Riding trains, streetcars, and San Diego history.

Like many American cities, San Diego’s dynamic past is filled with all sorts of fascinating trains and streetcars.

Over the years, while exploring San Diego County, I’ve learned much about the local history of rail transportation. I’ve taken photographs while riding an old train through the mountains east of San Diego, while riding a restored streetcar downtown, while visiting several historic stations and depots, and at amazing railroad museums. I even attended the big centennial event of the San Diego and Arizona Railway!

If you love old trains and streetcars, be sure to check out the following blog posts! They contain all sorts of unique photos, and you’ll find a fair amount of interesting historical information.

Click the following links to see many past photographs!

A ride on the San Diego and Arizona Railway!

Photos of San Diego and Arizona Railway centennial!

Cool pics of old La Mesa railroad depot and train!

A short architectural tour of the Santa Fe Depot.

Historical exhibit inside San Diego’s Santa Fe Depot.

Hundred year old photos of Santa Fe Depot.

Photos of National City Depot museum and streetcars!

A peek inside National City’s Historic Railcar Plaza.

Take a cool ride on an old, restored streetcar!

Art and history at Lemon Grove Trolley Depot!

A walk around the Escondido History Center.

Beauty and history in Carlsbad Village.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

Cool photo memories from November 2015.

Well, it’s Election Day, and the suspense is building, so I doubt many will be reading these words. But if you want a short break from the non-stop politics, you might enjoy checking out a few old blog posts from five years ago.

Probably the most fun thing I did back in November 2015 was watch the Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon. I also looked at an extremely interesting exhibit in the Central Library’s gallery concerning Charles Hatfield, the legendary rainmaker who “produced” more rain in San Diego than anyone bargained for in 1916.

Click the following links to enjoy a few old blog posts…

Mural in Cesar Chavez Park depicts local history.

Veteran’s Day celebrated in Balboa Park.

Photos of a nature walk in Tijuana River Estuary.

Fun photos of the Mother Goose Parade!

Art exhibit: water, drought, and San Diego’s rainmaker.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

Cool photo memories from October 2015.

Ready to relive some amazing memories? October 2015 was a very eventful month for Cool San Diego Sights!

Among other things, I took photos of San Diego’s first ever Maker Faire in Balboa Park, including a gigantic fire-breathing robot; a religious procession through Little Italy as the tuna fleet received its traditional yearly blessing; and colorful Balboa Park-themed chalk art at Little Italy’s Festa.

I also had my first look at the seldom visited USS Bennington Memorial Grove in Balboa Park and the historic Mason Street School in Old Town, and I learned about the history of a Navy plaque near the USS Midway Museum that nobody seemed to know anything about!

Click the following links to revisit blog posts from five years ago and enjoy lots of cool photos!

Super cool photos of San Diego’s first Maker Faire!

Photos of Little Italy procession to bless tuna fleet.

USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park.

Amazing Balboa Park chalk art at Little Italy’s Festa!

Creating a plaque: Navy history in San Diego revealed!

Life in 1865 at Old Town’s Mason Street School.

Unusual new public art at Little Italy trolley station.

Thriller flash mob scares Balboa Park visitors!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

A short story about a paintbrush and magic.

Anyone could participate in painting a small square in this large mural!

It has been months since I promoted my blog Short Stories by Richard, but I just now published a new short story titled Father’s Paintbrush, and I think some readers might enjoy it.

Like several other stories I’ve written, it has a surprising O. Henry-like ending!

If you’re interested, you can read this small work of fiction about life, learning and magic by clicking here.

I have more photographs taken yesterday at Presidio Park coming up, so stay tuned!

Where will I walk today? I haven’t decided!

Cool photo memories from September 2015.

Five years ago in September a whole lot of activity could be found in San Diego. No coronavirus pandemic back then! I must’ve been really busy walking around the city, checking out cool events, because I posted lots of photographs!

Following are links to a variety of interesting blog posts from five years ago.

As you can see, there was a US Sand Sculpting Challenge and Festival of Sail the Labor Day weekend of 2015. And there were other great events that September, including Fiestas Patrias in Old Town, the Trolley Dances, and the Pacific Islander Festival. On top of that, a unique new city park had just opened in East Village and a huge fantastic mural had been painted downtown…

Click the following links for lots of fun photos!

Team USA Olympics sand sculpture in San Diego!

Museum exhibit brings Coney Island to San Diego!

Beautiful tall ships visit San Diego for Festival of Sail!

Listen to the Earth whisper at Fault Line Park!

Photos of Fiestas Patrias in Old Town San Diego.

Photos of Coastal Cleanup Day in Ocean Beach!

Get out of jail free at old police headquarters!

Fun photos of Trolley Dances in water fountain!

Smiles, life and culture at Pacific Islander Festival!

Cool new parking garage mural in downtown San Diego!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

A lesson I have learned from blogging.

Never stop flying.
Never stop flying.

This coming Sunday, Cool San Diego Sights turns seven years old.

Seven years doing this? Unbelievable.

Starting a blog and watching it grow very, very slowly over many years has taught me an important lesson about life. Patience and perseverance might be the two most important keys to success.

While having fun and doing things that I love–walking and writing–I have spent literally thousands of hours working on Cool San Diego Sights. A good chunk of my life has been spent taking and selecting photos, cropping and adjusting them, doing research, being a detective, plotting out future blogs, making corrections, being obsessive/compulsive, providing updates, pulling out my hair (what’s left of it), periodically wondering if I should quit this sometimes tedious exercise…

And now, to my complete surprise, I find myself getting traffic from Google News, News Break, Chrome’s suggested articles, and a remarkable variety of major websites.

As a result of Cool San Diego Sights’ growing success, one of my other websites, Short Stories by Richard, is being visited by students from classrooms around the world. Most are reading my little story One Thousand Likes, which I’m told might be used in an upcoming twelfth grade textbook produced by one of the world’s most prestigious publishers.

Pinch me.

Is this real?

To think this thing started on a whim. I’ve always walked. I had an unused little camera. I created a simple, easy WordPress blog. I figured I’d post a photo and a few words once in a while.

So if you’re a blogger or writer out there in a ridiculously enormous world that contains billions of web pages, and you’ve begun to wonder if it’s really worth the effort–keep at it! Don’t give up! Do your best! Stay passionate! Write well, be truthful, be original, be creative, be smart, be curious, understand and appeal to your readers’ humanity, and remember to always maintain your sense of humor!

And never lose hope! Because you never know!

Mysteries in San Diego: solved and unsolved!

Occasionally during my walks around San Diego I stumble upon a mystery. Often there’s a solution to the mystery that I eventually discover; other more difficult mysteries remain unsolved.

It can be exciting to suddenly encounter the unknown!

Because it was too darn hot and muggy to be out walking today, and because I might not go walking for a few days, I thought we might travel back in time and review a variety of past mysteries. Several of these are still unsolved.

As always, if you know something that I don’t know, please leave a comment!

These mysteries still persist. Armchair detectives, get ready!

For the mystery of a vanished grave marker containing the name of an early San Diego character who was shot in the back, click here.

For the mystery of public art that few people see, that appears to be attributed to nobody in particular, click here.

For the mystery of old, faded signs on downtown San Diego buildings, click here.

For the mystery of musicians that were painted on downtown windows (and which have since vanished) click here!

The following mysteries were eventually solved!

For the mystery of an inexplicable lighthouse on an Old Town sidewalk, click here.

For the mystery of a fountain hidden in an almost never seen corner of Balboa Park, click here.

For the mystery of what seemed a forgotten Navy plaque on the Embarcadero, click here.

For the mystery of strange reflections on San Diego Bay, click here. (This mystery was my own photographic creation, but you might enjoy attempting to identify the reflections.)

For the infinite mystery contained in an ingenious invention that mimics the structure of the universe, click here and here.

And finally, for the mystery of a bloody crime scene that must be solved again and again, click 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!

Cool photo memories from August 2015.

Another month has slipped away already? Summer is halfway over? The days fly quickly!

Well, I suppose it’s time to once again turn the clock back and recall what I was blogging about five years ago.

In August 2015 a whole bunch of interesting things were going on in San Diego!

In Old Town the early trades of San Diego came to life again, and Mark Twain and other famous authors seemed to rise from the dead! On the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, an extraordinary Moby Dick reading marathon activated the imagination of those who listened. In Balboa Park, a special exhibit retold the history of the Spanish Village colony of artists, and suffragettes went on a march! At Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers were still in San Diego and putting on their annual FanFest!

And much more was happening all over the city, from Hillcrest to Chula Vista! Of course, I also saw a lot of fascinating activity downtown during my walks.

It was one very fun month!

Click the following links to see many photos!

Trades That Shaped the West live on in Old Town.

White whale glimpsed from deck of world’s oldest sailing ship.

History of Spanish Village artists in Balboa Park.

Photos of San Diego Chargers 2015 FanFest.

Photos of art come to life at CityFest in Hillcrest.

Twain and classic literary characters roam Old Town!

Workers install engraved name pavers at Broadway Pier.

Fishermen unroll a huge net onto Tuna Harbor pier.

Photos of good times at Chula Vista’s HarborFest!

Suffrage rally and parade celebrates 19th Amendment.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

A handful of problematic photos!

I didn’t know what to do with these photos!

They were taken all over San Diego–some recently, some years ago.

This evening I’m purging hundreds of old files from my computer. And I thought it would be a shame to not share these!

So now, for your viewing pleasure, in completely random order, I present this handful of problematic 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!

An oddly colorful building in Little Italy!

Another avid walker and blogger, icelandpenny, saw my post from yesterday and noticed a colorful building in one photograph.

This morning I walked through Little Italy past that unusual building to get a closer look.

Seen from one side, the coloring of the building’s front on Union Street is a little bit like a crazy quilt. In my opinion, the cheerful way it has been painted is both a lot of fun and uniquely attractive!

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!