Padres fan gear vendor outside Petco Park.

padres fan gear vendor outside petco park

Late this morning, loads of Padres fans anticipating a great baseball game were entering Petco Park from its east side. Before filing through the gate and past the cool new Jerry Coleman memorial, they passed this colorful vendor. All sorts of Padres gear was on display for supportive fans.

Sunny summer days of baseball are full of life, sounds, smells, color and pageantry. Going to a Padres game in San Diego is always a fun experience, win or lose!

Padres fans converge on Petco Park for another baseball game.
Padres fans converge on Petco Park for another baseball game.

I took a couple more related pics at the beginning of the 2015 season…

Any vendors at this entrance on opening weekend of the 2015 season are hidden by lots of excited fans!
Any vendors at this entrance on opening weekend of the 2015 season are hidden by lots of excited fans!
This smiling entrepreneur set up shop on a sidewalk a couple blocks from Petco Park.
A smiling entrepreneur set up shop on a sidewalk a couple blocks from Petco Park.

San Diegans donate used textiles for charity.

san diegans donate used textiles for charity

I just got home from my walk today, when lo and behold, on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street right next to the Tweet Street playground are a couple of friendly folks collecting used and unwanted textiles. Here’s a pic!

Their website is www.rippletextilerecycling.com and they raise money by collecting old, stained or torn clothing, bedding, towels, shoes, stuffed animals . . . you name it! Wearable and useable items are sent to developing nations. The other stuff is ground up and converted into new products. They earn 10 cents a pound, and the proceeds are donated to local charities.

The money raised today will go to the YWCA Cortez Hill Family Center!

Please check out their website and make a note of their upcoming events!

Caliente horse racing sign on downtown building.

caliente racing ad on san diego building

One of downtown San Diego’s historic buildings, which is now abandoned and used to be home of the California Theatre, features a large, eye-catching Caliente ad on its west exterior wall. The faded yellow sign dates from the 1960’s. Take a look!

The Agua Caliente Racetrack, not far from San Diego in Tijuana, Mexico, today features greyhound racing. It opened in 1929 as a horse racing venue where big Hollywood celebrities were often sighted. Its popularity was largely due to prohibition and the fact that both drinking and gambling were illegal in many nearby American states.

Large old Caliente racetrack sign on building.
Large Caliente racetrack sign on old abandoned building.

Mother and child mural on Little Italy building.

IMG_5105z

Here’s a warm, colorful mural on a building in Little Italy. It depicts a mother and child.

I saw this artwork while strolling down the sidewalk. Thought you might enjoy it!

A closer examination of the mother and child tile mural in Little Italy.
A closer, higher contrast look at the mother and child tile mural in Little Italy.

Dick’s Last Resort in the Gaslamp.

dick's last resort in the gaslamp

Here’s a photo taken on a weekday morning of Dick’s Last Resort in the Gaslamp. This wacky bar and restaurant chain with an intentionally-trained-to-be-obnoxious staff is jam-packed with all sorts of colorful customers most evenings and especially on weekends. Beer and good times are known to flow freely here!

Here are a couple more pics from other days:

Dick's Last Resort seen from across Fourth Avenue.
Dick’s Last Resort seen from across Fourth Avenue.
A very dour, funny unshaven dude with beer mug.
A very dour, funny unshaven dude with beer mug.

Gaslamp Quarter, Historic Heart of San Diego.

gaslamp quarter, historic heart of san diego

The Gaslamp Quarter is not only the Historic Heart of San Diego, as the iconic sign proclaims, but it has become the center of entertainment and dining for downtown’s burgeoning nightlife. The popular Hard Rock Hotel, seen in this photograph, is but one of scores of cool attractions lining bustling Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Avenues between Broadway and Harbor Drive. Pouring even more life into the Gaslamp is nearby Petco Park, the San Diego Convention Center and Horton Plaza.

This area of town, a few decades ago, had become the home to vacant old buildings, half-deserted warehouses and seedy bars attracting lonely sailors homeported in San Diego. Many say the catalyst for its modern transformation was the establishment of Croce’s restaurant and jazz bar on Fifth Avenue in 1985. The popular Croce’s was created as a tribute to legendary singer Jim Croce by his surviving wife Ingrid.  As of 2014, Croce’s has moved to a different location on Bankers Hill.

Just a typical view of the always lively Gaslamp.
Just a typical view of city life in the always lively Gaslamp Quarter.
Fun, elaborate architecture can be seen all over the historic Gaslamp.
Fun, elaborate architecture can be seen all over the historic neighborhood.
People dine at restaurant in old Gaslamp building.
People dine at a restaurant in the heart of the Gaslamp district.
Bar patrons watch a soccer game.
Bar patrons watch a soccer game in style.
People stop to enjoy a treat at Ghirardelli's.
People stop to enjoy a treat at Ghirardelli’s.
Colorful stuff for sale in a Gaslamp store window.
Colorful stuff for sale in a touristy store window.
Plaque tells a bit about the Louis Bank of Commerce.
Plaque tells a bit about the Louis Bank of Commerce Building.
The legendary Louis Bank of Commerce Building attracts much attention!
The legendary Louis Bank of Commerce Building attracts much attention!
Wyatt Earp operated a brothel in this fancy building.
San Diego’s first granite building shows Baroque style architecture.

The two photos above show the Louis Bank of Commerce Building. In the late 1800’s it became home to the Oyster Bar,  one of four saloons and gambling halls operated by Wyatt Earp when he lived in San Diego.

Wyatt Earp's Historic Gambling Hall and Saloon.
Canopy reads: Wyatt Earp’s Historic Gambling Hall and Saloon.
Nesmith-Greeley Building was built in the Romanesque Revival style.
Nesmith-Greely Building was built in the Romanesque Revival style.
Nesmith-Greeley Building had office of first woman attorney in California Bar Association.
Greely Building contained office of the first woman attorney in California Bar Association.
Elegant doorway of the 1888 building.
Elegant doorway of the 1888 building.
I.O.O.F. Building's cornerstone contains a stone from Soloman's Temple!
I.O.O.F. Building’s cornerstone contains a stone from Solomon’s Temple!
1882 Independent Order of Odd Fellows building.
The 1882 Independent Order of Odd Fellows building.
Closer view of the Classical Revival style I.O.O.F. building in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Closer view of the Classical Revival style I.O.O.F. building in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
San Diego's historic Old City Hall is an 1874 Florentine Italianate building.
San Diego’s historic Old City Hall is an 1874 Florentine Italianate building.
Two floors were added to Old City Hall to accommodate San Diego Public Library in 1887.
Two floors were added to Old City Hall to accommodate San Diego Public Library in 1887.
The delightful entrance to Old City Hall.
The delightful entrance to Old City Hall.
The Yuma Building was one of downtown's first brick structures.
The Yuma Building was one of downtown’s first brick structures.
The Gaslamp's historic Yuma Building dates from 1882.
The distinctive Yuma Building also dates from 1882.
Looking down Fifth Avenue one early weekday morning.
Looking down Fifth Avenue one early weekday morning.
Grand Pacific Hotel was built in 1887 at this location.
Grand Pacific Hotel was built in 1887 at this location.
The distinctive old Victorian Grand Pacific Hotel in San Diego's Gaslamp.
The distinctive old Victorian Grand Pacific Hotel in San Diego’s fantastic Gaslamp.
Worker scrapes paint from an old building.
Worker scrapes old paint as the years roll on.
Old Town Trolley Tours bus exits the Gaslamp.
Old Town Trolley Tours bus exits the popular Gaslamp Quarter.

Click to follow the Cool San Diego Sights blog on Twitter or Facebook!

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.