A new river park by Fashion Valley trolley station!

Northwest corner of Town and Country Resort and Convention Center's river park under construction. The new park will be across Riverwalk Drive from the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
The northwest corner of Town and Country’s new river park is under construction. The public park will be directly across Riverwalk Drive from the Fashion Valley Transit Center.

A new linear river park is under construction near Fashion Valley!

An ugly old parking lot of the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center is being converted into park space. And the north side of the San Diego River, directly adjacent to the Fashion Valley Transit Center, will be part of this new public park, too!

The project, which includes almost 8 acres of restored natural habitat, and beautiful new pathways along the San Diego River, is part of the Town and Country hotel’s extensive property-wide renovation.

Today I found myself standing high up on the Fashion Valley trolley station platform. I looked down to see how the northwest corner of the new park is taking shape.

Because I frequently use this station, I’ll continue to monitor developments!

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!

Oil painting the iconic Hotel del Coronado!

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One could make a convincing argument that the Hotel del Coronado is the second or third most iconic building in all of San Diego, after the California Tower in Balboa Park and perhaps the historic Mission San Diego de Alcalá.

The image of the uniquely grand and beautiful “Hotel Del” has been made famous in movies, on television, and through countless postcards sent around the world by enthralled tourists. Most people who think of Coronado immediately picture this impressive Victorian beach resort, the second largest wooden structure in the United States.

It’s said that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum used the fanciful architecture of the Hotel del Coronado as his inspiration for the Emerald City. (He wrote several Oz books at a house he rented in winter a few blocks away. To see photos of that house, click here!)

A month ago I used graphic software to change some of my photos of the California Tower into digital oil paintings. Yesterday, as I walked around Coronado, it suddenly occurred to me that I might do the same with the picturesque Hotel del Coronado!

I’ve altered some old photographs and a couple of new ones to make them appear like oil paintings! Just for fun!

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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Signs thanking heroes during the pandemic.

Thank you to all essential personnel. You are all heroes. Grateful words on the marquee of the Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego.
Thank you to all essential personnel. You are all heroes. Grateful words on the marquee of the Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego.

Around San Diego, signs are popping up that thank healthcare workers, first responders, and other heroes who are fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

I noticed two prominent examples as I walked through downtown this morning.

I thought you might like to see.

A sign of gratitude for healthcare workers and other heroes during the coronavirus pandemic. A heart composed of windows on a tower of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.
A sign of gratitude for healthcare workers and other heroes during the coronavirus pandemic. A heart composed of windows on a tower of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in 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 quiet Sunday morning walk before the parade.

Morning light and shadow on the historic Army-Navy YMCA building, now home to The Guild Hotel.
Morning light and shadow on the historic Army-Navy YMCA building, now home to The Guild Hotel.

Before the excitement of this afternoon’s MLK Day Parade, I took a quiet morning walk through downtown San Diego.

My photos begin a few blocks shy of the west end of Broadway. I headed south until I reached the water, where I found a perfect bench to sit on.

Come along and read the captions to experience a few Sunday morning sights.

A splash of light from windows across Kettner Boulevard.
A splash of light from windows of the Electra condo building across Kettner Boulevard.
Reflections in the glassy Pacific Gate building.
Downtown reflections in the glassy Pacific Gate building.
Walking south between the trolley tracks and the Pacific Gate building.
Walking south on the pathway between the trolley tracks and the Pacific Gate building.
The visually interesting entrance to the Pacific Gate building.
The visually interesting entrance to the Pacific Gate building.
Old train tracks, severed from those used today.
Old train tracks, severed from those used today.
The distinctive Park Place condo building appears through an archway.
The distinctive Park Place condo building appears through an archway of the Harborview Apartments.
Across Harbor Drive is The Headquarters and palm trees.
Across Harbor Drive is The Headquarters and palm trees.
An elegant entrance to the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.
The elegant north entrance to the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.
Looking back.
Looking back.
A cool photo as I walk past The Headquarters.
A cool photo as I walk past The Headquarters.
Ducks enjoy a swim in the Seaport Village pond.
Ducks enjoy a swim in the Seaport Village pond.
Someone performs a morning stretch on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Someone performs a morning stretch on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Beautiful luminous clouds above treetops.
Beautiful luminous clouds above treetops.
Someone else likes to quietly read.
Someone else likes to quietly read.
A tranquil Sunday morning beside San Diego Bay.
A tranquil Sunday morning beside San Diego Bay. The San Diego–Coronado Bridge stretches in the distance.

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!

Hotel, shops coming to Santa Fe Depot!

Today I learned a very big change is coming to downtown San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Depot!

This morning, after noticing the building’s exterior is getting a new paint job, I spoke to a gentleman outside the Amtrak office and asked if he knew whether the new owner still plans to renovate the building. I was surprised to hear that this year there will indeed be a major renovation of the building, including the opening up of an interior stairwell that will lead to a small new hotel and shops on the depot’s second floor!

I asked if there were plans to develop the depot’s old forecourt by Broadway, where there are tile benches and a broken fountain, and where streetcars picked up passengers arriving by train a century ago, but he knew nothing concerning that.

He and I agreed that it would be a amazing if the large Santa Fe sign atop the historic depot were finally lit up at night, adding more character to San Diego’s skyline. I’d heard a couple years ago during an architectural tour of the Santa Fe Depot that lighting the sign was a project that might lie in the future.

This all was news to me!

Very cool news!

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 hopeful New Year in the Gaslamp.

It’s New Year’s Eve. This morning and afternoon I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter to see what’s in store for the midnight celebrations.

Up and down Fifth Avenue the restaurants, bars and hotels were getting ready. Workers were sweeping sidewalks, putting up balloons.

I see the Gaslamp Quarter has big plans for the future. According to some information you can read in one photo, Fifth Avenue is to become the Gaslamp Promenade–a sprawling urban plaza. I’m sure it will be opulent and amazing.

Apart from one photo in particular, in the morning I didn’t point my camera at the numerous homeless, who sleep on the sidewalk and in doorways before being ushered along.

The Gaslamp Quarter contains some very stark contrasts. There is material self-indulgence, and there is despair.

Hopefully, in the New Year, there’s more heart.

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!

The holiday season is coming downtown!

Holiday season decorations now line the streets of Little Italy.
Many festive holiday season decorations now line the streets of Little Italy.

It’s the week of Thanksgiving. Winter is coming.

I enjoyed a long walk this morning, knowing that a big storm is headed our way. The next couple days will be wet!

What did I see?

Signs of the coming holiday season are popping up all around downtown San Diego!

The City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker at the Spreckels Theatre.
The City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker this year at the Spreckels Theatre.
A nutcracker guards the lobby of the Westgate Hotel.
A nutcracker guards the lobby of the Westgate Hotel.
Beautiful holiday gifts are beginning to appear in some downtown shop windows.
Beautiful holiday gifts are beginning to appear in some downtown shop windows.
One of several elegant Christmas trees in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.
One of several elegant Christmas trees now in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.
The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate again at Golden Hall.
The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate again at Golden Hall.
Buon Natale!
Buon Natale!

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!

Bad food, consequences, and the Hotel Chill.

There's a great sale on expired (antiqued) sardine cans.
There’s a great sale on expired (antiqued) sardine cans.

For your enjoyment and edification, I now present some photographic humor…

No more Mister Rice guy.
No more Mister Rice guy.
Beer Bank.
Time to make a withdrawal at the Beer Bank.
This candy cane must be left over from last Christmas.
This candy cane must be left over from last Christmas.
Ugh.
What happens when you eat all that bad food.
A call goes out. Good thing they have two fire engines.
A distress call goes out. Good thing they have two fire engines.
I think I'll lie down. Welcome to the Hotel Chill.
I really need to lie down. Welcome to the Hotel Chill.

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!

Hit a home run to end homelessness!

Come down to Lane Field Park at the corner of Broadway and Harbor Drive this Saturday and take part in something special!

The InterContinental Hotel, celebrating its first anniversary in downtown San Diego, is hosting a cool event that raises money for Alpha Project, which is working to help end homelessness. Hit a “home run” at Lane Field Park (site of the original home of the Padres) and run the bases for a very good cause!

You can buy tickets here.

Read the above sign which I spotted this morning for details! (Click the photo and it will enlarge.)

2019 Comic-Con building wraps get started!

Here we go!

The very first building wrap of 2019 Comic-Con is now being applied to the Omni hotel across from the San Diego Convention Center! It appears to promote FOX and their Animation Domination!

Gaslamp Square near the Tin Fish and Hard Rock Hotel is also fenced off now. I expect construction will soon begin for NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine offsite, which will include a Statue of Liberty!

UPDATE!

Early Friday evening I walked about and made lots of cool discoveries!

I noticed the Animation Domination wrap on the Omni has some more panels. I also noticed NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine activation is now under construction. Some banners promoting various NBC shows have also been hung nearby at the Gaslamp trolley station.

Plus I noticed the beginnings of three new building wraps!

Two I can’t identify yet–one is on a tower of the Marriott Marquis and the other, a CBS show, is on the Hilton Gaslamp. (The first might be upcoming TBS series Snowpiercer and the second might be Star Trek: Picard. Can you identify them?)

A third very cool wrap on the Marriott promotes Gundam on its 40th anniversary!

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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!