Walking forward through life, or a dream.

Color in the sky above downtown San Diego.
Color in the sky above downtown San Diego.

Here are photos from different walks the past couple of weeks.

It’s odd–how every living experience instantly vanishes, becomes intangible: an insubstantial memory. I look at these photographs and my days seem so ephemeral. Our walk through life is very much like a dream.

Garbage truck lifts dumpster in front of the San Diego Symphony's Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center.
Garbage truck lifts dumpster in front of the San Diego Symphony’s Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center.
Working on the street near Sixth and Broadway.
Guys working on the street near Sixth and Broadway.
Someone rides a dockless rental bike down the sidewalk after an early morning shower.
Someone rides a dockless rental bike down the sidewalk after an early morning shower.
Wichita State band members by downtown hotel gets instruments ready for their NCAA basketball tournament game that was held at SDSU's Viejas Arena.
Wichita State band members by downtown hotel, getting their instruments ready for an NCAA basketball tournament game held at SDSU’s Viejas Arena.
Having a friendly chat while walking the dog on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.
Having a friendly chat while walking the dog on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.
Picking up litter on railroad tracks.
Picking up litter on railroad tracks.
A tree's reflection in windows.
A tree’s mysterious, golden reflection in windows.
A gull soars above downtown San Diego buildings.
A gull soars above downtown San Diego buildings.
A TV news van is parked by the Hall of Justice one evening.
A TV news van is parked by the Hall of Justice one evening.
Walking along in the Gaslamp near Bub's.
Holding hands in the Gaslamp Quarter near Bub’s.
Homeless man walks through life with his stuff.
Homeless man walks through life with his stuff.
Man in kilt, smoking a pipe, relaxes in Seaport Village on St. Patrick's Day.
Man in kilt, smoking a pipe, relaxes in Seaport Village on St. Patrick’s Day.
Fishing in the Marriott Marina. A friendly wave from folks who work at Hookup Baits, my work neighbors.
Fishing in the Marriott Marina. A friendly smile and thumbs up from folks who work at Hookup Baits, my work neighbors.
Looking down from the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge at the train and trolley yard.
Looking down from the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge at the train and trolley yard.
People linger high above the city on the 9th floor of the Central Library.
People linger high above the city on the 9th floor of the Central Library.
A view over East Village construction toward mountains in San Diego's East County.
A view over East Village construction toward mountains in San Diego’s East County.
Feeding birds at the library one fine day.
Feeding birds at the library one fine day.

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!

Art from different colleges across San Diego.

Visitors to the gallery on the 9th floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library look at some fascinating artwork.
Visitors to the gallery on the 9th floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library look at some fascinating artwork.

A fantastic exhibition is now open free to the public in the 9th floor gallery at San Diego’s Central Library. You Are Here features work from art students and professors at 13 different institutions of higher education around San Diego County.

Not only is this exhibition an opportunity for talented artists to show their creative work in public, but visitors to the Central Library can learn a little about each school’s unique art program.

I took photos of some of the artwork. Please swing on by–you’ll be impressed by the quality of these imaginative, evocative pieces. You Are Here runs through May 6, 2018.

You Are Here, a special exhibition in the Central Library's gallery, collects the work of 26 artists from 13 different higher education art departments across San Diego.
You Are Here, a special exhibition in the Central Library’s gallery, collects the work of 26 artists from 13 different higher education art departments across San Diego.
Diverse examples of thought-inducing visual art attract curious eyes.
Diverse examples of thought-inducing visual art attract curious eyes.
Space Ships, Wendell M. Kling, Professor of Art, San Diego Mesa College, 2013-present.
Space Ships, Wendell M. Kling, Professor of Art, San Diego Mesa College, 2013-present.
Hubcap Milagro for Chunky, David Avalos, Professor of Visual Arts, California State University San Marcos, 2011.
Hubcap Milagro for Chunky, David Avalos, Professor of Visual Arts, California State University San Marcos, 2011.
Untitled, Monique Van Genderen, Associate Professor of Art, UC San Diego, 2017.
Untitled, Monique Van Genderen, Associate Professor of Art, UC San Diego, 2017.
Pink Cactus Moon Rock, Corina Bilandzija, Student, Palomar College, 2017.
Pink Cactus Moon Rock, Corina Bilandzija, Student, Palomar College, 2017.
Warm Lights, Niki Ito, International Student, San Diego City College, 2017.
Warm Lights, Niki Ito, International Student, San Diego City College, 2017.
Hair, Larissa Lopez, Past Student, Cuyamaca Community College, 2017.
Hair, Larissa Lopez, Past Student, Cuyamaca Community College, 2017.
Ophelia, Hanna Hunter, Student, San Diego Miramar College, 2016.
Ophelia, Hanna Hunter, Student, San Diego Miramar College, 2016.

Do you enjoy discovering new things? I do! My camera is always ready during my long walks around San Diego!

Please join me on Facebook or Twitter!

The coolest used bookstore in San Diego!

Two super nice volunteers pose for a pic inside the cool Friends of the Central Library Bookstore!
Two super nice volunteers pose for a pic inside the cool Friends of the Central Library Bookstore!

There are many outstanding things about the Central Library in downtown San Diego. One great thing is their internet lab, where I can easily post to my blog when my home internet is temporarily down. Another is the used bookstore just inside the public library’s front entrance!

I can’t count all the awesome books, CD’s, graphic novels and other cool stuff I’ve stumbled across while browsing through the Friends of the Central Library Bookstore. Every time I go there seems to be a new crop on the shelves. My hungry eyes harvest the bounty. Fertile row after fertile row sprout with fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, science fiction, biographies, cookbooks, religion . . . you name it!

Are you looking for the coolest used bookstore in San Diego? Head downtown! The proceeds from every purchase help support the Central Library. In so many ways the library provides neighbors with opportunities, improving our community.

You never know what you'll find in this used bookstore. Perhaps someone would like to learn about The Practice of Palmistry.
You never know what you’ll find in this used bookstore. Perhaps someone would like to learn about The Practice of Palmistry.
I was shown this amazing pop-up book! Every page becomes a different habitat which plays realistic sound effects from nature!
I was shown this amazing pop-up book! Every page becomes a different habitat which plays realistic sound effects from nature!
Someone pauses near the front desk of San Diego's Central Library to browse a few of the many incredible used books!
Someone pauses near the front desk of San Diego’s Central Library to browse a few of the many incredible used books!

Yesterday for one measly dollar I purchased one of the best resources ever written for identifying local flora.

You can’t beat that!

Strange story read on the roof of the library.

This afternoon I read a strange story. Pages turned as I stood on the rooftop of the downtown library.

It was a story with no words.

To read a few unusual stories I’ve written–stories containing words–click Short Stories by Richard.

Art by creative homeless provides purpose, hope.

Life In A Meadow, by Chrystina W.
Life In A Meadow, by Chrystina W.

Some powerful canvases by talented artists are now on display on the first floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library. These artists all happen to be homeless.

The artwork you see in the following photos was created with the help of HEAL, a nonprofit organization that provides purpose, hope, and a creative outlet for the homeless in San Diego. Homeless Empowerment Through Art and Leadership has a Mobile Art Studio, allowing anyone on the streets to freely express themselves. Locations include Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and the downtown library. To learn more, click the photos of signs below and they will expand for easy reading!

If you’d like to shop for art that supports San Diego artists affected by homelessness, please visit HEAL’s Etsy store. The money from your purchase of artwork goes directly to the artist! (And please share that store’s link with your friends, too!)

If you happen to be homeless and are visiting my blog, first of all welcome! When I was young I was homeless myself for a time. But I found my way out of that maze and now have a hopeful, fulfilling life.

If you’re homeless, one thing you might consider doing is starting your own blog. You can easily start a free blog on WordPress. A public computer at the library is all you need! it’s actually pretty easy and if you accidentally mess up you can make changes or start over.

You can blog about anything that interests you. As you can see from my own blog, I like to walk around San Diego, take photographs and write short stories. After blogging consistently for a good while, Cool San Diego Sights now gets hundreds of page views every day! If I can accomplish that, believe me, anyone can! You just have to stick with it.

If you’re an artist and have a smartphone with a camera, you can use it to upload your own art online. Not only will that make you feel fantastic, and possibly open new avenues for your future, but by sharing your artwork with the world you might uplift the lives of many other people, too!

HEAL is a nonprofit that provides opportunities for creative self-expression and personal growth for individuals experiencing homelessness in San Diego.
HEAL is a nonprofit that provides opportunities for creative self-expression and personal growth for individuals experiencing homelessness in San Diego.
Many expressive works by talented artists are now on display at the San Diego Central Library.
Many expressive works by talented artists are now on display at the San Diego Central Library.
Blue Eye, by Dominique H.
Blue Eye, by Dominique H.
Fight To Be Happy, by Marius.
Fight To Be Happy, by Marius.
HEAL is Homeless Empowerment Through Art and Leadership. Their mobile art studio is free. Locations include Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and downtown San Diego. (Click the above image to expand it, for easy reading of days and times.)
HEAL is Homeless Empowerment Through Art and Leadership. Their mobile art studio is free. Locations include Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and downtown San Diego. (Click the above image to expand it, for easy reading of days and times.)
Love Is Eternal Tree, by Jolie.
Love Is Eternal Tree, by Jolie.
Geo Wood Collage, by Ben.
Geo Wood Collage, by Ben.
Circle Mandala, by Votive.
Circle Mandala, by Votive.
A Look Into My Mind, by David R.
A Look Into My Mind, by David R.
Sunny Day, by Carlos.
Sunny Day, by Carlos.
Shells By The River, by Propane Purps.
Shells By The River, by Propane Purps.
I Beseech You . . . Crows, by V The Artist.
I Beseech You . . . Crows, by V The Artist.
Memories Of The Caribbean, by Dario D.
Memories Of The Caribbean, by Dario D.
A very beautiful work of art. I apologize for not knowing the title or the artist's name.
A very beautiful work of art. I apologize for not knowing the title or the artist’s name.
Pink Sky, by Helena D.
Pink Sky, by Helena D.
River And Pine Trees, by Timothy R.
River And Pine Trees, by Timothy R.
Hindi Girl, by Shawn L.
Hindi Girl, by Shawn L.
Woman With Afro, by Dominique H.
Woman With Afro, by Dominique H.
Palms On The Beach, by Lawrence S.
Palms On The Beach, by Lawrence S.
Colorful Zig Zags, by Zak T.
Colorful Zig Zags, by Zak T.
Faces And Trees, by Vince and Leni.
Faces And Trees, by Vince and Leni.
Teal Dragon, by Kayla.
Teal Dragon, by Kayla.
Eye On A Butterfly, by Jelyn E.
Eye On A Butterfly, by Jelyn E.
Floating Face, by Kermina P.
Floating Face, by Kermina P.

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!

Trolley Dances at the downtown Central Library!

This year, Trolley Dances includes several performances inside the San Diego Central Library!
This year, Trolley Dances includes several performances at San Diego’s downtown Central Library!

Trolley Dances in 2017 is as cool as ever!

Trolley Dances is an annual event in San Diego that uses unusual public spaces as settings for dance. The inspired, provocative performances are produced and choreographed by the San Diego Dance Theater.

Buy a ticket for this year’s event and you’ll be led on an adventure for mind, body and spirit. Mobile audiences, following Trolley Dances group leaders, disembark the San Diego Trolley’s Blue Line at various stops to view performances from Chula Vista to downtown San Diego.

Trolley Dances runs for only two weekends. It’s a brilliant concept that’s a lot of fun and full of surprises.

A few of the performances this year take place at San Diego’s downtown Central Library. I took some quick photos so that you can get a taste of what you will experience!

A mobile audience has arrived on foot from a nearby trolley station. They are led into downtown San Diego's dynamic public library to enjoy fantastic dance performances!
A mobile audience has arrived on foot from a nearby trolley station. They are led into downtown San Diego’s dynamic public library to enjoy fantastic dance performances!
The dances all contain raw organic energy and beautifully expressed emotion.
The dances all contain raw organic energy and beautifully expressed emotion.
The dancers use the Central Library's public entrance as an unusual stage during Trolley Dances. In another very dramatic dance, which I didn't photograph, the escalators were used to great effect.
The dancers use the Central Library’s public entrance as an unusual stage during Trolley Dances. In another superb dance, which I didn’t photograph, the nearby escalators were used to produce an outstanding dramatic effect.
Outside the library, in the courtyard, the audience now watches dancers framed in glass windows!
Outside the library, in the courtyard, the audience now watches dancers framed in glass windows!
The dancers come outside and engage the audience.
The dancers come outside and engage the audience.
Grace and power.
Grace and power.
A day enjoying the Trolley Dances is a great adventure for mind, body and spirit!
A day enjoying the Trolley Dances makes for a great adventure!

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!

Cool photos from Steampunk Day at the Library!

A guy with a super cool steampunk outfit spread his mechanical wings for a photo as I entered the library!
A guy with a super cool steampunk outfit spread his mechanical wings for a photo as I entered the library!

Check out these cool photos from Steampunk Day at the Library!

I headed over to San Diego’s Central Library early this afternoon not really knowing what to expect. And what I experienced absolutely blew me away!

San Diego Steampunk, Gaslight Steampunk Expo, and the Friends of the Central Library put on an event that still has me smiling as I write this! You wouldn’t believe all the awesome steampunk costumes and gizmos and props and gadgets and inventions and artwork that filled a good chunk of the library’s first floor. I saw original stuff inspired by Lewis Carroll, H. G. Wells, Jules Verne… Some of my favorite authors! There were also a couple lectures and something called Tea Dueling, which I missed. Perhaps next year…

The participants, most of whom are makers, were all super friendly and eager to tell me about what they had created. I pocketed lots of business cards and flyers, and have tried to provide photo captions that accurately describe what I came across.

So what did I see? Take a look!

Steampunk Day at the San Diego Central Library promotes S.T.E.A.M. learning. Readers, students and imaginative people can explore history, science and technology!
Steampunk Day at the San Diego Central Library promotes S.T.E.A.M. learning. Readers, students and imaginative people can explore concepts in science and technology! And enjoy excellent literature and learn some history, too!
Dozens of local steampunk enthusiasts had gathered in the library to have fun and provide creative inspiration for young and old alike.
Dozens of local steampunk enthusiasts had gathered in the library to have fun and provide creative inspiration for young and old alike.
A super nice lady had a table full of steampunk crafts she had made. Like others participating in the event, she is a member of San Diego Steampunk.
A super nice lady had a table full of steampunk crafts she had made. Like others participating in the event, she is a member of San Diego Steampunk.
Library visitors during Steampunk Day could pose with Victorian costume accessories and props for a cool photo.
Library visitors during Steampunk Day could pose with Victorian costume accessories and props for a cool photo.
One of the first things I saw was an awesome model of Jules Verne's Nautilus from the classic Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!
One of the first things I saw was an awesome model of Jules Verne’s Nautilus from the classic Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!
Richard Ferrell aka Colonel Malcolm Weatherby was holding a ray gun at the ready. Like many other steampunk enthusiasts, he makes his own props.
Richard Ferrell aka Colonel Malcolm Weatherby was holding a ray gun at the ready. Like many other steampunk enthusiasts, he makes his own props.
This ray gun from Steampunk Arsenal is made of glass bottles and imagination.
This ray gun from Steampunk Arsenal is a fusion of glass bottles and imagination.
It's The Mad Hatter! And her mobile table is set for tea! Or perhaps A Moveable Feast. (Okay, I'm sorry--it's the library.)
It’s The Mad Hatter! And her mobile table is set for tea! Or perhaps A Moveable Feast! (Okay, I’m sorry–it’s the library.)
I didn't get the names of these folks, but they had some of the most inventive stuff. The blue liquid on the right is composed of captured moonbeams.
I didn’t get the names of these folks, but they had some of the most inventive stuff. The blue liquid on the right is composed of distilled moonbeams.
That gadget up at the top of this photo propels a courageous adventurer through time.
That gadget up at the top of this photo propels a courageous adventurer through time.
I believe this guy said he's Gandalf the Brass. His staff emits different colored light, depending on the magic. Should he defeat a Balrog, he might become Gandalf the Gold.
I believe this guy said he’s Gandalf the Brass. His staff emits different colored light, depending on the magic. Should he defeat a Balrog, he might become Gandalf the Gold.
Steampunk writer Madeleine Holly-Rosing had a table displaying some of her books. If you like reading steampunk fiction, you should probably check it out.
Steampunk writer Madeleine Holly-Rosing had a table displaying some of her books. If you like reading steampunk fiction, you should probably check it out!
Madeleine Holly-Rosing is author of comic book series Boston Metaphysical Society. Kind of like a steampunk The X-Files I was told. Sounds cool!
Madeleine Holly-Rosing is author of comic book series Boston Metaphysical Society. Kind of like a steampunk The X-Files I was told. Sounds cool!
Maleficent greeted me at the Steampunk Public table. I learned she's not really evil, just a bit misunderstood.
Maleficent greeted me at the Steampunk Public table. I learned she’s not really evil, just a bit misunderstood.
And look at all the cool contraptions created by Steampunk Public! Sheer fun and human creativity!
And look at all the cool contraptions created by Steampunk Public! Sheer fun and human creativity!
In a glass library display case I discovered steampunk collage art by Ramona Szczerba. She calls these curious vintage fictions.
In a glass library display case I discovered steampunk collage art by Ramona Szczerba. She calls these curious vintage fictions.
Imaginative costumes exhibited during Steampunk Day by the San Diego Costume Guild. They create costumes from many eras.
Imaginative uniforms exhibited during Steampunk Day by the San Diego Costume Guild. They create costumes representing many different eras.
Goggles and top hats everywhere!
Goggles and top hats everywhere!
A British explorer or officer or character from an alternate reality--not sure which! But he was super nice!
A British explorer or officer or eccentric character from a weird alternate reality–I’m not sure which! But he was super nice!
Taking an image using patented Spectral Photography.
Taking an image using patented Spectral Photography.
Kids in the Children's Library were busy making Mad Hatter hats!
Kids in the Children’s Library were busy making Mad Hatter hats!
A super spooky steampunk vampire was looking me over, perhaps getting a bit thirsty. Fangs for nothing!
A scary steampunk vampire looked me over when I stepped outside. Perhaps she was getting a bit thirsty. “Fangs for nothing!”
More awesome steampunk cosplay near the Central Library's auditorium.
More awesome steampunk cosplay near the Central Library’s auditorium.
This guy on the time machine materialized from the future right as I took a photo. I don't know whether he saw any Eloi or Morlocks.
This guy on the time machine materialized from the future right as I took a photo. I don’t know whether he saw any Eloi or Morlocks.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Valeiras Sculpture Garden at San Diego’s Central Library.

The Valeiras Sculpture Garden includes several works. It's located near the front entrance to the San Diego Central Library's Art Gallery on the Ninth floor.
The Valeiras Sculpture Garden includes several works. It’s located near the front entrance of San Diego Central Library’s Art Gallery on the Ninth floor.

Head up to the Ninth floor of San Diego’s downtown Central Library and you’re likely to see the small Valeiras Sculpture Garden, just outside the Art Gallery. Several lattice-like metal sculptures attract and interest the eye. They were created by local artist Christoper Puzio, who incorporates a variety of geometric patterns into many of his pieces.

Just in case you can’t see them in person, here are a few photos.

Jacob's Staff, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015.
Jacob’s Staff, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015.
Morocco, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015. This piece hangs on a wall just inside the Art Gallery's front door.
Morocco, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015. This piece hangs on a wall just inside the Art Gallery’s front door.
Bishop, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015.
Bishop, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015.
The small Valeiras Sculpture Garden at San Diego's Central Library is located on the Ninth floor, adjacent to the Art Gallery.
The small Valeiras Sculpture Garden at San Diego’s Central Library is located on the Ninth floor, adjacent to the Art Gallery.

Do you like to read? You might enjoy a short story that I’ve written. Final Real Magic is its title.

Print Culture exhibit at San Diego Central Library.

A special exhibit at the public library in downtown San Diego showcases modern graphic design from the mid-twentieth century.
A special exhibit at the public library in downtown San Diego showcases modern graphic design from the mid-twentieth century.

A fascinating exhibition at the San Diego Central Library will be running through May 7, 2017. You can find it on the 9th floor in the library’s Art Gallery. The exhibition, titled Print Culture: Midcentury Modern Graphic Design in San Diego, concerns artistic expression and the evolution of printing technology during the mid-20th century. Emphasis is placed on San Diego-based independent artists and local businesses, particularly defense contractors.

Artists, graphic designers, printers and those who enjoy learning about San Diego’s history and culture really should pay a visit to the gallery. Here are some photos which provide a taste of what you’ll see.

Print Culture: Midcentury Modern Graphic Design in San Diego is an exhibition now showing through May 7, 2017. The work of local designers, illustrators and artists is on display.
Print Culture: Midcentury Modern Graphic Design in San Diego is an exhibition now showing through May 7, 2017. The work of local designers, illustrators and artists is on display.
Many images created locally for various purposes are shown in the gallery. A uniquely bold style of graphic design emerged in the 1950s and evolved over the ensuing decades.
Many images created locally for various purposes are shown in the gallery. A uniquely bold style of graphic design emerged in the 1950’s and evolved over the ensuing decades.
I was interested to see an image of Donal Hord's sculpture Aztec. A few days ago I posted photographs that I took of the iconic work of art.
I was interested to see an image of Donal Hord’s sculpture Aztec. A few days ago I posted several photographs that I took of this iconic work of art.
More examples of graphic design from this sometimes overlooked period. Many artists produced their own printed material.
More examples of graphic design from this sometimes overlooked period. Many creative artists produced their own printed material.
The defense industry in San Diego created many posters, drawings, charts, presentations and signs in the mid-20th century. Printing machines evolved which facilitated their production.
The defense industry in San Diego produced many posters, drawings, charts, presentations and signs in the mid-20th century. Printing machines evolved which facilitated their production.
More interesting examples of printed artwork and ephemera.
More interesting examples of printed artwork and ephemera.
Small-scale press operations created many types of colorful printed material, including greeting cards.
Small-scale press operations created many types of colorful printed material, including greeting cards.
A display case in the Central Library's gallery contains more unique examples of printed art.
A display case in the Central Library’s gallery contains more unique examples of printed art from the mid-twentieth century.
The special exhibition contains many graphic pieces that one can study and admire.
This special exhibition contains many pieces that one can study and admire.
Colorful posters, invitations and cards were popular in the mid-1900s.
Colorful posters, invitations and cards were popular in the mid-1900’s.
Graphics designed specifically for art galleries are also on display.
Graphics designed specifically for fine art galleries are also on display.
Some graphics produced by San Diego-based companies for the military.
Some graphics produced by San Diego-based companies for the military.
The U.S. Navy's large presence in San Diego required the production of many pamphlets, charts and other printed documents.
The U.S. Navy’s large presence in San Diego required the production of many pamphlets, charts and other printed documents.
One display explains how physical art was first conceptualized and created before appearing on a magazine cover.
One display explains how physical art was first conceptualized and created before finally being printed on a magazine cover.
A fascinating look at another era's artistic expression through graphic design. Our culture has been greatly influenced by the evolution of printing technology.
A fascinating look at another era’s artistic expression through graphic design. It’s apparent that our culture has been greatly influenced by the evolution of printing technology.

Writing is a struggle. ¬†After revising my latest short story over and over again, I believe that I finally have it right. This story is so short you’ll be able to read it in less than one minute! It’s called The Piano Player Sat Down.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

12 Favorite Places in San Diego to Read and Write.

The spacious Reading Room at downtown San Diego's Central Library.
The spacious Reading Room at downtown San Diego’s Central Library.

Do you love to read or write? I have a number of favorite locations in San Diego where I can pick up a book or pen while enjoying a pleasant view and relative peace. I find these places to be comfortable, inspiring and expansive for the mind. But, of course, my list is completely subjective. One can find countless benches, tables, parks and beaches in sunny San Diego.

Some readers and writers might like to place themselves in a coffee shop, or at the center of a bustling scene. Others might like to be surrounded by natural or artistic beauty. Others simply want solitude. Personally, I prefer the latter two–with a bustling scene in the quiet distance, perhaps.

Here are my 12 favorite spots, in no particular order:

San Diego Central Library’s amazing Reading Room. (See the above photo.)

Downtown San Diego’s large new Central Library is just a wonderful place all around. But perhaps its best feature is a gigantic eighth floor Reading Room, crowned by the building’s fantastic lattice dome. Comfortable sofas and easy chairs allow patrons to gaze through enormous windows out toward San Diego’s South Bay. And the Reading Room is so nice and quiet.

Benches can be found overlooking moored boats in San Diego Bay's Crescent Area.
Benches can be found overlooking moored boats in San Diego Bay’s Crescent Area.

Any bench near the water in San Diego Bay’s Crescent Area.

If you don’t mind the occasional company of homeless people, San Diego Bay’s Crescent Area is a fine place to stretch one’s legs and mind. It’s a not-very-touristy stretch between the Grape Street Pier and the Coast Guard Station, with a number of comfortable wooden benches facing picturesque boats moored in the bay. Bicyclists and joggers pass by frequently and gulls and pigeons swing by for an occasional visit. The wide view, stretching across the bay to Point Loma, always puts me in a thoughtful mood.

Picnic benches at Embarcadero Marina Park North offer views of sparkling San Diego Bay.
Picnic tables at Embarcadero Marina Park North offer views of sparkling San Diego Bay.

Picnic tables near the water at Embarcadero Marina Park North.

When writing, I like mental peace. I find this state of mind can be most easily reached inside a happy, carefree atmosphere. So I often seek out an available picnic table near the water at Embarcadero Marina Park North. The blue bay sparkles, boats sail past serenely, families laugh on the grass, colorful kites glide overhead. Sometimes I just sit and do nothing.

Several tables are usually open on the deck of the Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Several tables are usually open on the deck of the Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

The Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Would you like to sit at a table overlooking a tranquil koi pond and waterfall? I would! That’s why I have become a member of the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. I wrote two short stories recently while sitting at one table. They are titled An Old Man on a Bus and Waterfall Tears.

You'll likely find solitude in the beautiful Administrative Courtyard in Balboa Park.
You’ll likely find solitude in the beautiful Administrative Courtyard in Balboa Park.

The little-known Administrative Courtyard in Balboa Park.

I discovered this perfect, blissful park a couple of years ago. It’s called the Balboa Park Administrative Building Courtyard and it’s located in the park’s Inspiration Point area, behind the Balboa Park Administration Building. Almost nobody goes there. You might have the entire beautiful place all to yourself. A perfect sunny place to really concentrate.

Shelter Island offers shade, grass, trees, and wide views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.
Shelter Island offers shade, grass, trees, and wide views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.

A bench, a picnic table or the grass on Shelter Island.

I love Shelter Island–especially the southwest end. Few tourists, great views, grassy lawns, a wonderful pier. When I walk along the park-like paths I feel as though I’m on vacation. Many benches and picnic tables along the length of Shelter Island make ideal places to read or write. Or just bring a blanket and lie down on the grass. It’s so pleasant you might fall asleep!

The area around La Jolla Cove is so beautiful, you might just sit in one spot and take in the scenery.
The area around La Jolla Cove is so magnificent, you might do nothing but sit in one spot for a long while, taking in the scenery.

A spot near the ocean at Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla.

When you’re visiting one of the most beautiful locations in the world, of course you’ll feel inspired. After finding a spot to read or write for a bit, get up and walk along the cliffs. Breathe in the fresh sea air. Watch birds, seals and the endlessly crashing waves. You’ll feel so alive.

Many picnic tables are often unused at Silver Strand State Beach. An ideal spot to quietly read or write.
Many picnic tables are often unused at Silver Strand State Beach. An ideal spot to quietly read or write.

An isolated picnic table at Silver Strand State Beach.

Silver Strand State Beach can be lonely, especially off-season and on the San Diego Bay side. There are usually dozens and dozens of picnic tables that are empty. Walk or pedal down the Silver Strand bike path, perhaps, and rest for awhile at a table. Then take out a book or your laptop or notepad. If you’d like to get up and stretch your legs, walk under the highway to the Pacific Ocean side, take your shoes off, walk on the beach and watch kitesurfers.

Sit atop the OB Pier high above the swelling blue ocean and you're certain to feel inspired and alive.
Sit near the end of the OB Pier high above the swelling blue ocean and you’re certain to feel inspired and alive.

Any bench above the water on the Ocean Beach Pier.

Sit on a bench out on the long Ocean Beach Pier and you’ll feel that you’re far from land–in a magical place between airy blue heaven and the rolling, living blue water below. When you glance up from your book or laptop, you’ll see fishermen sharing the rail with patient pelicans, and surfers bobbing below waiting for their perfect wave. But bring a jacket. The ocean wind can be chilly, even in summer.

Many benches await thinkers, dreamers, readers and writers at Spanish Landing in San Diego.
Many benches await thinkers, dreamers, readers and writers at Spanish Landing in San Diego.

A spot beside San Diego Bay at Spanish Landing.

This is another fine place to sit by the water. Spanish Landing is an uncrowded retreat from city life with a view of the marinas behind Harbor Island. You might hear aircraft taking off from nearby Lindbergh Field, but I seldom notice. There are many benches along the grassy park to choose from. Here you can also read interesting historical markers. With a little imagination, you might visualize Spanish explorers landing here many centuries ago.

One of the many beautiful, peaceful spots that can be found throughout Liberty Station.
One of the many beautiful, peaceful spots that can be found throughout Liberty Station.

Any bench at Liberty Station, particularly by the boat channel.

Liberty Station has many walking paths and benches where anyone can sit down to think or simply relax. My favorite spots overlook the boat channel. Light twinkles from the water, the breeze is pleasant, and paddleboarders and kayakers occasionally coast on by. There’s no hurry to do anything. If I write or read just a few words, I’m happy.

There are a couple of hidden benches not far from here in Balboa Park! Perfect for writers who like to observe people!
There are a couple of hidden benches not far from here in Balboa Park! Perfect for writers who like to observe people!

A hidden bench beside the Timken Museum of Art.

Against the north wall of the Timken Museum in Balboa Park, tucked behind a few trees, you’ll discover a couple of hard concrete benches. During a hot summer day they are so nice and cool! One can peer between foliage at the grassy area near the Botanical Building and reflecting pool, where people play, picnic and walk dogs. It’s like your own secret space in green heaven. But bring a seat cushion if you sit there for long!

Where are your favorite places to read or write? Leave a comment!

All of these photos are from Cool San Diego Sights. To see thousands of images from all around San Diego, simply navigate about my website!

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