Beautiful new ocean mural at PB Water Store.

In October many artists came together in Pacific Beach to paint a beautiful new mural on the long north wall of the PB Water Store. The large mural depicts life under the ocean’s surface.

Images include a jellyfish, a mysterious underwater siren, a seahorse beside delicate coral, a grumpy-looking turtle, many hammerhead sharks, several colorful fish, an oyster with pearl, and a couple of crabs. According to names I observed on the wall, the artists involved in this amazing project included Beth Emmerich, Gloria Muriel, Diana DeAugustine, Erin Yoshi, Kara “KJ” Ashley and Justin Pelletier.

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Colorful (and funny) street art in Pacific Beach!

Street mural by artist Amandalynn, painted in 2016 near Mission Boulevard in Pacific Beach.
Street mural by artist Amandalynn, painted in 2016 near Mission Boulevard in Pacific Beach.

On Saturday I walked down Mission Boulevard through both Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. I was blown away by some of the really cool street art that I found. As you’ll see, many of the colorful murals that I spied in Pacific Beach were painted just last year.

This batch of photos represents my walk south along Mission Boulevard, which is a block from the beach, from around Emerald Street to Pacific Beach Drive. In a coming blog post, I’ll share the fun and very unusual art I encountered as I continued south through Mission Beach.

A second photo of the eye-catching art, which shows beautiful ladies in a colorful underwater scene.
A second photo of the eye-catching mural by Amandalynn, which shows beautiful ladies in a colorful underwater scene.
The Pacific Beach Mermaid hangs out on a colorful wall. Art by Jared Blake Lazar a.k.a Jared Black Lazer.
The Pacific Beach Mermaid hangs out on a rock painted on a wall. Art by Jared Blake Lazar a.k.a Jared Black Lazer.
A humorous sign on the sidewalk. Head into this barber shop and come out a completely different person!
A humorous sign on the sidewalk. Head into this barber shop and come out a completely different person!

I don’t know if some critics would classify the above as art–but it was undeniably funny!

Street art on a utility box. The curl of this coffee's steam resembles the surf beyond the sand.
Street art on a utility box. The curl of this coffee’s steam resembles the surf beyond the sand.
Bunny Kitty carries a cigarette butt away as a fierce sea monster emerges from the deep. Pacific Beach art created in 2016 by Dave Persue for PangeaSeed.
Bunny Kitty carries a cigarette butt away as a fierce sea monster emerges from the deep. Pacific Beach art created in 2016 by Dave Persue for PangeaSeed.
A cool mural near The Local Pacific Beach, painted in 2016 by artists Sean Dietrich and Kai Martin. A blonde on roller skates, the PB boardwalk, beach, and a very strange car.
A cool mural near The Local Pacific Beach restaurant and bar, painted in 2016 by artists Sean Dietrich and Kai Martin. A blonde on roller skates, the PB boardwalk, surfboards, and a rather unusual car.
A very funny utility box. This side shows a woman at the beach covering the eyes of a small boy.
A very funny utility box. This side shows a woman at the beach covering the eyes of a small boy.
The next side shows Pacific Beach tourists who have spotted something that is both interesting and alarming.
Another side shows Pacific Beach tourists who have spotted something that is both interesting and alarming.
100 years of skating talent between us, but...
100 years of skating talent between us, but…
...nobody notices!
…nobody notices!
A friendly purple mermaid watches people driving down Mission Boulevard.
Another utility box is covered with mermaids.  This friendly purple mermaid watches humans driving down Mission Boulevard.
Another mermaid on the same box.
Another long-haired mermaid on the same box.
And a third happy mermaid!
And a third happy mermaid!
Two ladies walking along the edge of a parking lot toward the nearby beach. They pass someone snoozing in a hammock strung between palm trees.
Two ladies walking along the edge of a parking lot toward the nearby beach. They pass someone snoozing in a hammock strung between palm trees.
Street art on storage doors shows a surfer climbing toward a lifeguard tower at sunset.
Street art on doors shows a surfer climbing toward a lifeguard tower at sunset.
One final close look at the gorgeous art painted by muralist Amandalynn in Pacific Beach.
One additional look at the gorgeous art painted in 2016 by muralist Amandalynn in Pacific Beach.

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Volunteer to help restore San Diego wetlands!

Volunteers needed! Volunteer work parties take place from 9am-12pm at the Kendall-Frost Marsh. Please wear long pants and sun or rain protection. Bring your favorite work boots or gloves, or we can provide these to you.
Volunteers needed! Volunteer work parties take place from 9am-12pm at the Kendall-Frost Marsh. Please wear long pants and sun or rain protection. Bring your favorite work boots or gloves, or we can provide these to you.

Yesterday I was privileged to watch citizens in San Diego teaming up to improve our environment. During the Love Your Wetlands Day event, a group of concerned people gathered together to help clean and restore the beautiful Kendall-Frost Marsh in Mission Bay.

Do you live in San Diego? Do you enjoy nature and being outdoors? Do you love seeing and protecting wildlife and birds? Do you have a bit of free time? Would you like to personally make a very big difference in this world?

Volunteers are needed to help restore San Diego wetlands! Spread the word! Find out more by contacting the San Diego Audubon Society from this page of their website! Or check out more info by clicking the above photo.

Volunteers help to restore wetlands in Mission Bay. Do you live in Pacific Beach or in San Diego. With a little elbow grease, you can make a big difference!
Volunteers help to restore wetlands in Mission Bay. Do you live in Pacific Beach or in greater San Diego? With a little elbow grease, you can actually make a big difference!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to make the world a better place? Please join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Photos of Love Your Wetlands Day in Mission Bay.

Love Your Wetlands Day took place in Pacific Beach at north Mission Bay's small Kendall-Frost Marsh.
Love Your Wetlands Day took place in Pacific Beach at north Mission Bay’s small Kendall-Frost Marsh.

Late this morning I headed up to Pacific Beach to experience Love Your Wetlands Day. The annual event provides a once-a-year opportunity for the public to visit the protected Kendall-Frost Marsh, which lies in the north part of Mission Bay.

I was really impressed by the efforts underway by the San Diego Audubon Society and the UC Natural Reserve System to restore this wetland, and by all the people who showed up for the event. Hopefully my blog will help raise awareness about this very important project.

I definitely learned a lot! Please read the photo captions . . .

The Kendall-Frost Marsh is being restored into a healthy wetland by the San Diego Audubon Society and the UC Natural Reserve System with the help of volunteers.
The Kendall-Frost Marsh is being restored into a healthy wetland by the San Diego Audubon Society and the UC Natural Reserve System with the help of volunteers.
The slough is a prime location for birdlife. Many different birds can be spotted in this protected wildlife refuge, which is usually off-limits to the public.
The slough is a prime location for birdlife. Many different birds can be spotted in this protected wildlife refuge, which is usually off-limits to the public.
Photos of bird sightings on the surrounding fence.
Photos of bird sightings on the surrounding fence.
I arrived a bit early to the event, and watched from the nearby street as last-minute preparations took place.
I arrived a bit early to the event, and watched from the nearby street as last-minute preparations took place.
A sign welcomes visitors to Love Your Wetlands Day. Lots of activities included bird watching, a water quality test demo, and a marsh clean-up.
A sign welcomes visitors to Love Your Wetlands Day. Lots of activities included bird watching, a water quality testing demo, and a marsh clean-up.
People sign in to the event. A few lucky attendees won raffle prizes!
People sign in to the event. A few lucky attendees won raffle prizes!
The San Diego Audubon Society had a table at the event.
The San Diego Audubon Society had a table at the special outdoor event.
Information at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program display shows the marsh boundaries and restoration efforts.
Information at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program exhibit shows the marsh boundaries and restoration efforts.
This super cool volunteer at a fun kids activity table gave me the thumbs up!
This super cool volunteer at a fun kids activity table gave me the thumbs up!
A nearby area where native vegetation is being carefully restored.
A nearby area where native vegetation is being carefully restored.
These plants will eventually call the marsh home.
These plants will eventually be transplanted into the marsh.
A look across the marsh southward, toward the greater part of Mission Bay, a large urban recreational park in San Diego.
A look across the marsh southward, toward the greater part of Mission Bay, a large urban recreational park in San Diego.
As the event gets underway, many more people arrive.
As the event gets underway, many energetic people arrive.
Fun nature mural on side of the Kendall-Frost Reserve Trailer in Pacific Beach!
Fun nature mural on side of the Kendall-Frost Reserve Trailer in Pacific Beach!
Many photos around the exterior of the trailer show insects, flowers, birds and other wildlife that make the marsh their home.
Many photos around the exterior of the trailer show insects, flowers, birds and other wildlife that make the marsh their home.
A row of waterproof boots await volunteers.
A row of waterproof boots awaits volunteers.
Putting on some boots before heading out into the muddy, mucky marsh!
Putting on some boots before heading out into the muddy, mucky marsh!
Tools that are used to remove trash from the environmentally sensitive marshland.
Tools that are used to remove trash from the environmentally sensitive marshland.
An art project for kids involved creatively decorating stones!
A fun art project for kids involved creatively decorating stones!
Speaker describes how the ReWild project of the San Diego Audubon Society is working to restore important wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay.
Speaker describes how the ReWild project of the San Diego Audubon Society is working to restore important wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay.
A chart at one table shows types of pollutants found on the beaches of San Diego.
A chart at one table shows types of pollutants found on the beaches of San Diego.
Water quality tests include monitoring pH, temperature, oxygen content and turbidity.
Water quality tests include monitoring pH, temperature, oxygen content and turbidity.
Folks are heading every which way, learning about the marsh and setting about to help restore it!
Folks are heading every which way, learning about the marsh and setting about to help restore it!
Walking over to collect a water sample. The Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve habitats include coastal sage scrub, south coastal salt marsh, tidal channels, salt flats and mudflats.
Walking over to collect a water sample. The Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve habitats include coastal sage scrub, south coastal salt marsh, tidal channels, salt flats and mudflats.
Water from a storm drain is collected by volunteers for testing.
Water from a storm drain is collected by volunteers for testing.
After putting on boots and grabbing buckets, a gang of volunteers is out in the marsh seeing it up close and removing unwanted debris.
After putting on boots and grabbing buckets, a gang of volunteers is out in the marsh seeing it up close and removing unwanted debris.
Netting is laid down by more volunteers to help prevent erosion during rain.
Netting is laid down by more volunteers to help prevent erosion during rain. A big storm is coming tomorrow!
Love Your Wetlands Day was a great opportunity for the public to help preserve and enhance the Kendall-Frost Marsh!
Love Your Wetlands Day was a great opportunity for the public to help preserve and enhance the Kendall-Frost Marsh!

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Pacific Beach boardwalk down to Mission Beach.

Beginning my walk south from Crystal Pier along boardwalk.
Beginning my walk south from Crystal Pier along the boardwalk.

Now please walk with me as I head south down the Pacific Beach boardwalk. We’re starting at Crystal Pier and going all the way to Hamel’s down in Mission Beach. It’s one of the most amazing walks (or bike rides) in all of the world!

Cool octopus art made of tile, stones and shells.
Cool octopus art made of tile, stones and shells.

This bit of artwork was next to the walkway right by the pier.

Folks head toward a shark and big ice cream cone!
Folks head toward a hungry shark and big ice cream cone!
Youth hostel by Pacific Beach boardwalk has sunny mural.
Youth hostel by Pacific Beach boardwalk has a sunny mural.
A small backyard is paradise on the beach!
A small backyard is paradise on the beach!
Colorful surfboards by beach contain happy messages.
Colorful surfboards by beach contain happy messages.
Fish tacos are a San Diego specialty!
Fish tacos are a San Diego specialty!
Shells and boogie boards line the boardwalk for passing tourists.
Shells and boogie boards line the boardwalk for passing tourists.
Just a sample of what you'd see while walking along the beach.
Just a sample of what you’d see while walking along the beach.
Looking out toward the blue Pacific Ocean.
Looking out toward umbrellas and the blue Pacific Ocean.
Several camps on the sand teach people to surf.
Several camps on the sand teach people to surf.
Kids learning to surf file along carrying surfboards.
Kids learning to surf file along carrying surfboards.
People chat as a lifeguard watches the beach from a tower.
People chat as a lifeguard watches the beach from a tower.
Colorful beach toys left on the concrete sea wall.
Colorful beach toys left forgotten on the concrete sea wall.
Beautiful and unusual homes line the boardwalk.
Beautiful and unusual houses line the boardwalk.
The Surf Rider building includes a huge surfboard!
The Surf Rider building includes a huge surfboard!
Bicycles are a very popular mode of transportation.
Bicycles are a very popular mode of transportation.
I reached the Hamel's castle surf shop in Mission Beach!
I reached the Hamel’s castle surf shop in Mission Beach!
Lady looks through a high stack of surfboards.
Lady looks through a high stack of surfboards.
Cool mural in alley shows a roller coaster.
Cool mural in alley shows a roller coaster.

This mural in the alley behind Hamel’s shows a roller coaster. Is there a roller coaster nearby in Mission Beach? Yes, indeed! We’ll visit Belmont Park in my next blog post!

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Walking out on Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.

Archway of Crystal Pier Hotel and Cottages at end of Garnet Avenue.
Archway of Crystal Pier Hotel and Cottages at end of Garnet Avenue.

Many years ago (decades actually), I used to occasionally go fishing from Crystal Pier. It’s located in Pacific Beach, at the west end of Garnet Avenue, which I strolled along in my last blog post.

While it isn’t a very long pier, it’s definitely one hundred percent cool. One reason is because fishing from Crystal Pier is both free and amazingly productive. While I never seemed to catch anything but mackerel, I remember seeing nice catches of bonito, rock fish, sea bass, barracuda, guitar fish, sharks and even halibut! (One nice thing about pier fishing in San Diego is you legally don’t need a fishing license.)

Why else is this pier super cool? Because there are small cottages built right on it! The historic Crystal Pier Hotel and Cottages was built in 1930. Once known as Pickering’s Pleasure Pier, for a short time the privately owned pier featured a Crystal Ballroom and carnival midway out at its end!

If I were a tourist visiting San Diego, I’d absolutely want to stay here. At night the pier is closed to the public, and you can lie in bed listening to the ocean waves below. During the day you have easy access to the famous Pacific Beach boardwalk, which I’ll show you in my next blog post!

One of the small, quaint cottages actually on the pier!
One of the small, quaint cottages actually on the pier!
Looking along the short pier past fishermen and visitors.
Looking along the short pier past fishermen and visitors.
Turning back eastward toward the cottages.
Turning back eastward toward the cottages.
Surfers below Crystal Pier floating and waiting on their surfboards.
Surfers below Crystal Pier floating and waiting on their surfboards.
This surfer caught a good ride on a nice wave.
This surfer caught a good ride on a nice wave.
This pic shows fishing, surfing and the beach.
This pic shows fishing, surfing and the beach.
Leaving Crystal Pier, to walk down the Pacific Beach boardwalk.
Leaving Crystal Pier, to walk down the Pacific Beach boardwalk.

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Cool urban art on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach.

Cool art on a music store window on Garnet Avenue.
Cool art on a music store window on Garnet Avenue.

Yesterday I went for a very long walk through Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, two extremely popular beach destinations just a few miles north of downtown San Diego.

I began by walking west along Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, from around Ingraham Street all the way to the beautiful and historic Crystal Pier. This stretch contains more bars, tattoo parlors, smoke shops and swimwear stores than just about anywhere else in Southern California. It’s a young, hip, beachy sort of place, that’s mostly laid back and unpretentious. You’ll see bikinis and skateboarders and tourists and families and surfboards atop cars and under arms just about everywhere you go.

You’ll also see a lot of very cool urban art: on walls, on windows, on rooftops, in alleys…all over the place! Here are some random pics I took as I walked westward in the sunshine…

Aloha Spirit mural on side of Pacific Beach building.
Aloha Spirit mural on side of Pacific Beach building.
Surfers are a major theme in this popular beach city.
Surfers and the ocean are major themes in this popular beach community.
Mural shows lifeguard climbing a tower among palms.
Mural shows lifeguard climbing a tower among palms.
Street art between two buildings on Garnet Avenue.
Funky street art between two buildings on Garnet Avenue.
Pacific Beach public art features a large seagull.
Pacific Beach public art features a large seagull.
Street art in an alley behind a tattoo parlor.
Street art in an alley behind a tattoo parlor.
Hubcaps and tiles add flavor to a colorful local eatery.
Hubcaps and tiles add flavor to a colorful local eatery.
Another tattoo parlor embellished with urban art.
Another tattoo parlor embellished with bold swirls of urban art.
Photo mural on one wall shows old Crystal Pier and Garnet Avenue.
Photo mural on a wall shows old Crystal Pier at west end of Garnet Avenue.
Sunny Pacific Beach has a sunny utility box.
Sunny Pacific Beach has a sunny utility box.
Images of surfers and beach scenes are everywhere.
Images of surfers and beach scenes are everywhere.

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