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!

More signs that 2018 Comic-Con is coming!

According to a sign in a window, the retail space at 635 Fifth Avenue is available as a temporary space for San Diego Comic-Con.
According to a sign in a window, the retail space at 635 Fifth Avenue is available as a temporary space for San Diego Comic-Con.

Two weeks to go and counting!

I’ve spotted a few more signs that San Diego Comic-Con is on the way!

I suspect most of the building wraps, banners, and offsite venue construction will begin materializing sometime next week.

I’ll keep watching for new stuff!

Pacific San Diego Magazine's latest issue has hit the streets. It includes an article about Aquaman appearing at 2018 Comic-Con
Pacific San Diego Magazine’s latest issue has hit the streets. It includes an article about Aquaman appearing at 2018 Comic-Con
Omnia nightclub has its lineup ready for Comic-Con weekend.
Omnia nightclub has its lineup ready for Comic-Con weekend.
An advertisement for the upcoming movie Skyscraper has been conveniently slapped on a construction site near the center of the Gaslamp Quarter.
An advertisement for the upcoming movie Skyscraper has been conveniently slapped on a construction site near the center of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Chef Santiago of the Donut Bar has his cool Deadpool Ferrari parked on B Street.
Chef Santiago of the Donut Bar has his cool Deadpool Ferrari parked on B Street.
A couple posters promoting Castle Rock have appeared in the Gaslamp, including a spot near the Tin Fish.
A couple of posters promoting Castle Rock have appeared in the Gaslamp, including a coveted spot near the Tin Fish.
The City of San Diego has placed signage out indicating street closures during Comic-Con!
The City of San Diego has placed signage out indicating street closures for a very special event: 2018 Comic-Con!

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!

Early signs that 2018 Comic-Con is coming!

Spreckels Theatre marquee welcomes Conan O'Brien for Comic-Con. His funny TBS talk show will be in San Diego on July 18-21.
Spreckels Theatre marquee welcomes Conan O’Brien for Comic-Con. His funny TBS talk show will be in San Diego on July 18-21.

Just three weeks to go until 2018 Comic-Con!

In addition to Marvel banners now hung up and down streets throughout downtown, and numerous trolley wraps that I’ve been tracking down to photograph lately, a few other signs that 2018 Comic-Con is approaching have slowly begun to appear…

A trolley wrap during Comic-Con advertises SDCCU, Your Credit Union Superhero!
A trolley wrap during Comic-Con advertises SDCCU, Your Credit Union Superhero!
Cool psychedelic artwork in the window of Sparks Gallery includes Marvel, DC, and other pop culture characters.
Cool artwork in the window of Sparks Gallery in the Gaslamp Quarter includes Marvel, DC, and other pop culture characters.
Sign in window of the San Diego Law Library concerns the Lindley Lecture on Law and Comics, which will be held in the Neil Morgan Auditorium of the Central Library during Comic-Con.
Sign in window of the San Diego Law Library concerns the Lindley Lecture on Law and Comics. There’s a new location and time. Crowdfunding to Hollywood: Comics in 2018 will be held in the Neil Morgan Auditorium of the Central Library a couple days before Comic-Con.
Homer Simpson and Rick and Morty socks in the window of the Find Your Feet store in the Gaslamp.
Homer Simpson and Rick and Morty socks are now in the window of the Find Your Feet store in the Gaslamp!

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!

Amusing photos taken around town.

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
Funny sign in a shop window: If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

As I walk semi-randomly about town, I’m always looking for amusing or uniquely interesting scenes.

Here are some fun photos…

We have coffee from Peru! But we also really really wanted to paint a llama on the sign.
We have coffee from Peru! But we also really really wanted to paint a llama on the sign.
Budweiser banner in window shows Will Ferrell in a Padres baseball uniform. You stay classy San Diego!
Budweiser banner shows Will Ferrell in a Padres baseball uniform. You stay classy San Diego!
A top hat perched oddly atop a lamppost on the Cabrillo Bridge.
A top hat perched oddly atop a lamppost on the Cabrillo Bridge.
Lots of exotic destinations. Grab and Go Subs seems to be the nearest.
Lots of exotic destinations. Grab and Go Subs seems to be the nearest.
A street art chicken spray paints graffiti on a restaurant door.
A street art chicken spray paints graffiti on a restaurant door.
Riding a fish with wine glass raised high.
Riding a rodeo fish with wine glass raised high.

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!

Another funny sign at the Town and Country!

A funny sign at the Town and Country Hotel. Psychic convention canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.
A funny sign at the Town and Country Hotel reads: Psychic convention canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.

Every so often the Town and Country Resort Hotel and Convention Center delights passing motorists with a funny new message. Drive down Interstate 8 through Mission Valley and you might see this!

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!