Two cool, abstract murals at Bibbey’s!

Today I took two short walks in the South Bay. One of my modest adventures was near the Imperial Beach Pier.

I noticed that on Seacoast Drive, across from the pier, Bibbey’s gift shop now has two very cool murals, one painted on the south wall and one on the north. Both are super creative and contain all sorts of abstract characters, including kooky surfers, a mermaid, and what appear to be faceless underwater ball players!

That mural with elements from pop culture that I blogged about almost six years ago here seems to be long gone. Only the shark remains at the building’s southwest corner–an updated and rather fierce version!

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!

Hearts, roses and love before Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is almost here!

I photographed hearts, roses and words of love during recent walks around downtown…

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 PARK BLVD mural in University Heights!

I recently noticed a new spray painted mural in University Heights on the south wall of Park Boulevard Liquor and Deli. It has replaced another mural which I posted several years ago here.

The artists for this very cool street art appear to be: HASLER, SHARK, BRAVE and T-BONE.

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 short walk through downtown El Cajon.

Last weekend I enjoyed an easy walk up and down Main Street through downtown El Cajon.

I started at the El Cajon landmark sign, where I read some historical information concerning Amaziah Lord Knox, founder of Knox’s Corners, later the City of El Cajon.

I then headed east to the corner of Main Street and Magnolia Avenue, where old photos provided by the El Cajon Historical Society adorn the vacant Salvation Army Thrift Store building. I believe the photo murals were put up for the El Cajon Centennial, which was in 2012.

I continued walking east to Prescott Promenade, where I checked out the handsome old Rotary Club of El Cajon clock and some fun street art. I saw many different banners hung from lamp posts that celebrate El Cajon. Some banners depicted the Cajon Speedway, the Mother Goose Parade, and seven-time NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson, who grew up in El Cajon.

I crossed Main Street, checked out a beautiful fountain and artificial stream near the El Cajon Civic Center, then turned west and walked past a variety of small shops and colorful eateries.

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!

Making beautiful candles in Old Town.

Today I watched as a father and his son made beautiful candles in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

The father, Paul, is the owner of Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop. His son is a super friendly young man named KC.

This talented family has been making candles by hand for three generations. I learned their business has been operating for about 38 years (including a period at Knott’s Berry Farm) and has been located in Old Town now for about 24 years.

For a few minutes I watched as Paul used a special carving tool to cut and curl back soft wax as he made an elaborate, very beautiful, multicolored candle. He told me he had about 8 minutes to complete the task, before the wax cooled and hardened. After carving a well at the top of the candle, he dipped his finished creation in clear wax, then a hard glaze.

Sometimes he’ll add shells or figurines to these decorative candles, to make them even more fantastic. I also learned that these fancy many-layered candles, which begin modestly as a solid mold, can take anywhere from 6 to 10 hours to create!

Outside the shop, tourists and curious passersby were watching KC dip taper candles. He’d dip each group of wicks, which are suspended vertically in a circle, about 30 to 35 times, depending on the outdoor temperature. He was careful not to leave the forming candles in the hot wax for too long. After the candles grew in girth to the correct size, he removed the excess wax for future use, and used scissors to cut the candles free, as you can see in my last photo!

Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop is located in the historically and architecturally important Sessions Building, which was designed by renowned San Diego architect Richard Requa. Learn more about it 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!

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!

Hotel, shops coming to Santa Fe Depot!

Today I learned a very big change is coming to downtown San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Depot!

This morning, after noticing the building’s exterior is getting a new paint job, I spoke to a gentleman outside the Amtrak office and asked if he knew whether the new owner still plans to renovate the building. I was surprised to hear that this year there will indeed be a major renovation of the building, including the opening up of an interior stairwell that will lead to a small new hotel and shops on the depot’s second floor!

I asked if there were plans to develop the depot’s old forecourt by Broadway, where there are tile benches and a broken fountain, and where streetcars picked up passengers arriving by train a century ago, but he knew nothing concerning that.

He and I agreed that it would be a amazing if the large Santa Fe sign atop the historic depot were finally lit up at night, adding more character to San Diego’s skyline. I’d heard a couple years ago during an architectural tour of the Santa Fe Depot that lighting the sign was a project that might lie in the future.

This all was news to me!

Very cool news!

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 holiday season is coming downtown!

Holiday season decorations now line the streets of Little Italy.
Many festive holiday season decorations now line the streets of Little Italy.

It’s the week of Thanksgiving. Winter is coming.

I enjoyed a long walk this morning, knowing that a big storm is headed our way. The next couple days will be wet!

What did I see?

Signs of the coming holiday season are popping up all around downtown San Diego!

The City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker at the Spreckels Theatre.
The City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker this year at the Spreckels Theatre.
A nutcracker guards the lobby of the Westgate Hotel.
A nutcracker guards the lobby of the Westgate Hotel.
Beautiful holiday gifts are beginning to appear in some downtown shop windows.
Beautiful holiday gifts are beginning to appear in some downtown shop windows.
One of several elegant Christmas trees in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.
One of several elegant Christmas trees now in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.
The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate again at Golden Hall.
The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate again at Golden Hall.
Buon Natale!
Buon Natale!

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!