Bright yellow bursts of evening primrose!

This morning by the San Diego River I saw huge bursts of yellow flowers. It’s late spring–that time of year when Hooker’s evening primrose blooms!

Enjoy some photos!

(If you’re curious about that little red structure in the last two photographs, it’s the USGS stream gaging station at Fashion Valley. It contrasts nicely with the reddish stems and bright yellows!)

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!

Mind-boggling optical illusion at Town and Country!

How many buildings greet you with a mind-boggling optical illusion? The Town and Country Resort’s convention center in Mission Valley does!

Stand by Fashion Valley Road in front of the convention center’s west entrance and stare at the seemingly 3-dimensional pattern between the doors. Or stare via your computer or phone at my final photograph.

What’s in?

What’s out?

What is a brain to do?

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Malcolm Leland’s modernist designs in San Diego.

Malcolm Leland was an influential modernist sculptor and architectural designer whose work can be seen in important structures around Southern California. He lived in San Diego for much of his life, and the city is home to several fine examples of his work.

I became aware of Malcoln Leland recently while watching a very informative San Diego Museum of Art video here. When I visited the artist’s website, I soon realized I’ve seen many examples of his work during my walks around the city!

In the past few weeks I’ve revisited places where his often iconic mid-century modern designs can be found. In many instances his elegant designs were used to create stylish decorative elements. Most of his work is in pre-cast aluminum and concrete. I took photographs in Balboa Park, Fashion Valley, and San Diego’s downtown Civic Center, which I’ll now share!

First up are his organically intertwining aluminum gates, and his gracefully shaped concrete columns and the archlike fascia above them at the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden and Court…

Next, check out his beautifully ornate fascia along the rooftop of the Elmer C. Otto Center at the San Diego Zoo…

Next are his façades on several sides of the JC Penney building in the Fashion Valley shopping mall. They were made using panels molded out of copper sheets.

Originally water tricked down the sculptural panels, which were meant to oxidize and turn turquoise. But maintenance problems shut the unique fountains, and the panels were painted over. You can still see a little bit of copper orange in my photos…

Next is Malcoln Leland’s “Bow Wave” bronze sculpture fountain, in downtown’s Civic Center Plaza near the Community Concourse building.

In my photos the water feature is off. When on, the sculpture appears to be a ship’s bow moving forward through a spray of water. Leland’s once controversial sculpture is now much loved, and is listed in the Smithsonian’s inventory of art.

The previous photo was taken from the Civic Center’s multi-level Evan V. Jones Parkade parking garage, which features more instances of Malcolm Leland’s work.

Decorative panels around the perimeter of the parking garage and forming arches inside the garage were designed by Leland and made from pre-cast concrete.

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!

Progress at Town and Country’s new river park!

Progress continues to be made in the construction of a new linear river park in Mission Valley. The park will be located at the north edge of the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center.

Lots of workers were out this morning getting the new park ready!

I noticed more foliage has been planted, the pedestrian bridge over the San Diego River has been reinstalled, and that some more concrete pathways have been poured.

Back in June I posted a photograph of this new riverfront park under construction and provided some information concerning the project:

An ugly old parking lot of the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center is being converted into park space. And the north side of the San Diego River, directly adjacent to the Fashion Valley Transit Center, will be part of this new public park, too!

The project, which includes almost 8 acres of restored natural habitat, and beautiful new pathways along the San Diego River, is part of the Town and Country hotel’s extensive property-wide renovation.

This morning I attempted to get photos of construction near the hotel, but trees and distance were insurmountable for my little camera. Perhaps I’ll walk that way in the days ahead to see more. From the trolley I did observe a long new pathway winding along the south side of the river!

UPDATE!

A few days later, I noticed sod and benches have been installed!

IMG_6203z

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 new river park by Fashion Valley trolley station!

Northwest corner of Town and Country Resort and Convention Center's river park under construction. The new park will be across Riverwalk Drive from the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
The northwest corner of Town and Country’s new river park is under construction. The public park will be directly across Riverwalk Drive from the Fashion Valley Transit Center.

A new linear river park is under construction near Fashion Valley!

An ugly old parking lot of the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center is being converted into park space. And the north side of the San Diego River, directly adjacent to the Fashion Valley Transit Center, will be part of this new public park, too!

The project, which includes almost 8 acres of restored natural habitat, and beautiful new pathways along the San Diego River, is part of the Town and Country hotel’s extensive property-wide renovation.

Today I found myself standing high up on the Fashion Valley trolley station platform. I looked down to see how the northwest corner of the new park is taking shape.

Because I frequently use this station, I’ll continue to monitor developments!

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 few odd photos of superheroes and ducks.

Kid meets Gold Zeo Power Ranger in front of the San Diego Museum of Art!
Kid meets Gold Zeo Power Ranger in front of the San Diego Museum of Art!

I have a few odd photos to share. Problem is, I’m not really sure what to do with them. So I’ve posted them here, together!

The first three photos were snapped in Balboa Park over the weekend; the final two were taken during my commute home today.

Behold: two valiant superheroes and ducks waiting for a bus!

Gold Zeo Power Ranger, Trey of Triforiaz, cosplay in Balboa Park.
Gold Zeo Power Ranger, Trey of Triforiaz, cosplay in Balboa Park.

Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) stands guard inside the House of Israel in Balboa Park.
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) stands guard inside the House of Israel in Balboa Park.

A flock of ducks waits for a bus at the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
A flock of ducks waits for a bus at the Fashion Valley Transit Center.

Ducks prepare to board a waiting bus.
Ducks prepare to board an arriving bus.

These silly ducks, unfortunately, forgot their bus passes.

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!

Spring flowers near Fashion Valley!

It feels like spring!

Yellow mustard is blooming across San Diego’s hillsides, and other early spring flowers are thriving, too! The rainy winter has produced a cheerful show of bright color all around the city.

I walked near the San Diego River by Fashion Valley this morning and found many patches of sunflowers.

UPDATE!

I goofed! Most of these flowers are actually garland chrysanthemums (also called crown daisies), which aren’t native to our region. But these invasive plants do flourish in San Diego now.

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!

Thought-provoking contrasts in Mission Valley.

Beautiful roses planted between the Town and Country Hotel and busy Fashion Valley Road in Mission Valley.
Beautiful roses planted between the Town and Country Hotel and busy Fashion Valley Road in Mission Valley.

This morning, after I took photos of the funny sign at the Town and Country Hotel (see my previous post), I walked north up Fashion Valley Road and turned east on Riverwalk Drive, following the San Diego River. I then passed under Highway 163 via the San Diego River Trail, and arrived at the Hazard Center shopping mall. From there I followed several streets to work.

During my walk between the Town and Country and Hazard Center I took a series of interesting photographs. When I reviewed my photos this evening, I realized they presented complex and thought-provoking contrasts.

Morning sprinklers have irrigated another perfect rose.
Morning sprinklers have irrigated another perfect rose.

A duck in the San Diego River, as seen from the pedestrian bridge between the Town and Country and the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
A duck in the San Diego River, as seen from the pedestrian bridge between the Town and Country and the Fashion Valley Transit Center.

Dozens of tame river ducks like to gather by the bus station to eat crumbs offered by humans.
Dozens of tame river ducks like to gather by the bus station to eat crumbs offered by humans.

Continuing east along Riverwalk Drive, looking at greenery by the San Diego River.
Continuing east along Riverwalk Drive, looking at native greenery by the San Diego River.

Wild, ragged sunflower blossoms ablaze in morning light.
Wild, ragged sunflower blossoms ablaze in morning light.

Fresh green sycamore leaves by the walking path.
Fresh green sycamore leaves by the walking path.

I'm approaching some major construction around where Highway 163 passes under Friars road north of the river. The project is calculated to ease traffic flow.
I’m approaching some major construction near the place where Highway 163 passes under Friars Road north of the river. The project is calculated to ease traffic flow.

Urban development requires work, resources and extensive planning.
Wild grass and urban development.

Heavy machinery sculpting the Earth.
Heavy machinery sculpting the Earth.

Construction worker by stacked fencing.
Construction worker by stacked security fencing.

Ants work busily on a nearby native flower.
Ants work busily on a nearby native flower.

A perfect bloom planted near the Hazard Center shopping center, contrasted with bare concrete.
A perfect bloom planted near the Hazard Center shopping center, contrasted with bare concrete.

A mural on the south side of Hazard Center shows people flocking to the mall.
A mural on the south side of Hazard Center shows people flocking to the mall.

Bronze sculpture at Hazard Center of Bruce R. Hazard - Everyone's Friend. For almost a century R.E. Hazard Contracting Company has built many of San Diego's freeway, road, commercial and subdivision projects.
Bronze sculpture at Hazard Center of Bruce R. Hazard – Everyone’s Friend. For almost a century R.E. Hazard Contracting Company has helped build many of San Diego’s freeway, road, commercial and subdivision projects.

Another nearby sculpture of Bruce's father features this plaque. "Pappy" R.E. Hazard, Sr. 1880-1975. A man's man, paper boy, businessman, horseman, hunter, fisherman.
Another nearby sculpture of Bruce’s father features this plaque. “Pappy” R.E. Hazard, Sr. 1880-1975. A man’s man, paper boy, businessman, horseman, hunter, fisherman.

Be Just and Fear Not. Pappy Hazard, founder of a major construction firm in San Diego, collected old wagons and stagecoaches. Today you can find much of his collection in Seeley Stable, a museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Be Just and Fear Not. Pappy Hazard, founder of a major construction firm in San Diego, collected old wagons and stagecoaches. Today you can find much of his collection at Seeley Stable, a museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

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 San Diego River, after three storms.

The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level--I believe--of around 11 feet.
The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level–I believe–of around 11 feet.

I did some walking in a drizzle this morning before work.

I got off the trolley at the Fashion Valley station and proceeded to investigate the San Diego River in a section of Mission Valley that is often hit with flooding. Three very rainy winter storms were finally coming to an end. What did I see?

Palm trees surrounded by river water. Photo taken between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
Palm trees surrounded by flowing river water. Photo taken from the pedestrian bridge between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.

A tall eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.
A tall, shallow-rooted eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.

Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River's water had subsided to street level.
Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River’s water had subsided to street level.

A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!
A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!

The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.
The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.

Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.
Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.

As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio south of the mall. The short street is appropriately named!
As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio just south of the mall. The short, dipping street is appropriately named!

Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.
Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.

No worries about flooding for the trolley--at least right here!
No worries about flooding for the trolley–at least right here!

The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to work. Good thing I got an early start!
The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to reach work. Good thing I got an early start!

Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname--the Upside Down River.
Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname: the Upside Down River.

The beautiful river this morning through leaves.
The beautiful river this morning through leaves.

Morning sky and clouds through bare winter river trees.
Morning sky and clouds through bare winter trees.

The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!
The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!

Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.
Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.

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 flock of friendly ducks waiting for a bus!

A flock of fearless San Diego River ducks. The curious birds seem to wait for a morning bus at the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
A flock of San Diego River ducks. The curious birds seem to wait for a morning bus at the Fashion Valley Transit Center.

Just a quick, fun post!

This morning, a flock of San Diego River ducks were happily waddling about the Fashion Valley Transit Center. They fearlessly mingled with the humans, who watched the proceedings with amusement. Perhaps those curious feathered friends were also waiting for a bus!