The new Portside Pier is ready to open!

The latest addition to San Diego’s beautiful Embarcadero is about to open. The new Portside Pier, a 4-in-1 restaurant and public observation deck operated by Brigantine, is set to open this Tuesday, July 28!

I’ve been watching the construction of this unusual dockside building for well over a year. You might recall I posted some photos late last year here. The Portside Pier is located directly next to the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic tall ship Star of India.

This new bayside eatery replaces the much-beloved Anthony’s Fish Grotto, where many San Diegans enjoyed great seafood meals and a view of the sparkling bay for 70 years. Before it was demolished, I blogged about good old Anthony’s Fish Grotto here and here. I blogged about its demolition here!

Portside Pier features four eateries: Brigantine Seafood and Oyster Bar, Miguel’s Cocina, Ketch Grill & Taps, and Portside Coffee & Gelato. The new structure has a fair amount of outdoor seating, which I suppose allows them to open during the current coronavirus pandemic restaurant restrictions.

I look forward to walking up onto the public observation deck and grabbing something to eat in the near future!

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!

Preparing a grand entrance for The Shell!

Great progress continues to be made building The Shell, the new outdoor summer stage of the San Diego Symphony!

I noticed during my waterfront stroll today that a new wider walkway has been poured to provide better access to Embarcadero Marina Park South. I also noticed from a distance that The Shell’s uniquely designed entrance is really taking shape.

Next summer, when you head down to San Diego’s beautiful bayfront to listen to the greatest music in the world, it appears to me that the one making a grand entrance will be 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!

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!

Sunset on the bay from atop the Hyatt.

Just before sunset this evening, I took an elevator to the 40th Floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. I knew there would be an incredible sunset.

From one of the hotel’s large observation windows, I watched boats moving beneath dramatic clouds across the water.

I then walked along the Embarcadero as the clouds turned rosy. Those photos are coming up…

The Shell appears in San Diego’s skyline!

The San Diego Symphony’s new outdoor summer stage, The Shell, is rapidly taking shape in San Diego’s gleaming skyline!

During my harbor tour today I saw that most of The Shell’s white canvas has been attached to its steel frame. With a little imagination it’s easy to see how San Diego seen across the bay will be more amazing than ever.

Once all the canvas is up, and the cranes disappear, The Shell will almost certainly become an iconic new landmark on our bayfront!

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!

Bayside Performance Park rises on San Diego Bay!

Look what I spotted this afternoon during my walk along San Diego Bay. I was approaching the Marriott Marina when my eyes were surprised by a monumental steel structure rising from Embarcadero Marina Park South.

It’s the enormous stage of the new Bayside Performance Park, now under construction!

This permanent concert venue is an amazing gift from the San Diego Symphony to all of San Diego. How appropriate it appeared in time for Christmas!

As I walked around the construction site on my way to the Embarcadero Marina Park South pier, I spoke to a crew member of the Silvergate, a Coronado ferry that docks nearby, and he informed me the steel structure you see in my photographs went up rapidly four or five days ago.

You can also see a banner on a fence that shows what Bayside Performance Park might look like when completed. The concert stage’s curving shell is not only visually attractive, but it’s designed to provide a high quality acoustic experience.

Bayside Performance Park is due to open in time for the 2020 season of San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights.

I can’t wait to see how it looks (and sounds) when completed!

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!

Cool photos of Portside Pier construction.

The construction of the new Portside Pier on the Embarcadero is well advanced, and the new structure is beginning to look really cool!

This morning I walked along the Embarcadero near the Cruise Ship Terminal and Star of India. As I approached the Portside Pier’s over-the-water construction site, I was so intrigued by what I saw I decided to take these photos. I was particularly fascinated by the work being done from a floating platform beneath the building!

This project of the Brigantine Restaurant will eventually replace the demolished Anthony’s Fish Grotto, a San Diego landmark that produced many fond memories in the minds of locals and tourists alike. I’m hopeful the new two-story Portside Pier, with its multiple eateries and public observation deck, will produce many more such great memories in the not-too-distant future.

Check out my super cool last photo! I took it through a convenient hole in the surrounding fence!

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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!

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 fine Sunday walk along the bay.

Another perfect day in San Diego for a walk, ride or four-legged run by the bay!
Another perfect day for a walk, ride or four-legged run by San Diego Bay!

Favorite sights (plus a few surprises) greeted my eyes as I enjoyed a slow walk along San Diego Bay this afternoon!

Many others were out and about. The breeze was pleasantly cool. Blue sky and sunshine peeked through dramatic clouds.

I walked from the Maritime Museum of San Diego down to the Hilton San Diego Bayside, before turning for home.

Guys at the Maritime Museum of San Diego were busy cutting a chain on the barge.
Guys at the Maritime Museum of San Diego were busy cutting a chain on the barge.
Another volunteer cleans the top of Steam Ferry Berkeley. Good progress is being made on this historic ship's exterior restoration!
A museum volunteer cleans the top of Steam Ferry Berkeley. Good progress is being made on this historic ship’s exterior restoration!
Cool guy Gary Reid provides soulful music by the USS Midway.
Cool guy Gary Reid provides soulful music by the USS Midway.
Visitors to San Diego move through the Greatest Generation Walk toward the Embracing Peace statue.
Visitors to San Diego move along the Greatest Generation Walk toward the Embracing Peace statue.
Bright flowers in the garden by The Fish Market restaurant.
Bright flowers in the garden by The Fish Market restaurant.
A couple pauses to gaze at fishing boats in Tuna Harbor.
A couple pauses to gaze at fishing boats in Tuna Harbor.
I aim my camera through stacked lobster traps.
I aim my camera through stacked lobster traps. I believe the fuzzy white stuff is dead, sun-bleached algae.
I think I recognize that pedicab driver.
I think I recognize that pedicab driver.
A bright sailboat on San Diego Bay, with Coronado in the background.
A bright sailboat on San Diego Bay, with Coronado in the background.
I knew I recognized her! It's Diane!
I knew I recognized her! It’s Diane!
Kyler MacKenzie plays gypsy music on his guitar near Seaport Village.
Kyler MacKenzie plays gypsy music on his guitar near Seaport Village.
A balloon twister guy heads off on his bike.
A balloon twister guy heads off on his bike.
Kids examine a kite near a tree at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Kids examine a kite near a tree at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Almost like a dream. Perhaps you can tell why I love San Diego.
Almost like a dream. Perhaps you can tell why I love San Diego.
People with dogs on the grass, the Coronado Bay Bridge in the distance.
People with dogs on the grass, the Coronado Bay Bridge in the distance.
A crow on some roots.
A crow on some roots.
The silvery Marriott Marquis and Marina.
The silvery Marriott Marquis and Marina. No rain in the afternoon, but dramatic clouds linger.
Back near Seaport Village, I spotted this cool Popcorn Bar!
Back near Seaport Village, I spotted this cool Popcorn Bar!
Today is the second day of Seaport Village's annual busker festival. George Gilbert from Fort Myers Beach, Florida entertains a good crowd.
Today is the second day of Seaport Village’s annual busker festival. George Gilbert from Fort Myers Beach, Florida entertains a good crowd.
I always seem to see a snowy egret at this same spot in the Marriott Marina.
I always seem to see a snowy egret at this same spot in the Marriott Marina.
Workers string some lights near the Marina Terrace.
Workers string some lights near the Marina Terrace.
A pinwheel and a smile! You can't go wrong with that combination!
A pinwheel and a smile! You can’t go wrong with that combination!
It's a Wonderful Life.
It’s a Wonderful Life.
But getting old does present difficulties.
But getting old does present difficulties.
The Flame of Friendship sculpture gleams up on the San Diego Convention Center.
The Flame of Friendship sculpture gleams up on the San Diego Convention Center.
Walking along.
Walking along.
Trees and clouds seen from Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Trees and clouds seen from Embarcadero Marina Park South.
A large gull near diners at Burgers, Bait and Beer.
A large gull near diners at Burgers, Bait and Beer.
Here come Spirit of San Diego and Admiral Hornblower. Both are coming from South Bay on a harbor tour.
Here come Spirit of San Diego and Admiral Hornblower. Both are coming from the South Bay on a harbor tour.
A water taxi comes in from Coronado. That huge yellow Dole Atlantic ship is loading containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
A water taxi comes in from Coronado. That huge yellow Dole Atlantic ship is loading containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
Those empty containers being loaded by the ship's crane will fill up with bananas eventually and come on back to San Diego.
Those empty containers being loaded by the ship’s crane will fill up with bananas eventually and come on back to San Diego.
A look up at the Hilton San Diego Bayside from the side that faces away from downtown.
A look up at the Hilton San Diego Bayside from its side that faces away from downtown.
Near this bayside entrance to the Hilton there's a place to take photos. Greetings from San Diego.
Near the bayside entrance to the Hilton there’s a place to take photos. Greetings from San Diego.
Another perfect early March day on San Diego Bay.
Another perfect early March day on San Diego Bay.

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!

Happy memories, and the decline of Seaport Village.

I have many happy memories of Seaport Village.

Back in the 1980’s, when I was a young and Seaport Village was new, my family would occasionally head downtown to enjoy the place. We’d stroll around the meandering pathways, poke our noses inside the specialty shops, browse the shelves of the cool bookstore, and enjoy lunch at one of several restaurants.

I was always intrigued by the big selection of magic tricks in the magic shop. At the candy store I’d shovel dozens of different sweets into a small bag, then eat them during the rest of our walk. We’d watch kites soaring in the blue San Diego sky at the nearby grassy park, and sailboats out on the bay. We always tried to catch Kazoo, the Seaport Village mime, performing.

On Sunday I walked through Seaport Village and was saddened to see many of the old shops are now vacant. The east half of Seaport Village almost resembles a ghost town.

Yes, there are plans to redevelop this valuable part of downtown’s bayfront, to make it more attractive and dynamic. Seaport San Diego will feature an observation tower, hotels, even an aquarium. But I’ve been told that future is somewhat uncertain and is still years away.

I’ve also been told that with this uncertain future and a recent change to the Seaport Village management, many shop owners have chosen not to renew their leases.

And yet today I saw hundreds of families happily walking about Seaport Village, visiting those shops and eateries that remain open. Such is the place’s reputation.

Over the decades Seaport Village has been the source of pleasure for millions of people.

But time and progress march on…

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 art installed at InterContinental hotel.

This evening I was walking along Broadway past the new, almost completed InterContinental San Diego when I noticed a couple of guys installing artwork near the waterfront luxury hotel’s entrance.

I spoke briefly to one of the workers and learned they were following a general design that was provided to them. I’m not sure who the artist is, but I like what I see so far!

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!

Protruding piles pulled powerfully upward!

An old pile once used to support Anthony's Fish Grotto on San Diego's Embarcadero is removed with a large crane.
An old pile once used to support Anthony’s Fish Grotto on San Diego’s Embarcadero is removed with a large crane.

Here’s a quick, fun post . . . about posts!

I got off work early this afternoon, so I took a slow walk along the Embarcadero. By sheer chance, today happened to be the day that old piles from the now demolished Anthony’s Fish Grotto were being extracted.

After watching a large crane on a barge lift one pile skyward, I asked a nearby worker to describe what I was seeing. He explained that the long concrete piles had been installed in 1964, and had supported the old Anthony’s Fish Grotto structure for half a century. I stood for a while and watched the crane do some more heavy lifting.

My friend Carlos, who shows his cool artistic creations near the water, had watched this activity for much of the day. He told me that in the morning some powerful machinery had gripped and violently vibrated each pile for 30 seconds or so, in order to loosen them prior to extraction. I wish I had seen that!

Many extracted piles were already stacked on the barge beside the crane when I walked by.
Many extracted piles were already stacked on the barge beside the crane when I walked by.
Several construction workers were making ready for a new project. The Portside Pier will include a Brigantine restaurant, various smaller eateries and a public observation deck.
Several construction workers were making ready for a new project. The Portside Pier will include a Brigantine restaurant, several smaller eateries and a public observation deck. I believe the supporting structures you see in the water will remain.
My friend Carlos points out this fascinating activity on the bayfront. I see the Star of India and the Maritime Museum of San Diego in the distance.
My friend Carlos points toward some fascinating activity on the bayfront. I see the Star of India and the Maritime Museum of San Diego in the distance.
A gull circles overhead as a long, dripping wet pile is carefully lifted skyward!
A gull circles overhead as a long, dripping wet pile is carefully hoisted skyward!

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!