Unrestored vintage Silver Line trolley car.

unrestored vintage silver line trolley

Here’s a photo of an unrestored vintage trolley car. It belongs to the San Diego trolley and one day will run on downtown’s Silver Line loop!

One vintage car has already been beautifully restored and is running during special hours. I’ll try to get a good pic of it one of these days.

Five cars are scheduled for restoration. They are relatively elegant post-war Presidents Conference Committee (PCC) cars, which ran in the city until 1949. Some would like to see these revitalized cars run up a new trolley line from downtown along Park Boulevard to the San Diego Zoo and beyond. It makes sense to me. Balboa Park and the zoo would be more easily reached by out-of-town visitors.

Streetcars have been a part of San Diego history since the 1890’s. The first were open-air coaches pulled by mules and horses. Eventually, electric streetcars ran from downtown to Hillcrest and east through many local communities, including North Park, Kensington and East San Diego. With the rise of the motorcar, they vanished. That is, until the modern red trolleys began service in 1981.

This photograph was taken at the 12th and Imperial trolley station, right next to the train and MTS trolley yard. You can see the tall bayside Hilton hotel in the background.

Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Comic-Con trolley.

marvel agents of s.h.i.e.l.d. comic-con trolley

At least one car being used by the San Diego Trolley still has its 2013 Comic-Con Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wrap and here it is in this quick photograph. I snapped this seconds after getting off at the Fifth Avenue trolley station. During Comic-Con, I noted three cars had this wrap, plus I saw various other cool wraps promoting other pop culture television shows. Check out the Cool San Diego Sights blog next summer and I’ll try to get a ton of Comic-Con pics.

Here’s a pic taken on a much later date:

Close-up image of the S.H.I.E.L.D. emblem on a black trolley.
Close-up image of the S.H.I.E.L.D. emblem on a black trolley.

A pile of cute teddy bears in a downtown window!

a pile of teddy bears in a window

Here’s another fun pic taken during a recent walk down B Street. A law enforcement teddy bear collection drive has filled several windows of the downtown Merrill Lynch building with warm fuzzy cuddly cuteness! I’m guessing that some less fortunate kids in San Diego are in for a bit of unexpected love!

Downtown Donut Bar’s window of treats!

downtown donut bar's window of treats

While walking to the Fifth Avenue trolley station yesterday morning, I passed the window of the Donut Bar on B Street. They’d just filled it with the day’s freshly-baked yummy treats and were preparing to open for business. I almost began to drool right there on the sidewalk!

The Donut Bar is frequently listed as one of the top doughnut shops in the entire country!  Wow!

Thought you’d like to have a peek! Good morning!

A pic taken later…

Oh no! The Donut Bar is Sold Out!
Oh no! The Donut Bar is Sold Out!

Look at this bonus pic!

Homer Simpson was out greeting a long line of Donut Bar customers one Saturday morning!
Homer Simpson was out greeting a long line of Donut Bar customers one Saturday morning!

Cool car carrier ship in San Diego Bay.

cool car carrier cargo ship in san diego bay

Check out the Lyra Leader, a massive box-like car-carrying ship as it heads down San Diego Bay toward the National City Marine Terminal. These cool, very unusual type of roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships are often seen passing close to downtown. They’re bringing in thousands of new cars from Asia–Japan and South Korea–which are driven off a ramp into a massive parking lot. Many of the vehicles are then loaded into car-carrying freight trains and sent off toward their final destinations.

In this photograph, note the active aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson docked at the North Island naval base on the left.

UPDATE–I finally got a couple more pics of another ship while I was crossing San Diego Bay on the ferry. All the passengers were excited to be so close to the massive thing!

Sailboats, skyscrapers and one super enormous ship!
Sailboats, skyscrapers and one super enormous ship!
Swift Ace car transport ship leaves San Diego Bay.
Swift Ace car transport ship leaves San Diego Bay.

ANOTHER UPDATE–Here are more photos that I took at later times…

IMG_7068z

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Merchant seamen memorial plaque in San Diego.

merchant seamen plaque in san diego

This plaque, a memorial to our nation’s merchant seamen, is located in San Diego’s Embarcadero Marina Park North between a popular walking path and the edge of the big bay. You’ll find it just steps from Seaport Village.

It reads:

Dedicated To the Merchant Seamen
Who Lost Their Lives At Sea
Donated by the Propeller Club of the United States
Port of San Diego
The Women’s Propeller Club of San Diego
Port of San Diego

A separate plaque reads:

Dedicated May 23, 1982

Seaport Village behind merchant seamen memorial.
Seaport Village behind merchant seamen memorial.

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.