Tin Man recalls history in North Park!

Visitors to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park might notice a large tin man standing atop stairs in the museum’s atrium. A sign at the bottom of the stairs explains how the nearly 11 feet tall metal sculpture was once a well known landmark in North Park.

Created in 1941, “Tin Man” was originally unpainted and held an oil can instead of a wrench. Representing the Tin Woodsman character from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Tin Man was to be a feature of the North Park Toyland Parade. But the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor five days before the parade cancelled the event.

Tin Man subsequently was acquired by Sabol Service at University Avenue and Bancroft Street and for several decades, now holding a wrench, he towered above the automobile repair business. In 1976 he was moved to 35th Street and University Avenue, where, painted as he appears today, he greeted the customers of Vinal’s Auto Repair on the service station island.

As you can see, I took these photographs during the holiday season. Tin Man silently stood overlooking a large, very beautiful poinsettia Christmas tree–the first such tree to decorate the San Diego History Center.

And so our city’s history continues right along, the past meeting the present.

Perhaps you’re old enough to remember seeing Tin Man in North Park. After moving through the San Diego History Center, you will carry both old and new memories into your future.

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Amazing mural at Verbatim Books in North Park!

Ready to have your mind blown?

A positively amazing mural was painted a year ago in North Park on the side of Verbatim Books. You have to see it to believe it!

The subject matter of this huge mural is books, of course. And famous authors, and classic characters, and timeless stories! (Not to mention dinosaurs, Balboa Park, and the North Park water tower!)

The artist who painted this fantastic 90-foot mural is Armando Hernandez (@elizarraras_art). I met him very briefly last year at the North Park Book Fair. I posted a photo of his Edgar Allan Poe with The Tell-Tale Heart here!

The mural at Verbatim Books is so brilliant and surprising and so alive with colorful detail, it’s like a colossal outdoor bookshelf demanding to be explored!

After filling your eyes, you’ll yearn to enter the secondhand and antiquarian bookstore!

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!

Giant squid attacks flying saucers in North Park!

A giant space squid has attacked several flying saucers on a street in North Park!

Don’t believe me? I offer evidence!

It seems every time I walk around North Park I see some new street art. I saw these newly painted electrical boxes on 30th Street south of University Avenue and I absolutely had to take photos.

Sometimes street art can seem a bit tired, presenting identical styles or themes.

At other times street art can be wildly different and imaginative! Like this!

I see the rampaging space squid emerged from the mind of @DuderDesigns. It was finished a couple of weeks ago!

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!

Strange new bowling alley in North Park!

There’s a strange new bowling alley in North Park. It’s located at University Avenue and Grim Avenue.

Step into this outdoor “bowling alley” and you’ll find balls that don’t roll and pins that cannot be knocked down. And a large face regarding you from behind sunglasses.

The alley mural, whose plaid-like patterns contain bowling imagery (and a guy with enormous scissors), appeared last month. It was created by @theanimalswitharms.

I wonder: do those animals with arms prefer ninepin or tenpin?

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!

Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison in North Park!

What in the world are Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison doing in North Park?

They’re decorating the exterior of the very unique San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s Substation F!

I happened to look up and see the two historical figures as I walked along the El Cajon Boulevard sidewalk just east of Iowa Street.

These gentleman made groundbreaking discoveries and inventions that remain important in our electricity dependent world. Both esteemed men, in North Park, are busts made of cast stone!

Learn more about SDG&E’s beautifully restored Station F, originally built in 1926, at this web page.

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That huge wall of flowers in North Park!

Have you seen that huge wall of colorful flowers in North Park?

I glimpsed the artwork in passing a few days ago, so this morning I got a better look!

The mural, by Hanna of @HannasMurals, was painted last year on the parking lot wall at Dave’s Flower Box. It’s hard to miss these gigantic blooms near the intersection of Texas Street and El Cajon Boulevard.

Check it out!

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!

Public musical instruments in North Park!

Want to make some music? Head to North Park’s newly opened mini park located south of University Avenue behind the Observatory Theater!

The North Park Mini Park had its grand opening last weekend. It was all over the San Diego news. I hadn’t walked around that neighborhood in a long while, so yesterday morning I decided to check things out.

Look what I found!

The North Park Mini Park is not only a fine new community gathering place, but it’s full of musical instruments that people can freely play!

I saw xylophones and chimes and drums and a sign explaining the many health benefits of playing percussion instruments. (Perhaps it’s just plain fun, too.)

Young and old alike can reach out their hands at any time to create music.

How cool is this?

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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Holiday Bazaar helps refugees, immigrant owned business!

A very cool San Diego holiday event is coming up this Saturday in North Park!

A Holiday Bazaar will be held December 4, 2021 from 10 am to 1 pm at the urban farm at 3745 30th Street. Look for the outdoor space just north of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. According to the event website, you’ll be able to shop from “local refugee and immigrant owned business, explore global street food, and listen to live music.”

I came upon this urban farm four years ago and described my experience here. As you can see in the above photo, I met friendly refugee students whose new home was San Diego. They were gaining confidence and learning job skills!

The 3rd Annual Holiday Bazaar is put on by MAKE Projects and International Rescue Committee’s Small Business Development Center.

Why not swing by and find some unique Christmas gifts? Vendors will be selling clothing, art, crafts, jewelry and much more!

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!

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!