Three cool murals in a North Park alley!

North Park alley mural by BANDiT.
North Park alley mural by BANDiT.

These three fantastic murals were painted recently in a North Park alley. I happened to be walking down University Avenue just east of 31st Street when I spotted them.

Very cool, huh?

North Park continues to be the home of amazing, ever-changing street art!

North Park alley mural by BANDiT.
North Park alley mural by BANDiT.
North Park alley mural by @JohnnysArtwork.
North Park alley mural by @JohnnysArtwork.
North Park alley mural by @kyraaart.
North Park alley mural by @kyraaart.
North Park alley mural by @kyraaart.
North Park alley mural by @kyraaart.

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!

More mysterious morning fog downtown.

Fog crept into San Diego last night. In the early morning it was obscuring the tops of buildings.

I walked through downtown and finally reached the Embarcadero. The water was quiet, gray and perfectly smooth.

Fog had swallowed the distance.

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!

Imagine a story of travelling through life.

Imagine.
Imagine.
This is the story of a man who sold his shadow to a little man in grey.
This is the story of a man who sold his shadow to a little man in grey.
He tries to get his shadow back.
He tries to get his shadow back.
His beloved stops noticing him.
His beloved stops noticing him.
He puts on his seven-league boots and travels the world.
He puts on his seven-league boots and travels the world.
Footsteps.
Footsteps on the sidewalk.
Are we all still going to meet at the corner?
Are we all still going to meet at the corner?
Cats hidden in flowers.
Cats hidden in flowers.
Covered eyes.
Deliberately covered eyes.
Secrets.
Secrets.
Skeleton drinking.
Skeleton takes to drinking.
Light as a feather.
Light as a feather.
Into space.
A journey into space.
Walking forward through life.
Walking forward through life.

Did you enjoy this odd little story?

I took these photos during a walk through North Park on Saturday!

If you’d like to read some thought-provoking short stories (and several poems) click here.

Amazing walk up the historic Helix Flume Trail!

Breathtaking views and unique history can be enjoyed during a hike on the Helix Flume Trail in Lakeside.
Breathtaking views and unique history can be enjoyed during a hike on the Helix Flume Trail in Lakeside.

In 1889 a 35-mile long wooden water flume was completed that brought water from Lake Cuyamaca in San Diego’s East County into the rapidly growing city.

This morning I enjoyed an amazing walk up the historic Helix Flume Trail in Lakeside!

The moderately easy hiking trail begins at the old El Monte Pump Station, climbs a nearby hillside with a series of short steep switchbacks, then follows a short, mostly level section of the historic flume’s route. Information signs describe the construction and history of the engineering marvel, and hikers are able to see the entrance to one of the flume’s old tunnels!

As you will observe in the following photographs, the walk includes some fantastic vistas and natural beauty.

Come along with me and read the photo captions to learn much more…

Looking toward the trailhead of the historic Helix Flume Trail.
Looking past a large shady tree toward the trailhead of the historic Helix Flume Trail.
The old El Monte Pump Station is located next to the small parking lot by the trailhead to the Helix Flume Trail.
The old El Monte Pump Station is located next to a small parking lot by the trailhead to the Helix Flume Trail.
The El Monte Pump Station was originally built in 1898 to lift well water to the flume on the hillside using steam powered pumps.
The El Monte Pump Station was originally built in 1898 to lift well water to the flume on the hillside using steam powered pumps.
Photograph of the historic pump station in Lakeside, California.
Photograph includes huge pipes outside the historic pump station in Lakeside, California.
Plaque by door of El Monte Pump Station dated 1937, when a major overhaul was finally complete. Water was then pumped from the El Capitan Reservoir.
Plaque by door of El Monte Pump Station dated 1937, when a major overhaul was finally complete. Water was then pumped from the El Capitan Reservoir.
Heading toward the trailhead and some information signs concerning the flume.
Heading toward the trailhead and an information sign concerning the flume.
One of several signs along the trail that describe the construction and history of the famous water flume.
One of several signs along the trail that describe the construction and history of the famous water flume.
The blue line on this topographic map is where the flume water descended as it flowed west to the growing city of San Diego.
The blue line on this topographic map is where the flume water descended as it flowed west to the growing city of San Diego.
Photograph of the wooden water flume next to old Highway 80 in El Cajon Valley.
Photograph of the wooden water flume next to old Highway 80 in El Cajon Valley.
Diagram of cross section of wooden flume box from 1913.
Diagram of cross section of wooden flume box from 1913.
As I started up the trail, I looked back. The Helix Water District has a nearby lot with modern pipes and equipment.
As I started up the trail, I looked back toward the parking lot and its big tree. The Helix Water District has a nearby lot with modern pipes and equipment.
Heading up short but steep switchbacks, with rugged mountains in the distance.
Heading up short but steep switchbacks, with power lines overhead and rugged mountains in the distance.
Hikers must stay on the trail due to the historical importance of this area.
Hikers must stay on the trail due to the historical importance of this area.
Looking down toward the pump station and El Monte Road. An old pipeline that ascends from the station is visible in this photo.
Looking down toward the pump station and El Monte Road. An old rusty pipeline that ascends from the station is visible in this photo.
Climbing higher. Wear sturdy shoes if you go on this hike. If it's hot, bring plenty of water.
Climbing higher. Wear sturdy shoes if you go on this hike. If it’s hot, bring plenty of water.
I've gained more elevation on the switchbacks. The hillside is dotted with many prickly pears. That's Hanson Pond in the distance.
I’ve gained more elevation on the switchbacks. The hillside is dotted with many prickly pears. That’s Hanson Pond in the distance.
Higher we climb!
Higher we climb!
A fence conceals an old pipeline that ran from the El Monte Pump Station to the flume.
A fence conceals an old pipeline that ran from the El Monte Pump Station to the flume.
Interesting rock outcroppings.
Interesting rock outcroppings.
A beautiful view of the El Monte Valley below.
A beautiful view of the El Monte Valley below.
A better view of Hanson Pond.
A better view of Hanson Pond.
The climb is over. We approach another information sign where the old hillside pipeline terminates.
The climb is over. We approach another information sign where the old hillside pipeline terminates.
An amazing view of rocky mountains across the valley opens up here.
An amazing view of rocky mountains across the valley opens up here.
Sign describes the struggles to supply water. The open flume had troubles with massive leakage due to rot, and evaporation.
Sign describes the struggles to supply water. The open flume had troubles with massive leakage due to rot, and evaporation.
In 1915, a court ordered Ed Fletcher to repair the leaky flume. He lined it cheaply with asphalt roofing material using a rolling tar wagon.
In 1915, a court ordered Ed Fletcher to repair the leaky flume. He lined it cheaply with asphalt roofing material using a rolling tar wagon.
San Diego County Park Ranger shows a section of wooden flume pipe.
San Diego County Park Ranger shows a section of wooden flume pipe.
The open, wooden flume was eventually replaced with covered conduit and pipe. In 1962, the pump station began to send water to the newly created Lake Jennings.
The open, wooden flume was eventually replaced with covered conduit and pipe. In 1962, the pump station began to send water to the newly created Lake Jennings.
A flag flies near the information sign.
A flag flies near the information sign.
The trail continues along the flume's old route.
The trail continues along the flume’s old route.
Turning a corner, with rugged El Cajon Mountain (El Capitan) in the distance.
Turning a corner, with rugged El Cajon Mountain (El Capitan) in the distance.
Some natural beauty by the hiking trail.
Some natural beauty by the hiking trail.
This is mountain lion country. A sign describes what to do should you encounter one.
Entering mountain lion country. A sign describes what to do should you encounter one.
I spot a third information sign down below, at the end of a short path.
I spot another information sign down below, at the end of a short path.
A short distance from the sign is the entrance to the Monte Tunnel.
A short distance from the sign is the entrance to the Monte Tunnel.
The flume needed eight tunnels along its slowly descending route. The Monte Tunnel was the fifth tunnel from the flume's water source, Lake Cuyamaca.
The flume needed eight tunnels along its slowly descending route. The Monte Tunnel was the fifth tunnel from the flume’s original water source, Lake Cuyamaca.
Diagram on the sign shows the dimensions of each tunnel.
Diagram on the sign shows the dimensions of each tunnel.
The tunnel entrances had decorate facades of cut and mortared local granitic boulders.
The tunnel entrances had decorate facades of cut and mortared local granitic boulders.
The bottom 1887 photo shows construction of the seventh tunnel. Part of the eventually outdated tunnel system was destroyed by Navy SEALS for training.
The bottom 1887 photo shows construction of the seventh tunnel. Part of the eventually outdated tunnel system was destroyed by Navy SEALS for training.
The barred Monte Tunnel entrance photographed during my hike.
The barred Monte Tunnel entrance photographed during my hike.
I took this flash photograph into the tunnel. After the flash I heard a curious low noise, like that of an animal.
I took this flash photograph into the tunnel. After the flash I heard a curious low noise, like that of an animal.
A fourth sign can be found nearby, where the Helix Flume Trail connects with the Lake Jennings trail system.
Another information sign can be found nearby, where the Helix Flume Trail connects with the Lake Jennings trail system.
San Diego residents were thrilled at the flume's completion in 1889. There was a parade and a fountain of water. But it wasn't flume water. There was a blockage somewhere up the line!
San Diego residents were thrilled at the flume’s completion in 1889. There was a parade and a fountain of water. But it wasn’t flume water–it was well water! There was a blockage somewhere up the line!
San Diego's historic water flume was considered such an engineering triumph that it was featured on the cover of Scientific American.
San Diego’s historic water flume was considered such an engineering triumph that it was featured on the cover of Scientific American.
Today little remains of the flume. But the natural beauty of this area in San Diego's East County endures.
Today little remains of the flume. But the natural beauty of this area in San Diego’s East County endures.

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!

Painting cool new murals in City Heights!

Muralist Nadia Sanchez smiles near her new artwork. We All May Come From Different Roots But We Are All The Same.
Muralist Nadia Sanchez smiles near her new artwork. We All May Come From Different Roots But We Are All The Same.

New murals were being painted today by the 7-Eleven on University Avenue in City Heights! The public’s opportunity to watch artists at work live was one cool aspect of the¬†Love City Heights¬†local Global Day of Caring event.

During my visit, a wall adjacent to the 7-Eleven parking lot was being painted by young muralist Nadia Sanchez. Her inspiring artwork is divided into two panels, and she and her mentor Melody De Los Cobos were working on the second half of the mural when I happened to swing by.

Meanwhile, a large mural in the alley next to 7-Eleven was just getting started by GMONIK. It will be the third inspiring piece of art on that wall. I’ll swing by at some point in the future and take a photo of the completed work.

GMONIK has another super cool mural on the street side of the same building. See it here!

I later walked a couple blocks east down University Avenue to check out two new murals of #TheAvenueMuralProject. Both are really great, as you can see in my photos!

City Heights continues to become more beautiful!

Be-Leaf in YOURSELF. A new mural is painted in City Heights by talented young artist Nadia Sanchez with help from mentor Melody De Los Cobos.
Be-Leaf in YOURSELF. A new mural is painted in City Heights by talented young artist Nadia Sanchez with help from mentor Melody De Los Cobos.
A new mural along a low wall at Tito's Auto Body depicts cool cars. The public art is a project of Love City Heights and #TheAvenueMuralProject.
A new mural along a low wall at Tito’s Auto Body depicts cool cars. The public art is a project of Love City Heights and #TheAvenueMuralProject.

Another new #TheAvenueMuralProject mural in City Heights decorates the front of Pink and Mint Salon.
Another new #TheAvenueMuralProject mural in City Heights decorates the front of Pink and Mint Salon.

GMONIK @gmonikart has begun a new mural in the alley by 7-Eleven. It will depict Africa and the message One Love.
GMONIK @gmonikart has begun a new mural in the alley by 7-Eleven. It will depict Africa and the message One Love.
Colorful murals will join together in City Heights to unite a diverse community.
Colorful murals join together in City Heights to unite a diverse community.

UPDATE!

A few days later I walked through City Heights and noticed GMONIK had finished his One Love mural…

One Love mural in City Heights by artist GMONIK.
One Love mural in City Heights by artist GMONIK.

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!

Community volunteers beautify City Heights!

Today I headed to City Heights to join a group of community members in a very special event. Today is the Global Day of Caring, and our mission was to pick up litter and cheer on artists as they painted a couple of new street murals!

This inspiring event was organized by Love City Heights and made possible by a very generous donation from Huntington Ingalls Industries, which operates one of the largest shipyards in San Diego.

A diverse group of volunteers came together in the space behind the Treasure Trove antique store for the big clean up. I noticed that many hands were provided by the San Diego Asian Youth Organization!

After scouring the sidewalks near several blocks of University Avenue for trash, we all enjoyed a super tasty lunch served up by Brochachos Tacos and Faith Chapel of Spring Valley.

During the event there was a variety of fun activities. A colorful mural was being painted by Matthew Curtis (@naylorcurtis). And there was face painting, too!

Large permanent murals were also being created by street artists a block away at two separate locations. I’ll blog about those next…

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!

Loving City Heights on the Global Day Of Caring!

Los Angeles muralist Ruben Rojas, co-founder of Beautify Earth, painted LOVE on the side of 7-Eleven in City Heights.
Los Angeles muralist Ruben Rojas, co-founder of Beautify Earth, painted LOVE on the side of 7-Eleven in City Heights.

Today, November 9, 2019, is the Global Day Of Caring. Come join the community of City Heights for their big street cleaning and mural painting event! The hub of activity will be the Treasure Trove antique store at 3538 University Avenue from 10 am to 1 pm.

Love City Heights, a volunteer organization working to enliven and beautify San Diego’s most culturally diverse neighborhood, is behind this effort. They’ve been transforming University Avenue between I-805 and I-15 into a cool outdoor art gallery, featuring dozens of colorful murals!

To see the progress of the #theavenuemuralproject, you can revisit some of my past blog posts. View lots of photos here and here and here and here and here and here and here!

I’ll post an update after the event with new photos!

UPDATE!

I posted the event photos here!