Demolition and redevelopment at Horton Plaza!

Parts of Horton Plaza are now being demolished. The redevelopment of a downtown shopping mall that used to be a major tourist attraction is underway!

I walked around the old shopping mall and saw several places where the exterior facade is being torn down. At the south end, the large building that used to house Nordstrom (which closed its doors 4 years ago) and 24 Hour Fitness is wrapped up in white plastic. Check out the very odd-looking photograph above!

As you can see in another photograph, I walked past the small Post Office at Horton Plaza and it’s also now closed. Everything inside was being loaded onto a postal vehicle.

Horton Plaza Mall, when it opened in 1985, quickly became a popular San Diego tourist attraction, largely due to its unusual downtown location and wildly imaginative and colorful architecture.

I remember going there as a young man and being fascinated at how ramps and escalators led every which way, as if the mall were some crazy, asymmetric, three dimensional maze. The shopping center was designed using an idea relished by science fiction author Ray Bradbury. In his essay “The Aesthetics of Lostness” he extolled the virtues of getting safely lost in the world’s great cities, and how small adventures can result.

Horton Plaza, which gradually lost its popularity, is now being redeveloped into a 10-acre office campus that hopes to draw tech companies into downtown San Diego. There will be some retail space, too, with places to shop and eat. I’ve read that some of the interior bridges that I’ve always loved will be retained.

You can see photos that I took inside brightly colorful Horton Plaza many years ago here and 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!

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Handmade face masks for sale downtown!

If you need face coverings during the present coronavirus pandemic, today I discovered that handmade face masks are for sale downtown! They are being produced at Sante’s Tailoring located at 1150 7th Avenue, #1.

As I walked up Seventh Avenue, I saw a table covered with all sorts of colorful face coverings for sale, and met Luzney, who works in another of the building’s suites. Luzney’s Flowers and Gifts at 1150 7th Avenue, #2 has seen a sharp downturn in flower sales, as hotels are empty and weddings are put off during the COVID-19 crisis, so she’s helping to sew these cloth masks, too!

I learned from Luzney that the cotton, washable face masks will be for sale at this location Mondays through Fridays, from 9 am to 2 pm. If you live or work downtown, or just need some cool face masks once the countywide May 1 public face covering rules come into effect, either swing on by, or you can call their phone at 619-231-9898.

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!

Essential supplies at cost for elderly, vulnerable.

If you live in San Diego, here’s an exceptional offer you might want to check out!

I frequently walk past the Flamin’ Phó and Sushi Bar in downtown San Diego, located on Sixth Avenue at the base of Cortez Hill. Recently, during the current coronavirus pandemic, I’ve noticed a large sign in their window.

They are selling at cost essential supplies for the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions, and delivery is available! Their Facebook page is here. According to the sign, they are providing this service with the help of our local Office Depot.

If you think this might help you, please read the info in my photograph and contact Flamin’ Phó and Sushi Bar to make sure the offer is still good and whether you qualify.

(I must say that over the years I’ve dropped by the restaurant from time to time for take out food, and it’s great!)

What an awesome way to help during the coronavirus pandemic! Neighbors coming together will help us all get through this difficult period.

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 revitalization of Seaport Village!

I was walking along the Embarcadero this evening after dark when I heard some music in the “Lighthouse District” of Seaport Village. I headed over to see what was going on.

To my delight, I discovered a serious attempt is being made to revitalize Seaport Village, and the concert I stumbled upon is part of this effort. The weekly event is called Seaport Sessions.

Important speakers from around San Diego provide presentations about art, culture, history and other fascinating subjects every Thursday evening, followed by drinks and live music at the East Plaza Gazebo. (Next Thursday Adam Smith, Executive Director of the Comic-Con Museum will be the speaker!)

Learn more at the Seaport Sessions page here.

I also observed that Seaport Village now offers a podcast studio for rent, and I stepped inside for a moment and took the following photo.

I asked a few questions of a nice lady, and she informed me that Seaport Village is working to upgrade its image and will be getting new tenants. From what I could gather, the long term plan to redevelop Seaport Village into a completely different, greatly enlarged Seaport San Diego is apparently in flux and any groundbreaking is still many years away.

I have special childhood memories of Seaport Village, so it has pained me to watch its gradual decline in recent years. But now things appear to be on the upswing!

I hope so!

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!

VEND-o-MATIC supplies Faith, Hope, Peace, Love.

An unusual VEND-o-MATIC vending machine on El Cajon Boulevard near 52nd Street dispenses Faith, Hope, Peace and Love. Place your hand where indicated, make the selection of your choice by pressing a button, and the goodness is beamed directly through your arm into your heart.

From the way the paint has aged, I guess this VEND-o-MATIC has probably seen a great deal of use.

You can never have too much of good things.

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!

Cool new mural at 7-Eleven in City Heights!

Check it out!

Love City Heights and The Avenue Mural Project have brought another cool mural to University Avenue’s outdoor art gallery!

Artist GMONIK recently finished this colorful mural titled Bare Necessities on the 7-Eleven near 35th Street and University Avenue.

Thanks to 7-Eleven for supporting the community by providing a canvas!

UPDATE!

Love City Heights sent me a cool photo of the mural being spray painted!

GMONIK works on the City Heights mural Bare Necessities. Photo credit GMONIK.
GMONIK works on the City Heights mural Bare Necessities. Photo credit GMONIK.

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!

Post Office celebrates San Diego Comic-Con!

Look what I discovered walking along the Embarcadero this morning! The United States Postal Service has set up a special booth between Seaport Village and the USS Midway Museum in celebration of 2019 San Diego Comic-Con!

Not only do they have a very cool R2-D2 mailbox on display, but there are all sorts of awesome souvenirs for sale. I saw Marvel Comics postcards and collectible DC Comics prints, plus tote bags, pins, commemorative stamps (of course) and stationery with an assortment of pop culture characters including Snoopy. They even have Spider-Man dolls for the kids!

Should you walk along the Embarcadero during Comic-Con, make sure to check it out!

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!

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Mingei’s museum gift shop at Liberty Station.

The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion. Once completed, this world-class folk art, craft and design museum will be more amazing than ever!

You might recall a blog post from last year that featured the Mingei’s planned transformation. To see architectural renderings of what the Mingei will eventually look like, click here!

While construction is underway, Mingei’s gift shop and cafe are temporarily located at Liberty Station, in the historic Dick Laub NTC Command Center building. Step through the front entrance and you can’t miss it.

Today I meandered about Liberty Station with no definite destination in mind. I was pleased to happen upon the Mingei’s shop and meet the smiling lady behind the counter. She told me that Niki de Saint Phalle’s fun, kid-friendly Nikigator sculpture, which used to stand in front of the museum in Balboa Park, might be moved out from storage and placed right in front of the Command Center. How cool would that be?

Here are a few photos. The lobby of the Command Center not only features Cafe Mingei, but a collection of great art created by Liberty Station artists!

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!

Happy memories, and the decline of Seaport Village.

I have many happy memories of Seaport Village.

Back in the 1980’s, when I was a young and Seaport Village was new, my family would occasionally head downtown to enjoy the place. We’d stroll around the meandering pathways, poke our noses inside the specialty shops, browse the shelves of the cool bookstore, and enjoy lunch at one of several restaurants.

I was always intrigued by the big selection of magic tricks in the magic shop. At the candy store I’d shovel dozens of different sweets into a small bag, then eat them during the rest of our walk. We’d watch kites soaring in the blue San Diego sky at the nearby grassy park, and sailboats out on the bay. We always tried to catch Kazoo, the Seaport Village mime, performing.

On Sunday I walked through Seaport Village and was saddened to see many of the old shops are now vacant. The east half of Seaport Village almost resembles a ghost town.

Yes, there are plans to redevelop this valuable part of downtown’s bayfront, to make it more attractive and dynamic. Seaport San Diego will feature an observation tower, hotels, even an aquarium. But I’ve been told that future is somewhat uncertain and is still years away.

I’ve also been told that with this uncertain future and a recent change to the Seaport Village management, many shop owners have chosen not to renew their leases.

And yet today I saw hundreds of families happily walking about Seaport Village, visiting those shops and eateries that remain open. Such is the place’s reputation.

Over the decades Seaport Village has been the source of pleasure for millions of people.

But time and progress march on…

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 works of glass art in Balboa Park!

Beautiful works of art on display at the Glass Show and Sale in Spanish Village.
Beautiful works of art on display at the Glass Show and Sale in Spanish Village.

Glass art never ceases to fascinate me.

Pieces of shining glasswork often appear like gems that have been mined from a place deep in the artist’s heart, then melted, shaped and recrystallized, as if upon a fiery potter’s wheel.

This weekend the Glass Show and Sale is being held on the patio of Balboa Park’s Spanish Village. The twice-a-year event is the production of the Art Glass Guild in Studio 25.

I took some photos today and met a few of the gifted artists.

If you love beautiful things and happen to be in San Diego, head over before the weekend ends!

The first five photos you see here show glasswork created by Patricia G. Yockey, who also happens to be very nice.
The first five photographs you see here show glasswork created by Patricia G. Yockey, who also happens to be very nice.

I like how colorful and cheerful these pieces are at one artist's table.
I like how colorful and cheerful these pieces are at one artist’s table.
This photo and the next show kilnformed art glass produced by Rick Knight Designs. The tray is made of glass strips that are shifted and fused back together.
This photo and the next show kilnformed art glass produced by Rick Knight Designs. The tray is made of glass strips that are shifted and fused back together.

These magical lampworked beads are by Cornelia Jarst. They can be used for different types of jewelry and accessories.
These magical lampworked beads are by Cornelia Jarst. They can be used for different types of jewelry and accessories.

Glass pumpkins in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving!
Glass pumpkins in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving!
The artist told me this amazing piece took a long, long time to make.
The artist told me this amazing glass piece took a long, long time to make.

This cool glass robot and the next two photos show small bits of hand etched dichroic glasswear made by ChrisStell CreativeArts.
This cool glass robot and the next two photos are small pieces of hand etched “dichroic glasswear” made by ChrisStell CreativeArts.
A fun, colorful face.
A fun, colorful face.

These clocks, some made with circuit boards from discarded computers, are the fused glass creations of The Glass Giraffe, Carol Korfin, artist.
These clocks–some made with circuit boards from discarded computers–are the fused glass creations of The Glass Giraffe, Carol Korfin, artist.

Many beautiful works of glass art can be seen and purchased this weekend in Balboa Park at Spanish Village.
Many beautiful works of glass art can be seen and purchased this weekend in Balboa Park at the always wonderful Spanish Village!

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!