Tasty upgrades coming to the Gaslamp!

The large Reading Cinemas building on Fifth Avenue is being renovated. Once reopened, the interior will be radically altered.
The large Reading Cinemas building on Fifth Avenue is being renovated. Once reopened, the interior will be radically altered.

Early yesterday morning I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter. As usual, I was amazed at all the ongoing renovation of buildings and businesses up and down Fifth Avenue.

It isn’t unusual for restaurants and nightclubs to come and go, but several projects are in progress that will upgrade long-time San Diego destinations.

The two projects that I observed were a radical transformation of the building that used to be home to the now closed 15-screen Reading Cinemas, and an expansion and redesign of the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop.

The old Reading Cinemas building is being converted into a luxury movie theater and two restaurants. The developer is part owner of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The Gaslamp’s new 8-screen Theatre Box will host film festivals, San Diego Comic-Con events, and be within steps of a tasty new Sugar Factory restaurant (which includes a candy store with superhero themes) and a Landshark Bar and Grill (part of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville food and hospitality empire).

A somewhat confined Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop down the street is being expanded and made much more roomy and inviting. When completed, it will once again welcome visitors to the Gaslamp Quarter with a tempting array of delectable, mouth-watering treats!

Fifth Avenue south of Broadway is the hub of San Diego's popular Gaslamp Quarter.
Fifth Avenue south of Broadway is the hub of San Diego’s popular Gaslamp Quarter.
Workers beautify a building that will be home to a luxury theater and two new restaurants.
Workers beautify a building that will be home to a luxury theater and two new restaurants.
One of several Gaslamp destinations undergoing renovation. Many downtown establishments strive to be attractive and upscale.
One of several Gaslamp destinations undergoing renovation. Many downtown establishments strive to be attractive and upscale.
The iconic Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop will also see various changes.
The iconic Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop will also see various changes.
Square footage is being increased and counters repositioned. The interior will be less crowded, more inviting.
Square footage is being increased and counters repositioned. The interior will be less crowded, more inviting.
A graphic on a construction fence designed to make people drool! All these Ghirardelli treats and more will be returning to the Gaslamp!
A graphic on a construction fence designed to make people drool! All these Ghirardelli treats and more will be returning to the Gaslamp!

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Tasty VISUAL art in Horton Plaza!

Fun art on the food court level of Horton Plaza shopping mall.
Art on the food court level of Horton Plaza shopping mall.

Tasty artwork can be found on the food court level of downtown’s Horton Plaza mall!

This fun art was created by VISUAL, whose distinctive work you might recognize. Some of my street art blog posts include photos of utility boxes decorated by VISUAL. You can spot them throughout the city.

Walking through colorful Horton Plaza.
Walking through colorful Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego.
Sign describes VISUAL, an art supply shop and gallery in North Park. Street art created by VISUAL artists can be spotted all around San Diego.
Sign describes VISUAL, an art supply shop and gallery in North Park. Street art created by VISUAL artists can be spotted all around San Diego.
Eating spaghetti.
Eating spaghetti.
A cupcake and ice cream!
A cupcake and ice cream!

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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Searching for dinner during National Pizza Week.

This graphic in the window at Fifth Avenue New York Pizza looks pretty tasty. Perhaps I should dine here...
This graphic in the window at Fifth Avenue New York Pizza looks pretty tasty. Perhaps I should dine here…

It’s National Pizza Week! Hooray! Sounds like an excellent reason to celebrate!

This evening I was hungry for a couple of slices.

But where to go?

I'm not waiting for San Diego Restaurant Week. I want pizza now!
I’m not waiting for San Diego Restaurant Week. I want pizza now!
Shall I eat at Tony's Pizza?
Shall I eat dinner at Tony’s Pizza?
Shall I eat at Samurai Pie?
Shall I eat dinner at Samurai Pie?
Shall I eat at Giovanni's Trattoria?
Shall I eat dinner at Giovanni’s Trattoria?
Shall I eat at Brooklyn Pizzeria?
Shall I eat dinner at Brooklyn Pizzeria?
Shall I eat at City Pizzeria?
Shall I eat dinner at City Pizzeria?
I found some yummy pizza! Time to eat!
I found some yummy pizza! After all that walking around downtown trying to figure out where to eat, I’m starving!

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 tasty ingredients of La Mesa Oktoberfest.

What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?
What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?

It seems the tasty ingredients that make La Mesa Oktoberfest so awesome aren’t very secret. Because I recorded them with very little effort this afternoon.

La Mesa Oktoberfest is said to be the largest Oktoberfest in San Diego County. It’s held each year in historic La Mesa Village. Thousands turn out to enjoy the fun.

So what are those tasty ingredients?

Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Sausages.
Sausages.
Cool cars.
Cool cars.
Colorful dance.
Colorful dancing.
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
More sausages.
More sausages.
Lederhosen.
Lederhosen.
Thrilling rides.
Thrilling rides.
Inspiration.
Inspiration.
Cuckoo clocks.
Cuckoo clocks.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
More sausages.
More sausages.
A huge container of mustard.
A huge container of mustard.
Smiles.
Smiles.
Family.
Family.
And more sausages!
And more sausages!

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!

Friday food trucks and fun in Balboa Park!

People stroll down El Prado, checking out a variety of gourmet food trucks on a late Friday afternoon.
People stroll down El Prado, checking out a huge variety of gourmet food trucks on a late Friday afternoon.

If you haven’t been to Food Truck Friday in Balboa Park, you’re missing out!

Not only is there all sorts of yummy food, but there is grass to picnic on and live music and juggling and hula hoops and checkers and crafts for the kids and colorful flowers and splashing fountains and amazing architecture and smiles and . . . I could go on and on! And the museums are open late, too!

Balboa Park’s special magic adds spice to an already tasty meal!

Balboa Park Food Truck Friday promises yummy eats and fun through September in the Plaza de Panama.
Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday promises yummy eats and fun through September in the Plaza de Panama and along the length of El Prado.
Feasting on the grass in sunny Balboa Park. Food Truck Fridays is the place to be for a fun and festive dinner.
Feasting on the grass in sunny Balboa Park. Food Truck Fridays is the place to be for a festive family-friendly dinner.
Kenny Shelton the friendly juggler was getting warmed up. He and other entertainers can be found throughout the park.
Kenny Shelton the awesome juggler was getting warmed up. He and other entertainers can be found throughout the park.
A beautiful photo of the Plaza de Panama, its fountain, flowers, and the House of Hospitality during Food Truck Friday.
A beautiful photo of the Plaza de Panama, its fountain, flowers, and the sunlit House of Hospitality during Food Truck Friday.
If you live in San Diego, this giant checkerboard and these hula hoops are waiting for you!
If you live in San Diego, this giant checkerboard and these hula hoops are waiting for you!
Musicians were playing under the Balboa Park Conservancy canopy near the Plaza de Panama fountain.
Musicians were playing under the Balboa Park Conservancy canopy near the Plaza de Panama fountain.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum had a table in the plaza where kids could paint pictures of trains!
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum had a table in the plaza where young kids could apply dots of paint to fun trains!
And nearby, Spanish Village Art Center had their own fun table where kids could be creative!
And nearby, Spanish Village Art Center had their own cool table where kids could be creative!
I spotted a Puppet Shows sign traveling through the plaza. So naturally I had to investigate...
I spotted a Puppet Shows sign traveling through the plaza. So naturally I had to investigate…
The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre in Balboa Park is now presenting The Little Mermaid! A pelican puppet says hello and invites you all to the show!
The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre in Balboa Park is now presenting The Little Mermaid! A pelican puppet says hello and invites you all to the show!
A truly Happy Friday in San Diego's always amazing Balboa Park.
A truly Happy Friday in San Diego’s always amazing Balboa Park.

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Buy tasty salsa and help homeless Veterans!

Buy some tasty Military Salsa and help those who've served in the military transition back to civilian life.
Buy some tasty Military Salsa and help those who’ve served in the military transition back to civilian life.

The nonprofit Welcome Home Soldier Foundation had a tent at yesterday’s Mariachi Festival.  I learned their mission is to help those who’ve served in the military make the sometimes difficult transition back to civilian life. They have a very important project called Operation Sleeping Bag. They are providing homeless Veterans with sleeping bags.

Do you like to add tasty salsa to chips, tacos or breakfast burritos? The Welcome Home Soldier Foundation produces Military Salsas. The salsas come in many flavors, mild to hot, and the proceeds go to support this organization’s charitable work.

You can buy the salsas (and chips) online here! (Scroll down the page and you’ll see them.)

Sounds like a tasty, generous way to help Veterans who’d appreciate a helping hand!

Jars and bottles of salsa--from mild to spicy!
Jars and bottles of salsa–from mild to spicy!
Banner explains mission of the Welcome Home Soldier Foundation. Operation Sleeping Bag helps homeless Veterans.
Banner explains mission of the nonprofit Welcome Home Soldier Foundation. Operation Sleeping Bag helps homeless Veterans.

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Last chance to enjoy Anthony’s at the waterfront.

Last chance to enjoy Anthony's at the waterfront. 70 years of great memories and seafood at Anthony's Fish Grotto, which will close on January 31, 2017.
Last chance to enjoy Anthony’s at the waterfront. 70 years of great memories and seafood at Anthony’s Fish Grotto, which will close on January 31, 2017.

Time is running out. Anthony’s Fish Grotto on San Diego’s waterfront will be closing at the end of next January. The restaurant has produced fond memories for millions of people over the course of its 70 year history. You have one last chance to enjoy this wonderful, unique place before it’s torn down.

Next year, the Brigantine will introduce a new restaurant at this scenic location, right next to the Star of India. I was told by a gentleman who sells art on the sidewalk nearby that the new Brigantine building is now under construction, and will be brought in across San Diego Bay on a ship or barge. That would certainly be a sight to behold!

Late yesterday morning I walked down to the Embarcadero to devour some french fries and a yummy tuna melt at Anthony’s outdoor Fishette. I sat on the wood deck dipping my fries in tartar sauce and breathing in the fresh air. I simply gazed out at the water.  Pleasant visions floated on the sparkling blue, including a visiting cruise ship and San Diego Yacht Club sailboats. Between licking my fingers, I took a few photos.

Anthony's has been a fixture on San Diego's Embarcadero for 70 years. But their lease ran out and the Brigantine will soon build a new restaurant at this location.
Anthony’s has been a fixture on San Diego’s Embarcadero for 70 years. But their lease ran out and the Brigantine will soon build a new restaurant at this location.
I've stood in this line many times. This is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike.
I’ve stood in this line many times. This is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike.
Eating seafood on benches inside a protected area of the informal outdoor Fishette, over the gently lapping water of San Diego Bay.
Eating seafood on benches inside a protected area of the informal outdoor Fishette, over the gently lapping water of San Diego Bay.
Funny sign over the Fishette soda machine shows two fish in love.
Funny sign over the Fishette soda machine shows two fish in love.
I'll attest that Mama Ghio's secret tartar sauce is a tasty concoction!
I’ll attest that Mama Ghio’s secret tartar sauce is a tasty concoction!
Anthony's Fish Grotto opened in 1946, right after World War II. I remember eating here many times as a child.
Anthony’s Fish Grotto opened in 1946, right after World War II. I remember eating here many times as a child.
Another photo of the small casual Fishette. I prefer dining outside, but many enjoy the more formal Fish Grotto, which occupies the interior of the building.
Another photo of the small casual Fishette. I prefer dining outside, but many enjoy the more formal Fish Grotto restaurant, which occupies the interior of the building.
In my opinion, some of the best seats in San Diego.
In my opinion, some of the best seats in San Diego.
A gull was watching my fries.
A gull was patiently watching my fries.
Activity on San Diego Bay included a refueling cruise ship. Those guys in the boat fishing were being watched by a sea lion.
Activity on San Diego Bay included a refueling cruise ship. Those guys in the boat fishing were being watched by a circling sea lion.
Here comes the Maritime Museum of San Diego's historic Pilot boat, out on a harbor tour. Those sailboats racing in the distance belong to the San Diego Yacht Club.
Here comes the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic Pilot boat, out on a harbor tour. Those sailboats racing in the distance belong to the San Diego Yacht Club.
I love this place. It will be sad to see it go. (In this photo you can see where the Fish Grotto's dock used to be. It was destroyed in that El Nino wind storm that I blogged about in early February.)
I love this place. It will be sad to see it go. (In this photo you can see the concrete posts where the Fish Grotto’s boat dock used to be. It was destroyed in that ferocious El Nino windstorm that I blogged about in early February.)
Another beautiful day on the Embarcadero. Time marches on.
Another beautiful day on the Embarcadero. Time marches on.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! 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 enjoy!