San Diego Symphony banner adds life downtown.

san diego symphony banner downtown

When descending Cortez Hill, I often walk south down 8th Avenue past the big colorful banner on the Copley Symphony Hall building. I enjoy the huge, energetic image of Jahja Ling conducting the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

The above photograph was taken from the City College gymnasium on Park Boulevard. It’s a perfect spot to snap pics of downtown skyscrapers looking west.

Different San Diego Symphony banner on west side of building.
Different San Diego Symphony banner on west side of building.

Awesome Pokez mural in downtown San Diego.

pokez wall mural 02

Here’s another photo of the fantastic mural shown in my previous post. It provides a wider view. This outstanding example of super cool street art can be found on the outside wall of Pokez, an artsy vegetarian Mexican restaurant in downtown San Diego.

The mural’s design is jam-packed with brilliant color, urban style and symbolism, and feels both organic and futuristic. It reminds me somewhat of the spray-painted “space art” you see occasionally being created by street performers in Seaport Village, the Gaslamp, or Balboa Park.

And here’s yet another pic:

Side view of Pokez in downtown San Diego.
Side view of Pokez in downtown San Diego.

Fantastic street art on wall at Pokez eatery.

pokez wall mural 01

This might be the most awesome street art in downtown San Diego…at least, that I’ve seen. This fantastic, super vibrant mural adorns the east wall of Pokez, a popular vegetarian Mexican restaurant on E Street at 10th Avenue. The riot of neon bright colors is so crisp and exciting one just stands transfixed on the sidewalk, immersed in the rampant creativity.

As I photographed the spray-painted mural, a young lady walked by and commented that she really liked it, too!

A closer view of the colorful street art on Pokez.
A closer view of the colorful street art on Pokez.

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San Diego kids paint beautiful tile benches.

child art tiles on bench 02

Here’s the right side of a tile bench painted by San Diego school kids. Check out my previous post for the left side and a brief explanation.

I love to sit on these fun tile benches near the Maritime Museum of San Diego and gaze out at the water. I have a weakness for this sort of inexcusable, lazy inactivity. Oh, well. Loafing wide-eyed on a sunshiny day is my personal definition of exciting urban living!

One of many benches featuring tiles painted by children.
One of twelve benches featuring tiles painted by school children.

Here are more photos of the colorful benches along this stretch of the Embarcadero…

Celebrating the Big Bay, June 2004. Funded by The Port of San Diego.
Celebrating the Big Bay, June 2004. Funded by The Port of San Diego.
Lots of sun, beach and happiness.
Lots of sun, beach and happiness.
Kid artists contributed to many tile benches along San Diego's waterfront.
Kid artists contributed to tile benches along San Diego’s waterfront.
Many students chose to paint sailboats out on the Pacific Ocean.
Many young students chose to paint sailboats out on the Pacific Ocean.
One of many tiles, painted by one of many hands.
One of many tiles, painted by one of many hands.
Some young artist made a silly fishy face that I really like!
Some young artist made a silly fishy face that I really like!
That big green fish is longer than that sailboat!
That big green fish is longer than that sailboat!
Globs of color add a bit of variety to many fun images.
Globs of color add a bit of variety to many fun images.
Cool artwork produced by a young local student.
Cool artwork produced by a young local student.
Two happy figures seem to jump above flowers.
Two happy figures seem to jump above flowers.
Unique face of warm sun is appropriate in beautiful San Diego.
Unique face of warm sun is appropriate in beautiful San Diego.

Art tiles painted by children decorate San Diego.

child art tiles on bench 01

Along the Embarcadero near the Maritime Museum of San Diego you’ll discover a great walkway at the edge of the bay.

One can look straight down at gentle water lapping wood pilings, see small fish darting below like silver points of light, watch lesser terns wheeling in the sky and diving, see black cormorants hunting underwater like feathered submarines…and gracefully soaring pelicans, and sailboats racing, and a blue sky, and huge ships coming in carrying cars from Asia, and airplanes landing at Lindbergh Field, and a glittering downtown skyline nearby, and the distant lighthouse on Point Loma…

You get the idea. It’s an extremely interesting stroll at any time of the year!

Along the walkway, twelve colorfully tiled benches await those who’d like to sit. The tiles were painted by many local K-6 student artists in 2004, Celebrating the Big Bay, in partnership with the Port of San Diego and the San Diego Children’s Museum.

The benches contain pictures of the ocean, fish, fantastic sea creatures, gulls, whales, ships, mermaids, palm trees, and happy, smiling stick figure people, as envisioned by artistic children with a paint brush.

The above photograph shows the left end of one bench.

Below, someone fishes nearby…

Fishing on the Embarcadero.
Fishing on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
A painted tile in a bench on San Diego's Embarcadero.
A painted tile in a bench on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
A red fish just swimming along in blue bubbles.
A red fish just swimming along in blue bubbles.
A tropical fish with long spotted green fins.
A tropical fish with long spotted green fins.
A very nicely rendered seahorse and colorful flowers.
A very nicely rendered seahorse and colorful flowers.
Beautiful work of art created by a local child.
Beautiful work of art created by a local child.
Creativity is splashed all over these tile benches.
Creativity is splashed all over these tile benches.
Eye-catching abstract design painted by youth.
Eye-catching abstract design painted by youth.
Fantastic tile artwork produced with many colorful painted dots.
Fantastic tile artwork produced with many colorful painted dots.
Here's a green mermaid jumping rope atop the blue ocean!
Here’s a green mermaid jumping rope atop the blue ocean!

Classic figurehead of historic ship Star of India.

Female figure at the bow of San Diego's historic Star of India.
The Greek muse Euterpe graces the bow of San Diego’s historic Star of India.

Here’s the oft-photographed figurehead of San Diego’s famous tall ship Star of India. I learned from a Maritime Museum of San Diego docent that the figurehead represents Euterpe, one of the Muses from Greek mythology. Euterpe was the muse of music. Euterpe was also the original name of the Star of India, when it was built at Ramsey in the Isle of Man in 1863. Her name was changed from Euterpe to Star of India in 1906 by the Alaska Packers’ Association, which had purchased the ship in 1901.

Closer look at Star of India’s classic figurehead.
Closer look at Star of India’s classic figurehead.

Here’s a cool pic with high contrast applied…

Figurehead of tall ship Star of India.
Figurehead of tall ship Star of India.

San Diego loves the beautiful Star of India.

star of india 01

During today’s morning walk I took a couple other photographs which I will share. Here’s a pic of San Diego’s beloved tall ship Star of India! Many visitors don’t realize that this iron-hulled three-masted bark is the oldest active sailing ship in the entire world! If you ever swing by America’s Finest City, you can go onboard and enjoy a memorable glimpse of maritime history.

With clouds of white sails fluttering in the breeze, she remains the queen of The Big Bay! She’s 150 years old and still appears to be in great condition!

Star of India’s California Historical Landmark plaque.
Star of India’s California Historical Landmark plaque.

Bonus pics taken at various later times:

A familiar sight along Harbor Drive on San Diego's Embarcadero.
A familiar sight along Harbor Drive on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Bow of Star of India includes the classic female figurehead.
Bow of Star of India includes a classic female figurehead representing Euterpe. That was this ship’s original name.
Early morning photo of San Diego's Star of India.
Early morning photo of San Diego’s Star of India.
Star of India captain's wheel and tangled Maritime Museum rigging.
Star of India steering wheel.
Beautiful sails and clouds.
Beautiful sails and clouds.
Ticket booth and entrance ramp next to the Star of India.
Maritime Museum of San Diego ticket booth next to the Star of India.
American flag flutters in the breeze at stern of the historic old ship.
American flag flutters in the breeze at stern of the historic old ship.
People out for a stroll by the Star of India.
People out for a stroll on San Diego’s Embarcadero by the Star of India.