Cool environmental mural on Commercial Street.

Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.
Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.

I got off the Orange Line trolley the other day to capture photos of some cool street art on Commercial Street just east of 20th Street.

Like many other PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans artwork that one can spot around San Diego, this one has an environmental message about taking care of the ocean. The mural, which illustrates the harmful effects of plastic pollution on marine life, was painted in 2016 by Dolan Stearns.

The left side of the mural shows an ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.
The left side of the mural shows a big, ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.
The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.
The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.
The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic junk.
The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic bags, bottles, cups and junk.
The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting trash into the blue ocean.
The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting waste into the blue ocean.

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!

I support restoring the Palisades in Balboa Park.

Some supporters of Balboa Park, including The Committee of One Hundred, would like to restore the Palisades area of the park to its former glory. I learned about this visionary effort on Labor Day while grabbing some napkins at the cafe inside the Casa de Balboa. A stack of postcards had been placed nearby. I picked one up. Here’s a photo:

Photos on a postcard created by The Committee of One Hundred shows Balboa Park's Palisades area in 1935 and 2017.
A postcard created by The Committee of One Hundred shows Balboa Park’s Palisades area in 1935 and 2017.

As you can see, in 1935, during the California Pacific International Exposition, the Palisades contained spacious lawns, flowers and benches where today you’ll find a large ugly parking lot.

Sounds familiar? For decades the Plaza de Panama on El Prado contained a similarly ugly parking lot. But after that parking lot’s removal and replacement with tables, umbrellas, potted greenery and public art, the Plaza de Panama has become a bustling hub of activity full of people enjoying the sunny San Diego outdoors, as was originally intended.

Now back to the Palisades area. After a little more research, I’ve learned The Committee of One Hundred is already working to replace the four long-lost murals that used to be above the entrance of the 1935 California State Building, which is home to the San Diego Automotive Museum. To see more about that project, check out The Committee of One Hundred’s 2017 newsletter.

Given what I’ve read and know, I must say I’m in full agreement with the idea of restoring the Palisades. The parking lot is an absolute eyesore and many of the surrounding buildings appear bare and decayed. Most people who park here don’t linger. They immediately head in the direction of El Prado.

The Palisades parking lot seems completely unnecessary. Today, without spending a penny in construction, it appears to me there’s already plenty of parking across Park Boulevard south of the Veterans Museum–that huge lower lot is usually mostly empty. Simply add signage and one or two more stops for the parking shuttle.

When San Diego Comic-Con opens their new museum in the Federal Building next year, I imagine many more visitors will be drawn into the Palisades area. It seems to me the energetic people at Comic-Con International and other museums who would greatly benefit from a revitalization of the Palisades–the San Diego Air and Space Museum in particular–could use their considerable combined influence to help speed a beautiful restoration.

And why must it be an exact restoration? Why not add more flowers, some new outdoor art, and even a lively, splashing fountain? Why not both restore history and make history? Balboa Park should be forward-looking, optimistic, alive! San Diego’s world-renowned gem could shine even more brightly! Just imagine!

Fun new murals at Sheldon’s Service Station!

A frog in a red teacup floats on a tea river.
A frog in a red teacup floats on a tea river.

Yesterday I spotted some fun new murals in the process of being painted at Sheldon’s Service Station, a popular La Mesa breakfast and lunch spot. Many years ago this coffee shop’s building was a La Mesa gas station.

A friendly guy at Sheldon’s Service Station said an artist named Kara has been working on the two murals for a couple of weeks. Take a look!

One of two fun new murals being painted on outdoor walls at Sheldon's Service Station in La Mesa.
One of two fun new murals being painted on outdoor walls at Sheldon’s Service Station in La Mesa.
Funny animals in the imaginative mural include Droopy and tea-drinking pelicans!
Funny animals in the imaginative mural include Droopy and tea-drinking pelicans!

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!

Cool new mural in East Village crushes it!

Crushing It. A cool new mural just completed in San Diego's East Village at the corner of Park Boulevard and J Street.
Crushing It. A cool new mural just completed in San Diego’s East Village at the corner of Park Boulevard and J Street.

Last week I noticed a new mural was being painted on a building wall in East Village. I glimpsed the preliminary outlines as I passed by on the trolley, which was heading along Park Boulevard just south of the Market Street station.

Well, today I observed that this very cool mural has been completed! You can find it at the intersection of Park Boulevard and J Street. Apparently titled Crushing It, this colorful spray paint art was created by Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki of Cohort Collective, a group of local artists who have awesome urban artwork all over San Diego!

It appears to me the local artists Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki of Cohort Collective have crushed it!
It appears to me the local artists Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki of Cohort Collective have crushed it!
Lots of old wrecked cars are piled up behind Rant's Demolition neon sign!
Lots of old wrecked cars are piled up behind that Rant’s Demolition neon sign!
A beautiful female face has materialized on a building wall in downtown San Diego!
A beautiful female face has materialized on a building wall 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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Glimpses of art along a few blocks in North Park.

Someone's artistic bicycle has a potted plant in its basket.
Someone’s artistic bicycle has a potted plant in its basket.

I captured these quick photos during a walk in North Park, along Adams Avenue between 30th Street and the I-805 bridge. Bits of art add flavor to life in the city.

Someone rests on a painted transformer box on Adams Avenue near 30th Street.
Someone rests on a painted transformer box on Adams Avenue near 30th Street.
A monkey on a utility box, crowned by a rummage sale notice.
A monkey on a utility box, crowned by a rummage sale notice.
A dog sees a yummy doughnut!
A dog sees a yummy doughnut!
A cool lady seems to stand on the sidewalk.
A cool lady seems to stand on the sidewalk.
Looking down from the Adams Avenue bridge over Interstate 805.
Looking down from the Adams Avenue bridge over Interstate 805.
Abstract mural incorporates nearby utility boxes.
Abstract mural incorporates nearby utility boxes.
An awesome Jimi Hendrix street mural near dumpster and motorcycle.
An awesome Jimi Hendrix street mural near dumpster and motorcycle.

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!

Street art along Adams Avenue in Normal Heights.

Normal Heights is home to lots of great street art and other cool sights!
Normal Heights is home to lots of creative street art and other cool sights!

Here come lots of photos of street art in Normal Heights. I captured these while walking east along the south side of Adams Avenue, from I-805 to 35th Street. Then I crossed the street and walked back west to the bridge that spans the freeway.

(Please note–I haven’t included some artwork along Adams Avenue that I’ve already blogged. Check the related links at the bottom of this post, or use the search box.)

Here we go!

A smiling face painted on a transformer box along Adams Avenue.
A smiling face painted on a transformer box along Adams Avenue.
Big lips.
Big lips.
A big eyeball.
A big eyeball.
An animated red fire extinguisher chases and douses a flame on the wall of All County Fire.
An animated red fire extinguisher chases and douses a flame on the wall of All County Fire.
A classic car and tire tracks painted on a utility box on the sidewalk in front of Tire Depot.
A classic car and tire tracks painted on a utility box on the sidewalk in front of Tire Depot.
A tropical island scene.
A tropical island scene.
A cool cat.
A cool cat.
A skull above palm trees and flowers.
A skull in sunglasses above palm trees and flowers.
I think I'm quite ready for another adventure. Bilbo Baggins. (A favorite book!)
I think I’m quite ready for another adventure. Bilbo Baggins. (A favorite book!)
Stenciled mandalas line the sidewalk near Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga.
Stenciled mandalas line the sidewalk not far from Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga.
A mosaic of different tiles outline the front of some stores along Adams Avenue in Normal Heights.
A mosaic composed of many different tiles graces the front of some shops along Adams Avenue in Normal Heights.
Marquee of old Adams Avenue Theater, which is now home to Discount Fabrics.
Marquee of old Adams Avenue Theater, which is now home to Discount Fabrics.
Fabric art in windows of the old theater, where movie posters were once displayed.
Fabric art in windows of the old theater, where movie posters were once displayed.
Colorful terrazzo design at entrance to old theater.
Colorful terrazzo design at entrance to old theater.
Two faces watch people walking down the sidewalk.
Two faces watch people walking down the sidewalk.
Colorful designs attract attention.
Colorful designs attract attention.
A series of fun utility boxes.
A series of fun utility boxes.
A snow-capped mountain peak on the side of a newspaper box.
A snow-capped mountain peak on the side of a newspaper box.
Real wrenches have been affixed to this utility box near an auto repair shop!
Real wrenches have been affixed to this utility box near an auto repair shop!
On the other side is this nostalgic graphic showing some car culture history in Normal Heights.
On the other side is this nostalgic graphic showing some car culture history in Normal Heights.
Colorful plant life painted in the city.
Colorful plant life painted in the city.
One wall has a mural with a couple of surprises flying behind a bush--parrots!
One wall has a mural with a couple of surprises flying behind a bush: parrots!
And behind another bush is this human form, sitting among small flowers!
And behind another bush is this human form, sitting among small flowers!
These smiling flowers want you to have fun at the Adams Avenue Recreation Center!
These smiling flowers want you to have fun at the Adams Avenue Recreation Center!
Now I've crossed Adams Avenue at 35th and am heading back west on the north side. Check out the cool mural near the rooftop of Humphrey Appliance.
Now I’ve crossed Adams Avenue at 35th and am heading back west on the north side. Check out the cool mural near the rooftop of Humphrey Appliance.
This box has some really good artistry.
This box has some really good artistry.
A mysterious face on another side.
A mysterious face on another side.
Butterflies are flitting about the wall of Mariposa Ice Cream.
Butterflies are flitting about the wall of Mariposa Ice Cream.
Two fantastic female faces, by talented muralists Gloria Muriel and Amanda Lynn. You've seen the distinctive work of each artist elsewhere on this blog!
Two fantastic female faces, by talented muralists Gloria Muriel and Amanda Lynn. You’ve seen the distinctive work of each artist elsewhere on this blog!
A beautiful face in a tropical setting.
A beautiful face in a tropical setting.
A bright design has emerged from human imagination.
A bright design has emerged from human imagination.
I love this box! Check out the face that seems to peer from behind bricks.
I love this box! Check out the face that seems to peer from behind bricks.
Eyes peer from one corner of the top.
Eyes peer from one corner of the top.
Another side.
Another side.
Many colorful stick figures around the planet Earth.
Many colorful stick figures around the planet Earth.
Painted scene of a painted scene in Normal Heights.
Painted scene of a painted scene in Normal Heights.

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!

Combat veterans create art to bring hope.

A unique work of urban art on a car wash in Normal Heights speaks to the struggles of combat veterans.
A unique work of urban art on a car wash in Normal Heights. It speaks to the struggles of combat veterans.

Painful. Hopeful.

Those two words might describe some artwork on the side of a car wash in Normal Heights. You can find this thought-provoking mural near the corner of 33rd Street and Adams Avenue.

A nearby plaque invites curious eyes. Thank you for your service, it reads.

The mural is the work of seven post-911 combat veterans. A project of Combat Arts San Diego, it helps to spread awareness about the therapeutic benefit of creating art. And it shows the unconditional love that is provided by service dogs.

Creating art helps us to sort through conflicting thoughts and emotions. Art is an outlet for pent up pain. Art connects people. Art stirs the heart. Art provides meaning. Art offers hope.

This mural was created by seven combat veterans working with Combat Arts San Diego. Art-making benefits those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This mural was created by seven combat veterans working with Combat Arts San Diego. Art-making benefits those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Art over fear.
Art over fear.
A warrior. A jumble of emotions. Isolation. A true best friend. Hope.
A warrior. A jumble of emotions. Isolation. A true best friend. Hope.

UPDATE!

Wow! Shortly after posting this I received additional info concerning this great project and a group photograph of those responsible!

I learned:

“There are hidden things in the art piece. If you look hard enough you can see Army written and Navy and others… If you look at ART in the middle on the left you will see from the A…rmy attached to it. Then on the right towards the bottom you will see the N in friends…you will see Navy… In (the word) Isolation – the A..ir Force is on the A. Just below the O in Isolation you will see some letters D E S P..if you look close at the S you will see a U in the bottom of the S and then the MC on the other side of the S. Look close.”

I also learned that the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution raised funds for the project from their National Society.

The following photo includes Elizabeth Washburn, the leader of Combat Arts, two Vets who worked on the mural, and a few smiling local members of the D.A.R.

Group picture with Artists, Elizabeth, and San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution members.
Group picture with artists, Elizabeth Washburn, and San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution members. Photo provided by Kathleen Winchester.

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!