Walking around the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

The beautiful Old Point Loma Lighthouse and the nearby Assistant Keepers Quarters building at Cabrillo National Monument.
The beautiful Old Point Loma Lighthouse and the nearby Assistant Keepers Quarters building at Cabrillo National Monument.

I’ve visited Cabrillo National Monument many times over the years. I’ve blogged about it on several occasions. It’s one of the most wonderful places in San Diego.

Today, September 30, is National Public Lands Day, so admission to Cabrillo National Monument was free all day.

I grabbed my camera, jumped into my car and drove this morning to the tip of the Point Loma peninsula. Once again, I wanted to enjoy some amazing views and a pleasant walk above the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. Most of my time was spent around the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

To see and learn more about the lighthouse, including its interior and the adjacent museum, and to enjoy other fascinating aspects of Cabrillo National Monument, please feel free to explore Cool San Diego Sights.

The historic Old Point Loma Lighthouse is a major attraction at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego.
The historic Old Point Loma Lighthouse is a major attraction at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego.
Visitor to Cabrillo National Monument looks up at the lighthouse.
Visitor to Cabrillo National Monument looks up at the lighthouse.
Built in 1855 at the end of the Point Loma peninsula, above the entrance to San Diego Bay, the old lighthouse used to guide sailors to safety with a powerful fresnel lens.
Built in 1855 at the end of the Point Loma peninsula, above the entrance to San Diego Bay, the old lighthouse used to guide sailors to safety with a powerful fresnel lens.
Walking around the old lighthouse is a wonderful experience, with amazing views in all directions.
Walking around the old lighthouse is a wonderful experience, with amazing views in all directions.
The cluster of trees near the Old Point Loma Lighthouse are rare Torrey pines, which are native to this region.
The cluster of trees near the Old Point Loma Lighthouse are rare Torrey pines, which are native to this region.
Walking along the cliffside trail north of the lighthouse.
Walking along the cliffside trail north of the lighthouse.
Someone sits high above the blue Pacific Ocean enjoying the cool breeze and natural beauty.
Someone sits high above the blue Pacific Ocean enjoying the cool breeze and natural beauty.
South of the lighthouse, people walk toward the gray whale migration overlook.
South of the lighthouse, people walk toward the gray whale migration overlook.
Visitors to Cabrillo National Monument scan the watery horizon for ships and whales.
Visitors to Cabrillo National Monument scan the watery horizon for ships and whales.
A park ranger and volunteers were removing non-native plants. Invasive species can crowd out native species.
A park ranger and volunteers were removing non-native plants among dry stalks of California sunflower and buckwheat. Invasive species can crowd out native species.
People approach the handsome lighthouse from the south.
People approach the handsome lighthouse from the south.
Photo of Old Point Loma Lighthouse, the small museum beside it and the large Rain Catchment Basin.
Photo of Old Point Loma Lighthouse, the small museum beside it and the large Rain Catchment Basin.
Visitors to San Diego are strongly encouraged to enjoy some time at Cabrillo National Monument. A very special place.
Visitors to San Diego are strongly encouraged to enjoy some time at Cabrillo National Monument. It’s a very special place, with many paths to walk.

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!

Strange fragments of morning light downtown.

Early this morning I walked through downtown.

As I descended Cortez Hill, the sun ascended. Color flared from the eastern horizon.

I walked west down B Street for several blocks, then zigged over to Broadway, then zagged back to C Street. My destination was the Santa Fe Depot.

Slanting light ricocheted off windows, around shadows, and through a maze of towering buildings. Fragments of light appeared mysteriously everywhere.

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!

San Diego Convention Center stripped of sails!

Replacement of the San Diego Convention Center’s white “sails” is underway. The old fiberglass sails, dating from the time when the beautiful convention center debuted in 1989, have been removed.

Without the Sails Pavilion’s roof, which shelters the enormous 90,000 square foot exhibit space below, the glass walls, the supporting structures and crisscrossing cables combine with levels of scaffolding to form something that resembles an unusual crystal lattice. Which makes for intriguing photographs!

This afternoon I walked across the top of the San Diego Convention Center and took a close look for myself. As you can see, one can discern all sorts of unique patterns. The geometric complexity is a delight for the eye.

If you find yourself in downtown San Diego, check it out for yourself!

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!

Visually interesting photos of downtown buildings.

I have a tendency to take photos of everything and anything while I’m walking. Sometimes I’m surprised at the results!

Here are some visually interesting photos of buildings in downtown San Diego. You’ll find reflections in windows, strange shadows, and splashes of light. There are unusual shapes, surprising contrasts, and a few delightful discoveries.

Every walk through downtown is an optical adventure!

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!

I support restoring the Palisades in Balboa Park.

Some supporters of Balboa Park, including The Committee of One Hundred, would like to restore the Palisades area of the park to its former glory. I learned about this visionary effort on Labor Day while grabbing some napkins at the cafe inside the Casa de Balboa. A stack of postcards had been placed nearby. I picked one up. Here’s a photo:

Photos on a postcard created by The Committee of One Hundred shows Balboa Park's Palisades area in 1935 and 2017.
A postcard created by The Committee of One Hundred shows Balboa Park’s Palisades area in 1935 and 2017.

As you can see, in 1935, during the California Pacific International Exposition, the Palisades contained spacious lawns, flowers and benches where today you’ll find a large ugly parking lot.

Sounds familiar? For decades the Plaza de Panama on El Prado contained a similarly ugly parking lot. But after that parking lot’s removal and replacement with tables, umbrellas, potted greenery and public art, the Plaza de Panama has become a bustling hub of activity full of people enjoying the sunny San Diego outdoors, as was originally intended.

Now back to the Palisades area. After a little more research, I’ve learned The Committee of One Hundred is already working to replace the four long-lost murals that used to be above the entrance of the 1935 California State Building, which is home to the San Diego Automotive Museum. To see more about that project, check out The Committee of One Hundred’s 2017 newsletter.

Given what I’ve read and know, I must say I’m in full agreement with the idea of restoring the Palisades. The parking lot is an absolute eyesore and many of the surrounding buildings appear bare and decayed. Most people who park here don’t linger. They immediately head in the direction of El Prado.

The Palisades parking lot seems completely unnecessary. Today, without spending a penny in construction, it appears to me there’s already plenty of parking across Park Boulevard south of the Veterans Museum–that huge lower lot is usually mostly empty. Simply add signage and one or two more stops for the parking shuttle.

When San Diego Comic-Con opens their new museum in the Federal Building next year, I imagine many more visitors will be drawn into the Palisades area. It seems to me the energetic people at Comic-Con International and other museums who would greatly benefit from a revitalization of the Palisades–the San Diego Air and Space Museum in particular–could use their considerable combined influence to help speed a beautiful restoration.

And why must it be an exact restoration? Why not add more flowers, some new outdoor art, and even a lively, splashing fountain? Why not both restore history and make history? Balboa Park should be forward-looking, optimistic, alive! San Diego’s world-renowned gem could shine even more brightly! Just imagine!

Photos outside beautiful new downtown courthouse.

Gazing up from Union Street at the unique new Superior Court building in downtown San Diego.
Gazing up from Union Street at the unique new Superior Court building in downtown San Diego.

Yesterday I walked past our beautiful new downtown courthouse. The opening of the high tech half billion dollar San Diego Central Courthouse has faced several delays, but the very unique exterior has already added more character to San Diego’s gleaming skyline.

Here are some photos. The rooftop canopy is rather unusual, as you can see. The crystal-like lattice of geometric reflections and shadows that it produces delights the eye.

The new San Diego Central Courthouse is nearly completed. It stands north across the C Street trolley tracks from the Hall of Justice.
The new San Diego Central Courthouse is nearly completed. It stands north across the C Street trolley tracks from the Hall of Justice. A pedestrian bridge connects both buildings.
Flags in a pleasant breeze. The new courthouse, most expensive in California, has faced various construction delays.
Flags in a pleasant breeze. The new courthouse, most expensive in California, has faced various construction delays.
This Superior Courthouse of California is across Union Street from the old courthouse, which will be torn down.
This new Superior Court of California building is across Union Street from the old, less-functional courthouse, which will be torn down.
Fascinating reflections and shadows on glass windows beneath a projecting rooftop canopy.
Fascinating reflections and shadows on glass windows beneath a projecting rooftop canopy.

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!

Luxury buildings under construction on Ash Street.

A new building is rising at the corner of Ash Street and Kettner Boulevard.
A new building is rising at the corner of Ash Street and Kettner Boulevard.

Many new buildings are rising in downtown San Diego.

Yesterday I walked east from the Embarcadero along Ash Street and took photos of three projects: the Savina luxury condo building, the LUMA luxury apartment building, and a new, elegant Carté Hotel.

Savina is a 36-story high-rise building containing luxury condos, coming to downtown San Diego.
Savina is a 36-story high-rise building containing luxury condos, coming to downtown San Diego.
Photo of Savina construction from intersection of Ash and Kettner.
Photo of Savina construction from intersection of Ash and Kettner.
As I walked east up Ash I noticed some bicyclists looking around. Up ahead to the left is more construction.
As I walked east up Ash I noticed some bicyclists looking around. Up ahead to the left is more construction.
I'm heading up the sidewalk and getting closer.
I’m heading up the sidewalk and getting closer.
A concrete mixer truck turns the corner at Ash Street and Columbia Street. Under construction is LUMA, an apartment building opening in Fall 2018 according to their website.
A concrete mixer truck turns the corner at Ash Street and Columbia Street. Under construction is LUMA, an apartment building opening in Fall 2018 according to their website.
What LUMA will look like when completed.
What LUMA will look like when completed.
Construction worker atop the rising luxury apartment building.
Construction worker atop the rising luxury apartment building.
A third construction site is visible as I walk east on Ash.
A third construction site is visible as I walk east on Ash.
A prestigious new 240-room Carté Hotel is coming to 401 W. Ash in Little Italy in Fall 2018.
A prestigious new 240-room Carté Hotel is coming to 401 W. Ash in Little Italy in Fall 2018.
This downtown construction is still in the early stages!
The Carté Hotel downtown construction is still in the early stages!

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 interesting photos around San Diego!