Vintage postcards remember old San Diego.

Vintage postcard shows Lindbergh's San Diego-built Ryan plane over San Diego; Air Capital of the West.
Original vintage postcard shows Lindbergh’s San Diego-built Ryan plane over San Diego; Air Capital of the West.

A very cool exhibition titled “Wish You Were Here” is about to officially open at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The colorful exhibit, which I experienced this evening aboard the 1898 steam ferryboat Berkeley, features vintage postcards of San Diego from a century ago.

A collection of authentic original postcards is displayed in glass cases; enlarged images from dozens of fascinating old postcards cover several walls.

Visitors to the exhibit will see depictions of popular destinations, famous attractions, Balboa Park, beaches, downtown, Coronado, La Jolla, and all sorts of unique places around San Diego County. Many of the hand-colored postcards show what life was like in our city in the early part of the 20th century.

The images for the wall displays were obtained from the Coronado Public Library, San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego History Center, and the archives of the Maritime Museum.

The official opening of “Wish You Were Here” will be on Saturday, November 16, 2019. On that special day representatives of the U.S. Postal Service will be at the museum from 11 am to 3 pm. Visitors will be able to get a collectible Maritime Museum of San Diego cancellation postmark on a special commemorative postcard!

The following photos provide a small taste of this amazing exhibit…

Many historical postcards are on display for the Wishing You Were Here exhibit at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Many historical postcards are on display for the “Wish You Were Here” exhibit at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Ferry between Coronado and San Diego.
Original postcard shows Ferry between Coronado and San Diego.
Various postcards promote a visit to Star of India, the oldest iron sailing vessel afloat.
Various postcards images that promote a visit to Star of India, the oldest iron sailing vessel afloat.
Diverse themes in the postcard exhibit include beach fun and sailing.
Diverse themes in the postcard exhibit include beach fun and sailing.
Bathing in the surf in winter.
Bathing in the surf in winter.
U. S. Sailors Life 'Sport aboard Ship.'
U. S. Sailors Life “Sport aboard Ship.”
Lake at Lakeside, near San Diego.
Lake at Lakeside, near San Diego.
Carriso Gorge showing track skirting mountain side in the distance, on San Diego and Arizona Railway.
Carriso Gorge showing track skirting mountain side in the distance, on San Diego and Arizona Railway.
Ruins of San Diego Mission.
Ruins of San Diego Mission.
Ramona's Marriage Place (Casa de Estudillo in Old Town), and monument where American flag was first raised in Southern California.
Ramona’s Marriage Place (Casa de Estudillo in Old Town), and monument where American flag was first raised in Southern California.
International Panama-California Exposition, San Diego. Portion of the Pueblo Village.
International Panama-California Exposition, San Diego. Portion of the Pueblo Village.
International Boundary Line, Tijuana, Mexico.
International Boundary Line, Tijuana, Mexico.
Main Entrance of Wonderland Park, Ocean Beach.
Main Entrance of Wonderland Park, Ocean Beach.
Aquaplaning, San Diego Bay.
Aquaplaning, San Diego Bay.

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Oil paintings of the Embarcadero at night.

These aren’t actual oil paintings. They’re photographs that I took last night along the Embarcadero, made to look like impressionistic oil paintings with GIMP graphic software.

Can you recognize many of these beautiful nighttime sights on San Diego Bay?

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!

Beauty rises after sunset in San Diego.

San Diego is beautiful.

I never grow tired of walking through my city.

This evening I arrived at Waterfront Park right as the sun was setting behind Star of India and the ships of the Maritime Museum.

I walked to the inky bay, then turned south and strolled along the Embarcadero as the sunset slowly faded above the horizon.

I passed the Cruise Ship Terminal and paused near the foot of Broadway Pier to listen to some musicians, and gaze out at the Port Pavilion and USS Midway.

I then turned east down Broadway and quickened my pace as I headed for home.

My camera doesn’t take the best photographs in growing darkness, but I got a few pretty good ones this evening that I’d like to share…

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!

Model ship builders restore family heirlooms!

Is there an old model ship in your attic? Perhaps a treasured family heirloom? Is it falling to pieces or in a terrible tangle? Would you like to restore it?

Today, during a visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I learned of a group of dedicated model ship builders who are busy repairing and restoring old model ships!

The members of the San Diego Ship Modelers Guild love their hobby and hold regular meetings aboard the Maritime Museum ship Berkeley. I happened to be walking around the museum today before one of their evening meetings. I struck up a conversation with Guild Master James Pitt and was fascinated as he told me about various aspects of model ship building.

The San Diego Ship Modelers Guild, which was formed in 1971, has dozens of members hailing from all around Southern California and even Arizona. They have partnered with the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and guild members can often be seen working in the museum’s specially equipped Model Makers Workshop.

What interested me most was how the modeler’s guild has been repairing and restoring an increasing number of model ships of late. Many are family heirlooms passed down from previous generations, and are treasured for the memories and special meaning they embody.

If you have any sort of model ship that needs expert repair, check out the San Diego Ship Modelers Guild website by clicking here! Send them an email! I met a couple of the members and all were really nice guys!

I took some photos of a display for today’s meeting. You can see examples of model ships that have undergone restoration.

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!

Raising a heavy yard on HMS Surprise.

During my Sunday walk along the Embarcadero today, I paused at the Maritime Museum of San Diego to watch some fascinating activity. Crew members and museum volunteers were carefully raising one of HMS Surprise’s very heavy mizzenmast yards. They hauled ropes, checked critical knots, hauled some more, swung the yard up and across the quarterdeck, then lifted it straight into the sky.

The strenuous, methodical work aboard a tall ship is a complex dance.

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!

Strangely beautiful rusted chains on a barge.

I know, Cool San Diego Sights is supposedly dormant now. But today I enjoyed a very pleasant evening beside San Diego Bay, and by habit I pulled out my camera.

I photographed some strangely beautiful rusted chains (and other odd bits of iron) at the end of the Maritime Museum’s barge!

Evening beauty aboard Star of India.

It was unusually hot and humid today. So after work I headed down to the Embarcadero, to enjoy cooler air coming off San Diego Bay.

I boarded the beautiful, historic tall ship Star of India and, breathing in fresh air, watched changing clouds and the summer sun as it slowly descended. I saw many sailboats. It was a perfect day to be above the shining water.

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!