Hollywood, Tarzan, Live Wire and Vaudeville!

Hollywood, Tarzan, Live Wire and Vaudeville… What do these four have in common?

They’re all aspects of a short walk in University Heights!

A few days ago I walked east along the south sidewalk of El Cajon Boulevard, from Park Boulevard to Louisiana Street. My camera was out, aiming at anything that caught my fancy.

I saw street art and the iconic The Boulevard sign. I passed a strange bicycle and a fun window.

When I came to the historic Lafayette Hotel, I noticed huge banners proclaiming its rebirth in June of 2023.

The Lafayette Hotel has undergone many changes since it began as the Imig Manor in 1946. It’s very first guest was Bob Hope. It soon became a favorite playground for Hollywood stars, like Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn, Betty Grable, Lana Turner and singer Bing Crosby. It’s rumored Marilyn Monroe and JFK had a secret rendezvous here.

The hotel’s swimming pool was designed by Olympic gold medal winning swimmer and Tarzan movie actor Johnny Weissmuller. It was used by San Diego native Florence Chadwick to train for her record breaking swim across the English Channel. The hotel’s Mississippi Ballroom was used in the filming of Top Gun’s classic You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ scene.

You can learn more about the amazing, elegant features of the Lafayette Hotel here.

Okay! Here are photos from my short walk…

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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!

Cranes by Chula Vista park and marina.

Construction of the immense Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center in Chula Vista is underway.

I was walking recently through Chula Vista’s Bayside Park, and out onto the peaceful Chula Vista Marina fishing pier when I took these photos.

The new resort and convention center is going to be gigantic. According to this article from last year, the total estimated cost for the resort hotel, convention center, parking structure and associated public infrastructure and parks is estimated to be approximately $1.23 billion. The plan is for the project to be completed in 2025. Fortunately, the long, grassy Bayside Park, at the edge of San Diego Bay, will remain open to the public.

About all I could see during my walk were these big cranes, some trucks, excavation machinery and mounds of dirt. The last couple photos were taken from the fishing pier, then from a point next to a sculpture called The Fisherman.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Coronado’s Spreckels Mansion: then and now.

John D. Spreckels and his family owned the Hotel del Coronado during the first half of the 20th century.

In 1906 Spreckels began construction of a palatial home in Coronado. His mansion would stand at 1630 Glorietta Boulevard, across from his extraordinarily elegant Hotel del Coronado.

The Italian Renaissance style Spreckels Mansion, designed by renowned architect Harrison Albright (who also designed the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park), would be completed in 1908.

The above photograph was taken in 1915. The description of this public domain photo on Wikimedia Commons is: Promotional image of John D. Spreckels’ home on Coronado for marketing the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.

If the building appears familiar, that’s because much of it was incorporated into today’s Glorietta Bay Inn

Coronado Historical Landmark – J.D. Spreckels House – 1908. Dedicated 1977 Coronado Historical Association.

When I visited Coronado a couple months ago, the friendly Glorietta Bay Inn receptionists behind the front counter allowed me to take a few interior photos. What I found most interesting was one framed image on a wall.

The following is described as: a photograph of an original 1911 postcard of the Spreckels home, just after completion and before the addition of the music room in 1913…

Here are two more outside photos taken by my camera for comparison…

To learn more about John D. Spreckels, one of early San Diego’s most influential entrepreneurs, developers and philanthropists, read his Wikipedia article here.

You’ll learn his Coronado mansion included six bedrooms, three baths, a parlor, dining room and library at the cost of $35,000. At that time, Spreckels’ Mansion featured a brass cage elevator, a marble staircase with leather-padded handrails, skylights, marble floors and some of the Island’s most spectacular gardens. The home was built with reinforced steel and concrete, an earthquake precaution Spreckels insisted upon after living through the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Spreckels lived in the Glorietta Boulevard mansion until his death in 1926.

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!

Photos of Comic-Con 2022 from 40 stories high!

What does Comic-Con 2022 look like when seen from 40 stories high?

Like this!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

Comic-Con inspired donuts at the Pendry!

Got a sweet tooth? Going to Comic-Con this year?

You might want to swing by the Pendry San Diego hotel to sink your teeth into some Comic-Con inspired donuts!

When I went this morning, I saw a bunch of freshly made superhero donuts and Star Wars donuts. All were created by the folks at the world-famous Donut Bar, so you know they’re tasty good!

Look for the following sign on Fifth Avenue at J Street, and head into the hotel!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

Krapopolis fills the Omni for Comic-Con!

Walk into the lobby of the Omni San Diego Hotel during 2022 Comic-Con and you might, for a moment, think you’ve been transported to ancient Greece. Then, looking around more closely, you’ll see you’ve been transported into the future–of FOX television!

Krapopolis, a new animated series that is coming up, has an unusual cast of characters, from the look of it. I think I see Medusa and the Kraken, too!

The graphics are on columns in the lobby and at the elevators–inside the elevators, too!

You won’t mistake the place for the Parthenon on the Acropolis. Because it’s Krapopolis!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

More photos of 2022 Comic-Con popping up!

As we get ever closer to the opening of 2022 Comic-Con, more and more cool stuff is popping up in San Diego, particularly near the convention center!

For the past several days I’ve been documenting Comic-Con preparations downtown. Well, today, Saturday, I walked around again and found more stuff to share!

The distinctive Comic-Con logo now appears all over the San Diego Convention Center!

Workers are setting up the outdoor canopies near the convention center. There will be huge crowds for Comic-Con as usual. Fortunately, the weather is forecast to be quite comfortable.

That huge Star Trek wrap on the Marriott Marquis is looking really awesome. (I had to add contrast to my hazy zoom photo.)

FX continues to set up their large offsite activation by the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. I believe those artificial hedge sections will form the walls of a simple labyrinth.

Local artist Shirish Villaseñor works on the Starbucks windows graphics. They show scenes from Shrek. Her painted windows on Sweet Things Frozen Yogurts next door are the Faces of Comic-Con.

The rear of the FX offsite for Comic-Con under construction.

The big American Horror Stories wrap on the Hilton is getting bigger…

Almost done with the cool Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero wrap decorating the Marriott.

The other day I was informed correctly! FOX will have a small offsite with a Super Slide and photo opportunity on the grass opposite The New Childrens Museum.

Cool trolleys all over!

Sand artists have begun carving the three Audible sand sculptures.

The big TREK building wrap seen from MLK Promenade across Harbor Drive.

Looks like a Beavis and Butt-Head wrap on one side of the Hilton Gaslamp!

House of the Dragon offsite looks ominous. I’m now told there won’t be a maze inside, but something. Looks exciting, whatever it might be!

More graphics have appeared at the Hilton Gaslamp for The Walking Dead special event.

The Krapopolis wrap grows on the Omni hotel. NBC hasn’t begun their offsite construction by the Tin Fish yet, nor is there anything on the grass by the Omni…

The cool Severance wrap on the Hard Rock Hotel is nearing completion.

That banner on the Gaslamp trolley station fence is left over from the recent ESRI conference at the convention center.

Here comes another wrap on the Hilton Gaslamp! This one promotes Interview With The Vampire.

Nerdy stuff is popping up all over downtown San Diego with less than a week to go before Comic-Con!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

Comic-Con preparations continue in San Diego!

It’s Friday before 2022 Comic-Con. Preparations for the big event are now well underway around the San Diego Convention Center and the Gaslamp Quarter! This weekend workers are going to be very busy!

Many building wraps are up, and others are rapidly appearing, section by section. More offsite activations have begun construction. The pre-Comic-Con atmosphere around town is becoming increasingly electric! (I’ve noticed quite a few people wearing superhero t-shirts!)

I walked around downtown after work to see what progress has been made.

First, I saw that FX is setting up their outdoor labyrinth in the park by the Hilton San Diego Bayfront–their usual spot. FX always creates an awesome offsite experience. As usual, they’ll be promoting a variety of new and favorite shows.

The beginning of a huge wrap on the Hilton promotes the FX weekly anthology series American Horror Stories.

Check out the huge Star Trek wrap on the Marriot Marquis hotel! Every series. Every episode. Sign me up!

I walked around the Marriott and what did I find…

Workers are applying a huge Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero wrap!

After crossing Harbor Drive, I checked out the parking lot by 1st Avenue where NETFLIX will have their The Gray Man offsite. Looks like the activation includes a derailed train? I guess we’ll find out soon enough!

Then I headed down Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade to see how the Audible sand sculptures are doing. The sand is still compacting and drying, waiting to be carved…

Then farther down MLK Promenade I saw that the platform that will support the indoor maze of House of the Dragon has plastic walls. And I see two wraps up ahead, too!

What’s this on the Hilton Gaslamp? You tell me.

Wow–I see The Walking Dead is preparing to welcome people to their special Comic-Con event inside the Hilton Gaslamp hotel…

And look up ahead! That huge building wrap on the Omni hotel is enlarging.

I see it promotes FOX’s new animated comedy Krapopolis! (I wonder what those ancient Greeks would think about this?)

Lastly, I spied a big The Gray Man wrap on the San Diego Lions Manor building…

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

Hard Rock Hotel welcomes back Comic-Con!

The Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is welcoming back Comic-Con! The big event had a two year’s absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An awesome window display on the Sixth Avenue side of the Hard Rock Hotel contains a tribute to 2022 Comic-Con. There are all sorts of fun images and several very cool life size helmets that will be familiar to lovers of pop culture!

Superheroes reunite!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

Rings of Power, maze and mythical creature at Comic-Con!

As Comic-Con fast approaches, lots of super cool stuff continues to pop up in San Diego’s Gaslamp, including more wraps and some very early offsite construction.

An awesome span of building wraps promoting Amazon Prime Video’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power can now be enjoyed near the Gaslamp Quarter archway, at the south end of Fifth Avenue. They wrap right around to the north side of the Hilton Gaslamp.

You’ll see lots of photos coming up.

First, I spotted a large platform being built in the grassy area by the Hilton Gaslamp. I learned it’s going to support a huge indoor maze! It’s HBO’s House of the Dragon offsite for Comic-Con. House of the Dragon is a 300 year prequel to the hugely popular Game of Thrones.

Next, I noticed the beginning of a huge wrap on the Omni hotel!

Looks like an animated mythical creature. A satyr, perhaps? Anyone out there hazard a guess? Leave a comment, and then we’ll see in a day or two!

I then snapped this photo of the Apple TV+ Severance wrap which is being applied on the south side of the Hard Rock Hotel…

Finally, here come the awesome Rings of Power wraps, which are still being applied!

Pretty cool, huh?

UPDATE!

Look what’s up a day later!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

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