Photos of real life in downtown San Diego.

Many poignant photos yesterday.

As I walked with my camera I tried to capture small scenes of real life. Some scenes evoked a sense of sadness, waiting, uncertainty; others contained glimmers of hope or subtle humor. In downtown San Diego thousands of lives mingle.

Mysteries around every corner.

Countless untold stories.

You might recognize that plaque.

Its exact origin was once was a mystery. But the plaque’s fascinating story was revealed here.

The Jessop’s clock fascinates many eyes.

After 125 years, Jessop’s jewelry store is closing. A chapter in San Diego’s history ends.

But the clock’s hands will will continue to mark time.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Visually interesting photos of downtown buildings.

I have a tendency to take photos of everything and anything while I’m walking. Sometimes I’m surprised at the results!

Here are some visually interesting photos of buildings in downtown San Diego. You’ll find reflections in windows, strange shadows, and splashes of light. There are unusual shapes, surprising contrasts, and a few delightful discoveries.

Every walk through downtown is an optical adventure!

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!

Photos of cattle drive through downtown San Diego!

Cowboys on horseback drive cattle down Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego. They are promoting this year's San Diego County Fair.
Cowboys on horseback drive cattle down Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego. They are promoting this year’s San Diego County Fair.

This morning there was a big cattle drive through downtown San Diego!

Huh? What?

It’s true! About 200 head of cattle were driven by cowboys on horseback and herding dogs down Harbor Drive, then up Fifth Avenue, then back west along Market Street. The intention of this unusual spectacle was to promote the San Diego County Fair, whose theme this year is How the West is Fun!

I followed along much of the way! Here are some photos!

At Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway, everybody gets ready for the big cattle drive!
At Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway, police escorts gets ready for the big cattle drive!
The 2017 theme for the San Diego County Fair, which just opened at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, is Where the West is Fun.
The 2017 theme for the San Diego County Fair, which opened yesterday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, is Where the West is Fun.
Excitement mounts nearby as the cattle drive is about to get underway.
Excitement mounts nearby as the cattle drive is about to get underway.
A temporary corral set up by Ruocco Park contained about 200 head of cattle.
A temporary corral set up by Ruocco Park contained about 200 head of cattle.
Here they go, starting down Harbor Drive!
Here they go, starting down Harbor Drive!
Lots of cowboys on horses and some excited herding dogs lead the cows along the downtown street.
Lots of cowboys on horses and some excited herding dogs start the cows along the street.
Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the unusual spectacle. It seemed like the Old West was being relived in San Diego!
Hundreds of people lined the sidewalk to watch the unusual spectacle. It seemed like the Old West was being relived in San Diego!
The downtown cattle drive will head along Harbor Drive, turn north up Fifth Avenue, then back head west along Market Street.
The downtown cattle drive will head along Harbor Drive, turn north up Fifth Avenue, then head back west along Market Street.
You don't see this every day!
You don’t see this every day!
Neither does this city dog! What is going on?
Neither does this city dog! What is going on?
A guy in a crazy cow costume gets a photograph of the cattle drive.
A guy in a crazy cow costume gets a photograph of the cattle drive.
Cowboys keep a close eye on the cattle as they head along San Diego's waterfront.
Cowboys keep a close eye on the cattle as they head along San Diego’s waterfront.
Not your ordinary Saturday morning in the big city!
Not your ordinary Saturday morning in the big city!
Skyscrapers in the background. The cows didn't seem to notice.
Skyscrapers in the background. The cows didn’t seem to notice.
The cattle drive heads past the San Diego Convention Center. So does a disinterested jogger.
The cattle drive heads past the San Diego Convention Center. So does a jogger.
The downtown cattle drive has turned onto Fifth Avenue. Here they come!
The downtown cattle drive has turned onto Fifth Avenue. Here they come!
Cowboys ride under the Gaslamp Quarter landmark sign.
Cowboys ride under the famous Gaslamp Quarter landmark sign.
The Gaslamp hasn't seen so many cowboys on horseback in a good century and a half!
The Gaslamp hasn’t seen so many cowboys on horseback in a good century and a half!
The cattle are driven up Fifth Avenue into the heart of San Diego.
The cattle are driven up Fifth Avenue into the heart of San Diego.
Folks ride in a wagon that promotes the 2017 San Diego County Fair - Where the West is Fun!
Folks ride in a wagon that promotes the 2017 San Diego County Fair – Where the West is Fun!
A rather unusual sight proceeds north up through San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter.
A rather unusual sight proceeds north up through San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter.
The Old West has come back to life in downtown San Diego!
The Old West has come back to life in downtown San Diego!

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World’s most amazing car, displayed in San Diego!

This 1947 Cadillac was transformed into an amazing cross-country contraption! This unusual car drove from San Diego to New York . . . and back . . . without stopping!
This 1947 Cadillac was transformed into an amazing cross-country contraption! The unusual car drove from San Diego to New York and back–without stopping!

Have you heard of the amazing car that features a toilet, washing machine, ironing board, shower, and even a kitchen sink?

Did you know this amazing car also has an electric stove, refrigerator, medicine cabinet, and drinking fountain?

And that this particular car holds the cross-country driving endurance record? In 1952, three men drove the car 6,320 miles nonstop–literally without stopping–from San Diego to New York and back, accompanied by a police escort the entire way! They refueled from a moving gas truck!

What else can this amazing car do?

The car automatically changes oil and refills the radiator. A movable platform and hydraulic jacks allows any tire to be changed without stopping the car. And repairs to the engine can be made while driving. The hood, when open, has transparent panels that allow the driver to see the road!

A shower and drinking fountain! Why not? The shower is on the right running board and the drinking fountain can be accessed at a rear taillight! The back seat conveniently contains several household necessities, including a refrigerator, stove, small washing machine, chemical toilet, and, of course . . . that kitchen sink!

Never heard of this crazy car? It once was quite famous, widely appearing on television, in magazines and newspapers. But that was decades ago.

Today you can see Louie Mattar’s extensively modified 1947 Cadillac for yourself.  It’s on display at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park!

Here’s to the dreamers. And here’s to the actual doers. It took Louie Mattar five years to transform his amazing dream into reality!

Louie Mattar's car was driven 6320 miles without ever stopping. Refueling, tire changes and repairs are done on the run.
Louie Mattar’s car was driven 6320 miles without ever stopping. Refueling, tire changes and even engine repairs are done on the run!
You can see Louie Mattar's fabulous car at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park.
You can see the most amazing car in the world at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park!
The car tows a trailer, which stores gasoline, water and oil. At the rear is an outdoor dining area!
The car tows a trailer, which stores gasoline, water and oil. At the rear is an outdoor dining area complete with dial telephone!
When the car was in motion, a passenger in swim trunks could stand on a narrow platform and take a shower outside!
When the car was in motion, a passenger in swim trunks could stand on a narrow platform outside and take a shower!
A look at the complicated dashboard. I'm reminded of an airplane's cockpit.
A look at the complicated dashboard. I’m reminded of an airplane’s cockpit.
Diagram shows the many gauges and switches available to the driver. A bar and hookah are within easy reach of the front seat passenger!
Diagram shows the many gauges and switches available to the driver. A bar and hookah are within easy reach of the front seat passenger!
A look inside the amazing car through the front passenger side door.
Another look inside the amazing car through the front passenger side door.
A crazy tangle under the hood. It looks like dish of spaghetti!
A crazy tangle under the hood. It looks like a dish of spaghetti!
Diagram shows numerous modifications and additions to the 1947 Cadillac's original stock engine.
Diagram shows numerous modifications and additions to the 1947 Cadillac’s original stock engine.
A passenger on the moving car could stand on this projecting platform to change a tire! The axles are drilled, so tires can be inflated while turning!
A passenger in the moving car could stand on this projecting platform to change a tire! The axles are drilled, so tires can be inflated while they are turning!
A video in the San Diego Automotive Museum shows the amazing car in action!
A video in the San Diego Automotive Museum shows the amazing car in action!
Not many cars feature an electric stove and ironing board!
How many cars in the world are equipped with an electric stove and ironing board?

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!

Fun fungus fair! A mushroom show in Balboa Park!

A mushroom fair was held this weekend in Balboa Park inside the Casa del Prado. The event was put on by the San Diego Mycological Society.
A mushroom fair was held this weekend in Balboa Park inside the Casa del Prado. The event was put on by the San Diego Mycological Society.

There’s a fungus among us! I’m not kidding!  (Groan.)

All sorts of mushrooms were on display inside Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado today during a special show by the San Diego Mycological Society.

I wandered through this cool “mushroom fair” and took a good look around. And I learned quite a lot!

Check out a few fun photos and some informative captions…

Mushroom enthusiasts check out all sorts of displays at the mushroom show. Mushroom facts, art, and food products like jerky were plentiful.
Mushroom enthusiasts check out all sorts of displays at the mushroom show. Mushroom facts, art, and food products like jerky were plentiful.
Several tables exhibited different types of mushrooms one might encounter in nature. The San Diego Mycological Society puts the fun in fungus!
Several tables exhibited different types of mushrooms one might encounter in nature. The San Diego Mycological Society puts the fun in fungus!
These mushrooms are all edible. Some are said to taste better than others.
These mushrooms are all edible. Some are said to taste better than others.
A basket full of Bolbitius vitellinus. Labelled edible but mediocre. According to Wikipedia, it's inedible. I'm no expert.
A basket full of Bolbitius vitellinus. Labelled edible but mediocre. According to Wikipedia, it’s inedible. I’m no expert, so don’t ask me.
Cooking with Wild Mushrooms. (Click image to enlarge the sign for easy reading.)
Cooking with Wild Mushrooms. (Click image to enlarge the sign for easy reading.)
Okay, these are definitely poisonous! Children were advised not to touch. I steered well clear!
Okay, these are definitely poisonous! Children were advised not to touch. I steered well clear!
Here's a monster yeast fungus so villainous that Captain Marvel had a tough time coping with it.
Here’s a monster yeast fungus so villainous that Captain Marvel had a tough time coping with it.
I do know that much of the art displayed at the mushroom show was quite tasty!
I do know that much of the art displayed at the mushroom show was tasty!
Check out this fascinating poster and the following photo. Spore prints show how spores are ejected from the mushroom gills.
Check out this fascinating poster and the following photo. Spore prints show how spores are ejected from the mushroom gills.
These spore prints strangely remind me of human thumbprints.
These spore prints strangely remind me of human thumbprints.
An artist created some spore print cards, hand made from mushrooms found in San Diego! Cool!
An inventive artist created some spore print cards, hand made from mushrooms found in San Diego! Cool!
Volunteers from the San Diego Mycological Society are collecting mushroom specimens found throughout the county. Tiny tissue samples will be barcoded for species identification.
Volunteers from the San Diego Mycological Society are collecting mushroom specimens found throughout the county. Tiny tissue samples will be scientifically barcoded for species identification.
All sorts of arts and crafts, books and fascinating stuff was for sale at the mushroom fair.
All sorts of arts and crafts, books and fascinating stuff was for sale at the mushroom fair.
Colorful mushroom ornaments!
Colorful mushroom ornaments!

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 enjoy!

More interesting, unusual doors in San Diego!

Mysterious door in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter reads: Law Office Eddie O'Hare, Esquire. It's actually the entrance to a sneaky speakeasy, containing the underground 1920's themed Prohibition Lounge!
Mysterious gold lettering on a door in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter reads: Law Office Eddie O’Hare, Esquire. It’s actually the sneaky entrance to a speakeasy, the underground, 1920’s themed Prohibition Lounge!

Here’s another batch of cool door photographs, taken during my walks around San Diego.

Some of these doors are rather odd, as you can plainly see! Others have interesting historical significance. Most are just plain fun!

To learn a bit more, read the captions!

Nautical-looking door of the American Tunaboat Association on the Embarcadero near Tuna Harbor.
Nautical-looking door of the American Tunaboat Association on the Embarcadero near Tuna Harbor.
Interesting detail above the door of the 1906 Hearne Surgical Hospital Building in downtown San Diego.
Interesting detail above the door of the 1906 Hearne Surgical Hospital Building in downtown San Diego.
These old wooden doors to the patio of Indigo Grill in Little Italy are enormous!
These old wooden doors to the patio of Indigo Grill in Little Italy are enormous!  I don’t know their origin.
A very odd metal door in Little Italy. Seems to me it would quite easy to step around it!
A very odd metal door in Little Italy. Seems to me it would quite easy to step around it!
Not sure I'd want to step through this door in the Gaslamp. Looks dangerous!
Not sure I’d want to follow the arrow and step through this door in the Gaslamp Quarter. Looks dangerous!
In San Diego's small Chinatown one can see a cool sight that traces back to early San Diego history. The door to Quin Produce!
In San Diego’s small Chinatown one can see a cool sight that traces back to early San Diego history. The door to Quin Produce!
The unusually tall stained glass door of the Philippine Library and Museum in the Gaslamp. I'll probably visit one day!
The unusually tall stained glass door of the Philippine Library and Museum in the Gaslamp. I’ll probably visit one day!
It's what meets you at the front door of Mexican Fiesta in Seaport Village that's out of the ordinary. A sculpture of a bandito sitting on a bench!
It’s what meets you at the front door of Mexican Fiesta in Seaport Village that’s out of the ordinary. A sculpture of a bandito sitting on a bench!
Step through the front door of Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills and you're met by Hollywood movie stars!
Step through the front door of Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills and you’re met by Hollywood movie stars!

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!

Strange, surprising public art at Bayside Park!

Walking past public art in Chula Vista's Bayside Park. The Fisherman is a sculpture of a great egret, created by Stephen Fairfield, 2006.
Walking past public art in Chula Vista’s Bayside Park. The Fisherman is a sculpture of a great egret, created by Stephen Fairfield, 2006.

Look at these cool examples of public art! I spotted them Saturday during my visit to Chula Vista’s Bayside Park.

Some of the artwork, as you can see, is rather strange and surprising! Read the photo captions to learn more!

The Fisherman, by Stephen Fairfield, was a part of a past Urban Trees exhibition along San Diego's Embarcadero.
The Fisherman, by Stephen Fairfield, was a part of a past Urban Trees exhibition along San Diego’s Embarcadero. It’s now part of the Port of San Diego Tidelands Collection.
Dark shadow of what appears to be a gigantic egret on a walkway in Bayside Park.
Dark shadow of what appears to be a gigantic egret on a walkway in Bayside Park.
One of several tables by San Diego Bay containing a tile chess board.
One of several tables by San Diego Bay containing a tile chess board.
Walking north along the beach area. Downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bay Bridge can be seen in the distance.
Walking north along the beach area. Downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bay Bridge can be seen in the distance.
Still walking north, toward more public art at Chula Vista's Bayside Park. This is Wind Oars by George Peters and Melanie Walker, 2004.
Still walking north, toward more interesting public art at Chula Vista’s Bayside Park. This is Wind Oars by George Peters and Melanie Walker, 2004.
Oars in the blue sky change position in the shifting wind. A kinetic artwork landmark in San Diego's South Bay.
Oars in the blue sky change position in the shifting wind. A kinetic artwork landmark in San Diego’s South Bay.
Like rowing through blue water above.
Like rowing through blue water above.
At the north end of Bayside Park, we now approach some unusual temporary art. Bench Party, by artists Jose Parral and Tasia Paulson, will be on display through May 20, 2017.
At the north end of Bayside Park, we now approach some unusual temporary art. Bench Party, by artists Jose Parral and Tasia Paulson, will be on display through May 20, 2017.
Visitors to the Bayside Park might sit here and talk, or take in views of San Diego Bay.
Visitors to the Bayside Park might sit here and talk, or take in views of San Diego Bay.
A large group of people could sit here and have a bench party!
A large group of people could sit here and have a bench party!
The huge travelift at Marine Group Boat Works in Chula Vista is seen beyond the benches. Super yachts and large boats can be lifted out of the water there.
The huge travelift at Marine Group Boat Works in Chula Vista is seen beyond the benches. Super yachts and large boats can be lifted out of the water there.
A breakwater by Marine Group Boat Works looks like art on the water. In the distance we can see Point Loma.
A breakwater by Marine Group Boat Works looks like strange art on the water. Rising in the distance we can see Point Loma.
A bird swims past stacked rocks.
A bird swims past stacked rocks.
Feeding birds at a park picnic bench.
Feeding birds at a park picnic bench.
A second sculpture from an Urban Trees exhibition is also located at Bayside Park. This is San Diego Synergy, by Kent Kraber, 2007.
A second sculpture from an Urban Trees exhibition is also located at Bayside Park. This is San Diego Synergy, by Kent Kraber, 2007.
Seabirds soar above fish, their food.
Seabirds soar above fish, their food.
A school of fish in the ocean kelp.
A school of fish in the ocean kelp.
A silvery tuna between a fishing boat and sailboat, at the base of the San Diego Synergy sculpture in Chula Vista.
A silvery tuna between a fishing boat and sailboat, at the base of the San Diego Synergy sculpture in Chula Vista.

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!