Intermission comes to downtown San Diego.

Intermission... The curtain will rise again. P.S. Wash your hands.
Intermission… The curtain will rise again. P.S. Wash your hands.

I was safely inside my home all day yesterday. The worldwide coronavirus pandemic continues.

Today the sun came out, so I decided to stretch my legs with an easy outdoor walk, while keeping a careful distance from others. (There was also the small matter of shopping for food.)

At the top of Cortez Hill a few residents were out walking their dogs. They usually moved to one side as others approached.

In the heart of downtown it was much quieter than usual for a Saturday. A few workers were out doing their thing. A handful of restaurants were open and offering carry out food, but many others were closed. Businesses that aren’t considered essential services were all closed.

When I reached the Embarcadero, I was surprised to see a large number of joggers and walkers. I suppose, like me, they needed to feel the warm sunshine on their face. And there’s that need to stretch the legs–that’s what one does during intermission, right?

Broadway in downtown San Diego is exceptionally quiet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Broadway in downtown San Diego is exceptionally quiet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some workers were outside engaged in construction projects.
Some workers were outside engaged in construction projects.
Almost no traffic at the Santa Fe Depot.
Almost no traffic at the Santa Fe Depot.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship is back in its sunny San Diego home. I assume it will be idle until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship is back in its sunny San Diego home. I assume it will be idle until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Like most tourist attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours has closed operations until further notice.
Like most tourist attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours has closed operations until further notice.
No kids were jumping in the Waterfront Park fountains today. For the County of San Diego, protecting public health is a top priority.
No kids were jumping in the Waterfront Park fountains today. For the County of San Diego, protecting public health is a top priority.
I was surprised by the number of walkers and joggers out by the water. Most were a fair distance apart.
I was surprised by the number of walkers and joggers out by the water. Most kept a fair distance apart.
Even though the pavilions by the Broadway Pier were closed, many were enjoying sunshine along San Diego's Embarcadero.
Even though the pavilions by the Broadway Pier were closed, many people were enjoying sunshine along San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Another photo of almost empty Broadway looking east from Harbor Drive.
Another photo of almost empty Broadway looking east from Harbor Drive.
Many who live downtown were outside walking dogs.
Many who live downtown were outside walking dogs.
The San Diego Law Library building is closed. I was lucky to enjoy an inside tour of it last month.
The San Diego Law Library building is closed. I was lucky to enjoy an inside tour of it a couple weeks ago, before the pandemic worsened.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Fire Station 1--The Big House--was very quiet when I walked by. That's a good thing!
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Fire Station 1–The Big House–was very quiet when I walked by. That’s a good thing!
More construction downtown. A huge crane is being erected on B Street.
More construction downtown. The pandemic will end and the city will grow. Small cranes were being used to erect a huge crane on B Street.
Intermission comes to downtown San Diego.
Intermission comes to 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!

Making beautiful candles in Old Town.

Today I watched as a father and his son made beautiful candles in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

The father, Paul, is the owner of Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop. His son is a super friendly young man named KC.

This talented family has been making candles by hand for three generations. I learned their business has been operating for about 38 years (including a period at Knott’s Berry Farm) and has been located in Old Town now for about 24 years.

For a few minutes I watched as Paul used a special carving tool to cut and curl back soft wax as he made an elaborate, very beautiful, multicolored candle. He told me he had about 8 minutes to complete the task, before the wax cooled and hardened. After carving a well at the top of the candle, he dipped his finished creation in clear wax, then a hard glaze.

Sometimes he’ll add shells or figurines to these decorative candles, to make them even more fantastic. I also learned that these fancy many-layered candles, which begin modestly as a solid mold, can take anywhere from 6 to 10 hours to create!

Outside the shop, tourists and curious passersby were watching KC dip taper candles. He’d dip each group of wicks, which are suspended vertically in a circle, about 30 to 35 times, depending on the outdoor temperature. He was careful not to leave the forming candles in the hot wax for too long. After the candles grew in girth to the correct size, he removed the excess wax for future use, and used scissors to cut the candles free, as you can see in my last photo!

Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop is located in the historically and architecturally important Sessions Building, which was designed by renowned San Diego architect Richard Requa. Learn more about it 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!

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A cool exhibition of photographs on Cortez Hill.

I’m an amateur photographer. When I see an exhibition of photography by experts who actually know what they’re doing, I’m filled with wonder and a little bit of jealousy.

This evening I was walking through downtown, heading for my home atop Cortez Hill, when I saw a cool collection of photographs inside the front room gallery of Safelight Labs. About every month the exhibition in Safelight Labs changes, giving local photographers who use film a chance to showcase their work and perhaps sell a few pieces.

If you’re into photography, make sure to check out Safelight Labs, which is described as a community darkroom space.

Rob Cowan, the owner, is super knowledgeable and friendly. By offering workshops, classes, and an onsite studio and darkroom, he helps others to pursue their passion for photography!

The current gallery exhibition “One by Three: A Wide View of San Diego” is by photographer Carlos Lopez Medrano. He has taken many fantastic photos all around our beautiful city!

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!

Marketing and fun, combined into one.

I’m sure most people know the truth. Comic-Con is mostly about marketing. Movies, television shows, video games, toys, collectibles, even lunch–all swirl before the eyes of excited fans.

And yet–it’s all so much fun!

How does one draw the line between the calculated marketing and the unabashed fun?

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!

Murals inspire, motivate students in schools!

Thao Huynh and Kolten French of Mindful Murals encourage school kids to #CREATE with a super colorful interactive mural!
Thao Huynh and Kolten French of Mindful Murals encourage school kids to #CREATE with a super colorful interactive mural!

Yesterday during my mural walking adventure I was introduced by Love City Heights to two people who are doing something that is brilliant and inspiring. Thao Huynh and Kolten French have together created Mindful Murals, an enterprise that’s all about engaging young students at schools with large, affirming, fun graphics!

Check out these six interactive murals that were recently completed at Edison Elementary School. They decorate the backstops of outdoor handball courts. Big splashes of color feature short positive messages like BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, BE LOVING, and NEVER GIVE UP. The murals not only encourage positive thoughts and behavior, but they become a motivating part of a student’s outdoor physical activity.

In addition to interactive murals, Mindful Murals creates sensory paths for schools. These pathways invite kids to walk, twist and turn all about, as they head down a colorful path to discover happy emojis and surprises. It’s a cool idea that engages a growing body, mind and spirit!

To learn more about Mindful Murals, check out their Instagram page here!

Two of the Mindful Murals recently painted in the playground of Edison Elementary School in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood.
Several of the Mindful Murals recently painted in the playground of Edison Elementary School, located in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood.
PERSEVERE
PERSEVERE
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
EMPATHY
EMPATHY
BE LOVING
BE LOVING
I love how this bold message faces the school's soccer field. NEVER GIVE UP
I love how this bold message faces the school’s soccer field. NEVER GIVE UP

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!

Help reopen Christine’s downtown coffee cart!

I’m not a regular customer of Christine’s Coffee, but I often walk down B Street past the downtown coffee cart, and I’ll grab a hot chocolate on super cold mornings. If Christine happens to see me as I pass by she always smiles and waves. She is the friend of many. She is an important part of the life of our city.

So it was shocking to see a notice on her boarded-up cart about a month ago that explained her cart had been torched by an arsonist. Apparently is was set on fire in the middle of the night by a transient.

A couple days ago I spotted another notice on her destroyed cart. It explains that she has a GoFundMe page, and has plans to reopen the coffee cart.

If you’d like to help Christine, please go to her GoFundMe page here.

A past blog post featured the friendly wave of Christine at her coffee cart. That smile and wave need to be restored! Please click the link to her GoFundMe page and help out!

UPDATE!

Christine’s Coffee has reopened!

Kids Entrepreneur Fair coming to Kearny Mesa!

I just learned a cool kids entrepreneur fair will be held on Saturday, January 19 in Kearny Mesa! Enterprising youth who’d like to participate, and families and community members who’d like to support them are all invited!

The Kids Entrepreneur Fair is hosted by Girl Scout Troop 4207 and will take place from 10 am to 2 pm in the Go-Staff parking lot at 8798 Complex Drive.

To learn more about the event, and how you can participate click here!

Optimistic kids who dream and move forward with a positive outlook shape our world’s future!

Best wishes to those who have bright shining dreams!

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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!