the beautiful sculptures, and have learned more about them, particularly during an amazing tour of Butterfly Park, which you can read about by clicking here.

These artistic butterflies symbolize an ongoing metamorphosis in National City. The transformation is to an even more proud, healthy and environmentally friendly community that shines with greater and greater beauty.

Here are just some of the butterflies you might encounter, in no particular order…

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!

Beauty at the Meditation Gardens in Encinitas.

Some of the most beautiful gardens in San Diego County can be found in Encinitas. I visited one of those gardens this weekend.

The Meditation Gardens at Self-Realization Fellowship is a quiet retreat for those who like to walk or sit quietly in a place where the mind can find peace and the spirit, inspiration.

Pathways wind through a lush, carefully tended world. Benches in green nooks invite rest and reflection. There are exotic plants, trees and flowers, ponds filled with bright koi, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Like distant poetry, surfers far below ride the curling rhythmic waves of Swami’s.

The Meditation Gardens recently reopened after a long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors to the garden, as the Self-Realization Fellowship website suggests, might discover “a greater realization of the Divine Presence that lies within.”

The amazing garden is free to the public.

Enjoy a sample of its beauty…

This is the site of the Golden Lotus Temple, built in 1937. Here thousands came to services conducted by Paramahansa Yogananda… In 1942 cliff erosion made the temple unstable and later it had to be dismantled…

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!

John Denver honored on Encinitas plaque.

Head west through Encinitas along J Street. When you reach the end, climb the stairs to the J Street Viewpoint.

You’ll discover beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, unexpected works of public art . . . and a small plaque.

John Denver

December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997

John Denver, songwriter, singer, actor, humanitarian and an activist for world peace and the environment was a founder of The Hunger Project and Plant-It 2000 which sponsored tree plantings in Encinitas.

“Though the singer is silent, there still is the truth of the song.”

Your friends will always remember you.

“If peace is our vision, let us begin.”

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!

Workers on cranes high above San Diego.

If you have a fear of heights, there’s one job you should definitely avoid. Working on cranes high above downtown San Diego!

I took these photos during a walk today along the Embarcadero. Four very tall cranes were swinging through the sky above a large construction site by the new downtown U.S. Navy Headquarters Building. And casually standing or sitting atop the cranes were tiny workers!

New buildings destined to rise along the waterfront, where much of the Navy Broadway Complex once existed, will make up the San Diego Research and Development District, or RaDD. The eight acre life sciences complex will include a 17-story tower, restaurants and shops.

You can learn much more and see renderings of the finished project 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!

A new Empowering Hope mural in East Village!

A huge, absolutely amazing mural in downtown San Diego’s East Village has been painted right next to the Quartyard. The mural is in support of wildlife conservation efforts, and is titled Empowering Hope. The artists are Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki.

According to the promoted Key Conservation website, one can download their Key App to hook up with and support various global conservation organizations, who are working to save animals from extinction. It appears the project is presently a work in progress and more funding is needed.

If you’d like to check it all out, you can visit the Key Conservation website 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!