More amazing art alleys around San Diego!

Walk in and around San Diego and you might stumble upon alleys jam packed with fantastic murals.

More of these amazing art alleys exist out “in the wild” than you might realize.

Back in 2020 I shared photographs from surprising art alleys that I’d discovered during my walks. You can find those many photos by clicking here.

Since then I’ve photographed even more!

If you’d like to enjoy lots of photos of extremely creative artwork, mostly by local street and graffiti artists, click the upcoming links!

(I’ve grouped these links by city or neighborhood…)

Solana Beach

Stepping into the Art Alley on Cedros!

Ocean Beach

An alley in Ocean Beach alive with cool art!

Hillcrest

More murals painted in amazing Hillcrest alley!

Lemon Grove

The amazing, hidden art alley in Lemon Grove!

Escondido

Murals fill Escondido alley with art!

More fun art in an Escondido alley!

Normal Heights

The creativity of new graffiti in Flash Alley!

Encinitas

An amazing hidden art alley in Encinitas!

Cool art in one Encinitas alley!

Oceanside

The cool murals of Artist Alley in Oceanside!

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.

An amazing hidden art alley in Encinitas!

Travel down the coast highway in Encinitas and you might never know you’re a very short distance from an amazing “hidden” art alley!

Colorful murals fill the alley just west of South Coast Highway 101 between D Street and E Street.

I captured photographs of all the artwork as I walked south down the alley, from a spot behind 7-Eleven.

I noticed several artist signatures and have included that info in my captions.

Enjoy!

A blonde in blue. The one mural you might glimpse from Coast Highway 101.
Mural by CJTROXELLART.
Cool street art depicts Prince.
If you know who this might be, leave a comment! UPDATE! I’ve been informed this is from David Bowie’s album Hunky Dory!
Beautifully painted bouquet.
Words describe a morally blind society and its consequences.
Dog running in a field.
Mandala-like design and elephant.
Walking south down the alley.
Mural by @debisdoodles and @mayranavarroart painted in 2015.
I added contrast and sharpness to this photo to pop the Day of the Dead imagery.
Mural possibly depicts Mount Fuji in Japan.
Bees and flowers!
Art around the back door of Better Buzz Coffee Encinitas.
Seawalls mural by Aaron Glasson and Celeste Byers, 2016.

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.

A new Empowering Hope mural in East Village!

A huge, absolutely amazing mural in downtown San Diego’s East Village has been painted right next to the Quartyard. The mural is in support of wildlife conservation efforts, and is titled Empowering Hope. The artists are Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki.

According to the promoted Key Conservation website, one can download their Key App to hook up with and support various global conservation organizations, who are working to save animals from extinction. It appears the project is presently a work in progress and more funding is needed.

If you’d like to check it all out, you can visit the Key Conservation website here.

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!

Art and science in two amazing East Village murals!

Two amazing murals by well known regional artists can be found in a new public plaza located in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood.

The murals, designed by artists Rafael Lopez of San Diego and Joel Sotelo of Tijuana, decorate opposing walls in the amphitheater-like space between the UCSD Downtown Center building and the 34-story The Merian apartment tower. Walk north up the sidewalk from the corner of Market Street and Park Boulevard and you’ll find it.

This welcoming new plaza is so remarkable that it earned a San Diego Architectural Foundation Orchid Award!

For many months I’ve been waiting for a construction site fence to come down, and it finally did, allowing entrance to the new plaza.

If you’d like to read more about this unique public plaza’s inspiration, design and construction, here’s a great article.

My first photos are of the Rafael Lopez mural, which was painted by Gran Prestoz. It was completed a couple of summers ago, but not accessible to the public.

Lopez is widely known for his award-winning illustrations in numerous acclaimed children’s books. He has even designed several United States postage stamps!

The next photos are of the mural on the plaza’s east side, by artist Joel Sotelo. The mural’s title is Pulsar Ultra-Marino. According to a plaque I found, “Sotelo’s colorful mural is based on the idea of wonder, from the micro to the macro, from the beauty of nature to the revelations of science.”

(Doing a little research, I was surprised to find out that Joel Sotelo helped conceive of the Tweet Street linear city park with its artistic birdhouses. Tweet Street on Cortez Hill is only a few steps from where I live!)

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!

The amazing, hidden art alley in Lemon Grove!

There’s an amazing “hidden” art alley in Lemon Grove that few in San Diego know about!

I discovered a magical world of imagination and creativity when I stepped through a passageway that leads north of Broadway into this alley!

Colorful murals painted on the rear and sides of several buildings were created in 2018 by artists Gloria Muriel, Alex Banach, Maxx Moses, KJ Ashley and Beth Emmerich.

This fantastic art alley runs parallel to Broadway, just east of Lemon Grove Avenue.

My first few photos are of the welcoming passageway, which has several outdoor tables and a bench among lemon trees. Then I emerged into the alley and looked all around with surprise and wonder!

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.

The amazing mosaic wall on A Avenue at Kimball Park!

Have you seen the amazing 300-foot mosaic wall along A Avenue at National City’s Kimball Park? If you haven’t, you really need to!

This extraordinary public art was created in 2015 by local students, community volunteers and the nationally recognized local organization A Reason To Survive (also known as ARTS). It is part of ARTS’ Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative. Numerous public art projects have beautified National City and uplifted young lives.

The long A Avenue mosaic wall depicts water flowing through National City’s watershed to the ocean. Tiles, clay shapes and small objects represent blue water, fishes, birds, animals and meaningful bits of life from the community. The wall stretches along a row of parking spaces just east of City Hall.

A Reason To Survive has been working for years to beautify our small corner of the world, and perhaps more importantly, to provide hope and inspiration to at-risk South Bay youth. Their innovative art programs have transformed literally thousands of young lives. The ARTS Center is located on 12th Street a short distance east of this wall.

I believe another mosaic wall that I blogged about this year was also a Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative project. That wall is near the National City’s War Memorial and Veteran’s Wall of Honor, also located at Kimball Park. You can see those photographs here.

I’ve taken additional photos of other nearby ARTS mosaics, which I’ll be blogging about shortly!

(One more thing. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but A Reason To Survive also helped to create the Manzanita Gathering Place in City Heights. See those photos here.)

Okay! Now enjoy a look at this truly amazing A Avenue wall…

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!

Glass artists exhibition in Spanish Village!

Many pieces of amazing glass art can be enjoyed this weekend in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. The public is invited to view the Art Glass Association of Southern California’s 40th Annual Members’ Exhibition in Gallery 21. Unfortunately it ends much too soon on Monday.

I’ve always had a love for lustrous, luminous glass art. Pieces often appear like liquified light, caught for an instant in time. Like carefully hand-crafted jewels, their appearance changes depending on one’s angle of view. One extraordinary piece, as you’ll see, cleverly uses prism refraction to produce many different bright colors.

I noticed that most of the exhibited pieces are for sale. If I had a million dollars, I’d grab them all.

To me every one is magic.

Sunburst, Diana Griffin.
Abundance, Kathleen Mitchell.
Bellora, Michelle Bohannan Sherer.
Gen Z Redhead, Marti Blair.
Drop Vessel, Krista Heron.
Baby Blue Monk, Tom Marosz.

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!

Draco the dragon arrives in Balboa Park!

My friend Mitchell Walker, who plays the didgeridoo in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park, has an amazing new instrument!

A didgeridoo named Draco!

Draco means dragon–and this musical dragon can be made to stick its tongue out at passersby! Kids love it!

The dragon perched atop Mitchell’s new didgeridoo is made of molded resin. It was created by award-winning Southern California artist Kitty Cantrell. See her website here!

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!

The amazing new Comic-Con Museum opens!

San Diego’s newest museum opened yesterday in Balboa Park. Today I walked through the door and enjoyed my very first visit to the amazing Comic-Con Museum!

The Comic-Con Museum is going to be another major attraction in San Diego. Even during this “soft opening” there are remarkable exhibits that include original, one-of-kind artifacts–artwork, costumes, props, rare documents and more–from the history of popular culture.

I walked about the three-level museum and and tried to take it all in. A variety of extraordinary exhibits are featured during this Grand Opening weekend, which coincides with Comic-Con Special Edition at the downtown San Diego Convention Center.

Please enjoy my photos and read the captions to learn a little more about the museum and its current exhibits.

And make sure to check out the Comic-Con Museum website here! Become a member like me and gain all sorts of exclusive benefits!

Almost 10 am when the doors open! The Comic-Con Museum occupies the historic Federal Building in Balboa Park, which years ago was home to the Hall of Champions. The building was created for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
This is just the beginning! The Comic-Con Museum will continue to develop their space in the coming few years. The new museum promises to become ever more incredible.
Many generous donors and benefactors have helped to make the Comic-Con Museum a reality, including the David C. Copley Foundation and the Conrad Prebys Foundation.
The first exhibit I saw on the ground floor is called Art of the Comic-Con Masquerade. It celebrates the Comic-Con tradition of cosplay. These elaborate superhero costumes were made by fans!
My favorite exhibit is titled Gene Roddenberry: Sci-Fi Visionary. Original costumes, art and props are displayed from Star Trek. The life and creative genius of Roddenberry is remembered with his personal letters and more. This exhibit is so fantastic I’ll be blogging about it separately coming up!
Another substantial exhibit, Eight Decades of Archie, celebrates the cultural heritage of Archie Comics. I had no idea that Sabrina the Teenage Witch, before television, was a comic book series published by Archie Comics
Cardboard Superheroes were created by two local youth. Their cool creations debuted in the nascent Comic-Con Museum a couple years ago during Balboa Park’s December Nights.
Looking up at the second floor galleries. When the Federal Building was home of the Hall of Champions, the Breitbard Hall of Fame plaques decorated those upper walls.
Admiring original works of famed artist Charles Samuel Addams, who is probably best known for creating the Addams Family characters.
Looking down from the second level toward the museum entrance.
An inspirational exhibit is titled Out of the Darkness: Comic Art in the Times of COVID. Youth art created during the COVID-19 lockdown is featured. It is presented by A Reason To Survive (ARTS), an organization in National City that works to uplift young people.
Some really great art from San Diego’s South Bay community.
In one of the Comic-Con Museum’s classrooms is a creative work area. During the opening weekend, an exhibit here demonstrates the Cosplay Creator’s Lab.
If you’d like to support San Diego dreamers, fans and artists, here’s one way!
Sewing machine and dress.
Check out this incredible, wearable Grommash Hellscream costume! It was created by Mike Biasi.
In the lower level of the museum, near the auditorium, you’ll find another Art of the Comic-Con Masquerade display. These costumes were all part of past Comic-Con Masquerades.
And check this out! In one corner of the Comic-Con Museum, where the old Hall of Champions café used to be, there’s the PAC-MAN Arcade, complete with playable games and historical exhibits!
Designs, drawings and documents from back when Pac-Man was created, in 1980. A cultural icon (and Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame inductee) was born!
Is this cool, or what?

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!

Local students engineer amazing robots!

Possibly my favorite part of today’s Grand Avenue Festival in Escondido was the robotics demonstration.

Students from several local high schools were showing their sophisticated robots, which can operate both autonomously and by manual control. These amazing robots are built every year to compete in the international FIRST Robotics Competition!

I saw one particular robot shooting balls into the air. One crazy looking robot with pipes sticking out of it was built to launch t-shirts!

All of the students I met were friendly and clearly smarter than me. Several provided technical explanations, which promptly went over my head.

I saw teams from Rancho Bernardo High School (Team E-Motion), Poway High School (Team Spyder), San Pasqual High School (Team SuperNURDS), and Escondido Charter High School (Team Daedalus).

Over the years, these local teams have had great success competing in the prestigious FIRST Robotics Competition. The acronym FIRST means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

The games that challenge the competing robots are changed each year, so students must utilize creativity, logic, engineering skills and sheer ingenuity. Robotics is one fun way to implement STEM education in schools!

Check it out!

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!