An alley in Ocean Beach alive with cool art!

I wandered about Ocean Beach this weekend. I walked down an alley that runs parallel to Newport Avenue–on its north side–from Cable Street to the beach.

Lots of cool artwork can be found all up and down this alley! You might notice many of the murals appear like mosaics–those are community murals from past years. They’re painted by anybody and everybody who can use a brush during the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair And Chili Cook-offs.

I noticed the final mural with the painted SEASPELL and amazing turtle was created by local artists Christopher Konecki and Carly Ealey in 2019.

In the past I’ve photographed two other works of art in this alley. A mermaid holding a shell full of ocean gifts can be seen here. A very cool mural featuring Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash can be seen 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!

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!

A slightly weird walk in Pacific Beach!

Easter Island head in a front yard.
Easter Island head in a front yard.

This afternoon I headed to PB to check out a very cool mural at Pacific Beach Elementary School. (I’ll blog about that shortly!)

After having a good look at the mural, I kept my camera out for what might be considered a slightly weird walk. I headed west toward the Pacific Ocean and eventually found myself approaching the grassy park overlooking Law Street Beach. I then turned south and followed the oceanfront boardwalk down to Crystal Pier.

Exactly how weird was this walk?

Check out this cool old truck. A guy with the welding company talked to me near a sculpture of a bison in his lot near the sidewalk, but I didn't think to snap a photo of it before I had resumed walking. Bummer.r.
A friendly guy with the welding company that owns this cool truck talked to me near a steel sculpture of a bison. It was in a work lot by the sidewalk. I forgot to snap a photo of the sculpture. Bummer.
Who wants to take surf lessons? Make this the best summer ever!
Who wants to take surf lessons? Make this the best summer ever!
Old peeling street art seems to portray Neptune on a seahorse.
As I neared the Pacific Ocean, I found this peeling street art that seems to portray Neptune on a seahorse.
Looking north toward La Jolla across the grassy park at Law Street.
Looking north toward the ocean off La Jolla from the grassy park at Law Street.
After I took this photo, I rested on the bench for several minutes.
After I took this photo, I rested on this bench for a little bit.
Thanks for the sunsets and the dawns.
In honor of our parents Bill and Jean Manion. Thanks for the sunsets and the dawns.
I see Crystal Pier in the distance.
Look at all the beach goers! I see Crystal Pier in the distance.
Tons of surfing action and swimmers today at Pacific Beach.
Tons of surfing action and swimmers today at Pacific Beach.
Another perfect bench overlooking the beach.
As I began south, I found another perfect bench overlooking the beach. A gull must think this guy has some food.
The Pacific Beach boardwalk is part of the California Coastal Trail.
The Pacific Beach boardwalk is part of the California Coastal Trail.
Lots of bicyclists out on a warm Friday afternoon.
Lots of bicyclists out on a warm summer Friday afternoon.
I passed on a Chips Galore this time.
I passed on a Chips Galore! ice cream sandwich this time.
Wooden stairs down to the beach.
Wooden stairs down to the beach.
Sign explains how Marine Protected Areas safeguard our ocean's beauty. (Click this photo and it will enlarge for easier reading.)
Sign explains how marine protected areas stretching north from here–directly off La Jolla–safeguard our ocean’s beauty. (Click this photo and it will enlarge for easier reading.)
I was very tempted to descend.
I was very tempted to descend.
Here come some inline skaters.
Here come some inline skaters.
A cool mural at Kono's Coffee by @HannasMurals.
A cool mural at Kono’s Coffee by @HannasMurals.
La Playa Nudista? Where's that?
La Playa Nudista? Never heard of it. Where’s that?
Gone Surfing.
Gone surfing.
Stay Weird.
Stay weird.

Well, honestly, this particular walk didn’t seem that weird to me. But if sunshine, a beach full of sunbathers, distant surf, passing bicyclists, skaters and walkers, and an ice cream vendor with a tinkling bell on his cart are considered weird, I’ll take it!

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!

Sculptures near the Oceanside train underpass.

The Last Wave of the Day, 2004, by artist Steven L. Rieman. A sculpture in Oceanside, California, two blocks from the beach and pier.
The Last Wave of the Day, 2004, by artist Steven L. Rieman. A sculpture in Oceanside, California, two blocks from the beach and pier.

During my recent walk through Oceanside, I passed two large public sculptures. One stood at either end of the pedestrian railroad underpass at Pier View Way.

The sculpture on the west side of the train tracks, at Myers Street, was created by Steven L. Rieman in 2004 and is titled The Last Wave of the Day. Fashioned from stainless steel, corten steel, and cast concrete panels, the sculpture is an abstract depiction of a surfer.

Head west down Pier View Way and you’ll end up at the foot of the Oceanside Pier.

The artist’s website is here.

Looking west through the abstract surfer toward palm trees above the beach.
Looking west through the abstract surfer toward palm trees above the beach.

The kinetic sculpture east of the railroad underpass, and a bit to the north, at Cleveland Street, was created by Andrew Carson. The artist on his website describes a personal fascination with wind, whirligigs and weather vanes, and you can see it in many of his wind sculpture pieces.

I believe this Oceanside sculpture was created in 2019. Unfortunately, the glass “leaves” and other colorful bits were in the shadow of the SALT building when I took my photographs, so they weren’t shining in sunlight.

A tall, kinetic wind sculpture in Oceanside, California by artist Andrew Carson, in front of the SALT building.
A tall, kinetic wind sculpture in Oceanside, California by artist Andrew Carson. It stands in front of the SALT apartment building.

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!

Returning to a reopened Ocean Beach Pier.

The piers and boardwalks of San Diego reopened yesterday. The coronavirus pandemic seems to be subsiding locally.

I got off work early this hot June day and decided to go to Ocean Beach. A fresh sea breeze would be so nice. I hadn’t been out on the OB Pier in a long while.

When I arrived, a good crowd was gathered on the beach. It seemed fewer people were on the pier.

Fishermen were leaning against the rail or sitting on benches hoping to catch the big one. Those strolling down the pier often paused to watch a group of surfers below.

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 rambling Sunday walk along Morena Boulevard.

Graphic on wall of Coronado Brewing Company San Diego Tasting Room. WISH YOU WERE beer.
Graphic on wall of Coronado Brewing Company San Diego Tasting Room. WISH YOU WERE beer.

Today I took a rambling walk along Morena Boulevard. These photos start around Knoxville Street in Bay Park and proceed south to the area where Morena and West Morena split.

You might notice few people in the photos. It’s Sunday and many businesses are closed. And of course there’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, keeping many at home.

If you ever drive through the Morena District, you’ll probably recognize some of these sights. Many of the old shops and small businesses along the street aren’t much to look at, but there are a few that stand out!

(I took this walk in order to photograph two really great murals in particular. I’ll post those pics shortly. I also wanted to check on the status of a mysterious, possibly historical wooden tombstone by a parking lot that I’d seen years ago. The mystery has deepened, as you’ll see in another upcoming blog post!)

Now let’s walk…

Sculpture of lady tending her garden in front of the Armstrong Garden Center.
Sculpture of lady tending her garden in front of the Armstrong Garden Center.
Another look at the gardening sculpture.
Another look at the gardening sculpture.
Beautiful bloom between the Knoxville Street sidewalk and Armstrong Garden Center.
Beautiful bloom between the Knoxville Street sidewalk and Armstrong Garden Center.
The Cordova Bar. This must be the place!
The Cordova Bar. This must be the place!
Mermaid door handles at the entrance to The Cordova Bar.
Mermaid door handles at the entrance to The Cordova Bar.
Sign on fence near U.S. Karate Academy encourages people to Be Your Best!
Sign on fence near U.S. Karate Academy encourages people to Be Your Best!
Banner on lamp post invites people to Shop for Home Decor in the Morena District.
Banner on lamp post invites people to Shop for Home Decor in the Morena District.
Cool motorcycle graphic on wall of Sidecar Bar.
Cool motorcycle graphic on wall of Sidecar Bar.
There's a T. Rex on the roof of Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital! It must've escaped!
There’s a T. Rex on the roof of Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital! It must’ve escaped!
This cool graphic of a van with a surfboard is on the side of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.
This cool graphic of a van with a surfboard is on the side of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.
Clouds and palm trees reflected on angles of window glass.
Clouds and palm trees reflected on angles of window glass.
Now I'm walking along near the Valero gas station.
Now I’m walking along near the Valero gas station.
A colorful mural near the front door of Nico's Mexican Food.
A colorful mural near the front door of Nico’s Mexican Food.
Super cool surfboards hang out beside the front door of Bird's Surf Shed.
Super cool surfboards hang out beside the front door of Bird’s Surf Shed.
Mural at Bird's Surf Shed was painted by Skye Walker in 2014.
Mural at Bird’s Surf Shed was painted by Skye Walker in 2014. Tubular, dude!
Vintage automobile parked alone in corner of a parking lot.
Vintage automobile parked alone in corner of a parking lot.
Looks like a farm around the entrance to Bull's Smokin' BBQ. Fun sculptures greet passersby on West Morena Boulevard.
Looks like a ranch around the entrance to Bull’s Smokin’ BBQ. Fun animal sculptures greet passersby on West Morena Boulevard.
Two bulls and one pig.
Walking beside two bulls and one pig.

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 miracle of the Surfing Madonna.

The Surfing Madonna in Encinitas, California. A mosaic by artist Mark Patterson.
The Surfing Madonna in Encinitas, California. A mosaic by artist Mark Patterson.

Have you heard of the miracle of the Surfing Madonna? Many in San Diego have witnessed the miracle. Indeed, the miracle is known around the world.

Next to the Encinitas Boulevard sidewalk, just east of Coast Highway 101, there’s a tiny open courtyard with a beautiful ocean mural and a shrine-like mosaic titled Surfing Madonna. The 10 by 10 feet mosaic depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe on a white surfboard, praying.

When it was first installed anonymously in a public place the artwork was considered illegal. Permission had not been granted by the city of Encinitas. The artist, Mark Patterson, was discovered and fined and the mosaic removed.

But a miracle happened.

After much controversy and legal uncertainty, and after having been moved from place to place, the unusual but beautiful mosaic, beloved by many in the beach community, finally found a home in Surfing Madonna Park, which you can see in my photographs.

To learn more about the miracle of the Surfing Madonna, read the words on the plaque beneath it.

The small Surfing Madonna Park, in a nook beside busy Encinitas Boulevard.
The small Surfing Madonna Park in a nook beside busy Encinitas Boulevard. The park is just a short walk east of Moonlight State Beach.
A plaque details the history of the Surfing Madonna.
A plaque details the history of the Surfing Madonna.

The plaque reads:

On Good Friday, April 22nd, 2011, the community of Encinitas was gifted with the Surfing Madonna mosaic, Our Lady, Star of the Sea.

Local artist, Mark Patterson and his good friend Bob Nichols, dressed up as constructions workers and hung the beautiful Surfing Madonna mosaic with its “Save the Ocean” theme. The mosaic was originally mounted underneath the train bridge, across the street from its current home.

The mosaic received international attention while the artist remained anonymous for months until discovered.

Although beloved by the community, she could not stay there and eventually found her way here, to her permanent home.

Mark Patterson sought to raise awareness of the value of the world’s Oceans. Through his vision he created the Surfing Madonna mosaic to spread a message of environmental awareness of Mother Ocean.

The mosaic gave birth to the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project which has continued to serve the Ocean and community through funding of local arts, environmental awareness, and by introducing special needs youth and their families to the joy of surfing and living with the Ocean.

Join us in celebrating the beauty of our world’s Oceans.

A beautiful environmental mural shows fish and other sea life, by Encinitas artist Kevin Anderson.
A beautiful environmental mural shows Garibaldi fish and other local sea life, by Encinitas artist Kevin Anderson.
Brick pavers in the small courtyard raised money for programs that help the Earth's oceans.
Brick pavers, some with religious themes, in the small courtyard. The pavers have raised money for programs that help the Earth’s oceans.
The Surfing Madonna and a prayerful message. Save the Ocean.
The unique Surfing Madonna and a prayerful message: Save the Ocean.

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Photos of surfer murals by Interstate 8.

If you live in San Diego, it’s likely you’ve seen these three cool surfing murals. You can glimpse them beside Interstate 8 as you drive west toward Mission Valley through Grantville. They are painted on the A-1 Self Storage building.

This classic surf artwork has been greeting drivers for many years. I personally can’t remember when the murals first appeared.

I walked down a sidewalk past the three murals recently and took close-up photos that you might enjoy. I saw some faded writing at the corner of one, but I’m afraid I can’t say for certain who the artist is or how long ago these were painted. I probably should’ve visited the self storage office and asked whether they know. If someone out there has any information, feel free to 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!

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!

Two cool, abstract murals at Bibbey’s!

Today I took two short walks in the South Bay. One of my modest adventures was near the Imperial Beach Pier.

I noticed that on Seacoast Drive, across from the pier, Bibbey’s gift shop now has two very cool murals, one painted on the south wall and one on the north. Both are super creative and contain all sorts of abstract characters, including kooky surfers, a mermaid, and what appear to be faceless underwater ball players!

That mural with elements from pop culture that I blogged about almost six years ago here seems to be long gone. Only the shark remains at the building’s southwest corner–an updated and rather fierce version!

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!

More street art at Fenton Marketplace!

I was pulling into the parking lot at Fenton Marketplace in Mission Valley when I spied two large electrical boxes painted by local artist Brise Birdsong!

In the past I’ve photographed other examples of Brise’s fun street art. You can recognize her work on a couple of boxes along nearby Fenton Parkway. See those here!

About a year ago I briefly met the artist in City Heights. She helped to mentor new muralist Mimi Gonzalez Martinez. Read about that 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!