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.

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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!

Cool street art throughout Carlsbad Village!

This weekend I took a long random walk through Carlsbad Village to see what I might see. And I discovered lots of super cool street art!

Carlsbad Village is the downtown part of Carlsbad, situated right near the Pacific Ocean. As you might imagine, many of the images depicted in the street art are of surfing, the beach, sea life, and the laid-back Southern California lifestyle.

My feet turned corners randomly, so these photos aren’t in any particular order. Because my thoughts were far away at the time, I’m afraid I didn’t gather a whole lot of information concerning all this artwork. But you can see artist signatures on a few of the murals.

Which do you like? I think my favorites are the surfing Mario and the two tigers under colorful dripping paint!

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!

Murals in Leucadia along Coast Highway 101.

During my misty morning walk in Leucadia a couple weekends ago, I discovered many awesome street murals! I took photos when I came upon them, but I was in more of a walking and thinking mood than a blogging mood, so I didn’t gather a whole lot of information.

These photographs provide an idea of what you might see should you walk or drive north up Coast Highway 101. Lots of color and lots of cool beach and surf scenes.

Enjoy!

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!

Photos from the Ponto State Beach jetty.

Yesterday, before heading to Escondido where I enjoyed watching the magical Zoppè Family Circus, I walked in the gray morning mist along the coast. I started in Encinitas and headed north up Coast Highway 101 through Leucadia, where I photographed many murals and other fun stuff. Finally I reached my destination: Ponto State Beach and the entrance to Batiquitos Lagoon.

I walked to the end of the two rock jetties that stretch a short distance into the Pacific Ocean on either side of the lagoon’s channel.

Some surfers were out, and a few people strolled slowly across the beach. Incoming surf splashed up near where I stood. Gulls wheeled in the overcast sky.

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!