Sewing Dr Jekyll. Carving Mr Hyde.

There’s a mysterious cabinet in downtown San Diego.

This seemingly ordinary cabinet is designed to hold both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

I saw the cabinet today when I stepped into the studio of artist James Watts (@jewattso). And I was shown bits of both Jekyll and Hyde.

I was shown how the cabinet, painted pitch black inside, has a sliding door. Dr Jekyll will stand inside the cabinet on one side. Mr Hyde will stand on the other side. For a surprising revelation, slide the door open in either direction!

You can see the cabinet here…

(To the right of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde cabinet stands Frankenstein’s monster. Perhaps you saw that monstrous creation displayed at the Oceanside Museum of Art last year!)

In the next photo, James Watts is carving Mr Hyde’s bones out of basswood.

He has already hand-sewn parts of Dr Jekyll together. Here’s his face…

James Watts explained that every stitch of the canvas Dr Jekyll is by hand. And that’s important.

I first met James Watts almost five years ago when I stumbled into his utterly fantastic downtown studio. You can see the blog I posted that day here.

As the Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde cabinet progresses, I’ll provide updates!

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Fun art by Carlsbad Poinsettia train station!

If you’ve ever traveled by Amtrak or Coaster train through the Carlsbad Poinsettia station, you might’ve seen this fun artwork on the back of a fence!

I got off at the train station during my last Carlsbad adventure and took photographs!

At the south end of the station’s west platform, a pathway leads a short distance along the tracks before turning past residences toward the beach. From this path there’s a good view of the fence art.

I quickly asked the conductor of the Coaster, who was out on the platform making sure all passengers had boarded, if he knew anything about this folksy art. He told me it had been there for years and years–as long as he could remember.

The fence is painted blue, and it is populated by fish, a shark, birds and other ocean creatures. At the center of it all a small fishing boat, occupied by a mannequin, is suspended as if floating on water. At the left end of the scene, a surfer rides a three-dimensional tubular wave!

Do you know anything about this delightful fence? Leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Christmas trees on Carlsbad’s coastal bluffs!

A number of unusual Christmas trees can be found atop the coastal bluffs in Carlsbad!

Today, Monday the 26th, is the official observed holiday for Christmas this year. I decided to jump on the Coaster train and enjoy a walk by the ocean.

I walked north along Carlsbad Boulevard (historic Highway 101) from a point near the Poinsettia train station all the way into Carlsbad Village. Imagine my surprise when I saw several of these trees, decorated profusely with dangling ornaments. Most of the windswept trees were dead, which perhaps made the placement of the colorful ornaments more meaningful.

I don’t visit Carlsbad that often, so I don’t know the story behind these trees. If you do, please leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Mysterious mural shows Oceanside history.

Does anyone out there know anything about this faded mural in Oceanside? It’s a mystery to me.

The long mural was painted in an alley off Mission Avenue, between Freeman Street and Ditmar Street. The Murals in Oceanside web page merely calls it the 608 mural, presumably after a restaurant that used to be on the other side of the wall. The location is now Rosewood Kitchen.

I can find no signature or date on the mural. I do see scenes from Oceanside’s history.

The Hayes Land Co., Oceanside’s first pier, and Mission San Luis Rey are recognizable.

The artwork is rather faint, so I had to greatly increase the contrast of my photos.

Leave a comment if you have any information!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

The mysterious Christmas tree at Cardiff State Beach!

A mysterious Christmas tree appears every year on the sand at South Cardiff State Beach. Nobody knows who places this Tree by the Sea.

The annual appearance of the Christmas tree has become a magical holiday tradition in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. The Tree by the Sea has delighted beachgoers for about three decades. You can read more about its history here.

Enjoy these photographs that I took today.

It was a cloudy late November weekday. Very few people were on the beach. The contrast of sand and ocean, and the decorated tree, makes these images strange and interesting.

Anybody can add their own ornaments. I noticed many have a surfing theme!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Evidence in Bonita of the Proctor Valley Monster?

The concrete cast of a weird, apparently inhuman footprint is now on display at the Bonita Museum & Cultural Center. Some residents who live in the area claim the cast is “concrete” evidence of the legendary Proctor Valley Monster.

Over the years, there have been various reported sightings of the Proctor Valley Monster along lonely Proctor Valley Road, in the secluded hills and fields east of Chula Vista, west of Jamul.

Certain witnesses have said the monster resembles Bigfoot, standing about seven feet tall and hairy, walking with long strides. Others have claimed the monster is entirely different. There have been accounts that the Proctor Valley Monster appears like a strange, mutilated cow, or a silent female apparition, or an inexplicable, ghostly light…

Articles I’ve found tell a few of these strange stories and provide possible explanations. Here and here and here and here.

According to an August 20, 2003 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, which is also on display, nobody knows how the bizarre footprint cast ended up in the Bonita Museum’s collection. But there the footprint is, for anyone to see, mounted behind glass!

Is the Proctor Valley Monster merely an urban legend? Is the creature simply a product of human imagination, shadowy fear, and perhaps a bit of sly humor?

At the Bonita Museum visitors can also view a copy of the graphic novel Proctor Valley Road. I flipped quickly through it and discovered more than a few terrifying monsters. According to Amazon’s description, the book follows a group of kids down the most haunted, demon-infested stretch of road in America.

Well, San Diego has the Whaley House, commonly described as the most haunted house in America. We have the most haunted stretch of road, too?

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

The only constant in a city is . . . change.

In San Diego, as in any city, the only true constant is change.

Trucks load and unload. Buildings fall and rise. Cars turn corners. People from every walk of life funnel through crosswalks. Lives intersect.

We travel down countless paths to futures unknown.

To curious eyes, the city reveals infinite complexity. And infinite mystery.

I took most of these photographs very recently.

In East Village, a new high-rise is being built above the old façade of the Farkas Store Fixtures building. A 2020 Carly Ealey mural still smiles.

People walking very different paths cross the same street.

Tearing down to build up.

Millions of Dole bananas show up on schedule at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Some changes are predictable.

Other changes aren’t quite so predictable. San Diego Padres make the Major League Baseball Playoffs in 2022!

Old friends. New friends. Soon to be friends. TwitchCon at the San Diego Convention Center.

I was told another track is coming by the Green Line platform at the 12th and Imperial trolley station.

Heading toward the border. A life in progress.

Pesos, Euros, Dollars and a bicycle. Where to?

What change is coming to this corner of the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park?

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!

The faded Serra Museum mural at Hazard Center.

If these photos appear strangely dark, that’s because I’ve increased contrast to bring out the details of a badly faded mural.

This large old mural was painted on the south side of the Hazard Center shopping center in 1996 by an artist whose signature is Duff. The artwork faces the San Diego River and is exposed all day long to the sun.

That building you see in the mural is the Junípero Serra Museum. It stands across the river several miles to the west. The museum’s tower (which is often mistakenly thought to be the San Diego Presidio) can be seen rising above trees from various spots in Mission Valley.

Do any of you know who the artist Duff is? I can find nothing by searching the internet. I documented another Duff mural in Mission Valley, which was painted beneath Friars Road, here.

Please leave a comment if you know anything more!

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Mass grave seen from San Diego trolley.

Ride the San Diego Trolley’s Orange Line through Mt. Hope Cemetery and you might observe something strange. A group of collected headstones is set in concrete just south of the tracks.

This very unusual memorial is the site of a mass grave–a “grave” filled with discarded gravestones!

Back in the 1980s when the trolley line was new, passengers noticed that many tombstones had been dumped in a ravine at Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Earlier, in the 1970s, the City of San Diego had removed about 800 tombstones from old Calvary Cemetery in Mission Hills and callously thrown them into this ravine. Unbelievable, right?

Today the peculiar memorial you see in the above photograph recalls an infamous moment in our city’s history.

You can learn more about how old Calvary Cemetery was converted into today’s Pioneer Park in Mission Hills by clicking 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!

A short story about a search in the dark.

Back in Middle School, a bunch of classmates and I spent a summer weekend camping on Catalina Island. At the Parsons Landing primitive campground to be exact.

We hiked all over the north part of Catalina and saw bison, cliff dived into the ocean, sat around a campfire, and even went on an afternoon snipe hunt. (We saw bison? That’s correct! A small herd of bison was transported to this Southern California island by Hollywood for the filming of The Thundering Herd, a 1925 silent movie.)

The snipe hunt fascinated me. We headed up one of the trails above the campground searching right and left and occasionally beating a bush with a stick. Everyone knew from the start that the snipes weren’t real, but we all had fun “hunting” them anyway. At least for a little while. I think what made the snipe hunt fun was the shared joke, and the fact that we were heading up a trail that was new to us.

An idea for a short story came to me some time ago, based loosely on that snipe hunt experience. Of course, I changed many elements for my fictional story. It was necessary that I make the setting of the story a dark night.

You’ll see why when you read my new story, The Snipe Hunt, by clicking 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!

To read a few thought-provoking stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.