Gaslamp shop windows anticipate Comic-Con!

Is it too early to get excited about Comic-Con returning full force to San Diego?

Of course not!

It’s been two years since the crazy, wonderful, international phenomenon known as Comic-Con filled the Convention Center and streets and hotels of San Diego!

As I walked down Fifth Avenue through the Gaslamp Quarter this morning, looking right and left for interesting material, I remembered that the big pop culture celebration is less than two months away now.

I’m starting to get fired up!

As usual, I’m taking Comic-Con week off from work. I’ll be walking randomly around downtown (where I live) making fun discoveries and photographing the endless cool sights!

Pretty soon the Comic-Con trolley wraps should be appearing! My eyes are peeled!

Not much to see yet, but these shop windows anticipate the big event…

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 mysterious bell in Old Town San Diego!

Help solve a rather strange historical mystery!

There’s a large bell mounted above the entrance of the Five & Dime General Store in Old Town, at 2501 San Diego Avenue, and nobody I’ve spoken to knows why it’s there!

I’ve spoken to friendly people who work at the store, and employees at nearby Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and the bell remains a complete mystery! I’ve also performed searches on the internet, to no avail.

Written on the bell are the words STEEL ALLOY CHURCH BELL and the number 40, which means it’s a 40 inch bell. On the internet I’ve observed identical bells manufactured by the The C. S. Bell Company, which was in operation from 1875 to the 1970’s. The bell itself looks pretty old.

Another possible clue: this building was once the home of the Studio Gallery, which featured original artwork by famous artists, including Chuck Jones and Dr. Seuss.

Who out there knows anything about this large rooftop bell?

Why is it there? Where did it come from? Who mounted this old bell atop the building and when?

If you know or suspect anything, please leave a comment!

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!

Books rise into the Escondido sky!

How could I not share these photos?

I was walking near the Escondido Public Library, after checking out the library’s huge new mural, when I glimpsed distant books flying into the sky!

I’d discovered a mural painted in the alley behind Helen’s Book Mark, a used book store on Grand Avenue.

I headed directly to the artwork to see the rising books. (Or are they descending from a lofty place?)

The mural has two signatures. RWBrown, 2000, and Hanna’s Murals, 2021.

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!

Signs of Valentine’s Day in San Diego!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!

During the past week or two, I’ve noticed signs around San Diego that the big day for lovers is almost here.

I took these photographs while walking in several San Diego neighborhoods.

(By the way, if you’re visiting Balboa Park today and would like to order a custom card created by a local artist, the next photo was taken in front of Gallery 23 in Spanish Village Art Center.)

Enjoy!

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!

Healthy food, art and books in National City!

Healthy food, art and books are easily accessible to residents in National City’s Old Town neighborhood. Take a look!

During my incredible tour around National City last month, Patty Corona of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center showed me how positive changes have come to a community that has been historically underserved.

Many liquor stores in National City now offer fresh fruits and vegetables, thanks to students at San Diego State University who operate nonprofit BrightSide Produce Distribution. National City residents who rely on fast food restaurants, or who have difficulty traveling to distant supermarkets, are able to purchase fresh produce within several blocks of their home. The availability of fruits and vegetables at many corner liquor stores has made it easier for lower-income residents to find healthy, nutritious food.

In the case of Big B Market & Deli in National City’s Old Town neighborhood, not only are fresh veges available, but a whole lot of inspiring art has been installed around the building! Mosaics on planters and walls and a very colorful mural were all created with the help of A Reason To Survive (ARTS), an organization in National City that uplifts and inspires at-risk youth.

And there’s a cheerful little free library box outside the store that promotes literacy, too!

At the corner of 16th Street and Coolidge Avenue, many good things are in reach for body, mind and soul!

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!

Crazy cool mural in an Ocean Beach alley!

Here are my photographs from the mural in an Ocean Beach alley that I mentioned about a week ago!

While I was walking along Bacon Street, I thought I saw what appeared to be colorful graffiti down an alley. So I checked it out.

This delightfully crazy mural depicting a fisherman off Sunset Cliffs, a guy eating a sandwich while riding a shark, and what appears to be a lobster mariachi, was spray painted on the north side of OB Quik Stop Liquor & Deli. You have to proceed down the alley behind the building to view it.

I saw what might be a signature, but I’m not really sure who created this cool street art. According to Google Street View it has existed for at least a couple years.

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!

That huge wall of flowers in North Park!

Have you seen that huge wall of colorful flowers in North Park?

I glimpsed the artwork in passing a few days ago, so this morning I got a better look!

The mural, by Hanna of @HannasMurals, was painted last year on the parking lot wall at Dave’s Flower Box. It’s hard to miss these gigantic blooms near the intersection of Texas Street and El Cajon Boulevard.

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!

A surprising, historical La Mesa building!

At first glance, you might not believe this building is almost 130 years old. That’s because it appears much different today than it did originally.

During my last walk around La Mesa, I learned this is La Mesa’s oldest standing commercial building!

It’s interesting to compare the old photograph on the La Mesa Historical Society plaque with the building one sees today.

The La Mesa Lemon Company Store building is located at the corner of La Mesa Boulevard and Nebo Drive.

La Mesa Lemon Company Store, circa 1895

Opened adjacent to the La Mesa Springs rail station in 1895, the Lemon Company’s impressive building was the first to supply local settlers and ranchers. La Mesa’s oldest standing commercial building, it was expanded south in 1912. Charter La Mesa Rotary Club member Lawrence Washburn remodeled the building for the city’s first Ford automobile dealership in 1923.

Take a close look at the signs in the photos. “Dealers in everything used on a ranch” is now ballet and clothing!

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!

La Mesa’s famous movie history remembered!

In the early 20th century, La Mesa was home to the American Film Manufacturing Company. Some of the most popular movies of the time were filmed around San Diego!

The historic Wolf Building, at 8360 La Mesa Boulevard, has a plaque that recalls how the city was a pioneer in early motion pictures. The American Film Manufacturing Company made this new building and adjacent lot its home from August 1911 to July 1912. They created over one hundred “Flying A” Western “one-reelers” while in La Mesa…

According to this Wikipedia article, Flying “A” made over 150 films in San Diego County. The films were usually western adventures, comedies or an occasional local documentary…

The popular movie actors would make appearances at La Mesa parades and public events.

I’ve photographed the Wolf Building as it appears today. The Corner Store shoppers who haven’t read the nearby plaque probably don’t realize they’re experiencing a bit of motion picture history!

Also, I’ve posted two public domain images. The advertisements from the American Film Manufacturing Company are dated a few years after the studio departed La Mesa for Santa Barbara.

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!

One of downtown San Diego’s oldest buildings.

A small, unremarkable brick structure in the Gaslamp Quarter is actually one of downtown San Diego’s oldest buildings!

You could easily walk past the current home of Lucky Brand and not realize this modest building has almost a century and a half of history.

I looked at its historical plaque yesterday to learn more about it. As you can see, the plaque is now very corroded and not easily read, so I took a photograph and enhanced the image by increasing the contrast.

The Combination Store, 1880.

Constructed in 1880, the Combination Store is one of the oldest brick structures still standing in the Gaslamp District, dating further back than the Yuma. Originally, the building was built for one store, and had a 35-inch parapet, a metal cornice, and a frame porch extending to the street. It was first known as the New York and Boston Combination Company, specializing in dry goods and clothing. In 1914, the building was divided into two stores. Later, the parapet was shortened and the porch removed.

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!