Sparks, scrapes and chisels at the Maritime Museum!

Lots of fascinating activity today at the Maritime Museum of San Diego!

As I walked about, I noticed volunteers and sail crew members were working on several very different vessels in the museum’s world-famous collection.

Sparks were flying from the black sail of the B-39 Soviet-era Russian submarine. Its life, sadly, has come to an end. Preparations are underway to tow the badly rusted Foxtrot-class diesel electric submarine to Mexico where it will be scrapped.

After watching guys using a torch on the sub’s outer hull, I walked to the far end of the Maritime Museum’s barge where the Robert Sharp’s stern was being restored. A friendly worker with a heat gun was crackling old varnish, which was then scraped off.

When I stepped onto the deck of the historic steam yacht Medea, I noticed a woodworker carefully repairing the boat’s wooden rail where it had split.

The elegant Medea has a fascinating history.

Did you know that, in addition to Medea being a pleasure yacht that cruised the isles and lochs of Scotland, it was used by France during World War I, and by the British Royal Navy and Norwegian Navy during World War II?

Learn much more 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!

Workers on cranes high above San Diego.

If you have a fear of heights, there’s one job you should definitely avoid. Working on cranes high above downtown San Diego!

I took these photos during a walk today along the Embarcadero. Four very tall cranes were swinging through the sky above a large construction site by the new downtown U.S. Navy Headquarters Building. And casually standing or sitting atop the cranes were tiny workers!

New buildings destined to rise along the waterfront, where much of the Navy Broadway Complex once existed, will make up the San Diego Research and Development District, or RaDD. The eight acre life sciences complex will include a 17-story tower, restaurants and shops.

You can learn much more and see renderings of the finished project 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!

America’s most haunted house is improved!

The Whaley House in San Diego’s historic Old Town is widely considered to be America’s most haunted house.

I found out today that even a world-famous haunted house can be greatly improved!

As I walked around The Whaley House Museum, I noticed workers constructing new outdoor pathways. When I asked, I was told the improved paths will now be ADA compliant. I also learned the historic structure has a new coat of paint and that several of the exhibits inside, including the kitchen, have been recently altered and made even more intriguing! And, yes, that sign in the above photo is new, too!

Sounds like another visit is required!

Over four years ago I took a tour of the Whaley House, whose rich history might actually be more interesting than all the supposed ghost sightings. If you’d like to see inside photos and learn more about the Whaley House, including why it is so famous, check out that old blog post 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!

Working to clean and beautify National City!

During my visit to the fun “A Kimball Holiday” event on Saturday, I met a couple of guys who are working to clean and beautify National City!

In an effort to promote a pedestrian corridor along Interstate 805, they are asking the public which improvements would be most important. Native and drought-resistant landscaping, trash and recycling receptacles, lighting, signage and more are being considered.

I don’t live in National City, but I am a very big walker who passes through its neighborhoods from time to time, so obviously I was excited to hear of this effort!

The guys I spoke to are hoping to receive a Caltrans Clean California Program grant to implement this positive vision for the community.

All I can say is, National City certainly deserves these improvements. This community might be a bit under-resourced, but its residents are equal members of the California family.

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!

Big new waterfall coming to Balboa Park!

San Diego’s crown jewel, Balboa Park, is about to become even more amazing!

How?

A big new waterfall is under construction in the Lower Garden of the Japanese Friendship Garden!

I hadn’t walked down into the Lower Garden recently, so today when I saw the new waterfall being readied, I had to take photos!

As I understand it, from a conversation I had months ago, a small structure will be built beside this new water feature. Those walking down the nearby path will have the opportunity to grab a tea and possibly other refreshments.

A new footbridge will span this new stream. The water will continue on down to the existing waterfall by the Inamori Pavilion.

I can’t wait to see it all done!

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!

San Diego readies for Peacemaker and The Freak Brothers!

Comic-Con Special Edition, during this Thanksgiving weekend, will be featuring a few cool offsite activations in and around San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. They are free and open to the public.

I walked along Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade this morning and saw a big new Peacemaker display and workers readying an offsite that promotes Tubi’s new show The Freak Brothers. (UPDATEpossibly The Freak Brothers! It might actually be the Peacemaker Proving Ground. We’ll have to see Friday!)

NBC will also be promoting La Brea in Gaslamp Square next to the Tin Fish, across from the San Diego Convention Center. I took updated photos of that offsite yesterday, which you can see here.

A security guard told me a homeless person tried to rip off the plastic wrapping, breaking the Peacemaker sign below.

Here’s a photo of the big Peacemaker building wrap on the Marriott Marquis. Peacemaker is a show about the DC Comics character, who appeared in the latest Suicide Squad movie. The new series will be on HBO Max.

Here come more pics from this Thanksgiving morning. It looks like (maybe) The Freak Brothers will be living in a trailer. The animated Tubi show satirizes both the drug counter-culture and the establishment. It’s based on an underground comic about stoner characters and their crazy exploits.

The Garden of Peace sign makes me wonder if this isn’t actually the Peacemaker Proving Ground, referenced here. We’ll find out!

UPDATE!

Turns out I was wrong! What I thought might be The Freak Brothers activation is actually the Peacemaker Proving Ground. That would explain the obstacle course I photographed earlier.

A bus promoting The Freak Brothers will be parked by the Hilton San Diego Bayfront!

I’ll have to check that out this weekend!

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!

Getting ready for Comic-Con Special Edition!

Preparations are now underway in downtown San Diego for this Thanksgiving weekend’s big Comic-Con Special Edition!

I walked around the Gaslamp Quarter this morning and spotted a building wrap on the Marriott Marquis. In the evening, after dark, I saw workers setting up a couple of Comic-Con offsites!

One offsite, by the Tin Fish, promotes NBC’s television show La Brea. The premise, I learned, is a sinkhole opens up in Los Angeles, swallowing modern people and depositing them in a mysterious subterranean world–where their smartphones don’t work! What will they do when they encounter dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures? The La Brea offsite will be giving away premium swag to all visitors!

The other offsite I spotted is on some grass by Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade, where Deadquarters has been located the last couple Comic-Cons. Workers were setting up an obstacle course. One person I spoke to thinks this offsite promotes a show on Tubi. Possibly The Freak Brothers. I’ll be providing updates with more photos and info. Stay tuned!

Comic-Con Special Edition banner at one end of the San Diego Convention Center.
These workers confided they’re getting stuff ready for the big pop culture event!
More banners on the convention center along Harbor Drive.
Comic-Con International banners on posts by the convention center. Celebrating the popular arts.
A Peacemaker building wrap on the Marriott Marquis. The television series concerning a DC Comics character will be on streaming service HBO Max.
Setting up an offsite in the dark. The workers didn’t know what it was–except it’s for Comic-Con.
Part of the same offsite, which includes an obstacle course. Someone surmised it promotes a show on Tubi.
The NBC La Brea offsite by the Tin Fish.
Looks like mammoth tusks! Visitors will walk through here to an ambulance where cool swag will be obtained!
Looks like Syfy will also be represented outside Comic-Con Special Edition!
La Brea ads are all over the place.
Stay tuned for more pics later this week!

UPDATE!

I walked all around the Gaslamp and convention center early Wednesday morning. This is what I saw…

First, some large banners have been on the Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s parking structure for a few weeks now. They promote local rapidly growing tech company ClickUp, which is headquartered in the Gaslamp!

Next, I took a pic of exhibitors lined up behind the convention center, waiting to unload trucks.

I took some pics of construction of what I think might be The Freak Brothers offsite near the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. (UPDATE! Now I’m thinking this might be the Peacemaker Proving Ground–we’ll see on Friday!)

And finally some daylight pics of the La Brea activation.

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!

San Diego’s Mid-Coast Trolley extension debuts!

Today was the big day! San Diego’s new Mid-Coast Trolley extension opened for regular service! And there were free rides and a big public celebration at the main UCSD campus station!

The greatly lengthened Blue Line now serves nine brand new trolley stations between Old Town and the UTC shopping mall. Much of the new line runs along Interstate 5 and is elevated. So imagine the great views!

I had to take photos, of course! And check out each new station!

A huge crowd turned out, and in some of the cars passengers were packed like sardines. But everyone was having a fun, memorable experience. Families with kids were everywhere, and the kids were especially excited!

I took loads of photos–so many, in fact, that I’ve left them somewhat unedited. But they provide a sense of what the day was about.

Here we go! Starting at the Old Town Transit Center, heading north…

Another trolley heads north from Old Town. Beyond that distant Interstate 8 overpass, the Mid-Coast Trolley extension passes over the San Diego River and Friars Road, then heads along Morena Boulevard into Bay Park.
Peering through the driver’s compartment. What lies ahead?
Passing over the San Diego River. Those other trolley tracks veer eastward into Mission Valley–the Green Line which I often take to work.
Passing over Friars Road. Some environmental work still underway, left over from creating new railway bridges.
I step off at the Tecolote Road station and take a photo of the trolley continuing on north. While I waited for the next trolley, I asked MTS ambassador Pat about possible new public art along the Mid-Coast Trolley extension, and she thought it would be cool to have owl art at this station. Tecolote is Spanish for owl!
I got on the next UC San Diego Blue Line train and have already arrived at the Clairemont Drive station.
There it goes!
Here comes the next trolley!
Heading north past Mission Bay we could see water and palm trees in the distance.
It’s getting noticeably busier at the Balboa Avenue station! A sizeable parking lot here was used by many passengers on this free ride day.
The trolley continues north toward Rose Canyon. You can see Mount Soledad in the distance on the left.
A path for pedestrians and bicyclists heads toward Balboa Avenue.
Bicyclists descend to Balboa Avenue.
Lots of passengers on this special day!
Heading north past industrial buildings by Rose Creek. Climb those hills to the east and you’d find yourself in Clairemont.
Autumn scenery is a bit blurred as we move rapidly along.
The Amtrak and Coaster train tracks, which we’ve been traveling beside, now veer northeast toward Miramar. We soon veer a bit west to pass over Interstate 5 and commence an elevated journey beside the freeway.
Our first glimpse of Golden Triangle office high-rises and the exotic temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Pulling into the Nobel Drive station, which is across the freeway from the distinctive Mormon temple.
Folks walk along the station platform.
Looking back south. Some construction is still going on.
Look both ways!
Looking north. You can see the big VA Medical Center building in the distance, to left of center.
Continuing on the trolley north.
Approaching the VA Medical Center station. The best photo I managed to get at this moment. (The trolley car was jam-packed!)
We’ve arrived!
Flags and plaques honor the five branches of the Armed Services at the VA Medical Center station. I’ll be posting more photos that I took here shortly.
One last look down at the freeway before we curve our way into the large campus of UC San Diego. I took photos of Mid-Coast Trolley extension construction some time ago from this same bridge.
There’s a good deal of construction activity around the new UC San Diego Central Campus trolley station.
Here we are!
The trolley cars emptied here as people flooded down toward a big Mid-Coast Trolley extension opening day celebration and festival!
Somebody already got a cool new shirt!
Down some stairs we go.
Lots of stuff going on beneath the elevated station!
A sign indicates the Grand Opening Celebration event is this way!
That’s the big celebration in the distance. Meanwhile I spotted these dancers.
It’s the San Diego Dance Theater! They perform the annual Trolley Dances! You’ve seen them many times before on Cool San Diego Sights!
Oh, man! Look at that line! I’m afraid I didn’t have the patience to wait. More places to go today…
I did take a photo from outside the big Grand Opening Celebration event. They had a huge stage for speeches and entertainment. And kettle corn, of course!
Heading back under the UC San Diego Central Campus trolley station I noticed this cool public art. Words and phrases fill the plaza! I’ll blog more about this later.
Heading up stairs on the station’s other side.
A view of UCSD campus construction near the new trolley station. UC San Diego has been expanding like crazy the past few years.
More construction photographed from the same stairs.
The top of the elevators to the station platform.
Well, here we are a short time later at the UC San Diego Health La Jolla station. That’s quite a mouthful!
The longest station name ever.
Not much action at this station. A MTS worker is keeping things clean.
Looking around.
We’re now on our way to the Executive Drive station.
I’ve arrived at the Executive Drive trolley station near the heart of University City. Gleaming office buildings are all around. That pedestrian bridge provides easy passage to one nearby building.
From here the Blue Line heads south above Genesee Avenue for a short distance.
I see the UTC shopping mall a short distance to the south.
I watch a trolley head toward its final destination–the UTC Transit Center.
I’m riding there now!
Look at all the passengers disembarking!
At the UTC Transit Center trolley platform, on the west side.
Stairs head down to a nearby parking lot.
MTS buses at the UTC Transit Center below, on the east side of the trolley platform.
People head into the popular UTC shopping mall.
One last look north up Genesee Avenue.

That is a little of what many experienced on this day, November 21, 2021.

History was made in 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!

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!

Swarming gulls, Horton’s new skin, and a relic.

I observed a few interesting things in downtown San Diego during my morning walk.

First, a parking lot in East Village was swarming with hundreds of seagulls. Someone was tossing the gulls a large quantity of crumbs. It was quite a spectacle, as you can see in my photographs.

Of course, feeding birds downtown makes them more of a potential nuisance. And the people who’d parked nearby might have something to say…

Next, as I walked past old Horton Plaza, I noticed its redevelopment is progressing right along. The exterior of the now enlarged building at the corner of G Street and 1st Avenue, former home of a Nordstrom department store, has some new skin!

If you want to see how the project appeared about a year ago, with the once popular shopping mall stripped and gutted, click here!

If you want to see how the new mixed-use high-tech downtown campus will appear when finished, click here!

Finally, check out the following old relic.

How many pay phones remain in the city? I never see them anymore. I did find one here, at the Convention Center trolley station, next to a brand new high-tech PRONTO ticket machine!

Put that pay phone in a museum!

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!

Working on the trolley tracks at America Plaza.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve noticed that MTS is working on the trolley tracks in and near the America Plaza station. As you can see in the above photo, old wooden railroad ties are being replaced with new concrete ones.

I’ve always loved trains. I did as a kid. I still do today. That’s one reason I like riding the San Diego Trolley.

So it has been fascinating to watch this work whenever I walk through downtown past America Plaza.

It will also be interesting to watch another upcoming project by the Metropolitan Transit System: the America Plaza and Santa Fe Depot Pedestrian Enhancement Project. Navigating between these two adjacent stations will be made easier and more welcoming. I use both stations a lot, so I’m excited!

I took these photos over the last couple weeks. You can see progress is being made as the aging trolley tracks are improved…

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!