Padres banners for a season in doubt.

Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr.

Major League Baseball has postponed the start of the 2020 season because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. When and how the season might begin remains in doubt.

Earlier this year the San Diego Padres hung player banners on the lampposts around Petco Park and East Village. The banners depict some of the team’s best players. Many knowledgeable sports fans believe the Padres have significantly upgraded their roster, and computer simulations even have the Padres making the playoffs as a wild card.

Today I took some exercise and walked around Petco Park. I avoided close contact with other walkers, which was pretty easy, seeing how quiet downtown has become during the pandemic.

For everyone’s sake, let’s hope and pray this very dangerous COVID-19 crisis ends soon.

For all you Padres fans out there who miss baseball, you might enjoy these photos…

Eric Hosmer
Eric Hosmer
Kirby Yates
Kirby Yates
Dinelson Lamet
Dinelson Lamet
Drew Pomeranz
Drew Pomeranz
Manny Machado
Manny Machado
Trent Grisham
Trent Grisham
Tommy Pham
Tommy Pham
Chris Paddack
Chris Paddack

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 2019 San Diego Comic-Con!

Last year I took hundreds of photos while walking around 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. It’s something I’ve done for many summers now. Living downtown near the action is definitely a lot of fun!

2020 Comic-Con is still scheduled as of this moment, but the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has made the future of conventions and all public events uncertain. Hopefully the pandemic will subside by July and everyone can enjoy another great Comic-Con!

Meanwhile, I thought it would be fun to post some random photos from last year. Most are in no particular order.

Enjoy!

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!

Intermission comes to downtown San Diego.

Intermission... The curtain will rise again. P.S. Wash your hands.
Intermission… The curtain will rise again. P.S. Wash your hands.

I was safely inside my home all day yesterday. The worldwide coronavirus pandemic continues.

Today the sun came out, so I decided to stretch my legs with an easy outdoor walk, while keeping a careful distance from others. (There was also the small matter of shopping for food.)

At the top of Cortez Hill a few residents were out walking their dogs. They usually moved to one side as others approached.

In the heart of downtown it was much quieter than usual for a Saturday. A few workers were out doing their thing. A handful of restaurants were open and offering carry out food, but many others were closed. Businesses that aren’t considered essential services were all closed.

When I reached the Embarcadero, I was surprised to see a large number of joggers and walkers. I suppose, like me, they needed to feel the warm sunshine on their face. And there’s that need to stretch the legs–that’s what one does during intermission, right?

Broadway in downtown San Diego is exceptionally quiet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Broadway in downtown San Diego is exceptionally quiet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some workers were outside engaged in construction projects.
Some workers were outside engaged in construction projects.
Almost no traffic at the Santa Fe Depot.
Almost no traffic at the Santa Fe Depot.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship is back in its sunny San Diego home. I assume it will be idle until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship is back in its sunny San Diego home. I assume it will be idle until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Like most tourist attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours has closed operations until further notice.
Like most tourist attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours has closed operations until further notice.
No kids were jumping in the Waterfront Park fountains today. For the County of San Diego, protecting public health is a top priority.
No kids were jumping in the Waterfront Park fountains today. For the County of San Diego, protecting public health is a top priority.
I was surprised by the number of walkers and joggers out by the water. Most were a fair distance apart.
I was surprised by the number of walkers and joggers out by the water. Most kept a fair distance apart.
Even though the pavilions by the Broadway Pier were closed, many were enjoying sunshine along San Diego's Embarcadero.
Even though the pavilions by the Broadway Pier were closed, many people were enjoying sunshine along San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Another photo of almost empty Broadway looking east from Harbor Drive.
Another photo of almost empty Broadway looking east from Harbor Drive.
Many who live downtown were outside walking dogs.
Many who live downtown were outside walking dogs.
The San Diego Law Library building is closed. I was lucky to enjoy an inside tour of it last month.
The San Diego Law Library building is closed. I was lucky to enjoy an inside tour of it a couple weeks ago, before the pandemic worsened.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Fire Station 1--The Big House--was very quiet when I walked by. That's a good thing!
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Fire Station 1–The Big House–was very quiet when I walked by. That’s a good thing!
More construction downtown. A huge crane is being erected on B Street.
More construction downtown. The pandemic will end and the city will grow. Small cranes were being used to erect a huge crane on B Street.
Intermission comes to downtown San Diego.
Intermission comes to 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!

Strange geometries on the G Street Pier.

The crazy tangle of fishing nets, lobster traps, rusty chains, floats, pallets and miscellaneous junk on the G Street Pier is wonderful beyond description.

The pier was open today, so I walked out on it.

Not only did I stride over the beautiful bay, with fishing boats floating before the San Diego skyline, and gulls wheeling overhead, but I felt I was moving through a fundamental Truth of this world made visible. Mathematical truth. Divine truth.

Were great philosophers walking with me, what would they conclude?

To help bring out some of the geometry–the ordered symmetry and fractured chaos–I’ve added a whole lot of contrast to these photographs.

IMG_6820z

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!

San Diego scenes on a pandemic Saturday.

A downtown fast food restaurant has changed its practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A downtown fast food restaurant has changed its practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today is the first Saturday of the announced COVID-19 pandemic.

I thought I’d take a midday walk in San Diego, to see what I might see.

I headed from Cortez Hill up Sixth Avenue on the west side of Balboa Park, turned east on University Avenue in Hillcrest, then headed south down Park Boulevard. I meandered a little through Balboa Park, before returning to downtown San Diego.

I saw less traffic than usual. Fewer people were about. I suppose many are hunkered down, to avoid possible exposure to the coronavirus. I only saw a handful of older people, which is a good thing. They need to be particularly careful.

Balboa Park was much less crowded than usual.

As you can see in some of the upcoming photographs, various parts of the park have temporarily closed for public safety.

Balboa Park's West Mesa was much less active than usual for a Saturday around noontime.
Balboa Park’s West Mesa was much less active than usual for a Saturday around noontime.
The nearby Little Italy Farmer's Market has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and these guys had moved to a secluded spot on the grass near Sixth Avenue, hoping for some business.
The Little Italy Farmer’s Market has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and these vendors had moved to a secluded spot on the grass near Sixth Avenue, hoping for some business.
An older gentleman waits for a bus on University Avenue in Hillcrest.
An older gentleman waits for a bus on University Avenue in Hillcrest.
As I walked over Highway 163, I saw some traffic, but it appeared less than usual for a Saturday.
As I walked over Highway 163, I saw some traffic, but it appeared less than usual for a Saturday.
Some folks were out and about in Hillcrest, walking down the sidewalk or dining outdoors.
Some folks were out and about in Hillcrest, walking down the sidewalk or dining outdoors.
This old Before I Die interactive chalk board might have taken on a little more meaning during the current health pandemic.
This old Before I Die interactive chalk board might have taken on a little more meaning during the current dangerous coronavirus pandemic.
Human thought and endeavor endure in a bookstore window.
Human thought and endeavor endure in a bookstore window.
On a door: Good to meet you. Come in.
On a door: Good to meet you. Come in.
A lone jogger heads south down quiet Park Boulevard.
A lone jogger heads south down quiet Park Boulevard.
A mysterious shoe. A moment in somebody's life.
A mysterious shoe. A moment in somebody’s life.
The parking lot at the San Diego Zoo is much emptier than usual. Many are avoiding public places where there are crowds.
The parking lot at the San Diego Zoo is much emptier than usual. Many are avoiding public places where there are crowds.
The Balboa Park Carousel is shuttered on a Saturday afternoon.
The Balboa Park Carousel is shuttered on a Saturday afternoon.
Closed until the end of March as a proactive safety measure.
Closed until the end of March as a proactive safety measure.
Many artists studios in Balboa Park's Spanish Village were closed. This guy told me it's a good time to do a little maintenance!
Many artist studios in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village were closed. This guy told me it’s a good time to do a little maintenance!
Sign promoting shows in front of the Casa del Prado Theater is empty.
Sign promoting shows in front of the Casa del Prado Theater is empty.
A street performer and his dog on Balboa Park's normally busy El Prado.
A street performer and his dog on Balboa Park’s normally busy El Prado.
Balboa Park was much quieter than usual for a Saturday, but some folks were still out and about enjoying the day.
Balboa Park was much quieter than usual for a Saturday, but some folks were still out and about enjoying the day.
Hand sanitizing stations have popped up around Balboa Park.
Hand sanitizing stations have popped up around Balboa Park.
The House of Scotland at the International Cottages has cancelled its upcoming Tartan Day event.
The House of Scotland at the International Cottages has cancelled its upcoming Tartan Day event.
The parking lot in Balboa Park's Palisades area is almost empty.
The parking lot in Balboa Park’s Palisades area is almost empty.
So is this parking lot on President's Way. Ordinarily it would be full on an early Saturday afternoon.
So is this parking lot on President’s Way. Ordinarily it would be almost full on an early Saturday afternoon.
Almost no traffic on Park Boulevard. Very eerie.
Almost no traffic on Park Boulevard. Very unusual.
The hours of this downtown coffee shop have been changed due to the current situation.
The hours of this downtown coffee shop have been changed due to the current situation.
Almost no traffic downtown on A Street.
Almost no traffic downtown on A Street.

Everyone, take care!

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!

A tour inside the San Diego Convention Center!

Beautiful.

To me, that’s the one word that best describes the San Diego Convention Center.

Yesterday I enjoyed a fantastic inside tour of our city’s world-class convention center, thanks to the annual Open House event put on by the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

During the whirlwind tour our group saw many areas throughout the convention center, in both the iconic original structure and the later Phase 2 addition. We poked our noses into a vast hall where a new technology convention was being set up (no photos allowed), headed up an escalator one level, walked through the Sails Pavilion and a large ballroom, then took a freight elevator down to one of two huge loading docks. We walked through service corridors, got to see the convention center’s kitchen, and we learned about the logistics required to smoothly run such a mind-boggling operation.

During the tour we learned about the San Diego Convention Center’s new carpeting, the new digital signage, the emphasis on sustainability with LED lighting and a comprehensive recycling program, and so much more!

The problem is, as we turned each new corner, my eyes were always busy looking for photographic opportunities and I took few notes. I was dazzled by the sheer beauty of the public spaces. I can’t imagine a more beautiful convention center exists anywhere in the world. There is abundant sunlight, complex, jewel-like patterns of glass, and stunning views of San Diego Bay and downtown.

I won’t even try to caption these upcoming photos. To those who follow Cool San Diego Sights due to my coverage of Comic-Con, here’s what the San Diego Convention Center looks like without swarming crowds!

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 inside the San Diego Civic Theatre.

Looking up at the impressive chandelier in the Grand Salon of the San Diego Civic Theatre.
Looking up at the impressive chandelier in the Grand Salon of the San Diego Civic Theatre.

I’ve lived in downtown San Diego for nearly 20 years. It’s sad to admit, but there are places of great interest within easy walking distance that I still haven’t visited. Until today, one of those places was the San Diego Civic Theatre.

This morning I took a guided tour behind the scenes at the San Diego Civic Theatre, courtesy of the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s big annual Open House event!

According to the event website: “The 2,967 seat San Diego Civic Theatre is the region’s largest and most attended performing arts venue. Owned by the City of San Diego, the theater hosts performances in opera, classical and contemporary music, dance and Broadway shows, in addition to serving as a community gathering place for inaugurations, governmental addresses and public meetings. Built at a cost of $4.1 million, the Grand Salon features back lit Italian onyx panels and an iconic $35,000 chandelier made of Bavarian crystal.”

Our group entered the lobby from Civic Center Plaza, ascended stairs and stood with heads tilted back as we took in the awesome beauty of the Grand Salon. Overhead, the impressive 2800 pound chandelier sparkled with its 186 lights and 52,000 crystals, casting magic about the elegant gathering place.

We then walked into the enormous theatre and stood for a moment “atop” the orchestra pit, the floor of which can be raised or lowered like an elevator. Then we went backstage to see the positively enormous space that is utilized to produce major shows of all sorts. In one corner of the dark stage, out of sight of the audience, there’s a very cool shrine to Elvis Presley!

It’s hard to describe the immense grandeur of this venerable theatre. The world’s biggest stars have performed here over the years, including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and many others. Several United States Presidents have also attended events in the building. Today, the venue is the home of San Diego Opera, Broadway San Diego and California Ballet Company.

The lighting inside the building wasn’t ideal for my poor little camera, but during the tour I did manage to capture a few photos.

An outside view of the architecturally interesting San Diego Civic Theatre as I approached from the east down B Street.
An outside view of the architecturally interesting San Diego Civic Theatre as I approached from the east down B Street.
A poster outside the lobby entrance. The San Diego Civic Theatre is celebrating its 55 year anniversary.
A poster outside the lobby entrance. The San Diego Civic Theatre is celebrating its 55 year anniversary.
Waiting outside in Civic Center Plaza for the tour to begin.
Waiting outside in Civic Center Plaza for the tour to begin.
We enter the lobby, which as you can see is dimly lit.
We enter the building lobby, which as you can see is dimly lit.
Graphic shows the Civic Theatre under construction, before opening in 1965. It was designed by Lloyd Ruocco, one of San Diego’s most influential architects.
Graphic shows the Civic Theatre under construction, before opening in 1965. It was designed by Lloyd Ruocco, one of San Diego’s most influential architects.
Looking up inside the gorgeous Grand Salon, which is located on the building's second floor. The original design had the salon at ground level.
Looking up inside the gorgeous Grand Salon, which is located on the building’s second floor. The original design had the salon at ground level.
The sunbursts decorating the edges of each level were removed years ago.
The sunbursts decorating the edges of each level were removed years ago.
The amazing chandelier is the centerpiece of the Grand Salon.
The amazing chandelier is the centerpiece of the Grand Salon.
I believe this bust in the Grand Salon is of Giuseppe Verdi.
I believe this bust in the Grand Salon is of Giuseppe Verdi.
A glimpse of the gritty inner workings of a major theatre, tucked between the audience and the stage.
A glimpse of the gritty inner workings of a major theatre, tucked between the audience and the stage.
Now we are backstage, looking at dozens of ropes that might be used to lift or manipulate props, lighting, drop curtains--and perhaps even actors!
Now we are backstage, looking at dozens of ropes that might be used to lift or manipulate props, lighting, drop curtains–and perhaps even actors!
Looking up!
Looking up!
Here's the shrine to Elvis in a corner of backstage. I didn't catch the story behind it.
Here’s the shrine to Elvis in a corner of backstage. I didn’t catch the story behind it.
Old black and white photograph shows a packed house.
Old black and white photograph shows a packed house.
Looking out from the stage upon thousands of empty red seats!
Looking out from the stage upon thousands of empty red seats!

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!