Top Gun fans vs. reality on USS Midway!

Yesterday a large group of dedicated Top Gun movie fans from a Facebook group visited the USS Midway Museum.

They all were having a blast, some wearing movie-inspired flight suits, checking out exhibits at San Diego’s popular aircraft carrier museum, taking photos near an F-14 Tomcat fighter jet, before heading off to dine at Kansas City Barbeque, where the bar scenes in Top Gun were filmed.

It was interesting to watch their enthusiasm for the classic movie, whose sequel Top Gun: Maverick will be debuting in one week on May 24. I loved the original Top Gun when it came out in 1986, myself!

As I toured the USS Midway yesterday, I noticed a variety of connections the historic aircraft carrier and its present-day museum have to the actual TOPGUN aviator school and its pilots depicted in both the original and upcoming movie.

An F-14 Tomcat on the flight deck of USS Midway. These fighter jets co-starred in the original Top Gun movie, providing exciting, incredible visuals.
A fan group is photographed during their Top Gun Days event aboard USS Midway in San Diego. Three actual Navy pilots pose in front.
Nearby on the flight deck is an F/A-18 Hornet. This fighter jet was used as an adversary during the original Top Gun. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet will be flown by the characters of Top Gun: Maverick.
One of the pilot ready rooms inside the USS Midway aircraft carrier. VFA-151 Ready Room One is where F-18 pilots gathered for briefing before and after flights.
A look inside USS Midway’s F-18 ready room. During Operation Desert Storm, F-18 Hornets were launched from this long-lived aircraft carrier, which was built at the end of World War II.
What it would have been like sitting in the F-18 ready room. The characters in Top Gun: Maverick are F/A-18E/F Super Hornet pilots, part of a special detachment aboard an aircraft carrier.
White board at front of the ready room, with mission and aircraft details.
An exhibit aboard the USS Midway Museum details the history of TOPGUN, originally the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School located at NAS Miramar, aka Fightertown USA.
Exhibit concerns TOPGUN – The Early Years.
The Navy Fighter Weapons School was established on March 3, 1969 at NAS Miramar in San Diego, California. TOPGUN’s objective was to develop, refine and teach air combat maneuvering tactics and techniques to selected fleet air crews…
Museum exhibit video shows the Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System TACTS in operation.
Visitors to the USS Midway Museum can climb into an F-14 Tomcat cockpit, located on the Hangar Deck.
Maverick call sign painted by the cockpit of the F-14 Tomcat.
The two-seated cockpit’s front seat, where an F-14 pilot sits facing his flight controls. The bubble canopy gives the pilot all-round visibility.
The rear seat of the F-14 cockpit, where Goose in the original Top Gun movie flew. This is where the fighter jet’s Radar Intercept Officer sat.

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!

Evel Knievel’s Stratocycle at Automotive Museum!

The San Diego Automotive Museum is an incredible place every auto enthusiast must visit. In addition to unique and rare cars they have lots of great motorcycles, too!

One motorcycle now on display is Evel Knievel’s “Stratocycle” from the 1977 movie Viva Knievel!

The uniquely modified motorcycle–a Harley Davidson XLCH Custom Sportster–has wings and a rocket-shaped exhaust. The Stratocycle is so cool it was adapted for a popular toy!

It had been several years since I last experienced the San Diego Automotive Museum. The current displays are more awesome than ever. Walking around, your eyes will pop out of your head!

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster.

You might notice I’ve been visiting many local museums the last couple of weeks. I’m taking advantage of the San Diego Museum Council’s “The Big Exchange” reciprocal free admission program. It lasts through May 18, 2022. Learn more here!

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!

A sudden Trandoshan encounter in the Gaslamp!

As I walked up Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter early this evening, I had a sudden encounter! A fierce-looking Trandoshan from the Star Wars universe raised its head by the sidewalk!

I quickly learned this detailed model of a Trandoshan was drying in the sun, having been recently brought to life by Saturnino Martinez 3rd, a make-up artist, cosplayer, filmmaker, comic and Gray Jedi Master!

Saturnino posed for my camera while facing off against his own creation!

If you see the Wookiee bounty hunter Black Krrsantan walking around the Gaslamp during the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con, it’s probably him!

Super cool!

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 cool Chameleon Jump Suit at UCSD library!

Check out what I discovered today while wandering inside UC San Diego’s Geisel Library!

The very cool Chameleon Jump Suit!

The life-size figure in scaly green body armor was modeled after the time-traveling character in a popular 1998 computer game. “The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time” was entertaining software created by Presto Studios, a company founded by UCSD alumni. You can read more about it here!

Even though I never played that particular computer game, I know a number of my readers love Comic-Con and popular culture, so I thought I’d share these photographs for everyone’s enjoyment!

I’m taking Comic-Con week off from work again this year, so stay tuned for lots of cool photos during 2022 San Diego Comic-Con coming up in July!

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!

Frankenstein monster and his bride invade City Heights!

The terrifying Frankenstein monster and his bride have invaded City Heights!

The rampaging pair are frequently spotted near University Avenue, in the alley just east of the North Park Car Wash.

This graffiti version of classic Hollywood monsters was painted by Ground Floor Murals, the artists who’ve created San Diego Padres players murals all around the city.

Keep your eyes open! Be careful which alley you walk down, because you might encounter the fierce bride of Frankenstein and her monstrous groom!

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!

Comic-Con Museum’s Star Trek exhibit expands!

The amazing Star Trek exhibit at the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park has expanded!

The special exhibit, titled Gene Roddenberry: Sci-Fi Visionary, includes original costumes, props, historical documents and artifacts related to the creation of Star Trek. The life, writings and visionary efforts of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry are highlighted.

I blogged about the exhibit the weekend it opened here.

Well, check out what I saw today!

New additions include costumes worn by actress Majel Barrett, primarily from her role as Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Majel Barret was Gene’s wife. You might recall she also played nurse Christine Chapel in Star Trek: The Original Series. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry was often called the First Lady of Star Trek.

In addition, amazing works of Star Trek art now decorate one museum wall! These large, inventive LEGO brick character portraits and scene recreations, assembled by a master builder, will blow your mind!

I visited the Comic-Con Museum today to listen to an interesting Will Eisner Week panel concerning the use of comic books and graphic novels in education. I’ll blog about that shortly!

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!

Happy “early risers” before the parade!

The big Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade, billed as America’s Largest Balloon Parade, was held this morning along the Embarcadero.

My camera captured a few happy “early risers” before I jumped onto the trolley for work.

The annual parade features all sorts of popular characters, including Garfield, Mr. Potato Head and many, many others.

Several hours before the start of the parade, the balloons were being inflated one after another in a parking lot near the County Administration Building!

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!

La Mesa’s famous movie history remembered!

In the early 20th century, La Mesa was home to the American Film Manufacturing Company. Some of the most popular movies of the time were filmed around San Diego!

The historic Wolf Building, at 8360 La Mesa Boulevard, has a plaque that recalls how the city was a pioneer in early motion pictures. The American Film Manufacturing Company made this new building and adjacent lot its home from August 1911 to July 1912. They created over one hundred “Flying A” Western “one-reelers” while in La Mesa…

According to this Wikipedia article, Flying “A” made over 150 films in San Diego County. The films were usually western adventures, comedies or an occasional local documentary…

The popular movie actors would make appearances at La Mesa parades and public events.

I’ve photographed the Wolf Building as it appears today. The Corner Store shoppers who haven’t read the nearby plaque probably don’t realize they’re experiencing a bit of motion picture history!

Also, I’ve posted two public domain images. The advertisements from the American Film Manufacturing Company are dated a few years after the studio departed La Mesa for Santa Barbara.

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!

Spider-Man comes home to San Diego!

The first reviews of Spider-Man: No Way Home are coming in and it’s going to be awesome! By all accounts the movie is going to be an epic multiversal thrill ride that brings laughs, tears, fond memories and cheers! Are you stoked, too?

Did you know that Spider-Man makes his home in San Diego? It sure seems that way. Because I see him in the city frequently. At least, I see a lot of him when Comic-Con comes around!

Enjoy this collection of Spider-Man cosplay photos that I’ve taken over many years of walking around downtown during San Diego Comic-Con. If you’d like to see hundreds of cool photographs of Comic-Con related stuff, just click here!

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!

A little more cosplay and fun on a Sunday!

It’s Sunday, the last day of San Diego Comic-Con Special Edition.

Even though this year’s scaled back Comic-Con is winding down, I figured I’d walk down toward the San Diego Convention Center to enjoy a little more outside cosplay and fun. I live within easy walking distance, so why not?

My camera was rewarded!

Yes, I got some free swag and a free drink, not to mention sunshine and exercise. It was good to see people out and about, enjoying life and their fandoms, feeling excited and alive.

I learned the above cosplay is derived from the new Christmas-themed show Hawkeye, which has Clint Barton taking his family to see Rogers: The Musical!

It’s Woody!
Very fancy!
Hey Syfy dude, thanks for the nice bag!
Here comes Batgirl!
Nice pose!
Looks sorta Scottish to me.
More cosplay outside Comic-Con Special Edition on Sunday.
Some park rangers have arrived at the La Brea sinkhole. Perhaps they can help monitor the prehistoric wildlife.
That SueroX drink was pretty good, especially on a warm day. Thanks!
Raven cosplay near the Peacemaker Proving Ground. Raven’s powerful magic would take down Peacemaker easily.
Very cool Venom cosplay using a toothy hand puppet! 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!

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!