Mysterious ghost ship drifts toward San Diego!

An abandoned ship of mysterious origin is presently drifting toward San Diego’s harbor. It has been calculated that the very old sailing ship, named the Mary Celeste, will make landfall at the Maritime Museum of San Diego on October 29, 2021.

Reliable sources have reported that celebrated author and detective Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the character Sherlock Holmes, is speeding his way to San Diego to solve the mystery of this ghost ship.

Why is a deserted ship drifting slowly across the vast ocean without a single crewmember?

Was there a bloody mutiny?

Did they all leap overboard in a fit of mass hysteria?

Is it possible the Mary Celeste is being driven toward San Diego by a crew of ghosts?

If you’d like to help solve this perplexing mystery, please read what is written in the following photograph:

In case you’re curious, that first photo is a public domain image from Wikimedia Commons. I blurred it to make the present day “sighting” just a little more plausible!

According to its Wikimedia page, the old painting shows: Brigantine Amazon entering Marseilles in November 1861. In 1868 she was renamed Mary Celeste. She was found drifting with nobody aboard in November 1872, and is the source of many maritime “ghost ship” legends.

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 standing stones of Nestor!

Mysterious standing stones rise in Nestor, a community located in San Diego’s South Bay. You can find them in a quiet residential area, just north of Nestor Park, on Grove Avenue east of Hollister Street.

Few people ever see this unique public art. Why is it here?

The standing stone sculptures together are titled Plaza Piedras. They were created in 2001 by internationally renowned artist Roberto Salas. Plaza Piedras was commissioned through the City of San Diego Metropolitan Wastewater Department and the Commission for Arts and Culture. The public art was created to enhance the nearby Grove Avenue Pump Station.

Roberto Salas created these large, mysterious stelae to pay tribute to indigenous cultures. According to this website: “Salas chose a variety of monumental forms to evoke associations with ancient sites such as the Pre-Colombian pyramids, mysterious ruins of Stonehenge, and the massive figures of East Island…”

At the bottom of the central sandbox, kids digging down can discover various relief shapes. I poked around the sand with my foot like a lazy archaeologist, without success.

As you can see from my photos, this quiet park-like place sees gang activity and is frequented by the homeless. Vandalism on the standing stones appears to be regularly painted over.

I took these photographs while moving north through Plaza Piedras.

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Unusual sculptures rise above Spanish Village!

Check out these unusual, wildly creative sculptures. They were recently placed on columns near the center of Spanish Village Art Center’s large outdoor patio. I had to stop in my tracks to look up during my Saturday walk through Balboa Park.

These five unique pieces are the work of two artists in the San Diego Sculptors Guild, which is located in Spanish Village. I’ve identified the artists in the next photo caption.

I don’t know if there’s a unifying theme. But this art does makes you look twice, to say the least!

From left to right, the sculptures are: Cupid’s Hammer by Sergey Gornushkin, Pinocchio by Yuriy Akopov, Holy Surf by Sergey Gornushkin, Seal the Deal by Yuriy Akopov, and Gotem by Sergey Gornushkin.

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!

Eerie, mysterious night photos downtown!

The photographs that follow are mysterious. Many are eerie. All were taken at night in downtown San Diego.

About half of these images were captured this evening after nightfall, as I walked from the Gaslamp Quarter toward Cortez Hill. Other photos (such as the one with the moon) have been sitting in my computer for a long time. I was waiting for an appropriate theme.

I must say San Diego has come back to life after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. This evening I saw crowds converging on the San Diego Symphony’s new Shell on the Embarcadero, conventioneers partying and enjoying a sunset view from atop the San Diego Convention Center, and large Friday night crowds walking through and dining in the beautifully lit Gaslamp Quarter.

But even when surrounded by a bright whirl of life, one can find strangeness lurking in the dark…

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!

Hotel San Diego sign at Liberty Station.

If you’ve ever entered Liberty Station by turning down Dewey Road from Rosecrans Street, you might’ve glimpsed a very unusual sight. On the left, beyond some trees, an enormous sign is lying on the ground!

Last weekend I walked down a footpath behind Officer’s Quarters D of the old Naval Training Center San Diego for a better look. Quarters D until recently was the home of SCOUT. It is now home of Banyan Tree Educational Services.

The huge sign lying strangely on the ground once belonged to the Hotel San Diego. For many decades the neon sign was an iconic sight on Broadway in downtown San Diego. The large hotel was demolished in 2006 to make way for a new federal courthouse.

I myself stayed in the hotel a little over twenty years ago, when I moved to San Diego, and I remember seeing this landmark sign on the historic building.

The Hotel San Diego was built in 1914 by John D. Spreckels to accommodate visitors arriving for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. Learn more about it and see historical photos here.

Why is this large, rusting sign now lying on some grass at Liberty Station? It was preserved with the intention of restoring it for display in the garden behind Officer’s Quarters D. Read more about that 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 story about a dream and night walking.

Photo of suns and moons taken from sidewalk.

I’ve published another short story today. It’s a very odd tale that you might enjoy reading.

It’s about moving through the night. Or about dreaming. Or about living. It is definitely about perception.

I’ve titled this strange little work of fiction Night Walking.

And now, having arranged these few words, I will head out my door and go day walking with my camera . . . through a world that often seems a dream . . .

If you’d like read this new story, click here!

Mystery art at the County Administration Building!

I’m sure somebody out there knows the story behind the above art. Even after extensive searches on the internet, it’s a mystery to me!

Two identical artworks are mounted on the north and south side of San Diego’s 1938 County Administration Building. Whenever I walk near the building, I look up at these medallion-like discs and try to figure out what is depicted.

This morning I finally took zoom photos. Now that I can scrutinize the design up close, I’m still baffled. The anchor suggests the design has a maritime theme.

If I had to guess, the art combines a 1930’s era flying boat splashing down on nearby San Diego Bay with the sail of a Chinese junk. The latter type of fishing boat was commonly seen on the bay in the early days of San Diego.

Or I might be completely wrong!

The best source I can find that describes the County Administration Building’s external ornamentation is a San Diego County government publication titled Bridging the Centuries: The Jewel on the Bay. Read it here. Check out page 20. Everything on the building’s exterior is described . . . all except this mystery artwork!

It appears to me this colorful disc might have some sort of mechanical action. Why is there a lever of some type projecting from the sun? Does the plane tilt upward as if taking off?

Please leave a comment if you are knowledgeable. I’m sure many are curious!

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!

Murals at old Western Steel & Metals building.

In the past year or two a bunch of colorful murals have been painted inside and outside the old Western Steel & Metals building in Barrio Logan.

The abandoned building is located off National Avenue, near the corner of 26th Street and Sicard Street. I believe its parking lot has been the location of La Pulga Flea Market. I haven’t gone, so I can’t say for certain. All I know is that during my most recent walk through Barrio Logan I spotted all this artwork and took photos!

There are many different signatures on these murals, and I see they belong to some of San Diego’s most prominent graffiti artists. Whether most of them were spray painted during a particular event, I don’t know.

If you know more about these murals, 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!

La Vida es un Sueño (Life is a Dream) in Barrio Logan!

Life is a dream.

That is the message of a very cool mural I spotted in Barrio Logan at the corner of Logan Avenue and Sampson Street last weekend. The mural appears to be titled La Vida es un Sueño.

I’m not sure who created this rather unusual, dreamy street art. There’s a bit of stylish script near the bottom of the artwork, but whether it’s graffiti or a signature, I can’t tell. The mural seems a bit faded so it might be a few years old.

If you know who the artist is, 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!

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That kinetic sculpture on the Nimitz median.

Whenever I’ve driven down Nimitz Boulevard south of West Point Loma Boulevard I’ve wondered about a kinetic sculpture that rises from the street’s median.

Yesterday morning I headed to Point Loma for a better look.

The shining sculpture, titled Taiji, was created by Encinitas artist Jeffery Laudenslager. Like a silent living thing, the public art moves and changes its shape in even the slightest breeze.

Taiji was placed on the median by the Point Loma Association in 2017. Learn more about the association and their work to beautify Point Loma here.

According to the artist, Taiji is based on the Yin and Yang principle. You might say all of his kinetic pieces display a certain symmetry, considering how perfectly balanced they are.

You can see two more Jeffery Laudenslager pieces that I’ve photographed around San Diego here and here.

(It was early Saturday morning and traffic was extremely light. I was super careful that no cars were coming when I momentarily crossed the usually busy street to take a few photos!)

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!