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.

Rings of Power, maze and mythical creature at Comic-Con!

As Comic-Con fast approaches, lots of super cool stuff continues to pop up in San Diego’s Gaslamp, including more wraps and some very early offsite construction.

An awesome span of building wraps promoting Amazon Prime Video’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power can now be enjoyed near the Gaslamp Quarter archway, at the south end of Fifth Avenue. They wrap right around to the north side of the Hilton Gaslamp.

You’ll see lots of photos coming up.

First, I spotted a large platform being built in the grassy area by the Hilton Gaslamp. I learned it’s going to support a huge indoor maze! It’s HBO’s House of the Dragon offsite for Comic-Con. House of the Dragon is a 300 year prequel to the hugely popular Game of Thrones.

Next, I noticed the beginning of a huge wrap on the Omni hotel!

Looks like an animated mythical creature. A satyr, perhaps? Anyone out there hazard a guess? Leave a comment, and then we’ll see in a day or two!

I then snapped this photo of the Apple TV+ Severance wrap which is being applied on the south side of the Hard Rock Hotel…

Finally, here come the awesome Rings of Power wraps, which are still being applied!

Pretty cool, huh?

UPDATE!

Look what’s up a day later!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

Three sand sculptures rising outside Comic-Con!

Check this out! Three big sand sculptures are being built right now in downtown San Diego for 2022 Comic-Con!

An area by Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, just east of 1st Avenue, near the Convention Center trolley station, will be the site of the The Audible Beach, promoting Audible’s original new shows.

I was told by one artist compacting sand in one of those wooden frames that the sculptures will include Sherlock Holmes, from the Audible show Moriarty: The Devil’s Game!

I’ll definitely be photographing these sand sculptures over the next few days as they take shape!

UPDATE!

If you’d like to see how these sand sculptures turned out several days later (and they are AMAZING), click here!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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 strange California Historical Landmark . . . parking lot?

At the north corner of Congress Street and Twiggs Street, in San Diego’s Old Town, you’ll find a large parking lot.

In a strip of landscaping between the parking lot and sidewalk stands a mysterious sign. The sign reads: SITE OF CASA DE COTA – HISTORICAL LANDMARK NO. 75.

That’s strange! The only thing visible is the parking lot! So, where is Casa de Cota?

According to this page of the San Diego History Center: Built in the mid-1830’s by Juan or Ramón Cota, this house stood for over a century on the corner of Twiggs and Congress Streets, before being destroyed by United States Army bulldozers during World War II.

You can see two old photographs of the historical structure here and here.

It appears to have been built of adobe blocks.

Visitor maps posted around Old Town San Diego State Historic Park show Parking Lot B, where the house once stood. I’ve included the following photo. I marked a red X at the mysterious sign’s location.

Do you happen to know more about the long-vanished Casa de Cota? If you do, please leave a comment!

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!

Seeing the future by looking backward.

These old train tracks pass south over the Sweetwater River on a bridge that is no longer in use.

Do you like ghost stories?

Do you like riding trains?

Answer yes to either question, and you might enjoy a new short story that I published this morning. It’s titled Backward Man.

Is it possible to see the future by looking backward? That seems like a reasonable assertion, right?

If a little strangeness and horror are your cup of tea, you can read the story by clicking here!

A mysterious bell in Old Town San Diego!

Help solve a rather strange historical mystery!

There’s a large bell mounted above the entrance of the Five & Dime General Store in Old Town, at 2501 San Diego Avenue, and nobody I’ve spoken to knows why it’s there!

I’ve spoken to friendly people who work at the store, and employees at nearby Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and the bell remains a complete mystery! I’ve also performed searches on the internet, to no avail.

Written on the bell are the words STEEL ALLOY CHURCH BELL and the number 40, which means it’s a 40 inch bell. On the internet I’ve observed identical bells manufactured by the The C. S. Bell Company, which was in operation from 1875 to the 1970’s. The bell itself looks pretty old.

Another possible clue: this building was once the home of the Studio Gallery, which featured original artwork by famous artists, including Chuck Jones and Dr. Seuss.

Who out there knows anything about this large rooftop bell?

Why is it there? Where did it come from? Who mounted this old bell atop the building and when?

If you know or suspect anything, please leave a comment!

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!

Myth, wonder and WOW in San Diego!

Wonder, surprise, and plenty of WOW was experienced by those visiting Liberty Station today. That’s because La Jolla Playhouse was in their final day of the 2022 Without Walls Festival!

Among many outdoor performances free to the public was the colorful, kinetic procession TransMythical.

Strange, never-before-seen spirits, nature gods, high priests and mythological creatures appeared from the arches at the edge of Liberty Station’s North Promenade.

As they emerged, they seemed to step tentatively into an unfamiliar world–our world.

The mysterious creatures looked about with wonder. They wandered, gathered, formed a procession.

Appearing beautifully strange–and strangely familiar–the giant puppets and masked characters interacted with the crowd in a very human way. But then–all elemental myths are composed by us human types–right?

During the performance a baby deer was born.

The mythical creatures and we humans all looked on with wonder. The fawn was greeted with happiness.

The tiny deer looked about our shared world with newly opened eyes.

These strangely wonderful myths were brought to life by the San Diego-based Animal Cracker Conspiracy!

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 giant Red Shoe hidden in the trees!

An enormous, very fancy Red Shoe seems lost among the trees in a corner of UC San Diego!

Red Shoe is an unusual outdoor sculpture by Elizabeth Murray, created in 1996. It’s part of the University of San Diego Stuart Collection.

I say unusual, because it stands among eucalyptus trees and seems oddly–to me–out of place. Like a shoe from a fairy tale, dropped in a forest. But I think that was the intention!

Faceted, colored objects are scattered on the ground nearby, like fallen jewels.

The paths in this corner of the UCSD campus, by North Torrey Pines Road and Revelle College Drive, are seldom trod. By ordinary folk, that is.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Visions and contrasts in downtown San Diego.

The ordinary . . . the bizarre.

The familiar . . . the dreamlike.

Countless intersecting paths down the same streets.

Turned corners, reflections, glimpses, mysteries.

The complexity of living.

Happiness . . . despair.

You will encounter many complex visions and contrasts when walking through downtown San Diego. Which is what I did yesterday morning.

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!