Transit mural shows our common humanity.

Years ago a pair of murals were painted under Friars Road, one on either side of Mission Center Road. Both show scenes related to San Diego’s public transit system.

On one mural there is a bus; on the other, a trolley. People stand near a bus stop, or a trolley station, or walk along, or simply engage in busy urban living.

I looked at the time-stained murals this morning and realized they emphasize our common humanity.

Diverse figures appear as simple silhouettes. As you pass through the darkness under the Friars Road bridge, you see these outlines of ordinary citizens to your right and to your left. All moving through the city together.

I’ve tried to ascertain who painted these murals–they are signed Duff 1997. If anyone knows more about them, please leave a comment!

Camera in hand, I walked beside the murals and took photographs of the mysterious silhouettes.

We can’t see the faces. But we can absolutely see the humanity.

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!

Photos beneath I-805 bridge in Mission Valley.

Yesterday morning I jumped off the Green Line trolley at the Rio Vista station. I walked east over Qualcomm Way via the pedestrian bridge then continued down the little-used walkway that runs parallel to the trolley tracks.

I had never gone that way before.

The concrete walkway leads behind the Marriott Mission Valley and several large, gleaming office buildings and finally terminates by a parking lot directly beneath the very impressive I-805 freeway bridge.

I turned my camera upward and snapped photos beneath the tall landmark bridge!

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 public art in Middletown that nobody sees.

There’s some very cool public art in Middletown that almost nobody sees. You can find it at the intersection of Kettner Boulevard and West Palm Street, just east of the San Diego Trolley’s Middletown Station. A mosaic welcomes people to the ramp that ascends to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over Interstate 5.

Very few people use this pedestrian bridge. They are the only ones who are likely to see this public art. Drivers coming down Kettner might glimpse something, but it requires a good turn of the head at exactly the right moment. The artwork is on a wall tucked in a corner.

I don’t know who created this colorful mosaic. Some names are written on it. The mosaic is composed of tiles, stones, sculpted clay, beads, bits of glass. There are images of surfers, skateboarders, butterflies, flowers… There are wise sayings. It appears to be a community project. I’ve searched the internet but find nothing.

If you know more about this fantastic but mysterious public artwork, please leave a comment!

Thinking is more interesting than knowing but less interesting than looking...
Thinking is more interesting than knowing but less interesting than looking…
You cannot stop the waves but you can learn to surf.
You cannot stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

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 walk down Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail.

Sculpted tiles form beautiful mosaics that were created by artist Betsy Schulz. This is a red-tailed hawk.
Sculpted clay tiles form beautiful mosaics that were created by artist Betsy Schulz. This is a red-tailed hawk.

On Sunday I walked the length of Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail, which runs along the east side of Highway 101.

I was delighted to observe all sorts of colorful public art, beautiful flowers and trees, and even some unexpected poetry!

My walk was from south to north: from Via de la Valle up to a spot just beyond Ocean Street, where the trail through Solana Beach ends.

The pathway is extremely easy and flat. I saw many families riding bikes along it, and walkers and joggers, too.

Come along with me and read the photo captions.

Two arches by artist Betsy Schulz welcome walkers and riders to Solana Beach's Coastal Rail Trail at Highway 101 and Via de la Valle.
Two arches by artist Betsy Schulz welcome walkers and riders to Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail at Highway 101 and Via de la Valle.
Wild nature on one amazing arch.
Wild nature on one amazing arch.
Local history depicted on both arches includes the native Kumeyaay, who have lived in the region for thousands of years.
Local history depicted on both arches includes the native Kumeyaay, who have lived in the region for thousands of years.
The arrival of Spanish missionaries is depicted.
The arrival of Spanish missionaries is depicted.
The history of Solana Beach includes great upheavals and transformations, including the coming of the railroad.
The history of Solana Beach includes great upheavals and transformations, including the coming of the railroad.
Scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
Scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
More scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
More scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
The City of Solana Beach was incorporated in 1986.
The City of Solana Beach was incorporated in 1986.
Surfing on the timeless Pacific Ocean.
Surfing on the timeless Pacific Ocean.

You can see more public art by Betsy Schulz by clicking here and here.

As I continued north on the Coastal Rail Trail, I noticed what appeared to be a crescent moon on the pathway, and a poem by Walter de la Mare.
As I continued north on the Coastal Rail Trail, I noticed what appeared to be a crescent moon on the pathway, with a moon poem by Walter de la Mare.
A bit farther on I found another glistening moon. This one includes a poem by Emily Dickinson.
A bit farther on I found another glistening moon. This one includes a poem by Emily Dickinson.
I then came upon this colorful stained glass sunburst, standing between the pathway and nearby Highway 101!
I then came upon this colorful stained glass sunburst, standing between the pathway and nearby Highway 101!
Sunburst of Color, by artist Amber Irwin, 2005. Amber Irwin is a founding member of the Solana Beach Art Association.
Sunburst of Color, by artist Amber Irwin, 2005. Amber Irwin is a founding member of the Solana Beach Art Association.
A small garden beside the Coastal Rail Trail was bright with flowers.
A small garden beside the Coastal Rail Trail was bright on a late summer day with flowers.
An electrical box with colorfully painted artwork.
An electrical box with painted artwork.
Looking over a fence, I saw a Coaster rumbling up the train tracks that run parallel to the trail.
Looking over a fence, I saw a Coaster rumbling up the train tracks that run parallel to the trail.
Then I stumbled upon a third crescent moon, and a mysterious hat! This poem is also by Emily Dickinson.
Then I stumbled upon a third crescent moon, and a mysterious hat! This poem is also by Emily Dickinson.
A water fountain near steps to the Dahlia Drive pedestrian bridge that spans the train tracks. The fountain stands above colorful mosaics.
A water fountain near steps to the Dahlia Drive pedestrian bridge that spans the train tracks. The fountain stands above colorful mosaics.
This mosaic is a love gift from the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.
This mosaic is a love gift from the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.
A local youth group made these many cheerful flowers.
A local youth group made these many cheerful ceramic leaves and flowers.
Across the train track I spotted the huge, eye-catching mural by artist Lindu Prasekti. It's called Myths at Play.
Across the train track I spotted the huge, eye-catching mural by artist Lindu Prasekti. It’s titled Myths at Play.

You can learn more about this very cool mural by clicking here.

I'm passed by bicyclists who are also heading north.
I’m passed by bicyclists who are also heading north.
Sea life mosaics decorate concrete benches at the bus stop across from the Solana Beach train station. By artist Michelle Griffoul.
Sea life mosaics decorate concrete benches at the bus stop across from the Solana Beach train station. By artist Michelle Griffoul.

You can learn more about these eleven benches and see up close images of the sea life tiles by clicking here.

I've come to some steps leading down to the Solana Beach train station platform. Lots of passengers are waiting below.
I’ve come to some steps leading down to the Solana Beach train station platform. Lots of passengers are waiting below.
The visually interesting Solana Beach train station was designed by architect Rob Wellington Quigley, and was built in 1994.
The visually interesting Solana Beach train station was designed by architect Rob Wellington Quigley, and was built in 1994.
Another photo of people on the train platform below the Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach.
Another photo of people on a train platform below the Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach.
Some more colorful art on another electrical box beside the pathway.
Some more colorful art on another electrical box beside the pathway.
Red bougainvillea and the Cliff Street bridge over train tracks.
Red bougainvillea and the Cliff Street bridge over train tracks.
A City of Solana Beach plaque on the CLIFF STREET BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE.
A City of Solana Beach plaque on the CLIFF STREET BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE.
As I approached the northern end of Solana Beach, I saw a sign that reads RAIL TRAIL ENDS 500 FT. (At this time the trail doesn't continue into Cardiff-by-the-Sea.)
As I approached the northern end of Solana Beach, I saw a sign that reads RAIL TRAIL ENDS 500 FT. (At this time the trail doesn’t continue into Cardiff-by-the-Sea.)
In addition to the distant ocean, I see something interesting ahead.
In addition to the distant ocean, I see something interesting ahead.
A monument with a plaque stands in a small grove of Torrey Pine trees.
A monument with a plaque stands near an observation platform beside a small grove of Torrey Pine trees.
Some sculptural Torrey Pine artwork on the side of the monument.
Some sculptural Torrey Pine artwork on the side of the monument.
The plaque explains the history of these transplanted Torrey Pine trees. Figuring in that complicated history are billboards along the highway and train tracks.
The plaque explains the history of these few transplanted Torrey Pine trees. Figuring in that complicated history are billboards along the highway and the installation of train tracks.
More beautiful artwork, at the north end of Solana Beach's Coastal Rail Trail.
More beautiful artwork, at the north end of Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail.

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!

Light and shadow, above and below.

A long walk after work yesterday.

As I came to the pedestrian bridge over Harbor Drive, the late sunlight produced magic. The space through which I walked and the train tracks below appeared dreamlike.

My eyes were fascinated by light and shadow.

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!

Oil paintings created on San Diego train ride!

Travelling by a train is like moving through a dream. The window beside your seat produces ever-changing visions. Glimpses of the world blink past, one after another. Your eyes are subject to a series of momentary impressions.

It can be hard to capture good photographs when riding the train up the coast from San Diego. You’re moving, there’s a dusty window and reflections to deal with, and of course there’s the critical matter of timing. When I snapped photos yesterday during my Coaster train ride from San Diego to Encinitas, most of the images turned out badly blurred and poorly framed.

So I decided to use the Oilify filter of GIMP’s graphics software to transform the photos of my journey into a series of dreamlike oil paintings!

All aboard! We’re about to leave downtown’s Santa Fe Depot . . .

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!

Los Peñasquitos Lagoon between winter storms.

Debris has been washed by the ocean under the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon bridge at Torrey Pines State Beach.
Debris has been washed by the ocean under the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon bridge at Torrey Pines State Beach.

This morning, the day after a severe winter storm, I visited Torrey Pines State Beach and the ocean inlet to Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. Arriving at high tide, I found myself astonished by the incredible power of nature. Turbulent waves were crashing onto the pedestrian walkway under the North Torrey Pines Road bridge.

I spent some time exploring near the state park’s North Parking Lot and its entrance. I then headed north along a path at the edge of sandstone cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I took many photographs, striving to capture nature’s awesome power and beauty.

And more winter storms are on the way!

Please read the photo captions to learn a bit more about this special place.

A lifeguard keeps an eye on wild surf at Torrey Pines State Beach.
A lifeguard keeps an eye on wild surf at Torrey Pines State Beach.
The friendly lifeguard said that waves can wash over the walkway during high tide at this time of the year.
The friendly lifeguard said that waves can wash over the walkway during high tide at this time of the year.
The bridge over the lagoon inlet during a very high tide. The storm-disturbed water appeared very muddy.
The bridge over the lagoon inlet during a very high tide. The storm-disturbed water appeared very muddy.
An information sign was pushed over by high winds from yesterday's storm. The power of nature is displayed.
An information sign was pushed over by high winds from yesterday’s storm. The power of nature is displayed.
Open to the Ocean. Over time, the lagoon mouth has filled in and reopened, changed shape and relocated many times.
Open to the Ocean. Over time, the lagoon mouth has filled in and reopened, changed shape and relocated many times.
Across the lagoon to the south rises beautiful Torrey Pines State Reserve, home of the endangered Torrey pine, rarest pine tree in North America.
Across the lagoon to the south rises beautiful Torrey Pines State Reserve, home of the endangered Torrey pine, rarest pine tree in North America.
Looking west along Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. Light shines on a sheet of water swollen by high tide.
Looking west along Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. Light shines on a sheet of water swollen by high tide.
This coastal marsh in San Diego's North County is a special place where wildlife is abundant.
This coastal marsh in San Diego’s North County is a special place where wildlife is abundant.
The sandy beaches, sand dunes, sandstone cliffs and bluffs, provides the habitat for the Coastal Strand plant community.
The sandy beaches, sand dunes, sandstone cliffs and bluffs, provides the habitat for the Coastal Strand plant community.
A cheerful yellow bush sunflower.
A cheerful yellow bush sunflower.
Looking across the wetland toward the train bridge near the beach.
Looking across the wetland toward the train bridge near the beach.
Life in the Lagoon. Birds are the most commonly seen animals in the lagoon. Ample food and nesting materials allow many to live here year-round.
Life in the Lagoon. Birds are the most commonly seen animals in the lagoon. Ample food and nesting materials allow many to live here year-round.
A great egret stands in Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, patiently watching for fish in the water.
A great egret stands in Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, patiently watching for fish in the water.
People walk west from Carmel Valley Road into the North Beach Lot of Torrey Pines State Beach.
People walk west from Carmel Valley Road into the North Beach Lot of Torrey Pines State Beach.
Sign includes map of the San Diego Trans County Trail, which runs east from the ocean along Peñasquitos Creek, through Los Peñasquitos Canyon.
Sign includes map of the San Diego Trans County Trail, which runs east from the ocean along Peñasquitos Creek, through Los Peñasquitos Canyon.
Closed lifeguard Tower 5 at Torrey Pines State Beach is splashed by wild winter waves during high tide.
Closed lifeguard Tower 5 at Torrey Pines State Beach is splashed by wild winter waves during high tide.
Gazing down at powerful Pacific Ocean surf on a winter day between storms.
Gazing down at incoming Pacific Ocean surf on a winter day between storms.
Coaster train moves along tracks north of Torrey Pines State Beach, heading atop scenic sandstone cliffs into Del Mar.
Coaster train moves along tracks north of Torrey Pines State Beach, heading atop scenic sandstone cliffs into Del Mar.
A line of bicyclists head down Pacific Coast Highway from Del Mar toward Torrey Pines State Beach.
A line of bicyclists head down Pacific Coast Highway from Del Mar toward Torrey Pines State Beach.
Ocean waves crash toward the North Torrey Pines Road bridge over the entrance to Los Peñasquitos Lagoon.
Ocean waves crash toward the North Torrey Pines Road bridge over the entrance to Los Peñasquitos Lagoon.
Mud and debris under the bridge. The result of a strong winter storm and the mighty ocean.
Mud and debris under the bridge. The result of a strong winter storm and the mighty ocean.

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Visual complexity at Cesar Chavez Park pier.

During a recent walk out onto the pier at Cesar Chavez Park, my eyes were dazzled by the surrounding complexity.

The cranes of nearby barges and distant shipyards . . . the curving San Diego-Coronado Bridge . . . the various structures, rails and benches on the pier . . . all of these elements combined with reflections and shadows to create interesting geometric patterns.

I cropped and altered the contrast of many photos to make them even more visually abstract and thought-provoking.

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!

Photos of a walk up India Street in Middletown.

The Interstate 5 pedestrian overpass at Palm Street connects India Street to Kettner Boulevard. It is little used. The homeless sometimes make it their home.
The gritty Interstate 5 pedestrian overpass at Palm Street connects India Street to Kettner Boulevard. It is little used. The homeless sometimes make it their home.

Just a few quick urban photos.

My long walk today included a stretch along India Street in San Diego’s Middletown neighborhood. I sauntered up India Street from Palm Street to Vine Street, in order to check out something indescribably cool that I will soon blog about. I then turned about and returned to the pedestrian freeway overpass, where I crossed over to Kettner Boulevard and made my way to the nearby Middletown trolley station.

The road here is in constant motion, with loads of traffic to and from Interstate 5. As I headed up the sidewalk I passed a number of small businesses in plain, mostly unremarkable buildings. Looking eastward I observed a jumble of modest but colorful houses climbing the steep hill. From busy India Street, residential streets ascend a short distance toward the top of Bankers Hill, and Mission Hills to the north.

Stay tuned! I have many more photos coming from today’s adventure! There’s a good chance you’ll really enjoy the aforementioned super cool sight!

In addition, before I headed up India Street, I checked out a new park in Bankers Hill and learned about some incredible, little known San Diego history!

I also swung by Balboa Park. I’ll be posting those photos later on my other blog, Beautiful Balboa Park!

I hope you all are having a great weekend!

At first glance I thought some people were just hanging out above the freeway--but I was wrong! They were taking urban photographs with a model.
At first glance I thought some people were just hanging out above the freeway–but I was wrong! They were taking urban photographs with a model.
A stretch of India Street looking north from the overpass. Cars speed along continuously. As I proceeded up the opposite sidewalk for many blocks, I saw no other walkers.
A stretch of India Street looking north from the overpass. Cars speed along continuously. As I proceeded up the opposite sidewalk for many blocks, I saw no other walkers.
Bright clouds in an urban setting.
Bright clouds in an urban setting.
An interesting doorway beckons customers into the Starlite eatery.
An interesting doorway beckons customers from India Street into the Starlite eatery.
Cacti rise below electrical wires.
Cacti rise beneath electrical wires.
I'm approaching the Aero Club.
I’m approaching the Aero Club. It seems my camera was aimed upward quite a bit today.
Bold graphics on the white wall by their parking lot.
Bold graphics on the white wall by the bar’s parking lot.
Two golden mermaids above the front door of the Aero Club.
Two golden mermaids above the front door of the Aero Club.
It appears someone scratched many warnings, symbols, theories and ideas on a section of the sidewalk.
Someone scratched many warnings, symbols, concerns and thoughts on a section of the sidewalk. Where is that person now?
A fragment of sidewalk remains from 1914.
A fragment of sidewalk remains from 1914.
A colorful dinosaur on the building of Dyno Brand custom t-shirts!
A colorful dinosaur on the building of Dyno Brand custom t-shirts!

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!

Photos of San Diego River train track construction.

A crane and huge pipes are on Friars Road near the site of the San Diego River Double Track (SDRDT) project.
A crane and huge pipes on Friars Road near the site of the San Diego River Double Track (SDRDT) project.

Here are some interesting photos! A new railroad bridge is being installed across the San Diego River just north of the Old Town Transit Station, allowing the Coaster and Pacific Surfliner trains to run faster and more reliably. This work is called the San Diego River Double Track (SDRDT) project. I’ve watched the progress for several months during my daily trolley commute. This construction is being done ahead of another project to install trolley tracks across the river for the Mid-Coast Trolley Project, which will extend Blue Line service up to UCSD and University Towne Center (UTC) in La Jolla.

I took these photos last Saturday during my walk along Friars Road approaching the San Diego River Estuary. I’m no expert on this construction–I’m just an ordinary citizen who was fascinated by what I saw!

A series of three big storms is beginning in San Diego as I post this. Hopefully the flooding in Mission Valley where I work doesn’t get completely out of hand! I might post photos!

I noticed these huge green tanks along Friars Road.
I noticed these huge green tanks along Friars Road.
I also saw these huge coils of steel cable.
I also saw these huge coils of steel cable.
A big pile of dirt by the railroad bridge over the San Diego River where the double track work is taking place.
A big pile of dirt by the railroad bridge over the San Diego River where the double track work is taking place.
I believe the train bridge is being expanded along here. It looks like those tanks will be used to temporarily support new construction.
I believe new train tracks will be on the other side of the existing bridge you see in this photo.
Passing under the train tracks as I walk along a raised area beside Friars Road.
Passing under the train tracks as I walk along a raised area beside Friars Road.
Now I'm looking east at all sorts of construction equipment and material.
Now I’m looking east at all sorts of construction equipment, gravel and other material.
This thing looks like a huge drill! Perhaps its used for boring through the ground, but I'm not sure. If you know anything, leave a comment!
This thing looks like a huge drill! Perhaps its used for boring through the ground, but I’m not sure. If you know anything, leave a comment!

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!