And still I rise.

The pace of construction in downtown San Diego hasn’t appeared to lag during the coronavirus pandemic. The city grows and grows.

Even in times that seem dark, a human urge to press forward does not die.

I took these few photographs during my walk this morning.

And still I rise…

And still I rise.
And still I rise.

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!

Friday in the Gaslamp during the pandemic.

The Gaslamp Quarter early this evening appeared almost like a ghost town. Partly boarded up. Mostly lifeless. Very unlike Fridays before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic, huge crowds of people would fill the streets on a late Friday or weekend. The restaurants, bars and nightclubs would be packed. But those good times and that party atmosphere have suddenly ended.

I took photos early this evening around 6 pm as I walked up Fifth Avenue through the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.

The mermaid and those hopeful, thankful messages you see in two upcoming photographs were in front of the Starbucks at the Hard Rock Hotel. They are one of the few places that are open. A nice lady came out, hoping for business. I promised her I’d let my readers know that Starbucks is open. But you must wear a mask.

A few restaurants up and down Fifth Avenue were offering take out, but I saw virtually no business. Almost no people were about, even as California and San Diego slowly lift the pandemic lockdowns and allow businesses to reopen under certain conditions.

I wonder how many of these establishments will survive.

Before the pandemic, many of the businesses in the Gaslamp had a tough enough time of it. Between the many homeless who drive potential customers away, and the sky high rents, I’ve been told it can be difficult to keep doors open. In recent years I’ve seen storefronts constantly change, and FOR LEASE signs on some buildings that never go away.

There have been audacious plans to create an upscale, world-class pedestrian Gaslamp Promenade along Fifth Avenue. But I wonder. A virus seems to have other plans. Economic disruption continues. The future is in doubt.

It seems there’s a chance the Gaslamp Quarter might return to what it was decades ago. An area of downtown in slow decay. Or consider this harsh possibility: might the Gaslamp once again become San Diego’s seedy “Stingaree” red-light district, as it was a century ago?

Large signs up and down the streets contain hopeful messages, such as Stay Strong and Things Will Be Okay.

As a downtown resident, I do hope the Gaslamp comes out of this crisis okay.

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!

Learn about Maritime Month in San Diego.

A water taxi comes in from Coronado. That huge yellow Dole Atlantic ship is loading containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
The massive yellow Dole Atlantic cargo ship loads containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

May is Maritime Month. In past years, the Port of San Diego has offered public tours of important maritime facilities in San Diego Bay. By observing the massive scale of port operations firsthand, anyone can fully appreciate the waterfront’s economic importance to San Diego and the surrounding region.

Three years ago I went on one such harbor tour. It was narrated by knowledgeable representatives of the Port of San Diego. We got a close look at several large facilities, including the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, probably best known as the place where Dole delivers 3.9 billion bananas each year. We also saw the enormous National City Marine Terminal, where thousands upon thousands of imported cars arrive from Asia.

If you want to learn more about that amazing tour, and see photos of other facilities in San Diego Bay such as our three major shipyards, you can visit my old blog post by clicking here.

Unfortunately, this year is very different. There’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Most public events, including any tours that were planned by the Port of San Diego, have been cancelled in the interest of everyone’s safety.

But there’s still an opportunity for the curious to learn all about the Port of San Diego. They are celebrating Maritime Month online. They explain: “This year, we pay special tribute to the men and women of our Working Waterfront who continue to work hard to ensure the safe and timely delivery of essential goods, providing crucial services in these difficult times.”

By visiting the Port of San Diego’s special Maritime Month web page, which is here, you can: “Meet our dedicated maritime industry employees…Explore our terminals…Become familiar with our specialty cargo and trade…Learn how goods move globally through the supply chain…Read about our environmental initiatives…Plus more!”

Curious? Check out that special web page here!

Vehicles of all type arrive here by huge roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships, including trucks and tractors.
New vehicles parked at the National City Marine Terminal. They arrive on enormous roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships, which are often seen moving through San Diego Bay.

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!

Free coronavirus hand sanitizer in San Diego!

This morning I headed down to Barrio Logan, just south of downtown San Diego, to pick up a free bottle of coronavirus killing hand sanitizer! I’d heard free bottles were being handed out on weekends by Liberty Call Distilling during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

When I arrived, I was greeted by a huge smile!

The Liberty Call Distillery and Restaurant appears to be a really cool place, located in Mercado del Barrio, just a block from Chicano Park. They distill a variety of spirits which they serve along with locally crafted beers and wine at their restaurant. Go to their website here if you’d like to check out their menu.

Once the lockdown on restaurants is lifted, they are ready to open and once again become a destination for those around San Diego who like good food and good times!

During the coronavirus pandemic, while supplies last, a free bottle of hand sanitizer, made on site, is handed out to all comers on Saturday and Sunday between 10 am and 2 pm. The spray sanitizer is a World Health Organization approved formula with 80% alcohol content that will effectively kill the COVID-19 virus.

I just used some on my hands when I got home and it smells great, too!

Thank you!

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!

Scenes of normalcy in abnormal times.

A commercial fishing boat unloads their catch in Tuna Harbor.
A commercial fishing boat unloads their catch in Tuna Harbor.

We live in abnormal times.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to temporarily shut down. There is little traffic on roads and freeways. Citizens stay safely home, or wear face coverings and keep six feet apart. It’s like an eerie scene from a science fiction movie.

But there are increasing signs that the pandemic has peaked, and hopefully our lives can eventually return to a semblance of normalcy.

Today I got some exercise by walking in a loop through downtown San Diego, including a stretch along the sunny Embarcadero. For a weekday, the usually bustling city was much, much quieter than usual.

But there were signs of activity.

I captured a few images of seeming normalcy in these very abnormal times.

The Coronado Ferry crosses quiet San Diego Bay.
The Coronado Ferry crosses quiet San Diego Bay.
Renovation work is underway at Seaport Village.
Renovation work is underway at Seaport Village.
Algae must still be removed from the hulls of boats in the Marriott Marina.
Algae must still be removed from the hulls of boats in the Marriott Marina.
An athlete trains by running up and down the steps of the San Diego Convention Center.
An athlete trains by running up and down the steps of the San Diego Convention Center.
The San Diego Symphony's new waterfront venue "The Shell" is still under construction.
Construction of the San Diego Symphony’s new waterfront venue “The Shell” continues.
One must still check the phone and grab some carry out food.
One must still check the phone and grab some carry out food.
A lot of work is being down on the streets of San Diego while traffic is light.
A lot of work is being down on the streets of San Diego while traffic is unusually light.
The good old Post Office is still delivering.
The United States Post Office is still delivering.
The Downtown San Diego Partnership is still keeping us Clean and Safe.
The Downtown San Diego Partnership is still keeping my neighborhood Clean and Safe.

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!

Signs thanking heroes during the pandemic.

Thank you to all essential personnel. You are all heroes. Grateful words on the marquee of the Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego.
Thank you to all essential personnel. You are all heroes. Grateful words on the marquee of the Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego.

Around San Diego, signs are popping up that thank healthcare workers, first responders, and other heroes who are fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

I noticed two prominent examples as I walked through downtown this morning.

I thought you might like to see.

A sign of gratitude for healthcare workers and other heroes during the coronavirus pandemic. A heart composed of windows on a tower of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.
A sign of gratitude for healthcare workers and other heroes during the coronavirus pandemic. A heart composed of windows on a tower of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

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!

Marketing and fun, combined into one.

I’m sure most people know the truth. Comic-Con is mostly about marketing. Movies, television shows, video games, toys, collectibles, even lunch–all swirl before the eyes of excited fans.

And yet–it’s all so much fun!

How does one draw the line between the calculated marketing and the unabashed fun?

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!