Hidden mural celebrates Little Italy!

There’s a hidden mural very few people see that celebrates downtown’s Little Italy community.

Neither drivers nor pedestrians can see it well, unless they head down little-used, alley-like California Street just south of Laurel Street.

I first saw this Little Italy mural because I often ride the Green Line trolley. As the San Diego Trolley rises high in the air to pass over busy Laurel Street, passengers looking down can see the artwork on a parking lot wall. The small lot is located behind a Valero gas station and Fairway Golf USA store, which are both on Pacific Highway.

I walked down California Street last weekend to get a good look at this great mural. It depicts the Little Italy landmark sign above fishing boats in a row by a pier.

Little Italy was once a center of the tuna fishing industry, which was very big in San Diego for much of the 20th century.

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!

Keep Going (and eat some pizza)!

Two colorful murals decorate the south end of the new 2100 Kettner office building in Little Italy!

One, facing the railroad tracks, encourages everyone to KEEP GOING. Perhaps it should have been written in reverse, because drivers motoring down one-way Hawthorn Street will only see it in their rear view mirrors!

Fortunately, those same drivers by looking to their right will clearly see a playful image of a young skateboarder chillin’ and eating a slice of pizza. The cool street art is by Bumblebee, a well known Los Angeles based artist!

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!

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Walking through Little Italy in morning rain.

This morning I walked through Little Italy in a light rain.

Holding my camera under a big umbrella, these are the images I 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!

Bright holiday lights fill Little Italy!

Today has been a pleasant Saturday in early December. I walked through Little Italy this evening after dark and looked about in wonder at the many holiday lights.

Crowds filled India Street. Diners sat at tables outside. Beautiful Christmas trees illuminated the night at Piazza della Famiglia and Piazza Basilone.

I took these 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!

Something Halloweenish this way comes!

Halloween is sneaking up!

I walked through Little Italy this afternoon and found some fun sights!

That carousel horse mural must be somewhat new, because I don’t recall seeing it before. It kind of fits in with my Halloween theme…assuming it belongs to a dark carnival!

I’m pretty sure the Old Town Trolley Tours driver wasn’t frightened by the owl, but my photo’s lucky timing (and some mysterious image cropping) makes it seem that way!

BOO!

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 October 2015.

Ready to relive some amazing memories? October 2015 was a very eventful month for Cool San Diego Sights!

Among other things, I took photos of San Diego’s first ever Maker Faire in Balboa Park, including a gigantic fire-breathing robot; a religious procession through Little Italy as the tuna fleet received its traditional yearly blessing; and colorful Balboa Park-themed chalk art at Little Italy’s Festa.

I also had my first look at the seldom visited USS Bennington Memorial Grove in Balboa Park and the historic Mason Street School in Old Town, and I learned about the history of a Navy plaque near the USS Midway Museum that nobody seemed to know anything about!

Click the following links to revisit blog posts from five years ago and enjoy lots of cool photos!

Super cool photos of San Diego’s first Maker Faire!

Photos of Little Italy procession to bless tuna fleet.

USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park.

Amazing Balboa Park chalk art at Little Italy’s Festa!

Creating a plaque: Navy history in San Diego revealed!

Life in 1865 at Old Town’s Mason Street School.

Unusual new public art at Little Italy trolley station.

Thriller flash mob scares Balboa Park visitors!

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.

Colorful banners celebrate Italian Americans.

Jim Croce.
Jim Croce.

Occasionally, over the years, I’ve shared photographs of colorful banners hung from street lamps in Little Italy. Many can be found along India Street. Most celebrate famous Italian Americans.

The face you see might be of a popular musician, or an Oscar winner, or an inventor, or a Major League Baseball player, or a religious leader, or a powerful politician or businessman . . . you get the idea.

During walks through Little Italy in the past few weeks I noticed many banners that I hadn’t photographed yet.

In no particular order, here they are:

Mother Cabrini.
Mother Cabrini.

Bruce Springsteen.
Bruce Springsteen.

Jerry Lewis and Frank Busalacchi (San Diego restauranteur).
Jerry Lewis and Frank Busalacchi (San Diego restauranteur).

Vito Marcantonio.
Vito Marcantonio.

Fiorello La Guardia.
Fiorello La Guardia.

Louis Prima.
Louis Prima.

Dana Reeve.
Dana Reeve.

Al Pacino.
Al Pacino.

Francis Ford Coppola.
Francis Ford Coppola.

Jimmy Durante.
Jimmy Durante.

Giada De Laurentiis.
Giada De Laurentiis.

Joe Pass.
Joe Pass.

Russ Columbo.
Russ Columbo.

Robert Mondavi.
Robert Mondavi.

Jennifer Capriati.
Jennifer Capriati.

Roger Enrico.
Roger Enrico.

Ernest and Julio Gallo.
Ernest and Julio Gallo.

Frank Capra.
Frank Capra.

Carlo Vinci.
Carlo Vinci.

Dean Martin.
Dean Martin.

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!

Statue of Frankie Laine in Little Italy.

Statue of Frankie Laine, legendary singer, songwriter, actor and entertainer, on India Street in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood.
Statue of Frankie Laine, legendary singer, songwriter, actor and entertainer, on India Street in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood.

A life-size bronze statue of legendary entertainer Frankie Laine (born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio) was dedicated this summer in Little Italy. It now stands in front of Nonna, an Italian restaurant owned by Frankie’s long-time friend Joe Busalacchi. You can learn a little more about this statue at the Team Frankie Laine blog here.

Frankie Lane lived the latter part of his life in San Diego’s Point Loma community and frequently visited Little Italy.

The popular singer scored many big hits in the United States and internationally. Some of his best known songs include That’s My Desire, That Lucky Old Sun, Mule Train, Jezebel, High Noon, Save Your Sorrow, I Believe, Cool Water and Rawhide. Western movie theme songs he recorded include 3:10 To Yuma, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and Blazing Saddles. His rock, jazz, folk and blues recordings made him one of the most popular entertainers in the 1940’s and 1950’s. His hits continued right into the 1970’s.

A small plaque can be found on the outside wall of Nonna next to the bronze sculpture. A larger plaque, depicting Frankie Laine with uplifted arms, is also nearby.

I took a photo of the larger plaque six years ago, when it was located elsewhere on India Street, and I transcribed the words written on it 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!

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 strange mixture of sights downtown.

Go on any walk through downtown San Diego and you’ll see a strange mixture of sights. Sometimes you have to stop in your tracks to look again.

Many of the visions that rise before your eyes seem contradictory. Urban hipsters drinking coffee and listening to live music . . . a few steps away from people who are homeless. The boarded window of a looted Gaslamp shop . . . and spray painted messages of empathy and kindness.

And there are the sights that are wonderfully odd. Downtown’s reggae dog. A surprising tree in a surprising place. An insurance company for sharknados.

So much strangeness is mixed in the ordinary life of a city.

The mysteries appear everywhere.

I took these photographs during several walks the past few days.

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!

Scenes from Little Italy on a trashcan!

If you want to laugh out loud, feel free!

As I walked this morning near Amici Park in Little Italy, I tossed a wrapper into a trashcan.

Suddenly I noticed the top of the trashcan is decorated with colorful scenes from the neighborhood, including the Little Italy landmark sign and the Our Lady of the Rosary church.

And I reflexively took photos!

(Okay, if for some mysterious algorithmic reason Google News feeds you this blog post, you can laugh twice as hard! I have no control over that!)

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!