The Long-Waterman House on Bankers Hill.

The grand Long-Waterman House on Bankers Hill.
The gorgeous Long-Waterman House on Bankers Hill.

Bankers Hill is dotted with a variety of grand historic mansions. One of the most opulent–and one of my favorites–is the Long-Waterman House. It stands directly across the street from the barn-like Farm House that I photographed for an earlier blog post.

The Long-Waterman House was built in 1889 by famed architect D. B. Benson and is a superb example of the American Queen Anne style. The first owner was John Long, who headed the Coronado Fruit Package Company.  He also owned a business which imported exotic woods and manufactured hardwood veneer.  As you might expect, the interior of this house, which I’ve been fortunate to briefly see, is absolutely filled with warm, beautiful woodwork.

In 1891 the mansion was purchased by Robert Whitney Waterman, who’d just finished a term as Governor of California.  He died only a few months later.

Plaque in front yard of 1889 Long-Waterman mansion.
Plaque in front yard of 1889 Long-Waterman mansion.
Delightful architecture on Bankers Hill.
Delightful architecture on Bankers Hill.

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Surfers ride waves near Imperial Beach pier.

Surfer rides a wave just below the Imperial Beach pier.
Surfer rides a wave just below the Imperial Beach pier.

Wow! Check out this first cool pic! Did that come out great, or what?

I’m in the middle of my week off from work, and today I went to Coronado again and biked down the Silver Strand to Imperial Beach. I’ve got more photos than you can shake a stick at!

What a beautiful day. I stood on the pier at a spot between the beach and breaking waves and tried to photograph a group of surfers below. Most of action was too far away for my little camera, but a few pics seem worth sharing…

Surfers wait for the perfect wave near Imperial Beach pier.
Surfers wait for the perfect wave near Imperial Beach pier.
Surfer gets ready to go for a ride.
Surfer gets ready to go for a ride.
Surfer riding a nice wave on a sunny day.
Surfer riding a nice wave on a sunny day.
Guy on surfboard just coasting along the foamy ocean surface.
Guy on surfboard just coasting along the foamy ocean surface.
No fishing in the surf zone on Imperial Beach pier.
No fishing in the surf zone on Imperial Beach pier.

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MOOPA ArtWall mural in San Diego’s East Village.

Part of Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art's mural on F Street.
Part of Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art’s mural on F Street.

On F Street, one block west of SMARTS farm (see my last blog post), San Diegans can enjoy a huge public mural. Created by the Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art (MOOPA), the photo ArtWall covers the upper portion of the old Jerome’s Warehouse between 14th and 15th Street.

The mural features the work of three photographers. Matt Black’s photos feature a village in the Mixteca, an impoverished area in Mexico. Susan Madden Lankford’s photos show the streets of San Diego and contain many diverse portraits. A simple photo of a cone flower in the center of the mural, linking north and south, is the work of Polly Lankford Smith.

Face peers over treetops from large MOOPA ArtWall.
Face peers over treetops from large MOOPA ArtWall.
Segment of gigantic mural in downtown San Diego.
Segment of gigantic mural in downtown San Diego.
Walking along the rails on wall of abandoned warehouse.
Walking along the rails on the upper wall of an old warehouse.
Photography records face in time in San Diego.
Amazing photography records a face in time.
Another example of art in downtown's East Village.
Another example of art in downtown’s vibrant East Village.
Old Jerome's warehouse on F Street features the huge mural.
Old Jerome’s warehouse on F Street features the huge mural.
Public art includes farm workers on the empty city warehouse.
Public art in San Diego’s East Village  includes farm workers.
Photo of child in a mask is part of MOOPA mural.
Photo of child in a mask is part of MOOPA mural.
Playing a tuba on F Street between 14th and 15th.
Playing a tuba on F Street between 14th and 15th.
Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art's ArtWall is in East Village.
Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art’s ArtWall is a very cool sight.
East side of old Jerome's warehouse across from SMART farms.
East side of old Jerome’s warehouse across from SMART farms.

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Kaleidoscope and a revolving bowl of flowers.

Interesting contraption in a nook at Spanish Village.
Interesting contraption in a nook at artsy Spanish Village.

In a nook of Balboa Park’s Spanish Village, right next to the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building, you’ll find this interesting contraption. Is it an antique device once used to navigate a ship? Is it a microscope? What is it?

It’s a kaleidoscope mounted above a revolving bowl of flowers! Instead of turning the kaleidoscope tube, you whirl the bowl of blooms and watch different colorful patterns form through the lens. Several mirrors in the tube create the complex symmetry.

Once I figured out what the contraption was, I tried putting my camera right up to the eyepiece. I got a bunch of interesting photos!

A kaleidoscope aimed at turning bowl of flowers.
A kaleidoscope aimed at turning bowl of flowers.
Mirrors of kaleidoscope turn flower blooms into art.
Mirrors of kaleidoscope turn flower blooms into art.
Revolving the bowl turns flowers and leaves into amazing patterns.
Revolving the bowl turns flowers and leaves into amazing patterns.
Infinite beauty created via the reflection of light.
Infinite beauty created via the reflection of light.

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Morning interplay of light and shadow.

Back of stop sign flashes silver in the morning sunlight.
Back of stop sign flashes silver in the morning sunlight.

Early yesterday morning I walked west down Cedar to catch the trolley in Little Italy. The sun had just risen above the horizon and its rays were slanting through the cityscape almost horizontally. Metal surfaces were shining and shadows were still deep. It made for some very interesting photos!

Slanting sunshine on building highlights layered geometry.
Slanting sunshine on building highlights layered geometry.
Light and shadow angled and entangled.
Light and shadow angled and entangled.
Shadows on wall cast by tree and street light.
Shadows on wall cast by tree and street light.
Early sunlight begins to penetrate dark places.
Early sunlight begins to penetrate dark places.

Early morning light on buildings and water.

Lone rower on San Diego Bay in golden morning light.
Lone rower on San Diego Bay in golden morning light.

I went for a walk bright and early yesterday morning. I got a few photographs of downtown San Diego along the waterfront.

The bay was quiet and very smooth. A lone rower was out slowing gliding across the water. The sun had just begun to rise in the cloudless sky behind shining skyscrapers…

Anthony Fishette's boat dock on a tranquil San Diego Bay.
Anthony Fish Grotto’s boat dock on a tranquil San Diego Bay.
Sunrise touches downtown San Diego skyscrapers with light.
Sunrise touches downtown San Diego skyscrapers with light.
An early morning look down Broadway in San Diego.
An early morning look down Broadway in 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!

The fall of one downtown San Diego building.

A big pile of rubble in downtown San Diego.
A big pile of rubble in downtown San Diego.

The scene downtown is constantly fascinating. The kaleidoscope of colors, thousands of people on the move, the crazy, seemingly random whirl of activity…

Over the years, the buildings themselves participate in this dance of life. New structures rise into the shining skyline like spring flowers, and old, crumbling derelicts are torn down to make way.

The time-worn Brake Depot is being torn down. Once the pride of the block, it’s being swept away to make room for new development. Here are some photographs:

The now empty remains of Brake Depot on B Street.
The now empty remains of Brake Depot on B Street.
Instruments of urban destruction sit idle.
Instruments of urban destruction sit idle.
Glass skyscraper shines behind a sadly destroyed wreck.
Glass skyscraper shines behind a sadly destroyed wreck.
A big hole in one wall of the former Brake Depot.
A big hole in one wall of the former Brake Depot.

UPDATE!

Brake Depot is long gone. But look what’s rising in late 2015!

A new downtown San Diego project, called Blue Sky, is rising where Brake Depot used to be. Blue Sky will be downtown's largest apartment building, with 939 units!
A new downtown San Diego project, called Blue Sky, is rising where Brake Depot used to be. Blue Sky will be downtown’s largest apartment building, with 939 units!
Blue Sky's two towers will be located on B Street between Symphony Towers and Vantage Pointe (in the background), which is currently San Diego's largest apartment complex.
Blue Sky’s two towers will be located on B Street between Symphony Towers and Vantage Pointe (in the background), which is currently San Diego’s largest apartment complex.

More photos of truly amazing sky and clouds.

Scale-like clouds above Mission Valley.
Scale-like clouds above Mission Valley.

I snapped these photographs late Monday, a few minutes after five o’clock. I was walking in Mission Valley, near the intersection of Friars and Frazee. The sky was absolutely incredible!

Clouds and reflections on two office buildings.
Clouds and reflections on two office buildings.
Sky and clouds on a grid of windows.
Sky and clouds on a grid of windows.
Clouds reflected on several angled planes.
Clouds reflected on several angled planes.
Lines of radiant, gilded clouds.
Lines of radiant, gilded clouds.
Looking upward at endlessly changing beauty.
Looking upward at endlessly changing beauty.
Gauzy clouds above a silver building.
Gauzy clouds above a silver building.
Straight washboard clouds seem unworldly.
Straight washboard clouds seem unworldly.

Beautiful clouds in the San Diego sky!

Clouds and changing light provide endless beauty.
Clouds and changing light provide endless beauty.

The clouds above San Diego yesterday afternoon were amazingly beautiful. Here are some pics!

Boats in tuna harbor between splashes of light.
Boats in tuna harbor between splashes of light.
Tall trees reach up into the San Diego sky.
Tall trees reach up into the San Diego sky.
Late afternoon clouds above trees by the bay.
Late afternoon clouds above trees by the bay.
Sailboat passes fishing pier as sun falls toward horizon.
Sailboat passes fishing pier as sun falls toward horizon.
Golden afternoon light flows across the gentle water.
Golden afternoon light flows across the gentle water.
Silvergate ferry heads out under stunning clouds.
Silvergate ferry heads out under stunning clouds.
Windblown clouds radiate above San Diego Convention Center.
Windblown clouds radiate above San Diego Convention Center.
A big yacht seems ready to head toward the light.
A big yacht seems ready to head toward the light.
Clouds above metal trees in front of Hilton hotel.
Clouds above metal trees in front of Hilton hotel.
Bridge over Harbor Drive shines silver as folks ascend.
Bridge over Harbor Drive shines silver as folks ascend.
Imperial Transit Station clock tower and Padres banner under clouds.
Imperial Transit Station clock tower and Padres banner under clouds.
Looking straight up alongside the new Central Library.
Looking straight up alongside the new Central Library.
East Village buildings frame dramatic afternoon clouds.
East Village buildings frame dramatic afternoon clouds.
Light reflects from windows in San Diego's East Village.
Light reflects from windows in San Diego’s East Village.
Amazing sky above a shining downtown building.
Amazing sky above a shining downtown building.

Cool modified images of cacti in Balboa Park.

People take a walk through Balboa Park cactus garden.
People take a walk through Balboa Park’s amazing Desert Garden.

My walk through Balboa Park last weekend ended at the Desert Garden, located east of the Natural History Museum just across Park Boulevard. I was able to get some cool cacti pics before my camera’s batteries finally fizzled.

Here are some photos that I modified using good old GIMP.  It’s fun to goof around randomly and produce different effects!

While I recognized many different types of cactus, I sadly don’t know many names. Sorry about that.

Fuzzy cactus with red thingamajigs attached.
Fuzzy cactus with red thingamajigs attached.
I played with the brightness and contrast.
I played with the brightness and contrast.
Slightly altered pic of jagged cactus in Balboa Park.
Slightly altered pic of cool jagged cactus in Balboa Park.
I fiddled with contrast, darkness and color saturation.
I fiddled with contrast, darkness and color saturation.
Sunlight amplified on green cactus in Balboa Park.
Sunlight amplified on a green cactus in Balboa Park’s Desert Garden.
Barrel cactus photo with super high contrast applied.
Barrel cactus photo with super high contrast applied.

Here are even more modified cacti photos from late 2014!

Contrast increased on photo of a spiky cactus.
Contrast increased on photo of a spiky cactus.
Some fat barrel cacti in a large desert-like garden in Balboa Park.
Some fat barrel cacti in a large desert-like garden in Balboa Park.
A cool image I created by goofing around with various settings.
A cool image I created by goofing around with various settings.
This huge tangled cactus visible from Park Boulevard is the craziest thing I ever saw!
This huge tangled cactus visible from Park Boulevard is the craziest thing I ever saw!
Now I'm radically altering some pics.
Now I’m radically altering some pics.
Cool silhouette in Balboa Park's cactus garden.
Cool silhouette in a popular Balboa Park cactus garden.
I completely changed these colors just for fun!
I completely changed these colors just for fun!