A fine Saturday walk through the Gaslamp.

A little before noon, I enjoyed a fine walk through the Gaslamp Quarter, mostly down Fifth Avenue.

A lot of people were about for a late Saturday morning. So many exciting events going on today.

The World Cup. Taste of the Gaslamp. The Etsy market at Horton Plaza Park. People out on a walking tour, learning about the Gaslamp’s extraordinary old buildings and lively history. And the tourists, the workers, and downtown residents like me.

Enjoy this small slice of life 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!

Family Guy trolley for 2018 Comic-Con!

A Family Guy trolley wrap has appeared for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con!
A Family Guy trolley wrap has appeared for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con!

I spotted another FOX trolley wrap for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con! This one promotes the funny show Family Guy, and features Peter and Lois Griffin among a heap of beer cans!

I took these quick photos after running a couple blocks to the City College station a short while ago. I barely caught the trolley before it headed off again.

Enjoy!

Lois Griffin of the FOX show Family Guy on a San Diego trolley!
Lois Griffin of the FOX show Family Guy on a San Diego trolley!
Peter Griffin among lots of beer cans in a Family Guy trolley wrap for SDCC 2018!
Peter Griffin seems a bit dazed. He’s in the middle of a bunch of open beer cans in a Family Guy trolley wrap for SDCC 2018!

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!

Photo memories of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!

Time to go into Comic-Con mode!

I can’t believe how quickly the years pass by. It feels 2017 San Diego Comic-Con happened only yesterday!

Just for fun, I’ve been reviewing my blog posts from last year. It was amazing. So much fantastic stuff going on. Running like a crazy person around downtown taking hundreds of photos almost wore me out, but what an incredible, unforgettable experience!

Would you like to revisit some of the cool cosplay and fun activities outside Comic-Con in 2017?

Click the following links to see lots and lots of photos!

Photos of Steven Universe music video with Estelle!

Photos of uniforms, weapons, props of Star Trek: Discovery!

Comic-Con! Huge crowds! Cool cosplay! Crazy fun!

Comic-Con insanity! More cosplay and a TV star!

A look inside the Futurism and Tech Pavilion at Comic-Con.

Vikings actors greet crowd! A longship burns!

More craziness and cosplay at 2017 Comic-Con!

Broad City fans paint big coloring book at Comic-Con!

Celebrities! Cool cosplay! A rare Alien Queen!

More fun and cool cosplay at SDCC 2017!

Rabbitville gallery celebrates Gaslamp during Comic-Con.

The Walking Dead eat fans at 2017 Comic-Con!

Cosplay photos and other 2017 Comic-Con stuff!

Fun stuff outside Comic-Con on Preview Night!

Ron English’s POPaganda art exhibit at Comic-Con.

Hall H line begins, and photos of other stuff.

Cartoon Network character balloons take flight!

More photos of preparations for 2017 Comic-Con!

Super fan is first in line for Conan at Comic-Con!

Photos of how to get Wrecked at Comic-Con!

A look inside the Laika Experience at Comic-Con!

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 little-known studio of an amazing artist!

A small army of Japanese kokeshi fill the James E. Watts Studio in downtown San Diego.
A small army of life-size Japanese kokeshi fill the James E. Watts Studio in downtown San Diego.

I had an utterly amazing experience today.

I was walking through downtown San Diego, along Seventh Avenue, when I noticed a small table saw out on the sidewalk. It was set up in front of an unmarked door–one that I’ve passed many times over the years. When I peered through the open door my eyes nearly popped out of my head!

Through that mysterious door I saw a wonderland!

A friendly person told me that I might step inside. That very cool, funny and interesting guy was James E. Watts, a local artist who has been creating unique works of imagination for decades in San Diego. His pieces have appeared in a variety of exhibitions and at important museums, including both the San Diego Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Why the table saw? James Watts was just beginning a new sculpture of Quasimodo, and wooden blocks would be used to form the interior structure. Thin aluminum sheets nailed to the surface would produce the sculpture’s skin.

As you can see from the above photograph, his studio is dominated by a series of these large sculptures. They are based upon Japanese kokeshi, and his fun, symbolic pieces represent all sorts of characters from literature and history. He showed me a female Atlas, Don Quixote (with two small horses), Prometheus, Pandora, Jonah and Leviathan, and Joan of Arc. The humorous, collage-like skins were originally lunchboxes, signs, cans and other bits of colorful aluminum.

Another cool piece he showed me appears to be a combination of the Shroud of Turin, a horizontal religious shrine, and that wacky game Operation. Human anatomy is partitioned. Old age is contemplated. Bones fill box-like compartments. Colorful foam dots and dashes spell out a message in Morse code around the perimeter. The word BEAUTIFUL appears beneath the skull. (If you decipher the Morse code message, please leave a comment!)

And so I found myself standing in the middle of a fantasy world turning my eyes every which way. Rampant creativity jammed every wall, crammed every corner, was stacked high upon the floor. I could have happily lingered in that extraordinary studio all day long.

Thanks to James Watts for showing me around his artistic playground! There’s a special, little-known nook in the heart of San Diego, where one man’s imagination produces great treasures, and now I recognize the door!

James Watts near some artwork in progress. The wood blocks will fill the interior of a hunchbacked Quasimodo. I was told a bell will be placed atop the literary character's head!
James Watts near some artwork in progress. The wood blocks will fill the interior of a hunchbacked Quasimodo. I was told a bell might be placed atop the literary character’s head!
On the left a female Atlas holds up the world. To the right Don Quixote appears ready to tilt at windmills.
On the left a female Atlas holds up the world. To the right Don Quixote appears ready to tilt at windmills.
Many nudes also decorate the walls of the art gallery. They are done in various styles, reflecting famous painters of the past.
Many nudes also decorate the walls of the art gallery. They are done in various styles, reflecting famous painters of the past.
James Watts opens up a brain pan to reveal a brain!
James Watts opens up a brain pan to reveal . . . a brain!
So much cool artwork that I could barely take it all in.
So much amazing, cool artwork that I could barely take it all in.
Like a playground for a creator whose imagination seems to have no limits.
Like a playground for a creator whose imagination seems to have no limits.
I was told this abstract piece represents that brave person who stood in front of the tanks at Tiananmen Square.
I was told this abstract piece represents that brave person who stood in front of the tanks at Tiananmen Square.
An imaginative piece that represents the artist's contemplation of aging. Those colorful dots and dashes form a Morse code message!
A playful piece that has emerged from the artist’s contemplation of aging. Those colorful dots and dashes form a mysterious Morse code message!

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!

Photos from recent walks around San Diego.

A couple walks along Broadway in downtown San Diego.
A couple walks along Broadway in downtown San Diego.

This long, lazy weekend I’ve been sifting through my computer, searching for fun photos that I haven’t used yet. I discovered a few that I’d like to share.

These photographs are in no particular order. All were taken in the vicinity of downtown. I snapped them during recent walks down from Cortez Hill, where I live.

You might see why I love San Diego.

Buildings in East Village reflected in the glass windows of the headquarters of Sempra Energy.
Several buildings in East Village are reflected in the glass windows of the headquarters of Sempra Energy.
Looking up at the fantastic dome of downtown's Central Library.
Looking up at the fantastic dome of downtown’s Central Library.
People enjoy the grassy hill in the Park at the Park, near the statue of baseball hitting legend Tony Gwynn.
People enjoy the grassy hill in the Park at the Park, near the statue of baseball hitting legend Tony Gwynn.
A banner hanging on a lamppost near the Gaslamp Quarter landmark sign shows a fun photo from San Diego history.
A banner hanging on a lamppost near the Gaslamp Quarter landmark sign shows a fun photo from San Diego history.
I'm not sure if this is a fluffy llama or alpaca. It stands guard in front of Inka's Bar and Grill in the Gaslamp.
I’m not sure if this is a fluffy llama or alpaca. It stands guard in front of Inka’s Bar and Grill in the Gaslamp.
The Art of Dr. Seuss is now showing at The Chuck Jones Gallery in the Gaslamp.
The Art of Dr. Seuss is now showing at The Chuck Jones Gallery in the Gaslamp.
People play in the fun, splashing fountain at Horton Plaza Park.
People play in the fun, splashing fountain at Horton Plaza Park.
Colorful new banners have recently appeared around Cortez Hill. Very cool!
Colorful new banners have recently appeared around Cortez Hill. Very cool!
Morning photo of the handsome old World Trade Center building, once home to publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Morning photo of the handsome old World Trade Center building, once home to publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Some guys ride their bikes down Fourth Avenue through Bankers Hill.
Some guys ride their bikes down Fourth Avenue through Bankers Hill.
Bright red bougainvillea on a building's balcony in Little Italy.
Bright red bougainvillea on a building’s balcony in Little Italy.
Sunlight on the side of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
Sunlight on the side of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
A few days ago I spotted a couple in Tuna Harbor having their engagement photos taken by the water.
A few days ago I spotted a couple in Tuna Harbor having their engagement photos taken by the water.
Tourist souvenirs on a vendor's cart on the Embarcadero.
Tourist souvenirs on a vendor’s cart on the Embarcadero.
The Admiral Hornblower and another boat pass near the bow of the USS Midway Museum, recently deemed the best attraction in California.
The Admiral Hornblower and another boat pass near the bow of the USS Midway Museum, recently deemed the best attraction in California.
Enjoying San Diego bay from the end of Broadway Pier, watching the Maritime Museum of San Diego's restored Swift Boat pass on by.
Enjoying sunny San Diego Bay from the end of Broadway Pier, watching the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s restored Swift Boat pass on by.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

If you are the curious type, you can click around my website. There’s lots of fascinating stuff to explore!

(For those who follow the Cool San Diego Sights blog on Facebook, keep in mind your news feed shows only a fraction of what I post. So there’s probably a bunch of stuff on this blog that you haven’t seen!)

Images from a Memorial Day weekend.

Late light reflects from the Marriott Marquis onto San Diego Bay near Seaport Village.
Late light reflects from the Marriott Marquis onto San Diego Bay near Seaport Village.

So far this Memorial Day weekend I’ve enjoyed short walks through several favorite places. I’ve done a lot of sitting, reading, writing, eating ice cream, enjoying sunshine. And I’ve taken photos, of course. I always carry my little camera in hand. So why not?

Here are some random images. The first eight photos are from Friday evening along the Embarcadero. They are followed by photos from Saturday and Sunday.

Another beautiful day at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Another beautiful day at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Kites fly above Donal Hord's sculpture Morning.
Evening kites fly in the remaining daylight above Donal Hord’s sculpture Morning.
Sunset clouds reflected in the still water of Marriott Marina.
Sunset clouds reflected in the still water of Marriott Marina.
Many downtown buildings reflect light magically.
Many downtown buildings reflect light magically.
A fine Friday walk by the water to begin the long Memorial Day weekend.
A fine late Friday walk by the water to begin the long Memorial Day weekend.
A bright moon above tinted clouds.
A bright moon above tinted clouds.
Leonardo Nierman's sculpture Flame of Friendship catches the sun's last rays as the lights come on at the San Diego Convention Center.
Leonardo Nierman’s sculpture Flame of Friendship catches the sun’s last rays as the lights come on at the San Diego Convention Center.
Artist Pete Tillack creates stunning new artwork in front of Michael J Wolf Fine Arts in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Artist Pete Tillack creates stunning new artwork in front of Michael J Wolf Fine Arts in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Three sailboats pass the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) aircraft carrier docked at Naval Air Station North Island.
Three sailboats pass the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) aircraft carrier docked at Naval Air Station North Island.
A bunch of happy people on the ferry to Coronado waved at me from beneath the ship's American flag.
A bunch of happy people on the ferry to Coronado wave at me from beneath the ship’s American flag.
Looks like some folks enjoyed a tour of the USS Midway Museum during the Memorial Day weekend.
Looks like a family enjoyed a tour of the USS Midway Museum during the Memorial Day weekend.
Many people were out on Sunday enjoying the San Diego sunshine.
Many people were out on enjoying the San Diego sunshine.
A restored PCC streetcar of the San Diego Trolley's Silver Line passes near Kansas City Barbeque. A huge inflatable Uncle Sam is out for the Memorial Day weekend.
A restored PCC streetcar of the San Diego Trolley’s Silver Line passes near Kansas City Barbeque. A huge inflatable Uncle Sam is out for the Memorial Day weekend.
In Balboa Park, at the International Cottages, a big food festival was underway on Sunday. Yummy smells filled the air.
In Balboa Park, at the International Cottages, a big food festival was underway on Sunday. Yummy smells filled the air.
Colorful dancers grace the outdoor stage at the International Cottages.
Colorful dancers grace the outdoor stage at the International Cottages.
San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez greets people up on the stage at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion after the Sunday concert.
San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez greets people up on the stage at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion after the Sunday concert.
A dapper Marine and his new bride head for a stretch limousine in Balboa Park.
Marine and a new bride head for their stretch limousine in Balboa Park.
Street entertainment delights a crowd in Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama.
Street entertainment delights a crowd in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama.
The WorldBeat Cultural Center had lots of colorful flowers out on the sidewalk beside Park Boulevard.
The WorldBeat Cultural Center had lots of colorful flowers out on the sidewalk beside Park Boulevard.
Many flags fly proudly on the Memorial Day weekend near the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center. Including the POW/MIA flag. You Are Not Forgotten.
Many flags fly proudly on the Memorial Day weekend near the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center. Including the POW/MIA flag. You Are Not Forgotten.

Today I published two new stories on my website Short Stories by Richard. They’re both very quick reads.

Handling a Harpoon and White Marble touch upon some of life’s deepest mysteries.

Everyone out there have a great Memorial Day!

Richard

Cortez Hill blooms at Jacaranda Flower Fest!

Many jacaranda trees add color to downtown San Diego's Cortez Hill neighborhood.
Jacaranda trees add color to downtown San Diego’s beautiful Cortez Hill neighborhood.

Today I headed to Ocean Beach to check out a big kite festival. As I left my home atop Cortez Hill, and when I returned home a few hours later, I wandered through a fun neighborhood event just outside my front door. What in years past was playfully called the Jacaranda Spring Thing is now the Jacaranda Flower Fest. The event is organized every spring by the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

One nice aspect of living atop Cortez Hill are all the flowers. Especially along Tweet Street Park.

Another reason why I love to walk outdoors every day!

As I was leaving home in the morning, I spotted this nice lady setting up a table for the Jacaranda Flower Fest on Cortez Hill.
As I was leaving home in the morning, I spotted this nice lady setting up a table for the Jacaranda Flower Fest on Cortez Hill.
Later in the day, the Flower Fest was underway. Neighbors relax and enjoy a fun community event.
Later in the day, the Flower Fest was underway. Neighbors relax and enjoy a fun community event.
Little Dandelions had some activities at the Flower Fest. They are a non-profit organization based in Imperial Beach. Their mission is to inspire and teach the importance of agriculture to all ages.
Little Dandelions had some activities at the Flower Fest. They are a non-profit organization based in Imperial Beach. Their mission is to inspire and teach the importance of agriculture to all ages.
Visitors to the Jacaranda Flower Fest could propagate a succulent cutting in a small pot.
Visitors to the Jacaranda Flower Fest could propagate a succulent cutting in a small pot.
There are many flowers on Cortez Hill along linear Tweet Street Park.
There are many flowers on Cortez Hill along linear Tweet Street Park.
I took this beautiful photo at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street.
I took this beautiful photo at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street.
More flowers!
More flowers along Tweet Street!
Local chalk artist Cecelia Linayao creates a beautiful jacaranda themed work of art on Date Street.
Local artist Cecelia Linayao creates a beautiful jacaranda-themed piece of chalk art on Date Street.

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!