Balboa Park’s new Palisades plaza gets ready.

The new pedestrian plaza in Balboa Park’s South Palisades area is almost ready!

I noticed during my walk today that tables and colorful umbrellas have been placed around the new plaza’s perimeter. Remove that yellow tape, exchange sunshine for a drizzly afternoon, and I bet life immediately flows in.

The nearby San Diego Automotive Museum is also looking great with a fresh coat of paint!

We’re nearing Thanksgiving, a time for gathering. Unfortunately with the coming of cooler weather, the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening in many parts of the world. Because of the growing rate of infection in San Diego, it seems likely most of Balboa Park’s museums will be forced to close again.

On this overcast, rainy November day, very few people were about. But a day will come when smiling crowds gather again in one of the world’s most amazing city parks. And it will be more beautiful than ever.

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!

Walking by the Miramar College Vernal Pools.

Today I walked through a small section of Mira Mesa. I was on a mission to check out a cool sculpture I’d read about that stands in front of a fire station.

As I walked west along Hillery Drive from the Miramar College Transit Station, I observed what at first glance appeared like a scrubby vacant lot behind a fence. When I came to the corner of Hillery Drive and Black Mountain Road, a sign on the fence informed me that I was looking at an area of special environmental importance–a unique nature preserve!

I was walking right next to the Miramar College Vernal Pools.

Here’s a little information provided by three signs that I read:

This plot of land was originally leased to the Navy in 1931 and called Linda Vista Mesa Field, or Hourglass Field because of its distinctive shape. It was part of Camp Kearny, which was located on the site of the current Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. This field was used by the Army and Navy for dive bombing practice and emergency landings.

From 1957 to 1959, the field was used as a sports car racecourse, and from the 1970’s to 2008 what remained of the old runway was used for law enforcement training and nicknamed The Grinder.

The protected field now contains many seasonal vernal pools–a very rare type of wetland. Shallow vernal pools are wet during the rainy season–particularly in spring–then quickly turn to mud and dry out. Because of this unusual environment, a number of rare and endemic species live in vernal pool areas. In addition to teeming microscopic life and small crustaceans like the fairy shrimp, there are frogs, snakes, birds and mammals. More than 200 plant species thrive in and around vernal pools, including annual wildflowers.

One sign indicates the Miramar College Vernal Pools’ interpretive trails are open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 10:30 pm. Unfortunately, I walked by on a Saturday and had to observe this natural area from behind the surrounding fence.

If you want to read the signs, click my photos and they will enlarge.

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!

Photos from a rainy December Nights!

I headed into Balboa Park today around noon to get a taste of 2019 December Nights.

It was overcast and drizzly at the start of San Diego’s huge holiday event, but when I left in mid-afternoon the weather had slightly improved.

This evening as I type these words it’s already dark. Bright, colorful lights will have turned on throughout Balboa Park, and the crowds will be massive and growing. Our city’s annual holiday festival is one of the biggest in the United States.

During my early walk many vendors were still setting up and the entertainment was just beginning on several stages. Santa hats and Christmas trees and yummy treats and smiles were already abundant. My camera turned right and left as I took some photos. Please excuse me for not captioning the images this year. I just wanted to share a smidgen of the magic.

(I did go into the Comic-Con Museum when it opened in the early afternoon, and if my indoor photos came out okay, I should be blogging some more very cool stuff shortly!)

Happy Holidays to all!

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!

Between morning showers downtown.

The brunt of our latest storm hit yesterday and overnight. This morning a few brief showers were passing through downtown.

I walked from Cortez Hill down into canyons of skyscrapers with my umbrella at the ready.

Today is Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and it appears few people had to work. This morning downtown felt like an early Saturday or Sunday. Few cars and empty sidewalks. Very quiet.

And a little wet!

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!

Dancing in the rain, wet Corvettes, and a smile!

A few diehards hang out as the North County Corvette Club's Plastic Fantastic car show comes to an end on an early rainy Sunday afternoon.
A few diehards hang out as the North County Corvette Club’s Plastic Fantastic car show comes to an end on a drizzly Sunday afternoon.

San Diego was a wee bit damp today. Light showers off and on. May has been unusually wet this year, not unlike our winter.

Early this afternoon I walked along the Embarcadero with my hood up and my camera protected from water and wind. We residents of San Diego are spoiled by our city’s near perfect weather. When a drop or two falls, many become discombobulated. But others relish the change.

During my walk what did I discover?

Dancing in the rain--or light, steady showers--by the gazebo in Seaport Village.
Dancing in the rain–or light showers–by the gazebo in Seaport Village.

An umbrella is at the ready near the Marriott Marina.
An umbrella is at the ready near the Marriott Marina.

One last look at some remaining Corvettes.
One last look at some remaining Corvettes.

Cool cars under overcast skies.
Cool cars under overcast skies.

A few cars remain parked on the grass of Embarcadero Marina Park North.
A few cars remain parked on the grass of Embarcadero Marina Park North.

See you next year. Hopefully the weather is sunny.
See you next year. Hopefully the weather is sunny.

A big puddle awaits a good number of visitors at Seaport Village.
A big puddle awaits a good number of visitors at Seaport Village.

But the nearby pier is almost empty.
But the nearby pier is almost empty.

Some fishermen docked at the pier are busy working. A little rain is just water.
Some fishermen docked at the pier are busy working. A little rain is just a little more water.

Someone near the USS Midway has taken shelter under a tarp.
Someone near the USS Midway has taken shelter under a tarp.

A scooter and its reflection in another puddle.
A scooter and its reflection in another puddle.

The showers have torn purple jacaranda blooms from nearby trees.
The showers have torn purple jacaranda blooms from nearby trees.

An interesting pattern in wet wood on the Broadway Pier.
An interesting pattern in wet wood on the Broadway Pier.

The wind was blowing hard, and flags were flapping wildly.
The wind was blowing pretty hard, and flags were flapping wildly.

Few were walking or running along the wet, chilly Embarcadero.
Few were walking or running along the wet, chilly Embarcadero.

Some tourists take a look at San Diego Bay from the dry comfort of an Old Town Trolley.
Some tourists take a look at downtown and San Diego Bay from the dry comfort of an Old Town Trolley.

The Port of San Diego and Maritime Museum are hosting a big Festival of the Sea this coming Memorial Day weekend. You can bet I'll be there!
The Port of San Diego and Maritime Museum are hosting a big Festival of the Sea this coming Memorial Day weekend. Rain or shine, you can bet I’ll be there!

Clouds and wind observed from the passenger deck of the Maritime Museum's steam ferry Berkeley.
Clouds and wind observed from the passenger deck of the Maritime Museum’s steam ferry Berkeley.

My musician and artist friend Carlos assured me the sun would soon come out . . . and he was right!
My street musician and artist friend Carlos assured me the sun would soon come out . . . and he was right!

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!

Surprising wisdom from the mind of a child.

If you’ve ever had a bad day, and thought it will never stop raining, there’s a new short story you might enjoy reading. It concerns sadness. It contains a tiny bit of wisdom.

It’s titled A Child’s Lesson.

The words of this story are few and simple. The end is a surprise.

Read it here.

A cool reporter hangs loose!

Dan Plante of KUSI News hangs loose!
Dan Plante of KUSI News gives the surfing hang loose sign!

I was heading to the Hazard Center trolley station after work when I noticed traffic had been diverted due to the flooding of Mission Center Road by the rain-swollen San Diego River.

I headed down to check things out . . . and here comes smiling KUSI News television reporter, Dan Plante.

Hang loose, dude!

Glimpses of nature’s beauty after a storm.

This morning I walked a short stretch of the San Diego River Trail in Mission Valley, just south of Hazard Center.

Trees and leaves were still dripping with moisture from our last storm.

My camera caught a few glimpses of nature’s awesome beauty.

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!

Photos of downtown, with sprinkles!

Our first storm of the season was tapering off this morning as I walked around downtown.

Here come photos of a damp city . . . with occasional sprinkles!

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!

Fun art on the sidewalk for a rainy day.

A dapper gentleman with an elegant automobile looks at a lady with a bottle.
A dapper gentleman with an elegant automobile looks at a lady with a bottle.

According to this morning’s weather report, it’s supposed to rain in San Diego for most of the day. We can always use more water in dry Southern California. But rain, and a bit of a sore throat, means I probably won’t go out walking today.

Meanwhile, here’s some fun artwork that I discovered yesterday while walking through North Park. Both works of art were on the sidewalk in the vicinity of El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.

Enjoy!

I'm sorry love, the only rubbish I have time for is in this bin.
I’m sorry love, the only rubbish I have time for is in this bin.

Tile mosaic of a motorcycle and rider. A very cool sight in the sidewalk in front of Belching Beaver Brewery in North Park.
Tile mosaic of a motorcycle and rider. A very cool sight in the sidewalk in front of Belching Beaver Brewery in North Park.

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!