Two cool sculptures at a National City marina!

This old rusty steel skeleton of a ship is actually one of two cool sculptures near the Pier 32 Marina in National City.
This old rusty steel skeleton of a ship is actually one of two cool sculptures near the Pier 32 Marina in National City.

Check out these two very cool sculptures! I spotted them as I walked from a National City trolley station to Pepper Park yesterday, on my way to the big International Mariachi Festival.

Both of these sculptures are located at the Pier 32 Marina. And both are a lot of fun!

This huge metal sculpture by the marina flags is called Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, 2008.
This huge metal sculpture by the marina flags is called Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, 2008.
Close look at a work of very cool nautical art!
More detailed photo of this work of awesome nautical art! Looks like a ghost ship!
The second sculpture, just down a pathway, is School of Blue Bottle Noses, by artist David Boyer, 2008. It was part of an Urban Trees exhibition on San Diego's Embarcadero.
The second sculpture, just down a pathway, is School of Blue Bottle Noses, by artist David Boyer, 2008. It was part of an Urban Trees exhibition on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Those blue Bottlenoses are actually bottles! Like a pod of turning dolphins, they shift direction in the wind!
Those blue Bottlenoses are actually bottles! Like a pod of turning dolphins, they shift direction in the wind!

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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Two observation windows high above San Diego!

View from the Top of the Hyatt. The Marriot Marquis and Marina can be seen below, sparkling in the San Diego sunshine.
View from the Top of the Hyatt. The Marriott Marquis and its marina can be seen below, sparkling in the San Diego sunshine.

Perhaps the best view of downtown San Diego can be enjoyed through two observation windows on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Stand on Harbor Drive and face the beautiful hotel–the older, taller tower on the left is where you need to go.

Take the guest elevator to the 40th floor after 3pm, to the bar at the Top of the Hyatt, and the two observation windows await on either side of the elevator. No need to enter the bar.

Check out the amazing views to the north and to the south!

At the top of this 497 foot tower, the highest waterfront building on the West Coast, one can peer through two observation windows and enjoy phenomenal views of San Diego.
At the top of this 497 foot tower, the highest waterfront building on the West Coast, one can peer through two observation windows and enjoy phenomenal views of San Diego.
Approaching the south observation window on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Approaching the south observation window on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Looking to the south across San Diego Bay and past the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Looking to the south across San Diego Bay and past the Coronado Bay Bridge.
From the same window, gazing to the southeast. A portion of downtown is visible. San Miguel Mountain and Otay Mountain rise in the distance.
From the same window, gazing to the southeast. A portion of downtown is visible. San Miguel Mountain and Otay Mountain rise in the distance.
At the other window, looking northwest, past the hotel's second tower, one can see a slice of San Diego Bay and Point Loma.
At the other window, looking northwest, past the hotel’s second tower, one can see a slice of San Diego Bay and Point Loma.
To the north one can see another part of downtown, near the North Embarcadero.
To the north one can see another part of downtown, adjacent to the North Embarcadero.
Written on the window are words from a popular children's book. Oh the places you'll go. Dr. Seuss.
Written on the window are words from a popular children’s book. Oh the places you’ll go. Dr. Seuss.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Bird sightings along San Diego’s Embarcadero!

A seagull stands atop a pile of nets and floats on San Diego's picturesque G Street Pier.
A seagull stands atop a pile of nets and floats on San Diego’s picturesque G Street Pier.

You won’t believe all the birds I identified today during my walk along the Embarcadero. You really will not believe it!

Check out these fun flighty photos taken beside beautiful San Diego Bay!

American coots (also called mud hens) on rocks near the Marriott Marina.
American coots (also called mud hens) stand on rocks near the Marriott Marina.
A Canada goose on San Diego's Embarcadero! Now that's a very unusual sight! This bird seems to have joined a local flock of American coots. Maybe it was blown off course during the recent windy storm.
A Canada goose on San Diego’s Embarcadero! Now that’s a very unusual sight! This bird seems to have joined a local flock of American coots. Maybe it was blown off course during the recent windy storm.
Another strange bird near the sparkling water about to take flight! Oh, wait. My mistake.
Another strange bird near the sparkling water about to take flight! Oops. My mistake.
A female black-crowned night heron among rocks near the Embarcadero Marina Park South pier.
A female black-crowned night heron among rocks near the Embarcadero Marina Park South pier.
A gathering of pigeons on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
A gathering of pigeons on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Rare exotic birds photographed in flight! Oops. Those are kites. Fooled me again.
Rare exotic birds photographed in flight! Oops. Those are actually colorful kites. Fooled me again!
I've arrived at Seaport Village. Okay, I'm certain these are real birds--maybe. Looks like a parrot, flamingo and some egrets.
I’ve arrived at Seaport Village. Okay, I’m certain these are real birds–maybe. Looks like a parrot, flamingo and some egrets.
Birds and sea lions await handouts of leftover fish parts. Early Saturday afternoon, and the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market is wrapping up.
Gulls, pelicans and sea lions await handouts of leftover fish parts. Early Saturday afternoon, and the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market is wrapping up.
Two sneaky gulls with watchful eyes.
Two sneaky gulls with hungry, watchful eyes.
There's gotta be some yummy fish scraps here somewhere!
There’s gotta be some yummy fish scraps here somewhere!
Commercial fishermen unload on the small dock behind this gate at Tuna Harbor. Birds wait eternally here, too!
Commercial fishermen unload on the small dock behind this gate at Tuna Harbor. Birds wait eternally here, too!
A bird in the sky above broad-winged sailboats flying across San Diego Bay.
A bird in the sky above broad-winged sailboats flying across San Diego Bay.
Seabirds love hanging out around the fishing vessels at Tuna Harbor.
Seabirds love hanging out around the fishing vessels at Tuna Harbor.
A snowy egret near the net of a live bait catching purse seiner.
A snowy egret near the net of a live bait catching purse seiner.
A double-crested cormorant flaps its wings in the water of San Diego Bay near the USS Midway.
A double-crested cormorant flaps its wings in the water of San Diego Bay near the USS Midway.
Birds above an ocean wave, painted on a ceramic tile by a young person. Many fun tile benches along the Embarcadero were created for a project titled Celebrating the Big Bay in 2004.
Birds above an ocean wave, painted on a ceramic tile by a young person. Many fun tile benches along the Embarcadero were created for a project called Celebrating the Big Bay in 2004.
Many birds in flight.
Many birds in flight.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of fun stuff to check out!

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A perfect sunny day at the Chula Vista Marina.

Just sitting on a bench at the Chula Vista Marina. Masts of sailboats touch the clear sky. Another sunny day by the water.
Just sitting on a bench at the Chula Vista Marina. Masts of sailboats touch the clear sky. Another sunny day by the water.

Last Saturday morning I did some walking around the Chula Vista Marina and the neighboring Bayside Park. It was a perfect day for a leisurely stroll. Sunlight reflected from the water onto the smooth shiny hulls of boats. A forest of masts tickled the blue sky.

I sat down for awhile to drink in the calm and beauty. Another reason to love San Diego!

The Chula Vista Marina and adjacent Bayside Park are perfect places to relax and recreate.
The Chula Vista Marina and adjacent Bayside Park are perfect places to relax and recreate.
An abstract sculpture near the Dockmaster's Office.
An abstract sculpture near the Dockmaster’s Office.
The sculpture is titled To Remember Me, by Ross Barrable, 2001. In tribute to Ron McElliott who believed in the potential of the South Bay.
The sculpture is titled To Remember Me, by Ross Barrable, 2001. In tribute to Ron McElliott who believed in the potential of the South Bay.
Some street art on a nearby utility box depicts a tall ship on the ocean.
Some street art on a nearby utility box depicts a tall ship on the ocean.
Sitting at a table by the marina feeding the birds.
Sitting at a table by the marina feeding the birds.
Hundreds of sailboats and pleasure craft in the Chula Vista Yacht Harbor await an opportunity to glide across San Diego Bay.
Hundreds of sailboats and pleasure craft in the Chula Vista Yacht Harbor await an opportunity to glide across San Diego Bay.
Walking the dog across Chula Vista Bayside Park's fishing pier, next to the marina.
Walking the dog across Chula Vista Bayside Park’s fishing pier, next to the marina.
A fisherman out on San Diego Bay. The Coronado Cays are visible across the calm blue water.
A fisherman out on San Diego Bay. The Coronado Cays are visible across the calm blue water.
A happy sun shines on the marina building.
A happy sun shines on the marina building.
A beautiful fountain on the grass near the Chula Vista Marina office.
A beautiful fountain on the grass near the Chula Vista Marina office.

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!

Sunny photos: Vacation Isle to Hospitality Point jetty.

Rowers head across San Diego's Mission Bay on a sunny Saturday morning.
Rowers head across San Diego’s Mission Bay on a sunny Saturday morning.

My long walk yesterday around Mission Bay yielded lots of photos. I started at Vacation Isle, then headed slowly and somewhat aimlessly to the jetty at the end of Hospitality Point. It was a journey through a tranquil San Diego paradise, on a warm winter day. My photos feature relatively few people. But I can assure you thousands of folks were out enjoying the sunshine. They were fishing, boating, picnicking, reading, walking, playing sports on the grass… Mission Bay is a really big place.

Radio control model sailboats cross the Model Boat Pond on Vacation Isle.
Radio control model sailboats cross the Model Boat Pond on Vacation Isle.
Many canoes and kayaks were passing under the Ingraham Street Bridge between South Cove and Perez Cove, not far from SeaWorld.
Many canoes and kayaks were passing under the Ingraham Street Bridge between South Cove and Perez Cove, not far from SeaWorld.
These fire pits just north of Dana Landing have wood stacked ready for Saturday night.
These fire pits just north of Dana Landing have wood stacked ready for Saturday night.
A casual seat on the dirt with great views.
A casual seat on the dirt with great views.
A heron on rocks, and reflections of boats at Dana Landing.
A heron on rocks, and reflections of boats at Dana Landing.
Gazing from the West Mission Bay Drive Bridge down descending stairs toward Sunset Point.
Gazing from the West Mission Bay Drive Bridge down descending stairs toward Sunset Point.
People return from an excursion out on the Pacific Ocean. The dock at Seaforth Sportfishing is always busy.
People return from an excursion out on the Pacific Ocean. The dock at Seaforth Sportfishing is always busy.
Visitors walk through Marina Village on Mission Bay.
Visitors walk through Marina Village on Mission Bay.
A map by Quivira Basin shows areas off the coast that are protected. Conserving California's Coastal Treasure.
A map by Quivira Basin shows areas off the coast that are protected. Conserving California’s Coastal Treasure.
Kicking back with a best friend on the blue water. In the distance you can see the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina.
Kicking back with a best friend among boats on the blue water. In the distance you can see the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina.
Colorful kayaks await at Aqua Adventures.
Colorful kayaks await at Aqua Adventures.
This tropical party shack seems long abandoned. It stands near the entrance to Mission Bay Marina.
This tropical party shack seems long abandoned. It stands near an entrance to Mission Bay Marina.
A dirt nature trail along the channel that connects the ocean and Mission Bay.
A dirt nature trail along the channel that connects the ocean and Mission Bay.
Rare and Remarkable. This area displays Coastal sand dune vegetation. The native Beach lotus is endangered.
Rare and Remarkable. This area displays Coastal sand dune vegetation. The native Beach lotus is endangered.
Walking along the jetty west of Hospitality Point. This narrow strip of land separates the San Diego River, to the left, from the man-made channel into Mission Bay. One can see a sliver of Ocean Beach, on the left, and Mission Beach, on the right.
Walking along the jetty west of Hospitality Point. This narrow strip of land separates the San Diego River, to the left, from the man-made channel into Mission Bay. One can see a sliver of Ocean Beach, on the left, and Mission Beach, on the right.
A fisherman on land, and two on the water. Across the Entrance Channel lies Mission Beach.
A fisherman on land, and two on the water. Across the Entrance Channel lies very popular South Mission Beach.
Bicycling along. Heading toward the end of the long jetty. It's a beautiful day. One can see forever.
Bicycling along. Heading toward the end of the long jetty. It’s a beautiful day. One can see forever.

I wrote another short story! I penned it yesterday, during my walk along the bay.

It’s a bittersweet, philosophical, tiny piece of fiction. The sort of thing I like to write. There’s some sadness in the sunshine. The title is Light on the Restless and Small.

If you choose to read it, thank you!

Sunshine in paradise: a walk about Mission Bay.

The sun glows behind a pair of palm trees at the edge of Mission Bay.
The sun glows behind a pair of palm trees at the edge of Mission Bay.

Late this morning I headed to the Pacific Islander Festival, which took place in the grassy Ski Beach Park near the center of Mission Bay. I’ll get my photos ready and blog about it shortly!

On the way to the festival and afterward, I took a long, leisurely walk. Mission Bay might be the best place in San Diego for an easy saunter through sunshiny paradise.

When I say Mission Bay Park is a paradise, that’s no exaggeration. Grassy parkland, beaches, islands, resorts and marinas are found everywhere you go, whether by foot, bicycle, roller skate, car or boat. Its 4,235 acres make it the largest man-made aquatic park in the nation. Roughly half land and half water, what was originally a lagoon at the mouth of the San Diego River has been transformed into one of our city’s most popular destinations. Especially during the summer.

But summer is over and the crowds have thinned. Perfect for a quiet, thoughtful walk.

Here are a few random pics…

A fisherman rows a kayak near sailboats docked at Paradise Point Resort on Vacation Isle.
A fisherman rows a kayak near sailboats docked at Paradise Point Resort on Vacation Isle.
Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States. Its 4,235 acres is a wonderland of blue water, islands, beaches, resorts, marinas, and tree-shaded grass.
Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States. Its 4,235 acres is a wonderland of blue water, islands, beaches, resorts, marinas, and tree-shaded grass.
Skateboarding over the Ingraham Street bridge between Vacation Isle and Dana Landing. A seagull on every lamp post!
Skateboarding over the Ingraham Street bridge between Vacation Isle and Dana Landing. A seagull on every lamp post!
Looking down from the bridge. It's a quiet Sunday after Labor Day, and few people are about. Mission Bay is a perfect place for a long, sunny walk in San Diego!
Looking down from the bridge. It’s a quiet Sunday after Labor Day, and many benches are empty. Mission Bay is a perfect place for a long, sunny walk in San Diego!
Light reflected on water and shore rocks form a contrast.
Light reflected on water contrasted with shore rocks.
A small pleasure boat glides through South Cove and is ready to pass under the Ingraham Street bridge.
A small pleasure boat glides through South Cove and is ready to pass under the Ingraham Street bridge.
I just missed this seagull. But I somehow got a wing and fantastic optical effects from the sun through my camera lens.
I just missed this seagull. But I somehow got a wing and fantastic optical effects from the sun through my camera lens.
A colorful sail and reflection on smooth water at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Marina.
A colorful sail and reflection on smooth water at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Marina.
Just fishing on a Sunday by the bridge north of Quivira Basin. It crosses over Mission Bay Channel and leads to nearby Mission Beach.
Fishing on a Sunday by the bridge north of Quivira Basin. It crosses over Mission Bay Channel and leads to nearby Mission Beach.
Broad blue water and folks recreating on Mission Bay. Every type of small boat you can imagine can be spotted on any given day.
Broad blue water and folks recreating on Mission Bay.  Kayaks, paddle boards, peddle boats, sailboats, windsurfers and fishing boats can be spotted on any given day.

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Shining Freedom sculpture catches fire!

During my recent walk around Coronado, I came upon a dull, lifeless metal sculpture standing at the center of a small park. But then a rising sea breeze moved the nearby trees. The sculpture began to slowly turn. I stood in one place, snapping a few pics…

Freedom sculpture at Glorietta Bay Yacht Club Promenade appears dull and utterly lifeless.
Freedom sculpture at Glorietta Bay Yacht Club Promenade appears dull and utterly lifeless.
Freedom turns in the wind and surfaces begin to reflect the bright sunshine.
Freedom turns in the wind and surfaces begin to reflect the bright sunshine.
Shining Freedom sculpture catches fire! The kinetic sculpture was created by Jon Koehler.
Shining Freedom sculpture catches fire! The kinetic sculpture was created by Jon Koehler.

The public art, titled Freedom, was sculpted by artist Jon Koehler and installed in the Glorietta Bay Yacht Club Promenade in 2009.

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Crazy donut-shaped boat features a barbeque!

This crazy boat shaped like a donut features a huge central barbeque!
This crazy boat shaped like a donut features a large central barbeque!

I walked about Coronado yesterday and got material for a few blog posts.  First, check out this crazy watercraft!  I saw it while walking along Glorietta Bay and thought–what the heck is that?!?!  It’s a floating barbeque! I’ve seen pictures of jacuzzi boats, but never something inventive resembling this!  I wonder what the Coast Guard thinks of the thing.  To me, it looks like fun!

The Barbeque Donut can be found at Seaforth boat rental dock in Coronado.
The Barbeque Donut can be found at Seaforth boat rental dock in Coronado.

Perhaps you saw my post a little over a year ago about the very cool “Imagine Tent City” public artwork on Coronado. It stands just south of where I took the above pics. Well, I got many more really great photographs and have added them to that old post. You might enjoy checking it out!

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Mermaid, binoculars, and a rainbow-making kite.

Mermaid with a megaphone on the bay side of the narrow Canyon Path.
Mermaid with a megaphone on the bay side of the narrow Canyon Path.

A mermaid emerges near the edge of beautiful San Diego Bay. She summons people from the bustling city with her megaphone…

Man with binoculars peers into dark alley between convention center and Marriott.
Man with binoculars peers into dark alley between convention center and Marriott.

A man with binoculars peers between the San Diego Convention Center and the Marriott Marquis hotel. He heard the mermaid’s siren call, and is trying to catch a glimpse.  She seems to be waiting at the end of a long, mysterious passageway…

Unique entrance to hidden walkway that provides bay access.
Unique entrance to partially hidden walkway that provides easy bay access.

Will these people walking along succeed in finding the elusive mermaid?  Turn left!  Turn left!

Walking through narrow Canyon Path between buildings.
Walking through narrow Canyon Path between buildings.

The mermaid seems to be somewhere ahead. The narrow Canyon Path between buildings is shadowy and filled with dark trees and bushes. It’s a bit scary. Where are we going? Are we lost?

Prismatic kite in blue sky above the Canyon Path.
Prismatic kite in blue sky above the Canyon Path.

Look up! It’s a shining kite in the blue sky!

Colorful light like a rainbow cast by prism kite onto building side.
Colorful light like a rainbow is cast by prism kite onto building side.

As we approach the mermaid on the opposite side, a beautiful rainbow-like splash of color appears on the Canyon Path’s vertical side! This secret place seems to be filled with magic!

The mermaid, man with binoculars and prismatic kite are all part of public art called The Benefit of Mr. Kite. This fun artwork was created to draw attention to an easily overlooked 925-foot long  pedestrian accessway between the convention center and Marriott Marquis hotel, leading from Harbor Drive to the Marriott Marina on San Diego Bay. The artists responsible for our magical journey are Mags Harries and Lajos Héder!

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Great artwork on Harbor Island marina gates.

Whales depicted on a Harbor Island marina gate.
Whales depicted on a Harbor Island marina gate.

On Harbor Island, just east of the Hilton, several gates leading down to the marina have metalwork that is really beautiful. Check out these images…

Underwater scene on a marina entrance gate.
Lively underwater scene on a marina entrance gate.
Dolphins decorate a marina gate on Harbor Island.
Dolphins decorate a marina gate on Harbor Island.
Beautiful approach to one gate on Harbor Island marina.
Beautiful approach to one gate at Harbor Island marina.