Watch commercial fishermen unload their catch.

People walk down San Diego's Embarcadero.
People walk down San Diego’s Embarcadero.

watch commercial fishermen unload their catch

A great place to watch small commercial fishermen unload their catch or load up with ice is the dock just north of Seaport Village, opposite the Chesapeake Fish Company. Folks walking past can also peer through a glass window nearby and see workers in a refrigerated room cleaning and processing the fresh fish that ends up at restaurants throughout the region. I once heard the Chesapeake Fish Company is the largest fish broker west of the Mississippi.

The sign in this photograph details the history of San Diego’s fishing industry–tuna fishing and canning in particular. At one time San Diego had the largest tuna fishing fleet in the world. Many of the fishermen were Italian migrants, which gave rise to the Little Italy neighborhood, about a mile to the north on downtown’s waterfront.

Tuna Harbor, adjacent to this dock, now is home to a ragtag group of local fishing boats. It’s also a great place to spot sea lions!

Working Waterfront sign shows photographs from San Diego's rich fishing history.
Working Waterfront sign shows photographs from San Diego’s rich fishing history.
1915 photo shows immigrants cleaning and canning locally caught fish.
1915 photo shows immigrants cleaning and canning locally caught fish.
Sign contrasts abundant catch of 1980 with the decline of tuna fishing in mid 80's.
Sign contrasts abundant catch of 1980 with the decline of tuna fishing in mid 80’s.
Fishing boat passes by the dock and crane.
Fishing boat passes by the dock and crane.

A surprise around every corner in Seaport Village.

many enjoy san diego's seaport village

There’s a surprise around every corner in Seaport Village. The inviting place, with its meandering paths, specialty shops, eateries, historic merry-go-round, tranquil duck pond and fountains is a fine place to spend a sunny afternoon. Even native San Diegans enjoy it! One can fly a kite in the neighboring Embarcadero Marina Park, barbeque by a picnic bench, and watch buskers perform.  One can walk along the water and gaze out at the sparkling blue bay, sailboats and Coronado Island, or walk out on a working public pier for sweeping views from the Coronado Bay Bridge to the USS Midway, and beyond to Harbor Island.

Child takes delight at the Kite Flite shop in Seaport Village.
Child takes delight at the Kite Flite shop in Seaport Village.
Candied apples in window of the Seaport Village fudge store.
Candied apples in window of the Seaport Village fudge store.
Cookie shop lighthouse at Seaport Village.
Cookie shop lighthouse at Seaport Village.

You can see one of the Manchester Grand Hyatt towers in the background.

Folks board the Seal Tour amphibious vehicle for a harbor adventure.
Folks board the Seal Tour amphibious vehicle for a harbor adventure.
People sit on wall near the Pier Cafe.
People sit on wall near the Pier Cafe.
Pirate stands guard outside a Seaport Village nautical shop.
Pirate stands guard outside a Seaport Village nautical shop.
Seaport Village street performer prepares to swallow fire.
Seaport Village street performer prepares to swallow fire.

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Halloween art on display at Seaport Village.

halloween art on display at seaport village

Here’s a fun pic of an artistic Halloween display seen on a random shop wall in Seaport Village. I don’t recall the name of the store. The colorful arrangement of crafty witches, owls and pumpkins is a feast for the eyes!

I notice this morning that temperatures outside are cooling. Autumn is in the air and Halloween is around the corner!

Wind-driven witch in front of Kite Flite shop.
Wind-driven witch in front of Kite Flite shop.

Seaport Village’s historic carousel horses.

seaport village carousel horses

One of the best things about Seaport Village is its historic carousel. I like to buy a hot dog or onion rings from the nearby food court, or an ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s, then sit down at a shady table and watch families and kids flock to the merry-go-round. It’s also pleasant to take in a bit of live music from local artists who perform near the carousel on weekends.

This fun Looff carousel was built in 1895 and features over fifty colorful animals including a dragon, a giraffe, a teddy bear, a lion, and two horse-drawn chariots. Master wood carver Charles Looff is famous for inventing the uniquely flamboyant Coney Island style of carousels. In his lifetime he produced many popular carousels, amusements parks, roller coasters and Ferris wheels. Very cool!

Horse decorates exterior of Seaport Village carousel.
Horse decorates exterior of Seaport Village carousel.
Signs details long history of this Looff carousel.
Signs details long history of this Looff carousel.
The fun merry-go-round is a big favorite of young and old alike.
The fun merry-go-round is a big favorite of young and old alike.
People enjoy a perfect day near the Seaport Village carousel.
People enjoy a perfect day near the Seaport Village carousel.

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Military recruits jog through Balboa Park.

military recruits jog through Balboa Park

During my morning walks, I often see military personnel jogging through Balboa Park. Sometimes they can number in the hundreds. They wear distinctive yellow t-shirts marked “NAVY” and lustily chant military cadences as they proceed. I’m not sure whether they are sailors from one of the several nearby naval bases or marines from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Usually one or two men will be holding a flag, and a few men in front will lead the way, suddenly changing direction at a moment’s notice.

My camera’s flash in this photo reflected brightly off safety tape on the joggers, making the energetic scene appear kinetic and dazzling.

Plaque remembers San Diego’s first sheriff.

plaque of san diego's first sheriff

A large plaque affixed to a boulder near the House of Hungary in Balboa Park’s International Cottages remembers San Diego’s first sheriff, Agoston Haraszthy.

Haraszthy, born in 1812, was the first Hungarian to settle permanently in the United States. Before coming to San Diego, he founded the oldest incorporated village in Wisconsin and operated the first commercial steamboat on the upper Mississippi River.

After moving to San Diego, he formed a partnership with Juan Bandini and began many business and agricultural projects. He planted fruit orchards, operated a livery stable and stagecoach line, and opened a butcher shop. He was instrumental in organizing a large portion of San Diego called Middletown, which many called Haraszthyville. He imported grape vines and planted a vineyard near the San Diego River.

In 1850 he was elected first sheriff of San Diego County.

House of Hungary in Balboa Park's International Cottages.
House of Hungary in Balboa Park’s International Cottages.

Man walks dog past Casa del Prado.

man walks dog by casa del prado

I took this photo while strolling down El Prado, Balboa Park’s breathtakingly beautiful central promenade. Lined with fountains, fine museums and Spanish Colonial Revival buildings designed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, it is one of the most scenic walks in San Diego.

I caught this man taking a stroll with his dog in front of Casa del Prado, one of the spectacular buildings along El Prado.

This closeup photo was taken on a different day:

Ornate plaster designs on Spanish Colonial Revival buildings.
Ornate plaster elements add elegance to the Spanish Colonial Revival building.

And here’s one more pic!

Casa del Prado facade photographed as evening approaches and lights turn on.
Casa del Prado facade photographed as evening approaches and lights turn on.