Two unusual water towers in North Park!

Strange to say, but one of the most iconic landmarks in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood is a gigantic water tower.

Even stranger, should you wander around North Park, you’ll discover not one water tower, but two! The one is absolutely enormous, but the other is much smaller–and in fact isn’t a genuine water tower at all!

I took photos of the mini-water tower several weeks back. Drivers coming down Interstate 805 might glimpse it by looking up as they pass north of El Cajon Boulevard. It’s located at the intersection of Meade Avenue and Boundary Street.

The smaller tower is actually an AT&T cell tower that was erected several years ago. North Park signs on the disguised antenna greet alert travelers coming in either direction down the freeway. I was surprised to find a small, somewhat neglected garden beside the unique cell tower.

The genuine, gigantic, historic North Park Water Tower is over 140 feet tall. It stands near North Park Community Park just south of El Cajon Boulevard and was built in 1924.

According to this article, there were claims that it was “largest elevated tank in the world” when constructed, and held more than one million gallons of water but now is decommissioned and empty since the 1990s.

Today the tall North Park Water Tower is an iconic landmark that can be seen from many city blocks in every direction. Its unique design and historical importance has been recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Cool barber shop mural in North Park!

Check out this cool new mural on the side of Matte Blvck Cuts & Shaves in North Park!

It was painted in 2021 by artist Clarione Gutierrez-Owens. He is also a live speed-painter who has performed at Downtown Disney, the San Diego Zoo, Legoland. Here’s his website.

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!

Smiles and creativity at North Park Book Fair!

The first annual (hopefully) North Park Book Fair was held today!

Book lovers, authors, poets, artists, and everyone and anyone who loves reading, writing and creativity showed up for the two block long festival!

As you can see from the upcoming photos, North Park Way between 29th Street and Ray Street was absolutely alive!

At first I just wandered past the booths, trying to absorb it all, amazed by everything that I saw. Then I figured I’d blog about the event and began to record smiles!

Read the photo captions to learn more about what I discovered…

Not only was there live painting, local authors and small presses, but one could enjoy poetry readings, storytelling for kids, and perusing thousands of books for sale! And food, too!
When I reported the street was packed, I wasn’t kidding!
A friendly North Park Main Street volunteer smiles for a pic. Thanks for the great event!
The San Diego Public Library had tables full of used books for sale.
Friends of the San Diego Public Library smile! I’ve purchased oodles of used books at the Central Library over the years.
I almost bought this book about San Diego. I have too much to read, already.
Kids could draw fun comic panels at the Little Fish Comic Book Studio booth.
Keithan Jones of KID Comics smiles. Look at all the cool independent comic book art he created!
He did this great Wonder Woman sketch!
I listened for a while as poets presented their words to the gathered crowd.
Live poetry at the North Park Book Fair! This animated poet received big applause!
A smile from an Accidental Aliens writer!
Smiles from two Accidental Aliens artists!
Beatrice Zamora wrote award-winning children’s book The Spirit of Chicano Park. She’ll be dancing at the big Danza event at Chicano Park tomorrow!
Book, books, books everywhere!
Armando Elizarraras created some very cool artwork based on portraits of famous authors. Check out his tattooed Edgar Allan Poe with The Tell-Tale Heart!
MORE. LESS. etc. Three sequential books by artist, author and poet Ted Washington! Can poems include mathematical formulas?
The folks of Write Out Loud were at the North Park Book Fair, presenting this fun, fishy Kamishibai street theatre story!
Book fair goers could indicate with chalk the place where they most like to read…
In bed, on the toilet, by the pool, at the beach, with a cat . . . or anyplace!
The smile of superhero creator @boypoetic!
Tamra L. Dempsey took photographs for the beautiful book A Journey Through Literary America! It includes literary passages by famous authors.
One smile and one semi-smile. It’s all good. Keep on creating!
Cynthia Diamond wrote all these Wyrd Love books. I remembered seeing her years ago at a big Liberty Station book event!
Douglas W. Mengers wrote a book about San Diego Trolleys. I learned some interesting history when we chatted.
This book contains lots of old images of rail transportation in San Diego.
Lots to see and do at the North Park Book Fair!

Cool graffiti murals at the Sunset Temple.

The now shut and boarded Sunset Temple, a wedding, concert and private event venue in North Park at the corner of University Avenue and Kansas Street, has been decorated during the COVID-19 pandemic by street artists with a whole bunch of cool graffiti murals.

I took photographs of the very colorful urban art last weekend!

If you look at the Sunset Temple sign, you’ll notice this historic building was previously the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Sunset Lodge #328. The Odd Fellows is an organization that seeks to help make the world a better place with Friendship, Love and Truth. That explains the F-L-T part of the old sign.

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!

Dogs eat tacos in North Park!

A pack of hungry dogs on a North Park sidewalk have been observed eating tacos!

The multi-colored, taco-eating dogs always gather at the front door of City Tacos. Because that’s where the yummy tacos originate.

One notorious dog, believed to be the leader of the pack, wears a top hat!

The following photographs were taken at the entrance of City Tacos. They show pooch pandemonium!

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!

One crazy cool North Park mural!

Check out this crazy cool North Park mural! It’s spray painted in the same alley as the Greetings from San Diego “postcard” mural that I blogged about four years ago here.

I see in the corner of this super colorful street art that it was created by @aangeltearz, @esc4Per0ute and @elsiethecowww!

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 public sculpture in North Park.

I walk past this sculpture at the corner of University Avenue and Bancroft Street every so often, and when I do I always search for a plaque or other indication of when it was created and by whom. To me it’s a complete mystery.

For many years this flame-like sculpture with patterned tiles at its base has welcomed people driving west into North Park from City Heights. I have no doubt someone out there knows its story–but I sure don’t!

If you know anything, I’d be very curious to read your 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!

Cat Cult mural in North Park!

I’m not sure when the Cat Cult mural was painted in North Park, but it’s been on a parking lot wall off Ohio Street just north of University Avenue since at least 2013. The colors have faded and in places the paint has peeled away.

As far as I can determine, this cool mural is the creation of widely known artists Surge and Persue–I do recognize the latter’s Bunny Kitty character. I’ve also read Cat Cult is a graffiti/street art collective that operates primarily in Los Angeles.

Whatever it’s exact history might be, this mural is definitely awesome!

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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A teddy bear and a broken heart.

I saw this on Sunday. Valentine’s Day.

I was walking past a bus stop in North Park when my attention was arrested by a large teddy bear. The bear was sitting alone at the end of the bench. I looked around. Absolutely nobody was nearby.

I had to pause to take in this strange sight. Then it occurred to me: either this cute, very loveable teddy bear had been accidentally left behind, or it had been left there intentionally.

Either scenario meant heartbreak.

It’s one small story in the city that you and I will never know.

What made my discovery really weird–almost eerie–is that for weeks I had been working on a short story concerning a similar teddy bear on the streets of a city.

Even though the story is very short, it had persistently troubled me. I knew it had potential. But I couldn’t seem to get it right.

Seeing that mysterious bear inspired me to work on the story with renewed purpose.

I published The Teddy Bear yesterday. Since then I’ve made a number of changes. But I think it might be finished. It remains painful. Like many of my little stories it has a surprise ending.

If you’d like, you can read it here.

San Diego history in Rudford’s mural.

A moment in San Diego history is captured in a photographic mural outside Rudford’s Restaurant in North Park.

The exterior of this popular all-American diner, which first opened in 1949, appears today much as it did back in 1963. The mural recalls how on June 6th of that year, President John F. Kennedy passed the restaurant as a crowd looked on.

A description of the event in a corner of the photo mural explains: “In a visit to San Diego…the president traveled down El Cajon Boulevard on his way to San Diego State College where he gave the commence address… This is an actual photo of the motorcade taken by local teenager James Daigh as it passed Rudford’s Restaurant on that Thursday morning…”

Rudford’s Restaurant remains just as popular as ever. The retro diner is open 24 hours a day and treats its customers with home-style cooking and nostalgic decor!

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!