Brave men run in La Jolla!

Walk beside the ocean in La Jolla and you might observe the curious statement: BRAVE MEN RUN IN MY FAMILY.

The bold words appear in a large outdoor mural, on a wall of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego high above Coast Boulevard. The humorous wordplay is coupled with the silhouette of a tall ship under many sails running before the wind.

The title of the mural is Brave Men of La Jolla. It’s by Southern California pop artist Ed Ruscha. Created in 1995-1996, the image is acrylic on PVC coated fabric and measures a whopping 24.75 x 36 feet.

I took photographs of the mural from MCASD’s Edwards Sculpture Garden during my visit to the recently renovated museum a few weekends ago.

If the sly “brave men run in my family” quote seems familiar, it was originally spoken by Bob Hope’s cowardly dentist character “Painless” Peter Potter in the 1948 comedy The Paleface. He says these words when faced with danger, and then he promptly runs away!

Would the brave men of La Jolla do the same?

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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Strange new bowling alley in North Park!

There’s a strange new bowling alley in North Park. It’s located at University Avenue and Grim Avenue.

Step into this outdoor “bowling alley” and you’ll find balls that don’t roll and pins that cannot be knocked down. And a large face regarding you from behind sunglasses.

The alley mural, whose plaid-like patterns contain bowling imagery (and a guy with enormous scissors), appeared last month. It was created by @theanimalswitharms.

I wonder: do those animals with arms prefer ninepin or tenpin?

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!

Unarius Academy of Science students reenact past lives!

A fascinating display in one window of the Unarius Academy of Science in El Cajon shows students engaging in psychodrama, reenacting past-life experiences.

I walked past the Unarius Academy of Science today. It’s located in downtown El Cajon. You might have seen their flying saucer car or the space murals by their parking lot.

According to an educational sign in the window, beginning in the late 1970’s, students were filmed during their elaborate psychodramas to help them recognize and overcome past-life shocks and traumas.

A different display filled this particular window the last time I peered through it, a little over a year ago.

I can’t say I know anyone who has studied here, but no doubt the coursework is just a bit unusual!

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!

Two dummies caught climbing electrical poles!

Two dummies in El Cajon were caught climbing electrical power line poles today.

Caught by my camera, that is!

They were a pair of real dummies, because, well, they were in fact real dummies!

I was walking along West Main Street past the SDG&E Construction and Operations facility when the corner of my eye was taken by surprise. Through a gap in the surrounding fence, this is what I saw…

During today’s walk in El Cajon I captured more surprising and amusing photographs. The next blog post might really make you laugh.

Stay tuned!

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!

Golden hamburgers tempt eyes in Oceanside!

Huge juicy hamburgers, served with precious gold, tempt the eyes of those visiting the Oceanside Museum of Art!

I said gold?

Yes!

The hamburger paintings and a sculpture, by San Diego artist Duke Windsor, are made to shine with the application of gold leaf. He was inspired by the gilt religious icons in the collection of Balboa Park’s Timken Museum. (Would that make these hamburgers secular icons?)

This savory exhibition of rather peculiar still lifes is titled Duke Windsor: Nothing’s Impossible.

When you’re an artist, indeed all things are possible. Even a luscious golden hamburger fit for a king!

I wonder . . . did that butterfly land on lunch during a picnic? Or does it symbolize something in particular?

Better place your order soon. The fast food will expire next weekend, when this cool exhibition ends!

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!

Another Whomping Willow at City College?

It appears Hogwarts isn’t the only school with a dangerous Whomping Willow. Because our own San Diego City College seems to have one of its own!

I was walking up Park Boulevard this morning, on my way from downtown San Diego to the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park, when I spied the fantastically twisted tree. A few of its gnarled. outstretched limbs had slammed against the nearby grass, sadly crushing goodness knows what.

I avoided the walking path that passes directly next to it, just to be safe.

That is a Whomping Willow, isn’t it?

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!

It was all a dream in Little Italy!

If you’ve driven north up India Street at Kalmia Street, you might’ve seen three new, very unusual street signs.

Do they indicate motorists are about to leave the Little Italy neighborhood? No. Together in sequence they read: IT WAS ALL A DREAM.

On their other side, the signs declare: WORK IN PROGRESS – YOU ARE HERE – STAY PRESENT.

This raises a difficult question. If the past was all a dream, and people are urged to stay present, what should one do? Avoid a return to dreaming?

Does anyone know who installed this public art? And when? I’ve done some googling, but find nothing but an unhelpful Instagram post. If you have more info about these fun signs, please leave a comment.

By the way, the funky, kitschy zebra stripes-like mural on the side of the El Camino Mexican restaurant that you see in the background was recently painted by Delilah Strukel (@Wanderingdelilah).

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!

Fun trashcan tile art at J Street Viewpoint!

Check out this fun artwork on trashcans at the J Street Viewpoint in Encinitas!

I saw this public art during my last walk in Encinitas.

While enjoying the J Street Viewpoint park that overlooks the ocean, I also photographed a plaque remembering John Denver, which you can see here, and an extraordinary sculpture titled Humanity, which you can see here.

I don’t know anything about these trashcans. It appears the tiles were painted by community members, including lots of kids. If you know anything, please leave a comment!

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!

Score a field goal at first base!

Very strangely, football goal posts rise in Petco Park near first base. (So reaching first must now mean three points!)

As I walked through Gallagher Square this morning, I saw this peculiar remnant from a football game that was never played. When UCLA backed out of the 2021 Holiday Bowl a few hours before the game, many were shocked and extremely disappointed.

I suppose we’ll soon see Petco Park back in its usual configuration.

An interesting experiment–playing a football game in this baseball ballpark–will now most likely never occur. SnapDragon Stadium in Mission Valley should be completed and ready for football by next holiday season.

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!

Old Town home of Squibob, who inspired Mark Twain.

One of San Diego’s most famous houses stands in Old Town at 4015 Harney Street. It’s a modest little structure that you might easily pass by without a second glance.

For a couple of years, 1853-1854, the Derby-Pendleton House was the home of Lieutenant George Horatio Derby, an American humorist who wrote articles for California newspapers, including the San Diego Herald, under the pseudonyms Squibob and John Phoenix. It is said his style of writing, employing absurdity, exaggeration, irreverence and good fun, inspired Mark Twain, Artemus Ward, Bret Harte and others.

Derby’s Wikipedia page states: According to the newly (2010) published Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. One, Ulysses S. Grant was a classmate of “Squibob’s” and the General told Twain some stories of Squibob at West Point.

In 1856 Derby’s immensely popular book Phoenixiana was published. It contains many of his humorous pieces, including articles he wrote concerning San Diego. I like the gentle humor of his description of Old Town’s Fourth of July in 1854. It is found on page 123: At 9 A.M. precisely, the San Diego Light Infantry, in full uniform, consisting of Brown’s little boy, in his shirt-tail, fired a national salute with a large bunch of fire-crackers. This part of the celebration went off admirably; with the exception of the young gentleman having set fire to his shirt tail, which was fortunately immediately extinguished without incident.

Why was Lt. George H. Derby, a West Point graduate and engineer of the United States Topographical Corps, in San Diego? To survey the San Diego River and build a dike that would divert its water into False Bay–now Mission Bay.

While in San Diego, he and his wife rented a prefabricated house that was originally brought by ship around Cape Horn. Learn all about the Derby-Pendleton House’s complex history here. It has had many owners, including William Heath Davis and Don Juan Bandini, and has been moved repeatedly.

You can see an historical marker concerning Derby Dike here. You might note that the marker was placed by Squibob Chapter, E Clampus Vitus.

The San Diego chapter of E Clampus Vitus, “a fraternal organization dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of the American West,” is named after Derby’s pseudonym, Squibob. The motto of Clampers is Credo Quia Absurdum, which purportedly means “I believe it because it is absurd.”

In 1962 an historical plaque was placed on The Derby-Pendleton House by the San Diego chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution. I took a photo of it yesterday.

Public domain photo of Lieutenant George Horatio Derby.
From the book cover of Phoenixiana.

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!