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!

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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!

Create a cool beehouse for your garden!

Anyone can create a cool beehouse for their garden. All you really need is a drill!
Anyone can create a beehouse for their garden. All you really need is a drill!

Before my hike through the Sweetwater Marsh on Saturday, I took a stroll through the Native Pollinator Garden just outside the Living Coast Discovery Center. After reading a variety of informative signs, I paused in the garden to look at some very cool beehouses!

As I read about the beehouses, it occurred to me these would be extremely easy to make.

I took photographs just in case anyone reading this blog would like to make a beehouse for their own garden! Read the captions to learn more about the habits of ground-dwelling solitary bees and the materials you can use to make them a beehouse!

The Native Pollinator Garden at the Living Coast Discovery Center includes some very cool beehouses!
The Native Pollinator Garden just outside the Living Coast Discovery Center includes a couple of very cool beehouses!
Bees are extremely important. More than two thirds of the world's crop species rely on pollinators.
Bees are extremely important. More than two thirds of the world’s crop species rely on pollinators.
A large Feed a Bee Pollinator Habitat in the native garden provides shelter for solitary bees and information for the curious.
A large Feed a Bee Pollinator Habitat in the native garden provides shelter for solitary bees and information for the curious.
The rear of this bee condo! Holes have been drilled in a variety of materials, including logs, lumber and bricks.
The rear of this bee condo! Holes have been drilled in a variety of materials, including logs, lumber and bricks.
Solitary bees don't live in colonies. They often seek out hollows of fallen logs, bark and branches. They make up a majority of the 4000 bee species in the United States.
Solitary bees don’t live in colonies. They often seek out hollows of fallen logs, bark and branches. They make up a majority of the 4000 bee species in the United States.
A close look at the fun beehouse. I think even I could make one of these.
A close look at the fun beehouse. I think even I could make one of these.
Creating various hiding places attracts solitary bees, which can be as small as an eighth of an inch.
Creating various hiding places attracts solitary bees, which can be as small as an eighth of an inch.
Feeling inspired? Handy with a hammer and nails? Make your beehouse into a cool work of art!
Feeling inspired? Handy with a hammer and nails? Fashion your beehouse into a unique work of art!

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!