The historical Carriage Works building downtown.

There’s an unusual old building in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter called the Carriage Works. You can find it at the corner of Fourth Avenue and G Street.

If the Carriage Works with its wide arched doorways appears different from other historical buildings in the Gaslamp, that’s because it used to be a place where San Diegans would go to purchase horse-drawn buggies and wagons!

Today the Carriage Works is home to music venues and eateries including GARAGE Kitchen + Bar, Tin Roof, and The Shout! House.

I took these photos about a month ago. You can see how outdoor dining areas were set up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I also photographed a plaque that provides a brief description of the building’s history.

Carriage Works, 1890

Constructed to house the wholesale business of Todd and Hawley, which operated here until 1902. Their stock was purchased by Lyons Implement Company, which carried a complete line of Studebaker vehicles, including buggies and wagons. Along with Lyon, San Diego Gas & Electric, San Diego Farm and Dairy Supply, a tent and awning company and the Volunteers of America have occupied the building.

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Photos of Carlsbad’s grand, historic Twin Inns.

Several impressive landmark buildings can be observed during a visit to Carlsbad.

Perhaps the most prominent landmark stands at the corner of Carlsbad Boulevard (the local stretch of old Highway 101) and Carlsbad Village Drive. It’s called the Twin Inns. Look for the big blue Victorian building next to the Carlsbad gateway sign.

Approach the Twin Inns and you’ll not only be impressed by its grand architecture, but you’ll have the opportunity to view an informative plaque that relates a good deal of fascinating history.

The plaque by the front steps reads:

TWIN INNS

This Victorian structure was built in 1887 for Gerhard Schutte, whose role in the development of the town led to his being called the “Father of Carlsbad.” Schutte and partners Samuel Church Smith and D.D. Wadsworth founded the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company and had as their vision “a town of small farms and gracious homes.” To that end they bought 400 prime acres at $40 per acre for development as a community. They laid out a townsite, lined roads with eucalyptus seedlings, and named the streets. This property was converted to the Twin Inns Restaurant circa 1917 by Whiting and Reed and was purchased by Ed and Neva Kentner in 1919. It was named the Twin Inns since the building was identical to the nearby Wadsworth home, also used as an inn. The building was extensively remodeled with a large octagonal dining room added in 1922. The Twin Inns was a popular summer dining area frequented by many of the Hollywood set after a day at the races and later figured prominently in Carlsbad’s history serving as the site of the first City Council meeting and deliberations on the city’s incorporation. The building was also famous for its fried chicken dinners, which were promoted by large plaster chickens out front. After 60 years as a family business, the Twin Inns was sold in 1984 and became part of the Village Faire Shopping Center.

COURTESY OF THE CARLSBAD HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

On either side of the steps you’ll find two decorative signs…

The Twin Inns – Famous Chicken Dinners
Built by Alonzo Culver for Gerhard Schutte in 1887.
The north side of the Twin Inns.
The south side of the Twin Inns. You can see a sign for one small business that presently occupies the building, Sun Diego Boardshop.
The southeast corner of the Twin Inns. This part of the historic building is now used by Pedego Electric Bikes.

I was told by a friendly employee of Pedego Electric Bikes that the above door, on the building’s east side, used to be an entrance to a speakeasy back during Prohibition!

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!

Two surfers, a burger and fries!

Today I rode the Coaster train from San Diego up the coast for a relaxing holiday adventure. I did a lot of walking in both Carlsbad and Oceanside, and took lots of photographs. Stay tuned!

I hadn’t eaten breakfast, so around noon, as I walked north into Oceanside via South Coast Highway, a burger and fries was sounding good. Particularly from Angelo’s Burgers, whose hand cut fries are super yummy. (Their huge burgers are great, too!)

As I neared Angelo’s I spied a surfing mural on the side of their building that I’ve always wanted to photograph.

After crossing the Coast Highway north of the restaurant, I spotted a second cool surfing mural on the exterior of nearby Moose Lodge 1325, so I snapped a photo of that one, too!

Surfing mural at Angelo’s Burgers by Angela Brittain, 2012. The Oceanside artist also painted the mustachioed statue holding a hamburger in front of the restaurant. (The oblong shapes that appear to be dangling surfboards in the above photo are actually shadows.)
I don’t know who painted this very cool surfing mural at Moose Lodge 1325. If you know, please leave a comment!

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!

Returning to normal after the pandemic.

Thank goodness. Life in San Diego is returning to something more like normal. As a large number of people have become vaccinated against COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic has greatly subsided.

The virus took an unspeakably horrible toll. Lives were lost. Living was curtailed. Many were isolated. Livelihoods were decimated. The lockdowns were unprecedented. But we’re somehow getting beyond it.

In the last couple weeks I’ve taken a few photographs of signs that our city is returning to normal.

Indoor dining is back. Theaters are open or about to open. Stadiums are once again full. Museums and attractions are mostly open. More and more commercial planes are landing at San Diego International Airport. Traffic patterns are returning. Help Wanted signs are now everywhere.

One thing I really notice as I walk around is that tourists are traveling once again to sunny San Diego.

The new normal in the Gaslamp Quarter includes open-air dining.
Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego descend into the USS Dolphin submarine.
Old Town Trolley Tours is starting to get busy again, and these relaxing tour guides smiled for my camera!
The movies are back. I’m anxious to see Black Widow which opens next week!
Most restaurants–the ones that survived the pandemic–are open for indoor dining…and they’re hiring!
Two “smiles” at Fiesta de Reyes are symbolic of the gradual transition back to normal times.
Tourists check out pottery at El Centro Artesano in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
A random fun photo that I took today. These fireplace “fire starters” are made using leftover wax at Toby’s Candle & Soap Shop in Old Town.
People are out and about, so downtown sidewalks must be kept clean!
The historic Balboa Theatre will be reopening in early August!

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!

Comic-Con Shrine returning for 2021!

The San Diego Comic-Con Shrine is returning for 2021!

Just like last year, when Comic-Con was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a fun, free, semi-spontaneous, fan-centric celebration of the popular arts will be taking place during Comic-Con week just outside the Tin Fish restaurant. You know, in Gaslamp Square, the public plaza across from the convention center, next to the trolley station. There will be cosplay, chalk art, a blood drive . . . even nightly dance parties!

I saw a couple of banners at the Tin Fish this morning and took the next photo. It looks like Dude Vader and the Science Fiction Coalition will once again be a big part of the Shrine experience.

While San Diego Comic-Con was cancelled again for health reasons in 2021, a Special Edition of Comic-Con will be coming to the convention center this November.

If you live in San Diego, make sure to check out the Comic-Con Shrine this summer from July 23-25. I see they have a website here!

Meanwhile, enjoy a sample of the photographs that I took last year at and near the Shrine…

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!

FireBirds’ karate chicken vs. flaming devils!

A chicken with a brown belt in karate is pitted against flaming hot devils in this crazy City Heights mural!

The mural, which I believe was painted in 2020, can be found on the side of FireBirds Chicken at 4155 University Avenue. The restaurant opened in late 2019. The mural is part of City Heights’ growing collection of awesome street art tagged #TheAvenueMuralProject.

From what I’ve read, FireBirds chicken is the first Nashville hot chicken restaurant in San Diego. It is operated by two brothers who are UC San Diego alumni.

I know I like Louisiana fried chicken, so I guess I better head inside one day and give it a try!

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 on Seacoast in Imperial Beach.

Last year a colorful new mural was painted in Imperial Beach on Seacoast Drive, several blocks north of the pier, just south of Daisy Avenue. It decorates a stone wall next to three small eateries.

The female face and mandala-like designs around it were created by San Diego artists Gloria Muriel and Beth Emmerich.

I saw this mural for the first time during my Saturday walk near the beach. It seems our local muralists have been busy creating new outdoor art during the long COVID-19 pandemic. (Just yesterday I posted images of a new LOVE mural in San Ysidro here.)

I have many more new street art photos from around San Diego coming up. Stay tuned!

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!

Another very cool mural at Super Cocina!

Lorena Correa, a tattoo and mural artist from Bogotá, Colombia, completed painting a very cool mural a couple weeks ago at Super Cocina in City Heights!

If you like her detailed artwork, check out her Instagram @lorenaskunkrocker. You’ll see lots of hyenas!

This cool mural fills in a wall that features some earlier murals. It’s the latest addition to San Diego’s big outdoor art gallery that continues to grow in City Heights, on University Avenue between I-805 and I-15.

To see a couple other murals on the same wall at Super Cocina, click here and 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!

Dogs eat tacos in North Park!

A pack of hungry dogs on a North Park sidewalk have been observed eating tacos!

The multi-colored, taco-eating dogs always gather at the front door of City Tacos. Because that’s where the yummy tacos originate.

One notorious dog, believed to be the leader of the pack, wears a top hat!

The following photographs were taken at the entrance of City Tacos. They show pooch pandemonium!

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 morning walk downtown on Mother’s Day.

This morning I took a quiet walk around downtown San Diego.

As I got started, it seemed an ordinary Sunday morning. A bit of May gray . . . very light traffic . . . city dwellers gathering on sidewalks for coffee . . . families lining up for a special weekend treat at the Donut Bar . . .

Passing through the Gaslamp Quarter, I saw that many friends and families were already enjoying a Mother’s Day breakfast at outdoor tables. Others were perusing Gaslamp Artisan Market booths along Fifth Avenue.

During my modest journey, I paused to aim my camera at the old Hard Rock Cafe’s fading mural, a forlorn Saturday night drink, and a mysterious fire escape.

Then I noticed a colorful little pop-up flower cart with a smiling person beside it!

Mother’s Day flowers!

To all the Moms out there: Happy Mother’s Day!

To those with loving Moms, cherish them.

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!