Walking up the Snake Path at UCSD.

If you dare, walk with me up the Snake Path at UCSD. We will proceed from innocence to knowledge.

We’ll begin at a spot near the Jacobs School of Engineering, then head west up a hill toward the amazing Geisel Library. Our path is the winding 560-foot length of a scaly snake.

Snake Path, part of the UC San Diego Stuart Collection, was created by Alexis Smith in 1992. The scales of the snake are hexagonal pieces of colored slate.

We’ll pass a monumental granite book, none other than Milton’s Paradise Lost. On the cover is engraved: “And wilt thou not be loathe to leave this Paradise, but shalt possess a Paradise within thee, happier far.”

We’ll linger at a bench in a small Garden of Eden. Written on the bench are Thomas Gray’s words: “Yet ah why should they know their fate/When sorrow never comes too late/And happiness too swiftly flies/Thought would destroy their Paradise/No more, where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.”

Toward innocence or knowledge. Which direction is best?

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!

Somebody lost their heads by the sidewalk!

A couple of heads are missing! I’ve discovered two strange, disembodied heads sitting on the ground by the sidewalk!

I observed that first rather fierce-looking head early this afternoon as I rode on a bus down Pacific Highway, just north of the Old Town Transit Center. (Why was I on the bus? I had several adventures this morning in North County! Stay tuned for more cool blog posts!)

The second head, which looks kind of like a painted Dia de los Muertos skull, was discovered beside a sidewalk about a week ago as I walked through Mission Valley on my way to work!

Has anyone out there lost their head? Or heads?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights (and have more fun) via Facebook or Twitter!

Lines, curves, contrasts and mysteries.

A mazelike X by artist Bob Matheny. His works of Almost Anonymous, mind-teasing art can now be absorbed at the San Diego History Museum.
A mazelike X by artist Bob Matheny. His works of Almost Anonymous, mind-teasing art can now be absorbed at the San Diego History Museum.

I took these unusual photographs yesterday during my afternoon walk through Balboa Park.

Each image seemed uniquely interesting to me for one reason or another. My eyes were drawn to lines, curves, contrasts and mysteries.

The passage of time glimpsed underfoot. Contrasted modes of decay.
The passage of time glimpsed underfoot. Contrasted modes of decay.
An elemental drama. Trees battle sky.
An elemental drama. Trees battle sky.
In one photo nature subdues architecture.
In one photo nature subdues architecture.
The iconic California Tower is swallowed by vertical distance.
The iconic California Tower is swallowed by vertical distance.
Looking through an arch of the California Quadrangle toward the original Administration Building, first building completed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Looking through an arch of the California Quadrangle toward the original Administration Building, the first building completed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Simple lines and curves, a small place in the park to rest.
Simple lines and curves: a small place in the park to rest.
Eyes are drawn in every direction in a nook beside the San Diego Museum of Art.
Eyes are pulled in every direction in a nook beside the San Diego Museum of Art.
Wild beauty is aesthetically arranged at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Wild beauty is aesthetically arranged at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
The Japanese Friendship Garden, where reflection becomes meditation.
The Japanese Friendship Garden, where reflection becomes meditation.

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!

Sunrise beauty at South Bay Salt Works!

Sunrise at South Bay Salt Works is a spectacle that’s hard to describe. The sun’s first rays tint the dunelike mounds of pure white salt with a golden glow, creating an effect that is otherworldly and strangely beautiful.

Yesterday as the sun cleared the horizon I approached South Bay Salt Works to experience the magic. I took many photographs!

Wikipedia has an extensive article about South Bay Salt Works, which is located near Chula Vista, in the tiny Fruitdale section of San Diego’s Otay Mesa-Nestor community. I was interested to learn it’s the second longest running business in San Diego after the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper. The salt factory began as La Punta Salt Company sometime before 1872.

Large evaporation ponds at the southern end of San Diego Bay are the source of the salt, but the water comes directly from the Pacific Ocean. South Bay Salt Works produces about 75,000 tons of salt every year from ponds that cover over a thousand acres. For decades is was the sole supplier of salt for Southern California.

Many migrating birds are attracted to the evaporation ponds. The salinity of the water supports an abundance of brine flies and brine shrimp. Today, even as salt harvesting operations continue, the ponds are officially part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

I was once told by someone who knows a little about South Bay Salt Works that the salt is shipped from San Diego to places with freezing winters, where it’s used on roads and highways to melt the ice.

Enjoy these photographs!

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!

Under Wraps at the National City Marine Terminal!

A van wrapped with many colors stands at one corner of the National City Marine Terminal on San Diego Bay!
A van wrapped with many colors stands at one corner of the National City Marine Terminal on San Diego Bay!

You don’t see this every day!

Under Wraps is unusual public artwork that now stands at one corner of the National City Marine Terminal. It’s best seen by walking out onto the small Pepper Park fishing pier.

Under Wraps is a sculptural intervention on an old work van, which has been wrapped about with colorful nautical fiber. This unique artwork was created by Randy Walker, who also used nautical fiber in his “Sweet Contents” at San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. I recently blogged about that here.

The National City Marine Terminal in San Diego Bay is where up to 400,000 imported cars arrive by immense roll-on/roll-off car carrying ships every year. The 180-acre facility is operated by Pasha Automotive Services.

According to a sign on the pier, Under Wraps will be on view through February 2019. So if you plan to be in San Diego’s South Bay, go check it out while you have the chance!

Under Wraps, an artwork by Randy Walker, is best seen from the Pepper Park pier. A work van is wrapped in colorful nautical fiber at the National City Marine Terminal!
Under Wraps, an artwork by Randy Walker, is best seen from the Pepper Park pier. A work van is wrapped with colorful nautical fiber at the National City Marine Terminal!
Fishing from the Pepper Park pier near public artwork commissioned by the Port of San Diego.
Fishing from the Pepper Park pier near public artwork that was commissioned by the Port of San Diego.
A kid got super excited when these guys caught a mackerel from the pier!
A kid got super excited when these guys caught a mackerel from the pier!
Now that's something you don't see every day! Under Wraps is colorful public art that adds character to National City.
Now that’s something you don’t see every day! Under Wraps is colorful public art that adds a splash of character to the National City Marine Terminal.

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!

Visual complexity at Cesar Chavez Park pier.

During a recent walk out onto the pier at Cesar Chavez Park, my eyes were dazzled by the surrounding complexity.

The cranes of nearby barges and distant shipyards . . . the curving San Diego-Coronado Bridge . . . the various structures, rails and benches on the pier . . . all of these elements combined with reflections and shadows to create interesting geometric patterns.

I cropped and altered the contrast of many photos to make them even more visually abstract and thought-provoking.

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!

Sweet Contents adds color to Marine Terminal!

Sweet Contents is the title of public art that has added color to three storage tanks at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
Sweet Contents is the title of public art that has added color to three storage tanks at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

Surprising public art now decorates three large storage tanks at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal just south of downtown San Diego!

Sweet Contents, by artist Randy Walker, adds color to several old, unsightly tanks that used to store molasses and palm oil. The public art was commissioned by the Port of San Diego for their Port Spaces program and will be visible through February 2019.

The three storage tanks have been draped with strands of nautical fiber. From a distance it looks like strings of many different colors are dangling down from the top of each cylindrical structure.

I took these photos from a spot by the gate of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, Cesar Chavez Park and the adjacent pier. A friendly guard at the gate told me he met the artist, that the individual strands are about an inch wide, and that the colors are about as vibrant today as when they were installed last May.

According to a sign, which I photographed near Cesar Chavez Park, similar public art, titled Under Wraps, can be seen at the National City Marine Terminal. That particular artwork is best seen from the Pepper Park pier.

I’ll have to go check that out in the weeks ahead!

Sign describes Sweet Contents, an artwork by Randy Walker. Differently colored nautical fiber hangs over the exterior of the old molasses and palm oil storage tanks.
Port of San Diego sign describes Sweet Contents, an artwork by Randy Walker. Nautical fiber in many colors hangs over the exterior of the old molasses and palm oil storage tanks.
A view of Sweet Contents from Cesar Chavez Park.
A view of Sweet Contents from the grass in Cesar Chavez Park.
I took this zoom photo of Sweet Contents over a wall at Cesar Chavez Park.
I took this zoom photo of Sweet Contents over a wall at Cesar Chavez Park.
Photo of Sweet Contents from the pier at Cesar Chavez Park. Downtown buildings are visible beyond the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
Photo of Sweet Contents from the pier at Cesar Chavez Park. Downtown buildings are visible beyond the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

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!