Intermission comes to downtown San Diego.

Intermission... The curtain will rise again. P.S. Wash your hands.
Intermission… The curtain will rise again. P.S. Wash your hands.

I was safely inside my home all day yesterday. The worldwide coronavirus pandemic continues.

Today the sun came out, so I decided to stretch my legs with an easy outdoor walk, while keeping a careful distance from others. (There was also the small matter of shopping for food.)

At the top of Cortez Hill a few residents were out walking their dogs. They usually moved to one side as others approached.

In the heart of downtown it was much quieter than usual for a Saturday. A few workers were out doing their thing. A handful of restaurants were open and offering carry out food, but many others were closed. Businesses that aren’t considered essential services were all closed.

When I reached the Embarcadero, I was surprised to see a large number of joggers and walkers. I suppose, like me, they needed to feel the warm sunshine on their face. And there’s that need to stretch the legs–that’s what one does during intermission, right?

Broadway in downtown San Diego is exceptionally quiet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Broadway in downtown San Diego is exceptionally quiet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some workers were outside engaged in construction projects.
Some workers were outside engaged in construction projects.
Almost no traffic at the Santa Fe Depot.
Almost no traffic at the Santa Fe Depot.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship is back in its sunny San Diego home. I assume it will be idle until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship is back in its sunny San Diego home. I assume it will be idle until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Like most tourist attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours has closed operations until further notice.
Like most tourist attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours has closed operations until further notice.
No kids were jumping in the Waterfront Park fountains today. For the County of San Diego, protecting public health is a top priority.
No kids were jumping in the Waterfront Park fountains today. For the County of San Diego, protecting public health is a top priority.
I was surprised by the number of walkers and joggers out by the water. Most were a fair distance apart.
I was surprised by the number of walkers and joggers out by the water. Most kept a fair distance apart.
Even though the pavilions by the Broadway Pier were closed, many were enjoying sunshine along San Diego's Embarcadero.
Even though the pavilions by the Broadway Pier were closed, many people were enjoying sunshine along San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Another photo of almost empty Broadway looking east from Harbor Drive.
Another photo of almost empty Broadway looking east from Harbor Drive.
Many who live downtown were outside walking dogs.
Many who live downtown were outside walking dogs.
The San Diego Law Library building is closed. I was lucky to enjoy an inside tour of it last month.
The San Diego Law Library building is closed. I was lucky to enjoy an inside tour of it a couple weeks ago, before the pandemic worsened.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Fire Station 1--The Big House--was very quiet when I walked by. That's a good thing!
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Fire Station 1–The Big House–was very quiet when I walked by. That’s a good thing!
More construction downtown. A huge crane is being erected on B Street.
More construction downtown. The pandemic will end and the city will grow. Small cranes were being used to erect a huge crane on B Street.
Intermission comes to downtown San Diego.
Intermission comes to 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!

San Diego scenes on a pandemic Saturday.

A downtown fast food restaurant has changed its practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A downtown fast food restaurant has changed its practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today is the first Saturday of the announced COVID-19 pandemic.

I thought I’d take a midday walk in San Diego, to see what I might see.

I headed from Cortez Hill up Sixth Avenue on the west side of Balboa Park, turned east on University Avenue in Hillcrest, then headed south down Park Boulevard. I meandered a little through Balboa Park, before returning to downtown San Diego.

I saw less traffic than usual. Fewer people were about. I suppose many are hunkered down, to avoid possible exposure to the coronavirus. I only saw a handful of older people, which is a good thing. They need to be particularly careful.

Balboa Park was much less crowded than usual.

As you can see in some of the upcoming photographs, various parts of the park have temporarily closed for public safety.

Balboa Park's West Mesa was much less active than usual for a Saturday around noontime.
Balboa Park’s West Mesa was much less active than usual for a Saturday around noontime.
The nearby Little Italy Farmer's Market has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and these guys had moved to a secluded spot on the grass near Sixth Avenue, hoping for some business.
The Little Italy Farmer’s Market has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and these vendors had moved to a secluded spot on the grass near Sixth Avenue, hoping for some business.
An older gentleman waits for a bus on University Avenue in Hillcrest.
An older gentleman waits for a bus on University Avenue in Hillcrest.
As I walked over Highway 163, I saw some traffic, but it appeared less than usual for a Saturday.
As I walked over Highway 163, I saw some traffic, but it appeared less than usual for a Saturday.
Some folks were out and about in Hillcrest, walking down the sidewalk or dining outdoors.
Some folks were out and about in Hillcrest, walking down the sidewalk or dining outdoors.
This old Before I Die interactive chalk board might have taken on a little more meaning during the current health pandemic.
This old Before I Die interactive chalk board might have taken on a little more meaning during the current dangerous coronavirus pandemic.
Human thought and endeavor endure in a bookstore window.
Human thought and endeavor endure in a bookstore window.
On a door: Good to meet you. Come in.
On a door: Good to meet you. Come in.
A lone jogger heads south down quiet Park Boulevard.
A lone jogger heads south down quiet Park Boulevard.
A mysterious shoe. A moment in somebody's life.
A mysterious shoe. A moment in somebody’s life.
The parking lot at the San Diego Zoo is much emptier than usual. Many are avoiding public places where there are crowds.
The parking lot at the San Diego Zoo is much emptier than usual. Many are avoiding public places where there are crowds.
The Balboa Park Carousel is shuttered on a Saturday afternoon.
The Balboa Park Carousel is shuttered on a Saturday afternoon.
Closed until the end of March as a proactive safety measure.
Closed until the end of March as a proactive safety measure.
Many artists studios in Balboa Park's Spanish Village were closed. This guy told me it's a good time to do a little maintenance!
Many artist studios in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village were closed. This guy told me it’s a good time to do a little maintenance!
Sign promoting shows in front of the Casa del Prado Theater is empty.
Sign promoting shows in front of the Casa del Prado Theater is empty.
A street performer and his dog on Balboa Park's normally busy El Prado.
A street performer and his dog on Balboa Park’s normally busy El Prado.
Balboa Park was much quieter than usual for a Saturday, but some folks were still out and about enjoying the day.
Balboa Park was much quieter than usual for a Saturday, but some folks were still out and about enjoying the day.
Hand sanitizing stations have popped up around Balboa Park.
Hand sanitizing stations have popped up around Balboa Park.
The House of Scotland at the International Cottages has cancelled its upcoming Tartan Day event.
The House of Scotland at the International Cottages has cancelled its upcoming Tartan Day event.
The parking lot in Balboa Park's Palisades area is almost empty.
The parking lot in Balboa Park’s Palisades area is almost empty.
So is this parking lot on President's Way. Ordinarily it would be full on an early Saturday afternoon.
So is this parking lot on President’s Way. Ordinarily it would be almost full on an early Saturday afternoon.
Almost no traffic on Park Boulevard. Very eerie.
Almost no traffic on Park Boulevard. Very unusual.
The hours of this downtown coffee shop have been changed due to the current situation.
The hours of this downtown coffee shop have been changed due to the current situation.
Almost no traffic downtown on A Street.
Almost no traffic downtown on A Street.

Everyone, take care!

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!

Restoring an iconic mural and 5 Big Moves.

America's Finest City newspaper mural
America’s Finest City newspaper mural.

I learned yesterday during a Pacific Beach mural walk that there are exciting plans to restore San Diego’s most iconic downtown mural!

Artist Kathleen King, co-creator of the America’s Finest City mural in 1989, informed our group that the historic mural’s restoration will be done in conjunction with SANDAG’s San Diego Forward “5 Big Moves” initiative.

As I understand it, the America’s Finest City mural will be a centerpiece for the planned Fifth Avenue trolley station Mobility Hub!

Very cool!

America's Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.
The iconic America’s Finest City mural 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!

Lots of big, exciting news in Balboa Park!

New structures are finally rising on the southwest end of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
New structures are finally rising on the southwest end of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.

The decade is off to an exciting start in Balboa Park! I discovered lots of big news during my afternoon walk!

After years of delay, new structures on the southwest side of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages are finally rising! Three structures on this side and two on the International Cottage’s northeast side will provide future homes for nine nations or cultural units: Mexico, India, Colombia, Lebanon, Palestine, Peru, Panama, Turkey and the Philippines.

If you want to see photos of the big groundbreaking event that took place over three years ago, click here!

A new Community Christmas Tree was recently planted! It replaced the diseased, old, misshapen tree that Balboa Park stopped decorating many years ago.

I learned from a friendly lady who works for the Balboa Park Conservancy that the new tree was planted around Christmas. It will be allowed to grow and become established before being decked with lights and ornaments. Look for it during future Holiday Seasons!

Balboa Park has a healthy new Community Christmas Tree!
Balboa Park has a healthy new Community Christmas Tree!

Here’s an old photo of that misshapen tree, which was finally removed:

Finally, the scaffolding has been removed from the California Tower! The iconic building’s Seismic Retrofitting Project is almost complete!

I was informed by two Museum of Man employees that the tower will reopen to the public on February 15!

The scaffolding is now off the California Tower. It soon will reopen to the public!
The scaffolding is now off the California Tower. It soon will reopen to the public!

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!

Ron Burgundy on the San Diego Trolley!

The Ron Burgundy Podcast.
The Ron Burgundy Podcast.

For many months now Ron Burgundy has been seen around town on the San Diego Trolley. Yesterday morning I happened to spot him!

A trolley wrap that promotes the popular Ron Burgundy podcast features a couple of funny quotes, as you can see!

Everyone knows Ron Burgundy from the classic comedy Anchorman, starring Will Ferrell. And everyone associates Anchorman with San Diego. So why should anyone be surprised to find him on a trolley?

San Diego. I'm here for the good times and because I'm under house arrest.
San Diego. I’m here for the good times and because I’m under house arrest.
The first podcast in America.
The first podcast in America.

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, shops coming to Santa Fe Depot!

Today I learned a very big change is coming to downtown San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Depot!

This morning, after noticing the building’s exterior is getting a new paint job, I spoke to a gentleman outside the Amtrak office and asked if he knew whether the new owner still plans to renovate the building. I was surprised to hear that this year there will indeed be a major renovation of the building, including the opening up of an interior stairwell that will lead to a small new hotel and shops on the depot’s second floor!

I asked if there were plans to develop the depot’s old forecourt by Broadway, where there are tile benches and a broken fountain, and where streetcars picked up passengers arriving by train a century ago, but he knew nothing concerning that.

He and I agreed that it would be a amazing if the large Santa Fe sign atop the historic depot were finally lit up at night, adding more character to San Diego’s skyline. I’d heard a couple years ago during an architectural tour of the Santa Fe Depot that lighting the sign was a project that might lie in the future.

This all was news to me!

Very cool news!

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!

Bayside Performance Park rises on San Diego Bay!

Look what I spotted this afternoon during my walk along San Diego Bay. I was approaching the Marriott Marina when my eyes were surprised by a monumental steel structure rising from Embarcadero Marina Park South.

It’s the enormous stage of the new Bayside Performance Park, now under construction!

This permanent concert venue is an amazing gift from the San Diego Symphony to all of San Diego. How appropriate it appeared in time for Christmas!

As I walked around the construction site on my way to the Embarcadero Marina Park South pier, I spoke to a crew member of the Silvergate, a Coronado ferry that docks nearby, and he informed me the steel structure you see in my photographs went up rapidly four or five days ago.

You can also see a banner on a fence that shows what Bayside Performance Park might look like when completed. The concert stage’s curving shell is not only visually attractive, but it’s designed to provide a high quality acoustic experience.

Bayside Performance Park is due to open in time for the 2020 season of San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights.

I can’t wait to see how it looks (and sounds) when completed!

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!