Kobe Bryant tribute mural in Normal Heights.

An amazing mural honoring and remembering Lakers basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a tragic airplane crash early this year, was painted this summer in Normal Heights. Today I walked down Adams Avenue and snapped a couple photos.

The purple and gold mural can be found on the east wall of El Zarape Mexican Cantina, next to a tiny parking lot, directly opposite a great Prince mural I photographed three years ago here.

I believe this Kobe tribute artwork was produced by graffiti artists Shark and Hasler.

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!

A visit to the California Surf Museum!

On Saturday I enjoyed my first ever visit to the California Surf Museum in Oceanside.

This one-of-a-kind museum might be small, but WOW! Every inch of it is packed with cool exhibits that celebrate the history, art and technology of surfing!

I found myself deeply fascinated by everything I saw. Even though I’m not a surfer!

Most notable was the museum’s incredible array of historic surfboards, many of which are true works of art.

I could easily see why so many people love surf culture. I could see the poetry and the physical joy of surfing and its spiritual quality. I asked the friendly docent what he liked most about surfing, and he said it was being in the moment. Forgetting unimportant things, riding a wave, feeling alive.

If you are the least bit fascinated by this sport or the Southern California beach scene, definitely visit the California Surf Museum. To give you an idea of what you might see, check out my photographs, and read the captions!

Numerous exhibits fill the small but very cool California Surf Museum in Oceanside.
Numerous exhibits fill the small but very cool California Surf Museum in Oceanside.
One exhibit details the Anatomy of a Wave.
One exhibit details the Anatomy of a Wave.
A gun surfboard made of layered agave wood, created by local surfing and shaping legend Gary Linden.
A gun surfboard made of layered agave wood, created by local surfing and shaping legend Gary Linden.
Asymmetrical redwood surfboard made from the wood of a large wine barrel, created by Carl Ekstrom.
Asymmetrical redwood surfboard made from the wood of a large wine barrel, created by Carl Ekstrom.
Display case holds 1946 California Surfriders book by Doc Ball, his wood waterbox camera for surf photography, and the 1928 Tom Blake Perpetual Trophy.
Display case holds 1946 California Surfriders book by Doc Ball, his wood waterbox camera for surf photography, and the 1928 Tom Blake Perpetual Trophy.
Another exhibit celebrates the boogie board, invented by Tom Morey in 1971, and explores its history.
Another exhibit celebrates the boogie board, invented by Tom Morey in 1971, and explores its history.
Plastic Fantastic rounded pin surfboard, with cool artwork by Randall Kraemer.
Plastic Fantastic rounded pin surfboard, with cool artwork by Randall Kraemer.
A special, inspirational exhibit celebrates Bethany Hamilton, champion surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack.
A special, inspirational exhibit celebrates Bethany Hamilton, champion surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. You can see her surfboard with a chunk missing.
Bethany Hamilton's inspiring story was told in the movie Soul Surfer. She has won multiple competitions after losing her left arm in a 2003 shark attack.
Bethany Hamilton’s inspiring story was told in the movie Soul Surfer. She has won multiple competitions after losing her left arm in a 2003 shark attack.
A very unique hydrofoil for kneeboard surfing, designed by oceanographer Dr. Tareah "Terry" Hendricks. A plaque in his honor can be found at Swami's in Encinitas.
A very unique hydrofoil for kneeboard surfing, designed by oceanographer Dr. Tareah “Terry” Hendricks. A plaque in his honor can be found at Swami’s in Encinitas.
Circa 1910 early California alaia made of Sugar Pine, built by Ralph Noisat. One of the oldest documented boards in the mainland United States.
Circa 1910 early California alaia made of Sugar Pine, built by Ralph Noisat. One of the oldest documented boards in the mainland United States.
Surfing toys, games and pop culture imagery in a display case at the California Surf Museum.
Toys, games, comic books and pop culture artifacts celebrate surfing in a display case at the California Surf Museum.
A museum display memorializes local surfers who've passed on.
A museum display memorializes local surfers who’ve passed on.
Various bodysurfing handplanes.
Various bodysurfing handplanes.
A cool art exhibit titled Abstractions in Symmetry by Russell Spencer features photographs created using light and rotating surfboard fins.
A cool surf art exhibit titled Abstractions in Symmetry by Russell Spencer features photographs created using light and rotating surfboard fins.
A redwood surfboard by Francis Todd II and Mary Krahn pays tribute to popular Southern California surfing destination Encinitas.
A redwood surfboard by Francis Todd II and Mary Krahn pays tribute to popular Southern California surfing destination Encinitas.
A small slice of heaven for surfing enthusiasts!

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!

Fans of Yankees, Rays gather near Petco Park.

Yankees fans hang out near Petco Park during Game One of the American League Division Series between New York and Tampa Bay.

I walked around Petco Park early this evening as the big playoff series between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays was getting underway. This highly-anticipated match-up of two great American League Division Series teams is taking place in San Diego due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the necessity for players to stay in a safe bubble.

I noticed fans of both the Yankees and Rays had gathered near the ballpark. Some of the fans were trying to peer into Petco Park to watch a little of the action–either live on the field or via the huge video boards. Others were watching the televised game at nearby bars and restaurants. I must say the majority of fans I noticed were rooting for New York. I did see a few Tampa Bay fans, but they were all inside one eatery beyond the reach of my camera…

I noticed these guys with video equipment trying to capture some of the mood outside Petco Park. From here all you can see of the game is one large video board.
As you can see, some New York Yankees fans walking about would give me a thumbs up!
That crack in the fence beside Gallagher Square is the one place I know of where you can actually see action on the field. You can barely glimpse the tops of heads in the bullpen, part of the pitching mound area, and part of the home team’s dugout!
If you walk around Petco Park on its east side, you can see part of the main video board. When I snapped this photo, Tampa Bay was up to bat!
Another New York thumbs up!
Padres and Yankees fans watch Monday’s televised postseason game at tables out on an East Village sidewalk.
Can you believe it? These guys had just read a Cool San Diego Sights blog post on their phone moments before I spoke to them! Looks to me like they’re having a good time!

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!

Padres fans watch playoff game at Petco Park!

The Padres faithful have converged around Petco Park for the second game of the playoffs–a Wild Card game versus the St. Louis Cardinals!

I watched part of the game late this afternoon from a spot beside Gallagher Square. When I walked home through East Village and the Gaslamp, I saw many people at bars and restaurants watching the game.

As I write this, the Pads have come back by scoring 5 runs, making it 7-6, giving us the lead! Fernando Tatís Jr. contributed with a huge 3 run homer. Will we win?

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!

Downtown readies for the Padres’ playoffs!

It’s been an unusual year in Major League Baseball. A shortened season and unusual rules because of the COVID-19 pandemic . . . and the San Diego Padres are in the playoffs! For the first time since 2006! And the Friars are widely considered one of the favorite, most exciting teams, too!

Restaurants, bars and shops in downtown San Diego have begun to put out signs, banners and merchandise in anticipation of the first playoff series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which begins at Petco Park with Game 1 tomorrow afternoon. And I noticed Padres employees and team players are getting ready at the ballpark, too!

I walked around Petco Park and the Gaslamp Quarter this afternoon to see what I might see. Check it out!

Big video screens have been erected in the Lexus Premier Lot next to Petco Park. Fans who've purchased special tickets will be able to watch playoff games together from the safety of their cars.
Big video screens have been erected in the Lexus Premier Lot next to Petco Park. Fans who’ve purchased special Padres Postseason Watch Party tickets will be able to enjoy playoff games together from the safety of their cars.

I noticed a couple of buses were parked by Petco Park. Did they drive all the way from St. Louis?
I noticed a couple of buses were parked next to Petco Park where visiting teams arrive.

Padres employees round a corner of Petco Park getting everything ready for the start of the MLB postseason.
Padres employees round a corner of Petco Park in San Diego’s East Village getting everything ready for the start of the MLB postseason.

Fans were enjoying a nice afternoon at Gallagher Square, watching Padres batting practice from a distance.
Fans were enjoying a nice afternoon at Gallagher Square, watching Padres batting practice from a distance.

National League Wild Card graphic splashed on the video screen that faces Gallagher Square.
National League Wild Card graphic splashed on the video screen that faces Gallagher Square.

A photographer captures images of the Padres during batting practice.
A photographer captures images of the Padres during batting practice.

My small camera caught a pitch on the way, player ready to swing!
My small camera caught a pitch on the way, with the batter ready to swing!

Banner on high balcony overlooking Petco Park's outfield proclaims: Let's Go Padres.
Banner on high balcony overlooking Petco Park’s outfield proclaims: Let’s Go Padres.

Bub's At The Ballpark has several banners out. Go Padres!
Bub’s At The Ballpark has several banners out. Go Padres!

UNION Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp has a SLAMDIEGO Special: The Padre Burger with a pint of Ballast Point Friar Ale!
UNION Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp has a SLAMDIEGO Special: The Padre Burger with a pint of Ballast Point Friar Ale!

Several shops in the Gaslamp have Padres apparel out on display.
Several shops in the Gaslamp have Padres apparel out on display.

Another example!
Another example!

Okay, here’s something really cool. I’d left the Gaslamp and was walking up Sixth Avenue toward home when I noticed the door of Centre City Sports Collectibles was open. So I stepped inside.

Wow! My eyes almost popped out of my head! If you’re a sports collector or enthusiast and you haven’t checked this place out, you need to pay a visit! The place is jammed floor to ceiling with so many collectibles that I don’t know how Henry, the proprietor, keeps track of it all. And by the way, he’s a really nice guy!

He called the stacks and stacks of stuff in every direction a mess, but I’m not sure why. The place is like sports fan heaven!

He let me take a few photos…

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!

Irritable crabs face off at Ocean Beach arena.

Some irritable crabs were facing off all around a watery square arena at the Ocean Beach tide pools yesterday.

Crabs small and smaller, feeling agitated, would lift their claws threateningly, scamper right up to a rival, show ’em who’s boss, then, seeming to forget everything, would bumble off in a different direction.

I can’t say there was too much actual grappling. Just a lot of showboating.

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!

A good Saturday to surf near the OB Pier!

I couldn’t believe how many surfers were out in the water on Saturday afternoon. I watched the action from the OB Pier and strove to get a few decent shots with my little camera.

So many people were paddling out, bobbing on their surfboards and catching waves that the action was frequent and entertaining! Sometimes multiple surfers would wipe out simultaneously, and boards and bodies would be flying every which way!

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!

Plaques honor golf champions at Torrey Pines.

San Diego’s beloved Torrey Pines Golf Course is one of the most beautiful and famous golf courses in the world. It has a history of great competitions between the world’s top professional golfers.

Last weekend I walked a little around Torrey Pines Golf Course and took photos of outdoor plaques that honor notable past champions.

Plaques along one side of a practice putting green at Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Plaques along one side of a practice putting green at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

The Century Club WALK OF FAME.
The Century Club WALK OF FAME.

Arnold Palmer, San Diego Open Champion 1957, 1961.
Arnold Palmer, San Diego Open Champion 1957, 1961.

Billy Casper, San Diego Open Champion 1966.
Billy Casper, San Diego Open Champion 1966.

Gene Littler, San Diego Open Champion 1954.
Gene Littler, San Diego Open Champion 1954.

Tom Watson, San Diego Open Champion 1977, 1980.
Tom Watson, San Diego Open Champion 1977, 1980.

Craig Stadler, Buick Invitational Champion 1994.
Craig Stadler, Buick Invitational Champion 1994.

Jack Nicklaus, San Diego Open Champion 1969.
Jack Nicklaus, San Diego Open Champion 1969.

Scott Simpson, Buick Invitational Champion 1998.
Scott Simpson, Buick Invitational Champion 1998.

Gary Player, Buick Invitational Champion 1963.
Gary Player, Buick Invitational Champion 1963.

108th United States Open Championship, June 12-16, 2008. Champion Tiger Woods.
108th United States Open Championship, June 12-16, 2008. Champion Tiger Woods.

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!

Future Champion at San Diego Yacht Club.

Another excellent sculpture by Encinitas-based artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson can be seen beside the entrance to the San Diego Yacht Club in Point Loma. The public artwork, created in collaboration with Brian Thomas of Thomas Marine, is titled Future Champion. It was dedicated in 2010.

A bronze young sailor, wearing sunglasses, appears to be piloting a sailboat in solo competition. It’s a fantastic sculpture that really captures the essence of being out on the water, one hand holding the rudder while eyes carefully watch the wind in the sails.

The artists’ work includes another similar sculpture I recently blogged about–the sailor high on a mast holding a spyglass in front of the Silver Gate Yacht Club. See that great sculpture 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!

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!