Double takes and a heartfelt San Diego welcome!

Tourists take the Coronado ferry across the bay to downtown San Diego. What will they see?
Curious tourists take the Coronado ferry across the bay to downtown San Diego. What will they see?

Yesterday I bumped into a few unexpected sights. No different than any other day. A walk through the world with open eyes can tickle both one’s funny bone and heart.

A pedicab advertising marijuana delivery!
A pedicab advertising marijuana delivery!
A walking, smiling iced coffee!
A walking, smiling iced coffee!
Upside down visitor information!
Upside down visitor information!
A heartfelt welcome on the bow of the USS Midway. Welcome home to the troops.
A heartfelt welcome on the bow of the USS Midway. Welcome home to the troops.

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!

Street art fights domestic violence, sexual abuse.

No means no.
No means no.

Many panels of street art can be seen on a construction site fence in East Village. They address diverse issues, promote civil rights, condemn social wrongs. They all speak to the human heart. They all concern love. Real love.

I don’t know who painted these panels. All are simple, but extremely powerful.

Most of the artwork opposes domestic violence, sexual exploitation and abuse.

Domestic violence is horrific.  It’s a hidden crime that damages too many lives.

San Diego has a terrible sex trafficking problem. It’s an issue some of our city leaders are trying to address.

Here are a few photos.

There's nothing super about domestic violence.
There’s nothing super about domestic violence.
Stop human trafficking.
Stop human trafficking.
Not all monsters are in the dark.
Not all monsters are in the dark.
Sometimes people wipe away their tears so you can't see them.
Sometimes people wipe away their tears so you can’t see them.

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!

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!