San Diego Symphony’s beautiful Christmas tree!

The San Diego Symphony has put up their beautiful (and very unique) Christmas tree!

I saw it this evening as I walked home through downtown. It stands in a corner of the front lobby inside Symphony Towers.

Not only are the branches decked with traditional Christmas ornaments, but one can find bright musical notes and instruments!

If you’d like to help the San Diego Symphony out financially during the pandemic, you can make a donation to their Stabilization Fund. If you do, an anonymous donor will match it! Learn more by clicking 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!

Holiday decorations appear early downtown!

It’s not even Thanksgiving, and holiday decorations are springing up all over downtown San Diego!

Yes, many of us express dismay when wreaths, ribbons and Christmas trees appear in shops, windows and everywhere you turn well before December. It happens every year.

But 2020 has been more chaotic and stressful than usual. Perhaps starting early with holiday cheerfulness and a message of hope is a good thing.

I took these photos in both the morning and the evening after dark. I’m sure many more holiday decorations will be materializing throughout the city in the days ahead!

The following three photos were taken at The Westgate Hotel, one of the city’s most elegant hotels.

I was walking down the sidewalk, taking photos of the hotel’s bright new outdoor holiday decorations, when a friendly lady who works there offered to show me the grand Christmas tree inside their lobby.

If you love French elegance, The Westgate Hotel is where you want to be!

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!

Reflection, movement, life.

I was standing in front of the Santa Fe Depot waiting for a bus, gazing across the street at America Plaza and its trolley station, watching people and their movement, seeing strange reflections on nearby buildings–life and light dancing mysteriously–when I lifted my camera…

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 beautiful, living art of Tree.

Tree has returned to San Diego. She has been travelling.

This morning Tree had her beautiful art on display on a downtown sidewalk. I happened to see her as I walked down Broadway near the Santa Fe Depot.

Tree is a passionate artist, full of life and energy. She’s always happy to greet passersby with a big smile.

Her small abstract watercolor paintings are like splashes of life seen through prisms. They are created with a careful eye and fine brush. Every complex design is a surprise. The colors are brilliant like jewels.

Next time you walk down Broadway just south of the Santa Fe Depot, keep your eyes open. You might discover unexpected treasures spread at your feet. And a smiling Tree.

Bowsprit of Forester in front of Maritime Museum.

Have you ever wondered about that massive timber that lies in front of the Maritime Museum? The one people will sit on to gaze across San Diego Bay or at several of the museum’s nearby ships?

That’s the bowsprit of the old four-masted schooner Forester, built in 1900 to transport lumber from the Pacific Northwest to ports along the West Coast and destinations all around the Pacific Ocean, including China, India, Australia, South Sea islands and Peru.

The old ship, when her life of carrying logs of spruce and fir came to an end, was used as a tidal break near the northeastern end of San Francisco Bay. Eventually it was towed to a mudflat west of Antioch (the city stated in the plaque I photographed) and beached. There it became home of its long-time captain.

In 1975 fire swept through the abandoned ship and it burned to the waterline. The remains of Forester can still be seen along the shoreline of Martinez, California.

If you want to learn more about the history of the Forester, and see several interesting old photographs of the ship, there’s a great web page that you can check out by clicking 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!

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!

Light, reflections on Lane Field hotels.

This morning I walked toward, between and around the hotels that now occupy the site of old Lane Field, where the Padres played baseball when they were a team in the Pacific Coast League.

Bright, clear light reflected from the two very different buildings: the InterContinental San Diego building and the Marriott SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn building across from it. Perfect for intriguing photos!

You might remember that I documented how the site of old Lane Field was transformed into a public park and prime waterfront location for these hotels here.

If you’re curious about the rippling façade you see above and in several other photographs, it covers the Marriott building’s parking garage and is titled California Rain. The sculptural artwork was created by artist David Franklin. I posted photos almost five years ago here. (Read that blog post’s comments to learn more about how the individual aluminum blades were assembled!)

Now on to this morning’s cool pics!

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!

Unusual tower of the Quartermass-Wilde House.

The historic 1896 Quartermass-Wilde House, located in Golden Hill overlooking downtown San Diego, is one of the most fantastic, palatial old houses in our city.

Should you walk by Broadway and 24th Street, you might notice that this Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion, with a Classical Revival influence, has a very unusual tower. The top of the tower is shaped like a dome!

Why?

Because Louis J. Wilde, Mayor of San Diego from 1917–1921, loved architect Irving Gill’s elegant 1910 Broadway Fountain so much that he had the tower of his mansion altered to resemble it!

Louis J. Wilde was a controversial mayor, banker, oil tycoon, developer and part owner of the US Grant Hotel. His donation of $10,000 helped to build the Broadway Fountain in Horton Plaza Park, directly across Broadway from the US Grant. (He was also responsible for changing the name of D Street to Broadway!)

I’ve read the cupola under the tower’s dome provides an amazing panoramic view of downtown San Diego!

The 1910 Broadway Fountain at Horton Plaza Park. The fountain, with its unique watery dome supported by classic Corinthian columns, was designed by architect Irving Gill.
The top of the tower of the historic 1896 Quartermass-Wilde House in Golden Hill was altered by Mayor Wilde years later to resemble the Broadway Fountain that he loved in 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!

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!

Photos of YWCA building in downtown San Diego.

From a few blocks away, the old YWCA building in downtown San Diego appears unremarkable. But approach the corner of Tenth Avenue and C Street and you see why the 1926 YWCA Administrative Building, designed by architects Frank Stevenson and C.E. Decker, is one of our city’s more fascinating sights.

Sculpted stucco and beautiful metalwork decorate the building’s grand front entrance and many windows. The elaborate ornamentation was inspired by the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture that became popular in San Diego and Southern California after the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, held in nearby Balboa Park.

I took photographs of this unique old building during a recent walk.

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!

Art panels say BE THE CHANGE.

Three panels of painted art have appeared in the breezeway between downtown’s Santa Fe Depot train station and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Together they form a positive message: BE THE CHANGE.

BE
THE
CHANGE
Goal Warm Liberated Kindness Peaceful Tender Determined Brave Spirited…
Motivated Playful Amazed Passionate Sunshine Intelligent Unique Calm Free Grace…
Wonderful Inspire Strength Curious Encouraged Mindful Onward Beauty Freedom…
A new butterfly.

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!

Graffiti removed, scrambled, reassembled!

Check out these strange photographs!

Earlier this year, sheets of plywood protecting certain downtown San Diego windows had been spray painted with colorful graffiti. A few days ago the same boards were reused and placed over windows again.

The original graffiti artwork has been scrambled and randomly reassembled in a bizarre but visually fascinating way!

REAL STREET ART!! (Turned upside down.)

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!