See the history of rum at the Maritime Museum!

Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego view a display concerning the history of rum.
Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego view a display concerning the history of rum.

A cool new exhibit opened this weekend at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Rum: Sailors, Pirates and Prohibition follows the colorful history of rum, from its origin to the present day, with a focus on its surprising history in San Diego.

There are all sorts of interesting artifacts, old photographs and displays, as you can see from the few photos I took this afternoon. Among other things, visitors to the exhibition can learn how rum is made, about the use of rum by sailors, including those of the British Royal Navy, and how rum runners used sea caves in San Diego during Prohibition.

Anyone with a love for history should check it out!

Rum: Sailors, Pirates and Prohibition is a cool new exhibit inside the Steam Ferry Berkeley, at the Maritime Museum of San Diego!
Rum: Sailors, Pirates and Prohibition is a cool new exhibit inside the Steam Ferry Berkeley, at the Maritime Museum of San Diego!
A display in the Gould Eddy Gallery shows some of the coopering tools used in making oak rum barrels.
A display in the Gould Eddy Gallery shows some of the coopering tools used in making oak rum barrels.
Slave collars from the 18th century. Some believe African slaves in the Caribbean discovered the process of distilling the residue of sugar refining--molasses and sugarcane juice--into alcohol.
Slave collars from the 18th century. Some believe African slaves in the Caribbean discovered the process of distilling the residue of sugar refining–molasses and sugarcane juice–into alcohol.
A display features an explanation of grog and rum on British Royal Navy ships. Grog was rum diluted with water to prevent drunkenness. The grog ration was abolished in 1970.
A display features an explanation of grog and rum on British Royal Navy ships. Grog was rum diluted with water to prevent drunkenness. The grog ration was abolished in 1970.
Old photo of the Malahat, the Queen of Rum Row. The five-masted schooner successfully delivered rum and other spirits along the West Coast during Prohibition.
Old photo of the Malahat, the Queen of Rum Row. The five-masted schooner successfully delivered rum and other spirits along the West Coast during Prohibition.
Local sea caves and coves in La Jolla and Sunset Cliffs were used at hideouts for rum runners arriving from Mexico during Prohibition.
Local sea caves and coves in La Jolla and Sunset Cliffs were used at hideouts for rum runners arriving from Mexico during Prohibition.
Photos of the Monte Carlo, San Diego's Prohibition era floating casino. In 1937 it became beached on Coronado during a winter storm. Her wreckage can still be seen underwater at low tide.
Photos of the Monte Carlo, San Diego’s Prohibition era floating casino. In 1937 it became beached on Coronado during a winter storm. Her wreckage can still be seen underwater at low tide.
Photos of Blind Pigs and Speakeasies. A Speakeasy sold alcohol during Prohibition, and provided entertainment. Their drinks were tastier than the poisonous rums and moonshines concocted in bathtubs.
Blind Pigs and Speakeasies. A secretive Speakeasy sold alcohol during Prohibition, plus provided its guests with entertainment. Drinks were tastier than the poisonous rums and moonshines concocted in bathtubs.
A photograph of anti-alcohol activists taken during Prohibition. Lips that touch liquor shall not touch ours!
A photograph of anti-alcohol activists taken during Prohibition. Lips that touch liquor shall not touch ours!
Display celebrates the rise of local San Diego distilleries. Our city is now considered the craft beer capital of the United States.
Display celebrates the rise of local San Diego distilleries. Our dynamic city is now considered the craft beer capital of the United States.

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 share and enjoy!

Cool new artwork appears at the Quartyard!

A huge shark has appeared at the Quartyard in East Village!
A huge shark has appeared at the Quartyard in East Village!

Some cool new urban artwork has appeared at the Quartyard since my last visit. Some day I need to grab a bite here, or attend an event! Looks like a really fun place!

New urban artwork in the Quartyard gathering place at the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street in San Diego.
New urban artwork in the Quartyard gathering place at the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street in San Diego.
Impermanence is the only permanent in life. So embrace that nothing should be clung to as I, me, or mine.
Impermanence is the only permanent in life. So embrace that nothing should be clung to as I, me, or mine.
Picnic table in the Quartyard reads beer, next to a planter with fun artwork.
Picnic table in the Quartyard reads beer, next to a planter with fun artwork.
Several planters have their sides painted with whimsical faces. These are eating food-like letters and pulling tongues.
Several planters have their sides painted with whimsical faces. These characters are eating food-like letters and pulling tongues.
More happy, silly faces.
More happy, silly faces.
Lots of tongue pulling going on.
Lots of tongue pulling going on.
Tired tongues dangling.
Tired tongues dangling.
Just plain silly.
Just plain silly.
A mural by the Quartyard stage attracts attention.
A mural by the Quartyard stage attracts attention.
Keep going! You got this! Yay!
Keep going! You got this! Yay!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Bits of humor glimpsed downtown!

Geeks who drink.
Geeks who drink.

Walking around downtown San Diego, you never quite know what you’ll find. Some sights merit a quick chuckle, or a roll of the eyes.  Sometimes laughter erupts!

Guy in suit with briefcase seems desperate to escape from this building.
Guy in suit with briefcase seems desperate to escape from this building.
I hate tacos said no Juan ever.
I hate tacos said no Juan ever.
Pirate Pac-Man! Arrrr!
Pirate Pac-Man! Arrrr!
Beer . . . ask your doctor if it's right for you.
Beer . . . ask your doctor if it’s right for you. (Be mindful of possible side effects.)
More espresso, less depresso.
More espresso, less depresso.
STD Construction - We're Contagious
STD Construction – We’re Contagious
All of me loves all of you (when you do the dishes).
All of me loves all of you (when you do the dishes).
Fried, my second favorite f-word.
Fried, my second favorite F-word.
Reggae Dog!
Reggae Dog!
Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.
Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.

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!

Funny Irish pub signs in San Diego.

If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough.
If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us! Here are a few warm and funny Irish pub signs that I’ve spotted while walking around downtown San Diego.

I can resist anything but temptation.
I can resist anything but temptation.
Sláinte! A toast to good luck and good health. Whatever your beverage, be sure and raise a glass in toast to St. Patrick, to the Irish and to yourself.
Sláinte! A toast to good luck and good health. Whatever your beverage, be sure and raise a glass in toast to St. Patrick, to the Irish and to yourself.
Here's to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold beer and another one!
Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold beer and another one!
Drink up! It makes other people more interesting. (I think I spotted this in front of an Irish pub. Or perhaps it was just an ordinary San Diego bar.)
Drink up! It makes other people more interesting. (I think I spotted this in front of an Irish pub. Or perhaps it was just an ordinary San Diego bar.)
Lovely day for a Guinness. Especially if you're a horse enjoying a nice leisurely ride.
Lovely day for a Guinness. Especially if you’re a horse enjoying a nice leisurely ride.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? Please visit Short Stories by Richard.

Burgers, Bait and Beer now served at a pier!

Brand new artwork enlivens a favorite place on San Diego's Embarcadero.
Brand new artwork enlivens a familiar place on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

For over a year the small food concession at the foot of the Embarcadero Marina Park South Pier has been vacant. JJ’s Sunset Deli by the Bay shut down at the end of 2014. So I was surprised during my walk today to see another business has finally moved in! And I learned the new eatery with the same cool patio has been open for only four days!

Burgers, Bait and Beer looks like a great, relaxed place to kick back. The guys I met were very friendly. And the light salad I had was really good. I’m told their hamburgers are superb. So I guess I’ll have to try one next weekend!

Burgers, Bait and Beer can be found at the foot of the Embarcadero Marina Park South Pier, behind the convention center!
Burgers, Bait and Beer can be found at the foot of the Embarcadero Marina Park South Pier, behind the San Diego Convention Center!
A pair of standup paddleboarders have passed under the Embarcadero Marina Park South Pier, one of my favorite places to visit on San Diego Bay.
A pair of standup paddleboarders have passed under the Embarcadero Marina Park South Pier, one of my favorite places to visit on San Diego Bay.
This cool artistic heron is part of the decor at the new outdoor cafe, tackle and bait shop.
This cool artistic heron is part of the decor at the new outdoor cafe, tackle and bait shop.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk. Once in a while I happen upon an unexpected discovery!

You can enjoy more Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

2014 Over The Line (OTL) World Championship!

Arriving at the long-time OTL venue on Fiesta Island.
Arriving at the long-time OTL venue on Fiesta Island.

Shame on me. I’ve lived in San Diego a good chunk of my life, and I’ve never headed to Fiesta Island to experience the legendary fun of OTL. Well, I finally went early this morning!

Over The Line, commonly called OTL, is a San Diego original, a unique beach game that every year seems to gain in popularity. Played on the sand, it resembles a simple version of softball with no baserunners. You must hit the ball over “the line” and between two foul lines, and not have it be caught, which would result in an out. Three innings, three outs. While the rules are a bit more complicated, that’s the gist of it.

The OTL World Championship has become a local institution.  It’s played on Fiesta Island, which is located near the center of Mission Bay. It’s put on by OMBAC, the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club. The highly anticipated annual summer event is now 61 years old! But you might never guess this spectacle was so venerable, given its outlandish party atmosphere and the sheer raunchiness of the crowd.

Team names are often juvenile and sexually explicit, to the extent you’d probably just roll your eyes. But it’s all very good-natured and amusing. The crowd is composed largely of males in their 20’s and 30’s, and beer is chugged freely everywhere, as it’s BYOB. I suppose as the day progresses, the crowd becomes more randy–I’ll admit that’s one reason I swung by so early in the morning. That and the avoidance of a hot afternoon!

The tournament goes on for two weekends. This first weekend is for the amateurs; on the second weekend the teams and the play become more serious.

I’m glad I checked it out. Now I know what I’ve missed all these years!

Follow me as I arrive from the shuttle bus around seven in the morning. The sun hasn’t broken through the clouds yet…

Old Mission Beach Athletic Club truck and banner.
Walking past an Old Mission Beach Athletic Club truck and banner.
People stand as day begins with the national anthem.
People stand as day begins with the national anthem.
Official OTL programs for sale near the entrance.
Official OTL programs for sale near the entrance.
Miss Emerson Headquarters is on sandy Emerson Street.
Miss Emerson Headquarters is on sandy Emerson Street.

As you might guess, there’s a bikini contest, and every year the winner is titled Miss Emerson.

Scoreboard for 61st World Championship of Over The Line.
Scoreboard for 61st World Championship of Over The Line.
Players and teams check the official schedule board.
Players and teams check the official schedule board.
Early in the morning many people are arriving.
Early in the morning and many people are arriving with chairs and coolers.
The OTL tournament doesn't begin until seven thirty.
The OTL tournament doesn’t begin until seven thirty.
San Diego Parrot Head Club lounge is still empty.
San Diego Parrot Head Club lounge is still empty at this early hour.
Guy checks out some silly, raunchy posters.
Guy checks out some silly, very raunchy posters.
A player practices fielding a batted ball.
A player practices fielding a batted ball.
The huge tournament finally begins in earnest!
The huge OTL tournament finally begins in earnest!
OTL ball is to be struck into a narrow outfield.
Ball is to be struck into a narrow outfield.
Lots more people will arrive throughout the day.
Lots more people will arrive throughout the day.
Some old guys just kicking back on the sand.
Some old guys just kicking back on the sand.
Marines from color guard pass on an OMBAC cart.
Marines from opening ceremony color guard pass on an OMBAC cart.
The t-shirt gardens shack is becoming more active.
The t-shirt gardens shack is becoming more active.
Hundreds of games of OTL will be played here over two weekends.
Hundreds of games of OTL will be played here over two weekends.
San Diego's sunny Fiesta Island is the home to Over The Line.
San Diego’s sunny Fiesta Island is the home to Over The Line.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

The historic Mission Brewery in Middletown.

Mission Revival style brewery was built in 1912.
Mission Revival style brewery was built in 1912.

A very cool building is located in San Diego’s Middletown neighborhood, near the intersection of Washington Street and Interstate 5. Here are a few photos I took the other morning!

The historic building, dating from 1912, was the first brewery in the United States to be built in the Mission Revival Style. Today it remains the only Mission Revival industrial building in San Diego.

Briefly, prior to Prohibition, a non-alcoholic drink called Hopski was produced here. The large building then served as an isolation hospital during the 1918 flu pandemic. Later it was converted into an agar plant. Today the historic landmark is a part of Mission Brewery Plaza, whose buildings contains professional offices and a new craft brewery called Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment.

The building has served many purposes over the years.
The building has served many purposes over the years.
Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment now occupies this area.
Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment now occupies this area.
Where beer is made today.
Where beer is made today.
Old production vat now is an outside fountain.
Old production vat now is an outside fountain.
A very cool building!
A very cool building!

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.