The other day, while shuffling along what seemed to be an unremarkable sidewalk in downtown San Diego, my legs were suddenly arrested and my eyes transfixed by this awesome street art. A fun-loving, imaginative artist did a great job of enlivening this construction site fence, which can be found on 8th Avenue just north of Market Street.
A sunny Saturday afternoon in San Diego. A perfect time to enjoy life!
Lots of people were out at Embarcadero Marina Park South making the most of the holiday weekend. During my walk I noticed a number of Zonies (visitors from Arizona) wearing ASU gear–their team will play in the Holiday Bowl on Monday.
On the south side of Balboa Park, at the edge of a canyon next to the San Diego Air and Space Museum, you’ll find this rusting sign. It remains hopeful above the shuttered ticket windows of the Starlight Bowl, once home to the San Diego Civic Light Opera. The sign announces a 65th season that never came.
A couple years ago the San Diego Civic Light Opera went bankrupt. Which is a shame. For a long happy time during the warm summer months the outdoor theatre featured musicals and other popular productions. I remember watching the Pirates of Penzance and the Taming of the Shrew here when I was very young. The coolest thing I remember was how the actors would all freeze and shows would be suspended for several seconds when noisy, low-flying airplanes approaching Lindbergh field passed directly overhead.
I walked around to one side for a view of the beloved Starlight Bowl and held my camera above a chain link fence for the above photo. The outdoor stage now has an audience of weeds.
A large area between Broadway and the Horton Plaza shopping mall is fenced off for construction. One end of the downtown mall has already been demolished and leveled to the bare ground. The long-neglected Horton Plaza Park is being enlarged!
On the fence surrounding the construction site are a number of interesting old photographs showing the park’s history.
When real estate developer Alonzo Horton built the Horton House hotel (now the U.S. Grant Hotel) in his “New Town” in 1870, he included a small plaza on the hotel grounds. In 1895 he sold the half block plaza to the growing city of San Diego, stating his objective was “to provide a central, commodious and attractive place for public meetings, public announcements, public recreation and for any other proper public purposes, a place where all public questions might be discussed with comfort, where public open-air concerts might be given, where the people might rest, and where children might play in safety.” In 1909 the first fountain in the United States to feature electric lights was installed in the park.
Over the years, the small park has seen a whole lot of history, as the following photographs at today’s construction site demonstrate. Horton Plaza Park was designated a historical landmark by the City of San Diego in 1971.
The streets were crowded with a spontaneous celebration when World War II finally ended.
On November 2, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy spoke at Horton Plaza Park, seeking votes in the upcoming presidential election. A huge crowd turned out.
The beautifully renovated park will include lots of space for public events, including outdoor concerts!
The diners at this downtown San Diego brewery and restaurant must suffer a good deal of bladder discomfort. Because according to this sign in their window, no urinating is allowed! Don’t guzzle too much of that tasty handcrafted brew!