A walk up and down Mission Bay Boulevard.

My photos of the Nite Owl mural in the last blog post were taken during a very long walk around east Pacific Beach. One segment of my walk was up and down Mission Bay Boulevard, from Rosewood Street to Garnet Avenue and back.

These are the images I captured. I didn’t see much that was truly noteworthy–mostly car dealerships, motels, office buildings and businesses–but I did encounter the above cool sign and a couple other humorous signs. I also saw some very old faded street art, plus one instance of public art which is extremely important.

On the Chase bank building at the intersection of Mission Bay Boulevard and Garnet Avenue there are eight extraordinary mosaics. I will blog those photos separately in an upcoming post!

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!

Lowrider art outside Esquina in National City.

Check out these three cool works of art painted on the outside of Esquina Vintage and Coffee in National City!

This unique coffee shop has a lowrider, cruising theme that fits with its South Bay setting. In addition to more ordinary coffee shop offerings, Esquina serves up a variety of Mexican specialties.

According to this article, the owners are part of the local lowrider group Viejitos Car Club.

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!

Wienerschnitzel street art in IB!

I’m not sure how to handle this material without sounding raunchy. But I’m going to say it:

A small work of street art at Wienerschnitzel’s drive-through in Imperial Beach shows a wiener with a woody at the beach.

Seriously!

In the background you can see the Imperial Beach pier, and the wiener, rising between buns, staring with an astonished expression out of one window, is transporting what appears to be a surfboard.

I don’t know when this artwork was created, or by whom. It’s faded and stained. This humorous fast food surf scene looks like a dirty impressionist painting.

Or perhaps my brain is addled. And this improbable vision is nothing but a crazy dream, the result of eating too many yummy chili cheese fries.

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!

Images of the pandemic tragedy downtown.

As I walk around San Diego, I try to find what is uplifting and keep a positive attitude. But these photographs from the past few days aren’t happy. They show tragic aspects of the long COVID-19 pandemic nightmare.

Throughout downtown San Diego it seems time has stopped. It seems the life of my city keeps draining away.

It’s now December and I still see posters for events scheduled last March or April. I see hundreds of boarded windows and a steadily increasing number of For Lease signs. I see people avoiding people. I see more and more who are homeless. And now we’re told a second lockdown in San Diego is imminent.

They tell us this terrible pandemic will finally end in the coming months as vaccines are distributed. But for the time being the tragic scene downtown seems to only worsen.

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!

Holiday decorations in Old Town State Park!

Late this afternoon, a little before sunset, I strolled around Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to enjoy their annual holiday decorations.

Even though all of the museums and many of the shops are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I noticed a few people walking about like me, poking their noses into scattered places that were open.

If a lockdown is mandated throughout California in the coming days or weeks, I’m sure Old Town will become a ghost town. Already there are no scheduled holiday events, such as the traditional Las Posadas procession. So if you’d like to see Old Town’s beautiful holiday decorations, now might be the best time to go!

I did notice during my late day walk that Fiesta de Reyes was open for dining, and I saw folks inside a few shops, including Cousin’s Candy Shop, Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop, and Miner’s Gems and Minerals. It appeared other shops might have closed a little earlier in the day.

As you can see in one photo, Old Town’s Cygnet Theatre is streaming two holiday radio plays this year: A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Learn how you can listen by visiting their website 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 walk down Escondido’s Grand Avenue.

On Sunday I returned to Escondido. I wanted to explore Grand Avenue–the heart of historic downtown Escondido–a little more thoroughly.

Earlier this year I visited Maple Street Plaza on a Sunday and took a quick look from its south end up and down Grand Avenue. What I glimpsed wasn’t encouraging. Few people. Inactive storefronts. But had I walked a block or two east I would have found a much more lively scene!

Grand Avenue resembles the historic old main streets of many American towns. What used to be the central business district is now home to a multitude of cozy eateries, specialty shops, salons and antique stores. There’s an old restored movie theater, a Rotary Club street clock, a gazebo in a small sunny park, and a friendly feeling of community. During my walk I saw many families just walking along like me, enjoying a late Sunday morning.

I don’t pretend to know a whole lot about Escondido. If you don’t either, enjoy these photos of Grand Avenue as if we are walking together.

I started at the big Escondido landmark sign at Centre City Parkway and headed east. To see some great mosaics in the sidewalk at the intersection, check out my earlier blog post here!

You see that unusual sculpture in the median? I know nothing about it!

I really enjoyed peering into the window of the Timekeepers Watch and Clock Shop and took several photos. Indeed, my walk felt a little like travelling back in time.

After I passed the south end of Maple Street Plaza, I enjoyed looking into the windows of more antique stores. I noticed more and more people sitting in front of various restaurants enjoying Sunday breakfast or an early lunch. (People are dining on sidewalks and streets this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.)

There’s a very cool display near the entrance to the restored The Ritz Theater, which originally opened in 1937. You can see old film reels and all sorts of interesting equipment that was used in this historic movie house. Unfortunately bright street reflections were impossible for my camera to overcome.

I turned around at Valley Boulevard and headed back west along the opposite sidewalk.

According to a nearby plaque, that great mural on the corner of a building is titled Escondido, the Hidden Valley. It’s by artist Daniel Hernandez.

Finally–you see that cool old car coming down the street near the end of my photos? Grand Avenue is probably best known for its popular Cruisin’ Grand vintage auto show event on Friday nights! (Something I haven’t experienced yet.)

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The colorful Catrinas of Old Town San Diego!

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is coming up on Sunday. This popular Mexican holiday is a special time to remember and pray for loved ones who’ve passed on from this world.

Día de los Muertos has many rich traditions that have evolved over time, and one is the Catrina. Elegantly dressed skeletons with sugar skulls symbolize death. In Mexico, Day of the Dead is a time for the celebration of past lives, not mourning.

This year, celebrations of Día de los Muertos will be limited because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In Old Town San Diego State Historic Park the annual procession and festival have been cancelled.

But I did notice during a walk through Old Town late this afternoon that many very colorful Catrinas are on display in the large outdoor courtyard of Fiesta de Reyes!

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!

Something Halloweenish this way comes!

Halloween is sneaking up!

I walked through Little Italy this afternoon and found some fun sights!

That carousel horse mural must be somewhat new, because I don’t recall seeing it before. It kind of fits in with my Halloween theme…assuming it belongs to a dark carnival!

I’m pretty sure the Old Town Trolley Tours driver wasn’t frightened by the owl, but my photo’s lucky timing (and some mysterious image cropping) makes it seem that way!

BOO!

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!

Three chickens escape from the Pie Shop!

Three clever birds have managed to escape from the famous San Diego Chicken Pie Shop restaurant!

I saw them by the sidewalk huddled in a small group, keeping an eye in three directions to avoid recapture!

This cool street art in North Park is the work of Kelly Hutchison in 2020.

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!

New mural painted at Vin de Syrah.

Yesterday I stumbled upon something very cool!

I was heading through the Gaslamp Quarter up Fifth Avenue when I noticed a new mural was being painted. An artist was working in the outside stairwell entrance of Vin de Syrah, a “hidden” subterranean wine parlor. Over the years, I’ve noticed that new murals appear in this stairwell every so often, but until I performed a little research today I hadn’t known where these steps led.

In the past, fantastic murals that I’ve seen at the entrance to Vin de Syrah have often included elements from Alice in Wonderland.

When I noticed the muralist at work below, I looked down and said hello, but it didn’t appear that she heard me. Her style seems familiar, but I can’t identify the artist. I have a hunch I’ve photographed the work of this artist elsewhere in San Diego!

Today I walked past this new Vin de Syrah mural and took the following photograph:

UPDATE!

I’ve learned the artist is Delilah Strukel. Check out her Instagram page 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!