America’s Finest City newspaper mural.

America's Finest City newspaper mural

This large mural on the Arte Building on Sixth Avenue has become iconic in downtown San Diego. It was painted in 1989 by artists Kathleen King and Paul Naton and conveys a strong pro-multicultural message. Time has somewhat faded the once bold mural, but it still catches the attention of those venturing through the heart of the city.

America's Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.
America’s Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.

Space flight on a city street.

space flight on a city street

Street art flourishes on the sidewalks of San Diego. Many electrical transformers and utility boxes have been creatively painted to represent colorful scenes both real and imagined. Most have a primitive or folk art vibe. I’ll snap lots of photos for this blog!

Here’s a box downtown at Sixth Avenue and Elm Street that features an airplane and space shuttle zooming above clouds between planet Earth, the Sun and the Moon. At least, that’s what it looks like to me!

Colorful space imagery on a third side.
Colorful space imagery on a third side.

San Diego skyline and Tuna Harbor boats.

Fishing boats in Tuna Harbor and downtown skyscrapers.
Fishing boats in Tuna Harbor and downtown skyscrapers.

The above photograph was taken near the public pier that stretches into San Diego Bay from the G Street Mole. It can be found next to the top rated Fish Market restaurant, a bit south of the USS Midway. The picturesque skyline rises behind a number of inactive fishing boats in the always interesting Tuna Harbor this fine sunny summer day.

San Diego’s Tuna Harbor decades ago was home to the largest tuna fishing fleet in the world. That was before fishing regulations and tuna populations shifted, sending most of the boats away. The American Tuna-Boat Association office is still located near the foot of the pier.

Here are a variety of pics taken at different times…

Fisherman heads to a boat in Tuna Harbor.
Fisherman heads to a boat in Tuna Harbor.
Ramp down to docks in San Diego's Tuna Harbor.
Ramp down to docks in San Diego’s Tuna Harbor.
Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton rise behind Tuna Harbor fishing boats.
Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton rise behind Tuna Harbor fishing boats.
A number of fishing vessels docked inside San Diego's Tuna Harbor.
A number of fishing vessels docked inside San Diego’s Tuna Harbor.
This typical small boat is part of the large local fishing fleet.
This typical small boat is part of the large local fishing fleet.
Colorful floats of different sizes tangled over the railing at edge of Tuna Harbor Pier.
Colorful floats of different sizes tangled over the railing along edge of the G Street Pier.
Fishing boats docked in Tuna Harbor next to downtown San Diego.
Fishing boats docked in Tuna Harbor next to downtown San Diego.
Lobster traps lined up on a Tuna Harbor dock.
Turning a bit to the right.  Lobster traps are lined up on a Tuna Harbor dock.
Fishermen sort sea urchins from large tank, to be sold at nearby public fish market.
Fishermen sort sea urchins from large tank, to be sold at nearby public fish market.
Gazing down one dock at a line of fishing vessels in San Diego.
Gazing down one dock at a line of fishing vessels in San Diego.
Small boat painted with various names, including Rambo!
Small boat painted with various names, including Rambo!
A clutter of work gear all along the wooden dock.
A clutter of work gear all along the wooden dock.
Downtown highrises in the blue sky behind a Tuna Harbor boat.
Downtown high-rises in the blue sky behind a Tuna Harbor boat.
USS Midway aircraft carrier museum can be seen beyond the fleet of fishing vessels.
USS Midway aircraft carrier museum can be seen beyond the fleet of fishing vessels.
Sun, wind, salt water and frequent use take a toll on these hard-working boats.
Sun, wind, salt water and frequent use take a toll on these hard-working boats.
Old navy boat has been converted for civilian purpose.
I believe this is an old Navy boat which has been converted for civilian purpose.
A couple more fishing boats tied up in beautiful San Diego Bay.
A couple more fishing boats tied up in beautiful San Diego Bay.
Many boats are out on Friday afternoon, seeking fresh fish for Saturday morning market.
Many boats are out on a Friday afternoon, seeking fresh fish for Saturday morning market.

That shiny cylinder-like drum will be mounted on the rear of a fishing boat, and used to unspool then haul in a very large net!

Ornate facade of haunted Horton Grand Hotel.

ornate facade of horton grand hotel

A registered National Historic Place, the Horton Grand Hotel in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is a true architectural treasure. It’s ornate Italianate Victorian facade is based on the famous Innsbruck Inn in Vienna, Austria.

Today’s boutique hotel is a modern restoration of two historic buildings, the Grand Horton, built in 1887, and the Brooklyn Kahle Saddlery. The latter was the residence of Wyatt Earp during the years he lived in San Diego.

The Horton Grand has another interesting distinction. Room 309 is said to be haunted by the ghost of Roger Whitaker, a gambler who was shot dead by a man he cheated in a game of poker. Many guests who’ve stayed in this room have reported objects changing position when they are asleep!

Is that strange, glaring, long-bearded figure in the corner of this photo a vengeful ghost? I hope he didn’t follow me home!

Entrance to elegant Horton Grand hotel in the Gaslamp.
Entrance to elegant Horton Grand hotel in the Gaslamp.
Another wing of the historic hotel.
Another wing of the historic hotel.
The inside courtyard used to be outside!
The inside courtyard used to be outside!
A closer examination of architectural detail.
A closer examination of architectural detail.
The Horton Grand Hotel stands in downtown San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter.
The Horton Grand Hotel stands in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.

Cool, tangled photo of San Diego Trolley Yard.

cool chaotic photo of trolley yard

Here’s a unique photo that looks really cool!

I snapped this pic of the San Diego Trolley Yard at the 12th and Imperial Transit Center from the bridge above Harbor Drive. This new pedestrian bridge is a great spot for views of gleaming downtown skyscrapers, the Convention Center, Petco Park, the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, and the trolley and train yards.

This cool photograph was taken through a fence, giving the image a cluttered, layered, weirdly tangled appearance. The red trolleys seem to snake their way through a gray complex jumble of curving rails, vertical electrical poles and the grid of the blurred fence. It’s an image that fascinates the eye!

Here’s a less fascinating photo taken another day…

A less tangled photo from the bridge of the nearby train rail yard and tracks.
A less tangled photo from the bridge of the nearby train rail yard and tracks.

Blue sky, white clouds reflect on skyscraper.

blue sky and clouds reflected on skyscraper

This photo turned out pretty good! Wish I could say it was the result of incredible photographic skill! But I must admit to being lucky once in a while…

This dazzling downtown skyscraper, not far from the Santa Fe Depot, reflects the deep blue summer sky and broken white clouds in a truly spectacular way! Look closely, and you can also see the reflection of the One America Plaza building which stands directly across Broadway.

I love that most of the newer skyscrapers in San Diego are a shiny silver or blue or green–like gleaming ocean waves rising above the sandy tan-colored buildings at their feet. The color scheme gives the skyline a watery cool, light and inviting appearance.

Here come two fun pics I took of the same building on a later date…

Reflection on glass skyscraper of America Plaza across Broadway.
Reflection on shiny glass skyscraper of One America Plaza across Broadway.
Three tall buildings reflect from downtown San Diego window.
Three tall buildings near Santa Fe Depot reflect from downtown San Diego window.

Big crowd at San Diego’s 2013 Festival of Sail!

big crowd at festival of sail

Sunday afternoon brought a gigantic crowd to San Diego’s sunny waterfront. The 2013 Festival of Sail appears to be a resounding success! This photo was taken at the annual event’s busy entrance just south of the Star of India.

A huge mass of humanity also surged along the Embarcadero in the vicinity of the sand sculpture event on the cruise ship pier, and by the USS Midway and Seaport Village. Lines were long everywhere, and street vendors and performers were raking in the money!

One often hears that America’s Finest City is a top destination for tourists on Labor Day weekend…I certainly believe it!

UPDATE!

It’s almost a year later and the 2014 Festival of Sail is a couple days away! This year I’ll actually attend, brave the huge crowds and take a bunch of pics!

Banner is up a few days before the 2014 Festival of Sail!
Banner is up on Star of India a few days before the 2014 Festival of Sail!