San Diego’s historic Samuel I. Fox Building.

A very unique historic building stands at the southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and Broadway in downtown San Diego.

The Samuel I. Fox Building, built in 1929, always attracts my attention when I walk by. It’s earthy colors seem to change depending on the time of day, due to shifting sunlight and shadow.

The Samuel I. Fox Building was designed by renowned architect William Templeton Johnson, who also masterminded the San Diego Museum of Art and Natural History Museum buildings in Balboa Park, the Serra Museum in Presidio Park, and the La Jolla Athenaeum. He is one of several architects responsible for the San Diego County Administration Building.

He also designed the extraordinary San Diego Trust and Savings Bank Building, which stands directly to the north across Broadway. You can see photos of that building, where William Templeton Johnson kept his office, here.

A Gaslamp Quarter plaque near the Samuel I. Fox Building’s entrance describes its history:

Entrepreneur Samuel Fox built this four-story structure for a half of a million dollars. It was intended to accommodate his Lion Clothing Company, which was the sole tenant until 1984. It boasts 16-foot ceilings, antique oak wood paneling, heraldic lions in full relief, and an over-hanging tile roof. The building was recognized as an artistic masterpiece and a merchandising success.

A few days ago I took these exterior 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!

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!

A strange mixture of sights downtown.

Go on any walk through downtown San Diego and you’ll see a strange mixture of sights. Sometimes you have to stop in your tracks to look again.

Many of the visions that rise before your eyes seem contradictory. Urban hipsters drinking coffee and listening to live music . . . a few steps away from people who are homeless. The boarded window of a looted Gaslamp shop . . . and spray painted messages of empathy and kindness.

And there are the sights that are wonderfully odd. Downtown’s reggae dog. A surprising tree in a surprising place. An insurance company for sharknados.

So much strangeness is mixed in the ordinary life of a city.

The mysteries appear everywhere.

I took these photographs during several walks the past few days.

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!

Awesome cosplay group poses for Comic-Con!

An awesome group of cosplayers assembled near the San Diego Convention Center late this morning!

Members of the Science Fiction Coalition arrived for the special occasion from all around Southern California. It’s Sunday, and while there’s no ordinary Comic-Con in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, local fans have been visiting the Comic-Con shrine during Comic-Con@Home week by the Tin Fish Restaurant.

I was lucky to walk through the Gaslamp Quarter as this fantastic cosplay event was underway. I’ve had a number of encounters with this fan group in the past, most notably in Balboa Park and at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum.

Check it out!

DSCN3677z

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!

More cosplay, chalk art during SDCC 2020!

A plague doctor carries a sign: Wash your hands. Can Dr. Beak pry that alien off the face of that nearby patient?
Fun cosplay in San Diego’s Gaslamp during Comic-Con@Home. A plague doctor carries a sign: Wash your hands. Dr. Beak needs to pry an alien facehugger off a nearby patient, who obviously didn’t use hand sanitizer.

While Comic-Con is online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, that doesn’t mean we fans who live in San Diego can’t have some safe fun near the Convention Center!

It’s Saturday, and this morning I spotted a little more Gaslamp cosplay and a lot more chalk art at the ever-expanding Comic-Con 2020 shrine!

Check it out!

UPDATE!

I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter again in the afternoon, and while I didn’t see a whole lot of cosplay, I did find some!

DSCN3535z

DSCN3536z

DSCN3540z

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!

Padres baseball chalk art in the Gaslamp!

Cecelia Linayao produces Padres baseball chalk art in the Gaslamp Quarter during the first weekend of the 2020 season.
Cecelia Linayao and a team of artists create Padres baseball chalk art in the Gaslamp Quarter during the first weekend of the 2020 season.

Even as I post these photos, chalk art that celebrates the start of the Padres 2020 season is being created in the Gaslamp Quarter!

I walked down Fifth Avenue about an hour ago and admired four chalk murals that are the work of San Diego artist Cecelia Linayao and her team of friendly helpers!

The Padres are 1-0 so far and play their second game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at nearby Petco Park this evening. But fans can’t attend. It’s the year of the coronavirus pandemic.

Go Pads and stay healthy!

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!

Chalk art appears at the Comic-Con shrine!

Chalk art reminds passersby in Gaslamp Square that 2020 is the 50th anniversary of San Diego Comic-Con. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event is being held entirely online.
Chalk art reminds passersby in Gaslamp Square that there have been 50 years of Diego Comic-Con.

The Comic-Con 2020 shrine just keeps on growing!

Now there’s a bunch of chalk art that has been created by passing Comic-Con fans!

It’s Friday, and we’re in the middle of the first-ever virtual Comic-Con@Home. But the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t kept San Diegans from safely walking by the shrine that has been erected next to the Tin Fish Restaurant, directly across from the San Diego Convention Center.

The shrine keeps morphing and growing larger. Today chalk art superheroes and other pop culture characters have appeared in Gaslamp Square!

If you want to see what the shrine looked like on Wednesday, click here. For Thursday (plus several fun photos of cosplay!) click here.

To watch a live stream of the Comic-Con 2020 shrine, you can click here!

The Comic-Con 2020 shrine keeps growing larger. On Friday new fan-created chalk art appeared!
The Comic-Con 2020 shrine keeps growing larger. On Friday new fan-created chalk art appeared!

I spotted some new fan art made with colored markers, too!
I spotted some cool fan art made with colored markers, 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!

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 by the expanding Comic-Con 2020 shrine!

Dude Vader was eating lunch at the Tin Fish when I happened by Thursday afternoon!
Dude Vader was eating lunch at the Tin Fish when I happened by Thursday afternoon!

I stumbled upon some great cosplay this morning and afternoon! A news reporter and a couple of Comic-Con fans were dressed up in costume to celebrate this year’s unusual Comic-Con!

As everybody knows by now, Comic-Con isn’t being held at the San Diego Convention Center this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event for 2020 is entirely virtual, and you can enjoy live panels, visit an online Exhibit Hall, view cool art, play video games, participate in a cosplay contest, and enjoy many more unique experiences at the Comic-Con@Home website here.

A shrine was set up several days ago by the Tin Fish where Comic-Con fans in San Diego could leave messages and mementos from their past experiences. This morning I noticed several items had been added, then when I walked by this afternoon the shrine had extended outward in the plaza as it continues to grow each day!

Is that Batgirl or a reporter for the local Fox TV news station?
Is that Batgirl or a reporter for the local Fox TV news station?
Thursday morning some more swag bags had been added to the Comic-Con 2020 shrine.
Thursday morning some more swag bags had been added to the Comic-Con 2020 shrine.
In the afternoon the Comic-Con shrine had enlarged!
In the afternoon the Comic-Con shrine had enlarged!
Some comic books were added! And I see a Syfy thumbs up!
Some comic books were added! And I see a Syfy thumbs up!
The Tin Fish Restaurant across from the San Diego Convention Center still has its The Good Place decor from last year's Comic-Con.
The Tin Fish Restaurant across from the San Diego Convention Center still has its The Good Place decor from last year’s Comic-Con.
It's a great Alvin cosplay! Alvin  . . . Alvin . . . Aaaaalvin!!!
It’s a great Alvin cosplay! Alvin . . . Alvin . . . Aaaaalvin!!!

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!

Downtown shrine grows for cancelled Comic-Con.

A shrine has appeared in downtown San Diego lamenting the cancellation of Comic-Con in 2020.

This is the week in July when over 100,000 enthusiastic pop culture fans would have converged upon the San Diego Convention Center. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has caused Comic-Con International to call off their world-famous event this year.

I was walking by the Gaslamp trolley station a couple hours ago when I noticed a shrine has been created in the plaza near the Tin Fish Restaurant. Fans know that this area, at the south end of the Gaslamp Quarter’s Fifth Avenue, tends to be center of all the crazy, wonderful outdoor Comic-Con activity. At least, it is during normal years.

The shine includes some posters, swag bags and flowers. But the best part of the shrine is the growing number of hand-written messages by fans.

Do not despair!

Because this year is far from ordinary, Comic-Con has done something extraordinary. Comic-Con for 2020 is now entirely online . . . and free! This week fans can visit the virtual Exhibit Hall, watch live panels, and even participate in the annual cosplay competition!

Learn all the details by visiting the Comic-Con@Home web page here!

There is also an awesome free Souvenir Book that you can download. It features 260 pages of articles and cool artwork, and pays tribute to one of the all-time greatest writers of fantasy and science fiction, Ray Bradbury. In my last blog post I wrote a little about that here.

DSCN3310z

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 restaurants make a comeback!

Restaurants in the Gaslamp have set up outdoor patios right into Fifth Avenue.
Restaurants in the Gaslamp have set up outdoor patios right into Fifth Avenue.

Many restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter are making a slow but steady comeback during the coronavirus pandemic. When I walk up Fifth Avenue every weekend, I notice that more and more tables are out on sidewalks and the street, and that more and more diners are filling them!

San Diego’s city leaders have taken extraordinary steps to mitigate an extraordinary problem. Dining indoors is not permitted in California, because indoor settings are where most people become infected with COVID-19. So eateries around town have been given permission to move their dining rooms outdoors!

In the Gaslamp Quarter, the extended patios of restaurants go right out into Fifth Avenue. It’s a concept that is growing, and the people I’ve spoken to say diners really enjoy the unique experience!

Gaslamp Quarter banners show workers at eateries pledging to keep customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gaslamp Quarter banners show workers at eateries pledging to keep customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
El Chingon always seems a popular destination in the Gaslamp.
El Chingon always seems a popular destination in the Gaslamp.
Outdoor tables throughout the Gaslamp were filling up this Saturday mid-afternoon.
Outdoor tables throughout the Gaslamp were filling up this Saturday mid-afternoon.
Sevilla was just beginning to set up their outdoor patio as I walked by.
Cafe Sevilla was just beginning to set up their outdoor patio as I walked by in the mid-afternoon.
The hostess at The Butcher's Cut Steakhouse greeted me with smiling eyes. I had already gotten some takeout for dinner down the street.
The hostess at The Butcher’s Cut Steakhouse greeted me with smiling eyes. I had already gotten some takeout for dinner down the street.
Diners enjoy the unique outdoor ambiance of the historic heart of San Diego!
Diners enjoy the unique outdoor ambiance of the historic heart of San Diego!

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 fine evening to eat in the middle of the street!

It’s a fine evening to eat dinner in the middle of the street–Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter, that is!

Certain restaurants have begun to serve diners at tables in the middle of Fifth Avenue, from G Street down to L Street. “Curbside Gaslamp” has introduced this new way of coping with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the need for people to maintain six feet of social distance. Safely spaced tables occupy an “extended patio” right into the street, which is closed to traffic. Servers wear facial protection. And diners get to feast in the open air, surrounded by the dynamism and color of the historic Gaslamp Quarter!

Curbside Gaslamp is activated on Thursday and Friday 3 pm – midnight, and Saturday from noon to midnight. Safety rules are posted on a sign which I photographed. If you’re curious, click the photo below and it will enlarge for easy reading.

I believe as time goes on, more and more eateries will be participating!

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!