Red Bull Air Race plane flies above San Diego!

Look! Up in the sky! A Red Bull Air Race plane is about to buzz the San Diego Convention Center!
Look! Up in the sky! A Red Bull Air Race plane is about to buzz the San Diego Convention Center!

Check out this cool sight that just went up in San Diego’s Gaslamp, right next to the trolley station and Tin Fish restaurant! A Red Bull Air Race plane appears to be flying low over downtown! I think it might buzz the nearby convention center!

This morning, when I took these photos, I spoke to friendly guys putting up some promotional banners and learned the cool “plane on a post” had just been installed. A couple cranes were nearby. It appears to be an actual plane that is flown during the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

The next big race comes to San Diego Bay in two weeks. The best pilots in the world will fly a few feet above the water through an insane aerial obstacle course. Some years back a Red Bull Air Race was held in San Diego, and I caught some of the incredible action from a distance. All I can say is those pilots must have amazing reflexes and nerves of steel!

This unique motorsport was devised by the people at Red Bull. The planes move at high speed and are extremely maneuverable. This year the Master Class category features fourteen of the world’s top pilots.

There are eight races around the globe, mostly in cities by water, and San Diego will be the second race. I hope to catch it! If I do, I’ll post photos!

A cool airplane of the type San Diego will see in two weeks at the Red Bull Air Race above San Diego Bay.
The type of cool airplane flown at a Red Bull Air Race.  The upcoming aerial race will be through a unique obstacle course above San Diego Bay.
San Diego Trolley leaves the Gaslamp Station and passes a new banner advertising the Red Bull Air Race in mid-April.
San Diego Trolley leaves the Gaslamp Station and passes a new banner advertising the Red Bull Air Race in mid-April.
Poster promotes the upcoming Red Bull Air Race over San Diego Bay, on April 15 and 16.
Poster promotes the upcoming Red Bull Air Race over San Diego Bay, on April 15 and 16.
It might be small, but it's highly maneuverable and super fast!
It might be small, but it can turn on a dime and is super fast!
One can see some of the airplane's inner workings. There doesn't appear to be much room in the cockpit!
One can see some of the airplane’s inner workings. There doesn’t appear to be much room in the cockpit!
Now the Red Bull Air Race plane seems to be banking toward the Gaslamp! Perhaps it will fly up Fifth Avenue!
Now the Red Bull Air Race plane seems to be banking toward the Gaslamp! Perhaps it will fly up Fifth Avenue!

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!

Historical exhibit inside San Diego’s Santa Fe Depot.

Display inside San Diego's 1915 Santa Fe Depot. Photos and words provide a glimpse of the train station's history.
Display inside San Diego’s 1915 Santa Fe Depot. Photos and words provide a glimpse of the train station’s history.

Should you ever step inside downtown San Diego’s handsome Santa Fe Depot, there’s a small exhibit at the information booth worth checking out. Two glass display cases provide a glimpse of the train station’s fascinating history.

To read the signs, click the images and they will enlarge.

Last year the Santa Fe Depot celebrated its centennial. I blogged about that here!

If you ever visit the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego, swing by this information booth to check out the historical exhibit.
If you ever visit the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego, swing by this information booth to check out the historical exhibit.
Several paragraphs recount the history of the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company and the unique origin of North County community Rancho Santa Fe. Eucalyptus trees make poor railroad ties!
Several paragraphs recount the history of the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company and the unique origin of North County community Rancho Santa Fe. Eucalyptus trees make poor railroad ties!
In a nook right next to the depot's wall, beside colorful Santa Fe tilework, one can discover more fascinating information.
In a nook right next to the depot’s wall, beside colorful Santa Fe tilework, one can discover more fascinating information.
Graphic shows important dates concerning the Santa Fe Depot. The 1887 Victorian-style depot was razed in 1915 after the new depot opened in time for the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Graphic shows important dates concerning the Santa Fe Depot. The 1887 Victorian-style depot was razed in 1915 after the new depot opened in time for the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Old photos of Santa Fe Depot, accompanied by historical background. San Diego strove to become the western terminus of the Continental Railway.
The train station’s architecture reflects colonial Spanish and Mission history in California; it was designed to harmonize with the Spanish Colonial Revival-style buildings of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.  A century ago San Diego strove to become the western terminus of the Continental Railway.
More fascinating old photos of the Santa Fe Depot, today a San Diego transportation hub serving Amtrak, the Coaster, and the Orange and Green Lines of the San Diego Trolley.
More fascinating old photos of the Santa Fe Depot, today a San Diego transportation hub serving Amtrak, the Coaster, and the Orange and Green Lines of the San Diego Trolley.
Original plaster detail removed during the April 2014 restoration of the southeast tower.
Original plaster detail removed during the April 2014 restoration of the southeast tower.

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 unique photos for you to enjoy!

Unusual new public art at Little Italy trolley station.

Worker at new parking structure construction site in Little Italy, right next to the trolley station.
Worker at parking garage construction site, which is right next to the Little Italy trolley station.

I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see some new public artwork at one end of the Little Italy trolley station. It’s part of the new parking structure that’s being built right next to the station.

I had to peer over and through a chain link fence, but the super colorful leaf-like art immediately tickled my fancy. Upon closer examination, the multi-colored ovals that form a dazzling mosaic appear to be impressed with different tire tracks. I guess that would be appropriate for a parking garage!

UPDATE!

I’ve noticed that a small plaque installed by the artwork reads:

David Adey

Inspiration/Expiration

2015

Ceramic

This parking garage, when completed, will serve both the nearby County Administration Center and Little Italy.
This parking garage, when completed, will serve both the nearby County Administration Center and Little Italy.
Elements of new public art that resemble colored leaves are actually ovals that appear to be stamped with different tire treads.
Brilliant layers of new public art in San Diego. Forming a mosaic, these ovals appear to be randomly squished by vehicle tires with different treads.
There's some unusual, colorful new artwork at the Little Italy trolley station in downtown San Diego!
There’s some unusual new artwork at the Little Italy trolley station in downtown San Diego!

Follow this blog for more random discoveries in and around San Diego! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.

Early morning activity in downtown San Diego.

Delivery man with fresh bread awaits morning opening of restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Delivery man with fresh bread awaits morning opening of restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter.

I woke up earlier than usual today. During the summer it’s pleasantly cool outside at daybreak, so I decided to take a long walk.

The city, at the six o’clock hour, had just begun to blink open its sleepy eyes. But a few signs of life were already evident downtown.

Here are photographs of early morning activity that I snapped while meandering randomly about, before I finally boarded the trolley for work…

Life in the city stirs into action as another weekday begins in downtown San Diego.
Life in the city stirs into action as another weekday begins in downtown San Diego.
City employee checks parking meters before the streets become much busier.
City employee checks parking meters before the streets become much busier.
Brad Perry, of KUSI News, had finished a segment on Good Morning San Diego when he spied a silly guy with a camera walking by.
Brad Perry of KUSI News had finished a segment on Good Morning San Diego when he spied a silly guy with a camera walking by.
A dog also noticed that same curious guy, who just sauntered on by down the sidewalk.
A dog also noticed that same curious guy, who just sauntered on by down the sidewalk.
Early morning commuters await separately at the Convention Center trolley station.
Early morning commuters wait separately at the Convention Center trolley station.
One guy has most of this quiet patio to himself as he enjoys a morning read and coffee. A hungry dog peers into the doorway.
One guy has most of this quiet patio to himself as he enjoys a morning read and coffee. A hungry dog peers into the doorway.
A lone jogger heads down Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade while many San Diegans are still in bed.
A lone jogger heads down Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade while many San Diegans are still lying in bed.

Follow this blog for more photos of random stuff! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.

Old train posters between Santa Fe Depot and MCASD.

Old poster highlights points of interest reached by past San Diego streetcar and railroad lines. Depicted are orange groves, Mexican bullfighting, an ocean liner and Balboa Park.
Old poster highlights points of interest reached by past San Diego streetcar and railroad lines. Depicted are orange groves, Mexican bullfighting, an ocean liner and Balboa Park.

When I catch the trolley at downtown San Diego’s Santa Fe Depot, I often walk through an outdoor passageway that separates the hundred year old train station’s enormous waiting room from it’s original baggage terminal. The latter building was converted years ago into an interesting space used by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD).

Recently, while strolling through the passageway, I paused to examine three eye-catching graphics created by the museum to promote one of its current exhibitions. Two of the images incorporate old train posters from San Diego history, which I find to be very cool.  I thought you might enjoy a look!

MCASD’s exhibition titled “John D. Spreckels and The Impossible Railroad” concerns a railway project undertaken a century ago by one of San Diego’s most prominent entrepreneurs and benefactors.  Perhaps Spreckels’ greatest accomplishment was to complete the logistically difficult San Diego & Arizona Railroad, our nation’s southernmost transcontinental railroad route.  I haven’t visited the exhibition, but according to what I’ve read it utilizes interesting visual devices to demonstrate the near impossibility of building Spreckels’ railroad, which had to wind around and over deep mountain gorges.  (Spreckels was also responsible for a large network of electric streetcars which traversed San Diego decades before our modern day trolleys.)

Outdoor passage between the Santa Fe Depot and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) downtown Jacobs Building, which used to be the historic train station's baggage terminal.
Outdoor passage between the Santa Fe Depot and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s downtown Jacobs Building, which years ago was the train station’s baggage terminal.
John D. Spreckels and the Impossible Railroad is one of the current art exhibitions at MCASD.
John D. Spreckels and the Impossible Railroad is one of the current art exhibitions at MCASD.  These interesting promotional graphics also incorporate historical newspaper articles.
Old advertisement for the San Diego and Arizona Railway, the Carriso Gorge Route, which included possible destinations Chicago, New Orleans, Kansas City, El Paso, San Diego.
Old advertisement for the San Diego and Arizona Railway, called the Carriso Gorge Route, which included possible destinations Chicago, New Orleans, Kansas City, El Paso, San Diego.

Enjoy photos of random cool stuff! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.

Signs and omens…Comic-Con is around the corner!

Superman was spotted walking through the Gaslamp two weeks before San Diego Comic-Con!
Superman has been spotted walking through the Gaslamp two weeks before San Diego Comic-Con!

Two weeks to go until 2015 San Diego Comic-Con! Signs and omens of the super popular event’s coming are popping up around downtown, especially in the Gaslamp Quarter. Here’s what I spotted in the past couple days…

MTS has Comic-Con trolley passes that can be purchased with your smartphone.
MTS has Comic-Con trolley passes that can be purchased with your smartphone.
Game of Thrones advertisement at a trolley station. A Conan Live at Comic-Con trolley wrap passes by.
Game of Thrones advertisement at a trolley station. A Conan Live at Comic-Con trolley wrap passes by.
The latest Comic-Con trolley wrap promotes The Muppets! Yea!
The latest Comic-Con trolley wrap promotes soon to debut The Muppets television series on ABC!
Kermit drives a trolley full of Muppet fun. Naked frogs. Egotistical pigs. Welcome to Hollywood.
Kermit drives a trolley full of Muppet fun. Naked frogs. Egotistical pigs. Welcome to Hollywood.
Miss Piggy gets her own personal section, because she's such a big star.
Miss Piggy gets her own personal section, because she’s such a big star.
Who attending Comic-Con wouldn't love to have Kermit driving them on the San Diego trolley?
Who attending Comic-Con wouldn’t love to have Kermit driving them on the San Diego trolley?
Shops in downtown San Diego have stocked up on superhero gear for coming throngs of pop culture fans and cosplayers.
Shops in downtown San Diego have stocked up on superhero gear for coming throngs of pop culture fans and cosplayers.
Shirt in store window features Darth Vader saying: "Soy tu padre, mijo."
Shirt in store window features Darth Vader saying: “Soy tu padre, mijo.”
Here come Batman, Thor, Wonder Woman and other powerful heroes. Villains in San Diego, beware!
Here come Batman, Thor, Wonder Woman and other powerful heroes. Villains in San Diego, beware!
Trust me. I'm a superhero. The San Diego Trading Company on Fifth Avenue will have lots of Comic-Con deals, so swing on by! The lady at the counter is really nice!
Trust me. I’m a superhero. The San Diego Trading Company on Fifth Avenue will have lots of Comic-Con deals, so swing on by! The lady at the counter is really nice!
Comic-Con Weekend at the Onyx Room is an unofficial party many will attend!
Comic-Con Weekend at the Onyx Room is an unofficial party many will attend!
The House of Blues asks whether you're ready to rock. San Diego will be rocking big time in a couple weeks! I can't wait!
The House of Blues asks whether you’re ready to rock. San Diego will be rocking big time in a couple weeks! I can’t wait!
The Hulk is busting loose! He's coming to San Diego!
The Hulk is busting loose! He’s coming to San Diego!

Join me on Facebook or Twitter!

Hundred year old photos of Santa Fe Depot.

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of San Diego's Santa Fe train depot!
Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of San Diego’s Santa Fe train depot!

I was walking around today when I noticed a large banner hanging above the entrance of downtown’s Santa Fe Depot. This year the historic train station and San Diego landmark turns one hundred years old!

A friendly gentleman inside the waiting room at the information booth gave me a flyer about a special event tomorrow. The public is invited to attend a celebration of the historic depot’s centennial! The festivities take place between 11 am and 1 pm. The address of the Santa Fe Depot Union Station is 1050 Kettner Boulevard, just north of Broadway in downtown San Diego. I will be working, so I’ll probably miss it.

In the past I’d thought about posting cool old photos of the depot, but now seems the appropriate time! Check out the following photographs that I found on Wikimedia Commons.

First, a little background on the depot, with a few details taken from an informative handout…

A fine example of the classic Spanish Mission-Colonial Revival style of architecture, including Moorish influences, the Santa Fe Depot is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it lies at the southern terminus of the nation’s second-busiest Amtrak rail corridor. In addition to the Pacific Surfliner trains, it also serves as an important station for Coaster commuter trains and the San Diego Trolley.

Built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, it opened on March 7, 1915. It replaced the California Southern Railway’s smaller 1887 Victorian depot. The beautiful new depot was designed to welcome rail travelers visiting the 1915 Panama-California International Exposition, which was staged in expansive Balboa Park, just northeast of downtown. You can see dozens of fantastic photos of Balboa Park from a century ago here.

The huge Santa Fe Depot waiting room is 170 feet long and 55 feet wide. The varnished oak benches are lit by 16 bronze and glass chandeliers. You can see pics of today’s interior here.

Old photo on today's information booth shows large waiting room as it was once configured, with ticket counters, checkroom and shops in wooden structures on the west side.
Old photo on today’s information booth shows large waiting room as it was once configured, with ticket counters, checkroom and shops in wooden structures on the west side.
Historical photograph of Santa Fe Depot's construction, dated August 17, 1914.
Historical photograph of Santa Fe Depot’s construction, dated August 17, 1914.
Santa Fe Railroad Station under construction beside the old 1887 Victorian depot. Photo dated September 3, 1914.
Santa Fe Railroad Station under construction beside the old 1887 Victorian depot. Photo dated September 3, 1914.
Photo of the old depot tower being demolished in 1915.
Photo of the old depot tower being demolished in 1915.
Color postcard from around 1920 features inviting image of San Diego Union Depot.
Color postcard circa 1920 features inviting image of San Diego Union Depot.
The Santa Fe Depot as it appears today, with modern high-rise buildings nearby.
The Santa Fe Depot as it appears today, with modern high-rise buildings nearby.

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