Waning rays of sunlight, magically captured.

One of the metal Wind Palms in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront catches golden light at the end of an October day.
One of the metal Wind Palms in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront catches golden light at the end of an autumn day.

I walked along the Embarcadero late today. As I reached the Hilton San Diego Bayfront the sun was beginning to set. Looking up, I observed that golden rays of waning sunlight had been magically captured by some peculiar palm trees…

Sunset begins behind trees of Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Sunset begins behind the trees of Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Late sunlight on one of the rotating Wind Palms created by artist Ned Kahn in 2008.
Late sunlight on one of the rotating Wind Palms created by artist Ned Kahn in 2008.
People jog along San Diego's Embarcadero as evening approaches.
People walk and jog along San Diego’s Embarcadero as evening approaches.
Waning rays of sunlight, magically captured.
Waning rays of sunlight, magically captured.

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!

Luxury buildings under construction on Ash Street.

A new building is rising at the corner of Ash Street and Kettner Boulevard.
A new building is rising at the corner of Ash Street and Kettner Boulevard.

Many new buildings are rising in downtown San Diego.

Yesterday I walked east from the Embarcadero along Ash Street and took photos of three projects: the Savina luxury condo building, the LUMA luxury apartment building, and a new, elegant Carté Hotel.

Savina is a 36-story high-rise building containing luxury condos, coming to downtown San Diego.
Savina is a 36-story high-rise building containing luxury condos, coming to downtown San Diego.
Photo of Savina construction from intersection of Ash and Kettner.
Photo of Savina construction from intersection of Ash and Kettner.
As I walked east up Ash I noticed some bicyclists looking around. Up ahead to the left is more construction.
As I walked east up Ash I noticed some bicyclists looking around. Up ahead to the left is more construction.
I'm heading up the sidewalk and getting closer.
I’m heading up the sidewalk and getting closer.
A concrete mixer truck turns the corner at Ash Street and Columbia Street. Under construction is LUMA, an apartment building opening in Fall 2018 according to their website.
A concrete mixer truck turns the corner at Ash Street and Columbia Street. Under construction is LUMA, an apartment building opening in Fall 2018 according to their website.
What LUMA will look like when completed.
What LUMA will look like when completed.
Construction worker atop the rising luxury apartment building.
Construction worker atop the rising luxury apartment building.
A third construction site is visible as I walk east on Ash.
A third construction site is visible as I walk east on Ash.
A prestigious new 240-room Carté Hotel is coming to 401 W. Ash in Little Italy in Fall 2018.
A prestigious new 240-room Carté Hotel is coming to 401 W. Ash in Little Italy in Fall 2018.
This downtown construction is still in the early stages!
The Carté Hotel downtown construction is still in the early stages!

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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Optical magic at the Marriott Marquis.

A bicyclist passes reflections on the glassy two-level ballroom of the Marriott Marquis.
A bicyclist passes reflections on the glassy two-level ballroom of the Marriott Marquis.

Here are two magical photos. Bright reflections of nearby high-rises were captured by my camera as I walked past the new ballroom expansion of the Marriott Marquis. I love San Diego’s beautiful waterfront.

Optical magic on glass windows.
Optical magic on glass windows.

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!

Funny sign: Quit stealing our letters!

Town and Country Hotel sign reads: CUIT 5TEALING O R LETT3RS
Town and Country Hotel sign reads: CUIT 5TEALING O R LETT3RS

I was heading home from work today when I spied something funny through the bus window. The big Town and Country Hotel sign now reads: CUIT 5TEALING O R LETT3RS. Either a crook has stolen the missing letters, or somebody is providing us with a good laugh!

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!

Buildings rise and fall along San Diego’s waterfront.

First of two photos from about a week ago. Construction of a new fire station at Pacific Highway and Cedar Street. When finished this station will serve the North Embarcadero and Little Italy.
Construction of a new fire station at Pacific Highway and Cedar Street. When finished this station will serve the North Embarcadero and Little Italy.

Many cranes now fill the sky in downtown San Diego. They seem to be concentrated in East Village and along the waterfront. I’ve lived in downtown for a long time, and I don’t recall seeing this amount of construction activity in many, many years.

As you might have noticed, I like to walk along the Embarcadero. During the past few months I’ve been watching the progress of several construction projects not far from the water. Every time I go for a stroll it seems that I have to tilt my head farther and farther back…

It’s fascinating to watch new buildings slowly rise into the sky–and to watch as old buildings are swept away. It seems that human ambition is like an ocean that crashes wave after wave, unceasingly changing the cityscape. The things we see today will in time be replaced, and, like ourselves, become a small bit of history.

Here are some photos. Most I took late this afternoon. (The first four photos, which show the new fire station construction, were taken very recently.)

Read the captions!

The new fire station is west of the railroad and trolley tracks, in order to avoid potential delays when dispatched to emergencies by San Diego's harbor.
The new fire station is west of the railroad and trolley tracks, in order to avoid potential delays when fire engines are dispatched to emergencies near San Diego’s harbor.
I took this photo and the next a couple of days ago. Huge steel beams have appeared!
I took this photo (and the next) about a week after those first two photos. Huge steel beams have appeared!
A new bayside firehouse is being built in San Diego!
A new bayside firehouse is being built in San Diego!
Graphic on a banner on the fence surrounding the old, closed Anthony's Fish Grotto. A new waterside dining experience is coming called Portside Pier.
Graphic on the fence surrounding the now closed Anthony’s Fish Grotto. A new waterside dining experience is coming called Portside Pier.
Portside Pier will be just south of the Star of India and include a dock for visiting boats. Interesting that this graphic doesn't show Point Loma or any land across San Diego Bay.
Portside Pier will be just south of the Star of India and include a dock for visiting boats. (Interesting that this graphic doesn’t show Point Loma, North Island or any land across San Diego Bay!)
Portside Pier will include Brigantine, Miguel's, Ketch Grill and Taps, and Portside Coffee and Gelato.
Portside Pier will include Brigantine, Miguel’s, Ketch Grill and Taps, and Portside Coffee and Gelato.
Demolition of the Navy Broadway Complex has been underway for several weeks. I believe a remote robot is being used to destroy this building floor by floor, starting at the top level.
Demolition of the Navy Broadway Complex has been underway for several weeks. I believe a remotely-controlled robot is being used to destroy the old building floor by floor, starting at the top level.
Another look at the old Navy Broadway Complex being slowly removed. Heaps of debris are growing.
Another look at the old Navy Broadway Complex being slowly removed. Heaps of debris are growing.
Photo taken from Ruocco Park shows the Navy Broadway Complex demolition, plus the construction of the new InterContinental Hotel (left crane) and Pacific Gate by Bosa (right crane).
Photo taken from Ruocco Park shows the Navy Broadway Complex demolition, plus the construction of the new InterContinental Hotel (left crane) and Pacific Gate by Bosa (right crane).
The Navy Broadway Complex is being demolished to make way for Manchester Pacific Gateway, which will include four office buildings, a retail promenade, tourist attractions, a park and two hotels.
The Navy Broadway Complex is being demolished to make way for Manchester Pacific Gateway, which will include four office buildings, a retail promenade, tourist attractions, a park and two hotels.
A look at the demolition so far from Pacific Highway. The Navy Broadway Complex has evolved since the early 1900's and has served the Pacific Fleet in various capacities.
A look at the demolition so far from Pacific Highway. The Navy Broadway Complex has evolved since the early 1900’s and has served the Pacific Fleet in various capacities.
Pacific Gate by Bosa appears to be nearing completion. Photo taken just south of intersection of Broadway and Pacific Highway.
The tall Pacific Gate by Bosa appears to be nearing completion. Photo taken near intersection of Broadway and Pacific Highway.
Construction continues near the base of Pacific Gate, a high-rise luxury condo. Photo taken from across Broadway.
Construction continues near the base of Pacific Gate, a high-rise luxury condo.
Pacific Gate rises behind construction of the new InterContinental Hotel, located at the site of old Lane Field. Photo taken across Harbor Drive.
Pacific Gate rises in the distance, behind the construction of a new InterContinental Hotel, located at the site of old Lane Field. Photo taken from across Harbor Drive.
When finished, this InterContinental Hotel will provide 400 luxury waterfront rooms for visitors to San Diego.
When finished, this InterContinental Hotel will provide 400 luxury waterfront rooms for visitors to San Diego.
I took some photos of ground floor construction as I walked along Pacific Highway north of Broadway.
I took some photos of ground floor construction as I walked along Pacific Highway north of Broadway.
Another photo of construction of San Diego's new InterContinental Hotel.
Another photo of construction of San Diego’s new InterContinental Hotel.
Looking upward.
Looking upward.
Lots of cranes are in San Diego's blue sky! A dynamic city grows and continues to evolve.
Lots of cranes are in San Diego’s blue sky! A dynamic city grows and continues to evolve.

Here are a couple later pics!

The new InterContinental Hotel rises.
The new InterContinental Hotel rises.
The old Navy Broadway Complex falls.
The old Navy Broadway Complex falls.

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!

Elegant interior of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel.

The south side of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel, as seen from an upper level of Horton Plaza. The 1910 Broadway Fountain is visible in Horton Plaza Park.
The south side of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel, as seen from an upper level of Horton Plaza. The 1910 Broadway Fountain is visible in Horton Plaza Park.

During last weekend’s San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017, I ventured into one of the event’s featured downtown locations: the historic U.S. Grant Hotel. I was able to get some photos of the hotel’s elegant interior!

The U.S. Grant was built by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., the son of American President Ulysses S. Grant. The building was designed by architect Harrison Albright and built in the same spot where Alonzo Horton had his 1870 Horton House Hotel, which was demolished.

The U.S. Grant Hotel opened in 1910. It featured a steel and reinforced concrete framework to counter the threats of fire and California earthquakes. For over a hundred years the grand old hotel has stood prominently at the center of downtown San Diego. Notable guests have included 15 United States Presidents (there are 3 different presidential suites), Albert Einstein and Charles Lindbergh.

It’s also interesting to note the very first San Diego Comic-Con was held in the U.S. Grant, back in 1970.

The east side entrance of the elegant U.S. Grant Hotel on Fourth Avenue in downtown San Diego.
The east side entrance of the elegant U.S. Grant Hotel on Fourth Avenue in downtown San Diego.
I entered the hotel from the east entrance, where many guests arrive.
I entered the hotel from the east entrance, where many guests arrive.
The elegant interior just inside the east entrance.
The elegant interior just inside the east entrance.
Large glittering chandeliers add a glamorous touch throughout the posh hotel.
Large glittering chandeliers add a glamorous touch throughout the posh hotel.
Some beautiful artwork above stairs descending to the Crystal Ballroom.
Some beautiful artwork above stairs descending to the Crystal Ballroom.
Standing in the grand lobby, looking south toward the U.S. Grant Hotel's entrance on Broadway.
Standing in the grand lobby, looking south toward the U.S. Grant Hotel’s entrance on Broadway.
The U.S. Grant Hotel's front desk.
The U.S. Grant Hotel’s front desk.
The beautiful lobby, fit for royalty.
The beautiful lobby, fit for royalty.
A small sculpture near the Broadway entrance is titled Sweet Dreams, by artist David A. Montour.
A small sculpture near the Broadway entrance is titled Sweet Dreams, by artist David A. Montour.
Even the hotel elevators are beautiful.
Even the hotel elevators are beautiful.
A sitting area near the bank of elevators.
A sitting area near the bank of elevators.
Portraits along this wall include Native Americans. The U.S. Grant Hotel was bought by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in 2003. It is operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Portraits along this wall include Native Americans. The U.S. Grant Hotel was bought by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in 2003. It is operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
North of the elevators is this large Presidential Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant.
North of the elevators is this large Presidential Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant.
Old photo of the Horton House, which stood at this downtown San Diego location before its demolition.
Old photo of the Horton House, which stood at this downtown San Diego location before its demolition.
Headline of The Evening Tribune announces the opening of the U.S. Grant Hotel on October 15, 1910.
Headline of The Evening Tribune announces the opening of the U.S. Grant Hotel on October 15, 1910.
On display is a 1910 US Grant Hotel door knob.
On display is a 1910 US Grant Hotel door knob.
A look across the U.S. Grant Hotel lobby from the mezzanine level. Pure elegance.
A look across the U.S. Grant Hotel lobby from the mezzanine level. Pure elegance.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Two observation windows high above San Diego!

View from the Top of the Hyatt. The Marriot Marquis and Marina can be seen below, sparkling in the San Diego sunshine.
View from the Top of the Hyatt. The Marriott Marquis and its marina can be seen below, sparkling in the San Diego sunshine.

Perhaps the best view of downtown San Diego can be enjoyed through two observation windows on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Stand on Harbor Drive and face the beautiful hotel–the older, taller tower on the left is where you need to go.

Take the guest elevator to the 40th floor after 3pm, to the bar at the Top of the Hyatt, and the two observation windows await on either side of the elevator. No need to enter the bar.

Check out the amazing views to the north and to the south!

At the top of this 497 foot tower, the highest waterfront building on the West Coast, one can peer through two observation windows and enjoy phenomenal views of San Diego.
At the top of this 497 foot tower, the highest waterfront building on the West Coast, one can peer through two observation windows and enjoy phenomenal views of San Diego.
Approaching the south observation window on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Approaching the south observation window on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Looking to the south across San Diego Bay and past the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Looking to the south across San Diego Bay and past the Coronado Bay Bridge.
From the same window, gazing to the southeast. A portion of downtown is visible. San Miguel Mountain and Otay Mountain rise in the distance.
From the same window, gazing to the southeast. A portion of downtown is visible. San Miguel Mountain and Otay Mountain rise in the distance.
At the other window, looking northwest, past the hotel's second tower, one can see a slice of San Diego Bay and Point Loma.
At the other window, looking northwest, past the hotel’s second tower, one can see a slice of San Diego Bay and Point Loma.
To the north one can see another part of downtown, near the North Embarcadero.
To the north one can see another part of downtown, adjacent to the North Embarcadero.
Written on the window are words from a popular children's book. Oh the places you'll go. Dr. Seuss.
Written on the window are words from a popular children’s book. Oh the places you’ll go. Dr. Seuss.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!