An amazing hidden art alley in Encinitas!

Travel down the coast highway in Encinitas and you might never know you’re a very short distance from an amazing “hidden” art alley!

Colorful murals fill the alley just west of South Coast Highway 101 between D Street and E Street.

I captured photographs of all the artwork as I walked south down the alley, from a spot behind 7-Eleven.

I noticed several artist signatures and have included that info in my captions.

Enjoy!

A blonde in blue. The one mural you might glimpse from Coast Highway 101.
Mural by CJTROXELLART.
Cool street art depicts Prince.
If you know who this might be, leave a comment! UPDATE! I’ve been informed this is from David Bowie’s album Hunky Dory!
Beautifully painted bouquet.
Words describe a morally blind society and its consequences.
Dog running in a field.
Mandala-like design and elephant.
Walking south down the alley.
Mural by @debisdoodles and @mayranavarroart painted in 2015.
I added contrast and sharpness to this photo to pop the Day of the Dead imagery.
Mural possibly depicts Mount Fuji in Japan.
Bees and flowers!
Art around the back door of Better Buzz Coffee Encinitas.
Seawalls mural by Aaron Glasson and Celeste Byers, 2016.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Butterflies and views at the Stairway to Hell!

A steep outdoor staircase in Tierrasanta has been called both the Stairway to Hell and the Stairs of Death. Take your pick!

The 112 steps start from the Clairemont Mesa Boulevard sidewalk and ascend northward. They can be found a short distance west of Antigua Boulevard.

As you climb this popular neighborhood exercise spot, you might notice colorful butterflies all about your feet. They seem to be flying skyward, too.

Once you reach the top, you’ll find yourself by a large grassy sports field near Vista Grande Elementary School. And look at the views!

Stairway to Hell? Perhaps these steps should be called Stairway to Heaven…

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!

More beautiful faces appear in City Heights!

Look at all these beautiful new faces in City Heights! I saw them today during a morning walk.

An incredible 263-foot long mural is gradually coming to life at the south end of Teralta Park, which is located on the freeway cap over Interstate 15. The mural is being painted by talented San Diego graffiti artist Sake, whom I met last year.

Last time I photographed the mural-in-progress, several faces at the left end had been finished. Since then, more faces have been completed! And other painted details throughout the very long mural are appearing as well.

City Heights is a community in east San Diego that is home to many immigrants and refugees from all around the world. That diversity is reflected in this colorful, positive artwork!

If you’d like to see photographs of artist Sake at work last year, and find links to even earlier photos, you can 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!

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!

Mural on historical building celebrates Solana Beach!

If you’ve ever walked from Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach toward Highway 101, you’ve probably noticed a large, super colorful mural. The artwork is painted on the west side of the Saddle Bar, on Acacia Avenue.

During my most recent visit to Solana Beach, I ambled up to the mural and discovered the old building it decorates has a Solana Beach Civic Historical Society plaque.

The building was originally the Mayme and Charles Karn’s Bicycle Shop back in 1924. It served as a United States Post Office from 1936 to 1953.

The mural was painted in 2019 by Cardiff-by-the-Sea artist Dustin (Brane) Hull.

Images in the artwork include: a friendly dog; a woman surfing; carrying surfboards on the beach; a kid skateboarding; a musician performing at the famous Belly Up Tavern; a Coaster train and the Solana Beach station; and Fiesta Del Sol, an annual festival held on the nearby streets.

I love this mural. It really captures the happy vibe of this beach community.

I took these photos!

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!

Bright, colorful butterflies fill National City parks!

Giant butterflies take flight in the blue sky above three National City parks!

Should you visit Butterfly Park, Kimball Park or Las Palmas Park, you’re certain to spot many large butterfly wings! The colorful sculptures were created in 2015 by families throughout the National City community.

Every butterfly is composed of two pieces of cut aluminum, and the separate sides of each butterfly are uniquely decorated with different colors of reflective vinyl tape. I’ve been told that car headlights shining on the butterflies at night reveal bright bursts of life!

The project, led by local artist Roberto Salas, is called Butterfly Path. Its creation was made possible through a commission from the San Diego Museum of Art’s “Open Spaces” program, supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

The first time I spotted some of these butterflies–last year at Kimball Park–I didn’t know a thing about them. Comments made by readers provided great information. Revisit that old blog post here.

Since then I’ve seen more of the beautiful sculptures, and have learned more about them, particularly during an amazing tour of Butterfly Park, which you can read about by clicking here.

These artistic butterflies symbolize an ongoing metamorphosis in National City. The transformation is to an even more proud, healthy and environmentally friendly community that shines with greater and greater beauty.

Here are just some of the butterflies you might encounter, in no particular order…

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 flowers in Balboa Park’s Alcazar Garden!

It looks like the Garden Stewards of Balboa Park have been busy in the Alcazar Garden!

I walked through Balboa Park today and discovered rows of beautiful, newly planted flowers in several areas of the garden. As you can see in my photos, it appears the larger sections will soon be planted, too!

A couple days ago I got an email newsletter from Forever Balboa Park that talked about this project. But, alas, it appears that email got deleted. So if it mentioned what sort of flowers these are, I don’t have the information.

If you know more about flowers than me (which means practically everybody), and you recognize what these are, leave a comment with your observation!

And if you’d like to volunteer to help beautify Balboa Park, San Diego’s magnificent crown jewel, here’s the website you need to check out!

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!

Maxx Moses mural at Massachusetts trolley station!

Check out this incredible new mural in San Diego!

Some very colorful abstract art was spray painted last month on a long wall beside the Massachusetts Avenue trolley station parking lot. The artist is Maxx Moses, whose distinctive work can be found all over San Diego.

The first time I glimpsed this mural I was riding the Orange Line. With sudden surprise and excitement, I jumped off.

I love the murals of Maxx Moses, they are so jammed with creativity and imagination. They often show technology fused with ancient culture, producing unique images of humanity that make you simply stand and stare with wonder. His artwork is simultaneously weird and familiar. All of it is filled with heart.

(Perhaps you recall seeing photos of another phenomenal mural he helped to create at the 62nd Street/Encanto trolley station, which just is a short ride up the Orange Line. If you haven’t, they are here!)

To view more cool art by Maxx Moses, check out his Instagram page 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!

A beautiful transformation in National City!

A beautiful transformation began in National City in 2013. Hundreds of community members came together to make a positive, permanent change. Butterfly Park, a blighted strip of land near the corner of 20th Street and Palm Avenue, became more like its namesake!

I first learned about this wonderful transformation on Sunday, during an incredible tour provided by Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center’s super nice Cooking for Salud Coordinator, Patty Corona.

We walked through the park and were greeted by colorful butterflies everywhere we turned!

I learned how, during the course of several days, families from throughout the neighborhood, school students, the Kitchenistas of Olivewood Gardens, and even the mayor of the time worked in the park installing butterfly beauty: mosaics on benches, a table and a trashcan, beautiful metalwork on posts, and an outdoor stage shaped like a butterfly wing! Vegetation that attracts butterflies was planted, too!

According to this article, “The project was led by Pomegranate CenterOlivewood Gardens and Learning Center…pitched the idea for a community gathering space in November 2012.

(The Pomegranate Center was also instrumental in creating the Manzanita Gathering Place in City Heights. See those photos here.)

As we walked through the park, I learned the wavy metal sculptures on posts were created by Sweetwater High School welding students, and the log benches were the work of former National City Mayor Ron Morrison.

In 2015 the very colorful aluminum butterfly sculptures you see in my photos were decorated by community members using reflective vinyl, under the leadership of local artist Roberto Salas. This “Butterfly Path” can also be found in two other National City Parks: Kimball Park and Las Palmas Park.

I’ll be posting more photos of them in an upcoming blog post!

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!

Water is Life mosaic in National City!

At Kimball Park in National City, a beautiful mosaic above a drinking fountain affirms that Water is Life!

This colorful public art provides an interesting contrast to the mosaic in my previous post: the fiery Firewall in front of the Solana Beach Fire Department.

Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe these two fantastic Water is Life panels were the work of A Reason To Survive (ARTS) and local youth. Like other mosaics in and around Kimball Park, it was conceived as part of ARTS’ Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative.

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!

Firewall at the Solana Beach Fire Department.

Every night, fire appears in front of the Solana Beach Fire Department. The mysterious wall of glowing embers near the fire station might surprise motorists driving down Lomas Santa Fe Drive.

I walked past Firewall during the day and took these photos.

The simulated wall of embers, that lights up after dark, is a very unique piece of public art that debuted in 2019. It’s by artist Betsy Schulz.

In addition to the red, yellow and orange glass embers, there are beautiful fused-glass mosaic panels facing the sidewalk and street.

Amazing mosaics created by Betsy Schulz appear all over San Diego County. During my walks I’ve photographed many.

This public art sculpture and its small surrounding garden were created with the help of Van Dyke Landscape Architects, and the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society and Garden Club.

I added contrast to some of these photos to bring out color in the mosaics.

Take a look!

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!