Mural on historical building celebrates Solana Beach!

If you’ve ever walked from Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach toward Highway 101, you’ve probably noticed a large, super colorful mural. The artwork is painted on the west side of the Saddle Bar, on Acacia Avenue.

During my most recent visit to Solana Beach, I ambled up to the mural and discovered the old building it decorates has a Solana Beach Civic Historical Society plaque.

The building was originally the Mayme and Charles Karn’s Bicycle Shop back in 1924. It served as a United States Post Office from 1936 to 1953.

The mural was painted in 2019 by Cardiff-by-the-Sea artist Dustin (Brane) Hull.

Images in the artwork include: a friendly dog; a woman surfing; carrying surfboards on the beach; a kid skateboarding; a musician performing at the famous Belly Up Tavern; a Coaster train and the Solana Beach station; and Fiesta Del Sol, an annual festival held on the nearby streets.

I love this mural. It really captures the happy vibe of this beach community.

I took these 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!

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!

Silvery beach photos at Fletcher Cove.

Many beaches in San Diego County will cause you to simply stare. They are that beautiful. The beach at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach is no exception.

I enjoyed a long walk in Solana Beach today. I photographed some incredible public art (as you’ll see in the next few days), but how does an artist compete with nature’s complex, sublime, and inexhaustible beauty?

That blue sky and clouds reflecting from silvery wet sand were captured with a mere press of a camera button. Then, standing near the ocean’s edge, I turned right and left and pressed the button a few more times…

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!

Unity in Variety exhibition in Balboa Park.

An exhibition titled Unity in Variety is currently on display in Balboa Park at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Mexican artist Gabriel Rico has assembled objects related to a coastal desert estuary setting.

Walking around the floor of the museum gallery is like walking through a strange dreamscape of scattered symbols. Animals living and dead, stones, bones, faces, apparitions from the past, trash, a variety of abstract figures and forms stand or lie on sand by the unseen water.

Human artifacts, contemporary issues and disturbing images seem more prominent than nature’s beauty. The estuary imagined appears to be one in an urban setting.

Neon symbols dangling from the ceiling include vowels, numbers, the five senses and essential geometric shapes. They are common to every mind, but each experience of life is unique.

According to the exhibition’s description, the collected “objects are not meant to be considered individually rather experienced as a unified whole.” The art is provocative and raises questions differently in the mind of every viewer. Who are we? Where do we live and how do we live?

Does this gallery seem oddly familiar to your eyes? The Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego is a recent fusion of two organizations: the LUX Art Institute and the San Diego Art Institute. The latter used to occupy this same space inside Balboa Park’s House of Charm.

If you like to think about the world you live in, and perhaps in unexpected ways, Unity in Variety will give you pause. Like a stirring dream that lingers.

The exhibition runs through February 27, 2022.

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 and history at the Oceanside Pier.

Walk along the Oceanside Pier and you’ll encounter life. You’ll see walkers, bicyclists, people gazing across the water, talking, fishing, and beachgoers and surfers down below. If you have a curious mind and observant eyes, you’ll also discover history.

I walked along the popular pier on Labor Day and took these photos.

You can read the following historical plaques, if you’d like. Those many names carved into the wood railing were from a community fundraiser, whose proceeds were used to rebuild the pier in 1988, the year of its centennial.

The Oceanside Pier was originally built in 1888 and destroyed two years later by winter storms. Over the years, there have been six different incarnations. Today the pier is 1,942 feet long. You can learn more about its history here.

Oceanside Municipal Fishing Pier. Reconstruction 1987.
Oceanside Pier. 1925. Historic Resource 4-204.

Check out this very cool fish-shaped bike rack! I saw it down by the beachside boardwalk.

Some benches near the foot of the pier memorialize loved ones…

Just a few of the many names on the weathered wood rails along the length of the pier…

Across from the concession shack, with its souvenirs, snacks and bait, you’ll find a collage of faded photographs.

Cherished memories over the years. Happy days fishing…

Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier permanently closed early this year after three decades of operation. A sign indicated the building will return to life in the future.

History goes on.

Why the many flags nearby? It’s Labor Day, 2021.

Another fine day passes by. Time to head back…

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!

Love at the Dog Beach Memorial Garden.

Del Mar’s Dog Beach is a place where dogs run free and pure love flourishes. At the Dog Beach Memorial Garden, expressions of that love are made visible.

Small smooth stones are painted with the names of beloved dogs. The garden is filled with angels, butterflies, poems, flowers . . . and gnomes, pink flamingos and other fun decorations.

I walked down from Camino Del Mar through this special Memorial Garden when I visited Dog Beach last weekend for the Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon. (If you missed it, you can see those dog surfing photos here!)

Please enjoy the following photographs…

Gracie, Buster, Missy, Bronx, Toby, Scout, Paisley, Wolfie, Cabo, Solana, Macey…
We will meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.
Love equals licks.
Hope blooms in the garden of love.
Live simply and be grateful.
Loved ones memorialized simply.

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!

Dogs surf freestyle in Del Mar!

The world-famous 2021 Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon was held today in Del Mar!

The non-stop surfing action took place at Dog Beach, and dozens of furry athletes did their best to score style points as they conquered the waves and entertained the crowd in support of Helen Woodward Animal Center.

The surfing I observed was freestyle. That meant two or three dogs per surfboard! Whether contestants faced forward or backward seemed unimportant!

I took the following photos of this amazing canine sporting event for your enjoyment and amusement. Yes, it’s all a bit silly, even crazy. But you know what? It was evident that the excited dogs were having a blast! Many were jumping back toward the ocean the moment they landed on the sand!

If you’d like to help rescue dogs and other critters find a loving home, support the Helen Woodward Animal Center by clicking 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!

Pacific Beach memorial for Kabul attack victims.

I saw this memorial today as I walked along the Pacific Beach boardwalk.

Thirteen flags had been planted nearby in the sand, to honor and remember the thirteen United States service members who died during the attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, almost two weeks ago.

Some people walking or biking through the sunshine stopped, to quietly gaze at the flags, flowers, and scattered objects of remembrance.

I don’t know who created this simple but moving tribute.

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.

An amazing walk along Sunset Cliffs!

One of San Diego’s most amazing, scenic walks is along Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma.

Yesterday I walked along the length of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, which stretches for about 1.5 miles beside the Pacific Ocean. I started near the intersection of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Adair Street and headed south to Ladera Street, where there’s a popular beach, nature trails and stairs down to a small cave and rocky tide pools.

The August summer day was perfect for a long walk. The sun didn’t break through the coastal marine layer until the very end of my adventure, and the sea breeze was pleasantly cool.

Views of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the steep, rugged cliffs seemed endless. The mostly dirt Coastal Trail I followed wound above the high eroded bluffs, past a few pocket beaches and past sea caves and picturesque sandstone arches.

In places the cliffs have collapsed from the constant powerful action of tides and incoming waves. Many signs warn people away from the edge of the unstable cliffs.

I met a painter. I met friendly lifeguards training for cliff rescues. I saw benches along the path dedicated to lost loved ones and sunsets. Many were standing and sitting at the ocean’s edge, peering at eternity with silent wonder.

As you can see from my photographs, nature’s hand creates beauty everywhere it moves.

If you like to stretch your legs and spirit, and you happen to be in San Diego, it’s likely you’ll love this walk, too.

Looking north for a moment. You can see the Ocean Beach pier in the distance.

As I walked along, I met Scotty Painta. He paints beautiful small scenes from Sunset Cliffs. We had a friendly chat and my day was enriched.

I met three lifeguards. They had slender ropes dangling down an almost vertical bluff. They were practicing cliff rescues. Jake told me a little about what they do. Thank you.

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A gigantic sandcastle in Imperial Beach!

An absolutely gigantic sandcastle is now being built at the foot of the Imperial Beach Pier!

The huge two-stories high sand sculpture, which is being referred to as the Monument Castle, is the centerpiece of this year’s week-long Sun and Sea Festival. Imperial Beach has become Sandcastle City!

The I.B. Posse, a team of local sand artists, began to build the castle a couple days ago. The sand carving will continue through this week.

I intend to swing by again next weekend to check out the finished sandcastle! I’ll post those pics in an update here!

UPDATE!

I swung by the following weekend after the huge sandcastle was completed. I see the I.B. Posse was assisted by the Sand Squirrels, Dan Belcher, Bruce Phillips and Sculpting San Diego.

Wow! 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!

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 colorful Sunday walk on Imperial Beach Pier.

Today I headed down to Imperial Beach to check out a sandcastle that is under construction at the foot of the IB Pier. This summer’s week-long Imperial Beach Sun and Sea Festival features one gigantic sand sculpture. (I’ll share those photos shortly!)

Because I was at the pier, of course I had to walk out on it.

These colorful photographs were taken during my Sunday stroll over the ocean. I walked out to the pier’s end, gazed at the sky and water for a while, then headed back to the beach.

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!