A city reflected from puddles.

Last night it rained. This afternoon the winter storm arrives in earnest. It will be raining on and off in San Diego for most of the week.

This morning I walked from Cortez Hill to Golden Hill and back. As I moved through downtown, I noticed interesting reflections in the sidewalk puddles.

Whenever I found a good rain puddle, I peered through the shining, magical portal and glimpsed fragments of a mysterious city…

I have lots of cool (and unusual) photos from my Golden Hill walk coming up, so 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!

Downtown from a bird’s perspective.

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to fly around a city as a bird? Traveling in three dimensions, in any direction, wherever you please?

When I walk downtown, with all the seagulls, crows, sparrows, pigeons and other birds flying about, I sometimes try to imagine what they see. And what, if anything, they think of it all!

During my walk this morning I took the above photo at Civic Center Plaza. And I started to look for unique and unusual photographs.

Gravity glued me to the sidewalk, but some of these photos might provide something of a bird’s perspective.

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!

Walking downtown on Beech Street in morning light.

This morning, after walking down from the top of Cortez Hill, I headed west along Beech Street to catch the trolley at the Little Italy station.

Early sunlight was reflecting brightly from downtown’s many buildings. Surrounded by fascinating forms, shadows and reflections, I took this series of photographs…

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!

Fog and silver at South Mission Beach.

I took these moody photos yesterday afternoon near South Mission Beach Park and the Mission Beach Jetty. You can see the volleyball courts on the sand. You’ll also see the nearby lifeguard station.

The lowering sun had vanished behind a gray bank of fog drifting in from the Pacific Ocean. I thought I’d snap a few photos to see how they’d come out.

They seem to tell a mysterious story about life.

And about silver that lives in the gray.

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!

Sunset photos in the Financial District.

Early this evening I found myself in downtown San Diego, in an area that is sometimes called the Financial District.

As I stood at the corner of Seventh Avenue and B Street, I looked up at the skyscrapers around me.

Sunset light was reflecting from building tops, windows.

I felt inspired to look for interesting photographs!

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 gazebos of Balboa Park’s hidden garden.

There’s a hidden garden in Balboa Park that almost nobody visits. It’s called the Administrative Courtyard.

The Administrative Courtyard is green, peaceful and very beautiful. There are fountains. There are arbors with vines and trees. To me, the most wonderful part of this courtyard garden are the gazebos at its corners. They give this special place personality. They are both cheerful and elegant, welcoming visitors with their bright tiled domes and nearby benches.

As I walked through and around the gazebos on a sunny winter’s day, I found many interesting contrasts of light and shadow for my camera.

If you’d like to find the hidden Administrative Courtyard, head to Balboa Park’s Inspiration Point, east of Park Boulevard, and walk behind the Developed Regional Parks Administration Building. That’s the handsome building that stands with its double towers atop a hill.

This corner of Balboa Park, including the Administration Building and nearby Veterans Museum (originally a military chapel), was once part of San Diego’s United States Naval Hospital, which was built in the early 1920s. When the hospital moved into Florida Canyon, Inspiration Point opened up its wonders to you and me.

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Is this what the Wise Men saw?

See that tiny, tiny dot in the night sky directly above the photographer’s knuckles? People are calling it the Christmas Star. Astronomers call it a great conjunction, when the two largest planets in our solar system–Jupiter and Saturn– appear very close together to eyes viewing from Earth.

Today is December 21, 2020, the Winter Solstice. I took this photograph with my little camera from the Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park shortly after dark. That’s downtown San Diego you see on the left.

The last time Jupiter and Saturn were in conjunction this closely (and could be seen in most of the Northern Hemisphere) was the year 1226. You’ll have to wait sixty years to see it again. I suppose I won’t be around.

I’ve read and heard conjecture that the biblical Magi were guided to Bethlehem by the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on the year of Christ’s birth. Some believers claim the timing would have been about right.

Can you make out that miniscule dot? Is that the same “star” the Wise Men saw?

Another good question might be: Is a light from far away what the wise see?

Jupiter and Saturn will continue their orbits around the sun, as will the Earth, long after you and I and every worldly thing we have done and hold dear has vanished, turned to dust, to be swirled by an unseen finger, transformed into something else.

Great conjunctions will continue hundreds, thousands, millions of years into the future. A billion years from this moment–give or take a century–there will be another Christmas Star.

Firefighters Sculpture at San Ysidro fire station.

Over the years I’ve photographed several works of public art located in front of San Diego fire stations. This weekend I saw another example. A very cool sculpture stands near the entrance of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Station 29 in San Ysidro!

Firefighters Sculpture is the title of this piece, which was created by Jeri Deneen in 2005. The artist is part of Deneen Powell Atelier, a nationally recognized, award-winning San Diego landscape design firm that has undertaken major projects locally and across the nation. Their work can be enjoyed at the United States Botanic Garden and United States National Arboretum, not to mention inside the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park.

According to the San Diego Civic Art Collection web page here, Firefighters Sculpture is “formed from a two-dimensional, trapezoidal panel of weathered, Cor-ten steel perforated with laser-cut figures rendered in a graphic “stencil” style. The sculpture depicts three firemen kneeling in profile as they work together to hold a fire hose. The nozzle of the hose spouts “water” which is represented by a vertical glass shard, translucent during the day and illuminated from within at night…

To see more public art at San Diego fire stations, click here and here and 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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Christmas lights brighten historic house in Bankers Hill!

The historic Forward House in Bankers Hill is brightly lit with Christmas decorations once again! This amazing holiday display has become a tradition in San Diego!

The Forward House, located at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Ivy Street, was built in 1905 for John F. Forward Sr., who would become San Diego’s mayor from 1907 to 1909. The historic house is now home to American Security Mortgage.

I walked through Bankers Hill as night fell to see these fantastic Christmas lights. I wasn’t the only one snapping 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!

A morning walk on Balboa Park’s West Mesa.

This morning I enjoyed a stroll through Balboa Park’s West Mesa area, from Marston Point up to El Prado.

The sun had just risen and was sending horizontal rays through leaves and across green grass. Few were about. Just some walkers, joggers, squirrels, birds.

A walker and a squirrel ahead.
The squirrel got a good look at me before scampering up a nearby tree.
More walkers heading in the opposite direction.
I was tempted to sit for a moment in the early sunlight.
Sculpture of Kate Sessions near Balboa Park natural beauty. She was responsible for much of it.
Regarding a pine cone.
Who left these shoes here? Why?
Looking back as I walk on.
I became aware of squawking above me. A huge flock of parrots was passing overhead, high above the eucalyptus trees! They look like tiny dots in this photograph.
These two little birds–white-crowned sparrows, I believe–were content to sit on the low wall along El Prado.
People and pooches hang out at Nate’s Point Dog Park.
Looking south toward downtown San Diego from the west end of the Cabrillo Bridge.
Several twisty old Australian tea trees can be viewed along El Prado near the lawn bowling greens.
It’s still early morning. Electric scooters at the ready in Sefton Plaza, near the west entrance to Balboa Park!

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!