Step into El Cajon’s super cool Arts Alley!

At first glance the place might seem unremarkable. Just another alley in downtown El Cajon–north of Main Street, between Magnolia Avenue and Sulzfeld Way. And just south of the Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center, which is located on Rea Avenue.

But should you step into El Cajon’s surprising Arts Alley, you’ll suddenly find yourself surrounded by delightful murals and fantastic works of imagination! The alley is so full of creativity, some of the super cool artwork has overflowed right out of it at the east end!

And what is an alley without cats?

You’ll also find a few wise quotes written on walls concerning the nature of beauty.

(You might notice in my photos that Arts Alley is located behind a couple of art galleries–plus a variety of other El Cajon shops and eateries that line a historic segment of Main Street.)

To be accurate, those two large Olaf Wieghorst Museum murals I posted aren’t in Arts Alley, but both can be seen from it! (I believe there’s another Western-themed mural that I failed to photograph. Oops.)

In case you’re curious, Olaf Wieghorst was a popular painter of the American West, whose work once appeared all over, including Zane Grey’s Western Magazine and the open titles sequence of the John Wayne movie El Dorado. He lived in El Cajon, where the museum is located, the second half of his life.

One day I hope to swing by the museum when it’s open and blog about the experience!

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Outer space and UFOs seen in El Cajon!

This world is full of wonders.

Approach the corner of South Magnolia Avenue and West Douglas Avenue near the center of El Cajon. Move your eyes about. You’ll find bright stars and see far into outer space.

And if your eyes are really sharp, you might observe a flying saucer entering Earth’s atmosphere!

All this spacey street art happens to be around the Unarius Academy of Science.

What’s that?

According to their website: “In 1954, Cosmic Visionaries Ernest L. and Ruth E. Norman established the Unarius Educational Foundation to provide a higher spiritual understanding of life for the betterment of humankind.”

A sign beside the theater-like UFO mural, which can be found on the Unarius building’s north side, indicates its title is Opening the Cosmic Window.

The sign also explains: “The wall mural depicts the Earth’s future when we will be joined, once again, with the Interplanetary Confederation–32 worlds that live in peace and harmony–and share cultural and scientific knowledge for the betterment of all people…”

Stand at the nearby street corner on a starry night. Maybe–just maybe–a flying saucer will spin down from the mysterious cosmos, which is vast seemingly beyond human comprehension.

Who knows?

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!

Colorful mural in Hillcrest at Urban MO’s!

I spotted a new mural in Hillcrest at the corner of University and Third Avenue! A rainbow heart and glamorous face decorate one wall of Urban MO’s Bar and Grill.

The artwork, adding even more color to the dynamic LGBT community in Hillcrest, was spray painted by cool local artist Alex Julian.

Check it out!

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!

Even more cool street art in City Heights!

I recently walked down University Avenue, from I-805 to Fairmount Avenue, then back again on the opposite sidewalk.

I found more cool street art in this stretch of City Heights, including a fantastic mural painted by Hugo Fernando Fierro!

Cool mural by @hoyote in City Heights.
Cool mural by Hugo Fernando Fierro (@hoyote) in City 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 photos for you to enjoy!

Positive mural offers hope for at-risk youth.

I AM POSSIBLE. A motivational public mural in a neighborhood with at-risk youth.
I AM POSSIBLE. A public mural expresses hope for at-risk youth.

A large mural has been recently painted in a neighborhood that is home to a significant population of at-risk youth. The public mural offers hope, positive reinforcement and inspiration. It reads simply: I AM POSSIBLE.

You can find this powerful new artwork painted at the corner of University Avenue and Marlborough Avenue in City Heights. It’s the creation of @midcitycanyouthcouncil and @channinfulton for #schoolsnotprisons.

This public art is a great example that other communities might follow.

For youth who feel trapped, or hopeless, or tempted to go down a self-destructive path, these beautifully painted words provide a constant visual reminder of life’s better possibilities.

Flowers, patterns, and a tangle of emotions.

The prolific artists of @ladieswhopaint have created even more murals on F Street in San Diego’s East Village! These three colorful murals can be seen just west of Park Boulevard. Here are several photos!

The third mural has a small sign painted next to it that reads:

Saudade

A TANGLE OF EMOTIONS
BOTH HAPPY AND SAD
ABOUT MISSING SOMEONE
OR SOMETHING.

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!

Street art near San Ysidro border crossing!

Should you ever walk through San Ysidro, a short distance north of the border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, you’ll notice lots of colorful street art! Much of of the artwork celebrates Mexican culture, depicting kids with piñatas, vaqueros, mariachis, baile folklórico dancers, Aztec and Día de los Muertos imagery, and a whole variety of festive scenes.

I enjoyed a long walk from the San Ysidro/Tijuana Transit Center over the long pedestrian bridge that overlooks the busy Port of Entry, and west down Camino de la Plaza near Las Americas Premium Outlets. I then retraced my steps and headed north up San Ysidro Boulevard.

I noticed that much of the street art on electrical boxes, which has become faded over time, was painted by Gerardo Meza. I also saw some street lamp banners sponsored by the Border Public Art Committee featuring images by the same artist.

And look at the funny mural that I spotted! A shopper with a clown nose has money flying out of her purse!

San Ysidro is always bustling with humanity. The gritty streets and sidewalks hum with activity, as tourists, shoppers, workers and commuters head north and south at all hours. The nearby San Ysidro Port of Entry is the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere!

IMG_6410z

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!