One of downtown San Diego’s oldest buildings.

A small, unremarkable brick structure in the Gaslamp Quarter is actually one of downtown San Diego’s oldest buildings!

You could easily walk past the current home of Lucky Brand and not realize this modest building has almost a century and a half of history.

I looked at its historical plaque yesterday to learn more about it. As you can see, the plaque is now very corroded and not easily read, so I took a photograph and enhanced the image by increasing the contrast.

The Combination Store, 1880.

Constructed in 1880, the Combination Store is one of the oldest brick structures still standing in the Gaslamp District, dating further back than the Yuma. Originally, the building was built for one store, and had a 35-inch parapet, a metal cornice, and a frame porch extending to the street. It was first known as the New York and Boston Combination Company, specializing in dry goods and clothing. In 1914, the building was divided into two stores. Later, the parapet was shortened and the porch removed.

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 little more cosplay and fun on a Sunday!

It’s Sunday, the last day of San Diego Comic-Con Special Edition.

Even though this year’s scaled back Comic-Con is winding down, I figured I’d walk down toward the San Diego Convention Center to enjoy a little more outside cosplay and fun. I live within easy walking distance, so why not?

My camera was rewarded!

Yes, I got some free swag and a free drink, not to mention sunshine and exercise. It was good to see people out and about, enjoying life and their fandoms, feeling excited and alive.

I learned the above cosplay is derived from the new Christmas-themed show Hawkeye, which has Clint Barton taking his family to see Rogers: The Musical!

It’s Woody!
Very fancy!
Hey Syfy dude, thanks for the nice bag!
Here comes Batgirl!
Nice pose!
Looks sorta Scottish to me.
More cosplay outside Comic-Con Special Edition on Sunday.
Some park rangers have arrived at the La Brea sinkhole. Perhaps they can help monitor the prehistoric wildlife.
That SueroX drink was pretty good, especially on a warm day. Thanks!
Raven cosplay near the Peacemaker Proving Ground. Raven’s powerful magic would take down Peacemaker easily.
Very cool Venom cosplay using a toothy hand puppet! Awesome!

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!

Cosplay and fun at Comic-Con Special Edition!

Here comes a bunch of fun photos!

Comic-Con Special Edition is happening this weekend in San Diego, and I walked around San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and convention center today with my camera.

By the early afternoon I was surprised to see a good crowd forming, and there was more cosplay than I expected. The La Brea and Peacemaker offsites were pretty busy, too!

The Freak Brothers bus behind the convention center near the Hilton Bayfront seemed a bit lonely, but that made it easier to snag three cool posters and some collectible mints!

Enjoy these photos of cosplay and fun during Comic-Con Special Edition on a sunny Saturday!

Rick and Morty cosplay on Fifth Avenue in the early morning.
When I returned to the Gaslamp around midday, people were lined up at NBC’s La Brea offsite activation.
Flash stopped running for a moment to smile for a photo!
Not nearly as busy as a normal Comic-Con, but still a fair amount of activity.
Pikachu and friends!
A good crowd at the Peacemaker Proving Ground.
Spaceballs cosplay!
Inside the Peacekeeper Proving Ground, participants had to help rescue a hostage.
Another tactical group enters the dangerous obstacle course.
Working my way back, going to head toward the Hilton Bayfront.
The X-Men are poised for action! Is Magneto nearby? Great cosplay!
It’s “Bat” Girl! Very cool!
Spider-Man cosplay. I saw many kids out having fun.
Uh, oh! It’s Cheetah! Is Wonder Woman going to save me?
Freaking out at The Freak Brothers bus!
A future Superman!
A little Marvel, a little DC. Lots of fun!
Even more creative cosplay in the Gaslamp!
Deadly Crimson is a comic created by Melissa LeEllen. Learn more at DeadlyCrimson.com!
More cosplay on Fifth Avenue. But now I’m heading home.
Hogwarts cosplay!

Today I also checked out the brand new Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park. It’s amazing. Stay tuned for that!

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!

Friday morning outside Comic-Con Special Edition!

Today, Friday, is the first day of Comic-Con Special Edition in San Diego!

Early this morning I walked through downtown San Diego to see what’s going on. I took photos of the three Comic-Con offsites near the convention center and anything else interesting that caught my eye!

Enjoy!

A cool smile at NBC’s La Brea offsite! It’s very early–just after sunrise. No fans yet!
I spotted more cool chalk art in front of Blarney Stone Pub as I walked down Fifth Avenue through the Gaslamp Quarter.
Looks like a work in progress.
There’s a Peacemaker van parked near the HBO Max activation that promotes their show!
It looks like fans will walk through Peacemaker’s trailer before reaching the obstacle course, which is behind the fence. It opens today at noon.
Take your selfie here at the Peacemaker Proving Ground!
Guy with Marvel t-shirt poses on steps of Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge.
The Freak Brothers bus is parked on the grass in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel.
The show on Tubi features stoners with the munchies–and their cat.
Some exhibitors are arriving! Who’s that guy taking photos?
Must be an artist!

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!

Gaslamp chalk art promotes Comic-Con cosplay!

I spotted some cool chalk art this morning as I walked through San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Star Wars characters and a Ghostbusters graphic had been created in front of the Blarney Stone Pub on Fifth Avenue.

It appears the chalk art promotes a Star Wars/Mandalorian cosplay contest at 9 pm on Friday, during Comic-Con Special Edition. I’m not sure if it will be held here or elsewhere.

I took these photos of the artwork…

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 readies for Peacemaker and The Freak Brothers!

Comic-Con Special Edition, during this Thanksgiving weekend, will be featuring a few cool offsite activations in and around San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. They are free and open to the public.

I walked along Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade this morning and saw a big new Peacemaker display and workers readying an offsite that promotes Tubi’s new show The Freak Brothers. (UPDATEpossibly The Freak Brothers! It might actually be the Peacemaker Proving Ground. We’ll have to see Friday!)

NBC will also be promoting La Brea in Gaslamp Square next to the Tin Fish, across from the San Diego Convention Center. I took updated photos of that offsite yesterday, which you can see here.

A security guard told me a homeless person tried to rip off the plastic wrapping, breaking the Peacemaker sign below.

Here’s a photo of the big Peacemaker building wrap on the Marriott Marquis. Peacemaker is a show about the DC Comics character, who appeared in the latest Suicide Squad movie. The new series will be on HBO Max.

Here come more pics from this Thanksgiving morning. It looks like (maybe) The Freak Brothers will be living in a trailer. The animated Tubi show satirizes both the drug counter-culture and the establishment. It’s based on an underground comic about stoner characters and their crazy exploits.

The Garden of Peace sign makes me wonder if this isn’t actually the Peacemaker Proving Ground, referenced here. We’ll find out!

UPDATE!

Turns out I was wrong! What I thought might be The Freak Brothers activation is actually the Peacemaker Proving Ground. That would explain the obstacle course I photographed earlier.

A bus promoting The Freak Brothers will be parked by the Hilton San Diego Bayfront!

I’ll have to check that out this weekend!

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!

Getting ready for Comic-Con Special Edition!

Preparations are now underway in downtown San Diego for this Thanksgiving weekend’s big Comic-Con Special Edition!

I walked around the Gaslamp Quarter this morning and spotted a building wrap on the Marriott Marquis. In the evening, after dark, I saw workers setting up a couple of Comic-Con offsites!

One offsite, by the Tin Fish, promotes NBC’s television show La Brea. The premise, I learned, is a sinkhole opens up in Los Angeles, swallowing modern people and depositing them in a mysterious subterranean world–where their smartphones don’t work! What will they do when they encounter dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures? The La Brea offsite will be giving away premium swag to all visitors!

The other offsite I spotted is on some grass by Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade, where Deadquarters has been located the last couple Comic-Cons. Workers were setting up an obstacle course. One person I spoke to thinks this offsite promotes a show on Tubi. Possibly The Freak Brothers. I’ll be providing updates with more photos and info. Stay tuned!

Comic-Con Special Edition banner at one end of the San Diego Convention Center.
These workers confided they’re getting stuff ready for the big pop culture event!
More banners on the convention center along Harbor Drive.
Comic-Con International banners on posts by the convention center. Celebrating the popular arts.
A Peacemaker building wrap on the Marriott Marquis. The television series concerning a DC Comics character will be on streaming service HBO Max.
Setting up an offsite in the dark. The workers didn’t know what it was–except it’s for Comic-Con.
Part of the same offsite, which includes an obstacle course. Someone surmised it promotes a show on Tubi.
The NBC La Brea offsite by the Tin Fish.
Looks like mammoth tusks! Visitors will walk through here to an ambulance where cool swag will be obtained!
Looks like Syfy will also be represented outside Comic-Con Special Edition!
La Brea ads are all over the place.
Stay tuned for more pics later this week!

UPDATE!

I walked all around the Gaslamp and convention center early Wednesday morning. This is what I saw…

First, some large banners have been on the Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s parking structure for a few weeks now. They promote local rapidly growing tech company ClickUp, which is headquartered in the Gaslamp!

Next, I took a pic of exhibitors lined up behind the convention center, waiting to unload trucks.

I took some pics of construction of what I think might be The Freak Brothers offsite near the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. (UPDATE! Now I’m thinking this might be the Peacemaker Proving Ground–we’ll see on Friday!)

And finally some daylight pics of the La Brea activation.

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!

Eerie, mysterious night photos downtown!

The photographs that follow are mysterious. Many are eerie. All were taken at night in downtown San Diego.

About half of these images were captured this evening after nightfall, as I walked from the Gaslamp Quarter toward Cortez Hill. Other photos (such as the one with the moon) have been sitting in my computer for a long time. I was waiting for an appropriate theme.

I must say San Diego has come back to life after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. This evening I saw crowds converging on the San Diego Symphony’s new Shell on the Embarcadero, conventioneers partying and enjoying a sunset view from atop the San Diego Convention Center, and large Friday night crowds walking through and dining in the beautifully lit Gaslamp Quarter.

But even when surrounded by a bright whirl of life, one can find strangeness lurking in the dark…

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!

PRONTO transit ticket machines go live!

The new PRONTO ticketing system for transit in San Diego and North County is now operating. I received confirmation today from an MTS Supervisor.

This morning, before boarding a Green Line trolley at the Gaslamp station, I noticed one of the PRONTO ticket machines has been uncovered. And it’s ready to go!

The new PRONTO ticket machines appear somewhat similar to the old Compass Card machines. Compass cards will be gradually phased out.

You can learn more about PRONTO, and how this new fare system is more functional and convenient here.

If you ride the bus or trolley, all September trips will be free with a PRONTO card!

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!

Unexpected movie star in the Gaslamp Quarter!

San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter has attracted celebrities from all around the world, particularly during big international events like Comic-Con. But did you know there’s one movie star that calls the Gaslamp home?

Walk down Fifth Avenue past the 7-Eleven and you’ve spotted a “movie star” that has appeared in two films. The convenience store occupies the 1930 Manila Cafe building, which was used as a “backdrop for scenes in the movies In God We Trust, with Marty Feldman, and Writer’s Block, with Morgan Fairchild.” That’s what a corroded historical marker by the 7-Eleven’s front door reads!

According to this article, the old Manila Café building has been occupied by a variety of restaurants over the years, and by a billiard hall during World War II. In 2014 the exterior was renovated, but the roof with its red Spanish tiles and Asian contours, and the building’s distinctive upper story, haven’t changed.

Have you watched either movie? Have you spotted San Diego’s “famous” Manila Cafe building in the background?

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!