Amazing mosaic wall at the Del Mar Library!

Walk down the sidewalk to the front of the Del Mar Library and you’ll suddenly stop in your tracks. That’s because your eyes will be captivated by the amazing Del Mar Mosaic Wall!

The mixed media mural, created by artists Betsy Schulz and Pat Welsh with the help of community volunteers, was finished in 2003. Found objects, brick and stone were combined with clay forms to produce beautiful images of coastal wildlife, including sea birds and fish. The low walls beside steps climbing to the public library’s front entrance depict dozens of Garibaldi fish, each with the name of a donor to the project.

If the artist Betsy Schulz sounds familiar, that’s because she has created some of the most amazing mosaics around San Diego. If you want to see more of her work, click here or here or here or here or here!

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Beautiful fish mosaics at Piazza Pescatore.

I first blogged about Little Italy’s modest Piazza Pescatore two years ago. At the time it was relatively new. You can revisit those few photographs here.

This morning I was walking past Piazza Pescatore when my eyes were arrested by beautiful fish mosaics beneath the rim of two wide planters, and along an ascending curve of the fountain. I don’t believe all of these mosaics yet existed that first time I visited.

As I knelt to look more closely, I felt I was peering into a slice of ocean alive with bright fish.

The mosaic artist is Kim Emerson.

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!

Underwater mural in Silver Strand tunnel!

Three pedestrian tunnels pass underneath California State Route 75, connecting the west and east sides of Silver Strand State Beach. If you choose to use the south tunnel, you might want to put on some scuba gear!

That tunnel is home of a long, very cool mural that depicts life above the water and beneath it.

Silver Strand State Beach occupies a section of the peninsula between Coronado and Imperial Beach. Much of the life painted in the mural can be observed from the park’s two shores.

Walking along coastal habitat by either the Pacific Ocean or San Diego Bay, you will observe many birds, including snowy plovers, great blue herons, least sandpipers, black skimmers, marbled godwits, long-billed curlews, snowy egrets, endangered California least terns, brown pelicans, seagulls and a variety of ducks.

Out in the water you might also spot surfacing seals and dolphins! But if you want to see a whale up close, you’ll need to dive into the tunnel!

This very cool environmental mural was painted in 2009 by Imperial Beach artist Jaime Rayon, with some help from young members of The Art Kids, in partnership with the nearby Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

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!

Sportfishing mural seen from Interstate 5.

Drive along Interstate 5 between Mission Bay and Bay Park and you’ll see a huge sportfishing mural. It’s just north of Tecolote Road. Across the west side of the Kleege Industries building, a pair of enormous marlins chase leaping dorados!

I walked up West Morena Boulevard over the weekend to get close-up photos of the mural over a fence.

The artist is Chuck Byron, and the somewhat faded mural was painted in 2003. Sadly, according to my research, that is also the year he passed away.

He painted several large murals in California, Nevada and Mexico.

Chuck Byron was the captain of a fishing boat out of San Diego and a highly regarded fish and wildlife artist. He painted in a style referred to as exaggerated realism. In his San Diego studio he created some really great drawings and paintings, some of which you can see at the Chuck Byron website here.

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!

The miracle of the Surfing Madonna.

The Surfing Madonna in Encinitas, California. A mosaic by artist Mark Patterson.
The Surfing Madonna in Encinitas, California. A mosaic by artist Mark Patterson.

Have you heard of the miracle of the Surfing Madonna? Many in San Diego have witnessed the miracle. Indeed, the miracle is known around the world.

Next to the Encinitas Boulevard sidewalk, just east of Coast Highway 101, there’s a tiny open courtyard with a beautiful ocean mural and a shrine-like mosaic titled Surfing Madonna. The 10 by 10 feet mosaic depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe on a white surfboard, praying.

When it was first installed anonymously in a public place the artwork was considered illegal. Permission had not been granted by the city of Encinitas. The artist, Mark Patterson, was discovered and fined and the mosaic removed.

But a miracle happened.

After much controversy and legal uncertainty, and after having been moved from place to place, the unusual but beautiful mosaic, beloved by many in the beach community, finally found a home in Surfing Madonna Park, which you can see in my photographs.

To learn more about the miracle of the Surfing Madonna, read the words on the plaque beneath it.

The small Surfing Madonna Park, in a nook beside busy Encinitas Boulevard.
The small Surfing Madonna Park in a nook beside busy Encinitas Boulevard. The park is just a short walk east of Moonlight State Beach.
A plaque details the history of the Surfing Madonna.
A plaque details the history of the Surfing Madonna.

The plaque reads:

On Good Friday, April 22nd, 2011, the community of Encinitas was gifted with the Surfing Madonna mosaic, Our Lady, Star of the Sea.

Local artist, Mark Patterson and his good friend Bob Nichols, dressed up as constructions workers and hung the beautiful Surfing Madonna mosaic with its “Save the Ocean” theme. The mosaic was originally mounted underneath the train bridge, across the street from its current home.

The mosaic received international attention while the artist remained anonymous for months until discovered.

Although beloved by the community, she could not stay there and eventually found her way here, to her permanent home.

Mark Patterson sought to raise awareness of the value of the world’s Oceans. Through his vision he created the Surfing Madonna mosaic to spread a message of environmental awareness of Mother Ocean.

The mosaic gave birth to the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project which has continued to serve the Ocean and community through funding of local arts, environmental awareness, and by introducing special needs youth and their families to the joy of surfing and living with the Ocean.

Join us in celebrating the beauty of our world’s Oceans.

A beautiful environmental mural shows fish and other sea life, by Encinitas artist Kevin Anderson.
A beautiful environmental mural shows Garibaldi fish and other local sea life, by Encinitas artist Kevin Anderson.
Brick pavers in the small courtyard raised money for programs that help the Earth's oceans.
Brick pavers, some with religious themes, in the small courtyard. The pavers have raised money for programs that help the Earth’s oceans.
The Surfing Madonna and a prayerful message. Save the Ocean.
The unique Surfing Madonna and a prayerful message: Save the Ocean.

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The fun, very fishy Positivitree!

Look what I spotted this evening as I walked through Seaport Village!

A cool sculpture titled Positivitree!

The tree-like thing appeared very peculiar from the distance–almost like fish bones–but as I got nearer I saw all sorts of objects including trashy plastic items had been recycled by the artist to create happy, colorful fish and other marine life! This super creative art features a positive environmental message!

According to a nearby sign, Positivitree was created by Rodney McCoubrey with the Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter.

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!

An octopus, sea lion, and fish burrito!

A gigantic octopus is standing on the grass near the Seaport Village carousel!
A gigantic octopus is standing on the grass near the Seaport Village carousel!

Today I enjoyed many cool sights–and tastes, too!

As I walked through Seaport Village, I noticed a giant octopus had crawled out of the bay and was standing on its eight tentacles beside the carousel.

Seriously? Okay, the big inflatable octopus has been placed there for the international Ocean Sciences Meeting at the nearby San Diego Convention Center. A variety of events will be taking place in Seaport Village, including a funny environmental wrestling match! See the photo of the sign that follows for all the information!

When I arrived at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, a sea lion was barking and surfacing near the pier enjoying tossed fish scraps. Which made me hungry.

So I walked a few steps along the pier to Loaf and Fish, where the super friendly folks happened to remember I love fish burritos. Because they had some tortillas on hand, they made me a special one!

While fish burritos aren’t a normal menu item at Loaf and Fish, I bet there’s a good chance they’ll fix you one if you ask! You won’t regret it! All sorts of tasty spicy stuff is jammed inside, along with lots of freshly caught fish! Their fish sandwiches, soup and tacos are all unbeatable!

Ocean Optimism - Art Interpreting Science - is an event at Seaport Village corresponding with the Ocean Sciences Meeting at the convention center.
Ocean Optimism – Art Interpreting Science – is an event at Seaport Village corresponding with the Ocean Sciences Meeting at the convention center.
These cool guys in a small boat in Tuna Harbor were scooping up trash with nets!
These cool guys in a small boat in Tuna Harbor were scooping up trash with nets!
Fresh fish is cut right on the boat at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
Fresh fish is cut right on the boat at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
People on the pier near the fishing boat Kaylee H are staring down at the water with cameras.
People on the pier near the fishing boat Kaylee H are staring down at the water with cameras.
Something really has this crowd's attention!
Something really has this crowd’s attention!
It's a playful sea lion! It was hanging out, eating occasional fish scraps tossed its way.
It’s a playful sea lion! It was hanging out, eating occasional fish scraps tossed its way.
All sorts of locally caught seafood can be purchased on Saturday at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
All sorts of locally caught seafood can be purchased on Saturday at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
Someone orders lunch at Loaf and Fish. I already ordered a special fish burrito!
Someone orders lunch at Loaf and Fish. I already ordered a special fish burrito!
The fish burrito was super! So were these smiles from the friendly folks at Loaf and Fish!
The fish burrito was super! So were these smiles from the friendly folks at Loaf and Fish!
Another scene on the pier at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
Another small scene on the pier at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.

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!

How to celebrate National Fish Taco Day.

Tomorrow, January 25, is National Fish Taco Day. And everyone knows San Diego has the very best fish tacos!

So, how exactly does one celebrate?

This is how:

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!

Yes, I celebrated one day early. I might celebrate tomorrow, too.

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 huge catch of fish arrives at Tuna Harbor!

This morning, during my walk along the Embarcadero, I paused at Tuna Harbor to watch commercial fishermen unloading a huge catch!

Dozens of what appeared to be bigeye tuna were lifted from the fishing boat by crane and immediately placed in ice-filled containers. A forklift transported the fresh fish to nearby Chesapeake Fish Company, where locally caught seafood is processed, then express shipped to restaurants and stores near and far.

I took a cool photo through Chesapeake Fish Company’s foggy processing viewing window!

If you ate fish today, it’s possible you’re looking at your meal!

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!

Colorful nature painted near Fiesta Island.

I discovered some colorful artwork last weekend during my walk around Mission Bay!

As I headed north along East Mission Bay Drive just past the entrance to Fiesta Island, approaching Tecolote Creek, I saw that images from nature had been painted on the low barrier that separates the small parking lot from the walking path. I spotted birds and fish and whales and flowers and all sorts of marine wildlife and native critters.

It appeared all of nature had gathered at my feet!

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!