San Diego history at Old Town’s Wells Fargo museum.

Stagecoach on display at the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Stagecoach on display at the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

I recently visited the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town. The exhibits inside concern early San Diego history. When our city was in its infancy, Wells Fargo ran a stagecoach line, and their Express Office was an essential part of local business life.

I took loads of photos in this very cool museum. Read the captions to learn much more!

The restored Colorado House in Old Town San Diego is home to a fascinating Wells Fargo museum.
The restored Colorado House in Old Town San Diego is home to a fascinating Wells Fargo museum.
The two-story, wood frame hotel called the Colorado House was built in Old Town San Diego in 1851 by Cave Couts.
The two-story, wood frame hotel called the Colorado House was built in Old Town San Diego in 1851 by Cave Couts. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1872.
The Wells Fargo History Museum in San Diego is open daily from 10-5. Admission is free!
The Wells Fargo History Museum in San Diego is open daily from 10-5. Admission is free!
Tourists in Old Town check out a red Wells Fargo stagecoach, which transported mail, gold, goods and passengers in the Old West.
Tourists in Old Town check out an iconic red Wells Fargo stagecoach, which transported mail, gold, goods and passengers in the Old West.
Old photo on video screen shows the Wells, Fargo and Co's Express Office in downtown San Diego, in 1911.
Old photo on video screen shows the Wells, Fargo and Co’s Express Office in downtown San Diego, in 1911.
Historical artifacts in a glass display case include books, bottles and a photo of Cave J. Couts.
Historical artifacts in a glass display case include books, bottles and a photo of Cave J. Couts.
In the spring of 1851 Cave Johnson Couts opened the Colorado House as San Diego's first two-story hotel. It had an elegant billiard table and fine food.
In the spring of 1851 Cave Johnson Couts opened the Colorado House as San Diego’s first two-story hotel. It had an elegant billiard table and fine food.
Old photograph shows bar in Colorado House.
Old photograph shows bar and patrons in Colorado House.
Antique telegraph key once used to send messages and money across the continent.
Antique telegraph key once used to send messages and money across the continent.
Colorful mural high on one wall shows a small town in the Old West. I believe I recognize many buildings in Old Town.
Colorful mural high on one wall shows a small town by a blue bay. I believe I recognize many buildings in Old Town.
Article from the Omaha Herald published in 1877 provides Hints for Plains Travelers. When the driver asks you to get off and walk, do it without grumbling!
Article from the Omaha Herald published in 1877 provides Hints for Plains Travelers. When the driver asks you to get off and walk, do it without grumbling!
Old plaque in the museum: Silas St. John carried the first eastbound overland mail out of San Diego, from Carrizo Creek to Fort Yuma, November 16, 1857. On September 9, 1858, in a lone-handed defense of the Butterfield-Wells Fargo Overland Stage station at Dragoon, Arizona, St. John was horribly wounded and lost his left arm. He recovered to continue in Wells Fargo service. Of his stuff the West was made.
Old plaque in the museum: Silas St. John carried the first eastbound overland mail out of San Diego, from Carrizo Creek to Fort Yuma, November 16, 1857. On September 9, 1858, in a lone-handed defense of the Butterfield-Wells Fargo Overland Stage station at Dragoon, Arizona, St. John was horribly wounded and lost his left arm. He recovered to continue in Wells Fargo service. Of his stuff the West was made.
To be a stage driver--the Whip--was to be a member of a highly skilled profession. They handled 4 to 6 horses in all kinds of weather on all kinds of roads, outwitted highwaymen, and calmed passengers.
To be a stage driver–the Whip–was to be a member of a highly skilled profession. They handled 4 to 6 horses in all kinds of weather on all kinds of roads, outwitted highwaymen, and calmed passengers.
Passengers on board the Overland Mail Company stages were allowed 40 pounds of baggage.
Passengers on board the Overland Mail Company stages were allowed 40 pounds of baggage.
Advertisement shows Ladies' and Gentlemen's traveling trunks and valises, also packing trunks of every description.
Advertisement shows Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s traveling trunks and valises, also packing trunks of every description.
Map shows the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Route. Wells Fargo's experience in Western transportation led it to finance and eventually run the Butterfield stage line's operations in the west.
Map shows the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Route. Wells Fargo’s experience in Western transportation led it to finance and eventually run the Butterfield stage line’s operations in the west. (Click image to enlarge.)
On February 23, 1875, the stage coming from the Julian mines was robbed, and the San Diego agent took action. He immediately notified the sheriff, posted a reward, and reported the robbery and his actions to the central office.
On February 23, 1875, the stage coming from the Julian mines was robbed, and the San Diego agent took action. He immediately notified the sheriff, posted a reward, and reported the robbery and his actions to the central office.
Cool display inside the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego shows how stagecoaches and their cargo was protected from bandits.
Cool display inside the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego shows how stagecoaches and their cargo were protected from bandits.
The most infamous stage robber was Black Bart. He left bits of poetry and called himself the
The most infamous stage robber was Black Bart. He left bits of poetry and called himself the “Po8” to distance himself from the common thief. He robbed 28 stagecoaches from 1875 to 1883. Once identified, authorities learned he was actually Charles E. Boles, a “respectable” mine owner!
A museum recreation of the Vallecito Stage Station, a stop on the Overland Mail Company's southern route, 1858-1861. Thick adobe walls provided relief from desert heat.
A museum recreation of the Vallecito Stage Station, a stop on the Overland Mail Company’s southern route, 1858-1861. Thick adobe walls provided relief from desert heat.
Table in the stage station used for rest, serving food and games of cards.
Table in the stage station used for rest, serving food and games of cards to pass the time.
Gold was discovered at Julian in San Diego's mountains, triggering a small rush into the area.
Gold was discovered at Julian in San Diego’s mountains, triggering a small rush into the area.
Miners from placer diggings on the Colorado River and hard-rock mines at Julian brought their gold dust and bars to the Wells, Fargo and Co. agency in Old Town San Diego.
Miners from placer diggings on the Colorado River and hard-rock mines at Julian brought their gold dust and bars to the Wells, Fargo and Co. agency in Old Town San Diego.
The Julian Stage Line carried miners and other passengers to this gold mining town in east San Diego County.
The Julian Stage Line carried miners and other passengers to this gold mining town in east San Diego County.
Cover of the Wells Fargo Messenger, dated July 1917.
Cover of the Wells Fargo Messenger, dated July 1917.
Wells Fargo published a monthly magazine calls the Wells Fargo Messenger between September 1912 and June 1918. Edward Hopper, an illustrator, went on to become a famous painter.
Wells Fargo published a monthly magazine calls the Wells Fargo Messenger between September 1912 and June 1918. Edward Hopper, an illustrator, went on to become a famous American realist painter.
On her travels she uses Wells Fargo Checks.
On her travels she uses Wells Fargo Checks.
Cover of the Wells Fargo Messenger, dated April 1918.
Cover of the Wells Fargo Messenger, dated April 1918.
Antique desk used by a Wells Fargo agent.
Antique desk used by a Wells Fargo agent.
During a typical day, a Wells Fargo agent saw many types of business, reflecting the Company's varied and essential services.
During a typical day, a Wells Fargo agent saw many types of business, reflecting the Company’s varied and essential services.
Nooks in this desk hold dip pens, receipts, letters and accounting ledgers.
Nooks in this desk hold dip pens, receipts, letters and accounting ledgers.
Wells Fargo agents were known for their respectability, ability, and trustworthiness. The first Old Town agent was J.F. Damon, co-editor of the San Diego Herald.
Wells Fargo agents were known for their respectability, ability, and trustworthiness. The first Old Town agent was J.F. Damon, co-editor of the San Diego Herald.
Agent William A. Biglow works in his express office which included an agent's cabinet and iron safe.
Wells Fargo agent William A. Biglow works in his express office which included an agent’s cabinet and iron safe.
A large old letterpress sits atop a cast iron safe. The safe, made by Herring, Hall, Marvin and Co. in 1885, is filled with concrete and weighs over a ton.
A large old letterpress sits atop a cast iron safe. The safe, made by Herring, Hall, Marvin and Co. in 1885, is filled with concrete and weighs over a ton.
Some art on the face of the safe door.
Some pastoral art on the face of the safe door.
The copy machine of the 19th Century. Pressure from this heavy cast-iron letterpress transferred brown ink to tissue paper.
The copy machine of the 19th Century. Pressure from this heavy cast-iron letterpress transferred brown ink to tissue paper.
A collection of old letters, certificates and small packages exhibited at the Wells Fargo History Museum in San Diego.
A collection of old letters, certificates and small packages exhibited at the Wells Fargo History Museum in San Diego.
If you ever visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, check out the interesting Wells Fargo History Museum in the Colorado House!
If you ever visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, check out the interesting Wells Fargo History Museum in the Colorado House!

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!

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People at work and play in San Diego.

Tourists on San Diego's Embarcadero have fun with gigantic bubbles.
Tourists on San Diego’s Embarcadero have fun with gigantic bubbles.

Just a few photos of people at work and play in San Diego. These were taken over this last year. How time flies.

A businessman walks to work in downtown San Diego.
A businessman walks to work one morning in downtown San Diego.
Two fishermen enjoy their day on Shelter Island.
Two fishermen enjoy their day on Shelter Island.
Working and chatting at Horton Plaza Park.
Working and chatting at Horton Plaza Park.
Two sweethearts enjoy slacklining at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Two sweethearts enjoy slacklining at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Unloading boxes of produce at the Flagship dock near Broadway Pier.
Unloading boxes of produce at the Flagship dock near Broadway Pier.
People enjoy a day of boating on blue San Diego Bay.
People enjoy a day of boating on blue San Diego Bay.
Families thrill to statue-like street musician in Balboa Park.
Families investigate statue-like street musician in Balboa Park.
Construction workers put the finishing touches on a new downtown building.
Construction workers put the finishing touches on a new downtown building.
Walking on some rocks on a fine sunny San Diego day.
Walking on some rocks on a fine sunny San Diego day.

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!

Faded signs painted on old downtown buildings.

Old tin shop sign still visible on the historic I.O.O.F. building in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. A remnant of a past era.
Old tin shop sign still visible on the historic 1882 Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. A remnant of a past era.

While walking around downtown San Diego, I’m always pleased to make unexpected discoveries. Once in a while I’ll spot faded signs and advertisements that were painted years ago on historic old buildings. Unfortunately, many of those old signs are vanishing and will eventually be lost to time. Some of those walls will be painted, or new buildings will sprout up . . . That’s progress, I suppose.

I did some searching on the internet looking for information about the more mysterious signs, but with very little success. I increased the contrast of many photos to try to make out the faded words. If you know anything, leave a comment!

Most of these photos were taken in the morning, the last three or four days…

A faded sign is painted high on the 1888 Nesmith-Greely Building on Fifth Avenue. It is just visible from the street.
A faded sign is painted high on the 1888 Nesmith-Greely Building on Fifth Avenue. It is just visible from the street.
One can barely make out the words HOTEL . . . ROOMS 50c to $1.00
One can barely make out the words HOTEL . . . ROOMS 50c to $1.00
Old brick building at Seventh Avenue and G Street has words so obliterated I can't decipher anything.
Old brick building at Seventh Avenue and G Street has words so obliterated I can’t decipher anything.
The William Penn Hotel building at Fourth Avenue and F Street opened in 1913 as the elegant Oxford Hotel.
The William Penn Hotel building at Fourth Avenue and F Street opened in 1913 as the elegant Oxford Hotel.
Painted words from San Diego's past. The Windsor Hotel on Fourth Avenue was built in 1887. The first floor was once a pool hall; in the 1960s it contained cardrooms and nightclubs with go-go dancers.
Painted words from San Diego’s past. The Windsor Hotel on Fourth Avenue was built in 1887. The first floor was once a pool hall; in the 1960s it contained cardrooms and nightclubs with go-go dancers.
The 1910 Western Metal Supply Company Building is now an iconic part of Petco Park in San Diego.
The 1910 Western Metal Supply Company Building is now an iconic part of Petco Park in San Diego, home of the baseball Padres.
The faded word LYON on a building at the corner of K Street and Fourth Avenue.
The faded word LYON on a building at the corner of K Street and Fourth Avenue.
From a distance, a square space on the side of the Simmons Hotel on Sixth Avenue appears to be blank reddish bricks.
From a distance, a square space on the side of the Simmons Hotel on Sixth Avenue appears to be blank reddish bricks.
But a closer look reveals old words from many years ago. Perhaps you can figure out what they say.
But a closer look reveals old words from many years ago. Perhaps you can figure out what they say.
Faded words can also be spotted high on the Plaza Hotel building on Fourth Avenue.
Faded words can also be spotted high on the Plaza Hotel building on Fourth Avenue.
I can barely discern a few letters.
I can barely discern a few letters.
The building on the right is The McGurck Block, built in 1887. A drug store was located in it from 1903 to 1984. Actor Gregory Peck's father worked there as the night druggist.
The building on the right is The McGurck Block, built in 1887. A drug store was located in it from 1903 to 1984. Actor Gregory Peck’s father worked there as the night druggist.
High up, painted on the old brick building's side is a fading advertisement. A glimpse of San Diego's past.
High up, painted on the old brick building’s side is a fading advertisement. A glimpse of San Diego’s past.

Here’s another pic I snapped on Fifth Avenue just south of Broadway:

Faded sign on side of a building on the 900 block of Fifth Avenue.
Faded sign on side of a building on the 900 block of Fifth Avenue.

I’ve blogged in the past about a variety of cool old painted signs and images in downtown San Diego. Here they are:

Old Hires Root Beer ad on building wall.

Caliente horse racing sign on downtown building.

Faded sign on abandoned San Diego building.

Old Hotel Churchill in downtown 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!

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 enjoy!

Cool smiles and sights along Sixth Avenue downtown.

I rely on Christine's hot chocolate on rare super cold San Diego mornings. She's been smiling near the corner of Sixth and B Street for as long as I can remember!
I rely on Christine’s hot chocolate on rare super cold San Diego mornings. She’s been smiling near the corner of Sixth and B Street for as long as I can remember!

These photos were taken during a morning walk down Sixth Avenue in downtown San Diego. They contain cool smiles and glimpses.

Walking south along Sixth Avenue in downtown San Diego, approaching Ash Street.
Walking south along Sixth Avenue in downtown San Diego, approaching Ash Street.
Reflection in glass panes of the Parking Palace shows the iconic sign atop the El Cortez.
Reflection in glass panes of the Parking Palace shows the iconic sign atop the El Cortez.
Still walking down Sixth Avenue, now approaching A Street.
Still walking down Sixth Avenue, now approaching A Street.
Ornamentation near roof of the old World Trade Center, which has been converted into housing for the homeless. The Art Deco building was once home of publishers Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Ornamentation near roof of the old World Trade Center, which has been converted into housing for the homeless. The Art Deco building was once home of publishers Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
A bird flies between skyscrapers.
A bird flies between skyscrapers.
Looking up at a corner of the America’s Finest City mural on Sixth Avenue.
Looking up at a corner of the America’s Finest City mural on Sixth Avenue.
A Kurt Cobain quote over doors at the downtown House of Blues. "If it's illegal to rock and roll, throw my ass in jail."
A Kurt Cobain quote over doors at the downtown House of Blues. “If it’s illegal to rock and roll, throw my ass in jail.”
Banner promotes romance in the Gaslamp Quarter. The nearby Jewelers Exchange in the Timkin Building at the corner of Sixth and E Streets is packed with dozens of small jewelry vendors.
Banner promotes romance in the Gaslamp Quarter. The nearby Jewelers Exchange in the Timkin Building at the corner of Sixth and E Streets is packed with dozens of small jewelry vendors.
Photo of moon, high above towers of Louis Bank of Commerce Building's facade, one block over on Fifth Avenue. This famous location was home to Wyatt Earp's Oyster Bar gambling hall and saloon.
Photo of moon, high above towers of Louis Bank of Commerce Building’s facade, one block over on Fifth Avenue. This famous location was home to Wyatt Earp’s Oyster Bar gambling hall and saloon.
Rear of Reading Cinemas Gaslamp building. The movie theater closed in February. The complex opened in 1997 as Pacific Theatres. It has been used for film festivals and San Diego Comic-Con screenings.
Rear of Reading Cinemas Gaslamp building. The movie theater closed in February. The complex originally opened in 1997 as Pacific Theatres. It was used in past years for popular film festivals and San Diego Comic-Con screenings.
Angels in flight on rear of the now closed Gaslamp movie theater.
Angels in flight on rear of the now closed Gaslamp movie theater.
Old faded words painted on rear wall of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building in San Diego's Gaslamp spell Tin Shop.
Old faded words painted on brick exterior of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building in San Diego’s Gaslamp spell Tin Shop.
Utility box on Sixth Avenue painted with tea, sandwiches, coffee, salads, burrito and bagels. It made me so hungry, I wanted to step through that cafe's door!
Utility box on Sixth Avenue painted with tea, sandwiches, coffee, salads, burrito and bagels. It made me so hungry, I wanted to step through that cafe’s door!
Hotel Z really really catches the eye with that flamboyant paint job. According to their website, their slogan is A Piece of Pineapple Hospitality.
Hotel Z really really catches the eye with their new, flamboyant paint job. According to their website, their slogan is A Piece of Pineapple Hospitality.
Funny sight inside the window of Cute Cakes. San Diego's Swinging Friar is seated by a big Petco Park frosted cake filled with sprinkle fans!
A funny sight glimpsed inside the window of Cute Cakes. San Diego’s Swinging Friar is seated by a big Petco Park frosted cake filled with sprinkle fans!
Morning deliveries and jogger near electric guitar on employee door of the Hard Rock Hotel.
Morning deliveries and jogger near an electric guitar on the employee door of the Hard Rock Hotel.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! 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 enjoy!

Fun photos of San Diego’s Bike to Work Day!

A San Diego Bike to Work Day pit stop in front of 550 West C Street early in the morning. Hello!
A San Diego Bike to Work Day pit stop in front of 550 West C Street early in the morning. Hello!

Today was Bike to Work Day in San Diego! There were over a hundred pit stops around the county, and I’ve learned that nearly ten thousand bicyclists participated!

This morning I started a bit earlier than usual so that I could walk past 5 pit stops downtown. (As followers of Cool San Diego Sights might know already, I happen to be a walk/trolley/bus to work person. Because I simply love walking and the outdoors, plus living downtown makes it very convenient.)

The city was still a bit sleepy as I headed west along B Street–about 6:30–and the morning light wasn’t ideal for photography when I passed two bicycle pits stops at The Donut Bar and the Wells Fargo building. I did manage to get some sharp pics once I arrived at Civic Center Plaza! Lots of people were smiling!

A couple of bicyclists pedal up Third Avenue near Civic Center Plaza during Bike to Work Day.
A couple of bicyclists pedal up Third Avenue near Civic Center Plaza during Bike to Work Day.
This pit stop in Civic Center Plaza near City Hall was already seeing some incoming cyclists at this early hour. There is an active City of San Diego Bicycle Program.
This pit stop in Civic Center Plaza near City Hall was already seeing some incoming cyclists at this early hour. There is an active City of San Diego Bicycle Program.
Bike maps, information and other goodies were given away to promote commuting by bicycle to work around San Diego.
Bike maps, information and other goodies were given away to promote commuting by bicycle to work around San Diego.
A huge Share The Road banner hung in Civic Center Plaza.
A huge Share The Road banner hung in Civic Center Plaza.
Morning commuter on a bicycle waits alongside a bus for a traffic light on Broadway.
Morning commuter on a bicycle waits alongside a bus for a traffic light on Broadway.
On Harbor Drive at the Broadway Pier, a pit stop included a San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce table.
On Harbor Drive at the Broadway Pier, a pit stop included a San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce table.
These friendly guys representing Engineering company CH2M Hill did the wave for me, but I liked this photo of them smiling better!
These friendly guys representing engineering company CH2M Hill did the wave for me, but I liked this photo of them smiling better!
Someone pedals past San Diego's historic tall ship Star of India. Another beautiful morning.
Someone pedals past San Diego’s historic tall ship Star of India. Another beautiful day has begun.
A bicyclist rolls down Pacific Highway on the morning of San Diego's Bike to Work Day.
A bicyclist rolls down Pacific Highway on the morning of San Diego’s Bike to Work Day.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos of Chargers’ downtown stadium petition drive event.

Chargers football fans hold huge bolts for a photograph!
Chargers football fans hold huge bolts for a photograph!

Here are a bunch of photos from today’s Chargers petition drive event in downtown San Diego. Our NFL team is seeking to have a new stadium built downtown, and a petition has been launched to put their proposal on the November ballot. The event brought several popular players and dignitaries to the spot where the proposed stadium would be built, and signature gatherers circulated among Chargers fans.

I had planned to check out a pop-up Shakespeare performance at the nearby Central Library at noon (I’ll blog about that shortly), but when I saw this rally was planned for eleven o’clock, I added it to my list of things to do! Personally, I enjoy watching the Chargers play on television on Sunday, but am not really a diehard fan. I agree it would be a shame to see them leave San Diego. They are a part of our history and community.  I’m not especially passionate about any particular stadium proposal–either Mission Valley or downtown. As a downtown resident, a new football stadium nearby (which would also be used in conjunction with the San Diego Convention Center) would bring a lot of excitement into the neighborhood. It might also create certain inconveniences.

Today’s big Chargers petition drive kickoff intrigued me, not because I’m an advocate for any side, but because I’ve become more and more philosophical as I’ve grown older. It’s interesting to simply observe human behavior.

Lots of diehard Chargers fans were on hand Saturday for a big signature gathering kickoff sponsored by the San Diego Chargers organization, in their quest for a downtown stadium.
Lots of diehard Chargers fans were on hand Saturday for a big signature gathering kickoff sponsored by the San Diego Chargers organization, in their quest for a downtown stadium.
People arriving at the San Diego Chargers downtown stadium petition drive event are asked to add their signatures.
People arriving at the San Diego Chargers downtown stadium petition drive event are asked to add their signatures.
Petitions were being signed on the sidewalk along Park Boulevard, where many homeless people camp in San Diego.
Petitions were being signed on the sidewalk along Park Boulevard, where many homeless people camp in San Diego.
Someone in the gathering crowd holds a Vote for Chargers Stadium sign.
Someone in the gathering crowd holds a Vote for Chargers Stadium sign.
One of several stations where people attending the event could sign the Chargers' downtown stadium petition.
One of several stations where people attending the event could sign the Chargers’ downtown stadium petition.
A videoboard showed various conceptual drawings of what the proposed downtown stadium would look like. It would also be used for conventions.
A videoboard showed various conceptual drawings of what the proposed downtown stadium would look like. It could also be used for conventions.
Camera people get ready for the heavily promoted event to begin.
Camera people get ready for the heavily promoted event to begin.
A fan in a Chargers team jersey holds a poster that says Thank You 21. That was LaDainian Tomlinson's number.
A fan in a Chargers team jersey holds a poster that says Thank You 21. That was LaDainian Tomlinson’s number.
A fairly large crowd has gathered in the parking lot near Petco Park where Padres fans often tailgate. The proposed stadium would be built here.
A fairly large crowd has gathered in the parking lot near Petco Park where Padres fans often tailgate. The proposed stadium would be built here.
A fan brought a football. Perhaps he was hoping for an autograph.
A fan brought a football. Perhaps he was hoping for an autograph.
Footage of LaDainian Tomlinson's football exploits was a big crowd pleaser.
Footage of LaDainian Tomlinson’s football exploits was a big crowd pleaser.
Television news cameras and media photographers jam together to capture the Chargers' downtown stadium petition publicity event.
Television news cameras and media photographers jam together to capture the Chargers’ downtown stadium petition publicity event.  It seems everyone has a role to play.
Dean Spanos, team president and CEO of the National Football League's San Diego Chargers team takes the stage. Pre-made signs intended to shame Mayor Faulconer rise in unison.
Dean Spanos, team president and CEO of the National Football League’s San Diego Chargers team takes the stage. Pre-made signs intended to shame Mayor Kevin Faulconer rise in unison.
Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League, advocates for a new football stadium downtown.
Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League, advocates for a new football stadium downtown.
LaDainian Tomlinson, one of the best running backs in NFL history, flew in from Texas for the event. He was clearly the crowd favorite and received loud cheers.
LaDainian Tomlinson, one of the best running backs in NFL history, flew in from Texas for the event. He was clearly the crowd favorite and received loud cheers.
Philip Rivers, star quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, got the crowd excited during the petition event.
Philip Rivers, star quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, got the crowd excited during the petition event.
Several super fans take part in a ceremonial first signing on stage with the various dignitaries.
Several super fans take part in a “ceremonial first signing” on stage with the various dignitaries.
A blast of glitter and raised pom-poms from smiling San Diego Charger Girls cheerleaders as the event comes to a conclusion.
A blast of glitter and raised pom-poms from smiling San Diego Charger Girls cheerleaders as the rousing event comes to a conclusion.
After the event is over, someone holds up a cardboard Not Downtown poster. There are many interested people on both sides of the issue.
After the event is over, someone holds up a cardboard Not Downtown poster. There are various interests on either side of the issue. Many people are passionate for one reason or another.  And of course a lot of money is at stake.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you have a philosophical bent? Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? You might enjoy checking out Short Stories by Richard.

Early morning activity in downtown San Diego.

Delivery man with fresh bread awaits morning opening of restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Delivery man with fresh bread awaits morning opening of restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter.

I woke up earlier than usual today. During the summer it’s pleasantly cool outside at daybreak, so I decided to take a long walk.

The city, at the six o’clock hour, had just begun to blink open its sleepy eyes. But a few signs of life were already evident downtown.

Here are photographs of early morning activity that I snapped while meandering randomly about, before I finally boarded the trolley for work…

Life in the city stirs into action as another weekday begins in downtown San Diego.
Life in the city stirs into action as another weekday begins in downtown San Diego.
City employee checks parking meters before the streets become much busier.
City employee checks parking meters before the streets become much busier.
Brad Perry, of KUSI News, had finished a segment on Good Morning San Diego when he spied a silly guy with a camera walking by.
Brad Perry of KUSI News had finished a segment on Good Morning San Diego when he spied a silly guy with a camera walking by.
A dog also noticed that same curious guy, who just sauntered on by down the sidewalk.
A dog also noticed that same curious guy, who just sauntered on by down the sidewalk.
Early morning commuters await separately at the Convention Center trolley station.
Early morning commuters wait separately at the Convention Center trolley station.
One guy has most of this quiet patio to himself as he enjoys a morning read and coffee. A hungry dog peers into the doorway.
One guy has most of this quiet patio to himself as he enjoys a morning read and coffee. A hungry dog peers into the doorway.
A lone jogger heads down Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade while many San Diegans are still in bed.
A lone jogger heads down Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade while many San Diegans are still lying in bed.

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Workers install engraved name pavers at Broadway Pier.

Workers have begun to install the first paver bricks dedicated to people, businesses or organizations at the foot of San Diego's Broadway Pier.
Workers have begun to install the first paver “bricks” dedicated to people, businesses or organizations at the foot of San Diego’s Broadway Pier.

I was walking along San Diego’s waterfront after work today, enjoying what remained of daylight, when I spied some sort of construction underway at the foot of the Broadway Pier. I moseyed over to check it out.

I discovered that the first of the custom pavers are being installed by the Port of San Diego, in the wide new plaza at the pier’s entrance. Anyone can sponsor a paver “brick” and have a name engraved upon it for posterity. Phrases such as “In memory of,” “In celebration of,” “In honor of,” “Sponsored by,” “Established in,” and “Dedicated to” are allowed. Plaques on furniture such as tables, chairs and benches can also be customized with a name of your choosing. A tall stack of pavers was ready to be installed, so it looks to me like the Port of San Diego is off to a good start!

Interested? Check out sdportwalk.org for further details!

San Diego’s North Embarcadero, often referred to as the city’s front porch, has undergone enormous improvements in recent years. I’ve lived downtown for 15 years, and the waterfront is more beautiful, friendly and functional than ever. But additional phases in its revitalization await completion. According to the Port of San Diego website, money that is raised will help fund future improvements and developments on the Embarcadero.

Anyone can place their name on a permanent paver to help support improvements to the North Embarcadero. Custom plaques on furniture, like public benches and tables, are also available.
Anyone can place their name on a permanent paver to help support improvements to the North Embarcadero. Custom plaques on furniture, like public benches and tables, are also available.
Some of the first pavers are engraved with the names of VIPs. Included are the current Mayor, several Port of San Diego officials, and City Council President.
Some of the first pavers are engraved with the names of VIPs. Included are the current Mayor, several Port of San Diego officials, and City Council President.
Smiling Port of San Diego guys explained to me a little about this ongoing project. Ultimately, legacy paving blocks will stretch in a band across the entrance to Broadway Pier.
Smiling Port of San Diego guys explained to me a little about this ongoing project. Ultimately, these legacy “paving blocks” will stretch in a band across the entrance to Broadway Pier.
Looking east down Broadway from the foot of the pier, on San Diego's constantly improving, very beautiful Embarcadero.
Looking east down Broadway from the foot of the pier, on San Diego’s continually improving, very beautiful Embarcadero.

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Cool idea: San Diego Bay to Balboa Park Skyway!

Conceptual art displayed by County of San Diego Supervisor Ron Roberts at CityFest shows proposed aerial skyway from downtown to Balboa Park.
Conceptual art displayed by County of San Diego Supervisor Ron Roberts at CityFest shows proposed aerial skyway from downtown to Balboa Park.

I just got back from walking through CityFest in Hillcrest. Lots of cool pics are coming! But first, I saw some conceptual artwork being displayed by San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts that has renewed my enthusiasm for a proposed transportation project.

The proposal, which I read about months ago, is for an aerial tramway, or skyway, which would connect downtown San Diego to Balboa Park. It’s an idea that’s both visionary and practical!

San Diego is an extremely popular tourist destination. There are many great things to see, including beautiful, amazing, enormous Balboa Park. Balboa Park, over a mile (to its center) from downtown, is often said to be one of the two best urban parks in America, along with New York City’s Central Park. But there’s one problem. If you don’t have a rental car, you must reach it on foot, by rented bicycle, taxi, or by city or tour bus. For some tourists this might be impractical, too time consuming, or unappealing. A skyway linking downtown’s many hotels, attractions and convenient trolley network to Balboa Park, I believe, would be wildly successful.

Can you imagine all the folks who work in offices downtown, easily heading up to Balboa Park during lunchtime? Can you imagine how visually unique and appealing such a project, tastefully designed, might be? Forget a Ferris wheel or tower on the waterfront, I say. That’s been done elsewhere.  Let’s create something that’s both fun and extremely useful!

Living atop Cortez Hill, directly between downtown and Balboa Park, I can’t tell you how often I’ve given directions to lost San Diego visitors. They drive north only to reach a dead end at Tweet Street Park. They have to navigate confusing one way streets to find their way across Interstate 5, then figure out how to enter Balboa Park and locate a parking place. An aerial tram would help solve that problem, as well!

According to some literature I picked up from Ron Roberts, the San Diego Bay to Balboa Park Skyway, powered by a 500 horsepower electric engine, could carry up to 2400 people per hour.

The views of downtown, San Diego Bay and Balboa Park would be breathtaking.  The ride itself would almost certainly become one of San Diego’s top tourist attractions.

From what I’ve heard so far, the idea is awesome!

The cool San Diego Bay to Balboa Park Skyway would travel from the Gaslamp up Sixth Avenue, covering two miles in 12 minutes.
The cool San Diego Bay to Balboa Park Skyway would travel from the Gaslamp up Sixth Avenue, covering two miles in 12 minutes.

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Setting a new world record helps the environment!

San Diego County Credit Union and Shred-it team up to attempt a new world record for paper collection and shredding!
San Diego County Credit Union and Shred-it team up to attempt a new world record for paper collection and shredding!

The huge SDCCU Super Shred Event is underway right now as I type!  The event is an attempt to break the world record for paper collection in a single location during a 24 hour period!

San Diego County Credit Union already holds the official Guinness World Record. Today they’re trying to break it. So why was I there taking photos? I collect my old records in a box at home, and whenever SDCCU offers free shredding, I head on down to take advantage of the service which is available to anyone. This morning the annual event, taking place in Mission Valley’s gigantic Qualcomm Stadium parking lot, is bigger than ever. So I brought my camera!

Not only does shredding paper documents protect against identity theft, but recycling paper is good for our environment. So this event is pretty cool for a whole variety of reasons!

The SDCCU Super Shred Event held in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. Unlimited free shredding helps fight identity theft!
The SDCCU Super Shred Event held in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. Unlimited free shredding helps fight identity theft!
As cars queue, volunteers collect donations for the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA.
As cars queue, volunteers collect donations for the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA.
SDCCU already holds the world record for most paper collected in a single location in a 24 hour period.
SDCCU already holds the world record for most paper collected in a single location in a 24 hour period.
Shred-it, a document destruction and recycling company, had a whole fleet of trucks ready for the big event!
Shred-it, a document destruction and recycling company, had a whole fleet of trucks ready for the big event!
A super nice volunteer smiles for my unexpected camera. Thank you!
A super nice volunteer smiles for my unexpected camera. Thank you!

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