Trees cut down by Seaport Village, kites fly.

Many of those big, beautiful old coral trees at Embarcadero Marina Park North near Seaport Village have been cut down. I was startled to see this development today during a sunny afternoon walk.

According to Rockman, the street performer who stacks rocks near Seaport Village, the Port of San Diego cut them down on February 25th.

According to this article, coral trees are not well-suited for the marine environment. That’s because the soil in the area around the bayfront is high in salt content, which causes the trees to dry out and potentially fall… The article also states new trees will be planted in the Fall.

Well, if there’s any positive side to be found, perhaps it’s that kite-flyers no longer have large hungry kite-eating trees to deal with. I saw many colorful kites today flying above the grass and the sad, strange sawdusty stumps.

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Helicoid III quietly turns in National City.

Several interesting sculptures can be found at the Pier 32 Marina in National City. Two sculptures I documented six years ago here. A third I hadn’t noticed until a couple days ago. It stands among trees by a parking lot at the south end of Marina Way, near the entrance to the Bayshore Bikeway.

The kinetic sculpture is called Helicoid III. Created by Robert Pietruszewski in 2007, it was once part of an Urban Trees outdoor exhibition along San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Helicoid III silently moves about in the sea breeze, its metal arms turning in different directions like a complex three-dimensional clock marking time. A timely analogy when you consider today is New Year’s Day. We continue to quietly swing into the future.

As I continued my walk and approached Pepper Park, I noticed another sculpture from an old Urban Trees exhibition. It’s the Sea Dragon, by Deana Mando in 2006.

Sea Dragon once stood on the boardwalk between the USS Midway and Seaport Village. Today it makes its home between the National City Aquatic Center and the Pepper Park Boat Launch Ramp. You can see photos I took of Sea Dragon seven years ago here!

Both of these outdoor sculptures are now part of the Port of San Diego Tidelands Collection of public art.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Ruocco Park plaque memorializes Deborah Hoffman.

Today I sat on one of the benches in Ruocco Park reading a book. As I stood up and looked around, I discovered a plaque in nearby greenery that I’d never noticed before. It reads:

In loving memory of Deborah Hoffman, of The San Diego Foundation.

Instrumental in bringing together private philanthropy and the public sector to create a park for future generations.

Here’s an article that explains how the idea of Ruocco Park originated in the minds of architect Lloyd Ruocco and his wife, Ilse, art professor at San Diego State University. It then explains how Deborah Hoffman, senior vice president for the San Diego Foundation, worked continuously for five years to meld the Ruocco fund with assistance from local governments, particularly the Unified Port of San Diego, which controls the land.

I’ve spent many hours over many years sitting in this fine park, reading, writing, listening to street musicians, gazing at people walking down the boardwalk past Tuna Harbor and its picturesque fishing boats.

All I can say is thank you.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Sails, ships and beauty on San Diego Bay!

It was a perfect January day on San Diego Bay. Not a cloud in the blue sky, very little haze, a comfy 70 degrees. No jacket required!

As a member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I have a couple of free tickets for harbor tours aboard the museum’s historic Pilot boat. I used one of those tickets this afternoon!

These photographs on the water show a little of why so many people love San Diego.

I’ve provided details about the historic Pilot boat and this harbor tour in the past. See that old blog post here.

I’ve also blogged about many of the unique sights one can see on San Diego Bay. You can check out a couple of those fascinating posts here and here.

Today I wanted to relax, not take notes.

Simply take in the beauty.

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Wavy, twisted metal poles spell ART!

Observe this series of photographs and you’ll see some of the coolest public art in San Diego!

Viewed from one particular spot, these twisty wavy metal poles rising 25 feet above the beach turn into the word ART!

The delightful sculpture, titled Banner Art, was created by John Banks in 2006. It was commissioned by the Port of San Diego and the City of Imperial Beach.

You can find this optical revelation near the corner of Imperial Beach Boulevard and Seacoast Drive.

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!

Sheltering Wings on the bay in Coronado Cays.

Sheltering Wings is an extraordinary bronze sculpture that I discovered during my Saturday walk through the Coronado Cays.

I had reached the east end of Grand Caribe Causeway and was gazing out toward San Diego Bay when I noticed what appeared to be two herons standing on rocks in Grand Caribe Shoreline Park.

Upon closer inspection, I found this beautiful public artwork, the handiwork of renowned sculptor Christopher Slatoff. Sheltering Wings was commissioned by the Port District of San Diego back in 1996.

You can read the bio of Christopher Slatoff at his website here.

I was interested to learn he created another sculpture, The Illustrated Man, in collaboration with one of my very favorite writers, Ray Bradbury!

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!

The colorful new Cesar Chavez Park Mural.

During my walk last weekend through Cesar Chavez Park, I was delighted to see a bright new mural painted on the long wall behind the park’s expanse of grass.

When I approached the mural, I noticed it was painted by Pandr Design Co. In my previous blog post you saw another mural that these artists recently painted! That one is on Market Street in downtown San Diego!

This new Cesar Chavez Park Mural was commissioned by the Port of San Diego. According to a nearby sign, this artwork brings color and inspiration to the park, creates a sense of place, and enhances the cultural richness of the Port’s waterfront.

It does!

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!

Photos from past US Sand Sculpting Challenges!

The annual US Sand Sculpting Challenge was cancelled this year due the COVID-19 pandemic. The world-class event takes place each Labor Day weekend and draws huge crowds to San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Having gone to this mind-blowing international competition for the past six years, I’ve accumulated lots of cool photos! The world’s top sand masters can produce absolutely astonishing works of art!

To recall past wonders from this event, I’ve linked to blog posts containing hundreds of photographs. Before you check those out, however, in no particular order, here are some of the sand sculptures I’ve particularly enjoyed!

The following links provide six years of photographs from the US Sand Sculpting Challenge…

2014

Photos of world-class sand sculptors at work!

2015

Photos of amazing, incredible sand sculptures!

2016

The most amazing sand sculptures in the world!

2017

World’s top sand sculptors create fantastic art!

2018

Masterpieces by World Master sand sculptors!

2019

Amazing art at U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

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!

The Working Waterfront mural in National City.

Cyclists following the Bayshore Bikeway head north on Marina Way past a mural on a building at the National City Marine Terminal.
Cyclists following the Bayshore Bikeway head north on Marina Way past a mural on a building at the National City Marine Terminal.

Earlier this year a mural titled The Working Waterfront was painted on the east side of a Pasha Group National Distribution Center building at the National City Marine Terminal.

The creator is internationally known artist DAAS. The new mural, which celebrates those who work unloading imported new cars at the nearby terminal, workers at San Diego’s shipyards, and others employed on the waterfront, was commissioned by the Port of San Diego. The large mural is visible to the west as you drive on Interstate 5.

I took photos last weekend during my walk in National City. I first spotted the mural as I headed up Paradise Trail, which follows Marina Way. The Bayshore Bikeway also heads this way, giving passing bicyclists a great view of this very colorful artwork!

The Working Waterfront, by muralist DAAS, in National City, California.
The Working Waterfront, by muralist DAAS, in National City, California.

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!

Learn about Maritime Month in San Diego.

A water taxi comes in from Coronado. That huge yellow Dole Atlantic ship is loading containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
The massive yellow Dole Atlantic cargo ship loads containers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

May is Maritime Month. In past years, the Port of San Diego has offered public tours of important maritime facilities in San Diego Bay. By observing the massive scale of port operations firsthand, anyone can fully appreciate the waterfront’s economic importance to San Diego and the surrounding region.

Three years ago I went on one such harbor tour. It was narrated by knowledgeable representatives of the Port of San Diego. We got a close look at several large facilities, including the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, probably best known as the place where Dole delivers 3.9 billion bananas each year. We also saw the enormous National City Marine Terminal, where thousands upon thousands of imported cars arrive from Asia.

If you want to learn more about that amazing tour, and see photos of other facilities in San Diego Bay such as our three major shipyards, you can visit my old blog post by clicking here.

Unfortunately, this year is very different. There’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Most public events, including any tours that were planned by the Port of San Diego, have been cancelled in the interest of everyone’s safety.

But there’s still an opportunity for the curious to learn all about the Port of San Diego. They are celebrating Maritime Month online. They explain: “This year, we pay special tribute to the men and women of our Working Waterfront who continue to work hard to ensure the safe and timely delivery of essential goods, providing crucial services in these difficult times.”

By visiting the Port of San Diego’s special Maritime Month web page, which is here, you can: “Meet our dedicated maritime industry employees…Explore our terminals…Become familiar with our specialty cargo and trade…Learn how goods move globally through the supply chain…Read about our environmental initiatives…Plus more!”

Curious? Check out that special web page here!

Vehicles of all type arrive here by huge roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships, including trucks and tractors.
New vehicles parked at the National City Marine Terminal. They arrive on enormous roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships, which are often seen moving through San Diego Bay.

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!