Happy memories, and the decline of Seaport Village.

I have many happy memories of Seaport Village.

Back in the 1980’s, when I was a young and Seaport Village was new, my family would occasionally head downtown to enjoy the place. We’d stroll around the meandering pathways, poke our noses inside the specialty shops, browse the shelves of the cool bookstore, and enjoy lunch at one of several restaurants.

I was always intrigued by the big selection of magic tricks in the magic shop. At the candy store I’d shovel dozens of different sweets into a small bag, then eat them during the rest of our walk. We’d watch kites soaring in the blue San Diego sky at the nearby grassy park, and sailboats out on the bay. We always tried to catch Kazoo, the Seaport Village mime, performing.

On Sunday I walked through Seaport Village and was saddened to see many of the old shops are now vacant. The east half of Seaport Village almost resembles a ghost town.

Yes, there are plans to redevelop this valuable part of downtown’s bayfront, to make it more attractive and dynamic. Seaport San Diego will feature an observation tower, hotels, even an aquarium. But I’ve been told that future is somewhat uncertain and is still years away.

I’ve also been told that with this uncertain future and a recent change to the Seaport Village management, many shop owners have chosen not to renew their leases.

And yet today I saw hundreds of families happily walking about Seaport Village, visiting those shops and eateries that remain open. Such is the place’s reputation.

Over the decades Seaport Village has been the source of pleasure for millions of people.

But time and progress march on…

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!

Faces tell stories at Veterans Day parade.

A big parade for Veterans Day this morning in San Diego.

Many different faces, young and old, moving forward together down Harbor Drive. Each face telling a story.

The story of a life filled with pride, courage, honor, sacrifice and friendship.

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!

Californian returns to magical light.

As I stood at the edge of San Diego Bay late Sunday afternoon, Californian returned across the water to its home at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Californian, official tall ship of the State of California, floated into a world of magical light.

Yesterday I had a chance to go aboard Polynesian canoe Hikianalia, which was offering tours to the public over the weekend. The traditional voyaging canoe will conclude its environmentally themed ocean journey and return to Hawaii later this month.

I added lots of cool photos with an update to my original post here!

It’s hard to believe this silly blog has now surpassed 3000 followers. Thank you for coming along on my walks!

Where to next?

Who knows?

Polynesian canoe Hikianalia visits San Diego!

Traditional voyaging canoe Hikianalia docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the County Administration Building in the background.
Photo of traditional voyaging canoe Hikianalia docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, with the County Administration Building in the background.

Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego are in for a special treat this weekend!

I noticed during my evening walk along the Embarcadero that the traditional voyaging canoe Hikianalia is visiting from Hawaii. And the public is invited to come aboard for tours!

The Hikianalia, of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, has sailed over 2800 miles across the Pacific Ocean and down the California coast. Crew members are engaging in cultural exchanges and spreading a positive environmental message at every port they visit. The amazing Hikianalia uses sustainable, Earth-friendly technology, including electric motors that are powered by onboard photovoltaic panels.

I hadn’t realized the Hikianalia had arrived a couple days ago, and that Mayor Kevin Faulconer declared October 30, “Hikianalia Day” in San Diego! The canoe’s crew members were greeted by representatives of the Kumeyaay Nation and welcome chants and hula from San Diego’s Hawaiian community.

To see photos of the Hikianalia’s arrival in San Diego and the colorful welcoming ceremony, click here.

After public canoe tours this weekend at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the Hikianalia will prepare to return to Hawaii in mid-November.

Hikianalia is welcomed to San Diego during its California Voyage. The public can enjoy weekend tours of the canoe at the Maritime Museum.
Hikianalia is welcomed to San Diego during its California Voyage. The public can enjoy weekend tours of the technologically advanced Polynesian canoe at the Maritime Museum.
Hikianalia docked near several historic vessels of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Hikianalia docked on San Diego Bay near several historic vessels of the Maritime Museum.

UPDATE!

I stepped aboard the canoe on Sunday!

I learned from a crew member that the canoe primarily uses sail power, but will employ its solar-powered engines when coming into port.

Their ocean voyage has included some research and data collection, including analysis of the fish they catch. DNA is collected and each fish is checked to see whether it has eaten any plastic garbage.

The crew of Hikianalia has also transmitted their positive environmental message to students around the world, working with many schools.

Visitors check out the Hikianalia during its visit to San Diego.
Visitors check out the Hikianalia during its visit to San Diego.
This cool dude up on the passenger deck of the Berkeley was playing mellow island music.
This cool dude up on the passenger deck of the Berkeley was playing mellow island music.

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As we waited in line, a crew member told us about their current voyage down the California coast, and explained this map of an earlier ocean journey. Their next voyage will be around the Pacific Rim, including a visit to Alaska.
As we waited in line, a crew member told us about their current voyage down the California coast, and explained this map of an earlier ocean journey. Their next voyage will be around the Pacific Rim, including a visit to Alaska.
Almost to the front of the line!
Almost to the front of the line!
Getting ready to board the Hikianalia.
Getting ready to board the Hikianalia.
Lots of curious visitors were walking about the wooden deck of the Polynesian canoe.
Lots of curious visitors were walking about the wooden deck of the Polynesian voyaging canoe.
Everyone had to check out the huge oar-like rudder.
Everyone had to check out the huge oar-like rudder.
Garlands of tropical flowers decorate the bow of Hikianalia.
Garlands of tropical flowers decorate the bow of Hikianalia.
These friendly crew members selling t-shirts smiled for my camera!
These friendly crew members selling t-shirts smiled for my camera!

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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 landmarks, mysterious in the fog!

San Diego's distinctive County Administration Building appears ghostly in a morning fog.
San Diego’s handsome County Administration Building in the fog.

Early this morning an unusually heavy fog rolled into San Diego.

I love the dreamy quality of fog, so I took a long, quiet stroll around downtown before catching a trolley for work.

I floated around the County Administration Building, turned south when I reached the foggy bay, then steered east when I reached Broadway. Finally I ended up at Santa Fe Depot.

Please enjoy these photos of several San Diego landmarks engulfed by the gray, mysterious fog!

Mysterious photograph of foggy Waterfront Park and the County Administration Building.
Mysterious photograph of foggy Waterfront Park and the County Administration Building.
The historic tall ship Star of India appears through the fog on San Diego's Embarcadero.
The historic tall ship Star of India appears through a heavy fog on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
The beautiful Star of India appears to cut through a fog that hides San Diego Bay.
The beautiful Star of India appears to cut through a fog that conceals San Diego Bay.
A jogger stretches on the observation platform near Broadway Pier, beside the fog covered water.
A jogger stretches on the observation platform near Broadway Pier, beside the fog covered water.
United States Navy ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) docked in the fog at Broadway Pier, awaiting public tours during Fleet Week this weekend.
United States Navy ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) docked in the fog at Broadway Pier, awaiting public tours during Fleet Week this weekend.
People head down the sidewalk in the early morning fog.
People head down a San Diego sidewalk in early morning fog.
The tall Pacific Gate building rises through the gray fog in downtown San Diego.
The tall Pacific Gate building rises through the deep gray fog.
The iconic Santa Fe Depot in the fog, seen from the west.
The historic Santa Fe Depot in the morning fog, seen from the west.
Trolley tracks lead through a fog past Santa Fe Depot in San Diego.
Trolley tracks lead through a fog past Santa Fe Depot in San Diego.
The historic train station's Santa Fe sign stands out when contrasted with nearby fog engulfed high-rises.
The old train station’s Santa Fe sign stands out when contrasted with fog engulfed high-rises.

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 golden sunset at Tuna Harbor.

Another golden sunset across San Diego Bay.

This evening I lingered by Tuna Harbor to drink in beauty. The sun descended to the horizon, balanced upon Point Loma for one brief, precious moment, then slipped away.

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!

An amazing Wyland mural cruises into San Diego!

An amazing, gigantic mural by the renowned artist Wyland cruised into San Diego this morning! The mural, titled Cruising with the Whales, is painted on the bow of the positively enormous cruise ship Norwegian Bliss, which was diverted into San Diego due to Hurricane Willa off Mexico.

Robert Wyland, who is based in Laguna Beach and Hawaii, has many works of marine art on display all about San Diego. I’ve photographed just a few of them, which can be spotted here, here and here.