Bits of humor glimpsed downtown!

Geeks who drink.
Geeks who drink.

Walking around downtown San Diego, you never quite know what you’ll find. Some sights merit a quick chuckle, or a roll of the eyes.  Sometimes laughter erupts!

Guy in suit with briefcase seems desperate to escape from this building.
Guy in suit with briefcase seems desperate to escape from this building.
I hate tacos said no Juan ever.
I hate tacos said no Juan ever.
Pirate Pac-Man! Arrrr!
Pirate Pac-Man! Arrrr!
Beer . . . ask your doctor if it's right for you.
Beer . . . ask your doctor if it’s right for you. (Be mindful of possible side effects.)
More espresso, less depresso.
More espresso, less depresso.
STD Construction - We're Contagious
STD Construction – We’re Contagious
All of me loves all of you (when you do the dishes).
All of me loves all of you (when you do the dishes).
Fried, my second favorite f-word.
Fried, my second favorite F-word.
Reggae Dog!
Reggae Dog!
Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.
Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.

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!

Amazing morning clouds above the El Cortez.

Amazing, brightly glowing clouds filled the sky this morning above San Diego's beautiful Cortez Hill neighborhood.
Amazing, brightly glowing clouds filled the sky this morning above San Diego’s beautiful Cortez Hill neighborhood.

The first thing I noticed upon stepping outside this morning was the amazing sky above Cortez Hill. The clouds were glowing and so beautiful and complex that I almost got a kink in my neck.

I took lots of photos as I walked. As it turns out, my most incredible images all seem to include the handsome El Cortez building–so the subject of this blog post became obvious!

A crescent moon is just visible to the left of the historic El Cortez sign.
A crescent moon is just visible to the left of the landmark El Cortez sign.
A street lamp is still on. Another fantastic morning in downtown San Diego for a pleasant walk.
A street lamp is still on. Another fantastic morning in downtown San Diego for a pleasant walk.
Amazing clouds paint the blue sky above the landmark El Cortez and other nearby, more modern high-rises!
Amazing clouds paint the blue sky above the historic El Cortez and other nearby, more modern high-rises!

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!

Plants that attract birds, butterflies in San Diego.

Purple Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and a wide range of feeding insects and birds.
Purple Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and a wide range of feeding insects and birds.

Tweet Street park on Cortez Hill has a sign with some very useful information. It shows shrubs and trees that attract local San Diego birds and butterflies.

Please refer to the information on the sign and my photo captions. As you can see, some of these plants are native to San Diego. All are beautiful and would fit nicely in most San Diego gardens. And all naturally attract winged life. Even in the heart of the big city.

A sign in the Tweet Street linear park on Cortez Hill shows beautiful plants that attract local San Diego birds and butterflies.
A sign at the Tweet Street linear park on Cortez Hill, a neighborhood in downtown San Diego.  It shows beautiful plants that attract local birds and butterflies.
Jacaranda (Jacaranda acutifolia) is a flowering tree that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. The trees host insects that are a food supply for insectivorous birds such as finches.
Jacaranda (Jacaranda acutifolia) is a flowering tree that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. The trees host insects that are a food supply for insectivorous birds such as finches.
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is a San Diego native. White flowers in March attract hummingbirds and butterflies. In winter, red berries are food for many different birds.
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is a San Diego native. White flowers in March attract hummingbirds and butterflies. In winter, red berries are food for many different birds.
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora "Samuel Sommer") provides shade and perches for birds. The fragrant white flowers attract bees and hummingbirds.
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora “Samuel Sommer”) provides shade and perches for birds. The fragrant white flowers attract bees and hummingbirds.
Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii "Purple Passion") has flowers that are a rich source of nectar, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.
Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii “Purple Passion”) has flowers that are a rich source of nectar, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.
Ornamental Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) has flowers, fruit and seeds that make a good food source for many birds.
Ornamental Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) has flowers, fruit and seeds that make a good food source for many birds.
Prostrate Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis "Prostratus") is an herb that attracts bees, butterflies and insects that many birds eat.
Prostrate Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis “Prostratus”) is an herb that attracts bees, butterflies and insects that many birds eat.
Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) is a native clumping grass abundant with seeds that birds eat. The high grass tufts also serve as shelter.
Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) is a native clumping grass.  It’s abundant with seeds that birds eat. The tall grass tufts also serve as shelter.
Rockrose (Cistus "Sunset") attracts birds and insects with its magenta color and fragrance.
Rockrose (Cistus “Sunset”) attracts birds and insects with its magenta color and fragrance.
Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) is native to Mexico and attracts butterflies with its strong lemon-mint fragrance.
Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) is native to Mexico.  It attracts butterflies most of the year with its strong lemon-mint fragrance.
Torch Lily (Kniphofia uvaria) also known as Red Hot Poker, produces sweet nectar that hummingbirds love.
Torch Lily (Kniphofia uvaria) also known as Red Hot Poker, produces sweet nectar that hummingbirds absolutely love.
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus) is a popular perennial that attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus) is a popular perennial that attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.

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 fun and useful photos that you can share and enjoy!

Life in downtown San Diego is dynamic!

A mural with a bold message. Be dynamic. Be downtown.
A mural promoting San Diego has a very bold message: Be dynamic. Be downtown.

I can’t argue with the new mural at Sixth Avenue and Ash Street. It was painted a month or two ago and states: Be dynamic. Be downtown.

I’ve made my home in downtown San Diego for about 16 years and I still enjoy the experience: the liveliness, the color, the convenience, and of course the ability to easily walk all over the place–to the Embarcadero, Little Italy, Balboa Park, Petco Park, a trolley station, the ferry to Coronado, wherever my mood directs me. Even after all these years, new discoveries await around every corner. Yes, street parking on Cortez Hill has become almost impossible, and the homeless problem downtown is getting really bad and depressing–at times even a bit scary. But I still love this place. I try to convey that feeling with my blog.

I’ve got several more posts concerning my weekend walk in National City coming up. Plus maybe some other stuff mixed in.  Stay tuned!

Young man in business suit rides a scooter to work early one morning in downtown San Diego.
Young man in a business suit rides a scooter to work in downtown San Diego.  A dynamic photograph taken early this morning as I walked to the Little Italy trolley station!
Mural at Sixth Avenue and Ash Street promotes living, working and playing in downtown San Diego.
Mural at Sixth Avenue and Ash Street promotes living, working and playing 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!

Native garden near Old Town San Diego’s McCoy House.

Photo of historic McCoy House in Old Town San Diego from the Native Garden. Today's garden is located in a spot once close to the San Diego River, before it was diverted to the north, through Mission Valley.
Photo of historic McCoy House in Old Town San Diego from the Native Garden. Today’s garden is located in a spot that was once very close to the San Diego River, before the river was diverted to the north, through Mission Valley.

A small, ragged but beautiful native garden can be found in the northwest corner of San Diego’s Old Town, next to the McCoy House Museum. The Native Plant Garden contains vegetation which grows naturally along the rivers of our semi-arid region.

Long before Europeans arrived in Southern California, the Native American Kumeyaay lived where Old Town was eventually established; the Kumeyaay village at the base of Presidio Hill was called KOSA’AAY, or Cosoy. Many of the plants in the garden were used by the Kumeyaay people in everyday life.

Read the photo captions to learn much more. Click the garden plans and the two signs, and those images will expand providing additional information!

Plans of the Native Plant Garden in Old Town State Historic Park. Included are species used by the Native American Kumeyaay for food, shelter and medicine. Their village Cosoy was located here.
Plans of the Native Plant Garden in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Included are species used by the Native American Kumeyaay for food, shelter and medicine. Their village Cosoy was located here.
Looking northwest from the second floor of the McCoy House Museum in Old Town San Diego. The Native Garden is a bit dry and scraggly--but that's how local vegetation naturally appears.
Looking northwest from the second floor of the McCoy House Museum in Old Town San Diego. The Native Garden beyond the fence is a bit dry and scraggly–but that’s how local vegetation naturally appears.
150 years ago the San Diego River flowed nearby, bringing explorers, settlers, boats and traders to Old Town. California native trees and shrubs have been planted that once grew along the riverbank.
150 years ago the San Diego River flowed nearby, bringing explorers, settlers, boats and traders to Old Town. California native trees and shrubs have been planted that once grew along the riverbank.
Dirt paths meander through the small Native Garden at the northwest corner of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Dirt walking paths meander through the small Native Garden at the northwest corner of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Yarrow was used by the Kumeyaay as a treatment for various medical conditions, including burns, inflammation, and pain from toothache, headache and arthritis.
Yarrow was used by the Kumeyaay as a treatment for various medical conditions, including burns, inflammation, and pain from toothache, headache and arthritis.
Tall stalk of a yucca that already flowered still juts into the sky in Old Town San Diego.
Tall stalk of a yucca that already flowered still juts into the sky in Old Town San Diego.
The Kumeyaay people have lived here for at least ten thousand years. Their innovations in managing San Diego's resources in wet winters and dry summers are still used today.
The Kumeyaay people have lived here for at least ten thousand years. Their innovations in managing San Diego’s resources in wet winters and dry summers are still used today.
A variety of native plants found naturally in coastal San Diego's semi-arid climate.
A variety of native plants found naturally in coastal San Diego’s semi-arid climate, including sages and prickly pear cactus.
Fibers from the yucca were used by the Kumeyaay to produce cords, nets, shoes and other useful items.
Fibers from the yucca were used by the Kumeyaay to produce cords, nets, shoes and other useful items.

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!

Faded signs painted on old downtown buildings.

Old tin shop sign still visible on the historic I.O.O.F. building in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. A remnant of a past era.
Old tin shop sign still visible on the historic 1882 Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. A remnant of a past era.

While walking around downtown San Diego, I’m always pleased to make unexpected discoveries. Once in a while I’ll spot faded signs and advertisements that were painted years ago on historic old buildings. Unfortunately, many of those old signs are vanishing and will eventually be lost to time. Some of those walls will be painted, or new buildings will sprout up . . . That’s progress, I suppose.

I did some searching on the internet looking for information about the more mysterious signs, but with very little success. I increased the contrast of many photos to try to make out the faded words. If you know anything, leave a comment!

Most of these photos were taken in the morning, the last three or four days…

A faded sign is painted high on the 1888 Nesmith-Greely Building on Fifth Avenue. It is just visible from the street.
A faded sign is painted high on the 1888 Nesmith-Greely Building on Fifth Avenue. It is just visible from the street.
One can barely make out the words HOTEL . . . ROOMS 50c to $1.00
One can barely make out the words HOTEL . . . ROOMS 50c to $1.00
Old brick building at Seventh Avenue and G Street has words so obliterated I can't decipher anything.
Old brick building at Seventh Avenue and G Street has words so obliterated I can’t decipher anything.
The William Penn Hotel building at Fourth Avenue and F Street opened in 1913 as the elegant Oxford Hotel.
The William Penn Hotel building at Fourth Avenue and F Street opened in 1913 as the elegant Oxford Hotel.
Painted words from San Diego's past. The Windsor Hotel on Fourth Avenue was built in 1887. The first floor was once a pool hall; in the 1960s it contained cardrooms and nightclubs with go-go dancers.
Painted words from San Diego’s past. The Windsor Hotel on Fourth Avenue was built in 1887. The first floor was once a pool hall; in the 1960s it contained cardrooms and nightclubs with go-go dancers.
The 1910 Western Metal Supply Company Building is now an iconic part of Petco Park in San Diego.
The 1910 Western Metal Supply Company Building is now an iconic part of Petco Park in San Diego, home of the baseball Padres.
From a distance, a square space on the side of the Simmons Hotel on Sixth Avenue appears to be blank reddish bricks.
From a distance, a square space on the side of the Simmons Hotel on Sixth Avenue appears to be blank reddish bricks.
But a closer look reveals old words from many years ago. Perhaps you can figure out what they say.
But a closer look reveals old words from many years ago. Perhaps you can figure out what they say.
Faded words can also be spotted high on the Plaza Hotel building on Fourth Avenue.
Faded words can also be spotted high on the Plaza Hotel building on Fourth Avenue.
I can barely discern a few letters.
I can barely discern a few letters.
The building on the right is The McGurck Block, built in 1887. A drug store was located in it from 1903 to 1984. Actor Gregory Peck's father worked there as the night druggist.
The building on the right is The McGurck Block, built in 1887. A drug store was located in it from 1903 to 1984. Actor Gregory Peck’s father worked there as the night druggist.
High up, painted on the old brick building's side is a fading advertisement. A glimpse of San Diego's past.
High up, painted on the old brick building’s side is a fading advertisement. A glimpse of San Diego’s past.

I’ve blogged in the past about a variety of cool old painted signs and images in downtown San Diego. Here they are:

Old Hires Root Beer ad on building wall.

Caliente horse racing sign on downtown building.

Faded sign on abandoned San Diego building.

Old Hotel Churchill 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!

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 fun photos for you to enjoy!

New park to open east of boat channel at Liberty Station!

A new esplanade is almost ready to open on the east side of the boat channel at Liberty Station. I took this photo from the Nimitz pedestrian bridge.
A new esplanade is almost ready to open on the east side of the boat channel at Liberty Station. I took this photo from the Nimitz pedestrian bridge.

A new public park will be opening soon at Liberty Station!

I love parks. So a discovery I made yesterday made me very happy. A completely new esplanade is being created at Liberty Station! The narrow park will run along the east shore of the boat channel, allowing visitors to walk, recreate or just relax on either side of the water. The shady trees and green grass appear ready to go! Three new hotels are also being built near the esplanade, at the site of the old Wally Park airport parking lot.

Here are some photos I took during yesterday’s walk. You can see the progress being made and a couple of informative signs.

Sign declares Coming Soon - Public Esplanade and Coastal Access. Sketches show people enjoying the new park.
Sign declares: Coming Soon – Public Esplanade and Coastal Access. Sketches show people enjoying the beautiful new park.
Green grass and trees appear ready on the east side of the boat channel.
Green grass and trees appear ready on the east side of the boat channel.
A dusty sign at Liberty Station shows the narrow new esplanade. I had to alter the photo to make out details. The three dark forms in the upper right corner, I believe, will be new hotels.
A difficult-to-read sign at Liberty Station shows the narrow new esplanade. I had to enhance the photo to make out details. The three dark forms in the upper right corner, I believe, will be new hotels.
Looking eastward from the west side of the boat channel. A new park will soon open across the water!
Looking eastward from the west side of the boat channel. A new park will soon open across the water!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!