Photos inside the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is a cultural gem in downtown's small Chinatown.
The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is a cultural gem in downtown’s small Chinatown.

I recently enjoyed a visit to the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. It’s located downtown in San Diego’s Asian Pacific Historic District. I was graciously allowed to take some photos of the indoor exhibits and the peaceful outdoor garden.

The museum might be small, but it overflows with an important slice of San Diego history. Its many colorful artifacts representing Chinese culture will fascinate your eyes at every turn! I recommend a visit!

Visitors enter the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum during the San Diego Architectural Foundation's OPEN HOUSE 2017.
Visitors enter the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017.
Many colorful sights await inside the historical and cultural museum.
Many colorful sights await inside the small historical and cultural museum.
Someone looks at old photos of San Diego and Chinese residents who helped to build and grow our city.
Someone looks at old photos of San Diego and Chinese residents who helped to build and grow our city.
The museum building was originally a mission, which was moved to its present location in San Diego’s Asian Pacific Historic District.
The museum building was originally a mission, which was moved to its present location in San Diego’s Asian Pacific Historic District.
Extensive archaeological work has been performed in this area, including the block south of the museum. Many artifacts from old Chinatown have been recovered.
Extensive archaeological work has been performed in this area, including the block south of the museum. Many artifacts from old Chinatown have been recovered.
Old photos show archaeological digs in the neighborhood.
Old photos show archaeological digs in the neighborhood.
Some of many artifacts recovered include glass bottles, ceramic bowls, utensils.
Some of many artifacts recovered include glass bottles, ceramic bowls, utensils.
Objects used in everyday life include a rubber ball, marbles, mahjong tile, Chinese dice and go pieces.
Objects used in everyday life include a rubber ball, marbles, mahjong tile, Chinese dice and go pieces.
Historical photograph of Chinese fishing junks anchored in San Diego Harbor around 1887.
Historical photograph of Chinese fishing junks anchored in San Diego Harbor around 1887.
Portrait of the Ah Quin family, one of the most prominent, influential early San Diego Chinese families.
Portrait of the Ah Quin family, one of the most prominent, influential early San Diego Chinese families.
Chinese laundries in San Diego utilized irons, counter bells, an abacus, and other useful objects.
Chinese laundries in San Diego utilized irons, counter bells, an abacus, and other useful objects.
A bridal carriage from the late 1800s made of rosewood, found in Yun Cheng.
A bridal carriage from the late 1800s made of rosewood, found in Yun Cheng.
The limestone Buddha head of the Northern Qi Dynasty, was originally carved into a cave in Shanxi Province.
The limestone Buddha head of the Northern Qi Dynasty, was originally carved into a cave in Shanxi Province.
A temple guardian, from Ming Dynasty. The carved wooden idol has a dragon headdress, robes, glass eyes and a real hear beard and mustache.
A temple guardian, from Ming Dynasty. The carved wooden idol has a dragon headdress, robes, glass eyes and a real hair beard and mustache.
A palm raincoat, called so yee, worn by fishermen and farmers for centuries in China.
A palm raincoat, called so yee, worn by fishermen and farmers for centuries in China.
Colorful woven art, and Chinese shoes and slippers for bound feet.
Colorful woven art, and Chinese shoes and slippers for bound feet.
Looking past the Buddha head at a fantastic, ornate alcove bed.
Looking past the Buddha head at a fantastic, ornate alcove bed.
The gilt red-lacquered alcove bed, or babu chuang, was made of southern elm in the Sichuan province in the late 19th century.
The gilt red-lacquered alcove bed, or babu chuang, was made of southern elm in the Sichuan province in the late 19th century.
Clay Chinese opera figurines represent different scenes. The characters are from local theatrical traditions, and utilize a complicated set of symbolic gestures.
Clay Chinese opera figurines represent different scenes. The characters are from local theatrical traditions, and utilize a complicated set of symbolic gestures.
Display case contains memories of military service.
Display case contains memories of military service.
Punching devices used for the Chinese Lottery of San Diego, which was popular in the Stingaree District and Chinatown. Technically illegal, the lottery was tolerated by the authorities.
Punching devices used for the Chinese Lottery of San Diego, which was popular in the red-light Stingaree District and Chinatown. Technically illegal, the lottery was tolerated by the authorities.
A scene from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The elaborate wood carving depicts the battle that Zhao Yun fought to save the sun of Liu Bei.
A scene from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The elaborate wood carving depicts the battle that Zhao Yun fought to save the sun of Liu Bei.
Manjusri altar table, from the late 19th century. Manjusri is the Bodhisattva of wisdom--he holds a sward that cuts through ignorance and illusion.
Manjusri altar table, from the late 19th century. Manjusri is the Bodhisattva of wisdom–he holds a sword that cuts through ignorance and illusion.
Terracotta horse and general are replicas from the Terracotta Army unearthed at Xian, China. They occupy a corner of the museum's outdoor Chuang Garden.
Terracotta horse and general are replicas from the Terracotta Army unearthed at Xian, China. They occupy a corner of the museum’s outdoor Chuang Garden.
Statue of Confucius, donated by the generosity of the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Statue of Confucius, donated by the generosity of the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, Republic of China.
A granite courtyard scene, 1800-1840. In this wall panel, three children representing prosperity, peer out at the street.
A granite courtyard scene, 1800-1840. In this wall panel, three children representing prosperity, peer out at the street.
A tranquil path runs beside water along the north side of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
A tranquil path runs beside water along the north side of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Ornamental carving along the peaceful path.
Ornamental carving along the peaceful path.
Another warrior statue in the cool shade.
Another warrior statue in the cool shade.
Behind the horse is a tombstone made in 1796, the inaugural year of the Jia Qing Emperor. It lacks in inscription, perhaps expressing a power that no words can describe.
Behind the horse is a tombstone made in 1796, the inaugural year of the Jia Qing Emperor. It lacks in inscription, perhaps expressing a power that no words can describe.

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Elegant interior of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel.

The south side of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel, as seen from an upper level of Horton Plaza. The 1910 Broadway Fountain is visible in Horton Plaza Park.
The south side of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel, as seen from an upper level of Horton Plaza. The 1910 Broadway Fountain is visible in Horton Plaza Park.

During last weekend’s San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017, I ventured into one of the event’s featured downtown locations: the historic U.S. Grant Hotel. I was able to get some photos of the hotel’s elegant interior!

The U.S. Grant was built by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., the son of American President Ulysses S. Grant. The building was designed by architect Harrison Albright and built in the same spot where Alonzo Horton had his 1870 Horton House Hotel, which was demolished.

The U.S. Grant Hotel opened in 1910. It featured a steel and reinforced concrete framework to counter the threats of fire and California earthquakes. For over a hundred years the grand old hotel has stood prominently at the center of downtown San Diego. Notable guests have included 15 United States Presidents (there are 3 different presidential suites), Albert Einstein and Charles Lindbergh.

It’s also interesting to note the very first San Diego Comic-Con was held in the U.S. Grant, back in 1970.

The east side entrance of the elegant U.S. Grant Hotel on Fourth Avenue in downtown San Diego.
The east side entrance of the elegant U.S. Grant Hotel on Fourth Avenue in downtown San Diego.
I entered the hotel from the east entrance, where many guests arrive.
I entered the hotel from the east entrance, where many guests arrive.
The elegant interior just inside the east entrance.
The elegant interior just inside the east entrance.
Large glittering chandeliers add a glamorous touch throughout the posh hotel.
Large glittering chandeliers add a glamorous touch throughout the posh hotel.
Some beautiful artwork above stairs descending to the Crystal Ballroom.
Some beautiful artwork above stairs descending to the Crystal Ballroom.
Standing in the grand lobby, looking south toward the U.S. Grant Hotel's entrance on Broadway.
Standing in the grand lobby, looking south toward the U.S. Grant Hotel’s entrance on Broadway.
The U.S. Grant Hotel's front desk.
The U.S. Grant Hotel’s front desk.
The beautiful lobby, fit for royalty.
The beautiful lobby, fit for royalty.
A small sculpture near the Broadway entrance is titled Sweet Dreams, by artist David A. Montour.
A small sculpture near the Broadway entrance is titled Sweet Dreams, by artist David A. Montour.
Even the hotel elevators are beautiful.
Even the hotel elevators are beautiful.
A sitting area near the bank of elevators.
A sitting area near the bank of elevators.
Portraits along this wall include Native Americans. The U.S. Grant Hotel was bought by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in 2003. It is operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Portraits along this wall include Native Americans. The U.S. Grant Hotel was bought by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in 2003. It is operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
North of the elevators is this large Presidential Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant.
North of the elevators is this large Presidential Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant.
Old photo of the Horton House, which stood at this downtown San Diego location before its demolition.
Old photo of the Horton House, which stood at this downtown San Diego location before its demolition.
Headline of The Evening Tribune announces the opening of the U.S. Grant Hotel on October 15, 1910.
Headline of The Evening Tribune announces the opening of the U.S. Grant Hotel on October 15, 1910.
On display is a 1910 US Grant Hotel door knob.
On display is a 1910 US Grant Hotel door knob.
A look across the U.S. Grant Hotel lobby from the mezzanine level. Pure elegance.
A look across the U.S. Grant Hotel lobby from the mezzanine level. Pure elegance.

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Restored foremast installed on Star of India!

Member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego points to work being done on the Star of India while passersby watch with interest.
Member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego points to work being done on the Star of India while passersby watch with interest.

Look what I chanced upon today. As I approached the Embarcadero, I noticed a huge crane next to the Star of India. The restored top third of the foremast had just been installed! (You might recall from an earlier blog post this wooden section had suffered from rot and needed some work.)

While I stood and watched, the crane lifted two shrouds, one after another, to be attached to the foremast. Then came several cables! The activity above and below was fascinating to watch. I wish I had a more thorough understanding of all that I saw. Volunteers and employees of the Maritime Museum of San Diego were using their knowledge and skills to help preserve an important part of San Diego and world history!

Crane lifts up guys with a shroud, part of the tall ship's standing rigging, to be attached to the starboard side of the newly installed, refurbished top third of the foremast.
Crane lifts up guys with a shroud, part of the ship’s standing rigging, to be attached to the starboard side of the newly installed, refurbished top third of the foremast.
The ladder-like shroud dangles in the air, near the top of the foremast.
The ladder-like shroud dangles in the air, near the top of the foremast.
Volunteers and employees of the Maritime Museum of San Diego watch from the deck below.
Volunteers and employees of the Maritime Museum of San Diego watch from the deck below.
Working high in the San Diego sky, above the oldest active sailing ship in the world, Star of India.
Working high in the San Diego sky, above the oldest active sailing ship in the world.  The beautiful Star of India was built in 1863.
That first shroud is done. Those working on the Embarcadero beside the ship prepare the second shroud to be hoisted.
That first shroud is done. Those working on the Embarcadero beside the ship prepare the second shroud to be hoisted.
Now it's time to attach the second shroud to the port side.
Now it’s time to attach the second shroud to the port side.
Workers on the foremast grab hold.
A worker on the foremast grabs hold.
Back down again to solid ground!
Back down again to solid ground!
Lots of cables still need to be attached to the foremast, to help it resist the force of the wind, and gravity and inertia when the ship pitches and rolls.
Lots of cables still need to be attached to the foremast, to help it resist the force of the wind, plus gravity and inertia when the tall ship pitches and rolls.
One super strong, tarred cable awaiting installation is the starboard royal backstay. It will be attached to the masttop.
One super strong, tarred cable awaiting installation is the starboard royal backstay. It will be attached to the masttop.
Guys watch from the ship's rail.
Guys watch from the historic ship’s rail.
Up goes one of the many cables that are part of the forward rigging.
Up goes one of the many cables that are part of Star of India’s rigging.
A small bit of history.
A small bit of history in San Diego.
Up they go! I bet the view is great!
Up they go! I bet the view is great!
The bottom end of the cable was attached, now back up to the top of the foremast...
The bottom end of the cable is in place, now back up to the top of the foremast…
Up, up...
Up, up…
Higher...
Higher…
Intrigued by the operation, people watch from below. A member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego explains the proceedings.
Intrigued by the operation, people watch from below. A member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego explains the proceedings.
Another (pleasantly crooked) photo of a shroud being hoisted. I was told this work began early in the morning. As much work will be done today as possible!
Another photo of one shroud being hoisted. I was told this work began early in the morning. As much work will be done today as possible!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Colorful folklorico dancing at Fiesta de Reyes!

Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park features a stage with live folklorico dancing!
Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park features a stage with live folklorico dancing!

Whenever I visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, I poke my head into Fiesta de Reyes. The Mexican-themed shops and restaurants are always lively and cheerful, but what I really hope to see is the folklorico dancing!

The colorful dancing takes place daily. Take a look at these photos and smile!

The outdoor stage is located near the Mexican-themed shops and restaurants of Fiesta de Reyes. Daily dancing is a popular attraction.
The outdoor stage is located near the Mexican-themed shops and restaurants of Fiesta de Reyes. Daily dancing is a popular attraction.
Traditional Mexican dance includes colorful dresses and big smiles.
Traditional Mexican dance includes colorful dresses and big smiles.
Outdoor benches at Fiesta de Reyes allow visitors to relax and watch the free entertainment.
Outdoor benches at Fiesta de Reyes allow visitors to relax and watch the free entertainment.
Some performers in costume wait off to the side of the stage.
Some performers in costume wait off to the side of the stage.
Colorful banners behind the stage.
Colorful banners behind the stage.
A joyful scene of traditional Mexican folk dance.
A joyful scene of traditional Mexican folk dance.
Between the stage and nearby outdoor restaurant is this stunning dancer. Art made entirely of succulents.
Between the stage and nearby outdoor restaurant is this stunning dancer. Art made entirely of succulents.
Benches facing the stage include bits of cheerful folk art.
Benches facing the stage include bits of cheerful folk art.
An image of two smiling youth, holding hands.
An image of two smiling youth, holding hands.
Fun mariachi sculptures on a wagon just inside the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.
Fun mariachi sculptures on a wagon just inside the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.
Mexican culture on a sunny San Diego day.
Mexican culture on a sunny San Diego day.

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!

Two observation windows high above San Diego!

View from the Top of the Hyatt. The Marriot Marquis and Marina can be seen below, sparkling in the San Diego sunshine.
View from the Top of the Hyatt. The Marriott Marquis and its marina can be seen below, sparkling in the San Diego sunshine.

Perhaps the best view of downtown San Diego can be enjoyed through two observation windows on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Stand on Harbor Drive and face the beautiful hotel–the older, taller tower on the left is where you need to go.

Take the guest elevator to the 40th floor after 3pm, to the bar at the Top of the Hyatt, and the two observation windows await on either side of the elevator. No need to enter the bar.

Check out the amazing views to the north and to the south!

At the top of this 497 foot tower, the highest waterfront building on the West Coast, one can peer through two observation windows and enjoy phenomenal views of San Diego.
At the top of this 497 foot tower, the highest waterfront building on the West Coast, one can peer through two observation windows and enjoy phenomenal views of San Diego.
Approaching the south observation window on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Approaching the south observation window on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Looking to the south across San Diego Bay and past the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Looking to the south across San Diego Bay and past the Coronado Bay Bridge.
From the same window, gazing to the southeast. A portion of downtown is visible. San Miguel Mountain and Otay Mountain rise in the distance.
From the same window, gazing to the southeast. A portion of downtown is visible. San Miguel Mountain and Otay Mountain rise in the distance.
At the other window, looking northwest, past the hotel's second tower, one can see a slice of San Diego Bay and Point Loma.
At the other window, looking northwest, past the hotel’s second tower, one can see a slice of San Diego Bay and Point Loma.
To the north one can see another part of downtown, near the North Embarcadero.
To the north one can see another part of downtown, adjacent to the North Embarcadero.
Written on the window are words from a popular children's book. Oh the places you'll go. Dr. Seuss.
Written on the window are words from a popular children’s book. Oh the places you’ll go. Dr. Seuss.

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!

A view of the bay from the horns of USS Midway.

A kid visiting the USS Midway Museum with family checks out the view from the end of one of the aircraft carrier's projecting horns.
A kid visiting the USS Midway Museum with family checks out the dizzying view from the end of one of the aircraft carrier’s projecting horns.

This morning I paid a visit to San Diego’s amazing USS Midway Museum.

During my short visit I ascended to the flight deck and walked around a bit. I couldn’t resist walking out to the end of one of the aircraft carrier’s bridle-arrest horns. The two downward sloping projections at the bow of the USS Midway allow visitors to stand high over San Diego Bay, with wide views across the water.

I took some photos!

Sign at bow of USS Midway aircraft carrier explains the function of bridle-arrest horns. They were used until the 1980's. They are a vestige of an earlier era in carrier aviation.
Sign at bow of USS Midway aircraft carrier explains the function of bridle-arrest horns. They were used until the 1980’s. They are a vestige of an earlier era in carrier aviation.
People walk down one horn for an amazing view of San Diego Bay.
People walk down one horn for an amazing view of San Diego Bay.
The Admiral Hornblower, beyond the second bridle-arrest horn, is heading in toward the Embarcadero after completing a harbor tour.
The Admiral Hornblower, beyond the second bridle-arrest horn, is heading in toward the Embarcadero after completing a harbor tour.
And here comes the Spirit of San Diego right behind! Now I'm standing at the end of one horn, which hangs high over the blue water below!
And here comes the Spirit of San Diego right behind! Now I’m standing at the end of one horn, which hangs high over the blue water below!
Five people were jetting around the bay on some fun personal watercraft.
Five people were jetting around the bay on some fun personal watercraft.
Photo aiming south from the end of the horn shows the Fish Market Restaurant, Tuna Harbor, a bit of Seaport Village and the San Diego–Coronado Bridge.
Photo aiming south from the end of the horn shows the Fish Market Restaurant, Tuna Harbor, a bit of Seaport Village and the San Diego–Coronado Bridge.
A helicopter passes overhead. A frequent sight near three large Navy bases on San Diego Bay: Naval Base San Diego, Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Base Point Loma.
A helicopter passes overhead. Active aircraft are a frequent sight near the four large Navy bases on San Diego Bay: Naval Base San Diego, Naval Air Station North Island, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and Naval Base Point Loma.
Looking back up toward the flight deck of the USS Midway. Some visitors are reading signs which describe the history of naval aviation, which originated at North Island across the bay.
Looking back up toward the flight deck of the USS Midway. Some visitors are reading signs which describe the history of naval aviation–a history that originated at North Island across San Diego Bay.
Looking down through safety nets fringing the carrier at sparkling water below.
Looking down through safety nets fringing the carrier at sparkling water far below.
After drinking in the views, I headed back onto the flight deck.
After drinking in the incredible views, I headed back onto the flight deck.
I noticed some school kids learning about the Midway from a docent.
I noticed some school kids learning about the Midway from a docent.
A look from the bow of the USS Midway back toward the carrier's Island superstructure and downtown San Diego skyscrapers.
A look from the bow of the USS Midway back toward the aircraft carrier’s Island superstructure and downtown San Diego skyscrapers.
Someone else walks out to the end of one horn. At North Island across the water I see the active aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).
Someone else walks out to the end of one horn. Across the water at North Island I see the active aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

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!

Watch processing through a window at Chesapeake Fish!

Worker inside the processing window at Chesapeake Fish packages fresh local catch. Their seafood products are used by nearby restaurants and shipped around the world.
Worker inside the processing window at Chesapeake Fish packages fresh local catch. Their seafood products are used by nearby restaurants and shipped around the world.

Millons of pounds of fish are processed at San Diego’s Chesapeake Fish Company every year. The dock where local fishermen unload their fresh catch is just steps away.

Most visitors to San Diego’s Embarcadero don’t realize they can actually watch freshly caught fish being processed. Just north of Seaport Village, a window invites tourists and passersby to watch the fish cleaning and packaging operation. The friendly workers will even hold up the fish for photographs and sometimes wave!

The processing room is refrigerated, but this morning I still managed to get some decent photos through the thick, fogged, drippy glass window…

If you see this sign just north of Seaport Village, take a look into the big window. Workers inside might be cleaning fish caught off San Diego!
If you see this sign just north of Seaport Village, take a look into the big window. Workers inside might be cleaning fish caught in the ocean off San Diego!
Near the processing window of Chesapeake Fish Co. is the small dock where fishermen unload their catch. Beyond is Tuna Harbor, full of commercial fishing boats.
Near the processing window of Chesapeake Fish Co. is the small dock where fishermen unload their catch. Beyond is Tuna Harbor, full of commercial fishing boats.
A worker holds up some fish for my camera!
A worker holds up a de-boned fish for my camera!
I believe these are the bones, heads and inedible parts that are removed from the fish during the cleaning operation.
I believe these are the bones, heads and inedible parts that are removed from the fish during the cleaning operation.
Two workers get dinner ready for seafood lovers!
Two workers get dinner ready for seafood lovers!

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!