San Diego’s landmark El Cortez Hotel.

san diego's landmark el cortez hotel

The historic El Cortez Hotel, now converted into condominiums, has been an iconic landmark in San Diego since 1926. Decades before gleaming skyscrapers rose to shape our modern skyline, the El Cortez dominated Cortez Hill and was the city’s tallest building.

The large sign on top, illuminated at night, brightly flashes the sequenced letters of “El Cortez” like a beacon out of the past. The El Cortez years ago had the world’s very first outside glass elevator. Known as the Starlight Express, the elevator brought visitors to the hotel’s penthouse restaurant, which featured amazing views of the growing city and the bay below. The hotel also had the world’s first motorized moving sidewalk!

I live several blocks from this wonderful building and love to gaze at it whenever I walk or drive past!

Looking up at the famous El Cortez sign.
Here’s the famous El Cortez sign.
The elegant front entrance of the El Cortez.
The elegant front entrance of the El Cortez.
Looking up at the stately old building.
Looking up at the stately old building.

Old Hires Root Beer ad on building wall.

old hires root beer ad on building wall

In downtown San Diego, on Kettner and A Street not far from Little Italy and the Santa Fe Depot, you might spot this old advertisement painted on a building wall. It promotes Dr. Pepper and Hires Root Beer. According to some googling I’ve done, the colorful artwork was revealed when an adjacent building was demolished. Looks to me like this building was a soda bottling plant years ago.

View of faded Hires Root Beer ad from across street.
View of faded Hires Root Beer ad from across street.

America’s Finest City newspaper mural.

America's Finest City newspaper mural

This large mural on the Arte Building on Sixth Avenue has become iconic in downtown San Diego. It was painted in 1989 by artists Kathleen King and Paul Naton and conveys a strong pro-multicultural message. Time has somewhat faded the once bold mural, but it still catches the attention of those venturing through the heart of the city.

America's Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.
America’s Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.

Very cool photo of rainbow magic at sunrise.

very cool photo of rainbow magic

Here’s a photograph that qualifies as cool!

This is a glimpse of the huge rainbow over San Diego created this morning by a golden sunrise and some light scattered showers. Check out my previous post for another pic. This photo was also taken on Sixth Avenue, but near Laurel Street, just west of Balboa Park.

The reflections in the windows, the amazing color and interesting composition all come together to make a magical image!

Morning rainbow cast by San Diego sunrise.

morning rainbow over san diego

This morning I walked to work again. I started in the semi-light a little after six o’clock, and it was already muggy with broken dark clouds overhead. Several blocks from home the sprinkles began. But I could see it wouldn’t last long.

As I headed up Sixth Avenue through Bankers Hill, I suddenly became aware of a gigantic full rainbow to the west. It looked like a glowing multi-colored halo over the waking, sunrise-illuminated city. And it lasted a good fifteen minutes. I learned later on while listening to the radio that the incredible rainbow could be seen throughout San Diego.

I took numerous photographs as I proceeded north. The rainbow was so gigantic I couldn’t capture the entire thing in one pic.

A couple photos with buildings and palm trees in the foreground came out really good. Here’s the first one!

Animal rights poster features cute pig.

animal rights poster features cute pig

I intend to keep this blog non-political. I’m just going post images that look interesting, unusual or visually appealing. Life is full of complexity and surprises.

Well, here’s a poster for an animal rights event that I discovered stuck to a traffic light post in Hillcrest that is definitely unusual! It features a cute farm pig. Perhaps I’ll make it to the event to take photographs of the protesters. That oughta be interesting!

So now I have a picture of a farm tractor and a pig in cultivated Hillcrest. What is the world coming to?

Space flight on a city street.

space flight on a city street

Street art flourishes on the sidewalks of San Diego. Many electrical transformers and utility boxes have been creatively painted to represent colorful scenes both real and imagined. Most have a primitive or folk art vibe. I’ll snap lots of photos for this blog!

Here’s a box downtown at Sixth Avenue and Elm Street that features an airplane and space shuttle zooming above clouds between planet Earth, the Sun and the Moon. At least, that’s what it looks like to me!

Colorful space imagery on a third side.
Colorful space imagery on a third side.