Cool art and history in Solana Beach.

A woodie with surfboard under palm trees and a shining sun. This mosaic greets people walking down the sidewalk in Solana Beach.
A woodie with surfboard under palm trees and a shining sun. This mosaic greets people walking down the sidewalk in Solana Beach.

During my visit to Fiesta del Sol in Solana Beach last weekend, I walked around the area of Lomas Santa Fe Drive, South Cedros Avenue and Highway 101 searching for cool sights.

I found some colorful art and images of local history which I’ll now share!

Nearby Fletcher Cove was named after “Colonel” Ed Fletcher, who developed Solana Beach and contributed in the early 20th century to the history of San Diego. As businessman and politician, he was the driving force behind many important accomplishments. He created Lake Hodges and other area reservoirs; he built the plank road through the desert that connected San Diego to Yuma, Arizona; he helped save Balboa Park’s temporary buildings from the 1915 Panama-California Exposition from destruction; he raised money to purchase land for the Naval Training Station on Point Loma; he also acquired a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo that was a gift to California from Portugal–an iconic sculpture that now stands at Cabrillo National Monument overlooking San Diego Bay.

A fascinating electrical box at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Plaza Street contains photos of Solana Beach’s origin and early history.

Grill in sidewalk marks historic U.S. Route 101 (also known as Pacific Coast Highway) where it passes through Solana Beach.
Grill in sidewalk marks historic U.S. Route 101 (also known as Pacific Coast Highway) where it passes through Solana Beach.
An electrical box celebrates the origin and early history of Solana Beach in San Diego's North County.
An electrical box celebrates the origin and early history of Solana Beach in San Diego’s North County. Pictured on the right is Ed Fletcher.
Fletcher Cove opened on July 4, 1925, giving Solana Beach easy access to the shore. A celebration was held that included horse races along the sand.
Fletcher Cove opened on July 4, 1925, giving Solana Beach easy access to the ocean. A celebration was held that included horse races along the sand.
Early photo of Solana Beach, which was developed by Ed Fletcher as a commercial center for nearby Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar.
Early photo of Solana Beach, which was developed by Ed Fletcher as a commercial center for nearby Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar.
Old photos decorating the electrical box were provided by the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society.
Old photos decorating the electrical box were provided by the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society.
Horses race along the beach as the opening of Fletcher Cove is celebrated.
Horses race along the beach as the opening of Fletcher Cove is celebrated.
Cool mosaic artwork on Pacific Coast Highway shows marine life in the nearby ocean.
Cool mosaic artwork on Pacific Coast Highway shows marine life in the nearby ocean.
An octopus.
An octopus.
A graceful fish.
A graceful fish.
Another beautiful fish made of small ceramic tiles.
Another beautiful fish made of small ceramic tiles.
Nostalgic artwork on an electrical transformer on South Cedros Avenue shows people on the deck of a luxurious ship.
Nostalgic artwork on an electrical transformer on South Cedros Avenue shows people lounging on the deck of a luxurious ship.
More cool street art decorates a utility box on Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach.
More cool street art decorates a utility box on Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach.
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind.
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Fun sights you can discover in San Diego!

How time flies! Cool San Diego Sights is almost five years old!

You might not realize it, but Cool San Diego Sights now has hundreds of unique blog posts, and thousands upon thousands of fun photos that you can explore!

One easy way to revisit old blog posts that share a particular theme or subject is to click a tag. You might be surprised by all the diverse, unexpected things you’ll discover!

Some of Cool San Diego Sight’s more interesting tags include: history, public art, nature, eventsarchitecture, Balboa Park, Gaslamp, Old Town, beaches, Comic-Con, street art and museums.

Click one that interests you!

As you explore my blog, you might notice there’s a whole universe of tags. You can find a handful of pertinent ones located at the bottom of each post. If you’re interested in a particular San Diego neighborhood, those tags exist, too!

There’s also a handy search box that you can use. Look for it in the sidebar.

Make exciting discoveries and have fun with me as I explore San Diego! I’m going somewhere fascinating this Saturday that very few people know about!

If you’d like, you can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Southern California’s largest rummage sale!

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Flyer contains details of The Thursday Club's 2018 Rummage Sale in Balboa Park.
Flyer contains details of The Thursday Club’s 2018 Rummage Sale in Balboa Park.

Get ready! The largest rummage sale in Southern California is taking place this weekend! It’s open free to the public and it’s going to be epic!

A simply enormous selection of antiques, clothing, books, housewares, sporting goods and more will be descended upon by eager bargain shoppers once the doors open. The Thursday Club’s annual Rummage Sale will be held March 10 and 11 inside the spacious Balboa Park Activity Center at 2145 Park Boulevard.

Proceeds from this fun event will support a host of local beneficiaries, including Balboa Park, Goodwill, the Ronald McDonald House, the San Diego Youth Symphony and San Diego Zoo Global. Over the years, the Thursday Club rummage sales have raised almost $2 million dollars for Balboa Park and a wide variety of charitable organizations.

To learn more, including the hours of the 2018 Rummage Sale and directions to the Balboa Park Activity Center, check out the flyer. Feel free to share it!

UPDATE!

I ventured up to the Activity Center on Sunday to take a quick look around on the final day and was surprised at all the good stuff still available–all at half price! Make sure you put this on your calendar for next year . . . and the year after that! All proceeds go to charity!

Just for fun, I took some photos while I walked about and browsed the various tables…

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Are you a blogger? Do you want to help out worthy charities, and make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

SpaceX rocket rises above world’s oldest active ship!

A barely visible SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 rises above Star of India, the world's oldest active sailing ship!
A barely visible SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 rises above Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship!

My plan this cold, partly cloudy morning was to head down to San Diego’s Embarcadero to hopefully photograph today’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch.

I did manage to catch an image of the rocket’s flight, but it’s so tiny you can barely make it out! I suppose I should get a fancier, more powerful camera. Can you see the faint white streak in the above photo?

The Falcon 9 launch was from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara, about 280 miles from San Diego. To my naked eye, for a few seconds, I could see the minuscule rocket soar into the sky, through the rigging of the world’s oldest active sailing ship, Star of India!

Star of India, originally named Euterpe, is an iron-hulled merchant ship that was built in 1863. Driven by capricious winds, the tall ship circumnavigated the globe 21 times during her storied history.

Falcon 9 is a technologically impressive space launch vehicle. During today’s mission a reused Falcon 9 lifted Spain’s advanced radar satellite Paz into a Sun-synchronous orbit of Earth.

As the satellite effortlessly orbits our planet, it will track ships that ply the ocean–ships that trace their own proud history back to the Age of Sail, when brave vessels like Star of India pushed forward to new horizons.

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!

Survey of racial identity, feelings at MCASD.

People walk past the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's gallery at America Plaza.
People walk past the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s gallery at America Plaza.

I recently noticed new thought-provoking graphics in the windows of the MCASD gallery at America Plaza.

Last year, a survey was taken of 100 people passing through America Plaza. Questions were asked about racial and ethnic identity. Today an exhibit at downtown’s Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego expands on the results and explores the complicated subject.

The window graphics are designed to catch the eye and draw visitors into the gallery.

This project was produced by artists with students from local colleges in San Diego and Tijuana who participated in Transnational Seminar 1, lead by Collective Magpie.

On April 20th, 100 pedestrians took a survey here in America Plaza about race and ethnicity. Self-classification data was compiled.
On April 20th, 100 pedestrians took a survey here in America Plaza about race and ethnicity. Self-classification data was compiled.
Of the 100 surveyed, 83 answered mixed race; 14 white people; 3 people of color.
Of the 100 surveyed, 83 answered mixed race; 14 white people; 3 people of color.
Feelings about racial identity can differ from person to person.
Feelings about racial identity can differ from person to person.
One of two panels containing some of the racial or ethnic classifications that one might choose.
One of two panels containing some of the racial and ethnic categories that a person might choose.
A splash of words, asking passersby what the ultimate definition of race is.
A splash of words, asking people walking down Kettner Boulevard what the ultimate definition of race is…
People might feel differently about their racial identity depending on a range of factors and circumstances.
People might feel differently about their racial identity depending on a range of factors and circumstances, from their appearance…to their dreams…to their immediate environment…to the way they live.
Thought-provoking graphics in the windows of MCASD's downtown gallery at America Plaza.
Thought-provoking graphics concerning race in the windows of MCASD’s downtown gallery at America Plaza.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Pacific Soul by Jaume Plensa rises in San Diego!

Workers install Jaume Plensa's new sculpture Pacific Soul in the public plaza by the Pacific Gate condominium tower in San Diego.
Workers install Jaume Plensa’s new sculpture Pacific Soul in the public plaza by the Pacific Gate condominium tower in San Diego.

This evening, after dark, I walked past the nearly completed Pacific Gate by Bosa condo tower and noticed an elaborate sculpture is being installed in the building’s public plaza near the corner of West Broadway and Pacific Highway.

I asked one of the workers about the artist and learned this new public art installation is the work of Jaume Plensa, the renowned Spanish artist whose monumental sculptures can be found in major cities and museums around the world. He designed the Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

This new sculpture, which is titled Pacific Soul, looks intriguingly complex. According to one article I found, it’s inspired by the tangled roots of rainforest trees and is composed of stylized characters from diverse alphabets. When finished it will be about 25-feet tall and appear like a seated person gazing west toward the Pacific Ocean.

I think it’s going to be amazing! I can’t wait to see the finished work!

Pacific Soul by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, when completed, will be about 25-feet tall and appear like a seated person gazing west toward the ocean.
Pacific Soul by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, when completed, will be about 25-feet tall and appear like a seated person gazing west toward the ocean.

UPDATE!

I walked down Broadway to see what progress had been made on Friday morning–about two days later. Workers were getting ready to assemble large sections of the monumental sculpture. Here are some photos…

Sign explains that you are viewing the installation of Pacific Soul by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. (Click image to enlarge the sign for easy reading.)
Sign explains that you are viewing the installation of Pacific Soul by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. (Click image to enlarge the sign for easy reading.)
Worker installs Pacific Soul in a public plaza by the new Pacific Gate high-rise condos in San Diego.
Worker installs Pacific Soul in the public plaza by the new Pacific Gate high-rise condos in San Diego.

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ANOTHER UPDATE!

On Saturday the several sections of Pacific Soul had been pieced together. I was told the sculpture will be lit at night from below, and that people will be able to walk through it!

More photos…

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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!

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Storm brings huge surf to Ocean Beach Pier.

Yesterday I went to Ocean Beach. My walk included a stretch along the water, to the OB Pier. It was late morning, right around high tide.

Huge, unrelenting surf resulting from a stormy Pacific Ocean was pounding like crazy and constantly threatening to break over the pier. So the pier was closed.

I took a few photos of the dynamic waves crashing under the pier.

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!