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!

A fistful of fun photos for Friday!

Unusual lifeguards occupy Tower 2 in Imperial Beach!

I know it’s not quite Friday yet–there’s still a few hours to go as I post this. But no matter.

The weekend is almost here!

For your enjoyment, I now present these random fun photographs that I took in the past few weeks!

A nostalgic Pinball Machines sign in a Gaslamp Quarter window.
A colorful koi pond mural in Ocean Beach.
Flowers are like friends…they bring color to your world.
Ladies who were dancing on the Embarcadero this evening pose and smile for my camera!
Colorful graffiti art on the side of a produce delivery truck in Mission Valley.
An awesome calavera San Diego shirt in a shop window!
A happy wood stove. I spotted this neon art on Main Street in Ramona.
A beautiful flower at the County Center/Little Italy trolley station.
Gazing out at San Diego Bay from the Broadway Pier, shortly before sunset.

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!

Hotel San Diego sign at Liberty Station.

If you’ve ever entered Liberty Station by turning down Dewey Road from Rosecrans Street, you might’ve glimpsed a very unusual sight. On the left, beyond some trees, an enormous sign is lying on the ground!

Last weekend I walked down a footpath behind Officer’s Quarters D of the old Naval Training Center San Diego for a better look. Quarters D until recently was the home of SCOUT. It is now home of Banyan Tree Educational Services.

The huge sign lying strangely on the ground once belonged to the Hotel San Diego. For many decades the neon sign was an iconic sight on Broadway in downtown San Diego. The large hotel was demolished in 2006 to make way for a new federal courthouse.

I myself stayed in the hotel a little over twenty years ago, when I moved to San Diego, and I remember seeing this landmark sign on the historic building.

The Hotel San Diego was built in 1914 by John D. Spreckels to accommodate visitors arriving for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. Learn more about it and see historical photos here.

Why is this large, rusting sign now lying on some grass at Liberty Station? It was preserved with the intention of restoring it for display in the garden behind Officer’s Quarters D. Read more about that 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!

Art’s Popping Up in Azalea Park!

Art’s Popping Up in colorful Azalea Park!

It is quite literally!

That’s because Art’s Popping Up is the name of a welcoming mosaic sculpture in the median of Poplar Street, at the entrance to Azalea Park, a friendly community in south City Heights!

I enjoyed an inspiring tour around Azalea Park yesterday and will be blogging about lots of amazing artwork.

The bright mosaics on the four sides of Art’s Popping Up were created in 2018 by members of the community. The lead artist, Vicki Leon, has a nearby studio. A team of friends and neighbors, who go by the name Azalea Park Mosaic League, not only helped to create this fantastic sculpture, but with the help of Vicki Leon they’ve produced numerous mosaics throughout Azalea Park.

Several tiles on one side of Art’s Popping Up explain: “This mosaic celebrates art emerging from within our neighborhood. It follows the theme of the Pop Street mosaics on Poplar Street…Framed artworks pop out of an Art Nouveau background, a style of art inspired by the curved lines of plants and flowers, used here to reference Azalea Park’s botanical theme and natural canyons…The continuous rainbow of color is created from hand-cut stained glass and represents our unity and diversity…”

At the top of the tall sculpture are four words selected during meetings of community members. They are: Community, Diversity, Unity and Creativity.

I love how the rainbow of color seems to splash, curl and spurt upward along the four sides of Art’s Popping Up. The mosaic shines brilliantly in the San Diego sunshine as it greets residents going to and from their homes.

Two awesome members of the Azalea Park Mosaic League smile for a photograph of Art’s Popping Up!
Azalea Park is bounded by Manzanita Canyon and Hollywood Canyon. Trails from residential streets provide easy access to nature. Images of hiking, plants and other natural elements that have been sandblasted on colorful ceramic tiles add meaning to the community mosaic.

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!

More history at the Golden Hill Fountain Grotto.

Last month the Friends of Balboa Park installed a new information sign at the Golden Hill Fountain Grotto. The sign provides a good description of the fountain grotto’s history in Golden Hill Park. The community park, with views of downtown and Florida Canyon, is located in the southeast corner of much larger Balboa Park.

Five years ago I posted photos of the grotto on my now dormant blog Beautiful Balboa Park. You can read what I wrote and see those photographs here. I walked to the grotto again last weekend to check out the newly installed sign.

The sign explains how Golden Hill Park, developed in 1889, was the site of San Diego’s first playground. The Golden Hill Fountain Grotto was a decorative park installation designed in 1907 by Henry Lord Gay. He was also responsible for downtown San Diego’s Western Metal Supply Co. building, which is now a part of Petco Park.

Henry Lord Gay “created a sunken garden grotto built of stone and concrete with twin cobblestone stairways curving down to a sheltered fountain and seating area in a rugged canyon…Stones evoke mystery, creativity and contemplation; flowing water signifies life, and pathways lead out to the open sky…”

You can see in my photos how the fountain was made to appear like a natural spring whose pool trickles down into a hollowed rock.

Sadly, I observed evidence of homelessness and drug use in the secluded grotto. These tragic problems have become widespread in San Diego. Trash, graffiti and a burnt out fountain is probably not what Henry Lord Gay and the early residents of our city envisioned.

The Golden Hill Fountain Grotto is over a century old and is, according to the information sign, Balboa Park’s oldest designed feature.

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!

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!

Markers and monuments at San Ysidro border.

Two historical markers can be seen just north of the San Ysidro Port of Entry border crossing. They stand near the entrance to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over Interstate 5 to Camino de la Plaza. I spotted them during my last walk around San Ysidro and took photographs.

A granite monument, marker number 255, reads Boundary of the United States–Treaty of 1853–Re-Established by Treaties of 1882-1889. The opposite side contains the same information in Spanish. The monument’s two other sides show the principal names from the international commission that precisely determined the previously disputed boundary with Mexico in 1892 to 1896. It was one of 258 markers placed along 689 miles of border.

The fascinating story of this particular marker includes a flood, a replacement duplicate, and the original marker’s rediscovery and relocation to this spot. Read more about its complicated history here.

Behind the granite boundary monument, a historical sign on a post marks the Blue Star Memorial Highway. The sign describes the highway as A tribute to the Armed Forces that have defended the United States of America.

Perhaps you’ve seen these signs elsewhere across the United States. Read more about the Blue Star Memorial Highway (which is in fact numerous highways) 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!

New electronic sign encourages bicycling.

Early this morning I made an interesting discovery!

I was walking along Pacific Highway in downtown San Diego when I noticed an electronic sign has been recently installed near the County Administration Center. This colorful City of San Diego sign appears to encourage bicycling.

Evidently the new electronic sign will show the number of cyclists that are on the road “today” and “this year.” If that’s the case, it will probably be an estimate.

Of course, I could be entirely wrong about the sign’s function. Once it’s activated, we’ll see what appears!

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 few quirky photos in the Gaslamp.

I took these few odd photographs in the Gaslamp Quarter last Sunday. They had absolutely nothing to do with Mother’s Day. But they were too good to toss into the Recycle Bin.

I’m not sure what theme might connect these photos, except for general quirkiness. (Is that a word?)

I apologize if the Newsbreak or Opera News App is showing this silly little blog post and you’re expecting hard hitting news. I have yet to cover any crimes or political scandals. None that I can recall.

I’m just a guy who walks around San Diego photographing various things I see. It’s all mostly for fun.

Enjoy a laugh!

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!

Balboa Park’s new Moreton Bay Fig tree platform.

On Sunday I finally stepped onto the new platform that recently opened in Balboa Park under the huge Moreton Bay Fig tree, north of the San Diego Natural History Museum. The shady platform with welcoming wooden benches made of old logs was built by the Friends of Balboa Park.

The platform is the perfect place to relax, eat a snack or read, while listening to a strumming guitarist, or birds in branches, or happy laughter from nearby picnickers.

I took a photograph from the Moreton Bay Fig’s new platform of a sign down by some huge roots. The sign describes the history of this impressive, very beautiful tree.

I’ve transcribed the above words:

A Legacy of the 1915 Exposition

This Moreton Bay Fig Tree was planted over a hundred years ago in a formal garden created for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. While it has not moved, its surroundings have changed. The garden, designed for the Southern California Counties Building was later replaced by the San Diego Natural History Museum.

It has grown to be the largest Moreton Bay Fig in Balboa Park and one of the largest in California. It exceeds 70 feet in height, the canopy extends 125 feet in width and the trunk is 16 feet in diameter.

Balboa Park becomes even more wonderful as the years roll on…

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!