Discover the Cortez Hill neighborhood loops!

A bunch of stickers were recently applied to sidewalks around the downtown San Diego neighborhood of Cortez Hill. These round purple stickers mark the locations of the Long and Short Loop, where people can walk, jog or ride in wheelchairs, to get some outdoor exercise and fresh air, or perhaps make a short trip to the store.

Today I happened to notice that a sign went up describing the neighborhood’s many Jacaranda trees. The sign provides a good map of the two loops.

I see that the Short Loop is one easy mile. The Long Loop, which passes the place where I live, is a moderate 1.5 miles, including a short but somewhat steep climb to the very top of beautiful Cortez Hill.

If you want a better look at the map, click my photo and the image will enlarge!

Satellite map shows Short and Long Loop in downtown San Diego's Cortez Hill neighborhood.
Satellite map shows the Short and Long Loop in downtown San Diego’s Cortez Hill neighborhood.

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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Spider-Man on the hood of a Corvette!

Look what I stumbled upon today while walking to work. A very cool Spider-Man graphic on the hood of a Corvette!

The friendly guy said he’s a big Spider-Man fan. I can see that!

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!

Colorful mural celebrates El Cajon Boulevard.

Gaze up toward the east side of a tall building in City Heights and you’ll see a colorful mural that celebrates El Cajon Boulevard. The building is home to the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association.

In the late 19th century, long before San Diego became a thriving metropolis, El Cajon Avenue was a dirt road into East County that eventually developed a small business district. In 1937 the road was improved and renamed El Cajon Boulevard.

Old U.S. Highway 80 ran east from San Diego where much of El Cajon Boulevard is today–all the way to the East Coast! When Interstate 8 was built, the new freeway replaced a segment of U.S. Highway 80 through La Mesa.

Today El Cajon Boulevard is a very busy east-west route through many of San Diego’s oldest and most diverse neighborhoods. Generations of San Diegans have traveled along The Boulevard.

Every block echoes with history.

Eventually I’ll blog about the grand Lafayette Hotel, where Hollywood celebrities once flocked, and where Bob Hope was the first guest. Or the original Jack in the Box where modern drive-thru fast food service was invented. Or the nearly century-old Chicken Pie Shop, where legendary boxer Archie Moore, longest reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion, liked to hang out. Or…

Mural in City Heights depicts vintage cars heading down El Cajon Boulevard.
Mural in City Heights depicts vintage cars heading down El Cajon Boulevard.

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!

Six years of colorful Comic-Con trolleys!

It’s mid-June. If this were an ordinary year, brand new trolley wraps would be rolling out right now for San Diego Comic-Con. But, alas, like most events, Comic-Con has been cancelled in 2020 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

I’ve photographed just about every Comic-Con trolley wrap that has appeared in the past six years. As mobile billboards, they’re used to promote popular entertainment–primarily new or ongoing television series. They’re designed to catch the attention of Comic-Con fans and create a sense of anticipation and excitement.

This year I’ll miss watching the weeks of preparations that lead up to the world’s greatest pop culture convention. Seeing streets, buildings and trolleys massively transformed for the epic event is one more thing that makes living in downtown San Diego so much fun!

If you, like me, are saddened by the cancellation of Comic-Con in 2020, I figured we could revisit these very colorful trolley wraps from the past six years. How many do you remember or recognize?

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

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!

Unusual public art at Escondido Transit Center.

Unusual public art stands in the middle of the Escondido Transit Center. The abstract concrete sculpture is surrounded by North County Transit District bus stops.

Tilted concrete slabs, like geometric planes, form a narrow passage. The title of the sculpture is Hekkilk, and it was created by Peter Mitten in 1989. According to a nearby plaque, Hekkilk is a DiegueƱo Indian word that means “a big dent, as in a pass through mountains.”

The abstract concrete sculpture is apparently a representation of local geography.

The passage is oriented north/south. Approximate distances from the sculpture to various geographic points in San Diego County are noted on the plaque.

For several decades, those travelling through Escondido have been able to take a few steps through this “big dent” and contemplate the larger world around them.

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!

Transit mural shows our common humanity.

Years ago a pair of murals were painted under Friars Road, one on either side of Mission Center Road. Both show scenes related to San Diego’s public transit system.

On one mural there is a bus; on the other, a trolley. People stand near a bus stop, or a trolley station, or walk along, or simply engage in busy urban living.

I looked at the time-stained murals this morning and realized they emphasize our common humanity.

Diverse figures appear as simple silhouettes. As you pass through the darkness under the Friars Road bridge, you see these outlines of ordinary citizens to your right and to your left. All moving through the city together.

I’ve tried to ascertain who painted these murals–they are signed Duff 1997. If anyone knows more about them, please leave a comment!

Camera in hand, I walked beside the murals and took photographs of the mysterious silhouettes.

We can’t see the faces. But we can absolutely see the humanity.

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!

San Diego mural at the Lyft Driver Center.

A super colorful mural decorates a long wall of the Lyft Driver Center on West Morena Boulevard. It depicts downtown San Diego, the Coronado Bay Bridge curving through the sky over bright sailboats, and Balboa Park’s Cabrillo Bridge and California Tower!

It’s a city on the move. Cars, a bicycle, a bus and scooters head down streets and paths every which way.

This cool mural was painted last year by internationally known California artist Celeste Byers, who grew up in Point Loma.

Check it out!

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 signs expressing unity and thankfulness.

We are all in this together.
We are all in this together.

In San Diego we are proceeding with the gradual reopening of society as the coronavirus pandemic seems to slowly subside. Today restaurants were allowed to open for dining. Strict guidelines must be followed such as maintaining super sanitary conditions and safe social distancing.

Some say the reopening of society is proceeding too quickly; others say not quickly enough. But the future is a tricky thing to predict. There are so many variables. So many different risks. All I know is that at some point we’ll look back and see what actions in the final analysis were most wise. And our knowledge will increase.

On another hopeful note, during my walks in the past couple weeks I’ve observed more signs around town celebrating unity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other signs express thankfulness to essential workers. You’ll see that one billboard I photographed about a week ago concerning restaurants now seems dated, but no matter.

That so many people have demonstrated an urge to stay positive during this terrible crisis seems a good sign for the future of humanity in general.

At least, it appears that way to me. I’m an optimist.

San Diego strong.
San Diego strong.
To restaurants still delivering meals, thank you.
To restaurants still delivering meals, thank you.
Thanks transit driver heroes.
Thanks (transit driver) heroes.

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 belated thank you to MTS transit drivers!

I didn’t realize until now that yesterday was Transit Driver Appreciation Day!

I’ve ridden the San Diego Trolley and MTS buses for many years–going to and from work, and around the city on weekend adventures. I like to travel this way because I can gaze out the windows at my city and search for cool new sights.

So I would like to express my appreciation to all those who drive for MTS in San Diego. Many of the bus and trolley drivers are super nice and deserve all the kudos they can get. They often smile or offer a wave or kind greeting as they do a job that at times is quite stressful.

From a downtown resident who appreciates all that you do, every single day: Thank You!

Restoring an iconic mural and 5 Big Moves.

America's Finest City newspaper mural
America’s Finest City newspaper mural.

I learned yesterday during a Pacific Beach mural walk that there are exciting plans to restore San Diego’s most iconic downtown mural!

Artist Kathleen King, co-creator of the America’s Finest City mural in 1989, informed our group that the historic mural’s restoration will be done in conjunction with SANDAG’s San Diego Forward “5 Big Moves” initiative.

As I understand it, the America’s Finest City mural will be a centerpiece for the planned Fifth Avenue trolley station Mobility Hub!

Very cool!

America's Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.
The iconic America’s Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.

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!