Contrasts in a forever evolving city.

Some of these photographs are disturbing. They show a few of the many contrasts curious eyes will observe in a city. A city that is forever evolving.

People come and go. Businesses come and go. Buildings come and go. Dreams come and go. And we are always right here in the present, trying to recall what was.

These photos were taken during a walk on Saturday. I started up Fifth Avenue from downtown, climbed north through Bankers Hill, and finally entered Hillcrest.

I observed new high-rise and bike lane construction. Striking contrasts appear in photos that include St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Abbey.

I observed new signs and fresh ambitions, and dreams that were shattered.

I glimpsed a complex world, and now even those small glimpses are a fading memory.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

The first camphor tree planted in North America!

What you’re looking at is an historic tree. It’s the very first camphor tree planted in North America!

The now immense old camphor tree grows in the yard of the Britt-Scripps House in San Diego’s Bankers Hill!

I blogged about the Britt-Scripps House years ago here. The mansion was built in 1887 by Eugene Britt, then purchased in 1896 by newspaper publisher E.W. Scripps. (Today it’s for a sale again. And the price was recently reduced to under five million dollars. A bargain! To see photos of this historic house’s elegant interior, check out this page.)

The beautiful camphor tree was planted in 1885 by none other than horticulturist Kate Sessions, who introduced many of the majestic trees visitors see in Balboa Park today!

By the way, did you know one of the rarest plants in the entire world can be found in nearby Balboa Park?

A tree that is now extinct in the wild has found a home in the Botanical Building. A few years ago I blogged about that 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!

Christmas lights brighten historic house in Bankers Hill!

The historic Forward House in Bankers Hill is brightly lit with Christmas decorations once again! This amazing holiday display has become a tradition in San Diego!

The Forward House, located at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Ivy Street, was built in 1905 for John F. Forward Sr., who would become San Diego’s mayor from 1907 to 1909. The historic house is now home to American Security Mortgage.

I walked through Bankers Hill as night fell to see these fantastic Christmas lights. I wasn’t the only one snapping photos!

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!

A morning walk on Balboa Park’s West Mesa.

This morning I enjoyed a stroll through Balboa Park’s West Mesa area, from Marston Point up to El Prado.

The sun had just risen and was sending horizontal rays through leaves and across green grass. Few were about. Just some walkers, joggers, squirrels, birds.

A walker and a squirrel ahead.
The squirrel got a good look at me before scampering up a nearby tree.
More walkers heading in the opposite direction.
I was tempted to sit for a moment in the early sunlight.
Sculpture of Kate Sessions near Balboa Park natural beauty. She was responsible for much of it.
Regarding a pine cone.
Who left these shoes here? Why?
Looking back as I walk on.
I became aware of squawking above me. A huge flock of parrots was passing overhead, high above the eucalyptus trees! They look like tiny dots in this photograph.
These two little birds–white-crowned sparrows, I believe–were content to sit on the low wall along El Prado.
People and pooches hang out at Nate’s Point Dog Park.
Looking south toward downtown San Diego from the west end of the Cabrillo Bridge.
Several twisty old Australian tea trees can be viewed along El Prado near the lawn bowling greens.
It’s still early morning. Electric scooters at the ready in Sefton Plaza, near the west entrance to Balboa Park!

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!

Holiday lights on two landmark buildings!

After sunset I photographed two landmark buildings in San Diego that are illuminated with colorful lights this holiday season!

Until this Friday, December 18, the County Administration Building is lit blue and white to celebrate Hanukkah.

The County Administration Building in San Diego lit blue and white during Hanukkah.

And as usual in Bankers Hill, the Manchester Financial Centre building, long-time home of Mister A’s, is lit red and green and strung with many colors to celebrate Christmas!

The colorfully lit Manchester Financial Centre building in Bankers Hill with Christmas trees at each corner!

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!

Amazing sunset from Balboa Park’s West Mesa!

Would you like to see some amazing sunset photos?

I happened to be in the right place at the right time as the sun set this evening. I was walking along Balboa Park’s West Mesa, looking up at lace-like, brightly lit clouds, when color began to seep into the sky.

As I continued south the sun descended. When I reached Marston Point, the sun’s last red rays peeped over Point Loma in the distance.

In some of these photos you can see not only the nearby buildings of Bankers Hill, but distant Point Loma, and glimpses of San Diego Bay and even North Island. In one photograph you can see a small part of the downtown skyline.

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!

Creating a bike lane on Fifth Avenue.

A segment of Fifth Avenue in downtown San Diego will soon have a dedicated bike lane. I paused to watch work on the separate new lane as I walked to a trolley station this morning.

This particular project is on the north edge of downtown. The segment you see in my photos will connect with the already finished bike lane in Bankers Hill, which is a short distance farther north.

Once everything is completed, bicyclists will be able to safely head up Fifth Avenue, from downtown through Bankers Hill to Hillcrest.

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!

A walk to Hillcrest during the pandemic.

We are in this together!
We are in this together!

This morning I got some exercise by taking a long safe walk. I began downtown, near the southwest corner of Balboa Park, and headed north through Bankers Hill to Hillcrest.

There were signs all around of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic…

Yellow tape stretched between trees along Sixth Avenue indicates Balboa Park is closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yellow tape stretched between trees along Sixth Avenue indicates Balboa Park is closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Written in chalk on the sidewalk: Thank you healthcare, pharmacy, grocery...
Written in chalk on the sidewalk: Thank you healthcare, pharmacy, grocery…

In one window: Social distancing equals love in action.
In one window: Social distancing equals love in action.

Sign indicates St. Paul's Cathedral is closed as a precaution during the pandemic.
Sign indicates St. Paul’s Cathedral is closed as a precaution during the pandemic.

During my walks around town I've noticed more and more businesses boarded up as the coronavirus pandemic lockdown continues.
During my walks around town I’ve noticed more and more businesses boarded up as the coronavirus pandemic lockdown continues. I noted these positive messages for an unfortunate situation.

Fifth Avenue in Bankers Hill has almost no traffic.
Fifth Avenue in Bankers Hill has almost no traffic.

Temporary services changes are posted at the bus stop on Upas Street.
Temporary services changes are posted at the bus stop on Upas Street.

A tattoo parlor has a graphic in their window. Closed 4 the plague.
A tattoo parlor has a graphic in their window. Closed 4 the plague.

Many restaurants in Hillcrest had Curbside Pickup Only signs out front.
Many restaurants in Hillcrest have Curbside Pickup Only signs out front.

In a parking lot by the UCSD Medical Center hospital, tents are set up for the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully they aren't in use at the moment!
In a parking lot by UCSD Medical Center, a major San Diego hospital, tents are set up for the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully most don’t seem to be needed at the moment! (The waving nurse reminded me to Stay Safe!)

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!

Bittersweet window art during the pandemic.

IMG_7602z Life is a blessing and a heartache. Love one another.
Life is a blessing and a heartache. Love one another.

I saw some bittersweet art in Bankers Hill today as I walked up a sidewalk past the windows of a small business. I’m not certain, but I believe this artwork was created during the present coronavirus pandemic.

Powerful words in one window are both uplifting and heartbreaking. Several images nearby include a girl on a swing wearing a face covering, which I photographed.

I notice many people are becoming more philosophical lately.

Pondering life.

Thinking about the human heart.

Assessing what is truly important.

Art in a Bankers Hill window during the coronavirus pandemic. A girl on a swing...with a face covering.
Art in a Bankers Hill window during the coronavirus pandemic. A girl on a swing…with a face covering.

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.

Bankers Hill street art loves National Parks!

Street art at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Quince Street in Bankers Hill.
Street art at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Quince Street in Bankers Hill.

I spotted this happy street art while walking up Sixth Avenue, along the west edge of Balboa Park. An electrical box was recently painted. It shows a wilderness scene with the words: National Parks Are For Lovers.

I believe it’s the same utility box that featured a Pixar Up! adventure theme years ago. That photo is here.

Wilderness painted in the city.
Wilderness painted in the city.

National Parks are for lovers.
National Parks are for lovers.

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!