A tasty celebration of National Guacamole Day!

What's this?
What’s this?

Hip-hip-hooray! The big day has arrived!

Today, September 16, is officially National Guacamole Day! That means you can consume huge quantities of the yummy green ambrosia with pride and unabashed guilt-free enthusiasm!

Besides, it’s probably a good thing to shovel gallons of guac into one’s gullet. At least, that’s what I tell myself! Avocados are a superfood, right?

Let the tasty celebration begin!

Oh, wow! It's chips and guacamole from Roberto's!
Oh, wow! It’s chips and guacamole from Roberto’s!
Open wide!
Open wide!

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!

Statue of Frankie Laine in Little Italy.

Statue of Frankie Laine, legendary singer, songwriter, actor and entertainer, on India Street in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood.
Statue of Frankie Laine, legendary singer, songwriter, actor and entertainer, on India Street in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood.

A life-size bronze statue of legendary entertainer Frankie Laine (born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio) was dedicated this summer in Little Italy. It now stands in front of Nonna, an Italian restaurant owned by Frankie’s long-time friend Joe Busalacchi. You can learn a little more about this statue at the Team Frankie Laine blog here.

Frankie Lane lived the latter part of his life in San Diego’s Point Loma community and frequently visited Little Italy.

The popular singer scored many big hits in the United States and internationally. Some of his best known songs include That’s My Desire, That Lucky Old Sun, Mule Train, Jezebel, High Noon, Save Your Sorrow, I Believe, Cool Water and Rawhide. Western movie theme songs he recorded include 3:10 To Yuma, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and Blazing Saddles. His rock, jazz, folk and blues recordings made him one of the most popular entertainers in the 1940’s and 1950’s. His hits continued right into the 1970’s.

A small plaque can be found on the outside wall of Nonna next to the bronze sculpture. A larger plaque, depicting Frankie Laine with uplifted arms, is also nearby.

I took a photo of the larger plaque six years ago, when it was located elsewhere on India Street, and I transcribed the words written on it 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!

Three new murals are painted in City Heights!

More murals are being painted in City Heights!

This afternoon Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights showed me three great new murals and introduced me to one tropical fish store owner whose building is in the process of turning very colorful!

First up, we checked out a mural that was finished about a week and a half ago. It’s inspired by Lotería, and was painted by a picnic bench outside Filiberto’s Mexican Food at 3446 University Avenue. The youthful artist is Andrew Greyeyes. You can see his smiling photo and his other City Heights mural at Fruteria Disfrutalas here!

Next up, I took a photo of another new mural on the side of Sunset Kava. It’s titled Afro Garden and is by the artist Aicha Fofana. Find more of her work at @fofanaflowrs.

I love the super creative design. Very cool!

If the next mural (which is painted to the right of Afro Garden) seems familiar, I took a photo of it a while back, but it wasn’t quite finished. It’s by artist Mary Jhun. See what it looked like in early 2019 here.

Lastly, a big, super colorful mural is now being painted on two walls of the Tropical Fish Stop at 4647 University Avenue. Tropical birds and fish and a turtle greet people passing by, and entice everyone to come inside!

The artist is Imperial Beach-based Esmeralda Robles. You’ve seen some of her artwork already on Cool San Diego Sights. Click here and check out her dogs on the surfboard!

Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights told me this is the 27th mural his organization has helped bring to the community. Truly inspirational.

I was introduced to the friendly owner of Tropical Fish Stop and looked at all sorts of exotic fish and birds. The store has been open at this location for less than a year and they have plans for expansion! If you live in City Heights, or elsewhere in San Diego, drop on by and check it out!

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!

Neighborhood restaurant mural: Better is Possible.

The East Village restaurant Neighborhood closed for renovations earlier this year. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, they have yet to reopen.

I walked past their boarded-up windows this afternoon and saw a mural had been painted on them. After a little searching on the internet, I see that artists Joshua and Ezra Andrade created the artwork last month.

Positive messages in the mural, which includes images of fighting, a knife and brass knuckles, include Ego is not Your Amigo, Better is Possible, Regulate Impulses, and Hood Must be Born Again!

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 new Portside Pier is ready to open!

The latest addition to San Diego’s beautiful Embarcadero is about to open. The new Portside Pier, a 4-in-1 restaurant and public observation deck operated by Brigantine, is set to open this Tuesday, July 28!

I’ve been watching the construction of this unusual dockside building for well over a year. You might recall I posted some photos late last year here. The Portside Pier is located directly next to the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic tall ship Star of India.

This new bayside eatery replaces the much-beloved Anthony’s Fish Grotto, where many San Diegans enjoyed great seafood meals and a view of the sparkling bay for 70 years. Before it was demolished, I blogged about good old Anthony’s Fish Grotto here and here. I blogged about its demolition here!

Portside Pier features four eateries: Brigantine Seafood and Oyster Bar, Miguel’s Cocina, Ketch Grill & Taps, and Portside Coffee & Gelato. The new structure has a fair amount of outdoor seating, which I suppose allows them to open during the current coronavirus pandemic restaurant restrictions.

I look forward to walking up onto the public observation deck and grabbing something to eat in the near future!

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!

Gaslamp restaurants make a comeback!

Restaurants in the Gaslamp have set up outdoor patios right into Fifth Avenue.
Restaurants in the Gaslamp have set up outdoor patios right into Fifth Avenue.

Many restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter are making a slow but steady comeback during the coronavirus pandemic. When I walk up Fifth Avenue every weekend, I notice that more and more tables are out on sidewalks and the street, and that more and more diners are filling them!

San Diego’s city leaders have taken extraordinary steps to mitigate an extraordinary problem. Dining indoors is not permitted in California, because indoor settings are where most people become infected with COVID-19. So eateries around town have been given permission to move their dining rooms outdoors!

In the Gaslamp Quarter, the extended patios of restaurants go right out into Fifth Avenue. It’s a concept that is growing, and the people I’ve spoken to say diners really enjoy the unique experience!

Gaslamp Quarter banners show workers at eateries pledging to keep customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gaslamp Quarter banners show workers at eateries pledging to keep customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

El Chingon always seems a popular destination in the Gaslamp.
El Chingon always seems a popular destination in the Gaslamp.

Outdoor tables throughout the Gaslamp were filling up this Saturday mid-afternoon.
Outdoor tables throughout the Gaslamp were filling up this Saturday mid-afternoon.

Sevilla was just beginning to set up their outdoor patio as I walked by.
Cafe Sevilla was just beginning to set up their outdoor patio as I walked by in the mid-afternoon.

The hostess at The Butcher's Cut Steakhouse greeted me with smiling eyes. I had already gotten some takeout for dinner down the street.
The hostess at The Butcher’s Cut Steakhouse greeted me with smiling eyes. I had already gotten some takeout for dinner down the street.

Diners enjoy the unique outdoor ambiance of the historic heart of San Diego!
Diners enjoy the unique outdoor ambiance of the historic heart of San Diego!

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 Cruisin’ carhop mural at 101 Cafe!

If you love cool cars and nostalgia you’ll like this mural. It’s painted on the south side of 101 Cafe in Oceanside. The mural depicts a carhop outside wearing roller skates. She’s serving food to customers in a woodie, hot rod and several other classic cars.

101 Cafe dates back to 1928. The original twenty seat diner was built on US Highway 101, the main road back then from Los Angeles to San Diego.

The small restaurant has gone through many changes over the years. At one time it was a drive-in. It’s now a diner specializing in breakfast, and features 1950’s decor–including this great mural!

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 fine evening to eat in the middle of the street!

It’s a fine evening to eat dinner in the middle of the street–Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter, that is!

Certain restaurants have begun to serve diners at tables in the middle of Fifth Avenue, from G Street down to L Street. “Curbside Gaslamp” has introduced this new way of coping with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the need for people to maintain six feet of social distance. Safely spaced tables occupy an “extended patio” right into the street, which is closed to traffic. Servers wear facial protection. And diners get to feast in the open air, surrounded by the dynamism and color of the historic Gaslamp Quarter!

Curbside Gaslamp is activated on Thursday and Friday 3 pm – midnight, and Saturday from noon to midnight. Safety rules are posted on a sign which I photographed. If you’re curious, click the photo below and it will enlarge for easy reading.

I believe as time goes on, more and more eateries will be participating!

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 glorious day as Balboa Park reopens!

The day that many in San Diego have anticipated for nearly three months has arrived!

Balboa Park is reopening!

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Central Mesa area of Balboa Park–the beloved center of San Diego’s cultural life–has been closed to the public. But that changes today! While most of the museums aren’t quite ready to open yet, visitors will again be able to amble down El Prado and enjoy the park’s sunshine, gardens and architectural beauty.

And a few places in the park will be open!

The world-famous San Diego Air and Space Museum will be open! So will the Visitor Center, the Prado Restaurant and the Japanese Friendship Garden’s Tea Pavilion! Visitors will notice that modifications have been made to ensure social distancing and generally increase public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can bet I’ll be heading to Balboa Park first thing after work today. And I’ll be there all weekend. I miss it so much.

Here are a few photographs from my rather inactive blog Beautiful Balboa Park. These photos were taken at sunrise on a summer day almost three years ago.

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!

Seaport Village suddenly turns blue!

The Pier Cafe at Seaport Village has been painted dark blue!
The Pier Cafe at Seaport Village is no longer brown. It has been painted dark blue!

Look what I noticed today during my evening walk along the Embarcadero. Seaport Village must have a brand new color scheme. Because many of its buildings along the water have recently been painted dark blue!

To me it all appeared very strange. Probably because I’m accustomed to Seaport Village’s old appearance.

Seaport Deli and Salad Bar has also been painted dark blue!
Seaport Deli and Salad Bar has also been painted dark blue! But it still has the red tile roof.

And so has the Harbor House restaurant! Seaport Village must have a new blue color scheme.
And the Harbor House restaurant has turned from brown to blue! Seaport Village must have a new color scheme.

The Seaport Village lighthouse has always been light blue. For many years you could purchase cookies here. I see a new eatery called Spill the Beans is coming.
The Seaport Village lighthouse has always been light blue. For many years you could purchase cookies here. I see a new coffee shop called Spill the Beans is coming.

And look! Buster's Beach House is now painted dark blue, too!
And look! Buster’s Beach House is now painted dark blue, too! It all appears a bit peculiar to me, but I might change my mind.

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!