Yes, even Athena and Euterpe wear face masks!

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is a serious matter. But this morning I didn’t expect to see two powerful Greek deities wearing face masks!

I spotted the great Olympian goddess Athena and the Muse of music Euterpe wearing face coverings during my walk along the Embarcadero!

Athena is the figurehead of HMS Surprise, and Euterpe graces the bow of Star of India. Both famous tall ships belong to the Maritime Museum 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 old San Diego courthouse vanishes!

The old downtown San Diego Superior Court building has vanished! A city block that once contained the busy courthouse is empty!

Several years ago, a new 22-story Central Courthouse opened at Union Street and C Street, absorbing all of the functions of the sprawling old courthouse that was built in 1961. The demolition of the south part of the old courthouse has been ongoing for months, and when I walked by this morning, the entire block between Broadway and C Street was nothing but an empty lot!

A new high-rise building designed by Holland Partner Group is planned for this location. It will feature hundreds of apartments, plus office and commercial space.

A friendly construction worker who spoke to me through a fence said the next phase of the old courthouse demolition will be the section north of C Street. According to what I’ve read, the adjoining Old Jail, or Detention Center, will also be removed. A tunnel built beneath this property will connect the new Central Courthouse to the San Diego County Jail, which is located directly to the east across Front Street.

In my final photo you can see how a part of the old courthouse that bridged the trolley tracks is now being carefully removed. Check out the size of those steel beams! (In the background rises the sleek new Central Courthouse.)

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 many cheerful colors of Little Italy!

I was walking around the Little Italy neighborhood in downtown San Diego when it occurred to me why I love this place so much.

It’s so cheerfully colorful!

Even on an overcast “June gloom” morning!

In the past I’ve shared photos of many of these Little Italy buildings, piazzas, murals and other artwork.

Today I’ll simply provide a taste of what it’s like to ramble about while smiling…

These are certainly colorful--they have personality!
These sculpted logs are quite colorful–because they have personality!

If you want to learn more about this unusual Mona Lisa mural beside a freeway on-ramp, and about the local students who created it, click 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!

Artist paints big, fun mural in City Heights!

Sandra Escobar paints a cool mural on the side of Super Cocina in City Heights.
Sandra Escobar paints a cool mural on the side of Super Cocina in City Heights.

This afternoon Sandra R. Escobar, a multi-award winning artist from Orange County, finished painting a large, very colorful mural in City Heights. I arrived as she was applying the final touches to her canvas–a portion of the east side of Super Cocina!

Check it out!

Her work has a unique style of its own, as you can see at the artist’s website here. Sandra Escobar is also a digital artist, and I learned this fun mural, with its crazy jumble of eyes and noses and other facial features, was designed digitally in advance.

The title of the mural is 6 Feet Apart. It’s the largest mural she’s painted yet!

The new mural appears between two others that were previously painted on the east side of Super Cocina.
The new mural appears between two others that were previously painted on the east side of Super Cocina.
Finishing another very cool mural on University Avenue in City Heights!
Finishing a very cool mural on University Avenue in City Heights!

UPDATE!

I received some photos from Love City Heights of the mural being created…

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Photo courtesy Love City Heights.
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Photo courtesy Love City Heights.

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!

The San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden.

Dr. Jim Knott helps to tend the beautiful San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden.
Dr. Jim Knott helps to tend the beautiful San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden.

There’s a garden in Balboa Park that very few people know about. I happened upon the garden today, and was told it’s called the San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden. You can find it inside the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.

Some members of the Southern California Plumeria Society (known for their popular plant sales in Balboa Park) have created this garden and lovingly maintain it.

Dr. Jim Knott told me a little about the garden, and showed me three rows of plumerias bordering the outdoor horseshoe pits. I was told the first plumeria was planted in 2008. He’d like to see the garden flourish and assume greater prominence. It’s a wonderful project!

Next time you walk through the southwest corner of Balboa Park, and you pass the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club, look over the fence. You’ll see the San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden!

UPDATE!

I received a comment with additional information about the history of these plumerias:

“…My name is Robert Chubinsky, I put them there. I was President of Balboa Park Horseshoe Club for a while and planted them starting in 2012. I grew them on my patio in South Mission Beach. My patio was getting crowded, I had over 40 plants many too big for my patio and started planting them. It was my legacy to the park. All that was there before were weeds and dirt with no blocks. I had the outer bank built with the landscape blocks to give an outside border and filled it with dirt and planted the trees…”

Plumeria flowers are beloved by many.
Plumeria flowers are beloved by many.
Stones at the San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden remember loved ones.
Stones at the San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden remember loved ones.
A small plumeria nursery at the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
A small plumeria nursery at the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
A labor of love.
A labor of love.

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!

Learn to play horseshoes in San Diego!

I made a cool discovery today!

If you’d like to learn how to play the game of horseshoes, you have an opportunity to do so in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park!

During my walk this morning, I spotted members of the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club out having fun in the horseshoe pits in the southwest corner of the park. I spoke with some of the friendly folks and learned that the public is invited to learn the game with a free horseshoe pitching lesson! The lessons are held on Thursdays at 6 pm, near the corner of Juniper Street and Sixth Avenue. Look for the blue sign that reads San Diego Chess Club/Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.

During the present coronavirus pandemic, they have taken all the necessary precautions, so you can feel safe.

Make sure you notify the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club San Diego you’d like a free lesson, so someone will definitely be there! You can connect via their Facebook page here.

The San Diego Horseshoe Pitching Club has a lot of fun at the facility also known as the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
The San Diego Horseshoe Pitching Club has a lot of fun at the facility also known as the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
David Lavallee of the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club is working to grow the love of the game in San Diego.
David Lavallee of the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club is working to grow the love of the game in 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!

Creativity and optimism in City Heights!

This afternoon I walked down University Avenue between I-805 and I-15. I’d learned a new mural is being painted in the City Heights’ outdoor “drive-through” art gallery!

Award-winning artist Sandra Escobar is painting a new mural on the wall of Super Cocina this weekend, and when I arrived the design had been sketched on a base of white paint. As I watched her helper working on the wall, the artist told me that tomorrow she’ll be applying color. I promised to swing by to check the new mural out!

Meanwhile, during my walk I discovered even more creativity along the sidewalk. Love City Heights has been working to add color and a sense of optimism to the community, and artwork now appears almost everywhere one turns. Even some boarded up windows have come alive!

I photographed several works of art that I hadn’t seen on past walks…

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 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!

Beautiful fish mosaics at Piazza Pescatore.

I first blogged about Little Italy’s modest Piazza Pescatore two years ago. At the time it was relatively new. You can revisit those few photographs here.

This morning I was walking past Piazza Pescatore when my eyes were arrested by beautiful fish mosaics beneath the rim of two wide planters, and along an ascending curve of the fountain. I don’t believe all of these mosaics yet existed that first time I visited.

As I knelt to look more closely, I felt I was peering into a slice of ocean alive with bright fish.

The mosaic artist is Kim Emerson.

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!

Six years of colorful Comic-Con trolleys!

It’s mid-June. If this were an ordinary year, brand new trolley wraps would be rolling out right now for San Diego Comic-Con. But, alas, like most events, Comic-Con has been cancelled in 2020 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

I’ve photographed just about every Comic-Con trolley wrap that has appeared in the past six years. As mobile billboards, they’re used to promote popular entertainment–primarily new or ongoing television series. They’re designed to catch the attention of Comic-Con fans and create a sense of anticipation and excitement.

This year I’ll miss watching the weeks of preparations that lead up to the world’s greatest pop culture convention. Seeing streets, buildings and trolleys massively transformed for the epic event is one more thing that makes living in downtown San Diego so much fun!

If you, like me, are saddened by the cancellation of Comic-Con in 2020, I figured we could revisit these very colorful trolley wraps from the past six years. How many do you remember or recognize?

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

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!