Time is running out. Anthony’s Fish Grotto on San Diego’s waterfront will be closing at the end of next January. The restaurant has produced fond memories for millions of people over the course of its 70 year history. You have one last chance to enjoy this wonderful, unique place before it’s torn down.
Next year, the Brigantine will introduce a new restaurant at this scenic location, right next to the Star of India. I was told by a gentleman who sells art on the sidewalk nearby that the new Brigantine building is now under construction, and will be brought in across San Diego Bay on a ship or barge. That would certainly be a sight to behold!
Late yesterday morning I walked down to the Embarcadero to devour some french fries and a yummy tuna melt at Anthony’s outdoor Fishette. I sat on the wood deck dipping my fries in tartar sauce and breathing in the fresh air. I simply gazed out at the water. Pleasant visions floated on the sparkling blue, including a visiting cruise ship and San Diego Yacht Club sailboats. Between licking my fingers, I took a few photos.
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A big rush this morning. But I had enough time to walk down to the Broadway Pier. Slowing myself for a few moments, breathing in fresh air, I was enchanted by the surrounding quiet, the growing morning light, and mysterious reflections.
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Everyone has seen photos of cruise ships, but two beauties were docked on San Diego’s waterfront this morning and gleaming in the sunshine, so I had to whip out my camera!
Once in a while, two or three cruise ships visit downtown at the same time. Some of these vessels are so huge that stood on end they’d dwarf many nearby skyscrapers. The two ships I saw in port today are operated by Princess Cruise Line. Both are classified as Grand-class cruise ships and have nearly identical lengths. Even after seeing them in person, it’s hard for me to grasp that these ships are 950 feet long! The Crown Princess can carry 3,080 passengers with a crew of 1,201. The Star Princess accommodates 2,590 passengers and a crew of 1,150. Incredible!
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Many years ago, I loved to grab some food in the small waterfront cafe and bring it up onto the rooftop. From a table beneath an umbrella, I’d gaze out at the sparkling water. I’d observe passing sailboats, people on the Broadway Pier, and cruise ships docked at the nearby terminal. When two or more huge cruise ships were in port, I’d watch with interest as the departing Coronado ferry and harbor tour boats navigated the narrow space between them. In those days, the Bay Cafe also served as an embarkation hub for San Diego Harbor Excursion, now called Flagship. A ramp from inside the deli plunged down to a floating dock, where a gift shop was housed in a special boat. On this small dock a harbor cruise photographer asked guests to pose by a life preserver.
Up on the roof, if I wanted a change of view, I’d grab another table where I could gaze back toward downtown and watch tourists flow along Harbor Drive. There were almost always several empty tables. Few people seemed to realize the rooftop was open.
The Bay Cafe’s roof was also used for many years by broadcasters covering parades down Harbor Drive. From up there you could see everything.
My walk this morning brought back those memories. And a bit of sadness. The Bay Cafe is being demolished as I type these very words. The structure will be removed, but the concrete pad and pilings will remain, as part of an observation platform jutting over the water. It’s just one small part of the Embarcadero’s recent renovation. I’m sure the change will be great. I believe there are supposed to be benches where folks can just sit and enjoy the views. If there are, I’ll surely enjoy them. But time and progress march on. The Bay Cafe is almost just a memory.
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San Diego’s Embarcadero has undergone some major renovations. One of the new pavilions still under construction near the Broadway Pier features a large display that provides a timeline of the area’s history. Notable developments along the waterfront through the passing years are documented with historical photographs.
While many of these images concern more recent events, it still makes a fascinating visual time capsule. Here are some pics that I took!
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This photo was taken from Navy Pier just south of the Broadway Pier. It shows a cluster of Hornblower and Flagship harbor excursion boats, plus the big Celebrity Solstice cruise ship at the San Diego cruise ship terminal. If you were to turn to the right, you’d see the historic Santa Fe train depot and shining downtown skyline closeby.
The red, white and blue Patriot speed boat is a new addition to the growing fleet of tour and charter boats seen daily on our beautiful Big Bay!
Here’s a photograph showing several of the murals on the north side of the cruise ship terminal, in downtown San Diego. These colorful new murals show cruise ships, marine life and other sea-related imagery. Last weekend two large ships were visiting, one docked on either side of the terminal. I believe it’s that time of the year when many ships visit San Diego as they transition from summer Alaska cruises and head down the coast to Mexico or the Panama Canal on their way to the Caribbean.
Here are some cruise ship pics taken on a later date:
More assorted pics of public art at the cruise ship terminal:
Check out this stylish piece of art decorating the south side of San Diego’s Cruise Ship Terminal on the B Street Pier. The Trompe-L’oeil Mural painted in 2005 by artist Joshua Winer definitely has personality! I like how a bunch of stools have been randomly grouped next to the mural–as if they’re part of the scene! It’s a shame nobody was perched on one!
I considered cropping out the security camera at the top of the photo, but didn’t. It adds a somewhat disturbing dimension to the colorful bit of innocent nostalgia.