Hidden mural celebrates Little Italy!

There’s a hidden mural very few people see that celebrates downtown’s Little Italy community.

Neither drivers nor pedestrians can see it well, unless they head down little-used, alley-like California Street just south of Laurel Street.

I first saw this Little Italy mural because I often ride the Green Line trolley. As the San Diego Trolley rises high in the air to pass over busy Laurel Street, passengers looking down can see the artwork on a parking lot wall. The small lot is located behind a Valero gas station and Fairway Golf USA store, which are both on Pacific Highway.

I walked down California Street last weekend to get a good look at this great mural. It depicts the Little Italy landmark sign above fishing boats in a row by a pier.

Little Italy was once a center of the tuna fishing industry, which was very big in San Diego for much of the 20th century.

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A walk around beautiful Oceanside Harbor.

These photographs were taken during a walk around beautiful Oceanside Harbor.

I began where Harbor Drive descends to the water and intersects with North Harbor Drive.

The walk proceeds west along the South Harbor, then curves to the North Harbor, taking in many interesting sights along the way.

At a point across the water from the Jolly Roger restaurant, I turned about, retraced my steps, then explored the South Harbor’s various shops and attractions.

I then made my way west to North Pacific Street, next to Oceanside Harbor Beach, and headed past the boat ramps to the jetty that juts out into the Pacific Ocean beyond a parking lot.

Hopefully you’ll get a taste of what this walk on a sunny, late February weekend afternoon was like!

Descending Harbor Drive to beautiful Oceanside Harbor.
Looking past Joe’s Crab Shack and boats in the South Harbor marina toward the picturesque lighthouse.
Across from the Oceanside Harbor boat ramps, which we’ll see close up later in the walk.
Turning north, walking past the Oceanside Broiler restaurant, where diners sit outdoors gazing at boats in the Southern California sunshine.
Many benches along Oceanside Harbor are dedicated to loved ones, or feature inspirational messages.
Monument to Erwin Sklar, 1910-1974. During his term as Mayor and City Councilman this harbor was designed and built, fulfilling a Dream of Erwin Sklar and the People of Oceanside.
Small boats pass stand up paddleboarders near the entrance to Oceanside Harbor.
Watching activity on the water from the end of the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier.
Monument by the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier. Remember Pearl Harbor.
Fishermen wait patiently for a bite on the pier. I was told many types of fish can be caught here, especially when the water warms up later in the year.
A large ship’s anchor with a small plaque across from the entrance to Oceanside Harbor.
In memory of those lost at sea. Dedicated January 9, 1979.
Along North Harbor Drive, large blue and white letters spell OCEANSIDE.
Many along the boardwalk were watching Sea Lion Island, where there appeared to be a lot of napping.
Sea lions relax in the Oceanside sunshine.
A better view of the OCEANSIDE sign, which is visible to boaters entering the harbor.
Continuing the walk, now along the North Harbor.
People pass me on the boardwalk carrying a kayak.
I pass the Oceanside Weighing Station. No fish being weighed at the moment.
The Jolly Roger restaurant across the North Harbor.
Kayaks stacked on the nearby dock.
Right around here I turned about to retrace my steps.
Back by Joe’s Crab Shack. The walk now proceeds in that direction.
People walk out onto the docks.
Some sportfishing vessels can be boarded nearby.
Approaching shops and restaurants and other touristy attractions of the New England-style Oceanside Harbor Village.
Sportfishing and whale watching trips are available at the Oceanside Sea Center.
A great view from up there.
I like this mail box!
Interesting photo of the red and white faux lighthouse, which is actually home to Lighthouse Oyster Bar and Grill.
Lots of beachy souvenirs attract passersby.
Looking back at the lighthouse and Oceanside Harbor Village.
We’ve arrived at North Pacific Street, which runs between the harbor and the beach.
Heading north again, but on the west side of Oceanside Harbor.
We’ve come to the boat ramps, which are very active on a sunny weekend day.
Marker at the Oceanside Harbor Boat Launching Facility.
Curtis Landing, dedicated September 17, 2005, honors two people named Curtis. Jon W. Curtis was a harbor police officer hero. Joe V. Curtis contributed as a community leader.
Photo taken across the harbor from beside the boat ramps.
Another photo.
Continuing north.
Kites were flying near the harbor entrance.
I’ve turned west and am heading toward the jetty which protects Oceanside Harbor from the Pacific Ocean. In the distance past a sailboat you can see the Oceanside Marina Suites.
A right turn on the water leads to Camp Pendleton Harbor’s boat basin.
That sailboat we just saw is now entering the harbor.
Near the foot of the T-shaped jetty. The beach is on the left.
People by the shining Pacific Ocean.
And to the south, far beyond this surfer on the beach, juts the long Oceanside Pier.

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!

Squares, circles, rectangles on a pier!

If you’ve followed Cool San Diego Sights for a few years, you probably know I love to walk out on the G Street Pier. One can take fantastic photos of downtown San Diego, Coronado, and sailboats passing across the sparkling water. But my favorite thing to photograph is the pier’s crazy clutter!

Along one edge of the G Street Pier one can always find stacked lobster traps, colorful floats, tangled ropes, and piles of weathered objects used on commercial fishing boats.

Today as I walked along the Embarcadero I noticed the G Street Pier was open. So I walked out on it.

Look at all the squares, circles and rectangles my camera found! (Some triangles and a starfish, 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!

Marker recalls Chinese fishing village on Point Loma.

Historical plaque and artwork at east end of Point Loma's Bessemer Path mark Chinese Fishing and Shipbuilding Site.
Historical plaque and artwork at east end of Point Loma’s Bessemer Path mark an old Chinese Fishing and Shipbuilding Site.

Today I went on a walk along Point Loma’s Bessemer Path, which stretches a short distance along San Diego Bay northwest of Shelter Island. The bayside path offers scenic views of the La Playa Anchorage. I’ll share pictures from this beautiful walk in a little bit.

At the east end of the Bessemer Path, near the intersection of Talbot Street and Anchorage Lane, there’s a bench and historical marker with a plaque, and some artwork in the sidewalk. Together they recall the Chinese village that once was located at this site, on the old La Playa Trail. (You can learn more about the La Playa Trail, the oldest commercial trail in the western United States, here.)

I photographed the plaque which you can read if you’re interested. Click the image and it will enlarge.

I learned that a shipbuilding facility was located at this old Chinese village, where fishing junks were constructed. According to the plaque: “The Sun Yun Lee, shown here, was the finest junk built in all of California. Launched in 1884 on this site, the vessel had three masts and measured 52 feet in length, and 18 feet wide. It was build of redwood with masts and rudders made of ironwood from China…”

You can a little learn more about the Sun Yun Lee and see an historical photo of the Chinese junk in San Diego Bay here.

Plaque describes Point Loma's Chinese Fishing and Shipbuilding Site beside the La Playa Trail. Around 1860 to the early 1890's, the Chinese had a fishing village here.
Plaque describes Point Loma’s Chinese Fishing and Shipbuilding Site, located on the La Playa Trail. Around 1860 to the early 1890’s, the Chinese had a fishing village here.

Artwork in the sidewalk depicts the three-masted Chinese junk Sun Yun Lee, that was built on Point Loma in 1884.
Artwork in the sidewalk depicts the three-masted Chinese junk Sun Yun Lee, which was built on Point Loma in 1884.

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!

Life returns to Shelter Island!

A busy Sunday at the Shelter Island Launch Ramp.
A busy Sunday at the Shelter Island Launch Ramp.

Life has returned to Shelter Island! How quickly circumstances change!

For several months, during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, San Diego Bay was an inactive blank–virtually no boats, almost no people along its shoreline. But now that society is well along in the process of reopening, appearances have radically changed!

I took a walk around the Shelter Island today. It looked like a typical Sunday in June. People picnicked on the grass, fished from the pier, and launched their boats into the bay.

The playground was closed and some people wore facial protection, but otherwise it felt like just another summer day…

As life returns to Shelter Island, a line forms at the boat ramp.
As life returns to Shelter Island, a line forms at the boat ramp.

Various types of boats are gathered inside the recently renovated launching basin.
Various types of boats are gathered in the recently renovated launching basin.

This boat is heading out into San Diego Bay.
This boat is heading out into San Diego Bay.

These guys are coming in. Pelicans stand on the rail across the water.
These guys are coming in. Pelicans stand on the rail across the water.

A cool little wooden sailboat sets out into the bay.
A cool little wooden sailboat sets out into the bay.

Still working to get that sail up!
Still working to get that sail up!

A sea lion goes from boat to boat hoping for fishing bait leftovers.
A sea lion goes from boat to boat hoping for fishing bait leftovers.

I believe this might be Wally the sociable sea lion. I blogged about him a couple times before. He hangs out here.
I believe this might be Wally the sociable sea lion. I blogged about him a couple times before. He hangs out here.

Today is Flag Day, so this sign works perfectly.
Today is Flag Day, so this sign works perfectly.

The huge Stars and Stripes racing yacht is passing the Shelter Island Pier. I haven't seen it on the bay for a very long time.
The huge Stars and Stripes racing yacht is passing the Shelter Island Pier. I haven’t seen it out on the bay for what seems a very long time.

The pier is filled almost end to end with people.
The pier is filled almost end to end with people.

This gull has landed atop a box at the foot of the pier. It would probably like some leftovers from Fathom Bistro, Bait and Tackle.
This gull has landed atop a box at the foot of the pier. It would probably like some scraps from Fathom Bistro, Bait and Tackle.

A perfect sunny day on the Shelter Island Pier. Across the bay you can see North Island Naval Air Station.
A perfect sunny day on the Shelter Island Pier. Across the bay you can see North Island Naval Air Station.

Somebody caught a little mackerel!
Somebody caught a little mackerel!

Lots of sails in the distance. Beyond them rises downtown San Diego's skyline.
Lots of sails in the distance. Beyond them rises downtown San Diego’s skyline.

Another sail seen from one of the lath shelters along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park.
Another sail seen from one of the lath shelters along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park.

Walking, bicycling, sailing... What could be better?
Walking, bicycling, sailing… What could be better?

A bright sailboat about to pass Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride. You might remember I took a tour of her when she debuted and blogged about it!
A sailboat about to pass Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride. I took a tour of her when she debuted and I blogged about it!

If you want to see what it’s like inside the oceanographic research vessel R/V Sally Ride, which is in the above photo, click 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!

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!

Sunlit floats on Grape Street Pier.

This morning, as I walked past the Grape Street Pier in downtown San Diego, a strange bright something caught my eye.

At first I thought I saw gigantic billiard balls!

No, it was early morning light on a cluster of brand new floats.

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!

A walk in fog along Torrey Pines State Beach.

This morning I arrived at Torrey Pines State Beach very early. About 7:30. A deep, thick fog blanketed the shore and nearby bluffs.

I began my walk around the North Torrey Pines Road bridge that spans the entrance to Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. I headed south toward the towering sandstone cliffs.

When I moved from the noisy roadway down to the sand, it became very quiet. Just the sound of distant surf. A couple of stand up paddle boarders were visible through the fog. People were fishing from the sand. People were walking along the beach. Moving through the dreamlike fog. Where minds and hearts, made quiet, can focus.

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A holiday morning in Ocean Beach.

It’s Labor Day. The unofficial last day of summer.

Early this morning I headed to Ocean Beach. There’s no better place in San Diego to people watch.

As the warm sun climbed higher and broke through the morning haze, humanity trickled down Newport Avenue to find breakfast, to surf, or to stake out a spot on the beach or OB pier.

Many shops were closed. Nobody I saw seemed to be in a very big hurry. Even in laid-back Ocean Beach, the day had an easy holiday vibe.

As I walked I took these photos…

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!