A sunny Labor Day walk along the Embarcadero.

Please enjoy photographs taken today of a sunny Labor Day walk along San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Labor Day usually draws huge crowds to the waterfront. But this year the boardwalk was relatively uncrowded. I suppose the heat wave might have something to do with that, plus the fact the Embarcadero had no big Labor Day events scheduled this year.

I began with a visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I then walked south to the pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South…

A sunlit sailboat on San Diego Bay, seen through the rigging of famous tall ship Star of India.

These guys were “learning the ropes” aboard Star of India. Sailors handling complicated tall ships have much to learn and remember.

Across Harbor Drive, the exterior of the County Administration Building is receiving a new paint job.

Inside the passenger deck of the Maritime Museum’s historic steam ferry Berkeley, a new drink called Aguas Frescas was being promoted by Minute Maid. Thirsty from the heat outside, I greedily guzzled two!

Walking south along the boardwalk past Portside Pier. It appears many others were also thirsty for refreshment.

Pollution Control Vessel Seaward Endeavor docked at the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal. A multi-function ship for charter recently acquired by Hornblower, Seaward Endeavor was originally commissioned in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

People wait in line to board either the Coronado ferry or a San Diego harbor cruise–I didn’t pay close enough attention.

A Flagship harbor cruise heads out into the bay past USS Midway.

In the distance, docked at North Island, I see two active aircraft carriers: the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Carl Vinson.

A young audience is captivated by the singing of friendly street musician Gary Reid.

Lots of vendors were set up for Labor Day near the USS Midway Museum.

All sorts of wares are displayed on tables along the boardwalk.

An artist had painted San Diego landmark statue Embracing Peace, often referred to as The Kiss.

A churro and esquites vendor pushes his food cart into place.

Embracing Peace, a sculpture based on an iconic 1945 photograph taken in Times Square at the end of World War II. The huge statue by Seward Johnson was originally called Ultimate Surrender.

Looking past a bronze service member, part of the “National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military” public artwork near The Fish Market restaurant.

Some people are partying out on the water.

Beyond the USS San Diego Memorial, construction continues on one of the new RaDD (Research and Development District) buildings.

Heading past Ruocco Park and Tuna Harbor toward Seaport Village. No huge crowds this Labor Day.

Almost to Seaport Village.

Folks pose by a Seaport Village fountain surrounded by touristy shops.

They say Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, so these Autumn-themed banners at the Alamo Flag shop should be popular.

Pink flamingos and beach lounges facing the bright blue water, however, mean summer!

Passengers get ready to board a San Diego Seal Tour. They’ll drive to Shelter Island and enter the water via a boat ramp there.

Musicians play to empty tables at Seaport Village.

Continuing my leisurely walk toward the Marriott Marina.

The silvery Marriott Marquis shines as usual.

A ladder way up there! A strange photo, right?

A perfect day to skate between the San Diego Convention Center and the Rady Shell.

And a perfect day to kayak, too!

An easy (but very warm) Labor Day walk arrives at the fishing pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

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!

One very cool place on a very hot day!

This Labor Day weekend we’re experiencing a big heat wave in San Diego.

Many are taking refuge indoors, relying on air-conditioning or fans. Others, who’d rather be outside, are heading to the beaches.

But there’s one outdoor place that’s even cooler than a beach. A pier! Particularly the always very “cool” Ocean Beach Pier!

Walk along the OB Pier’s nearly 2000 foot length and feel the refreshing sea breeze. Perhaps stop halfway out at the Walking On Water Cafe to grab a lemonade or ice cream.

Look at the banners flutter in the wind as gulls wheel overhead!

At the Ocean Beach pier’s end you are well out over the water. The ocean-cooled air is inviting, invigorating. The one cooler spot would be straight down, surfing or swimming.

And to think those people on the beach are practically frying on the sand!

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!

Cool photo memories from September 2017.

How many big events are scheduled for this coming Labor Day weekend? Searching online event calendars, I haven’t noticed too many. That certainly wasn’t the case five years ago!

Back in September 2017, during Labor Day weekend, San Diego hosted an amazing international sand sculpture competition on Broadway Pier, another beautiful Festival of Sail on the Embarcadero, and there was the traditional stickball tournament in Little Italy.

Then later that September I recorded even more fun and inspirational stuff! Like Brazilian Day in Mission Beach, Fiestas Patrias in Old Town, the Trolley Dances downtown, and a special Remember Me Thursday in Balboa Park!

Here’s your opportunity to relive some of those moments. Check out the upcoming links for all of the colorful photographs!

Click the following links to see many photos…

World’s top sand sculptors create fantastic art!

Another perfect day at the Festival of Sail.

Stepping aboard the beautiful Bill of Rights.

Royal Marines, an admiral, pirates, dancers!

Photos from the Labor Day Stickball Tournament.

9/11 Firefighter’s legacy: Two Sons and Stickball.

Photos of the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival!

Green Flash public art in Mission Beach!

Festive culture and tradition at Fiestas Patrias!

Bells ring in San Diego for Constitution Day!

San Diego Convention Center stripped of sails!

Photos of San Diego Bonsai Club exhibition.

Remember Me Thursday love in Balboa Park.

Trolley Dances at the downtown Central Library!

Scouts remove gum at Cabrillo National Monument!

Do you know of any fun public events coming up this weekend? Leave a comment! I might head on over with my camera!

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.

Life and history at the Oceanside Pier.

Walk along the Oceanside Pier and you’ll encounter life. You’ll see walkers, bicyclists, people gazing across the water, talking, fishing, and beachgoers and surfers down below. If you have a curious mind and observant eyes, you’ll also discover history.

I walked along the popular pier on Labor Day and took these photos.

You can read the following historical plaques, if you’d like. Those many names carved into the wood railing were from a community fundraiser, whose proceeds were used to rebuild the pier in 1988, the year of its centennial.

The Oceanside Pier was originally built in 1888 and destroyed two years later by winter storms. Over the years, there have been six different incarnations. Today the pier is 1,942 feet long. You can learn more about its history here.

Oceanside Municipal Fishing Pier. Reconstruction 1987.
Oceanside Pier. 1925. Historic Resource 4-204.

Check out this very cool fish-shaped bike rack! I saw it down by the beachside boardwalk.

Some benches near the foot of the pier memorialize loved ones…

Just a few of the many names on the weathered wood rails along the length of the pier…

Across from the concession shack, with its souvenirs, snacks and bait, you’ll find a collage of faded photographs.

Cherished memories over the years. Happy days fishing…

Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier permanently closed early this year after three decades of operation. A sign indicated the building will return to life in the future.

History goes on.

Why the many flags nearby? It’s Labor Day, 2021.

Another fine day passes by. Time to head back…

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 foggy Labor Day morning by the water.

After two days of sweltering heat in downtown San Diego, early this morning it was nice and cool. Fog had rolled in from the Pacific Ocean overnight. Perfect for a long Labor Day morning walk!

I set out very early while most of the city was asleep. Once the sun had risen and there was sufficient light for photographs, I took out my camera. The fog lingered throughout my walk. The sun was just breaking through as I arrived home mid-morning.

These photos begin at the G Street Pier, where several fishermen were already up and getting ready for another day out on the wide ocean. I proceeded around Tuna Harbor, through Ruocco Park and Seaport Village, did a loop through Embarcadero Marina Park North, continued past the Marriott Marina, and ended up near the fishing pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

I haven’t captioned these photos. I like how the fog provides a sense of mystery. But you might notice construction continues on the San Diego Symphony’s new outdoor summer concert venue, The Shell.

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 from past US Sand Sculpting Challenges!

The annual US Sand Sculpting Challenge was cancelled this year due the COVID-19 pandemic. The world-class event takes place each Labor Day weekend and draws huge crowds to San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Having gone to this mind-blowing international competition for the past six years, I’ve accumulated lots of cool photos! The world’s top sand masters can produce absolutely astonishing works of art!

To recall past wonders from this event, I’ve linked to blog posts containing hundreds of photographs. Before you check those out, however, in no particular order, here are some of the sand sculptures I’ve particularly enjoyed!

The following links provide six years of photographs from the US Sand Sculpting Challenge…

2014

Photos of world-class sand sculptors at work!

2015

Photos of amazing, incredible sand sculptures!

2016

The most amazing sand sculptures in the world!

2017

World’s top sand sculptors create fantastic art!

2018

Masterpieces by World Master sand sculptors!

2019

Amazing art at U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

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 holiday morning in Ocean Beach.

It’s Labor Day. The unofficial last day of summer.

Early this morning I headed to Ocean Beach. There’s no better place in San Diego to people watch.

As the warm sun climbed higher and broke through the morning haze, humanity trickled down Newport Avenue to find breakfast, to surf, or to stake out a spot on the beach or OB pier.

Many shops were closed. Nobody I saw seemed to be in a very big hurry. Even in laid-back Ocean Beach, the day had an easy holiday vibe.

As I walked I took 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!

Photos of 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament!

Around noon today I spent some time in Little Italy watching the action-packed 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament. This very cool annual event seems to grow larger every year, attracting top stickball teams from across the country.

In 2019 the Labor Day Stickball Tournament features 18 teams, including three teams from New York and two teams from Florida. Everyone is competing to have their team name engraved on The Jillie Championship Trophy. San Diego’s own Whompers are the current champions.

During Labor Day weekend, games are played on four fields in Little Italy. It’s fun to watch pedestrians walking down a sidewalk in the field of play suddenly see a ball smashed past them! The looks of surprise!

As I watched one game beside the outfield on Columbia Street, near the San Diego Firehouse Museum, Big Lou came up and introduced himself to me. He’s a retired player who has been inducted into the New York Emperors Stickball League Hall of Fame. It’s his first time in San Diego.

Big Lou told me all about the history of stickball, it’s popularity on the East Coast and in Puerto Rico, and how generations of players have enjoyed the game. His love for the game was in his voice and in his eyes.

Enjoy some photos of the action…

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!

World-class sand masters smile for fun photos!

Cool sand artists rest for a bit near the foot of Broadway Pier as they create a welcoming sculpture for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge! A couple faces look familiar from past competitions!
Cool sand artists rest for a bit near the foot of Broadway Pier as they create a welcoming sculpture for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge! A couple faces look familiar from past competitions!

Some of the world’s greatest sand artists smiled for my camera late this afternoon! They’re now carving sand sculptures on Broadway Pier that will greet people as they arrive for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.

During Labor Day weekend, these extraordinary artists will be working hard inside the Port Pavilion, where the public can watch them create spectacular pieces of fine art out of compacted sand!

If you’re in San Diego, it’s the big Labor Day weekend event you shouldn’t miss!

On the other side of the welcoming sand sculpture, a design is being carved that celebrates the 250th anniversary of the city of San Diego!
On the other side of the welcoming sand sculpture, a design is being carved that celebrates the 250th Anniversary of the City of San Diego!

One of the outdoor sand sculptures near the Port Pavilion is sponsored by MTS. It's a work still in progress.
One of the outdoor sand sculptures near the Port Pavilion is sponsored by San Diego’s public transit system, MTS. It’s a work still in progress.

Sand master and TV star Chris Guinto smiles for my camera! I met him briefly five years ago during this annual competition. This sculpture he's working on promotes Natural Light Seltzer.
Sand master and TV star Chris Guinto smiles for my camera! I met him briefly five years ago during the annual competition. This sculpture he’s working on for an event sponsor will promote Natural Light Seltzer.

UPDATE!

Here are some photos taken the following day…

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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!

Compacting sand for world-class sculptures!

This morning sand is being compacted in wooden forms on the Broadway Pier. That means Labor Day weekend can’t be very far away, along with the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

During this annual festival, fine art will be created by some of the world’s top sand sculptors inside the pier’s Port Pavilion. Meanwhile, I was told that the carving of several sponsored sand sculptures outdoors on the pier begins tomorrow!

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