Delightful entrance to The Village Hat Shop!

How many shops have an enormous hat sheltering their front entrance?

The Village Hat Shop in Hillcrest does!

They also have three great murals above windows that are brimming with fantastic hats!

Back in April, when I was researching the artist who created a civil rights mural in Mountain View, I learned that Rik Erickson of Murals Fantastic had also painted these three small but very delightful murals at The Village Hat Shop.

The Village Hat Shop was founded in 1980 in San Diego and now has several locations around Southern California.

If you’re a hat lover, you might enjoy paying a visit!

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 spring walk through Hillcrest and Mission Hills.

Spring has arrived in the window of Mission Hills Automotive.

Yesterday I went for a long, very pleasant springtime walk. These photographs represent my journey through the west part of Hillcrest, then through an interesting slice of Mission Hills.

I started inside Hillcrest, headed west down Washington Street, took a momentary detour to Fort Stockton Drive, then headed back down Washington Place to historic (and some say haunted) Pioneer Park, which I will blog about in a day or two. I then hiked down sloping Mission Hills Canyon along the green, seemingly little known Robyn’s Egg Trail, which I also plan to blog about. Eventually I came out near San Diego Avenue, southeast of Old Town.

Come along and read the captions to get a taste…

A flying unicorn on a fence by Copper Top Coffee and Donuts in Hillcrest.
Lovers in a window at Urban Fusion Decor.
Springtime in a window at VCA Hillcrest Animal Hospital.
A cool mural on the side of Dame and Dapper Barber Shop.
One of the bird sculptures along Washington Avenue’s median. I believe the sculptures were a project of the Mission Hills Garden Club.
Mysterious tile artwork on the corner of a building.
Banner thanks cool teachers at St. Vincent de Paul School.
Interesting old building is home of the Ibis Market.
Mission Hills homeowners are hoping to have acorn-style street lamps installed, to create a more charming and historic look.
One of many beautiful old houses I passed in Mission Hills. I believe this one is a Craftsman.
Gravestones line a corner of Pioneer Park, which was built over a cemetery where many early residents of San Diego remain buried.
Heading down green Mission Hills Canyon on a sunny spring day. The Robyn’s Egg Trail is rough and requires careful navigation in spots. Along its approximately half mile length I encountered one walker with a dog and one homeless person.
Bright flowers along the path.
A happy kitty face greets me as I arrive at San Diego Avenue!

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!

Contrasts in a forever evolving city.

Some of these photographs are disturbing. They show a few of the many contrasts curious eyes will observe in a city. A city that is forever evolving.

People come and go. Businesses come and go. Buildings come and go. Dreams come and go. And we are always right here in the present, trying to recall what was.

These photos were taken during a walk on Saturday. I started up Fifth Avenue from downtown, climbed north through Bankers Hill, and finally entered Hillcrest.

I observed new high-rise and bike lane construction. Striking contrasts appear in photos that include St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Abbey.

I observed new signs and fresh ambitions, and dreams that were shattered.

I glimpsed a complex world, and now even those small glimpses are a fading memory.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Beautiful art at Cascade Spa and Antiques.

In the same Hillcrest alley where you can find these amazing murals and the Teenage Mutant Ninja and Cigar Cave murals, there’s another very detailed and beautiful work of art.

The alley mural decorates the rear of the Cascade Spa and Antiques building. As you can see in my first photographs, stunning artwork also decorates the front and side of the building!

Looking at the Cascade Spa’s website, the luxurious interior is overflowing with more elegant Asian imagery.

Enjoy 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!

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!

Sunrise photos at the Georgia Street Bridge.

Yesterday morning I walked from Hillcrest to the top of the Georgia Street Bridge to watch the sunrise over North Park.

After a few quiet minutes, with the daylight gradually increasing, I walked back down to Park Boulevard and headed east along University Avenue under the bridge, where I photographed the plaque from the historic structure’s construction in 1914.

According to this page of the City of San Diego Digital Archives: The Georgia Street Bridge was built in 1914 in one of the city’s earliest suburbs, crossing over busy University Avenue where streetcars once traveled. The bridge’s basic design is Romanesque Spandrel Arch with Mission Revival styling. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The bridge recently completed a major renovation that included seismic and structural retrofitting.

As you can see in my photos, I then ascended the bridge again from the east, while gazing down at early morning traffic below. The second-to-last photo with the two buses is from the top of the bridge, looking west into Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Cool new mural painted in Hillcrest!

A cool new mural was painted recently in Hillcrest! You can find it at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Check it out!

The muralist is @dropdead.grace, an artist who is new to me.

This wall use to be the “canvas” for some great artwork painted back in 2017 for the now defunct Ion Theatre, which was located steps away. The Broken Heart Tattoo studio now operates where the small experimental Hillcrest theatre introduced many edgy, original plays.

I learned that the old Ion Theatre mural was badly defaced. If you want to see photos of that mural being created over a period of days, click here!

Here are two more pics of this new mural…

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 murals painted in amazing Hillcrest alley!

Maxx Moses mural in a Hillcrest alley. Son, mommy LOVES YOU.
Maxx Moses mural in a Hillcrest alley. Son, mommy LOVES YOU.

More murals have been painted in an amazing alley in Hillcrest! You can find this alley directly behind The Studio Door on Fourth Avenue, where many local artists exhibit their work.

I last visited the alley a year and a half ago and found two fantastic murals by Fizix, which you can see here. (The second and third murals I photographed in that blog post–the Cigar Cave and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eating pizza.)

Well, now there’s a huge, super cool mural by Maxx Moses, and another equally cool mural across the alley from it by Gloria Muriel. All of this creativity flowed from the hands, minds and hearts of prolific local artists whose street art can be seen all over San Diego!

Continuation of the Maxx Moses mural around the corner.
Continuation of the Maxx Moses mural around the corner.

Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.
Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.

Gloria Muriel mural in a Hillcrest alley.
Gloria Muriel mural in a Hillcrest alley.

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!

Cool photo memories from August 2015.

Another month has slipped away already? Summer is halfway over? The days fly quickly!

Well, I suppose it’s time to once again turn the clock back and recall what I was blogging about five years ago.

In August 2015 a whole bunch of interesting things were going on in San Diego!

In Old Town the early trades of San Diego came to life again, and Mark Twain and other famous authors seemed to rise from the dead! On the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, an extraordinary Moby Dick reading marathon activated the imagination of those who listened. In Balboa Park, a special exhibit retold the history of the Spanish Village colony of artists, and suffragettes went on a march! At Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers were still in San Diego and putting on their annual FanFest!

And much more was happening all over the city, from Hillcrest to Chula Vista! Of course, I also saw a lot of fascinating activity downtown during my walks.

It was one very fun month!

Click the following links to see many photos!

Trades That Shaped the West live on in Old Town.

White whale glimpsed from deck of world’s oldest sailing ship.

History of Spanish Village artists in Balboa Park.

Photos of San Diego Chargers 2015 FanFest.

Photos of art come to life at CityFest in Hillcrest.

Twain and classic literary characters roam Old Town!

Workers install engraved name pavers at Broadway Pier.

Fishermen unroll a huge net onto Tuna Harbor pier.

Photos of good times at Chula Vista’s HarborFest!

Suffrage rally and parade celebrates 19th Amendment.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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!