Something Halloweenish this way comes!

Halloween is sneaking up!

I walked through Little Italy this afternoon and found some fun sights!

That carousel horse mural must be somewhat new, because I don’t recall seeing it before. It kind of fits in with my Halloween theme…assuming it belongs to a dark carnival!

I’m pretty sure the Old Town Trolley Tours driver wasn’t frightened by the owl, but my photo’s lucky timing (and some mysterious image cropping) makes it seem that way!

BOO!

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!

New mural painted at Vin de Syrah.

Yesterday I stumbled upon something very cool!

I was heading through the Gaslamp Quarter up Fifth Avenue when I noticed a new mural was being painted. An artist was working in the outside stairwell entrance of Vin de Syrah, a “hidden” subterranean wine parlor. Over the years, I’ve noticed that new murals appear in this stairwell every so often, but until I performed a little research today I hadn’t known where these steps led.

In the past, fantastic murals that I’ve seen at the entrance to Vin de Syrah have often included elements from Alice in Wonderland.

When I noticed the muralist at work below, I looked down and said hello, but it didn’t appear that she heard me. Her style seems familiar, but I can’t identify the artist. I have a hunch I’ve photographed the work of this artist elsewhere in San Diego!

Today I walked past this new Vin de Syrah mural and took the following photograph:

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A rambling Sunday walk along Morena Boulevard.

Graphic on wall of Coronado Brewing Company San Diego Tasting Room. WISH YOU WERE beer.
Graphic on wall of Coronado Brewing Company San Diego Tasting Room. WISH YOU WERE beer.

Today I took a rambling walk along Morena Boulevard. These photos start around Knoxville Street in Bay Park and proceed south to the area where Morena and West Morena split.

You might notice few people in the photos. It’s Sunday and many businesses are closed. And of course there’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, keeping many at home.

If you ever drive through the Morena District, you’ll probably recognize some of these sights. Many of the old shops and small businesses along the street aren’t much to look at, but there are a few that stand out!

(I took this walk in order to photograph two really great murals in particular. I’ll post those pics shortly. I also wanted to check on the status of a mysterious, possibly historical wooden tombstone by a parking lot that I’d seen years ago. The mystery has deepened, as you’ll see in another upcoming blog post!)

Now let’s walk…

Sculpture of lady tending her garden in front of the Armstrong Garden Center.
Sculpture of lady tending her garden in front of the Armstrong Garden Center.

Another look at the gardening sculpture.
Another look at the gardening sculpture.

Beautiful bloom between the Knoxville Street sidewalk and Armstrong Garden Center.
Beautiful bloom between the Knoxville Street sidewalk and Armstrong Garden Center.

The Cordova Bar. This must be the place!
The Cordova Bar. This must be the place!

Mermaid door handles at the entrance to The Cordova Bar.
Mermaid door handles at the entrance to The Cordova Bar.

Sign on fence near U.S. Karate Academy encourages people to Be Your Best!
Sign on fence near U.S. Karate Academy encourages people to Be Your Best!

Banner on lamp post invites people to Shop for Home Decor in the Morena District.
Banner on lamp post invites people to Shop for Home Decor in the Morena District.

Cool motorcycle graphic on wall of Sidecar Bar.
Cool motorcycle graphic on wall of Sidecar Bar.

There's a T. Rex on the roof of Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital! It must've escaped!
There’s a T. Rex on the roof of Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital! It must’ve escaped!

This cool graphic of a van with a surfboard is on the side of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.
This cool graphic of a van with a surfboard is on the side of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

Clouds and palm trees reflected on angles of window glass.
Clouds and palm trees reflected on angles of window glass.

Now I'm walking along near the Valero gas station.
Now I’m walking along near the Valero gas station.

A colorful mural near the front door of Nico's Mexican Food.
A colorful mural near the front door of Nico’s Mexican Food.

Super cool surfboards hang out beside the front door of Bird's Surf Shed.
Super cool surfboards hang out beside the front door of Bird’s Surf Shed.

Mural at Bird's Surf Shed was painted by Skye Walker in 2014.
Mural at Bird’s Surf Shed was painted by Skye Walker in 2014. Tubular, dude!

Vintage automobile parked alone in corner of a parking lot.
Vintage automobile parked alone in corner of a parking lot.

Looks like a farm around the entrance to Bull's Smokin' BBQ. Fun sculptures greet passersby on West Morena Boulevard.
Looks like a ranch around the entrance to Bull’s Smokin’ BBQ. Fun animal sculptures greet passersby on West Morena Boulevard.

Two bulls and one pig.
Walking beside two bulls and one pig.

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!

Life slowly returns to the Gaslamp Quarter.

People gather in front of Barleymash as some restaurants reopen in the Gaslamp for dining during the coronavirus pandemic.
People wait in front of Barleymash as some restaurants reopen in the Gaslamp for dining during the coronavirus pandemic.

Life is slowly returning to the Gaslamp Quarter. Some restaurants and bars have just begun to reopen. Dining at restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic is now permitted if establishments and customers abide by strict rules.

Early this evening–the Friday of Memorial Day weekend–I walked up Fifth Avenue and observed small groups of people waiting in line on the sidewalk and seated at outdoor tables. Many Gaslamp eateries are still closed. I was told that for some it remains a wait-and-see situation.

So life downtown is becoming a little more vibrant.

It will be fascinating to watch how long it might take the Gaslamp Quarter to regain its former popularity, given the fact that COVID-19 is still among us.

I suspect there are many who remain cautious.

Much of the historic Gaslamp Quarter was still quiet early Friday evening, on Memorial Day weekend.
Much of the historic Gaslamp Quarter was still quiet early Friday evening, at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend.

A few customers sit in front of The Field Irish Pub.
A few customers sit in front of The Field Irish Pub.

El Chingon in the Gaslamp Quarter is open and ready for diners! If you love Mexican food, it's the place to go!
I learned that El Chingon in the Gaslamp Quarter is open and ready for diners! Mexican food is their specialty!

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!

Essential supplies at cost for elderly, vulnerable.

If you live in San Diego, here’s an exceptional offer you might want to check out!

I frequently walk past the Flamin’ Phó and Sushi Bar in downtown San Diego, located on Sixth Avenue at the base of Cortez Hill. Recently, during the current coronavirus pandemic, I’ve noticed a large sign in their window.

They are selling at cost essential supplies for the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions, and delivery is available! Their Facebook page is here. According to the sign, they are providing this service with the help of our local Office Depot.

If you think this might help you, please read the info in my photograph and contact Flamin’ Phó and Sushi Bar to make sure the offer is still good and whether you qualify.

(I must say that over the years I’ve dropped by the restaurant from time to time for take out food, and it’s great!)

What an awesome way to help during the coronavirus pandemic! Neighbors coming together will help us all get through this difficult period.

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!

Free coronavirus hand sanitizer in San Diego!

This morning I headed down to Barrio Logan, just south of downtown San Diego, to pick up a free bottle of coronavirus killing hand sanitizer! I’d heard free bottles were being handed out on weekends by Liberty Call Distilling during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

When I arrived, I was greeted by a huge smile!

The Liberty Call Distillery and Restaurant appears to be a really cool place, located in Mercado del Barrio, just a block from Chicano Park. They distill a variety of spirits which they serve along with locally crafted beers and wine at their restaurant. Go to their website here if you’d like to check out their menu.

Once the lockdown on restaurants is lifted, they are ready to open and once again become a destination for those around San Diego who like good food and good times!

During the coronavirus pandemic, while supplies last, a free bottle of hand sanitizer, made on site, is handed out to all comers on Saturday and Sunday between 10 am and 2 pm. The spray sanitizer is a World Health Organization approved formula with 80% alcohol content that will effectively kill the COVID-19 virus.

I just used some on my hands when I got home and it smells great, too!

Thank you!

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 hopeful New Year in the Gaslamp.

It’s New Year’s Eve. This morning and afternoon I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter to see what’s in store for the midnight celebrations.

Up and down Fifth Avenue the restaurants, bars and hotels were getting ready. Workers were sweeping sidewalks, putting up balloons.

I see the Gaslamp Quarter has big plans for the future. According to some information you can read in one photo, Fifth Avenue is to become the Gaslamp Promenade–a sprawling urban plaza. I’m sure it will be opulent and amazing.

Apart from one photo in particular, in the morning I didn’t point my camera at the numerous homeless, who sleep on the sidewalk and in doorways before being ushered along.

The Gaslamp Quarter contains some very stark contrasts. There is material self-indulgence, and there is despair.

Hopefully, in the New Year, there’s more heart.

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!

Mysterious musicians painted downtown!

Is a new live music venue, nightclub or restaurant coming to 640 C Street in downtown San Diego? It sure looks that way!

In the past few days musicians have been painted on the windows of the 1928 Hamilton Fine Foods Building at the corner of Seventh Avenue and C Street. I noticed today that the stylish artwork is nearly finished. There are images of musicians that seem be be performing jazz, blues and even some country.

(All I know about the Hamilton Building is that when I first moved downtown it was the home of the San Diego Computer Museum, which displayed some of the earliest computers and had a Computer Hall of Fame. I visited that museum once and it was awesome–but that was years before I started Cool San Diego Sights. The San Diego Computer Museum closed their doors in 2006.)

These painted musicians are a mystery to me!

UPDATE!

It occurred to me after I published this blog that I didn’t take photos of the historic building, with its striking “columns” and classical friezes.

I walked by at a later time with my old camera, and got a few quick shots.

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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!

Cool murals at Priority Public House!

During my walk through Leucadia on Saturday I stumbled upon a whole bunch of cool murals in one place. They were painted around the parking lot of Priority Public House on North Coast Highway 101.

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!

Cool murals in front of California Tap Room.

During the Festival of Arts in North Park last weekend, I paused in the small parking lot in front of California Tap Room to admire some very cool murals.

I wasn’t able to get a clear shot of every mural, but I thought you might enjoy seeing what I saw. It appears many of these murals were painted in 2010. Where I noticed the name of an artist, I’ve included it in the photo caption.

Martinez
Martinez

Rosie Scandurra
Rosie Scandurra

Hillary Young
Hillary Young

Craig Hewitt
Craig Hewitt

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!