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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Cool stuff at Wheel Works Building in East Village.

The super cool Wheel Works building in East Village covered with nostalgic signs.
Nostalgic advertising signs seem dilapidated in trendy, modern East Village.

I always enjoy walking around J Street, between 13th Street and 12th Avenue, in downtown San Diego’s East Village. This is where there used to be an old Sinclair Paint warehouse. The warehouse has today been converted into the Wheel Works Building, a hip multi-media incubator and special events venue. What makes the historic place most interesting to me is all the cool and creative stuff that surrounds it! Take a look at these pics!

Turning a bit left, gazing over bright red bougainvillea at the new Central Library.
Turning a bit left, gazing over bright red bougainvillea at the new Central Library.
Rusted factory gears on sidewalk with words Art and Industry.
Large factory gears on nearby sidewalk with words Art and Industry.
This old building, now containing offices, used to be a Sinclair Paint warehouse.
From what I’ve read, I believe this structure used to be part of old Sinclair Paint warehouse.
Parts of factory machinery today are brimming with potted plants.
Rusted parts of machinery on sidewalk are brimming with potted plants.
Very cool door with lots of cogs and gears around it.
Door has lots of cogs and gears around it.
I believe 21st Century Bob used to be an antique store here.
I believe 21st Century Bob used to be an antique store here.
Lots of metal industrial contraptions decorate the outside wall.
Various industrial contraptions decorate the outside wall of the Wheel Works Building.
South side of Wheel Works building seen from San Diego's Central Library.
South side of this unusual, eye-catching place seen from the San Diego Library.

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The historic Mission Brewery in Middletown.

Mission Revival style brewery was built in 1912.
Mission Revival style brewery was built in 1912.

A very cool building is located in San Diego’s Middletown neighborhood, near the intersection of Washington Street and Interstate 5. Here are a few photos I took the other morning!

The historic building, dating from 1912, was the first brewery in the United States to be built in the Mission Revival Style. Today it remains the only Mission Revival industrial building in San Diego.

Briefly, prior to Prohibition, a non-alcoholic drink called Hopski was produced here. The large building then served as an isolation hospital during the 1918 flu pandemic. Later it was converted into an agar plant. Today the historic landmark is a part of Mission Brewery Plaza, whose buildings contains professional offices and a new craft brewery called Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment.

The building has served many purposes over the years.
The building has served many purposes over the years.
Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment now occupies this area.
Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment now occupies this area.
Where beer is made today.
Where beer is made today.
Old production vat now is an outside fountain.
Old production vat now is an outside fountain.
A very cool building!
A very cool building!

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Photos of San Diego Entrepreneur Day.

san diegans at entrepreneur day

I was walking downtown through East Village yesterday when I happened to stumble upon San Diego Entrepreneur Day.

According to their website, the annual event is a celebration meant to assist creative people, including students. Entrepreneur Day helps those who’d like to take their unique business concepts to reality. The event presents many potential collaboration and partnership opportunities.

Large and small businesses had set up displays along the street, and people were checking them out. Lots of cool swag was being given away. Several food trucks were part of the action, but I already had lunch waiting at home.

dancing at san diego entrepreneur day

The second pic shows some energetic dancers having a great time performing on a stage. I’m inspired!

Downtown Donut Bar’s window of treats!

downtown donut bar's window of treats

While walking to the Fifth Avenue trolley station yesterday morning, I passed the window of the Donut Bar on B Street. They’d just filled it with the day’s freshly-baked yummy treats and were preparing to open for business. I almost began to drool right there on the sidewalk!

The Donut Bar is frequently listed as one of the top doughnut shops in the entire country!  Wow!

Thought you’d like to have a peek! Good morning!

A pic taken later…

Oh no! The Donut Bar is Sold Out!
Oh no! The Donut Bar is Sold Out!

Look at this bonus pic!

Homer Simpson was out greeting a long line of Donut Bar customers one Saturday morning!
Homer Simpson was out greeting a long line of Donut Bar customers one Saturday morning!