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!

The mystery of a strange lighthouse in Old Town!

The top section of a historically important lighthouse now stands on a sidewalk in Old Town San Diego!
The top section of a historically important lighthouse now stands on a sidewalk in Old Town San Diego!

A lighthouse that once guided ships into San Diego Bay now stands on an Old Town sidewalk? How strange is that?

Well, not an entire lighthouse–just the lantern room of the 1890 Ballast Point Light Station!

The other day while walking down Congress Street, a few steps southeast of Harney Street, I paused to more carefully examine this mystery. (I’ve driven past the kiosk-like structure often, without really giving it a second thought.)

First, you should note Ballast Point is about 6 miles southwest of Old Town. The spit of land juts down into San Diego Bay from Point Loma; it’s where tall ships used to load ballast stones for their return trip around Cape Horn to the East Coast. Today it is part of Naval Base Point Loma.

So how did this top section of Ballast Point’s historic lighthouse end up on an Old Town sidewalk?

Some interesting photos behind a glass pane provided me with a few clues. The Ballast Point Light Station was built in 1890 and eventually dismantled in 1960. (Click the images and they will expand so you can read much more.)

After doing a little research, I learned the lantern room was found in 1998 by the owner of an Old Town nautical antiques store–West Sea Company–in a classified ad. At the time the Ballast Point lantern room was located at someone’s Bonita residence! Purchased and transported by flatbed truck to Old Town, it was placed on a cement pad near West Sea Company–and here it “mysteriously” remains today!

The 1890 Ballast Point Light Station was an example of Railroad Gothic. Its sixth order lens can be seen today at Cabrillo National Monument, in a museum near the old lighthouse.
The 1890 Ballast Point Light Station was an example of Railroad Gothic. Its sixth order lens can be seen today at Cabrillo National Monument, in a museum beside the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.
Historical photo and some words explain the light at Ballast Point. It guided sailors past Middle Ground Shoal and into San Diego's harbor.
Historical photo and some words explain the light at Ballast Point. It guided sailors past Middle Ground Shoal and into San Diego’s harbor.
A public domain photo of the Ballast Point Light Station, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
A public domain photo of the Ballast Point Light Station, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
The lantern room that housed a light that guided ships into San Diego Bay now can be seen on Congress Street in Old Town!
This lantern room housed a light that guided ships into San Diego Bay. It can now be seen on Congress Street in Old Town!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

World’s most amazing car, displayed in San Diego!

This 1947 Cadillac was transformed into an amazing cross-country contraption! This unusual car drove from San Diego to New York . . . and back . . . without stopping!
This 1947 Cadillac was transformed into an amazing cross-country contraption! The unusual car drove from San Diego to New York and back–without stopping!

Have you heard of the amazing car that features a toilet, washing machine, ironing board, shower, and even a kitchen sink?

Did you know this amazing car also has an electric stove, refrigerator, medicine cabinet, and drinking fountain?

And that this particular car holds the cross-country driving endurance record? In 1952, three men drove the car 6,320 miles nonstop–literally without stopping–from San Diego to New York and back, accompanied by a police escort the entire way! They refueled from a moving gas truck!

What else can this amazing car do?

The car automatically changes oil and refills the radiator. A movable platform and hydraulic jacks allows any tire to be changed without stopping the car. And repairs to the engine can be made while driving. The hood, when open, has transparent panels that allow the driver to see the road!

A shower and drinking fountain! Why not? The shower is on the right running board and the drinking fountain can be accessed at a rear taillight! The back seat conveniently contains several household necessities, including a refrigerator, stove, small washing machine, chemical toilet, and, of course . . . that kitchen sink!

Never heard of this crazy car? It once was quite famous, widely appearing on television, in magazines and newspapers. But that was decades ago.

Today you can see Louie Mattar’s extensively modified 1947 Cadillac for yourself. ¬†It’s on display at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park!

Here’s to the dreamers. And here’s to the actual¬†doers. It took Louie Mattar five years to transform his amazing dream into reality!

Louie Mattar's car was driven 6320 miles without ever stopping. Refueling, tire changes and repairs are done on the run.
Louie Mattar’s car was driven 6320 miles without ever stopping. Refueling, tire changes and even engine repairs are done on the run!
You can see Louie Mattar's fabulous car at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park.
You can see the most amazing car in the world at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park!
The car tows a trailer, which stores gasoline, water and oil. At the rear is an outdoor dining area!
The car tows a trailer, which stores gasoline, water and oil. At the rear is an outdoor dining area complete with dial telephone!
When the car was in motion, a passenger in swim trunks could stand on a narrow platform and take a shower outside!
When the car was in motion, a passenger in swim trunks could stand on a narrow platform outside and take a shower!
A look at the complicated dashboard. I'm reminded of an airplane's cockpit.
A look at the complicated dashboard. I’m reminded of an airplane’s cockpit.
Diagram shows the many gauges and switches available to the driver. A bar and hookah are within easy reach of the front seat passenger!
Diagram shows the many gauges and switches available to the driver. A bar and hookah are within easy reach of the front seat passenger!
A look inside the amazing car through the front passenger side door.
Another look inside the amazing car through the front passenger side door.
A crazy tangle under the hood. It looks like dish of spaghetti!
A crazy tangle under the hood. It looks like a dish of spaghetti!
Diagram shows numerous modifications and additions to the 1947 Cadillac's original stock engine.
Diagram shows numerous modifications and additions to the 1947 Cadillac’s original stock engine.
A passenger on the moving car could stand on this projecting platform to change a tire! The axles are drilled, so tires can be inflated while turning!
A passenger in the moving car could stand on this projecting platform to change a tire! The axles are drilled, so tires can be inflated while they are turning!
A video in the San Diego Automotive Museum shows the amazing car in action!
A video in the San Diego Automotive Museum shows the amazing car in action!
Not many cars feature an electric stove and ironing board!
How many cars in the world are equipped with an electric stove and ironing board?

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

The strange, wonderful beauty of nautical ropes.

Late this afternoon I discovered strange and wonderful beauty.

As I relaxed on a comfortable wooden bench on the poop deck of the Star of India, enjoying the sea breeze and sunlit bay, my eyes were drawn to the riot of ropes that were coiled, knotted, stretched and dangling all about the deck, in every direction. How strangely beautiful they appeared.

I took 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!