Photographs of the SDSU Clay Gateway.

I recently rode a bus to the SDSU Transit Center on my way to another destination. I had plenty of time, so I walked a couple of blocks south to the corner of Montezuma Road and Campanile Drive to have a good look at the Clay Gateway.

The Clay Gateway opened in 2016. Rising simply but elegantly, decorated with patterned tiles, the gateway serves as a formal campus entrance to San Diego State University. Shining plaques on either side of the entrance state: THROUGH THESE GATES WILL PASS OUR FUTURE LEADERS.

You can learn more about the Clay Gateway, named after SDSU supporters Ben and Nikki Clay, by clicking here.

Here are my photos…

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 new Aztec Stadium rises!

San Diego State University’s new Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley is rapidly rising!

I took some photos in late April and you could see back then how the construction had just begun. Now huge supporting steel beams for the stands and stadium lights can be easily seen from Friars Road!

I took these photographs from the southwest side of the stadium late this afternoon.

UPDATE!

A week and a half later I took the next series of photos. My walk continued along Friars Road on the north side of the new Aztec Stadium.

I encountered someone else gazing over the construction site fence. He remarked the stadium was going up quickly. I had to agree!

ANOTHER UPDATE!

Here’s a photo I took one early morning in mid-September, 2021…

AND…

A photo I took from the east side in early October…

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!

Trolley Dances at San Diego State University!

Late this morning I was at the SDSU Transit Center during a Trolley Dances performance!

I captured these images of a dance that took place by the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, at the end of the pedestrian bridge that crosses over College Avenue.

As the mobile audience group arrived up the stairs from the underground SDSU trolley station, the dancers slowly took their positions, each providing the gathering onlookers with a small wave. It soon became clear to me the modest waves were the beginning of their dance.

The dancers began as individuals, performing small gestures in their own circle, seeming to prepare for a big moment together, but somehow shy. Sometimes they would gesture toward the audience, as if yearning for a joining.

Then came sudden magic. The dancers became one. They leaped, reached, swayed, strutted, energized by their joyful togetherness. And then came the victorious ending, when together they moved away into the distance, arms raised.

At least that’s kind of how I interpreted the dance.

What do you see?

Trolley Dances continues tomorrow only–Sunday–so if you want to experience this for yourself (plus three other fantastic dances, all near Green Line trolley stations), go to the San Diego Dance Theater website right now to find out more!

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 new Aztec Stadium begins to take shape!

This afternoon I headed over to a spot west of the SDSU Mission Valley construction site. I was curious to see if San Diego State University’s new Aztec Stadium is taking shape yet.

It is–but the work is still in a very early stage!

I took these photographs from a distance. You can see where some lower level seating in the stadium will be.

If you want to see a rendering of the finished Aztec Stadium, and compare it to the construction so far, click here.

Because I work nearby, I’ll occasionally swing by in the future to check on the stadium’s progress and update my blog with new photos.

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!

History Center visits San Diego legend Nathan Harrison.

Most of the museums in Balboa Park have reopened now that the COVID-19 pandemic is subsiding. Yesterday I visited the San Diego History Center and enjoyed viewing one of their current exhibits.

Born a Slave, Died a San Diego Legend concerns freed slave Nathan Harrison, who lived in a small cabin on Palomar Mountain in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Perhaps you’ve driven up to Palomar Mountain State Park and the world-famous Palomar Observatory via Nate Harrison Road. The road is named in honor of this legendary homesteader who provided water and stories to tourists who made the precipitous trek to the mountain top. Nathan Harrison was once the most photographed person in San Diego!

Born a Slave, Died a San Diego Legend shows what it would have been like to journey up to Harrison’s cabin on Palomar Mountain. It also examines what San Diego State University archaeologists have discovered about his life and interactions with his visitors, who offered him gifts of all types. To learn more about the Department of Anthropology’s fascinating Nathan “Nate” Harrison Historical Archaeology Project, click here.

One interesting thing I learned was that Harrison had a sister-in-law named Ramona Wolf. She was the namesake for Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona, one of the most popular American novels ever written. (You might recall that, to draw tourists and increase the number of riders on his San Diego Electric Railway, entrepreneur and philanthropist John D. Spreckels once claimed the dilapidated Casa de Estudillo in Old Town was the marriage place of the novel’s character Ramona, and thereby preserved an historic building.)

Nathan Harrison’s life is an integral part of San Diego history. His story spans the Antebellum South, the California Gold Rush and Wild West, and the early part of the 20th century.

His many personal adventures, his independent life on a mountain, and his friendship inspired countless San Diegans. When you visit the exhibit at the San Diego History Center, you will also be inspired at how, in his own unique way, a freed slave achieved the American Dream.

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 stadium falls. A university rises!

The last standing part of old San Diego Stadium, once home of the football Chargers and baseball Padres, is about to fall. Meanwhile, San Diego State University’s new Mission Valley campus has begun to rise!

I took photos this morning from the west side of the now vanished stadium parking lot that show the final section of stands being demolished. In the foreground, you can see the grading and initial construction work that will ultimately result in SDSU Mission Valley!

I posted photographs of earlier stages of the stadium’s demolition that were taken from its east side here.

To learn more about the future SDSU Mission Valley, its new Aztec Stadium, River Park and more, check out this web page!

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!

Demolition of San Diego Stadium is underway!

San Diego Stadium, built in 1967, once home of the baseball Padres and football Chargers, which has been known over the decades as Jack Murphy Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium, and most recently SDCCU Stadium, is presently being demolished!

I walked down Rancho Mission Road this afternoon to take a couple of photographs through a construction fence surrounding the old stadium parking lot.

I see the big mural at the back of the scoreboard titled The Fan Game, by artist Mario Uribe, is still standing. If you want to see photographs of this cool sports mural from earlier this year, click here.

Eventually the area occupied by the stadium and its parking lot will be transformed into a huge extension of San Diego State University. I’ve heard the new campus referred to as either SDSU West or SDSU Mission Valley. A new 35,000 person capacity Aztec Stadium will also be built at this site, as well as a beautiful new river park.

To read more about the project, click here.

UPDATE!

Here are more photos I took a couple weeks later. Most of the mural is gone, and a larger chunk of the stadium is missing!

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!

San Diego Stadium parking lot vanishes!

The enormous parking lot around San Diego Stadium–which over the years has been called SDCCU, Qualcomm and Jack Murphy Stadium, and which has been the home of the Chargers, Padres and SDSU Aztecs–is vanishing!

Check out a few photos I took today from a corner of the raised platform at the Stadium trolley station. The west portion of the 120 acre parking lot–once the largest parking lot west of the Mississippi River–is being removed to make way for the “SDSU West” Mission Valley development.

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 art of Chicano/a/x printmaking, activism.

A collection of bold contemporary art can now be viewed at the SDSU Downtown Gallery. The exhibition is titled: Chicano/a/x Printmaking: Making Prints and Making History – 50 Years of Art Activism.

The many colorful pieces on display include woodblock prints, serigraphs and lithographs. Most of the artwork was created to provide a voice for Mexican-American communities and promote social change. The images urge Chicano/a/x activism, and include themes such as political struggle, racism, poverty and immigration.

According to the SDSU Downtown Gallery website: “Featuring important historical and contemporary examples of printed works on paper, the exhibition highlights printmaking as one of the oldest, most enduring, and widely used processes for Chicano/a/x artists working from the 1940s to today . . . Artists and groups in the exhibition include Yreina Cervantes, Rupert Garcia, Diane Gamboa, Ester Hernandez, Malaquías Montoya, Victor Ochoa, Self Help Graphics & Art, and Salvador Roberto Torres, among others.”

As I journeyed along each gallery wall, I was struck by the emotional potency of the artwork. There are images that depict cultural pride and strength, and images that powerfully convey human suffering.

In addition to thought-provoking political messages, visitors to the gallery can observe the evolution of printmaking and see how ideas are effectively conveyed and magnified using simple posters. The eye-catching designs and the creativity of these prints should intrigue everyone who loves art.

The exhibition will continue at the SDSU Downtown Gallery through April 5, 2020.

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!

Silent faces and Constructed Mythologies.

Emotionally powerful images by internationally known Guatemalan photographer Luis González Palma can now be viewed at the SDSU Downtown Gallery. The title of the exhibition is Constructed Mythologies.

Walk through the gallery and you’ll pass many faces whose expressions convey complex, often painful emotion. Some eyes stare through geometric shapes or fragile threads. Some of the images use sepia tints; some are presented as mosaics or unusual collages; photographs are often layered or cut into shattered pieces and made abstract, as if to depict a series of memories, or moments of living that pass like a dream.

The subjects of Luis González Palma are the indigenous Mayas and the Mestizo people of Guatemala. Their faces speak of silent pride and suffering.

According to one sign that describes the artist: His work is informed by curiosity and reverence for the human condition, woven into evocative images that present an untethered relationship to time and place. Working with symbolism, meticulous staging, and a keen understanding of religious and cultural iconography, González Palma masterfully creates rich narrative influenced by his Guatemalan heritage and perspective as a Latin American artist.

If you like true things, come view these photographs.

The final page of Constructed Mythologies is turned on January 20, 2020.

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!