Searching for dinner during National Pizza Week.

This graphic in the window at Fifth Avenue New York Pizza looks pretty tasty. Perhaps I should dine here...
This graphic in the window at Fifth Avenue New York Pizza looks pretty tasty. Perhaps I should dine here…

It’s National Pizza Week! Hooray! Sounds like an excellent reason to celebrate!

This evening I was hungry for a couple of slices.

But where to go?

I'm not waiting for San Diego Restaurant Week. I want pizza now!
I’m not waiting for San Diego Restaurant Week. I want pizza now!
Shall I eat at Tony's Pizza?
Shall I eat dinner at Tony’s Pizza?
Shall I eat at Samurai Pie?
Shall I eat dinner at Samurai Pie?
Shall I eat at Giovanni's Trattoria?
Shall I eat dinner at Giovanni’s Trattoria?
Shall I eat at Brooklyn Pizzeria?
Shall I eat dinner at Brooklyn Pizzeria?
Shall I eat at City Pizzeria?
Shall I eat dinner at City Pizzeria?
I found some yummy pizza! Time to eat!
I found some yummy pizza! After all that walking around downtown trying to figure out where to eat, I’m starving!

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!

Morning rain and umbrellas downtown.

Here are a few photos I captured this morning as I walked downtown through gusts of rain.

Keeping an eye on the direction of the wind and slanting raindrops, holding my camera at the ready under my umbrella, I headed down from Cortez Hill to the Gaslamp trolley station. I wasn’t the only one trying to cope with San Diego’s first real rainstorm of the winter.

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!

Exciting debut of San Diego’s new Civic Organist!

Raúl Prieto Ramírez, San Diego's new Civic Organist, raises his arms in greeting.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez, San Diego’s new Civic Organist, raises his arms in greeting.

I’m still in a state of elation after experiencing the exciting debut this afternoon of San Diego’s new Civic Organist!

The first appearance of Raúl Prieto Ramírez as official organist for the city of San Diego was nothing less than phenomenal. He performed in Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion, where the public will now enjoy his free performances every Sunday at two o’clock.

His great love of music, his energy, his vivaciousness and his extraordinary skill were apparent from the start. An enormous audience filled the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and welcomed him warmly. At the conclusion of the exciting concert, he received a well-deserved standing ovation.

San Diego is so fortunate. The shoes of previous Civic Organist, Dr. Carol Williams, would be difficult for anyone to fill, but Raúl Prieto Ramírez seems definitely up to the task. His playing is crisp, nimble, precise, and full of expression. His smile is enormous. His mission in life, he told the audience, was to bring to the world great music. That makes him happy.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez comes to San Diego from Barcelona, Spain. He is internationally acclaimed, the founder of the Barcelona-Mataró International Organ Festival. Now he will perform his magic in Balboa Park as Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society. I can tell you right now the future of the 103-year-old Spreckels Organ is incredibly bright.

My photos of today’s concert captures a true artist’s unbounded passion. That passion translates into musical gold.

Jack Lasher, President of the Spreckels Organ Society, welcomes new San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez to the world's largest outdoor organ in Balboa Park.
Jack Lasher, President of the Spreckels Organ Society, welcomes new San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez to the world’s largest outdoor organ in Balboa Park.
A sparkling debut concert is about to begin.
A sparkling debut concert is about to begin.
A tradition for the Sunday organ concerts in Balboa Park, Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays America to get things started.
A tradition for the Sunday organ concerts in Balboa Park, Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays America to get things started.
The San Diego audience loved our new Civic Organist from the word go.
The San Diego audience loved our new Civic Organist from the word go.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about coming to San Diego, before his brilliant performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about coming to San Diego, before his brilliant performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
Playing the Spreckels Organ with style and passion.
Playing the Spreckels Organ with style and passion.
There were many smiles throughout the large audience at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Every bench was full.
There were many smiles throughout the large audience at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Every bench was full.
Finishing a difficult Classical piece with a triumphant flourish.
Finishing a difficult Classical piece with a triumphant flourish.
With theatrical flair, Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about the next piece, Danse Macabre.
With theatrical flair, Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about the next piece, Danse Macabre.
Concentration.
Concentration.
Feeling.
Feeling.
Intensity.
Intensity.
More smiles.
More smiles.
After a great organ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, Spreckels Organ Society's Executive Director Ross Porter announces kids are needed for the next number.
After a great organ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, Spreckels Organ Society’s Executive Director Ross Porter announces kids are needed for the next number.
Kids from the audience take the stage right next to the Spreckels Organ console.
Kids from the audience take the stage right next to the Spreckels Organ console.
Here comes a fifth kid.
Here comes a fifth kid.
Instructions are secretly given.
Instructions are secretly given.
While Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays Batalla Famosa, the kids read a short sentence that introduces each part of the music.
While Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays Batalla Famosa, the kids read a short dramatic sentence that introduces each part of the music.
Too much fun!
Too much fun!
Meet the new San Diego Civic Organist, Raúl Prieto Ramírez!
Meet the new San Diego Civic Organist, Raúl Prieto Ramírez!

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!

Local history excavated, displayed at Petco Park.

A cool exhibit in Petco Park shows the History of the Ballpark Neighborhood, San Diego, California.
An exhibit in Petco Park shows the History of the Ballpark Neighborhood, San Diego, California.

There’s a small but very cool exhibit at Petco Park that depicts the early history of East Village and nearby blocks in downtown San Diego. During the baseball stadium’s construction, a number of fascinating artifacts were recovered by archaeologists. Each object was carefully recorded in order to preserve aspects of our city’s diverse history.

Here are some of the old photographs and artifacts that are on public display. You can find this exhibit near the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame, just to the right of the north entrance to the Padres Team Store. I learned this exhibit used to be on the third floor of the Western Metal Supply building, at the top of the escalators. But the area was rather dark and so it was moved to its present location.

Please read the captions to learn more about what was unearthed during the grading of the ballpark, and what everyday life was like in San Diego over a century ago.

Photo taken during construction of Petco Park baseball stadium in East Village. Archaeologists excavate a feature discovered during grading activities at the ballpark.
Photo taken during construction of Petco Park baseball stadium in East Village. Archaeologists excavate a feature discovered during grading activities at the ballpark.
The grading of the future ballpark was researched and environmentally monitored. Artifacts recovered reveal everyday life in San Diego's past.
After researching the immediate area’s history, the grading of the future ballpark was environmentally monitored. Artifacts that were recovered reveal everyday life in San Diego’s past.
Excavated objects include jars, bottles, glass stoppers and a bone toothbrush handle. Names of medical remedies include Hamlin's Wizard Oil and Dr. J.H. McLean's Volcanic Oil.
Excavated objects include jars, bottles, glass stoppers and a bone toothbrush handle. Names of medical remedies on bottles include Hamlin’s Wizard Oil and Dr. J.H. McLean’s Volcanic Oil.
1906 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map depicting Blocks 136 and 137, part of the footprint of today's Petco Park.
1906 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map depicting Blocks 136 and 137, part of the footprint of today’s Petco Park, home of the baseball Padres.
From the late 1800s to the 1930s, most residents of East Village appear to have been of moderate to lower economic status, employed at blue collar jobs downtown.
From the late 1800s to the 1930s, most residents of East Village appear to have been of moderate to lower economic status, employed at blue collar jobs downtown.
Other artifacts recovered during Petco Park's construction include dolls, toys, marbles and keys.
Other artifacts recovered during Petco Park’s construction include dolls, toys, marbles and keys.
Old photo shows East Village as it was in 1914, looking west from the 10th Street terminal.
Old photograph shows East Village as it was in 1914, looking west from the 10th Street terminal.
Looking south down 5th Street (now Fifth Avenue) from the roof of the 1st National Bank, circa 1910. The area is heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Looking south down 5th Street (now Fifth Avenue) from the roof of the 1st National Bank, circa 1910. The area is heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Two historical photos. To the left, Pacific Coast Steamship warehouse, circa 1913. To the right, looking north up 5th Street circa 1910.
Two historical photos. To the left: Pacific Coast Steamship warehouse, circa 1913. To the right: looking north up 5th Street circa 1910.
Old photo of Western Metal Supply building and foundry sometime prior to 1919. The preserved brick building is now a unique part Petco Park's structure.
Old photo of Western Metal Supply building and foundry sometime prior to 1919. The preserved brick building is now a unique part Petco Park’s structure.
Fragments of earthenware jars and Chinese and Japanese ceramic tableware show Asian culture that thrived in the neighborhood's past.
Fragments of earthenware jars and Chinese and Japanese ceramic tableware show Asian culture thrived in the neighborhood’s past.

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 phone or 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!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Indigo Waters shining in the San Diego sky!

Should you walk past the intersection of Ninth Avenue and Island Avenue in East Village, be certain to gaze upward. Because your eyes will be dazzled by Indigo Waters shining in the San Diego sky!

Indigo Waters is a 40-foot blue glass panel sculpture mounted near the roof of the Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. This very cool public artwork was designed and created for the hotel about ten years ago by local artist Lisa Schirmer. You’ve already seen her work on this blog, in the form of vibrant baseball windglyphs now flying at Lane Field Park!

Lisa Schirmer’s sculpture really takes life in San Diego’s sunshine. As the sunlight changes, Indigo Waters seems to ebb and flow. Light passing through and reflecting from the 33 hand-painted glass panels produces a variety of magical effects.

The photographs you see here were taken on a couple different days. The blue glass panels are most brilliant on cloudless days in the early afternoon, right around two o’clock.

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 short story about social media and isolation.

This morning I wrote a short story titled One Thousand Likes. It touches upon the human heart, the pleasure produced by facile happiness, and the dark, isolating effect of social media.

To read it, click here.

Photos of winter along San Diego River.

Temperatures are dropping. It’s starting to feel a bit more like winter. Nights in downtown are chilly. Our first storm is coming.

This morning I left home while it was still dark and headed to a stretch of the San Diego River in Mission Valley. After the sun rose, I walked along the river from Qualcomm Way to Mission Center Road.

Ducks were feeding. The slanting morning light brightened yellow leaves. Farther to the east, a thin layer of fog hovered above smooth water. You can see it in the beautiful photograph that I saved for last.

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!