Photos of elevated trolley line construction.

If you’ve driven up Interstate 5 through La Jolla and University City, you’ve probably seen some impressive construction right next to the freeway. The extension of the San Diego Trolley’s Blue Line is now being built, and much of what is called the Mid-Coast Trolley will be elevated.

The new trolley line will turn from the freeway down Genesee Avenue and finally end at an elevated station at the recently renovated University Towne Centre shopping mall (now called Westfield UTC), adjacent to bus stops at the UTC Transit Center.

On Sunday, as I waited for a bus at the UTC Transit Center, I walked up Genesee Avenue to check out a short stretch of the trolley extension. My photos show what will be the north terminus of the Mid-Coast Trolley.

The project is impressive. Simulations of the UTC Transit Center station and other Mid-Coast Corridor stations can be foundĀ here. The trolley extension is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

As I took photos, I was fascinated by the strangely beautiful complexity. Layers of geometric shapes can be observed in the wood, concrete and steel supporting construction of the elevated tracks and station.

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!

Help reopen Christine’s downtown coffee cart!

I’m not a regular customer of Christine’s Coffee, but I often walk down B Street past the downtown coffee cart, and I’ll grab a hot chocolate on super cold mornings. If Christine happens to see me as I pass by she always smiles and waves. She is the friend of many. She is an important part of the life of our city.

So it was shocking to see a notice on her boarded-up cart about a month ago that explained her cart had been torched by an arsonist. Apparently is was set on fire in the middle of the night by a transient.

A couple days ago I spotted another notice on her destroyed cart. It explains that she has a GoFundMe page, and has plans to reopen the coffee cart.

If you’d like to help Christine, please go to her GoFundMe page here.

A past blog post featured the friendly wave of Christine at her coffee cart. That smile and wave need to be restored! Please click the link to her GoFundMe page and help out!

UPDATE!

Christine’s Coffee has reopened!

From tiny seeds grow towering things.

I was walking through downtown San Diego this morning, on my way to catch the trolley for work, when I noticed that a store owner had written on their window: A giant sequoia tree is the result of one tiny seed.

As I looked about, the only gigantic things I could find were surrounding buildings.

Then a startling truth occurred to me.

Even the most towering skyscraper is the result of one tiny seed . . . in the human mind.

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!

Make history at new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Library!

Early sunshine on the handsome new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. It will be completed and open to the public in a little over two weeks!
Early sunshine on the handsome new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. It will be completed and open to the public in a little over two weeks!

If you live in Mission Hills or Hillcrest, or simply love the San Diego Public Library , you have the opportunity to take part in a unique and historic ceremony!

On February 26, 2019, members of the community will participate in a unique “Book Pass” to celebrate the grand opening of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library!

Sign up for this event and you’ll be one of many who line the West Washington Street sidewalk symbolically passing a few books from the old branch library to the beautiful, much larger new building!

According to the website: “We will line streets from the current library to the new location to pass along select books as part of a grand opening party. Each book passer will receive a free scarf and other promotional items to commemorate this historic day. The Book Pass will take place from 9 to 10 am. Registration, Donuts, & Coffee, will be at 8:00 am at the new library, 215 West Washington Street.”

Interested? Sign up here!

Photo of the old, permanently closed Mission Hills Branch Public Library.
Photo of the old, now permanently closed Mission Hills Branch Public Library.
Fall was followed by winter at the old library building. But it soon will be spring...
Fall was followed by the dead of winter at the closed old library building. But spring always follows winter…
The ceremonial Book Pass from the old branch library to the new branch library will head east along the West Washington Street sidewalk past these flowers.
The ceremonial “Book Pass” from the old branch library to the new branch library will carry books east along the West Washington Street sidewalk past these flowers.
Those who take part in the symbolic opening ceremony, as they approach the new branch library, will carry books past this flock of birds!
Books used for the symbolic opening ceremony, as they are carried to the new branch library, will pass by this flock of birds!
And the books will finally arrive at their much larger, very beautiful new home.
And the books will finally arrive at their much larger, very beautiful new home.
Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library opens on January 26, 2019!
The new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library opens on January 26, 2019! You can participate in its opening and become part of history!

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!

Old Town State Park expansion coming!

The old Caltrans building at Taylor Street and Juan Street is being torn down, to make room for the expansion of the adjacent Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
The former Caltrans building at Taylor Street and Juan Street is being torn down, to make room for the expansion of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

One of the most visited state parks in California will soon undergo a major expansion!

I noticed during a recent walk that the old Caltrans building, located at the corner of Taylor Street and Juan Street, is being demolished. A banner hanging at the construction site informs passersby that this land will be added to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and will open to the public in Fall 2019!

I spoke to a state park employee and learned that initially the expansion will feature trees and benches. There are plans to eventually have interpretive exhibits or structures in this area that help visitors understand what life was like for the Native American Kumeyaay people, who inhabited this area for thousands of years before European explorers arrived. According to this informative web page, California State Parks is now working with tribal members representing the Kumeyaay Nation to “interpret their culture and their connections to the San Diego River and Old Town San Diego”.

I can’t wait to see the completed expansion!

Banner at demolition site. The former Caltrans District Office will be replaced with a new outdoor public space at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in Fall 2019.
Banner at demolition site. The former Caltrans District Office will be replaced with a new outdoor public space for Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in Fall 2019.

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!

Happy memories, and the decline of Seaport Village.

I have many happy memories of Seaport Village.

Back in the 1980’s, when I was a young and Seaport Village was new, my family would occasionally head downtown to enjoy the place. We’d stroll around the meandering pathways, poke our noses inside the specialty shops, browse the shelves of the cool bookstore, and enjoy lunch at one of several restaurants.

I was always intrigued by the big selection of magic tricks in the magic shop. At the candy store I’d shovel dozens of different sweets into a small bag, then eat them during the rest of our walk. We’d watch kites soaring in the blue San Diego sky at the nearby grassy park, and sailboats out on the bay. We always tried to catch Kazoo, the Seaport Village mime, performing.

On Sunday I walked through Seaport Village and was saddened to see many of the old shops are now vacant. The east half of Seaport Village almost resembles a ghost town.

Yes, there are plans to redevelop this valuable part of downtown’s bayfront, to make it more attractive and dynamic. Seaport San Diego will feature an observation tower, hotels, even an aquarium. But I’ve been told that future is somewhat uncertain and is still years away.

I’ve also been told that with this uncertain future and a recent change to the Seaport Village management, many shop owners have chosen not to renew their leases.

And yet today I saw hundreds of families happily walking about Seaport Village, visiting those shops and eateries that remain open. Such is the place’s reputation.

Over the decades Seaport Village has been the source of pleasure for millions of people.

But time and progress march 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!

New sights on a morning walk downtown.

A colorful canvas in the window of James Watts' studio on Seventh Avenue. I don't recall seeing this cool artwork before.
A colorful canvas in the window of James Watts’ studio on Seventh Avenue. I don’t recall seeing this artwork before.

This morning I walked south down Seventh Avenue, from the top of Cortez Hill to Petco Park.

I was happy to spot some new (and old) cool sights along this stretch of downtown San Diego. So I took photographs!

Some street art recently painted on a sidewalk utility box. I Love Downtown San Diego.
Some street art recently painted on a sidewalk utility box. I Love Downtown San Diego.
Complex reflection in the windows of the building at 701 B Street, which has undergone some upgrades.
Complex reflection in the windows of the building at 701 B Street, which has undergone some upgrades, including this west entrance.
Looking north up Seventh Avenue through San Diego's Financial District.
Looking north up Seventh Avenue through downtown San Diego’s Financial District.
Crane swings a load above the Bosa Tower construction site, with the old Hotel Churchill sign in the background.
Crane swings a load above the Bosa Tower construction site, with the old Hotel Churchill sign in the background.
Advertisements peeling from a construction site fence.
Advertisements peeling from another construction site fence.
A huge mural is now being painted on the rear of the Moxy San Diego Gaslamp Downtown! It appears to depict the Gaslamp Quarter.
A huge mural is now being painted on the rear of the Moxy San Diego Gaslamp Downtown! This cool new mural appears to depict part of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Reflections on the shiny Sempra Energy building, with the historic old 1887 Clermont Hotel in the foreground.
Morning reflections on the shiny Sempra Energy building, with the historic old 1887 Clermont Hotel in the foreground.
A new shirt with a West Coast State of Mind, in a window of the Padres Team Store in the old Western Metal Supply Building.
A new shirt with a West Coast State of Mind, in a window of the Padres Team Store, which is located in the Western Metal Supply Building.
Palm trees reflected in the glassy, very modern Omni San Diego Hotel.
Palm trees reflected in the glassy, very modern Omni San Diego Hotel.

UPDATE!

I took a photo of the Moxy mural days later when it was finished…

IMG_1180z

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!