A discouraging visit to Harbor Island.

Early this morning I headed to Harbor Island, hoping to capture photos of the sun rising over downtown San Diego. Alas, the sky remained gray and overcast.

Even worse, I observed something that was ugly and very discouraging.

I’ve never seen gang-style graffiti on Harbor Island. Not until today.

Harbor Island, the home of large bayfront hotels, elegant restaurants and marinas, has always seemed immune from any negative influences from downtown San Diego. Growing homeless and drug problems downtown and in neighboring communities haven’t seemed to reach this tourist destination. That appears to be changing.

I seldom post photos of the street people, the drug addicts and drug dealers on stolen bicycles, and the many broken souls that now fill most corners of downtown. I try to keep my blog positive. But this extremely sad and sometimes frightening reality seems to be growing worse.

Fortunately, on my quiet morning walk along San Diego Bay, I also saw much that was beautiful and good.

And I discovered something cool! Fun photos of some colorful artwork on Harbor Island are coming up in my next blog post!

On the bright side, this friendly guy caught some fish at one of the beautiful Harbor Island marinas.
On the bright side, this friendly guy caught some fish at one of the beautiful Harbor Island marinas.
And grass is still green, and flowers still bloom.
And grass is still green, and flowers still bloom.

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!

Walking from Civic Center Plaza to Santa Fe Depot.

As I approached Civic Center Plaza, I watched someone changing the sign at the San Diego Civic Theatre.
As I approached Civic Center Plaza along B Street, I watched someone changing the sign at the San Diego Civic Theatre.

Just a quick blog post. These photos are from my morning walk downtown.

I didn’t pull my camera out until I spied that guy above changing the San Diego Civic Theatre sign. After steering my feet through Civic Center Plaza, I proceeded west along C Street.

Over the past few months, I’ve been observing the construction of a new Courthouse trolley station on C Street. Beginning April 29, 2018, it will be the final stop of westbound Orange Line trolleys.

Until further notice the Blue Line will still terminate at America Plaza. Once the San Diego Trolley’s extension up to La Jolla is complete, I believe the Blue Line (and possibly the Green Line) will be reconfigured.

Workers prepare the new Courthouse trolley station on C Street. Starting April 29, 2018, the Orange Line will terminate here.
Workers prepare the new Courthouse trolley station on C Street. Starting April 29, 2018, the Orange Line will terminate here.
As I walked east on C Street, I turned my camera skyward for a shot of the fascinating new San Diego Central Courthouse.
As I proceeded west on C Street, I turned my camera skyward for a shot of the fascinating new San Diego Central Courthouse.
Here comes a trolley, approaching the new Courthouse station that is presently under construction.
Here comes an eastbound trolley, approaching the new Courthouse station that is presently under construction.
Buildings to the north catch early morning light.
Buildings to the north catch early morning light.
I'm passed by a Blue Line trolley as it enters America Plaza.
I’m passed by a westbound Blue Line trolley as it enters America Plaza.
More sunlight and a morning delivery. One sees a lot of construction throughout downtown.
A morning delivery and more sunlight on buildings. These days one can see a whole lot of construction throughout downtown.
I'm nearing the Santa Fe Depot. Increasing clouds produced rain a few hours later.
I’m nearing the Santa Fe Depot, which stands across Kettner Boulevard from America Plaza. Increasing clouds would produce rain a few hours later.
Almost to Santa Fe Depot, where I'll catch a Green Line trolley for work!
Almost to Santa Fe Depot, where I’ll catch a Green Line trolley for work on the other side!

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 early morning walk down Seventh Avenue.

I began my walk early this morning.

From the top of Cortez Hill, above the light splashed city, I plunged straight south down Seventh Avenue.

All around me, windows blinked in the sun.

Surprising faces appeared.

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 beautiful walk along Big Laguna Trail.

Stepping from the Penny Pines parking area on Sunrise Highway to the Nobel Canyon trailhead.
Stepping from the Penny Pines parking area on Sunrise Highway to the Nobel Canyon trailhead.

This morning I went on a walk in the Laguna Mountains. The pine-covered Lagunas, about an hour’s drive east of downtown San Diego, reach just over 6000 feet in elevation.

After parking at the Penny Pines area on Sunrise Highway, I began west down the Noble Canyon Trail, then turned south onto Big Laguna Trail.

A morning walk in the mountains is so quiet and beautiful.

Come along with me! In these photos we’ll be heading a couple miles or so to Big Laguna Lake, a temporary body of water that appears in the winter and lingers until summer.

During my walk I saw many broken trees and stumps, victims over the years of bark beetles and periodic wildfires. At first the air was very chilly, but as the sun slowly rose its warmth felt good on my face. I heard plenty of birdsong, knocking woodpeckers, and the soft mountain breeze in branches. I smelled new green grass and the towering pine trees.

My eyes noted many signs of early spring.

Part of a posted Map of Laguna Mountain Recreation Area. Big Laguna Lake forms during rainy season in Laguna Meadow.
Part of a posted Map of Laguna Mountain Recreation Area. Big Laguna Lake forms during rainy season in Laguna Meadow.
Horses share the path with hikers and mountain bikers.
Horses sometimes share the trail with hikers and mountain bikers.
Many fallen tree limbs and trunks were along the trail. Victims of wildfires, beetles, and violent mountain storms.
Many fallen tree limbs and trunks were along the trail. Victims of wildfires, beetles, and violent mountain storms.
We've turned left onto Big Laguna Trail. Many of the hiking trails on Mount Laguna connect to the famous Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches from Mexico to Canada.
We’ve turned left onto Big Laguna Trail. Many of the hiking trails on Mount Laguna connect to the famous Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches from Mexico to Canada.
A swinging gate on the trail. Sometimes cattle are herded up in these mountains.
A swinging gate on the trail. Sometimes cattle are herded up in these mountains.
A beautiful early morning. The sun is still low and obscured by clouds and hills.
A beautiful early morning. The sun is still low and obscured by clouds and hills.
I saw a few small flowers along the trail scattered by spring's fingers.
I saw a few small flowers along the trail scattered by spring’s fingers.
Jumbled sawn trunks often appear like abstract works of art.
The jumbled broken trunks often appeared like abstract works of art.
Inner beauty exposed.
Inner beauty exposed.
Wild, delicate beauty.
Wild and delicate.

Moving forward.
Moving forward.
A tale of many seasons.
A tale of many seasons.
Winter's remnant.
Winter’s remnant.
Many elements.
Many elements.
About to enter the edge of Laguna Meadow.
I’m about to enter the edge of Laguna Meadow. Around here a small group of┬áRed-winged Blackbirds were jumping about tree branches and cheerfully talking to each other.

Some collected rain and snowmelt have formed a small green pond.
Some collected rain and snowmelt have formed a small green pond in the meadow.

I spy Big Laguna Lake ahead.
I spy Big Laguna Lake ahead.
Turning my camera to the right, looking backward a bit.
Turning my camera to the right, looking backward a bit.

A friendly mountain biker approaches.
A friendly mountain biker approaches.
Like a silver dream on the mountain.
Like a silver dream on the mountain.

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!

Morning photos of new Piazza della Famiglia.

The fountain at the east end of Piazza della Famiglia.
The fountain at the east end of Piazza della Famiglia.

The new Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy is finally open to the public!

Yesterday morning I took a slow stroll through this amazing community gathering place. As I snapped photos I was awed by the space’s beauty. The European-style piazza is designed for pedestrians; it connects India Street and Columbia Street at Date Street. The delightful setting includes a tile fountain and lots of welcoming tables with umbrellas.

I noticed the apartment homes on either side of the Piazza della Famiglia aren’t quite completed. Construction workers were busy applying the final touches. I’ve also learned that eateries and other businesses along the piazza will be opening later in the year. Once the entire project is finished, the Piazza della Famiglia is sure to become one of the most popular destinations in downtown San Diego!

The illuminated fountain adds a touch of beauty to the European-style piazza in Little Italy.
The illuminated fountain and nearby planters add touches of beauty to the European-style piazza in Little Italy.
Construction workers were busy as I passed by with my camera.
Construction workers were busy as I passed by with my camera.
Someone walks through the piazza on a late March morning. There's still construction fencing for new buildings.
Someone walks through the piazza on a late March morning. There’s still construction fencing for one of the new buildings.
One of many seats at the tables in Piazza della Famiglia.
One of many seats at the tables in Piazza della Famiglia.
Flowers, warmth and beauty await one and all in Little Italy.
Flowers, warmth and beauty await one and all in Little Italy.
Someone else enjoys the peaceful, sunlit piazza.
Someone else enjoys the peaceful, sunlit piazza.
Another very cool sight has debuted in downtown San Diego!
Another very cool sight has debuted in downtown San Diego!

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!

SpaceX rocket rises above world’s oldest active ship!

A barely visible SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 rises above Star of India, the world's oldest active sailing ship!
A barely visible SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 rises above Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship!

My plan this cold, partly cloudy morning was to head down to San Diego’s Embarcadero to hopefully photograph today’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch.

I did manage to catch an image of the rocket’s flight, but it’s so tiny you can barely make it out! I suppose I should get a fancier, more powerful camera. Can you see the faint white streak in the above photo?

The Falcon 9 launch was from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara, about 280 miles from San Diego. To my naked eye, for a few seconds, I could see the minuscule rocket soar into the sky, through the rigging of the world’s oldest active sailing ship, Star of India!

Star of India, originally named Euterpe, is an iron-hulled merchant ship that was built in 1863. Driven by capricious winds, the tall ship circumnavigated the globe 21 times during her storied history.

Falcon 9 is a technologically impressive space launch vehicle. During today’s mission a reused Falcon 9 lifted Spain’s advanced radar satellite Paz into a Sun-synchronous orbit of Earth.

As the satellite effortlessly orbits our planet, it will track ships that ply the ocean–ships that trace their own proud history back to the Age of Sail, when brave vessels like Star of India pushed forward to new horizons.

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 winter’s day full of magical light.

You might enjoy these photos.

Before and after work, walking to trolley stations, I sought warmth in my light jacket against the cold winter wind.

Shivering, I looked up toward the sky.

Scudding clouds above were ignited by the sun. Their fire, like mirror magic, blazed to my right and then to my left.

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!