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!

Favorite photos from past Comic-Cons!

Are you ready for Comic-Con@Home? The gigantic international virtual event kicks off this Wednesday, July 22. And it’s entirely free!

There’s going to be a live Exhibit Hall!

There are going to be over 350 separate panels viewable on Comic-Con’s YouTube channel!

There will also be many “at home” activities, including art and cosplay challenges, and a video competition!

Learn everything you need to know, and print your free official badge by clicking here!

Plus, visit Amazon’s Virtual-Con here! Amazon is the official sponsor of Comic-Con@Home and will have lots of cool experiences at their website.

Meanwhile, I’ve gone through hundreds of photographs that I’ve taken during Comic-Con over the past six years, and I’ve selected some of my personal favorites . . . in no particular order!

While the world anticipates Comic-Con’s triumphant return to downtown San Diego and the Convention Center in 2021, enjoy this wonderfully mixed-up collection of photographic memories!

img_0408z-get-your-photo-taken-in-some-gigantic-bony-jaws

img_0416z-the-turner-boat-is-all-dressed-up-and-ready-to-go-when-comic-con-opens-tomorrow

img_0668z-the-syfy-band-was-entertaining-the-crowd-on-fifth-avenue-in-the-gaslamp-for-sdcc-2017

img_7133a-theres-so-much-crazy-fun-going-on-my-head-was-on-a-rapid-swivel

img_0845z-syfy-had-a-handy-cosplay-repair-cart-along-mlk-promenade

img_5957a-super-awesome-suits-of-armor-at-the-fantastic-weta-workshop-exhibit

img_6367a-clive-barker-is-back-at-comic-con-this-year-with-more-of-his-horror-themed-artwork

img_6201a-and-heres-another-cool-hot-wheels-car-modeled-after-a-star-wars-stormtrooper-helmet

img_6658a-a-large-troop-of-colony-soldiers-marches-down-martin-luther-king-jr-promenade-during-comic-con

img_9311a-mace-windu-in-a-movie-clip-shown-above-huge-star-wars-exhibit

img_7077a-a-cool-dragon-ball-z-poster-in-window-of-a-gaslamp-eatery

img_9256a-almost-anything-imaginable-could-be-bought-including-these-star-trek-uniforms

img_9370a-clown-masks-used-in-heist-scene-in-dark-knight

img_9451a-lots-of-video-games-could-be-sampled-including-realistic-racers

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!

Spider-Man on the hood of a Corvette!

Look what I stumbled upon today while walking to work. A very cool Spider-Man graphic on the hood of a Corvette!

The friendly guy said he’s a big Spider-Man fan. I can see 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!

Kids learn while having fun with pop culture!

What’s the best way for kids to learn?

By having fun!

The very cool Comic-Con Museum@Home web page continues to grow and grow! It’s now bursting with fun activities for kids–educational activities that relate to the popular culture!

Not only are there oodles of downloadable, printable Fun Books, which are jam-packed with word puzzles, mazes, instructions on how to draw comic art, and fantastic coloring pages (including some by prolific San Diego muralist Gloria Muriel), but now you can watch lots of cool videos, too!

A brand new series of videos this summer will be showing kids how to create superheroes and other pop culture characters out of folded cardboard! The tutorials are by Connor and Bauer Lee. You might remember seeing their fantastic creations during December Nights here!

The first cardboard character kids can create by following a YouTube video is Wall-E!

The Comic-Con Museum has also partnered with Balboa Park’s Fleet Science Center for a series called Pop Culture Science. Celebrating the anniversary of the popular character Sherlock Holmes, there’s a video about how TV crime shows accurately or imaginatively portray real forensic science. Additional activities include how to detect fingerprints and write with invisible ink!

Learning is always best when it’s fun!

Check out the Comic-Con Museum web page with all of these great activities by clicking here!

Star Trek humor and history in South Park!

Funny comic panels featuring Star Trek characters, standing near Captain Kirk's Coffee in South Park.
Funny comic panels featuring Star Trek characters, standing near Captain Kirk’s Coffee in South Park.

It was hot today as I walked through South Park, so I stopped at Captain Kirk’s Coffee to get an ice cold green tea. And look what I saw and learned!

All sorts of humorous Star Trek imagery can be found on and around this popular sidewalk coffee shack!

The super nice people who served up my green tea explained they’ve been there for many years now. Then they told me something amazing that I didn’t know. Whoopi Goldberg, before she became a superstar, worked at The Big Kitchen just a block south of Captain Kirk’s Coffee! They said she signed her name on a wall of The Big Kitchen, and while the interior has been repainted many times over the years, her signature remains untouched.

Among her many big Hollywood roles, you might recall that Whoopi Goldberg played Guinan in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and in the films Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: Nemesis.

Captain Kirk's Coffee by the sidewalk in South Park.
Captain Kirk’s Coffee by the Fern Street sidewalk in South Park.

Various spaceships have landed or crashed atop the roof of Captain Kirk's Coffee.
Various spaceships have landed or crashed atop the roof of Captain Kirk’s Coffee.

At the front counter. Bean me up Scotty!
At the front counter. Bean me up Scotty!

Big Kitchen Café in South Park, where Whoopi Goldberg worked before becoming a Hollywood superstar.
Big Kitchen Café in South Park, where Whoopi Goldberg worked before becoming a Hollywood superstar.

Star Trek meets Star Wars in these silly panels.
Star Trek meets Star Wars in these silly panels near Captain Kirk’s Coffee.

Whoopi Goldberg as Star Trek character Guinan says: I miss Judy's delicious coffee cake at The Big Kitchen.
Whoopi Goldberg as Star Trek character Guinan says: I miss Judy’s delicious coffee cake at The Big Kitchen.

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!

Yoda spotted in East Village!

During my afternoon walk through East Village I had to do a double take. Had I stepped into a galaxy far, far away?

Across the wide Space 4 Art parking lot I spotted Yoda!

I took the above photo from a distant sidewalk, then greatly enlarged the image and sharpened it. Hopefully you can see how cool this mural appears in person!

Yoda is spray painted on a nondescript building whose other sides are home to a variety of murals. Check out an awesome Mechanical Shark here, and other works of super creative street art 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!

Swedish Chef makes pizza in Normal Heights!

The Swedish Chef must be taking a break from The Muppet Show. Because he’s been spotted at Mama Mia Pizza Restaurant in Normal Heights!

Or perhaps it’s his blond brother. I can’t say for certain.

I approached the famous chef and said “Herney ferney börk börk börk.”

He did not seem amused. He merely stared back at me through his bushy eyebrows.

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!

Ron Burgundy on the San Diego Trolley!

The Ron Burgundy Podcast.
The Ron Burgundy Podcast.

For many months now Ron Burgundy has been seen around town on the San Diego Trolley. Yesterday morning I happened to spot him!

A trolley wrap that promotes the popular Ron Burgundy podcast features a couple of funny quotes, as you can see!

Everyone knows Ron Burgundy from the classic comedy Anchorman, starring Will Ferrell. And everyone associates Anchorman with San Diego. So why should anyone be surprised to find him on a trolley?

San Diego. I'm here for the good times and because I'm under house arrest.
San Diego. I’m here for the good times and because I’m under house arrest.

The first podcast in America.
The first podcast in America.

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!

Amazing life-size cardboard superhero sculptures!

Wow!

Did you step inside the Comic-Con Museum during 2019 December Nights? If you did, you saw an exhibit that was absolutely amazing!

Young artists Connor and Bauer Lee have created fantastic life-size cardboard sculptures of popular Marvel and DC superheroes, plus various Pixar and Star Wars movie characters!

I believe I recognized: Groot, Black Manta holding a mace, a tiny X-wing starfighter, Wall-E, a gigantic Hulkbuster armor (under construction), Thor’s Stormbreaker hammer, Iron Man, C-3PO, R2-D2, Baby Groot, Wonder Woman, plus other fantastic creations including several superhero masks.

The two brothers have been building these cardboard models for many years. I spoke to Connor briefly and he explained that they select an image of a popular character, blow it up, then begin to craft the sculpture based on that initial design. I asked how long it might take to finish the enormous, extremely complex Hulkbuster armor sculpture you see in my photos, and he said about a year.

According to the Cardboard Superheroes website: We hold free workshops for kids in an effort to promote the arts for youth as we’ve see funding for the arts being cut in school and are working to provide an alternative that is free and fun for kids.

That’s definitely a super cool and inspirational project! I’m sure young students everywhere would love to be creative and make their favorite characters with simple cardboard!

I hope local schools take advantage of what appears to be an awesome opportunity. For more info, you can contact Cardboard Superheroes at their website 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!

The art of Horrorgasm at Comic-Con Museum!

Eggshell Jack Skellington, by artist Melody De Los Cobos. Inspired by the film The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Eggshell Jack Skellington, by artist Melody De Los Cobos. Inspired by the film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Check out all this great pop art by local San Diego artists! There’s a little bit of horror and a little bit of Christmas!

All of these pieces are by the artists of Horrorgasm and were on display at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park during 2019 December Nights.

Horrorgasm is a cool art event that is held annually in late October. According the Horrorgasm website, it’s a “one-night-only celebration of horror and all things creepy, spooky and macabre.” In 2019 Horrorgasm was held in North Park, and featured “an Art gallery, an artisan marketplace, live performances, live readings of chilling tales, and our version of an escape room, the Horrorgasm Survival Chamber.”

As I wandered about the exhibit, I was pleased to once again meet artist Melody De Los Cobos, one of the founders of Horrorgasm. Last month we spoke briefly during a Love City Heights mural painting event, where she was mentoring a young artist. I blogged about that here!

Some great popular movies are represented in this collection of original artwork. A few humorous pieces had me smiling!

To learn more about Horrorgasm, visit their website here.

Horrorgasm is an annual art event. In 2019 it celebrated Monsters, Maniacs, The Paranormal, and the Surreal.
Horrorgasm is an annual San Diego art event. In 2019 it celebrated Monsters, Maniacs, The Paranormal, and the Surreal.

They have a cool comic book. Tales of Horrorgasm!
They have an awesome comic book. Tales of Horrorgasm!

One half of The Ballbreaker Suite, by artist Autumn Sno, inspired by the movie Scrooged. Pictured is Carol Kane's the Ghost of Christmas Present.
The Ballbreaker Suite, by artist Autumn Sno, inspired by the movie Scrooged. Pictured is Carol Kane’s the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Creep in the Corner by artist Jennifer Cooksey. Mixed media sculpture and acrylic. A sinister Elf on the Shelf.
Creep in the Corner, by artist Jennifer Cooksey. Mixed media sculpture and acrylic. It’s a sinister Elf on the Shelf!

Stripe by artist Jennifer Cooksey. Mixed media sculpture. Based on the horror comedy film Gremlins.
Stripe, by artist Jennifer Cooksey. Mixed media sculpture. Based on the horror comedy film Gremlins.

Throne of Lies by artist Avaline Ai. Based on a memorable line from the holiday film Elf.
Throne of Lies, by artist Avaline Ai. A meme from a humorous quote in the holiday film Elf.

How Deadpool Stole Christmas, by artist Marc Vuletich. Acrylic paint on canvas. Deadpool enters Peter Parker's home in an homage to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
How Deadpool Stole Christmas, by artist Marc Vuletich. Acrylic paint on canvas. Deadpool enters Peter Parker’s home in an homage to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Kevin McCallister, Then, by artist Nyxie Von Rose. Based on the classic holiday film Home Alone.
Kevin McCallister, Then, by artist Nyxie Von Rose. A famous pose from the classic holiday film Home Alone.

Christmas Ale, by artist Tara Alvarado. Acrylic on wood. A beer label inspired by The Spirit of Christmas Past from A Christmas Carol.
Christmas Ale, by artist Tara Alvarado. Acrylic on wood. A beer label inspired by The Spirit of Christmas Past from A Christmas Carol.

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!