A fence comes down, a city grows.

Early yesterday morning, workers were pulling down the construction site fence that surrounds a brand new building in downtown San Diego. The adjacent 20-story 450 B Tower is adding additional office and retail space in the heart of the city.

While many of us were hunkered down indoors during the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction continued throughout San Diego. It seems nothing will stop the city from growing.

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!

Sign marks original terminus of historic U.S. Route 395.

A sign marks the original southern terminus of historic U.S. Route 395 in downtown San Diego. I spotted the sign for the very first time this weekend, as I walked down Park Boulevard just north of Market Street.

I believe the sign is fairly new–either that or I simply haven’t noticed it before.

According to Wikipedia: “US Highway 395 once extended to 11th and Ash in downtown San Diego…From Murrieta the old route follows Interstate 15 again to east of Fallbrook where the original US 395 still exists as a frontage road. ‘Old US 395’ can be followed from north of State Route 76 through Escondido where it meets Interstate 15 again. Finally, State Route 163, the old routing of US 395, splits off Interstate 15 at the south end of Miramar and follows the Cabrillo Freeway into downtown San Diego.”

The historic route into San Diego existed until 1964. Around that time large Southern California stretches were replaced by modern freeways.

Today, the existing U.S. 395 runs from British Columbia, Canada down to the Mojave Desert at Interstate 15 near Hesperia.

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!

Unusual traffic signal box memorial in Balboa Park.

You rarely find a traffic signal box with a special dedication plaque. There’s one such box in San Diego, and it’s located in Balboa Park at the corner of Park Boulevard and Presidents Way.

This traffic signal box memorializes Walter J. Sarnaw. The plaque reads:

THIS TRAFFIC SIGNAL SYSTEM
IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF
WALTER J. SARNAW
IN APPRECIATION FOR HIS
DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE
SAFETY OF THE CITIZENS OF
SAN DIEGO

I can find no biography of Walter J. Sarnaw online, apart from some basic information on this Find a Grave page. It indicates Walter Julian Sarnaw was born in 1916 in Illinois, attended San Diego State College, was a member of the campus Engineer’s Association, served in the Army at the end of World War II, and died in 1973 in San Diego.

And we know for certain that he was dedicated to the safety of the San Diego community. Which made him an important contributor to the life and history of our city.

If you know more about Walter J. Sarnaw, please leave a comment!

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!

Keep Going (and eat some pizza)!

Two colorful murals decorate the south end of the new 2100 Kettner office building in Little Italy!

One, facing the railroad tracks, encourages everyone to KEEP GOING. Perhaps it should have been written in reverse, because drivers motoring down one-way Hawthorn Street will only see it in their rear view mirrors!

Fortunately, those same drivers by looking to their right will clearly see a playful image of a young skateboarder chillin’ and eating a slice of pizza. The cool street art is by Bumblebee, a well known Los Angeles based artist!

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Mysterious public sculpture in North Park.

I walk past this sculpture at the corner of University Avenue and Bancroft Street every so often, and when I do I always search for a plaque or other indication of when it was created and by whom. To me it’s a complete mystery.

For many years this flame-like sculpture with patterned tiles at its base has welcomed people driving west into North Park from City Heights. I have no doubt someone out there knows its story–but I sure don’t!

If you know anything, I’d be very curious to read your comment!

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!

Community sculpture at entrance to Escondido.

If you’ve ever entered or departed downtown Escondido via West Valley Parkway, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a large, quite interesting sculpture a short distance east of Interstate 15. The sculpture stands at the intersection of Valley Parkway and Tulip Street, right next to the Gateway Shopping Center.

The cast bronze sculpture is titled Community. It was created by local artist Jeff Lindeneau in 1990.

The sun’s light forms dynamic human shapes that are “cut out” of the two triangular sections of Community.

According to a City of Escondido walking tour brochure: “This bronze, copper and locally mined granite sculpture celebrates people living and building together to achieve a common goal. The dramatic sculpture’s shape is reminiscent of the mountains surrounding Escondido with a central passageway depicting the valley.”

I like how you can see trees, hillsides, signs, buildings, light posts and electrical wires inside the human shapes. They, too, are part of Community.

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Four birds and an historic first flight!

I photographed several instances of great street art while walking along Coronado Avenue this weekend. As I headed west from Interstate 5 to Robert Egger, Sr. – South Bay Community Park, I discovered four birds and an historic first flight!

First up, two utility boxes just east of the freeway were painted with three raptors, including a bald eagle…

As I continued west down the sidewalk and passed in front of the City of San Diego’s Engine Co. 30 fire station, I noticed a unique box painted in honor of the world’s first controlled heavier-than-air flight, which took place about a mile east of where I stood.

I blogged about John J. Montgomery’s glider flights from a hilltop in Otay Mesa West and posted photos of the imposing wing monument that marks where aviation history was made here.

Finally, as I arrived at Robert Egger, Sr. – South Bay Community Park, I found a colorful work of street art featuring a beautiful nature scene and pink cockatoo!

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!

Huge boulder crushes car on L Street!

An enormous boulder dropped from the sky and crushed a car that was parked by the sidewalk on L Street!

I witnessed the strange, tragic aftermath with my own eyes, as I walked past Southwest Boulder & Stone in Chula Vista.

Because no one will believe me, I took several photographs!

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!

More street art on Black Mountain Road.

I found more great examples of street art during my Sunday walk up Black Mountain Road, from Mira Mesa Boulevard to Mercy Road.

Here are my photos…

Everything will be okay.
FOREVER LOVE YOU NANA

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!

Tributes to Jimmie Johnson in El Cajon.

As many car racing fans know, seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson grew up in El Cajon, in San Diego’s East County.

Born in El Cajon, Jimmie Johnson began to race motorcycles when he was only four years old, and he won his first racing championship four years later. He attended Crest Elementary School, then Granite Hills High School. After he graduated, he competed in off-road motocross racing, with an extraordinary degree of success. To read a good bio of Jimmie, who in his youth also loved dirt biking in the desert during family camping trips and surfing, check out this website.

As one might expect, tributes to the now legendary Jimmie Johnson can be found around the city of El Cajon.

During my walk yesterday, I photographed a sign in the median of 2nd Street, a short distance south of Interstate 8. The sign was placed here in 2014. 2nd Street is playfully renamed Jimmie Johnson Drive – Home of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.

The above photograph shows the sign’s north side. The following two photos are of the opposite side. The sign on its south side is lighter in color, probably due to fading from years of direct sunlight.

Banners celebrating Jimmie Johnson can also be found near the El Cajon Civic Center. In each banner, a cool graphic shows him standing next to his No. 48 Chevrolet, racing during his NASCAR career with Hendrick Motorsports.

The following photos show a banner on the north side of Main Street near The Magnolia performing arts theater. I noticed an identical banner hangs in the nearby Prescott Promenade park.

Starting this year, Jimmie Johnson is competing in the IndyCar Series, driving the No. 48 Honda over road and street courses for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Will the El Cajon native also excel at open-wheel racing? I wouldn’t be surprised!

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!