Water, boats and sunset at the Crescent Area.

This evening before sunset I walked beside San Diego Bay.

Late sunlight reflected from the boats moored in the Crescent Area of the North Embarcadero.

I walked north from the Grape Street Pier not quite to the Coast Guard Station.

This is what I saw:

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!

Cleverly designed furniture is surprising, playful art!

Artwork now on display in the SDSU Downtown Gallery includes extraordinary furniture!
Artwork now on display in the SDSU Downtown Gallery includes extraordinary furniture!

Some fantastic, highly innovative art is now on display at the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is the title of the surprising exhibition.

Walk through the door of the SDSU Downtown Gallery and you might not be sure whether you’ve entered a bizarre furniture and hardware store or a dream-place where art conforms to your body. Those abstract paintings on the wall actually unfold into chairs! Those shovel handles in a row form the back of a beautifully crafted wooden bench! That colorful “luggage” tossed in a heap in one corner seems more appropriate for a comfortable living room than a cargo hold!

According to a sign in the gallery, Tom Loeser imagines new ways that the body, furniture and space can interact. He wonders: if the furniture we sit on were totally different, how might our lives be different too?

I can tell you resting on these pieces (and you’re allowed to actually sit on a few of his tumblers) would put me in a very creative and happy state of mind.

As I sat I might gaze at Tom Loeser’s artwork on the gallery’s walls, which includes fantastic blue cyanotypes and strangely elemental pyrography. Transformed by the artist’s genius, ordinary objects seem to radiate a weird spiritual essence. The images, like his furniture, seem to present a vision of unexpected potentialities in our practical, solidly physical world.

If you love really clever art, check out the SDSU Downtown Gallery before this exhibition ends on October 28, 2018!

The art exhibition Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is now showing in downtown San Diego.
The art exhibition Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is now showing in downtown San Diego.
Two works of art by Tom Loeser. Not a Dozen Even, 2014, cyanotype. Double Dig, 2016, white oak and shovel handles.
Two works of art by Tom Loeser. Not a Dozen Even, 2014, cyanotype. Double Dig, 2016, white oak and shovel handles.
S/M/L, 2014, cyanotype by artist Tom Loeser.
S/M/L, 2014, cyanotype by artist Tom Loeser.
A room full of practical objects made dreamlike.
A room full of practical objects made dreamlike.
Dig for Three, 2015, walnut and shovel handles by artist Tom Loeser.
Dig for Three, 2015, walnut and shovel handles by artist Tom Loeser.
LA/Chicago/New York, 2016, plywood, wood, felt, paint by artist Tom Loeser.
LA/Chicago/New York, 2016, plywood, wood, felt, paint by artist Tom Loeser.
A colorful tumbler that can be sat upon comfortably any which way.
A colorful tumbler that can be sat upon comfortably any which way.
Folding Chair, 1987, painted plywood, maple, stainless steel by artist Tom Loeser.
Folding Chair, 1987, painted plywood, maple, stainless steel by artist Tom Loeser.
Scythe by Scythe, 2016, maple, hickory, scythe handles by artist Tom Loeser.
Scythe by Scythe, 2016, maple, hickory, scythe handles by artist Tom Loeser.

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!

Model of Lane Field stadium at Petco Park.

Completed model of Lane Field stadium in the garage of baseball historian Bill Swank. Photo courtesy Bill Swank.
Completed model of Lane Field stadium in the garage of baseball historian Bill Swank. Photo courtesy Bill Swank.

A fascinating scale model of the Lane Field stadium, home of the Pacific Coast League Padres from 1936 to 1957, is now located inside the front lobby of the San Diego Padres business office. The model was built by baseball historian Bill Swank, author of several books, including Echoes from Lane Field : A History of the San Diego Padres 1936-1957.

Fans of the early Padres used to head to Lane Field to see their favorite team in action. Many fond baseball memories were made in downtown San Diego near the waterfront, at the end of West Broadway between Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway. Today the area is occupied by two hotel buildings and Lane Field Park, which features a small baseball diamond, plaques that honor an era of local baseball history, and three colorful banners that celebrate former players at Lane Field, including legendary hitter Ted Williams.

Bill Swank created the detailed model of long-vanished Lane Field to preserve a bit of San Diego history for the enjoyment of Padres fans. The model is in 1:128 scale and made out of basswood. Care was taken during its construction to maintain a high degree of accuracy.

According to Bill Swank, the model is “so accurate to scale that it’s even 87’ from home to first base. It wasn’t until the 1950s that a groundskeeper measured the distance and discovered it was only 87 feet… and had been 87 feet since 1936! I believe the mistake was made by taking the measurement off the hastily drawn blueprint.”

Bill Swank has provided the following additional information concerning his model:

January 1997: Because I had blueprints for Lane Field, San Diego Hall of Champions Historian Don King asked if I would like to participate in building a scale model of the original home of the San Diego Padres to be displayed at the Hall of Champions.

May 1997: It took me longer to finish the model than it took the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to build the actual ballpark. Bill Lane signed an agreement to relocate his Pacific Coast League Hollywood Stars to San Diego on January 28, 1936. A ballpark had to be built at the northwest corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway in less than two months, because the renamed “Padres” first game was scheduled for March 31, 1936. The cost of construction was approximately $25,000. (San Diego beat the Seattle Indians, 6-2, on Opening Day.)

July 1997: My Lane Field model was unveiled at the San Diego Hall of Champions on the Prado.

September 2000: The model was transported to the remodeled Federal Building after the Hall of Champions moved from the Prado.

April 2017: When the Hall of Champions closed in 2017, a new home was found for the model at Petco Park.

February 2018: The Lane Field model went on display in the front lobby of the Padres business office.

I have enjoyed an up-close and personal look at this very cool model. Here are several historical photographs of Lane Field, followed by a few photos of the model beneath glass that my camera captured.

With a little imagination one can almost see fans in the stands, players in the field, and hear the crack of a batted home run…

Lane Field (1936) before the grandstand roof was added. Photo from the Bill Swank collection.
Lane Field (1936) before the grandstand roof was added. Photo from the Bill Swank collection.
Panoramic view of Lane Field includes long ticket line for 1954 PCL Championship game with Hollywood Stars (Padres won, 7-2). Photo by Ray Hacecky, Sr.
Panoramic view of Lane Field includes long ticket line for 1954 PCL Championship game with the Hollywood Stars (Padres won, 7-2). Photo by Ray Hacecky, Sr.
Opening Day, March 30, 1940. Southpaw Wally “Preacher” Hebert took the mound and beat the Los Angeles Angels, 5-1. Photo from the Hebert Family.
Opening Day, March 30, 1940. Southpaw Wally “Preacher” Hebert took the mound and beat the Los Angeles Angels, 5-1. Photo from the Hebert Family.
A new attendance record (13,466) was set on May 2, 1948 for a game with the San Francisco Seals. During the game, fans stood and sat in the outfield against the fence. A ball that went into the crowd was a ground rule double. Photo from the Bill Swank collection.
A new attendance record (13,466) was set on May 2, 1948 for a game with the San Francisco Seals. During the game, fans stood and sat in the outfield against the fence. A ball that went into the crowd was a ground rule double. Photo from the Bill Swank collection.
Model of Lane Field as it appears today.
Scale model of Lane Field stadium, displayed in lobby of the Padres business office.

This model was built to honor the men who played baseball at Lane Field and the fans who loved them.
This model was built to honor the men who played baseball at Lane Field and the fans who loved them.

Memories from San Diego's baseball past live on at Petco Park.
Memories from San Diego’s baseball past live on at Petco Park.

Many thanks to the San Diego Padres, the super friendly Petco Park Navigators and Bill Swank who made this fun post possible!

Go Pads!

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!

Fascinating photos of the Centre City Building.

The Centre City Building, which rises just north of Civic Center Plaza in San Diego, was built in 1927. The fourteen story office building was designed by noted architect Frank W. Stevenson, and once was the tallest building in all of downtown. Today the historical landmark can seem lost among dozens of more recent high-rises.

Whenever I walk pass this building to the east or north, I like to look up at the elegant decorative brick and granite facade. The much more plain and faded west and south sides of the building provide a fascinating visual contrast.

Light at different times of the day can either make the building seem golden and regal, or like a gradually vanishing page from San Diego’s history.

Here are a variety of photos that I’ve taken during several walks.

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!

How you can help USO San Diego fight hunger!

The USO is collecting food at Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets around San Diego. Buy a five dollar bag of food for a hungry neighbor, receive a five dollar coupon for the store!
The USO is collecting food at Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets around San Diego. Buy a five dollar bag of food for those who are hungry, receive a five dollar coupon from the store!

Before I post more photos of Comic-Con, let me alert my local readers to a great opportunity to help others. I just discovered an easy and essentially free way to help fight hunger in San Diego!

Walking back home from Comic-Con, I realized I needed groceries, so I swung by the downtown Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. As I stepped inside, I was greeted by two friendly volunteers from the USO. They’re working to fight hunger in San Diego!

I learned that during the month of July, shoppers who purchase a $5 bag of food from their table to help feed the hungry receive a $5 coupon from the store!

Kudos to the USO and their efforts. Kudos to Grocery Outlet Bargain Market for their generosity!

I also learned the USO collects food twice a month from a mobile food pantry in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check out the USO San Diego Facebook page for times and locations!

USO San Diego collects food twice a month in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check the USO Facebook page for their Mobile Food Pantry locations!
USO San Diego collects food twice a month in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check the USO Facebook page for their Mobile Food Pantry locations!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Photos of 2018 Comic-Con from 40 floors up!

This is what 2018 San Diego Comic-Con looks like from 40 floors up! Without crowds–yet!

I took these photos from the top of the Manchester Grand Hyatt today at three o’clock, as people were just beginning to converge on the San Diego Convention Center for Preview Night. The various offsites, some of which are visible, open tomorrow.

Take photos of Comic-Con from high above the city the next four days and the streets will be jammed with people!

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 Wednesday for 2018 Comic-Con!

These guys are the very first in line for Hall H, at 2018 San Diego Comic-Con. They were super friendly, excited and ready to go!
These guys are the very first in line for Hall H, at 2018 San Diego Comic-Con. They were super friendly, excited and ready to go!

The big one is almost here!

I’ve taken even more photos of 2018 Comic-Con preparation around San Diego. I walked all around this morning–Wednesday–and observed that workers are frantically getting the many offsites around the Gaslamp, Petco Park and San Diego Convention Center ready for tomorrow.

Tonight is Preview Night.

Let the party begin!

At Dead Quarters, they have a lot to do. At least according to some ragged signs that are being created!
At Dead Quarters, they have a lot to do. At least according to some ragged signs that are being created!
Cartman's Escape Room at the Comedy Central offsite appears about ready!
Cartman’s Escape Room at the Comedy Central offsite appears about ready!
The Convention Center trolley stop has been converted into a weird, very cool promotion for Stranger Things.
The Convention Center trolley stop has been converted into a weird, very cool promotion for Stranger Things.
This morning they were testing the Jack Ryan Experience. A test subject was carefully lowered from the mock helicopter.
This morning they were testing the Jack Ryan Experience. A test subject was carefully lowered from the mock helicopter.
A creepy child mannequin now stands in the Children's Park fountain, with a cage looming among the trees behind him. Part of the Castle Rock offsite.
A creepy jacketed mannequin now stands in the Children’s Park fountain, with a cage looming among the trees behind him. Part of the Castle Rock offsite.
What I called a castle has turned out to be more like a palace, created by Bandai at the Marina Terrace.
What I called a castle has turned out to be more like a brick palace, created by Bandai at the Marina Terrace.
Getting the entrance to the Lyft Lounge at Comic-Con Village ready on Wedsnesday morning.
Getting the entrance to the Lyft Lounge at Comic-Con Village ready on Wednesday morning. You’ll find it at Embarcadero Marina Park South, near the San Diego Symphony’s outdoor summer location.
The IMDb yacht gets a boat wrap!
The IMDb yacht gets a boat wrap!
The Starbucks at the Hilton Bayfront has been converted into a small Jurassic World.
The Starbucks at the Hilton Bayfront has been converted into a small Jurassic World.
A BBC film crew gets ready to cover 2018 San Diego Comic-Con on the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge.
A BBC film crew gets ready to cover 2018 San Diego Comic-Con on the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge.
Graphics at the entrance to Rotten Tomatoes suggests that possibly Your Opinion Sucks.
Graphics at the entrance to Rotten Tomatoes suggest that possibly Your Opinion Sucks.
Someone has appeared in one of the round windows of The Good Place.
Someone has appeared in one of the round windows of The Good Place.
Looks like a good place to me! Let's get this party started!
Looks like a good place to me! Let’s get this party started!

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!