A silvery, sparkling tree in Little Italy.

Stand in certain spots on the North Embarcadero, look east toward Little Italy, and your eyes might be dazzled by a sparkling tree on a large wall.

The glittery abstract tree decorates the west side of the Broadstone Little Italy building, near the corner of Grape Street and California Street. The branches of the mirror mosaic rise above train and trolley tracks. As the sun descends toward San Diego Bay, the silvery tree really shimmers and shines.

I’ve learned that the artist’s name is Stephanie Clair and that her piece is called The Shimmer Tree!

The Shimmer Tree, public art in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood by Stephanie Clair.
The Shimmer Tree, public art in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood by Stephanie Clair.

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!

More fun artwork discovered in Little Italy!

Cool sunglasses reflect images from Little Italy.
Cool sunglasses reflect images from Little Italy.

Early yesterday morning I enjoyed a long walk through the streets of Little Italy. I discovered some fun artwork that I hadn’t previously photographed!

An owl watches over India Street.
An owl watches over India Street.
Devils roll some very tempting donuts.
Devils roll some very tempting donuts.
A sculpted cherub balances a potted plant atop its head.
A sculpted cherub balances a potted plant atop its head.
A half-painted dumpster.
A spray painted dumpster.
Awesome street art on one corner of a Little Italy building.
Awesome street art on one corner of a Little Italy building.
The San Diego Trolley has arrived in dynamic Lil Italy!
It appears the San Diego Trolley has arrived in dynamic Lil Italy!

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!

House in Little Italy celebrates Thanksgiving!

This morning during my walk to the Little Italy trolley station I was drawn to a couple of newly painted houses on State Street.

As I got nearer I noticed a fun display on one porch that celebrates Thanksgiving!

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 Little Italy’s new Piazza Giannini.

The new Piazza Giannini, at the corner of India and Cedar Street in downtown San Diego.
The new Piazza Giannini, at the corner of India and Cedar Street in downtown San Diego.

A new public space opened last month in downtown’s Little Italy neighborhood. Piazza Giannini, located at the corner of India Street and West Cedar Street, is a community gathering place that pays tribute to a famous Italian American who invented many of the conveniences of modern banking.

Born in San Jose, A.P. Giannini was a big believer in California. He started the Bank of Italy in San Francisco, and dedicated it to ordinary middle class Americans and hardworking immigrants that other banks wouldn’t serve. Believing in equal access to all, the Bank of Italy opened hundreds of branches throughout the state. Eventually it became Bank of America.

A sign at Piazza Giannini explains how donors can purchase plaques in this new public space.
A sign at Piazza Giannini explains how donors can purchase plaques in this new public space.
Amadeo P. Giannini was born in San Jose to Italian immigrants. He believed California and its citizens could lead the country to prosperity.
Amadeo P. Giannini was born in San Jose to Italian immigrants. He believed California and its citizens could lead the country to prosperity.
. . . we should bend increasing efforts to demonstrate the equality that underlies the American philosophy.
. . . we should bend increasing efforts to demonstrate the equality that underlies the American philosophy.
. . . No man actually ever owns fortune--it owns him.
. . . No man actually ever owns fortune–it owns him.
Serving the needs of others is the only legitimate business today.
Serving the needs of others is the only legitimate business today.
A streetlamp banner in San Diego's Little Italy pays tribute to Amadeo Giannini, father of modern banking.
A streetlamp banner in San Diego’s Little Italy pays tribute to Amadeo Giannini, father of modern banking.
A banker should consider himself a servant of the people, a servant of the community.
A banker should consider himself a servant of the people, a servant of the community.
The bronze bust of Amadeo Pietro Giannini at Piazza Giannini in Little Italy.
The bronze bust of Amadeo Pietro Giannini at Piazza Giannini in Little Italy.

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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Signs of autumn appear in San Diego.

Sycamore leaves are beginning to turn along the San Diego River as autumn begins.
Sycamore leaves are beginning to turn along the San Diego River as autumn begins.

It’s much cooler in San Diego now that summer has ended. Today the sky remained overcast. The temperature was perfect for an exhilarating walk after work.

During the past few days I’ve noticed signs of autumn have appeared around San Diego. No, the palm trees haven’t turned yet.

Enjoy a few photographs. And maybe a laugh!

While walking downtown I noticed Pumpkin Spice is back at Starbucks.
While walking downtown I noticed Pumpkin Spice is back at Starbucks.
Haunted Tales is returning to the Star of India just before Halloween.
Haunted Tales is returning to the tall ship Star of India just before Halloween.
Pumpkins are beginning to arrive at grocery stores. This outdoor bin was still empty a couple days ago, but ready.
Pumpkins are beginning to arrive at grocery stores. This outdoor bin was still empty a couple days ago, but ready.
Dia de Los Muertos is coming again to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. It's one of my favorite events.
Dia de Los Muertos is coming again to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. It’s one of my favorite events.
A variety of squash can be found along India Street in Little Italy.
A nice harvest of squash can be found along India Street in Little Italy.
These leaves are turning at the Little Italy trolley station. Wait a minute. Those are leaves, right?
These leaves are turning at the Little Italy trolley station. Wait a minute. Those are leaves, right?
Colorful autumn leaves fill tiny trees at the Old Town Model Railroad Depot!
Colorful autumn leaves fill tiny trees at the Old Town Model Railroad Depot!

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!

Action photos from Labor Day weekend stickball!

Today I enjoyed watching an action-packed game of stickball in Little Italy.

San Diego’s annual Labor Day weekend stickball tournament has become a big community event, with sponsors and media coverage and people on lawn chairs lining sidewalks watching players crush the spaldeen. A solid swing of the broom handle will launch the ball like a rubber rocket to the other end of the block!

When games are underway, I always make it a point to walk through Little Italy, so I can hang out for a bit and watch the stickball teams compete for fame and glory. The action is intense but it’s all in good fun.

I learned that this year the stickball teams are all local. The game I watched had a number of exciting plays.

Here come photos that capture a bit of the flavor…

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!

First Responders to be honored in Little Italy.

First Responders in San Diego will be celebrated this Saturday, August 4th in Little Italy. The event will be held in Piazza Della Famiglia beginning at 5pm, and a special concert at 6pm will feature Marine Band San Diego.

This morning as I walked through Little Italy, I happened to see several banners stretched above the piazza honoring our community’s First Responders, including our Lifeguards, Sheriff, Firefighters and Police.

A big thank you to all of our heroes!