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!

An oddly colorful building in Little Italy!

Another avid walker and blogger, icelandpenny, saw my post from yesterday and noticed a colorful building in one photograph.

This morning I walked through Little Italy past that unusual building to get a closer look.

Seen from one side, the coloring of the building’s front on Union Street is a little bit like a crazy quilt. In my opinion, the cheerful way it has been painted is both a lot of fun and uniquely attractive!

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!

Interesting sights as I walked to the trolley.

The old Anton Mayrhofer Residence, located at 2nd Avenue and Cedar Street. The small Victorian house has been designated City of San Diego Historical Landmark no. 299. Anton Mayrhofer was born in Austria in 1856.
The old Anton Mayrhofer Residence, located at 2nd Avenue and Cedar Street. The small Victorian house has been designated City of San Diego Historical Landmark No. 299. Anton Mayrhofer was born in Austria in 1856.

Early this morning I photographed a variety of interesting things as I walked west from Cortez Hill to the Little Italy trolley station.

An unexpected religious encounter as I cross an intersection heading toward the trolley station.
An unexpected religious encounter as I cross an intersection heading toward the trolley station.

Bougainvillea against a wall.
Bougainvillea against a wall.

Another person on another journey.
Another person on another journey.

We Stand Together in the Wildflower Salon window.
We Stand Together in the Wildflower Salon window.

The Circus Girl in another window.
The Circus Girl in another window.

The architecturally interesting new The Continental Lofts building in Little Italy.
The architecturally interesting new The Continental Lofts building in Little Italy.

Tiny potted plants inside hive-like hexagons in front of Queenstown Public House.
Tiny potted plants inside hive-like hexagons in front of Queenstown Public House.

Half-covered smiles.
Half-covered smiles.

Those huge wooden doors at the now permanently closed Indigo Grill.
Those huge wooden doors at the now permanently closed Indigo Grill.

A mysterious paper collage on top of a sidewalk electrical box.
A mysterious paper collage on top of a sidewalk electrical box.

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 many cheerful colors of Little Italy!

I was walking around the Little Italy neighborhood in downtown San Diego when it occurred to me why I love this place so much.

It’s so cheerfully colorful!

Even on an overcast “June gloom” morning!

In the past I’ve shared photos of many of these Little Italy buildings, piazzas, murals and other artwork.

Today I’ll simply provide a taste of what it’s like to ramble about while smiling…

These are certainly colorful--they have personality!
These sculpted logs are quite colorful–because they have personality!

If you want to learn more about this unusual Mona Lisa mural beside a freeway on-ramp, and about the local students who created it, click 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!

Beautiful fish mosaics at Piazza Pescatore.

I first blogged about Little Italy’s modest Piazza Pescatore two years ago. At the time it was relatively new. You can revisit those few photographs here.

This morning I was walking past Piazza Pescatore when my eyes were arrested by beautiful fish mosaics beneath the rim of two wide planters, and along an ascending curve of the fountain. I don’t believe all of these mosaics yet existed that first time I visited.

As I knelt to look more closely, I felt I was peering into a slice of ocean alive with bright fish.

The mosaic artist is Kim Emerson.

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!

Bow wow? Meow? Ciao!

I love this new street art in Little Italy!

Painted on a utility box are a dog and a cat, both thinking Ciao!

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!

Vandalism downtown during the lockdown.

This morning I saw several workers in Little Italy painting over ugly, newly scrawled graffiti.

During my walks around downtown, I’ve noticed that vandalism has increased during the current coronavirus lockdown.

The friendly guys painting over the illegal graffiti indicated that because the streets are emptier than usual, those who go about tagging buildings, walls, signs and other targets have become more active, as there are fewer eyes outside who might witness their activity. San Diego has had a substantial increase in the homeless population in recent years, and unfortunately that means gang members who move about the city selling meth and other drugs. I might be a bit naive on such matters, but I reckon at least some of this vandalism is the marking of territory.

In any case, it’s obviously a disturbing and disheartening situation.

I took some representative photographs this morning during my walk through Little Italy and along the waterfront.

Thank you to the unsung heroes–like those guys in the first and last photo–who work tirelessly to make our city not only less ugly, but safer for everyone.

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 bronze topiary sphere cast from live flora.

An amazing bronze sculpture can be found in downtown San Diego, on Ash Street beside the new Carte Hotel. It’s titled Global Proportion.

Created by artist Beverly Penn in 2019, the bronze “topiary sphere” is described as “a journey and destination created from individual bronze leaves cast from live flora at Balboa Park.”

The diverse leaves seem to represent many beautiful lives, joined together in one organic Earth-like object.

Below the amazing bronze topiary sphere, inlaid plaza tiles represent fallen leaves, scattered by the wind.

Whenever I walk by this very unique sculpture I like to pause for a moment and look up. It’s like a small, perfectly beautiful planet that hovers almost within reach.

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!