Fossils exposed in Hillcrest on University Avenue!

Perceptive people who walk along University Avenue in Hillcrest, between First Avenue and Park Boulevard, might see dozens of fossils “exposed” in the sidewalk.

These small, stone-sculpted plant and animal fossils are part of San Diego’s largest public art installation, which stretches about a mile long!

Fossils Exposed, created by San Diego artist Doron Rosenthal in 1998, consists of 150 granite markers set in the sidewalks along either side of University Avenue.

Doron Rosenthal has always been inspired by the unique beauty of desert landscapes. After spending some time in Pietra Santa, Italy, working with and learning from some of the world’s greatest sculptors, Doron Rosenthal returned to Southern California and taught stone cutting at the San Diego Art Institute. He continues to produce art today.

According to the artist’s website, “FOSSILS EXPOSED involves the creation and installation of 150 circular 4.5 inch granite markers. Each represent the artist’s interpretive carvings of local and regional fossilized plant and animal life, which are sandblasted into granite…. The imagery is inspired by the fossil collections from the San Diego Museum of Natural History. Each marker is different, representing various plant and animal species covered over by modern day urban development. The project would encourage awareness of the levels of life that struggled to exist within the area–some in the past, some in the present…”

To learn more, visit Doron Rosenthal’s website here.

I walked along University Avenue this morning and photographed just a fraction of the many Fossils Exposed.

To my eyes, it appears that over the years these man-made fossils have become even more fossil-like. They’ve aged along with the slowly weathering sidewalks and surroundings.

Unfortunately, it also appears much of the fossil artwork is now missing. Sections of sidewalk have been replaced over time, and I could locate no markers along a few stretches of University Avenue. I suspect that when old sections of concrete sidewalk were removed, certain fossils vanished, and ended up buried under layers of rubble and Earth. Where most true fossils are found.

If that’s the case, what a shame.

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 walk to Hillcrest during the pandemic.

We are in this together!
We are in this together!

This morning I got some exercise by taking a long safe walk. I began downtown, near the southwest corner of Balboa Park, and headed north through Bankers Hill to Hillcrest.

There were signs all around of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic…

Yellow tape stretched between trees along Sixth Avenue indicates Balboa Park is closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yellow tape stretched between trees along Sixth Avenue indicates Balboa Park is closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Written in chalk on the sidewalk: Thank you healthcare, pharmacy, grocery...
Written in chalk on the sidewalk: Thank you healthcare, pharmacy, grocery…
In one window: Social distancing equals love in action.
In one window: Social distancing equals love in action.
Sign indicates St. Paul's Cathedral is closed as a precaution during the pandemic.
Sign indicates St. Paul’s Cathedral is closed as a precaution during the pandemic.
During my walks around town I've noticed more and more businesses boarded up as the coronavirus pandemic lockdown continues.
During my walks around town I’ve noticed more and more businesses boarded up as the coronavirus pandemic lockdown continues. I noted these positive messages for an unfortunate situation.
Fifth Avenue in Bankers Hill has almost no traffic.
Fifth Avenue in Bankers Hill has almost no traffic.
Temporary services changes are posted at the bus stop on Upas Street.
Temporary services changes are posted at the bus stop on Upas Street.
A tattoo parlor has a graphic in their window. Closed 4 the plague.
A tattoo parlor has a graphic in their window. Closed 4 the plague.
Many restaurants in Hillcrest had Curbside Pickup Only signs out front.
Many restaurants in Hillcrest have Curbside Pickup Only signs out front.
In a parking lot by the UCSD Medical Center hospital, tents are set up for the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully they aren't in use at the moment!
In a parking lot by UCSD Medical Center, a major San Diego hospital, tents are set up for the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully most don’t seem to be needed at the moment! (The waving nurse reminded me to Stay Safe!)

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!

Even in dark times, light persists.

The photographs in my previous blog post show how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting life in San Diego. But they do not reflect all that I saw during my walk today.

I also saw beauty, optimism, creativity, hope.

Even in times that are dark, light persists.

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 scenes on a pandemic Saturday.

A downtown fast food restaurant has changed its practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A downtown fast food restaurant has changed its practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today is the first Saturday of the announced COVID-19 pandemic.

I thought I’d take a midday walk in San Diego, to see what I might see.

I headed from Cortez Hill up Sixth Avenue on the west side of Balboa Park, turned east on University Avenue in Hillcrest, then headed south down Park Boulevard. I meandered a little through Balboa Park, before returning to downtown San Diego.

I saw less traffic than usual. Fewer people were about. I suppose many are hunkered down, to avoid possible exposure to the coronavirus. I only saw a handful of older people, which is a good thing. They need to be particularly careful.

Balboa Park was much less crowded than usual.

As you can see in some of the upcoming photographs, various parts of the park have temporarily closed for public safety.

Balboa Park's West Mesa was much less active than usual for a Saturday around noontime.
Balboa Park’s West Mesa was much less active than usual for a Saturday around noontime.
The nearby Little Italy Farmer's Market has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and these guys had moved to a secluded spot on the grass near Sixth Avenue, hoping for some business.
The Little Italy Farmer’s Market has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and these vendors had moved to a secluded spot on the grass near Sixth Avenue, hoping for some business.
An older gentleman waits for a bus on University Avenue in Hillcrest.
An older gentleman waits for a bus on University Avenue in Hillcrest.
As I walked over Highway 163, I saw some traffic, but it appeared less than usual for a Saturday.
As I walked over Highway 163, I saw some traffic, but it appeared less than usual for a Saturday.
Some folks were out and about in Hillcrest, walking down the sidewalk or dining outdoors.
Some folks were out and about in Hillcrest, walking down the sidewalk or dining outdoors.
This old Before I Die interactive chalk board might have taken on a little more meaning during the current health pandemic.
This old Before I Die interactive chalk board might have taken on a little more meaning during the current dangerous coronavirus pandemic.
Human thought and endeavor endure in a bookstore window.
Human thought and endeavor endure in a bookstore window.
On a door: Good to meet you. Come in.
On a door: Good to meet you. Come in.
A lone jogger heads south down quiet Park Boulevard.
A lone jogger heads south down quiet Park Boulevard.
A mysterious shoe. A moment in somebody's life.
A mysterious shoe. A moment in somebody’s life.
The parking lot at the San Diego Zoo is much emptier than usual. Many are avoiding public places where there are crowds.
The parking lot at the San Diego Zoo is much emptier than usual. Many are avoiding public places where there are crowds.
The Balboa Park Carousel is shuttered on a Saturday afternoon.
The Balboa Park Carousel is shuttered on a Saturday afternoon.
Closed until the end of March as a proactive safety measure.
Closed until the end of March as a proactive safety measure.
Many artists studios in Balboa Park's Spanish Village were closed. This guy told me it's a good time to do a little maintenance!
Many artist studios in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village were closed. This guy told me it’s a good time to do a little maintenance!
Sign promoting shows in front of the Casa del Prado Theater is empty.
Sign promoting shows in front of the Casa del Prado Theater is empty.
A street performer and his dog on Balboa Park's normally busy El Prado.
A street performer and his dog on Balboa Park’s normally busy El Prado.
Balboa Park was much quieter than usual for a Saturday, but some folks were still out and about enjoying the day.
Balboa Park was much quieter than usual for a Saturday, but some folks were still out and about enjoying the day.
Hand sanitizing stations have popped up around Balboa Park.
Hand sanitizing stations have popped up around Balboa Park.
The House of Scotland at the International Cottages has cancelled its upcoming Tartan Day event.
The House of Scotland at the International Cottages has cancelled its upcoming Tartan Day event.
The parking lot in Balboa Park's Palisades area is almost empty.
The parking lot in Balboa Park’s Palisades area is almost empty.
So is this parking lot on President's Way. Ordinarily it would be full on an early Saturday afternoon.
So is this parking lot on President’s Way. Ordinarily it would be almost full on an early Saturday afternoon.
Almost no traffic on Park Boulevard. Very eerie.
Almost no traffic on Park Boulevard. Very unusual.
The hours of this downtown coffee shop have been changed due to the current situation.
The hours of this downtown coffee shop have been changed due to the current situation.
Almost no traffic downtown on A Street.
Almost no traffic downtown on A Street.

Everyone, take care!

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 mural in Hillcrest at Urban MO’s!

I spotted a new mural in Hillcrest at the corner of University and Third Avenue! A rainbow heart and glamorous face decorate one wall of Urban MO’s Bar and Grill.

The artwork, adding even more color to the dynamic LGBT community in Hillcrest, was spray painted by cool local artist Alex Julian.

Check it out!

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!

Three cool murals in Hillcrest by Fizix!

During my long walk through Hillcrest today I spotted three cool murals by prolific local street artist Fizix!

The first mural is on the parking lot wall of Hillcrest Athletic Club and depicts various colorful, very fit people!

The second mural is on the west entrance of Cigar Cave. The black and white image has a noir feel to it, as if the pictured setting is a seedy bar in the 20s or 30s.

The third mural is in the narrow alley next to East Coast Pizza. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their diabolical enemies all seem to have one thing in common: a love for pizza!

Fizix is actually Alex Julian, a San Diego artist whose murals can be seen all over the city. Many of his spray painted images have a sort of bold comic book style. You might remember his huge mural in Logan Heights that depicts lots of superheroes and other comic book characters.

You can see that awesome superhero mural and learn a bit more about Alex Julian here!

BE FEARLESS IN PURSUIT OF WHAT SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE
BE FEARLESS IN PURSUIT OF WHAT SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE

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 historic “Book Pass” in Mission Hills!

Community members line a sidewalk in Mission Hills, passing books from their old home to a brand new branch library!
Community members line a sidewalk in Mission Hills, passing books from old shelves to a brand new branch library!

A very exciting and historic event took place this morning in Mission Hills! Hundreds of people lined the West Washington Street sidewalk to pass books from the old, now closed Mission Hills Branch Library to the beautiful, larger, brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library!

The final 200 books from the old branch library were transferred along the sidewalk, hand-to-hand, by volunteer participants. Some were dressed as favorite book characters. All eyes glanced at the passing titles, and many smiles resulted!

Once every book had been transported to its new home, a Grand Opening ceremony was held in front of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. When the speeches were complete, community members streamed into the new building!

The very last book to be passed was The Hobbit. It was selected in a poll to make the fantastic journey.

And onward into the future we go!

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”

–Bilbo Baggins

Volunteers for the Book Pass gather in front of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest-Harley & Bessie Knox Library.
Volunteers for the Book Pass gather in front of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library.
Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Members of the Book Brigade are getting ready on Block 3.
Members of the Book Brigade are getting ready on Block 3.
Someone reads while waiting for the Book Pass to begin.
Someone reads while waiting for the Book Pass to begin.
Look who I spotted! It's Balboa Park's Ranger Kim, with his cool new children's book!
Look! It’s Balboa Park’s Ranger Kim Duclo, with his cool new children’s book!
This persons favorite book is Peter Benchley's Jaws!
This person’s favorite book is Peter Benchley’s Jaws!
I spotted Cruella de Vil, Maleficent and Captain Hook!
I spotted Cruella de Vil, Maleficent and Captain Hook!
Here comes Professor Trelawney!
Here comes Professor Trelawney!
Near the old Mission Hills Branch Library, the Book Pass is almost ready to begin.
Near the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library, the Book Pass is almost ready to begin.
Volunteers are lined up, awaiting the first book!
Volunteers are lined up by the old branch library, awaiting the first book!
Cameras ready!
Cameras ready!
A fun moment in history is about to begin...
A fun moment in history is about to begin…
The final 200 books in the now closed branch library will be passed from hand to hand to the new Mission Hills Library.
The final 200 books in the now closed branch library will be passed from hand to hand to the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Library.
Here they are!
Here they are on a book cart!
Empty shelves are all that's left in the old Mission Hill Library.
Empty shelves are all that’s left in the old Mission Hills Branch Library.
Here comes the first book in the Book Pass!
And here comes the very first book in the Book Pass!
Doing the wave! Too much excitement!
Doing the wave! Too much excitement!
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
The books head east through Mission Hills.
The books head east through Mission Hills.
Here they come!
Here they come!
People pause to look at titles as the books are passed along.
People pause to look at titles as the books are passed along. Most of the books are classic works of World Literature.
The cart is almost halfway empty!
Very quickly the cart is almost half emptied!
The smiling Bike Brigade showed up to transport some books!
The smiling Bike Brigade showed up to transport a few books!
There it is! The final book of the Book Pass is waiting at the bottom of this stack. The Hobbit!
There it is! The final book of the Book Pass is waiting at the bottom of this stack. The Hobbit! (It happens to be one of my favorites!)
The final 25 books represent the 25 most checked-out books in the history of the Mission Hills Branch Library. I noticed several were by Dr. Seuss.
The final 25 books represent the 25 most checked-out books in the history of the old, now closed Mission Hills Branch Library. I noticed several were by Dr. Seuss.
Finally, it's J. R. R. Tolkien's beloved novel The Hobbit.
Finally, it’s J. R. R. Tolkien’s beloved fantasy novel The Hobbit.
Bilbo Baggins has embarked on another journey. The Hobbit makes it's way to the brand new Mission Hills Library.
It seems Bilbo Baggins has embarked on another journey. The Hobbit makes it’s way to the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library.
Friends and neighbors are excited to be a part of history in San Diego.
Friends and neighbors are excited to be a part of history in San Diego.
A kid hurries across an intersection with The Hobbit!
A happy kid hurries across an intersection with The Hobbit!
Everyone holds up The Hobbit as many photographs are taken.
Everyone holds up The Hobbit as many photographs are taken.
One of many wonderful Book Pass memories for hundreds of volunteers.
One of many wonderful Book Pass memories for hundreds of participants.
A huge crowd accompanies The Hobbit across another intersection as the Book Pass approaches the new branch library.
A huge crowd accompanies The Hobbit across another intersection as the Book Pass approaches the new branch library.
The beautiful new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library is now in sight!
The beautiful new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library is now in sight!
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer poses with some kids for a photo.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer poses with some kids for a photo.
The Hobbit is approaching its new library home!
The Hobbit is approaching its new library home!
A favorite book held high for all to see!
A favorite book held high for all to see!
One last book and the historic Book Pass transfer will be complete.
One last book and the historic Book Pass transfer will be complete.
Many have gathered for the ceremony at the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library.
Many have gathered for the Grand Opening ceremony at the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library.
The Hobbit has reached its new home.
The Hobbit has reached its new home.
Speeches begin. The Mayor of San Diego addresses a large crowd. The new library is finally ready to open.
Speeches begin. The Mayor of San Diego addresses a large crowd. The beautiful new library, which was built in the Craftsman architectural style, is finally ready to open.
People eagerly head into the brand new Mission Hills Branch Library!
People eagerly head into the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library!
On we go!
On we go!

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!

Make history at new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Library!

Early sunshine on the handsome new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. It will be completed and open to the public in a little over two weeks!
Early sunshine on the handsome new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. It will be completed and open to the public in a little over two weeks!

If you live in Mission Hills or Hillcrest, or simply love the San Diego Public Library , you have the opportunity to take part in a unique and historic ceremony!

On February 26, 2019, members of the community will participate in a unique “Book Pass” to celebrate the grand opening of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library!

Sign up for this event and you’ll be one of many who line the West Washington Street sidewalk symbolically passing a few books from the old branch library to the beautiful, much larger new building!

According to the website: “We will line streets from the current library to the new location to pass along select books as part of a grand opening party. Each book passer will receive a free scarf and other promotional items to commemorate this historic day. The Book Pass will take place from 9 to 10 am. Registration, Donuts, & Coffee, will be at 8:00 am at the new library, 215 West Washington Street.”

Interested? Sign up here!

Photo of the old, permanently closed Mission Hills Branch Public Library.
Photo of the old, now permanently closed Mission Hills Branch Public Library.
Fall was followed by winter at the old library building. But it soon will be spring...
Fall was followed by the dead of winter at the closed old library building. But spring always follows winter…
The ceremonial Book Pass from the old branch library to the new branch library will head east along the West Washington Street sidewalk past these flowers.
The ceremonial “Book Pass” from the old branch library to the new branch library will carry books east along the West Washington Street sidewalk past these flowers.
Those who take part in the symbolic opening ceremony, as they approach the new branch library, will carry books past this flock of birds!
Books used for the symbolic opening ceremony, as they are carried to the new branch library, will pass by this flock of birds!
And the books will finally arrive at their much larger, very beautiful new home.
And the books will finally arrive at their much larger, very beautiful new home.
Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library opens on January 26, 2019!
The new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library opens on January 26, 2019! You can participate in its opening and become part of history!

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!

Holiday food drive in Hillcrest to help special kids.

Aseltine School's 2017 Holiday Food Drive takes place Wednesday, December 6, 530 pm to 730 pm, at Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest.
Aseltine School’s 2017 Holiday Food Drive takes place Wednesday, December 6, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest.

If you’re in San Diego, please consider participating in the Aseltine School’s 4th Annual Holiday Food Drive. It will be taking place on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest, which is located at 1236 University Avenue.

Bring non-perishable food items such as peanut butter, canned chicken and tuna, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, soup and pasta. The food you bring will support students and families in need.

Aseltine School is a supportive, positive place where K-12 students are helped to overcome a variety of difficulties. Their innovative program transforms young lives. Learn more at Aseltine’s website.

Your generosity will be greeted with lots of big smiles!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Six creepy Halloween faces in shop windows.

This morning I walked past a variety of small shops in Hillcrest. Several had placed mannequins dressed up for Halloween in their windows. On a whim I took photos.

When I goofed around a bit this evening editing the images, concentrating on the creepy faces, I managed to terrify myself.

Now it’s your turn!

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!