Some humorous photos in Little Italy!

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.

I was chuckling this morning as I walked through Little Italy.

Here are half a dozen humorous photos!

A friendly attendant stands by in a window of Little Italy's Loading Dock.
A friendly attendant stands by in a window of Little Italy’s Loading Dock.
Peculiar figure above the front windows of Architectural Salvage.
Whimsical figure above the front windows of Architectural Salvage.
Glittery merchandise like a pot of gold in the window of Blick Art Materials.
Glittery merchandise like a pot of gold in the window of Blick Art Materials.
Two neighbors have a friendly oink over their fence.
Two neighbors have a friendly oink over the fence.
There are many bars in Little Italy. There is also a Doggie Bar.
There are many bars in Little Italy. There is also a Doggie Bar.

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 small desert garden inside an old fountain.

A side door to San Diego's City Administration Building lies beyond a small garden containing cacti and succulents.
Side door to San Diego’s City Administration Building lies beyond a small garden containing cacti and succulents.

I was waiting for a trolley at the Civic Center station the other day when my eyes wandered over to the City Administration Building. A small desert garden caught my attention, and I remembered how a few years ago that semicircle of garden used to be a fountain.

The next Blue Line trolley was still five minutes away, so I walked over to look at a nearby plaque and a sign.

Plaque near the small desert garden that has been planted in the basin of The Phil Swing Memorial Fountain, which was dedicated on July 6, 1967.
Bronze plaque near the small desert garden planted in the basin of The Phil Swing Memorial Fountain, which was dedicated on July 6, 1967.
Sign explains the Phil Swing Memorial Fountain was re-purposed to a Desert Garden. In 1933, Mr. Swing introduced a bill to establish Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Sign explains the Phil Swing Memorial Fountain was re-purposed to a Desert Garden. In 1933, Mr. Swing introduced a bill to establish Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Philip D. Phil Swing was appointed to the California State Water Resources Board in 1945. This beautiful garden honors his contributions to the conservation of desert lands and water resources.
Philip D. “Phil” Swing was appointed to the California State Water Resources Board in 1945. This beautiful garden honors his contributions to the conservation of desert lands and water resources.
A trolley arrives at the Civic Center station near a small desert garden in downtown San Diego.
A trolley arrives at the Civic Center station near a small desert garden in downtown San Diego.

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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Fun art on Grand Avenue in Pacific Beach.

A guy inline skates down the Pacific Beach boardwalk. Live Life SLOW.
A guy inline skates down the Pacific Beach boardwalk. Live Life SLOW.

Here come some fun photos! I took them during a short walk along Grand Avenue in Pacific Beach.

These various works of art, including the funny sign and mosaic sculpture, can be found between Mission Boulevard and Fanuel Street.

Enjoy!

A cool surf monkey in front of a Pacific Beach shop.
A cool surf monkey in front of a Pacific Beach bike shop.
Interwoven geometric design on an electrical box.
Interwoven geometric design on an electrical box.
A painted PB sunset.
A painted PB sunset.
One of three mosaic sculptures on the Grand Avenue median by Kim Emerson, which together are Oceanlife, Sun and Waves.
One of three mosaic sculptures on the Grand Avenue median by Kim Emerson, which together are Oceanlife, Sun and Waves. (The two others are east of Fanuel Street.)
Closer photo of the beautiful mosaic sculpture titled Waves, created by artist Kim Emerson in 2002.
Closer photo of the beautiful mosaic sculpture titled Waves, created by artist Kim Emerson in 2002.
A couple of electrical boxes at Grand and Fanuel feature lots of fun images.
A couple of electrical boxes at Grand and Fanuel feature lots of fun images.
A funny green seahorse and pink clam.
A funny green seahorse and pink clam.
Sea creatures hang out near a sunken treasure chest.
Sea creatures hang out near a sunken treasure chest.
Fun street art on two sides of one box.
Colorful street art on two sides of one box.
An octopus at the bottom of the sea near a wrecked tall ship.
A purple octopus at the bottom of the sea near a wrecked tall ship.
A grinning crab. Love the life! P.B.
A grinning crab! Love the life! P.B.

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 mixture of the strange and delightful!

A purple cat on the wall of The Cat Cafe.
A purple cat on the wall of The Cat Cafe.

I went on a long walk through downtown this morning. My plan was to take some blog-worthy photographs before the rain begins in earnest tomorrow.

As I randomly wandered from block to block, my eyes found a variety of strange and delightful sights!

A clock wedged between a sidewalk and fence.
A clock wedged between a sidewalk and fence.
A wall of roses welcomes guests to Coffee 'N' Talk.
A wall of roses welcomes guests to Coffee ‘N’ Talk.
I must be a mermaid.
I must be a mermaid.
The PARKING is disappearing, and soon there will be none.
PARKING is disappearing, and soon there will be none.
A boy plays a flute up on someone's balcony.
A boy plays a flute up on someone’s balcony.
A frog plays the violin by somebody's front door!
A frog plays a violin by someone’s front door!

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, easy walk along Paradise Creek Trail.

Paradise Trail marker PT10 rises near the National City Depot museum.
Paradise Trail marker PT10 rises near the National City Depot museum.

This morning I enjoyed an easy walk down a segment of the Paradise Creek Trail in National City.

I believe this urban trail is brand new. I find almost nothing about it on the internet. Several people I spoke to who work right next to the trail never heard of it. I had never seen the Paradise Trail markers during walks in past years.

The trail, from what I can gather, roughly follows Paradise Creek. My walk started just west of Interstate 5, on Bay Marina Drive, where I spotted markers for the Paradise Trail by the National City Depot museum and the National City Historic Railcar Plaza. I saw more markers as I walked south down Marina Way, just west of Paradise Marsh.

Paradise Creek eventually empties into the Sweetwater River. I believe the sidewalk trail ends at Pepper Park, but I spotted no markers after I passed the Pier 32 Marina and the nearby entrance to the Bayshore Bikeway. Perhaps I wasn’t looking carefully enough.

Want to see more? Years ago I visited an overlook of Paradise Marsh and photographed some informative signs. I also got a little closer to nature by walking down a short dirt trail. You can revisit that old blog post by clicking here.

In the past I also blogged about the National City Depot museum and its cool old streetcars here, the National City Historic Railcar Plaza here, and the Le Bateau Ivre sculpture here.

After I crossed Bay Marina Drive, I spotted an iconic El Camino Real bell near the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
After I crossed Bay Marina Drive, I spotted an iconic El Camino Real bell near the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
I'm now walking south down Marina Way, looking back at the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
I’m now walking south down Marina Way, looking back at the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
Old railroad tracks run along the west edge of Paradise Marsh.
Old railroad tracks run along the west edge of Paradise Marsh.
Sunlight illuminates some natural beauty beside the sidewalk trail.
Sunlight illuminates some natural beauty beside the sidewalk trail.
Looking back north along the Paradise Creek Trail, between Paradise Marsh and the National City Cement Terminal.
Looking back north along the Paradise Creek Trail, between Paradise Marsh and the National City Cement Terminal.
Here's another marker for the Paradise Trail, which I spotted as I headed down Marina Way.
Here’s another marker for the Paradise Trail, which I spotted as I headed down Marina Way.
A banner on a street lamp says that in National City, Together We Can!
A banner on a street lamp says that in National City, Together We Can!
As I turned onto West 32nd Street, a big group of bicyclists rode onto the Bayshore Bikeway.
As I turned onto West 32nd Street, a big group of bicyclists rode onto the Bayshore Bikeway.
Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, at the Pier 32 Marina in National City.
Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, at the Pier 32 Marina in National City.
I spotted this high osprey nesting platform as I walked down Goesno Place, approaching Pepper Park. The National City Marine Terminal has many such platforms.
I spotted this high osprey nesting platform as I walked down Goesno Place, approaching Pepper Park.

Immediately to the west, right on San Diego Bay, the enormous imported car parking lot at the National City Marine Terminal has many of these platforms. I learned during a Port of San Diego harbor tour that ospreys provide effective pigeon control!

A sign describe ospreys, which can often be seen around San Diego Bay and our coastal estuaries.
A sign describes ospreys, which can often be seen flying above San Diego Bay and our coastal estuaries.
Looks like an osprey has collected all sort of odd materials for its nest!
Looks like an osprey has collected all sort of odd materials for its huge nest!

And now I’ve turned around, and I’m heading back north along the trail on Marina Way, just west of the marsh… Guess what I saw?

An osprey flies high above Paradise Marsh on a beautiful late December day.
An osprey flies high above Paradise Marsh on a beautiful late December day.
Looking past prickly pear at Paradise Marsh from the Paradise Creek Trail in National City.
Looking past prickly pear at Paradise Marsh from the Paradise Creek Trail in National City.

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Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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Frank the Trainman mural Train of Wisdom.

A mural titled Train of Wisdom, painted in 1989 by local Chicano artist Mario Torero and students from O’Farrell High School of Performing Arts and Roosevelt Junior High School, decorates the back side of a building located on the northwest corner of Park and El Cajon Boulevard.

Today very few people venture around the building to enjoy the faded 100-foot-long, 40-foot-high mural, which depicts a colorful train driven by young people. Optimistic symbolism fills the mural. On the south end of the building, astute passersby will see the historic, animated neon Frank the Trainman sign at the top of a flight of stairs, which form the mural’s triangular cowcatcher.

This was the original location of the Frank the Trainman model railroad store, which Frank Cox opened in the 1940s. He eventually retired and passed his business on to fellow model train buff Jim Cooley, who sold the property to Mission Federal Credit Union in 1987. To honor the history of Frank the Trainman, the architectural firm of Bradshaw and Bundy altered the building’s exterior into the outline of a locomotive, and the Train of Wisdom was subsequently painted.

(Jim moved the original train store to today’s location just down Park Boulevard and added to it his own unique collectibles museum, which includes some extremely rare antique automobiles. I blogged about that here.)

I walked behind the building yesterday and took the following photographs of the large, nearly 30 year old mural, to help preserve a little bit of San Diego history…

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A few odd, humorous sights around town!

Sign in a window of The Bell Marker in downtown San Diego: 24 Hours In a Day. 24 Beers In a Case. Coincidence?
Sign in a window of The Bell Marker on Broadway. 24 Hours In a Day. 24 Beers In a Case. Coincidence?

Walk randomly about San Diego and you’ll inevitably stumble upon a few odd, humorous sights…

If you're driving an inverted car past Jack in the Box near Hazard Center, this stop sign might make sense.
If you’re driving an inverted car past Jack in the Box near Hazard Center, this stop sign might make sense.
An unexpected Kiwi Crossing street sign in Little Italy.
An unexpected Kiwi Crossing street sign in Little Italy.
This might be the most dirty, decrepit, ramshackle house in downtown San Diego. One day it will probably vanish in a cloud of dust.
This might be the most dirty, decrepit, ramshackle house in downtown San Diego. One day it’ll likely vanish in a cloud of dust.
A miniature garden in Tuna Harbor. One potted plant.
A miniature garden in Tuna Harbor. One potted plant.
A funny sight hanging out in Little Italy. Jay Leno!
A funny sight hanging out in Little Italy. Jay Leno!
A very peculiar figure creeps along a downtown sidewalk.
A very peculiar figure creeps along a downtown sidewalk.
Another odd figure on the back of a vehicle.
Another odd figure on the back of a vehicle.
An East Village shop uses The Force to compel would-be shoppers.
An East Village shop uses The Force to compel would-be shoppers.
Over three months to Christmas, and I already see a candy cane in one window!
It’s over three months until Christmas, and I already see a candy cane in one window!

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!