Intermission comes to downtown San Diego.

Intermission... The curtain will rise again. P.S. Wash your hands.
Intermission… The curtain will rise again. P.S. Wash your hands.

I was safely inside my home all day yesterday. The worldwide coronavirus pandemic continues.

Today the sun came out, so I decided to stretch my legs with an easy outdoor walk, while keeping a careful distance from others. (There was also the small matter of shopping for food.)

At the top of Cortez Hill a few residents were out walking their dogs. They usually moved to one side as others approached.

In the heart of downtown it was much quieter than usual for a Saturday. A few workers were out doing their thing. A handful of restaurants were open and offering carry out food, but many others were closed. Businesses that aren’t considered essential services were all closed.

When I reached the Embarcadero, I was surprised to see a large number of joggers and walkers. I suppose, like me, they needed to feel the warm sunshine on their face. And there’s that need to stretch the legs–that’s what one does during intermission, right?

Broadway in downtown San Diego is exceptionally quiet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Broadway in downtown San Diego is exceptionally quiet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some workers were outside engaged in construction projects.
Some workers were outside engaged in construction projects.
Almost no traffic at the Santa Fe Depot.
Almost no traffic at the Santa Fe Depot.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship is back in its sunny San Diego home. I assume it will be idle until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship is back in its sunny San Diego home. I assume it will be idle until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Like most tourist attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours has closed operations until further notice.
Like most tourist attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours has closed operations until further notice.
No kids were jumping in the Waterfront Park fountains today. For the County of San Diego, protecting public health is a top priority.
No kids were jumping in the Waterfront Park fountains today. For the County of San Diego, protecting public health is a top priority.
I was surprised by the number of walkers and joggers out by the water. Most were a fair distance apart.
I was surprised by the number of walkers and joggers out by the water. Most kept a fair distance apart.
Even though the pavilions by the Broadway Pier were closed, many were enjoying sunshine along San Diego's Embarcadero.
Even though the pavilions by the Broadway Pier were closed, many people were enjoying sunshine along San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Another photo of almost empty Broadway looking east from Harbor Drive.
Another photo of almost empty Broadway looking east from Harbor Drive.
Many who live downtown were outside walking dogs.
Many who live downtown were outside walking dogs.
The San Diego Law Library building is closed. I was lucky to enjoy an inside tour of it last month.
The San Diego Law Library building is closed. I was lucky to enjoy an inside tour of it a couple weeks ago, before the pandemic worsened.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Fire Station 1--The Big House--was very quiet when I walked by. That's a good thing!
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Fire Station 1–The Big House–was very quiet when I walked by. That’s a good thing!
More construction downtown. A huge crane is being erected on B Street.
More construction downtown. The pandemic will end and the city will grow. Small cranes were being used to erect a huge crane on B Street.
Intermission comes to downtown San Diego.
Intermission comes to 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!

A waterfront walk before the shutdown.

Much in San Diego will shut down starting tomorrow. I’ll still be working, but many San Diegans will not.

Schools throughout the city and county will be closed temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic. So too will popular attractions, including the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the USS Midway Museum.

I walked along downtown’s waterfront today, wondering what I might see. A cruise ship was docked at the Broadway Pier, but I saw no passengers. I noticed that the Portside Pier construction is well along. It’s Sunday, so lots of volunteers were busy at the Maritime Museum, but I was one of very few visitors. The usual lines at the USS Midway ticket booth were practically nonexistent.

A few tourists were enjoying a day on the Embarcadero, snapping selfies, but I saw no parked tour buses.

Several people were fishing.

I’m afraid I couldn’t resist buying an ice cream.

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!

Walk under an enormous, historic tree!

Would you like to walk beneath the branches of one of the most impressive and beloved trees in San Diego?

I remember when I was a boy, people used to walk right up to the trunk of the huge Moreton Bay Fig tree in Balboa Park–that enormous tree just north of the Natural History Museum. Kids would even climb about its limbs. But over the years too many feet compacted the soil above the tree’s root system, threatening to kill it. So the historic tree, planted just before the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, was fenced off to the public.

But there are plans that will allow people to approach this mighty tree once again!

A raised platform is to be built at the base of the Moreton Bay Fig. The structure will not interfere with the tree’s root system, which has been carefully mapped. Once the project is complete, the public will be able to more fully appreciate the beauty and majesty of this amazing 78 feet tall tree.

The Friends of Balboa Park, an organization whose mission is to preserve Balboa Park’s legacy for future generations, is raising money to construct the platform, and they could use a few more donations.

If you’d like to learn more about this cool project, and perhaps help out the Friends of Balboa Park, visit their website here!

Sign in Balboa Park describes Ficus macrophylla, the Moreton Bay Fig.
An old photograph from my blog of a sign in Balboa Park. It describes this particular Ficus macrophylla, or Moreton Bay Fig. The enormous tree is listed as a co-champion with the Santa Barbara Fig in the California Department of Forestry Registry of Big Trees.

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 Shell appears in San Diego’s skyline!

The San Diego Symphony’s new outdoor summer stage, The Shell, is rapidly taking shape in San Diego’s gleaming skyline!

During my harbor tour today I saw that most of The Shell’s white canvas has been attached to its steel frame. With a little imagination it’s easy to see how San Diego seen across the bay will be more amazing than ever.

Once all the canvas is up, and the cranes disappear, The Shell will almost certainly become an iconic new landmark on our bayfront!

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!

The Stones, Monster Jam and The Shell.

The Rolling Stones are returning to San Diego this year!

Monster Jam is coming to Petco Park next weekend!

The Shell, the San Diego Symphony’s new performance stage at Embarcadero Marina Park South, will be completed in time for this year’s Bayside Summer Nights!

I saw evidence of all this during my morning walk near Petco Park and behind the San Diego Convention Center…

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!

Redecking famous tall ship HMS Surprise.

Lumber is prepared on the main deck of HMS Surprise during the famous tall ship's re-decking project.
Lumber is prepared on the main deck of HMS Surprise during the famous tall ship’s redecking project.

During my Sunday visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I noticed good progress has been made redecking HMS Surprise. While nobody was working on that project at the time, I was able to see some of the process that is required to put a beautiful, weather-resistant new deck on the amazing tall ship.

HMS Surprise was used in the filming of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe, one of the greatest epic films depicting the Age of Sail during the Napoleonic Wars. The ship is a replica of the 18th century Royal Navy frigate HMS Rose, and is just one of several world-famous ships and submarines you can step aboard at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

As you can see in my photo of a sign, the museum welcomes new members, volunteers, docents, donors, and even sail crew! I can tell you that being a member is cool beyond description. I never tire of visiting the museum’s historical exhibits and many beautiful vessels.

An innovative technique used on Star of India is being applied here. It involves multiple epoxy layers, fiberglass layers and planking.
An innovative decking technique that was successful on Star of India is also being used for HMS Surprise. It involves multiple epoxy layers, fiberglass layers and planking.
The main deck of HMS Surprise is full of lumber, saws and other woodworking tools!
The main deck of HMS Surprise is full of lumber, saws and other woodworking tools!
In this photo you can see how some of the layered decking work is done.
In this photo you can see how some of the layered decking work is done.
Another photo of the redecking in progress.
Another photo of the redecking in progress.
Some of the hand tools.
Some of the hand tools.
The finished decking on HMS Surprise's quarterdeck is very beautiful and should last many years.
The finished decking on HMS Surprise’s quarterdeck is very beautiful and should endure sun, weather and the feet of curious visitors for many years.
There's always more work to be done at the Maritime Museum of San Diego! Your help is welcomed!
Volunteers head out to the museum’s barge with some lumber. There’s always more work to be done at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Your help is appreciated!

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!

Lots of big, exciting news in Balboa Park!

New structures are finally rising on the southwest end of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
New structures are finally rising on the southwest end of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.

The decade is off to an exciting start in Balboa Park! I discovered lots of big news during my afternoon walk!

After years of delay, new structures on the southwest side of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages are finally rising! Three structures on this side and two on the International Cottage’s northeast side will provide future homes for nine nations or cultural units: Mexico, India, Colombia, Lebanon, Palestine, Peru, Panama, Turkey and the Philippines.

If you want to see photos of the big groundbreaking event that took place over three years ago, click here!

A new Community Christmas Tree was recently planted! It replaced the diseased, old, misshapen tree that Balboa Park stopped decorating many years ago.

I learned from a friendly lady who works for the Balboa Park Conservancy that the new tree was planted around Christmas. It will be allowed to grow and become established before being decked with lights and ornaments. Look for it during future Holiday Seasons!

Balboa Park has a healthy new Community Christmas Tree!
Balboa Park has a healthy new Community Christmas Tree!

Here’s an old photo of that misshapen tree, which was finally removed:

Finally, the scaffolding has been removed from the California Tower! The iconic building’s Seismic Retrofitting Project is almost complete!

I was informed by two Museum of Man employees that the tower will reopen to the public on February 15!

The scaffolding is now off the California Tower. It soon will reopen to the public!
The scaffolding is now off the California Tower. It soon will reopen to the public!

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!