Online petition to reopen the Starlight Bowl.

A performance in the Ford Bowl (now the Starlight Bowl) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. No known copyright restrictions image from Flickr.
A performance in the Ford Bowl (now the Starlight Bowl) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. No known copyright restrictions image from Flickr.

The historic Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park has been out of operation since 2011. The organization Save Starlight has been working diligently to bring this beloved open air amphitheater back to life!

If you’d like to lend a hand, consider signing this online petition. Add your voice to others who urge the City of San Diego to grant Save Starlight a lease, so that they can begin the needed renovations and finally open to the public!

I added my name to the petition a moment ago. Will you?

You, too, can sign the petition, or learn more about the project, 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!

Carlsbad history at St. Michael’s By-the-Sea.

The fascinating history of Carlsbad includes its very first church, St. Michael’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, built in 1894.

St. Michael’s By-the-Sea is located on Carlsbad Boulevard at Christiansen Way, a block south of Magee Park.

During a recent adventure in San Diego’s North County, I walked around the church’s original structure, which stands by several other later buildings.

I paused to read this plaque…

The first church built in Carlsbad was St. Michael’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. Originally erected in 1894 overlooking the ocean on Oak Avenue, the quaint Gothic structure was moved to its current site in 1959 when Florence Shipley Magee donated an adjacent site for a new church.

Original redwood paneling, oak pews, and a Victorian pump organ are all still in good condition. The only alterations are a new entry, replacing one which led directly into the choir area at the front of the chapel, and a new heating and air conditioning system.

Far from being a relic of the past, the chapel is used for regular Sunday and weekday services as well as for weddings and funerals.

PLAQUE COURTESY OF THE CARLSBAD HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

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!

New beauty inside historic Santa Fe Depot.

I believe that efforts to revive the life and beauty of historically important buildings should be celebrated. So today let me celebrate a project underway inside San Diego’s historic 1915 Santa Fe Depot.

Earlier this week, as I was waiting for Jimmy at the Santa Fe Depot concession stand to microwave a burrito, I noticed some yellow tape. The enormous Waiting Room’s wooden benches were being sanded down and newly varnished!

When I walked through the depot this morning, the work had progressed. More of the benches were richly shining! Jimmy had informed me it took about one day to complete each bench.

The interior of an amazing space in downtown San Diego is becoming even more beautiful.

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!

A look inside Escondido’s Blacksmith & Wheelwright Shop.

Should you find yourself at Escondido’s Grape Day Park on a Saturday afternoon, be sure to walk over to that green corrugated metal building near the old train depot museum. You’ll be able to enjoy a look inside the Bandy Blacksmith & Wheelwright Shop and see instructors, students and Bandy Blacksmith Guild members at work!

I happened to be walking by a couple Saturdays ago, so I took these photographs.

Students were learning the basics of blacksmithing near one of the forges, and several friendly gentlemen were busy inside the woodworking shop building a dray wagon that will eventually hold a portable blacksmith shop for public demonstration.

You can learn much more about the Bandy Blacksmith Guild by clicking here. Perhaps sign up for a class!

The history of the Tom Bandy Blacksmith is complex and interesting. You can read about that history and learn how the present structure ended up in Grape Day Park by clicking here.

When I read the page concerning past projects of the Bandy Blacksmith Guild, I was surprised that guild members produced most of the metalwork for the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s replica Spanish galleon San Salvador. (Yes, the same ship that took part in Comic-Con last week! If you’d like to see photos of San Salvador being built, click here.)

Another past project of the Bandy Blacksmith Guild was the restoration of the San Diego Centennial Cannon, which I once photographed inside the Whaley House Museum. You can view a photograph of that historic cannon 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!

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 of Comic-Con 2022 from 40 stories high!

What does Comic-Con 2022 look like when seen from 40 stories high?

Like this!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

First huge building wrap for Comic-Con goes up!

A 20-story tall building wrap is now going up for 2022 Comic-Con!

This afternoon I spotted workers applying the enormous wrap on the Park 12 high-rise apartment building, which is near the parking lot where the Petco Park Interactive Zone will be located.

The building wrap appears to promote Teen Wolf the Movie, an upcoming feature film that will be streaming on Paramount+. At least, that’s my guess right now!

This will no doubt be the first of many gigantic building wraps to appear all around the San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con. That gives you an idea of how big this epic international event is!

I’ve also noted three large Disney banners hung a week or so ago on the parking garage of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. They promote a very different sort of entertainment: the Disney Cruise Line. The Disney Wonder cruise ship is homeported in San Diego!

(Fun fact! The ship HMS Surprise, of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, was used in the filming of the Disney movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides!)

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

Colorful faces painted in Old Town!

Two colorful faces have been painted on the second floor of the Courtyard on Congress building in Old Town. Both are by local artist Guillermo “memuco” Munro.

I saw these beautiful faces as I walked near the intersection of Congress Street and Twiggs Avenue early this morning. I was able to capture the artist’s signature, then I checked out his Instagram page, which is here.

It appears the murals were created back in January.

Memuco describes the female with ceremonial Kumeyaay face decoration as a woman that represents all nationalities. A being so beautiful and peaceful. With the most sincere smile in the Universe.

The second face is of Mexican painter Diego Rivera. He’s holding a Frida Kahlo doll, which the balcony concealed from my camera. Check out the artist’s Instagram page to see it all!

You can enjoy more of his great artwork that I’ve stumbled upon here (across the street) and 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!

San Diego’s downtown skyline changes again!

San Diego continues to grow. Over the years, our city’s downtown skyline keeps changing, becoming wider, denser, more varied. Some of the new construction has been along the waterfront.

I was out on a slow Embarcadero walk today when my eyes did a double take. I couldn’t believe how quickly IQHQ’s five building RaDD (Research and Development District) project is rising!

The future technology campus, a combination of lab, office and retail space, is being built on part of the property where the demolished Navy Broadway Complex stood.

I know developments like these are hotly debated. Among other considerations, certain bay views will become obstructed, while new views will open. Whatever your position is, the growth of downtown San Diego continues apace, and the changed skyline will probably feel more “ordinary” as memories fade.

UPDATE!

I took another photo from a different direction some time later. Here I’m standing near the corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway. The recently completed 17-story high-rise is Navy Building One.

And a few days later…

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!

A major Hollywood star’s connection to the Gaslamp.

To Kill a Mockingbird. Moby Dick. The Omen. Cape Fear. Roman Holiday. Twelve O’Clock High. The Boys from Brazil. The Guns of Navarone. Spellbound. The Yearling. Gentleman’s Agreement. On the Beach. The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

Gregory Peck was one of Hollywood’s very biggest stars.

In 1962 he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. During his film career, he received five Best Actor nominations.

Gregory Peck was born in La Jolla. He attended San Diego High School and San Diego State University (then called San Diego State Teacher’s College).

His father, Gregory Pearl Peck, was a chemist and pharmacist–who worked in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Market Street.

The McGurck Block, 1887.

From 1903 to 1984, the Ferris and Ferris Drug Store occupied this building. For a long time it was San Diego’s only all-night drug store and, for a period of time, actor Gregory Peck’s father worked as the night druggist. The building was also used as a post office and as a ticket booth for the Coronado Ferry. The upper rooms of this three-story Italiante [sic] Revival building were used for rented rooms and became known as the Hotel Monroe in 1929.

Gregory Peck with his father, from Photoplay (1945). Public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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!

Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison in North Park!

What in the world are Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison doing in North Park?

They’re decorating the exterior of the very unique San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s Substation F!

I happened to look up and see the two historical figures as I walked along the El Cajon Boulevard sidewalk just east of Iowa Street.

These gentleman made groundbreaking discoveries and inventions that remain important in our electricity dependent world. Both esteemed men, in North Park, are busts made of cast stone!

Learn more about SDG&E’s beautifully restored Station F, originally built in 1926, at this web page.

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!