Fascination, reflection, and a Recovered Stream.

I was getting ready to board a trolley this evening at America Plaza when activity in a window caught my eye.

A person inside the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego gallery was working above a small planet amid water-like artwork!

The title of the coming exhibition is Oscar Romo: Recovered Stream. According to the museum website: This fall and winter MCASD will present multiple talks by distinguished scientists who will share their knowledge about climate change in conjunction with the participatory exhibition Oscar Romo: Recovered Stream.

With some searching on the internet, I learned environmentalist Oscar Romo is a professor at UC San Diego. His area of expertise is coastal and marine ecosystem conservation, using a natural systems design perspective. He has a special interest in the San Diego-Tijuana border region.

The upcoming talks should be very interesting!

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!

Looking skyward inside Smart Corner.

Today I sat on a bench waiting for a trolley at the City College station. This unique trolley station is located in the middle of a two tower condo building called Smart Corner.

Suddenly I had to yawn deeply. I tilted my head way back. Above me, the complex pattern of windows, jagged shadows and reflections appeared unreal!

Right then I knew I had to take a few photos.

Here I am, looking “skyward” while sitting inside Smart Corner!

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 small desert garden inside an old fountain.

A side door to San Diego's City Administration Building lies beyond a small garden containing cacti and succulents.
Side door to San Diego’s City Administration Building lies beyond a small garden containing cacti and succulents.

I was waiting for a trolley at the Civic Center station the other day when my eyes wandered over to the City Administration Building. A small desert garden caught my attention, and I remembered how a few years ago that semicircle of garden used to be a fountain.

The next Blue Line trolley was still five minutes away, so I walked over to look at a nearby plaque and a sign.

Plaque near the small desert garden that has been planted in the basin of The Phil Swing Memorial Fountain, which was dedicated on July 6, 1967.
Bronze plaque near the small desert garden planted in the basin of The Phil Swing Memorial Fountain, which was dedicated on July 6, 1967.
Sign explains the Phil Swing Memorial Fountain was re-purposed to a Desert Garden. In 1933, Mr. Swing introduced a bill to establish Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Sign explains the Phil Swing Memorial Fountain was re-purposed to a Desert Garden. In 1933, Mr. Swing introduced a bill to establish Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Philip D. Phil Swing was appointed to the California State Water Resources Board in 1945. This beautiful garden honors his contributions to the conservation of desert lands and water resources.
Philip D. “Phil” Swing was appointed to the California State Water Resources Board in 1945. This beautiful garden honors his contributions to the conservation of desert lands and water resources.
A trolley arrives at the Civic Center station near a small desert garden in downtown San Diego.
A trolley arrives at the Civic Center station near a small desert garden in downtown San Diego.

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Photos of elevated trolley line construction.

If you’ve driven up Interstate 5 through La Jolla and University City, you’ve probably seen some impressive construction right next to the freeway. The extension of the San Diego Trolley’s Blue Line is now being built, and much of what is called the Mid-Coast Trolley will be elevated.

The new trolley line will turn from the freeway down Genesee Avenue and finally end at an elevated station at the recently renovated University Towne Centre shopping mall (now called Westfield UTC), adjacent to bus stops at the UTC Transit Center.

On Sunday, as I waited for a bus at the UTC Transit Center, I walked up Genesee Avenue to check out a short stretch of the trolley extension. My photos show what will be the north terminus of the Mid-Coast Trolley.

The project is impressive. Simulations of the UTC Transit Center station and other Mid-Coast Corridor stations can be found here. The trolley extension is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

As I took photos, I was fascinated by the strangely beautiful complexity. Layers of geometric shapes can be observed in the wood, concrete and steel supporting construction of the elevated tracks and station.

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!

Artwork next to 25th and Commercial trolley station.

Metal artwork at the 25th and Commercial trolley station honors labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.
Metal artwork at the 25th and Commercial trolley station honors labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

While riding the Orange Line of the San Diego Trolley, I noticed several works of cool art in and around the 25th and Commercial station. So I jumped off, walked around and took photos!

The metalwork that honors Cesar Chavez can be found at the westbound platform. The 25th and Commercial trolley station is dedicated to the civil rights leader.

You might recall that both platforms of the split station also feature amazing tile mosaic benches. I posted those photos here.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. --Cesar E. Chavez
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. –Cesar E. Chavez
A sign at the trolley station points to various locations of interest, including Villa Montezuma and Chicano Park.
A sign at the trolley station points to various locations of interest, including Villa Montezuma and Chicano Park.
A metal Don Quixote stands guard by a muffler shop.
A metal Don Quixote stands guard at a nearby muffler shop.
Colorful artwork on the back of the San Diego Police Department Central Division parking garage.
Colorful artwork on the back of the San Diego Police Department Central Division parking garage.
Cool street art on a corner utility box.
Mesoamerican iconography becomes street art on a corner utility box.
A fun heart in a mural on a neighborhood wall.
A fun heart in a mural on a nearby wall.
A cool car painted on a fence along Commercial Street in Logan Heights.
A cool car painted on a fence along Commercial Street in Logan Heights.

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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Liquid Harmony mural at Encanto trolley station.

All sorts of public art can be enjoyed at trolley stations around San Diego. In my opinion, the most wonderful example is found at the 62nd Street/Encanto station.

Those who take the Orange Line trolley ride pass by a wildly imaginative, dreamlike vision. A 400 foot mural on the long wall of the south platform takes its inspiration from nearby Chollas Creak. The mural is titled Liquid Harmony.

In 2010 local artists Maxx Moses, Miguel Godoy and Todd Stands were commissioned by the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation to paint the mural. What resulted was completely amazing!

Last weekend I walked along the south platform of the 62nd Street/Encanto trolley station and took photos of the mural. Amid swirls of color I found many birds, insects and plants, and the flowing, ever-present, life-giving water.

I also saw the hands and heart of those who make this neighborhood in San Diego their home.

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!

Peace and Arrows public art in National City.

Arrows, by Brenda and Flojo, public art near the 24th Street trolley station in National City.
Arrows, by Brenda and Flojo, public art near the 24th Street trolley station in National City.

Some very cool public art adds color to a sidewalk near the 24th Street trolley station in National City. You can find it at the east edge of the trolley station’s parking lot, next to Wilson Avenue.

Two small but colorful sculptures have been created by Youth Artists. One, titled Peace, is by Michelle. The other, titled Arrows, is by Brenda and Flojo.

I’ve done some searching on the internet and can find nothing about these public sculptures. I don’t recall seeing them during past visits to the South Bay, so I believe they are relatively new.

All I know for certain is that this artwork is really cool!

Peace, by Michelle, public art near the 24th Street trolley station in National City.
Peace, by Michelle, public art near the 24th Street trolley station in National City.
Photo of two cool sculptures in National City. A lavender peace sign is framed by two red arrows!
Photo of two cool sculptures in National City. A lavender peace sign is framed by two red arrows!

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!