The unexpected Egyptian Garage in City Heights.

The Egyptian Garage building in City Heights is a fascinating example of Egyptian Revival architecture.

This building with a rather unexpected appearance is located at University Avenue and Euclid Avenue. It’s adjacent to two other unique, historical buildings–directly west of the prominent Euclid Tower, and south across the street from the Silverado Ballroom (both of which you can see in a few of the following photographs).

To learn about the history of the Egyptian Garage, I’ve had to sort out conflicting dates from several web pages. Apparently the building was constructed in 1923, at the end of the old East San Diego trolley line. It was one of three Egyptian Revival streetcar electrical substations that were built. It was sold only two years after beginning operation.

After a remodel in 1925 by David H. Ryan, the building served from 1926 to 1932 as the Egyptian Garage, complete with gas pumps in front. An addition was made on the south side in 1927. Since 1957 it has been the home of Big City Liquor.

Today you can see pharaoh heads atop pilasters on a couple sides of the building, horizontal vulture wings containing cobras and suns up by the rooftop, and an obelisk-like projection on the garage’s south end with a hieroglyphic design featuring ibis-headed Egyptian moon god Thoth.

To learn much more, you can read a detailed article about the Egyptian Garage building’s history and the phenomenon of Egyptian Revival architecture in the 1920’s here.

A few other examples of the Egyptian Revival architectural style can be found in San Diego, most notably in Hillcrest. Years ago I took some fun photos in Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter and posted them here.

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.

A morning walk downtown on Mother’s Day.

This morning I took a quiet walk around downtown San Diego.

As I got started, it seemed an ordinary Sunday morning. A bit of May gray . . . very light traffic . . . city dwellers gathering on sidewalks for coffee . . . families lining up for a special weekend treat at the Donut Bar . . .

Passing through the Gaslamp Quarter, I saw that many friends and families were already enjoying a Mother’s Day breakfast at outdoor tables. Others were perusing Gaslamp Artisan Market booths along Fifth Avenue.

During my modest journey, I paused to aim my camera at the old Hard Rock Cafe’s fading mural, a forlorn Saturday night drink, and a mysterious fire escape.

Then I noticed a colorful little pop-up flower cart with a smiling person beside it!

Mother’s Day flowers!

To all the Moms out there: Happy Mother’s Day!

To those with loving Moms, cherish them.

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!

The beauty of blooming Cleveland Sage.

I took these beautiful photos of blooming Cleveland Sage near the San Diego River this fine spring day.

Our city’s California coastal sage and chaparral habitat is home to several native species of sage, but none, in my opinion, is more pleasing to the senses than Cleveland Sage, sometimes called Fragrant Sage–for good reason!

The Cleveland Sage bursts with purple flowers from April to August. Few local wildflowers are more showy. In the hot days of summer the hardy perennial will appear dried out and scraggly, but the perfume lives on.

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!

Cool photo memories from May 2016.

Public events in San Diego are gradually making a comeback as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. As more residents and visitors become vaccinated, hopefully our beautiful city will return to something more like normalcy before too long.

Five years ago the situation was quite different! During the month of May so many unique events were recorded on Cool San Diego Sights that it’s difficult to choose just a few to revisit!

Click the upcoming links and you’ll find all sorts of colorful photographs that I took back in May of 2016.

You’ll see photos of newly opened Horton Plaza Park, the San Diego Zoo’s big centennial festival, the steepest part of a Tour de California bicycle race, a Women’s National sailing race on San Diego Bay, a floral wagon parade in Balboa Park, a fun stickball game in Little Italy, an inspiring Memorial Day at Fort Rosecrans, and more.

I was even invited to observe the recording of a cool live local TV show!

Click the following links to enjoy lots of photographs…

History is made–and remembered–at Horton Plaza Park!

Cool knight in golden armor stands guard in San Diego!

Fun photos of San Diego Zoo Centennial Festival!

Tour de California elite bicyclists race up Laurel Street hill!

Cool entertainment: a live television talk show in San Diego!

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

College sailing: Women’s National race on San Diego Bay!

Floral Wagon Parade at Balboa Park’s Garden Party!

San Diego stickball: Sidewalk Slammers vs. Street Rookies!

Photos of Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Rosecrans.

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.

Hopeful faces painted in Chicano Park.

During my most recent visit to Chicano Park, I passed under Interstate 5 while walking up Cesar E. Chavez Parkway. Even in the dim light under the concrete freeway, hopeful faces looked out from the mural beside me.

I saw bright hope in the faces of youth who were learning or at play. I saw hope in the faces of proud people at work, or taking flight on butterfly wings.

Back in 2016 I posted more photos of expressive faces that I’d encountered while walking among the murals of Chicano Park. See those 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!

Photos of Cinco de Mayo fiesta in Old Town!

Cinco de Mayo is being celebrated this weekend in Old Town!

A good crowd was enjoying the colorful fiesta along San Diego Avenue when I arrived today in the early afternoon.

In addition to vendors selling food, crafts, assorted gifts and goodies, Mexican baile folklórico dancers and mariachis could be found along the street providing lively entertainment! And I spotted friendly local chalk artist Cecelia Linayao creating some art by one sidewalk!

Lots of diners were at the various Mexican eateries that line San Diego Avenue, and I was sorely tempted to buy a fresh handmade tortilla!

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t completely over, so everyone at the popular Old Town festival is asked to wear a face mask and engage in social distancing.

I took these photos to capture some of the fun!

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.

Two amazing Buddhist temples in City Heights.

Last Sunday, during my walk in City Heights, I admired the exteriors of two amazing buildings near the corner of 52nd Street and Rex Avenue, one block south of University Avenue.

As far as I understand it, both beautiful buildings are Buddhist temples, and together they are called Wat Sovannkiry, Cambodian Buddhist Society San Diego. The head monk of Wat Sovannkiry is Reverend Father Khian Prom Attaguto of Cambodia, Abbot of Wat Suwan Khiri, San Diego.

I’ve tried to ascertain more information concerning Wat Sovannkiry, but there is almost nothing online, and not all of what I read, including names and spelling, is consistent. I didn’t venture into either temple building because I didn’t want to intrude. But I did take photographs of the highly ornate exteriors.

Hidden San Diego has an article about Cambodian and Laotian temple Wat Sovannkiri which you can read here.

My first photographs are of the truly amazing building on the east side of 52nd Street…

The following photographs, also taken from the sidewalk, are of the second building, which is located just west of 52nd Street on Rex Avenue…

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!

Cool skateboard murals at Chicano Park Skatepark!

Today I headed to Chicano Park to look for a recently painted mural. A friend that I know from work told me about it. Searching among the dozens and dozens of colorful murals in Chicano Park, I’m afraid I couldn’t find it! But I’ll ask her about it again and make another attempt in the near future. (UPDATE! Turns out she was mistaken.)

As I walked at the southwest end of Chicano Park, I circled around the popular skatepark which is located under the Coronado Bay Bridge. The Chicano Park Skatepark was created in 2015 with a little help from San Diego skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and his foundation.

And check out what I spotted! Four cool skateboarding murals that I’d never seen before!

The small murals face the various quarter pipes, ledges and rails where youthful skaters were riding back and forth and performing tricks.

I saw an Aztec performing a handplant, and indigenous peoples Día de los Muertos skeletons skating up and down the bridge’s concrete pillars, too!

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!

Art at and near Hernandez Hideaway.

It seems Hernandez Hideaway has been serving Mexican food by the west shore of Lake Hodges forever. I know I went there as a child, even if I really don’t remember the experience. I do remember helping to inflate a small boat in the parking lot across the street back in middle school. My friend was really into bass fishing. (I even managed to catch a fish or two. When my red plastic worm didn’t snag.)

Before walking along the San Dieguito River Trail on Saturday, I checked out some colorful old artwork painted on the side of Hernandez Hideaway. Then I noticed a really cool “Del Dios” tile mosaic bench across Lake Drive at the North Shore Lake Hodges Trailhead.

I took 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!

Oil Painters of America comes to Escondido!

What is Left Unsaid, by artist Daniel Gerhartz.

An extraordinary exhibition of oil paintings by some of America’s finest artists opened at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido a couple weeks ago.

Yesterday I headed into the Center’s Museum to check out dozens of superb pieces that were created by members of the Oil Painters of America.

The Oil Painters of America has several thousand members who excel at representational oil painting, an art that has seen some decline in modern times. According to this page of their website: “Oil Painters of America was founded in 1991 by Shirl Smithson primarily to focus attention on the lasting value of fine drawing, color, composition and the appreciation of light…”

Think of those old masters in a fine art museum. Some of the exquisite works I saw yesterday appear to belong right beside them.

Contemporary art can be amazing, other mediums can be fantastic, but if you want to find a profound sense of humanity and subtle emotion in a canvas, this type of painting is hard to beat.

The exhibition is titled the 30th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils. The California Center for the Arts, Escondido is privileged to have these works on display. I noticed many of the pieces are for sale.

I loved so many of these fine paintings, it was hard to select a handful to give you an idea of what you’ll see when you enter the museum.

Whatever you do, be sure to pass through the California Center for the Arts’ Museum doors by May 16, 2021, when this fantastic exhibition of traditional oil painting draws to an end.

Taos Light, by artist Huihan Liu.
Considerations, by artist John Michael Carter.
Carpe Diem, by artist Jeff Legg.
Mother, by artist Kathie Odom.
Port Clyde Harbor, by artist Jim Carson.
Saffron In Blue Ridge, by artist Brandon Gonzales.
Into the Sun, by artist Sarah Kidner.

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!