Funny murals at Mason’s Auto Clinic!

During my Saturday walk through Imperial Beach I discovered these funny murals!

Not only does Mason’s Auto Clinic have a cool mural painted near the sidewalk showing off-road desert racers, but there are three images decorating the bay doors that made me laugh!

It seems the intrepid mechanics at this car repair shop deal not only with broken alternators and blown gaskets, but with Darth Vader, gremlins and gigantic apes!

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 walk down Escondido’s Grand Avenue.

On Sunday I returned to Escondido. I wanted to explore Grand Avenue–the heart of historic downtown Escondido–a little more thoroughly.

Earlier this year I visited Maple Street Plaza on a Sunday and took a quick look from its south end up and down Grand Avenue. What I glimpsed wasn’t encouraging. Few people. Inactive storefronts. But had I walked a block or two east I would have found a much more lively scene!

Grand Avenue resembles the historic old main streets of many American towns. What used to be the central business district is now home to a multitude of cozy eateries, specialty shops, salons and antique stores. There’s an old restored movie theater, a Rotary Club street clock, a gazebo in a small sunny park, and a friendly feeling of community. During my walk I saw many families just walking along like me, enjoying a late Sunday morning.

I don’t pretend to know a whole lot about Escondido. If you don’t either, enjoy these photos of Grand Avenue as if we are walking together.

I started at the big Escondido landmark sign at Centre City Parkway and headed east. To see some great mosaics in the sidewalk at the intersection, check out my earlier blog post here!

You see that unusual sculpture in the median? I know nothing about it!

I really enjoyed peering into the window of the Timekeepers Watch and Clock Shop and took several photos. Indeed, my walk felt a little like travelling back in time.

After I passed the south end of Maple Street Plaza, I enjoyed looking into the windows of more antique stores. I noticed more and more people sitting in front of various restaurants enjoying Sunday breakfast or an early lunch. (People are dining on sidewalks and streets this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.)

There’s a very cool display near the entrance to the restored The Ritz Theater, which originally opened in 1937. You can see old film reels and all sorts of interesting equipment that was used in this historic movie house. Unfortunately bright street reflections were impossible for my camera to overcome.

I turned around at Valley Boulevard and headed back west along the opposite sidewalk.

According to a nearby plaque, that great mural on the corner of a building is titled Escondido, the Hidden Valley. It’s by artist Daniel Hernandez.

Finally–you see that cool old car coming down the street near the end of my photos? Grand Avenue is probably best known for its popular Cruisin’ Grand vintage auto show event on Friday nights! (Something I haven’t experienced yet.)

Here we go…

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Thanksgiving is almost here!

Thanksgiving is almost here!

During my recent walks I’ve noticed turkeys peering from shop windows, scarecrows loitering on sidewalks, and pumpkins all over the place!

In a little over a week many will sit before feasts, celebrate the harvest season, count blessings and express their gratitude!

Enjoy some random photos!

Looks like some people I know started their Thanksgiving gobbling early!

Yum!

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!

Historic Adams Avenue Theater restoration!

The historic 1930 Adams Avenue Theater building is being restored. The beloved Normal Heights landmark, home of Discount Fabrics for several decades, is now being remodeled according to a sign I spotted in a window near the entrance yesterday!

According to the posted sign, the new Adams Avenue Theater will be a “city chic, multi-purpose theater and private event space”–the perfect place for community events, concerts, weddings and social gatherings.

A little online research indicates the old movie house in the 1970’s and 80’s became a center for the punk rock and new wave music scene. Bands that performed here in concert include Black Flag, The Dead Kennedys, R.E.M., the Stray Cats, Iggy Pop, the Cramps and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I love it when elegant old neighborhood movie theaters are returned to their former glory. Especially when the walls of those theaters encompass so much history.

I’m sure many have fond memories of this special place!

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 cool murals of Artist Alley in Oceanside!

Artist Alley in Oceanside, California is a very cool “hidden” place that I discovered on Saturday. I was walking near the Oceanside Civic Center when I noticed that colorful mural with the whale you see above. It drew me into the alley!

Artist Alley is located directly across Pier View Way from the Oceanside Public Library and the nearby Civic Center fountain. The alley stretches midway between Freeman Street and North Coast Highway. Step into it and not only will you find all sorts of amazing murals, but there are several artsy specialty shops you’ll want to explore.

I was told by the friendly guy at the Ikigai Artifacts body jewelry store (on the inside walls there are even more awesome murals!) that most of the artwork in Artist Alley was painted in the past year or two. Much of it resulted from a group effort, involving a variety of local artists.

I captioned photos of the larger murals where I ascertained who the artist is.

(My Saturday walk resulted in many more photos, so stay tuned! Upcoming blog posts include a visit to the very cool California Surf Museum!)

Ojos de Picasso (Eyes of Picasso), Mario Torero, 2016.
Ojos de Picasso (Eyes of Picasso), Mario Torero, 2016.
Art near entrance to Ikigai Artifacts by Amber (@_deadcorpse_).
Art near entrance to Ikigai Artifacts by Amber (@_deadcorpse_).
Mural in Oceanside's Artist Alley by Paul Knebels, 2019.
Mural in Oceanside’s Artist Alley by Paul Knebels, 2019.
Mural at entrance to Artist Alley in Oceanside by Marilyn Huerta, and Caymin Charles Ellspermann.
Mural at entrance to Artist Alley in Oceanside by Marilyn Huerta, and Caymin Charles Ellspermann.

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!

Something Halloweenish this way comes!

Halloween is sneaking up!

I walked through Little Italy this afternoon and found some fun sights!

That carousel horse mural must be somewhat new, because I don’t recall seeing it before. It kind of fits in with my Halloween theme…assuming it belongs to a dark carnival!

I’m pretty sure the Old Town Trolley Tours driver wasn’t frightened by the owl, but my photo’s lucky timing (and some mysterious image cropping) makes it seem that way!

BOO!

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!

Downtown readies for the Padres’ playoffs!

It’s been an unusual year in Major League Baseball. A shortened season and unusual rules because of the COVID-19 pandemic . . . and the San Diego Padres are in the playoffs! For the first time since 2006! And the Friars are widely considered one of the favorite, most exciting teams, too!

Restaurants, bars and shops in downtown San Diego have begun to put out signs, banners and merchandise in anticipation of the first playoff series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which begins at Petco Park with Game 1 tomorrow afternoon. And I noticed Padres employees and team players are getting ready at the ballpark, too!

I walked around Petco Park and the Gaslamp Quarter this afternoon to see what I might see. Check it out!

Big video screens have been erected in the Lexus Premier Lot next to Petco Park. Fans who've purchased special tickets will be able to watch playoff games together from the safety of their cars.
Big video screens have been erected in the Lexus Premier Lot next to Petco Park. Fans who’ve purchased special Padres Postseason Watch Party tickets will be able to enjoy playoff games together from the safety of their cars.

I noticed a couple of buses were parked by Petco Park. Did they drive all the way from St. Louis?
I noticed a couple of buses were parked next to Petco Park where visiting teams arrive.

Padres employees round a corner of Petco Park getting everything ready for the start of the MLB postseason.
Padres employees round a corner of Petco Park in San Diego’s East Village getting everything ready for the start of the MLB postseason.

Fans were enjoying a nice afternoon at Gallagher Square, watching Padres batting practice from a distance.
Fans were enjoying a nice afternoon at Gallagher Square, watching Padres batting practice from a distance.

National League Wild Card graphic splashed on the video screen that faces Gallagher Square.
National League Wild Card graphic splashed on the video screen that faces Gallagher Square.

A photographer captures images of the Padres during batting practice.
A photographer captures images of the Padres during batting practice.

My small camera caught a pitch on the way, player ready to swing!
My small camera caught a pitch on the way, with the batter ready to swing!

Banner on high balcony overlooking Petco Park's outfield proclaims: Let's Go Padres.
Banner on high balcony overlooking Petco Park’s outfield proclaims: Let’s Go Padres.

Bub's At The Ballpark has several banners out. Go Padres!
Bub’s At The Ballpark has several banners out. Go Padres!

UNION Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp has a SLAMDIEGO Special: The Padre Burger with a pint of Ballast Point Friar Ale!
UNION Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp has a SLAMDIEGO Special: The Padre Burger with a pint of Ballast Point Friar Ale!

Several shops in the Gaslamp have Padres apparel out on display.
Several shops in the Gaslamp have Padres apparel out on display.

Another example!
Another example!

Okay, here’s something really cool. I’d left the Gaslamp and was walking up Sixth Avenue toward home when I noticed the door of Centre City Sports Collectibles was open. So I stepped inside.

Wow! My eyes almost popped out of my head! If you’re a sports collector or enthusiast and you haven’t checked this place out, you need to pay a visit! The place is jammed floor to ceiling with so many collectibles that I don’t know how Henry, the proprietor, keeps track of it all. And by the way, he’s a really nice guy!

He called the stacks and stacks of stuff in every direction a mess, but I’m not sure why. The place is like sports fan heaven!

He let me take a few 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!

Three new murals are painted in City Heights!

More murals are being painted in City Heights!

This afternoon Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights showed me three great new murals and introduced me to one tropical fish store owner whose building is in the process of turning very colorful!

First up, we checked out a mural that was finished about a week and a half ago. It’s inspired by Lotería, and was painted by a picnic bench outside Filiberto’s Mexican Food at 3446 University Avenue. The youthful artist is Andrew Greyeyes. You can see his smiling photo and his other City Heights mural at Fruteria Disfrutalas here!

Next up, I took a photo of another new mural on the side of Sunset Kava. It’s titled Afro Garden and is by the artist Aicha Fofana. Find more of her work at @fofanaflowrs.

I love the super creative design. Very cool!

If the next mural (which is painted to the right of Afro Garden) seems familiar, I took a photo of it a while back, but it wasn’t quite finished. It’s by artist Mary Jhun. See what it looked like in early 2019 here.

Lastly, a big, super colorful mural is now being painted on two walls of the Tropical Fish Stop at 4647 University Avenue. Tropical birds and fish and a turtle greet people passing by, and entice everyone to come inside!

The artist is Imperial Beach-based Esmeralda Robles. You’ve seen some of her artwork already on Cool San Diego Sights. Click here and check out her dogs on the surfboard!

Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights told me this is the 27th mural his organization has helped bring to the community. Truly inspirational.

I was introduced to the friendly owner of Tropical Fish Stop and looked at all sorts of exotic fish and birds. The store has been open at this location for less than a year and they have plans for expansion! If you live in City Heights, or elsewhere in San Diego, drop on by and check it out!

UPDATE!

I took several photographs of the finished Tropical Fish Stop mural during a walk through City Heights in late October…

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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!

A rambling Sunday walk along Morena Boulevard.

Graphic on wall of Coronado Brewing Company San Diego Tasting Room. WISH YOU WERE beer.
Graphic on wall of Coronado Brewing Company San Diego Tasting Room. WISH YOU WERE beer.

Today I took a rambling walk along Morena Boulevard. These photos start around Knoxville Street in Bay Park and proceed south to the area where Morena and West Morena split.

You might notice few people in the photos. It’s Sunday and many businesses are closed. And of course there’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, keeping many at home.

If you ever drive through the Morena District, you’ll probably recognize some of these sights. Many of the old shops and small businesses along the street aren’t much to look at, but there are a few that stand out!

(I took this walk in order to photograph two really great murals in particular. I’ll post those pics shortly. I also wanted to check on the status of a mysterious, possibly historical wooden tombstone by a parking lot that I’d seen years ago. The mystery has deepened, as you’ll see in another upcoming blog post!)

Now let’s walk…

Sculpture of lady tending her garden in front of the Armstrong Garden Center.
Sculpture of lady tending her garden in front of the Armstrong Garden Center.

Another look at the gardening sculpture.
Another look at the gardening sculpture.

Beautiful bloom between the Knoxville Street sidewalk and Armstrong Garden Center.
Beautiful bloom between the Knoxville Street sidewalk and Armstrong Garden Center.

The Cordova Bar. This must be the place!
The Cordova Bar. This must be the place!

Mermaid door handles at the entrance to The Cordova Bar.
Mermaid door handles at the entrance to The Cordova Bar.

Sign on fence near U.S. Karate Academy encourages people to Be Your Best!
Sign on fence near U.S. Karate Academy encourages people to Be Your Best!

Banner on lamp post invites people to Shop for Home Decor in the Morena District.
Banner on lamp post invites people to Shop for Home Decor in the Morena District.

Cool motorcycle graphic on wall of Sidecar Bar.
Cool motorcycle graphic on wall of Sidecar Bar.

There's a T. Rex on the roof of Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital! It must've escaped!
There’s a T. Rex on the roof of Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital! It must’ve escaped!

This cool graphic of a van with a surfboard is on the side of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.
This cool graphic of a van with a surfboard is on the side of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

Clouds and palm trees reflected on angles of window glass.
Clouds and palm trees reflected on angles of window glass.

Now I'm walking along near the Valero gas station.
Now I’m walking along near the Valero gas station.

A colorful mural near the front door of Nico's Mexican Food.
A colorful mural near the front door of Nico’s Mexican Food.

Super cool surfboards hang out beside the front door of Bird's Surf Shed.
Super cool surfboards hang out beside the front door of Bird’s Surf Shed.

Mural at Bird's Surf Shed was painted by Skye Walker in 2014.
Mural at Bird’s Surf Shed was painted by Skye Walker in 2014. Tubular, dude!

Vintage automobile parked alone in corner of a parking lot.
Vintage automobile parked alone in corner of a parking lot.

Looks like a farm around the entrance to Bull's Smokin' BBQ. Fun sculptures greet passersby on West Morena Boulevard.
Looks like a ranch around the entrance to Bull’s Smokin’ BBQ. Fun animal sculptures greet passersby on West Morena Boulevard.

Two bulls and one pig.
Walking beside two bulls and one pig.

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 simple, fun walk in Point Loma!

Looking at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church from the intersection of Voltaire Street and Chatsworth Boulevard. The traditional New England style Red Brick Church was built in 1954.
Looking at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church from the intersection of Voltaire Street and Chatsworth Boulevard. The traditional New England style Red Brick Church was built in 1954.

First of all, I’d like to welcome new visitors to Cool San Diego Sights! I’m not sure how my website suddenly merited inclusion in Google News, but, what the heck, this amateur photo blogger will take it!

Cool San Diego Sights is mostly about a guy with a little old camera walking around our big city semi-randomly, experiencing the wonder of its neighborhoods, its people, and the world in general. Occasionally I’ll report something that’s newsworthy, but only if I happen to stumble upon it. All this walking and taking photos is really just a hobby and personal pleasure.

On Saturday I enjoyed a long walk that included several areas of Point Loma. After climbing those hidden stairs I blogged about on Saturday, I headed through residential Loma Portal and down into the tiny business district near the intersection of Voltaire Street and Chatsworth Boulevard.

I walked in a short counterclockwise loop, from the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church, toward Point Loma High School, down to the Point Loma Library, and back up to the spot where I had begun.

I had no plan other than to take photos of whatever caught my fancy!

I spotted a long mural along the roof of the building at 2168 Chatsworth Boulevard.
I spotted a long mural along the roof of the building at 2168 Chatsworth Boulevard.

Part of the mural titled San Diego from 1769 to 1969, painted by Jorge Imana. (I took many photos of this amazing mural and will post them to my blog shortly.)
Part of the mural titled San Diego from 1769 to 1969, painted by Jorge Imana. (I took many photos of this amazing mural and will post them to my blog shortly.)

An electrical box up the street was painted with all sort of guitars.
An electrical box up the street was painted with all sort of guitars.

More colorful guitar street art on another side of the box.
More colorful guitar street art on another side of the box.

As I walked by European Cake Gallery, I noticed the pastry chef peering out at Point Loma from the rooftop.
As I walked by European Cake Gallery, I noticed the pastry chef peering out at Point Loma from the rooftop.

Some fun but simple artwork on the windows of Coastal Sage Gardening.
Some fun but simple artwork on the windows of Coastal Sage Gardening.

The front entrance of the James Edgar and Jean Jessop Hervey Library in Point Loma.

Dedication plaque near library's front entrance. Dated September 20, 2003.
Dedication plaque near library’s front entrance. Dated September 20, 2003.

Looking back at where I was a moment ago.
Looking back at where I was a moment ago. It’s a gray, overcast day.

The other side of the architecturally interesting Point Loma Library. The glass near the roof resembles waves breaking on the beach.
The other side of the architecturally interesting Point Loma Library. The glass near the roof resembles waves breaking on the beach.

As I walked past the library I saw words written at my feet. It's all good!
As I walked past the library I saw words written at my feet. It’s all good!

Then I saw this rather interesting Padres fan.
Then I saw this rather interesting Padres fan.

A mouse has a secret door near the ground by the door of a Point Loma business.
A mouse has a secret door near the ground by the door of a Point Loma business.

That church looks familiar!

I'm already back at the Red Brick Church. A simple but fun walk in Point Loma!
I’m already back at the Red Brick Church. A simple but fun walk in Point Loma!

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!