New sights on a morning walk downtown.

A colorful canvas in the window of James Watts' studio on Seventh Avenue. I don't recall seeing this cool artwork before.
A colorful canvas in the window of James Watts’ studio on Seventh Avenue. I don’t recall seeing this artwork before.

This morning I walked south down Seventh Avenue, from the top of Cortez Hill to Petco Park.

I was happy to spot some new (and old) cool sights along this stretch of downtown San Diego. So I took photographs!

Some street art recently painted on a sidewalk utility box. I Love Downtown San Diego.
Some street art recently painted on a sidewalk utility box. I Love Downtown San Diego.
Complex reflection in the windows of the building at 701 B Street, which has undergone some upgrades.
Complex reflection in the windows of the building at 701 B Street, which has undergone some upgrades, including this west entrance.
Looking north up Seventh Avenue through San Diego's Financial District.
Looking north up Seventh Avenue through downtown San Diego’s Financial District.
Crane swings a load above the Bosa Tower construction site, with the old Hotel Churchill sign in the background.
Crane swings a load above the Bosa Tower construction site, with the old Hotel Churchill sign in the background.
Advertisements peeling from a construction site fence.
Advertisements peeling from another construction site fence.
A huge mural is now being painted on the rear of the Moxy San Diego Gaslamp Downtown! It appears to depict the Gaslamp Quarter.
A huge mural is now being painted on the rear of the Moxy San Diego Gaslamp Downtown! This cool new mural appears to depict part of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Reflections on the shiny Sempra Energy building, with the historic old 1887 Clermont Hotel in the foreground.
Morning reflections on the shiny Sempra Energy building, with the historic old 1887 Clermont Hotel in the foreground.
A new shirt with a West Coast State of Mind, in a window of the Padres Team Store in the old Western Metal Supply Building.
A new shirt with a West Coast State of Mind, in a window of the Padres Team Store, which is located in the Western Metal Supply Building.
Palm trees reflected in the glassy, very modern Omni San Diego Hotel.
Palm trees reflected in the glassy, very modern Omni San Diego Hotel.

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!

Fun photos of the new, friendly Quartyard!

The Quartyard in East Village moved half a year ago to this new location at the corner of Market Street and 13th Street.
The Quartyard in East Village has moved to this new location at the corner of Market Street and 13th Street.

During my walk around East Village yesterday I swung by the Quartyard, a cool container park where neighbors can gather to eat, drink, talk and enjoy live events.

About half a year ago the unique container park moved a couple blocks east from its old location, to the corner of Market Street and 13th Street. While the new space is a bit smaller, it’s a friendly, cozy nook just perfect for neighborhood gatherings.

A bit of colorful artwork can be seen inside Quartyard. I learned more art is planned for some of the surrounding containers.

In addition to Burgers and Bites by a small event stage, Quartyard features benches and this outdoor bar.
In addition to Burgers and Bites by the small live event stage, Quartyard features picnic tables and this outdoor bar.
Colorfully painted utility boxes just outside Quartyard.
Colorfully painted utility boxes just outside Quartyard.
This small area in one corner of the the container park Quartyard is perfect for pet lovers who live in the neighborhood.
This small fenced area in one corner of the container park Quartyard is perfect for dog lovers who live in the neighborhood.
A beautiful mural by local artist Gloria Muriel just inside the entrance to Quartyard in East Village.
A beautiful mural by local artist Gloria Muriel just inside the entrance to Quartyard in East Village.
A quick snack or drink can be had at the Seahorse Coffee shack out on the sidewalk.
A quick snack or drink can be purchased at the Seahorse Coffee shack out on the sidewalk.
Look at the super friendly people you'll meet!
Look at the super friendly people you’ll meet!

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!

Another colorful walk around East Village!

The final words of the famous poem Invictus, outside the entrance to Invictus Fitness. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.
The final words of the famous poem Invictus, painted near the entrance to Invictus Fitness. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

I enjoyed an aimless walk around East Village on Saturday. My camera found a variety of cool sights! Some old and some new!

As you can see, there are all sorts of new high-rises under construction in this dynamic part of downtown San Diego.

I walked past the Quartyard at its new corner on Market Street. It’s a couple blocks east of where it used to be. I’ll be posting those fun photos shortly!

Colorful banners along the side of Urban Discovery Academy in East Village.
Colorful banners along the side of Urban Discovery Academy in East Village.
Abstract cat on a sidewalk chalkboard.
Abstract cat on a sidewalk chalkboard.
A cool new mural by Michael Brooks Chandler on the side of a building at 13th Street and J Street.
A cool new mural by Michael Brooks Chandler on the side of a building at 13th Street and J Street.
The 23-story K1 San Diego luxury apartment building is currently under construction just east of the downtown Central Library.
The 23-story K1 San Diego luxury apartment building is currently under construction just east of the downtown Central Library.
Mission Brewery has been located in the old Wonder Bread Building for years now.
Mission Brewery has been located in the old Wonder Bread Building for years now.
This odd, rather memorable mural has also been on the north wall of the building at 1400 L Street for many years. I know nothing about it!
This unusual, humorous mural has been on the north wall of the building at 1400 L Street for many years, too. I know nothing about it!
Pinnacle on the Park rises above the south entrance to Fault Line Park.
The recently completed Pinnacle on the Park rises above the south entrance to Fault Line Park.
Colorful new residential high-rises beyond one of the two silvery spheres at Fault Line Park in East Village.
New residential buildings rise beyond reflections in one of the silvery spheres at Fault Line Park.
An artistic blonde peers out from a shop window in East Village!
A blonde peers out from a shop window in East Village!

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!

Window Stories at Salvation Army Family Store.

A cat waits in a window near the uniform of a service member.
A cat waits in a window near the uniform of a service member.

Four stories are being told on the south wall of the The Salvation Army Boutique Family Store in East Village. These Window Stories concern the lives of ordinary, everyday people.

Come walk with me down the sidewalk and let’s sneak a peek through the windows. Maybe we’ll see a little bit of ourselves…

Window Stories was designed by POP/ARCH and created by Urban Interventions.
Window Stories is public art designed by POP/ARCH and created by Urban Interventions.
Standing beside the south wall of The Salvation Army Boutique Family Store at the corner of Park Boulevard and E Street.
Standing beside the south wall of The Salvation Army Boutique Family Store at the corner of Park Boulevard and E Street.
A bright red bird visits a lone person sitting at one window.
A bright red bird visits a lone person sitting at one window.
A child in the arms of a loving adult in another window.
A child in the arms of a loving adult in another window.
A couple enjoys a romantic dinner in another window.
A couple enjoys a romantic dinner in another window.

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 along Park Boulevard in University Heights.

A small sign with ostrich welcomes those walking up Park Boulevard to University Heights.
A small sign with an ostrich welcomes those walking up Park Boulevard in University Heights.

Last weekend I walked along Park Boulevard in University Heights. I headed north from El Cajon Boulevard to Adams Avenue, then back south on the opposite sidewalk. I saw all sorts of fun art during my journey!

Why so many ostriches? University Heights has adopted the ostrich as a unique and memorable symbol. Back in 1903 this neighborhood was the home of Harvey Bentley’s ostrich farm, where visitors could ride the large birds!

Artistic mural painted on south wall of Park Blvd Artworks.
Artistic mural painted on south wall of Park Blvd Artworks.
Wall painted by New Zealand artist Cinzah for the PangeaSeed Foundation informs passersby that each year 100,000,000 sharks are killed for their fins.
Wall painted by New Zealand artist Cinzah for the PangeaSeed Foundation informs passersby that each year 100,000,000 sharks are killed for their fins.
Electrical box street art near the Diversionary Theatre.
Electrical box floral street art near the Diversionary Theatre.
People walk up the Park Boulevard sidewalk toward the University Heights landmark sign.
People walk up Park Boulevard’s sidewalk toward the University Heights landmark sign.
Some small colorful tiles in a stucco wall.
Some small colorful tiles in a stucco wall.
Transformer box painted with an image of The Pavilion at Mission Cliff Gardens.
Transformer box painted with an image of The Pavilion at Mission Cliff Gardens.
Street lamp banner with ostrich proclaims University Heights - Founded in 1888.
Streetlamp banner with ostrich proclaims University Heights – Founded in 1888.
Faded flowery street art on a utility box.
Faded flowery street art on a utility box.
A small, peaceful sculpture in front of Buddha's Light Bookstore.
A small, peaceful sculpture in front of Buddha’s Light Bookstore.
Spiritual image above front entrance of San Diego Buddhist Association's Hsi Fang Temple.
Spiritual image above front entrance of San Diego Buddhist Association’s Hsi Fang Temple.
Part of a cool mural painted on store wall at the corner of Park Boulevard and Monroe Avenue.
Part of the cool mural painted on a store wall at the corner of Park Boulevard and Monroe Avenue.

I photographed the above mural four years ago. See more images of this street art here!

Some more cool but faded street art.
Some beautiful but faded street art.
Silly faces!
Silly faces!
Love Your H2O, a mural painted by local artist Gloria Muriel for the Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project.
Love Your H2O, a mural painted by local artist Gloria Muriel for the Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project.

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!

A paradise of fine art in San Diego!

Jorge Luis Borges wrote: “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” As someone who loves to read and write, I agree.

But I also love to experience life, contemplate and be inspired in other ways. So paradise, to me, would also be like a museum full of extraordinary artwork.

Anyone who’d like to enter such a paradise in San Diego should visit the San Diego Museum of Art. Every time I go, I feel that I’ve ascended to a blissful place–an elevated place where I become fully alive.

My docent pal Catherine guided another great tour of the museum this weekend, and as I and other guests walked from gallery to gallery, my eyes couldn’t stop jumping from wonder to wonder. And I had to chuckle a couple of times, too. Catherine has been known to spontaneously inject bits of wry humor into her tours. With this simple blog post I would like to thank her for being so generous.

The San Diego Museum of Art never ceases to amaze me. I’m always discovering something new. It contains a truly world-class collection of fine art, including masterpieces by some of history’s most celebrated artists. The museum has also collected many pieces that have a special connection to San Diego.

I’ve always thought it would be amazing if one small gallery were permanently dedicated to San Diego–to San Diego’s most renowned artists, and to timeless works of art inspired by our beautiful and surprisingly diverse city. Just imagine!

Do you love art, too? If you ever find yourself in Balboa Park, please walk over to the San Diego Museum of Art.

Then step through the front door into Paradise.

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!

Frank the Trainman mural Train of Wisdom.

A mural titled Train of Wisdom, painted in 1989 by local Chicano artist Mario Torero and students from O’Farrell High School of Performing Arts and Roosevelt Junior High School, decorates the back side of a building located on the northwest corner of Park and El Cajon Boulevard.

Today very few people venture around the building to enjoy the faded 100-foot-long, 40-foot-high mural, which depicts a colorful train driven by young people. Optimistic symbolism fills the mural. On the south end of the building, astute passersby will see the historic, animated neon Frank the Trainman sign at the top of a flight of stairs, which form the mural’s triangular cowcatcher.

This was the original location of the Frank the Trainman model railroad store, which Frank Cox opened in the 1940s. He eventually retired and passed his business on to fellow model train buff Jim Cooley, who sold the property to Mission Federal Credit Union in 1987. To honor the history of Frank the Trainman, the architectural firm of Bradshaw and Bundy altered the building’s exterior into the outline of a locomotive, and the Train of Wisdom was subsequently painted.

(Jim moved the original train store to today’s location just down Park Boulevard and added to it his own unique collectibles museum, which includes some extremely rare antique automobiles. I blogged about that here.)

I walked behind the building yesterday and took the following photographs of the large, nearly 30 year old mural, to help preserve a little bit of San Diego history…

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