Art found in the Cedros Avenue Design District!

The Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach is home to many galleries, design studios, boutiques, specialty shops and outdoor cafes. Walk along Cedros Avenue and your eyes will discover art everywhere they turn!

During my recent walk along Cedros Avenue I took the following photographs of street art, murals and fun sculptures.

I haven’t included photos of the numerous crazy wind sculptures outside the Exclusive Collections Gallery. I posted those pics separately here.

The Wonder Woman sculpture you’ll see coming up stands by the entrance to the Art Alley on Cedros, which I explored in my last blog post here.

Much of the art I found has a bicycle theme. Bicycling is popular in the coastal part of Solana Beach. Cedros Avenue is just a block from scenic Highway 101.

Ready to see some cool stuff? And cross a couple of “fishy” crosswalks?

Let’s go for our walk!

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!

Amusing photos from an Oceanside walk!

ON THIS SITE IN 1897 NOTHING HAPPENED. A funny plaque on the Inner World Smoke Shop building.

This morning I took the first scheduled Coaster train up to Oceanside. I wanted to watch the annual Annual Labor Day Oceanside Pier Swim, but it was already over when I arrived. Oops!

But I did go on a long random walk and discovered a bunch of cool stuff!

First off, enjoy this collection of amusing photos. It appears many people in Oceanside have a good sense of humor!

I spotted these as I sauntered down various sidewalks…

Only COOL people allowed. A humorous COVID-19 sign.
It seems even the chef at Mary’s Family Restaurant has to wait in line.
Yellow hand seats at Alfredo’s Mexican Food.
Beer speaks. People mumble. Here’s lookin’ atcha, Oceanside!
Is he heading for Trestles? Malibu? The Jetties?
Beware the hammerhead shark at the entrance to Sandy Toes Gift Store. That’s one big mouth!
A slice of metal pie is included in the patio fence at Carmine’s Pizza.
A giant rooster guards the entrance to Carrillo Pottery.
A funny face painted on a window at Knuckleheads Barbershop.
O’side or No Side. Humorous graphic at the Real Surf Shop, on the rear of their old Chevrolet Apache.

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!

More fun art in an Escondido alley!

The alley in Escondido that I visited a couple weekends ago, where I found many Esco Alley Art murals and alley cats painted on dumpsters, contains even more fun artwork!

Take a look!

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!

Time (and a cow) flies in Escondido!

A mural featuring all sorts of fantastic Time-related imagery can be found on a wall behind Timekeepers of Escondido, a watch and clock repair shop on Grand Avenue.

I was walking around downtown Escondido, making my way to one particular alley that is filled with art, when I saw this Time Flies mural. It was painted by Zandy Gilmaher in 2014.

Stay tuned for more Escondido art discoveries!

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!

Mural at Ramona’s old Pioneer Store recalls history.

The Verlaque Pioneer Store in Ramona might be long gone, but the building, which is the oldest in Ramona, remains. A mural on the building’s side depicts goods that might have been stocked in the Pioneer Store from the late 1800’s to 1911.

The mural, painted by San Diego artist Rik Erickson in 2017, is part of the Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Murals Project. It’s just one of many colorful murals that can be found up and down Main Street!

The Verlaque Store was built around 1883. This community gathering place in Ramona’s early history also served as a stage stop, general store and post office. It was frequented by gold miners traveling from San Diego to Julian during the short-lived gold rush. Today it’s a point of historical interest.

Eleven panels painted by the artist include an image of Jeff Verlaque, who succeeded his brother Amos as the Pioneer Store operator. Another panel depicts the store as it might have looked based on a photograph from the 1800’s. You can see the similarity to the building today, which at 629 Main Street is occupied by the wine bar Reds, Whites & Brews.

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Unexpected movie star in the Gaslamp Quarter!

San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter has attracted celebrities from all around the world, particularly during big international events like Comic-Con. But did you know there’s one movie star that calls the Gaslamp home?

Walk down Fifth Avenue past the 7-Eleven and you’ve spotted a “movie star” that has appeared in two films. The convenience store occupies the 1930 Manila Cafe building, which was used as a “backdrop for scenes in the movies In God We Trust, with Marty Feldman, and Writer’s Block, with Morgan Fairchild.” That’s what a corroded historical marker by the 7-Eleven’s front door reads!

According to this article, the old Manila Café building has been occupied by a variety of restaurants over the years, and by a billiard hall during World War II. In 2014 the exterior was renovated, but the roof with its red Spanish tiles and Asian contours, and the building’s distinctive upper story, haven’t changed.

Have you watched either movie? Have you spotted San Diego’s “famous” Manila Cafe building in the background?

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 barber shop mural in North Park!

Check out this cool new mural on the side of Matte Blvck Cuts & Shaves in North Park!

It was painted in 2021 by artist Clarione Gutierrez-Owens. He is also a live speed-painter who has performed at Downtown Disney, the San Diego Zoo, Legoland. Here’s his website.

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 historical Carriage Works building downtown.

There’s an unusual old building in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter called the Carriage Works. You can find it at the corner of Fourth Avenue and G Street.

If the Carriage Works with its wide arched doorways appears different from other historical buildings in the Gaslamp, that’s because it used to be a place where San Diegans would go to purchase horse-drawn buggies and wagons!

Today the Carriage Works is home to music venues and eateries including GARAGE Kitchen + Bar, Tin Roof, and The Shout! House.

I took these photos about a month ago. You can see how outdoor dining areas were set up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I also photographed a plaque that provides a brief description of the building’s history.

Carriage Works, 1890

Constructed to house the wholesale business of Todd and Hawley, which operated here until 1902. Their stock was purchased by Lyons Implement Company, which carried a complete line of Studebaker vehicles, including buggies and wagons. Along with Lyon, San Diego Gas & Electric, San Diego Farm and Dairy Supply, a tent and awning company and the Volunteers of America have occupied the building.

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!

Returning to normal after the pandemic.

Thank goodness. Life in San Diego is returning to something more like normal. As a large number of people have become vaccinated against COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic has greatly subsided.

The virus took an unspeakably horrible toll. Lives were lost. Living was curtailed. Many were isolated. Livelihoods were decimated. The lockdowns were unprecedented. But we’re somehow getting beyond it.

In the last couple weeks I’ve taken a few photographs of signs that our city is returning to normal.

Indoor dining is back. Theaters are open or about to open. Stadiums are once again full. Museums and attractions are mostly open. More and more commercial planes are landing at San Diego International Airport. Traffic patterns are returning. Help Wanted signs are now everywhere.

One thing I really notice as I walk around is that tourists are traveling once again to sunny San Diego.

The new normal in the Gaslamp Quarter includes open-air dining.
Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego descend into the USS Dolphin submarine.
Old Town Trolley Tours is starting to get busy again, and these relaxing tour guides smiled for my camera!
The movies are back. I’m anxious to see Black Widow which opens next week!
Most restaurants–the ones that survived the pandemic–are open for indoor dining…and they’re hiring!
Two “smiles” at Fiesta de Reyes are symbolic of the gradual transition back to normal times.
Tourists check out pottery at El Centro Artesano in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
A random fun photo that I took today. These fireplace “fire starters” are made using leftover wax at Toby’s Candle & Soap Shop in Old Town.
People are out and about, so downtown sidewalks must be kept clean!
The historic Balboa Theatre will be reopening in early August!

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 corner lit by San Diego’s first gaslamp!

The very first gaslamp that lit downtown San Diego was located in today’s Gaslamp Quarter. But where?

Stand at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and F Street, and you’ve found the location!

You’ll be standing next to the historic Marston Building. A plaque on this interesting old building reads:

Marston Block, 1881

In 1881, George Marston located his third department store in this two-story Victorian Italian-style building. It remained here until 1896 when it was relocated to a larger building. Until the 1970s, Marston’s was the largest and most successful San Diego-based department store and was purchased by Broadway Stores. The building suffered severe fire damage in 1903, and had to undergo extensive remodeling. The first gaslamp was placed on this corner in 1885, and on March 16, 1886, the first electric arc lamp was illuminated outside this building.

If any of you remember visiting the Marston Department Store as a young child, it was most likely Marston’s final location, in a large four-story, neo-Renaissance building on C Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. That building was demolished years ago. To learn more about George Marston’s various stores in San Diego, click here.

To view a historical black-and-white photo of Marston’s 1881 store–the location of San Diego’s very first gaslamp–click here.

As you can see, things have changed quite a bit in nearly a century and a half!

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!