A mysterious, castle-like downtown building.

In downtown San Diego at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Ash Street you’ll find a very mysterious building. At first glance it appears to be a Gothic manor, or the corner of an impenetrable stone castle. Stranger still, a small shield on the building’s exterior includes the word GAS. Is this the castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, from which gas is expelled in your general direction? No–it’s a power substation of San Diego Gas and Electric!

The secure little building was designed by prominent architect Richard Requa in 1922, who would go on to become Master Architect for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.

My imagination is always electrified when I walk past this unusual sight. Is a Frankenstein monster being assembled behind those dark walls?

Here are some 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!

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A day full of dreaming by the water.

Dreaming together by the sparkling water.
Dreaming together by the sparkling water.

A slow, lazy day. One last November day of unseasonably warm weather. Like many, I had the day off from work.

A quiet stroll along San Diego Bay.

A day for dreaming by the water.

Reflected light is all we see. A dream of light flows from the hand of painter Paul Strahm.
Sitting in sunshine above the water. A dream of light flows from the hand of the always friendly painter Paul Strahm.
The undefinable essence of dreams.
The undefinable essence of dreams.
A vision beyond the reach of a pier.
A vision beyond the reach of a pier.
Light on water invites meditation.
A firm foundation and quiet moment. Light on water invites meditation.
More quiet time by the water.
Time vanishes near the water.
Ripples in a strange reality.
Ripples in a strange reality.
Moving together past a burst of beauty.
Moving together in the walk of life, past a burst of beauty.
Almost like a dream within a dream.
Almost like a dream within a dream.
Enjoying this magic, wonderful life together.
Enjoying this magic, wonderful life together.
Reading words by the tranquil water. Sensing deeper truths.
Reading words by tranquil water. Perhaps sensing deeper truths.
Another day of dreaming by the water.
Another day of dreaming by the shining water.

Today two ideas for short stories came to me like a dream. As I sat on a bench by beautiful San Diego Bay, I penned a few passing words.

I believe the titles will be The Failed Heart and A Dangerous Noise. When these stories feel finished–if that feeling ever comes–I’ll publish them on my writing blog Short Stories by Richard.

Strange story read on the roof of the library.

This afternoon I read a strange story. Pages turned as I stood on the rooftop of the downtown library.

It was a story with no words.

To read a few unusual stories I’ve written–stories containing words–click Short Stories by Richard.

Optical magic at the Bay Overlook.

I took a few photos today at Tuna Harbor Park’s popular Bay Overlook. The sun had fallen low. Sunset colors were rising.

Glass, water, clouds and sunlight created optical magic.

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!

Six creepy Halloween faces in shop windows.

This morning I walked past a variety of small shops in Hillcrest. Several had placed mannequins dressed up for Halloween in their windows. On a whim I took photos.

When I goofed around a bit this evening editing the images, concentrating on the creepy faces, I managed to terrify myself.

Now it’s your turn!

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!

Strange fragments of morning light downtown.

Early this morning I walked through downtown.

As I descended Cortez Hill, the sun ascended. Color flared from the eastern horizon.

I walked west down B Street for several blocks, then zigged over to Broadway, then zagged back to C Street. My destination was the Santa Fe Depot.

Slanting light ricocheted off windows, around shadows, and through a maze of towering buildings. Fragments of light appeared mysteriously everywhere.

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!

Mysteries and wonders on a walk in Balboa Park.

I spied this wonder in Balboa Park's Desert Garden. Why yellow?
I spied this natural wonder in Balboa Park’s Desert Garden. Why yellow?

Most of my holiday was spent in Balboa Park. Reading, jotting a few words, walking.

As I turned corners, I encountered many mysteries and wonders.

Who placed a palm frond cross and hearts on a tree in the Desert Garden?
Who placed a palm frond cross and hearts on a bare tree?
What on earth produced this bizarre, hollow, bulging tree trunk?
What on earth produced this bizarre, hollow, bulging tree trunk?
What are those wonderfully odd wicker carts? Those are Electriquettes, which first appeared in Balboa Park during the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
What are those wonderfully odd wicker carts? I know! Those are Electriquettes, which first appeared in Balboa Park during the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Why is this small sculpture of a child in the Japanese Friendship Garden? Nobody knows. Someone placed it here mysteriously many years ago.
Why is this small sculpture of a child in the Japanese Friendship Garden? Nobody knows. Someone placed it here mysteriously many years ago.
What mysterious turn of the wind arranged this, and why did I turn my eyes to see it?
What mysterious turn of the wind arranged this, and why did I turn my eyes to see it?
Should one exit stage left or stage right?
Should one exit stage left or stage right?
Will seeds planted in Balboa Park by Kate Sessions outlive us all?
Will seeds planted in Balboa Park by Kate Sessions outlive us all?
I spied this rose near a nation's closed cottage. Why is a small flower beautiful?
I happened upon this rose near a closed, locked door. Why is a flower beautiful?
When the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture moves into the Federal Building in 2018, will visitors wear costumes?
When the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture moves into the Federal Building in 2018, will visitors wear costumes?
Do puppets ever tug their own strings?
Do puppets ever manipulate their own strings?
People gaze into the distance. What do they wonder?
People gaze into the green distance. What do they wonder?
In the courtyard of the House of Hospitality is a Time Capsule Dedicated to the Future of Balboa Park, to be opened in 2035. What waits inside?
In the courtyard of the House of Hospitality is a Time Capsule Dedicated to the Future of Balboa Park, to be opened in 2035. What waits hidden inside?
How many photographs does it take to satisfy a photographer?
How many photographs does it take to satisfy a photographer?
Who gets to open those windows and water those flowers?
Who gets to open those windows, and water those flowers?
Spring and summer vanish. What is in their future?
Spring and summer end. What is in their future?
Why does time move only forward?
Why does time move forward?

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!