Almost autumn beauty by the river.

It’s almost autumn. Tomorrow we’ll experience the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. And the weather feels a bit like it.

I rose early this morning and found myself walking by the San Diego River in Mission Valley, enjoying the cool air. I moved slowly along the river wondering when the sun might break through the gray clouds. Maybe later in the morning.

Even though the very gradually yellowing leaves and gray, wrinkled trunks of nearby cottonwood trees seemed dull under the overcast, in places I found patches of unexpected light. Here and there new green was pushing through. I even found tiny flowers.

Nature in every season is beautiful.

It’s right there in front of you.

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 golden sunrise walk through downtown.

The sun was newly risen this morning as I walked through downtown. I meandered through East Village and the Gaslamp Quarter, and eventually ended up at the Convention Center trolley station.

Slanting rays of early sunlight reflected from the windows of surrounding buildings. Warm light slipped down sleepy streets and alleys, painting a golden morning.

Early morning golden light touches a face inside a window of the Sparks Gallery.
Early morning light illuminates face inside a window of the Sparks Gallery.

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!

Life returns to Balboa Park one strange summer.

It’s late summer. It has been a very strange year.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect of our lives. But even though we still wear face masks and keep our social distance, there’s a sense in Balboa Park that a more normal life is slowly returning.

Earlier in the spring and summer the park was eerily quiet. But in the past week I’ve noticed growing numbers of visitors. There seems to be a desire to recover a small part of a disrupted summer.

Some of the museums have reopened. Vendors and street performers along El Prado are back. Picnics on the grass have become numerous. People are once again posing for pictures by the lily pond.

The sunshine and beautiful flowers never went away.

I took these photographs during walks through Balboa Park yesterday and on Labor 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!

First look at new Town and Country river park!

The beautiful new river park in Mission Valley between the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center and the Fashion Valley Transit Center will soon be completed. Today I noticed the construction fences were down and the park was wide open to the public, so of course I had to walk around and explore.

After checking out the corner of the park next to the trolley station, I walked east following the elevated trolley tracks, turned south, passed an unfinished information kiosk, and crossed the San Diego River via the pedestrian bridge. I then walked along the winding new path on the south side of the river.

You might notice some intriguing, very unique public artwork. What appear to be tree trunks have been wrapped with bands containing words that concern the natural and human history of the San Diego River.

As I walked along the grassy green linear park, I spotted something slender and white down near the water. It was a great egret. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a good photograph.

I think I might use those park benches in the future! Looks like a perfect place to sit and read.

If you want to see a few photos I took a couple weeks ago, when this new river park was less developed, click here.

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A foggy Labor Day morning by the water.

After two days of sweltering heat in downtown San Diego, early this morning it was nice and cool. Fog had rolled in from the Pacific Ocean overnight. Perfect for a long Labor Day morning walk!

I set out very early while most of the city was asleep. Once the sun had risen and there was sufficient light for photographs, I took out my camera. The fog lingered throughout my walk. The sun was just breaking through as I arrived home mid-morning.

These photos begin at the G Street Pier, where several fishermen were already up and getting ready for another day out on the wide ocean. I proceeded around Tuna Harbor, through Ruocco Park and Seaport Village, did a loop through Embarcadero Marina Park North, continued past the Marriott Marina, and ended up near the fishing pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

I haven’t captioned these photos. I like how the fog provides a sense of mystery. But you might notice the San Diego Symphony’s new outdoor summer concert venue, The Shell, appears to be almost complete.

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!

An alley in Ocean Beach alive with cool art!

I wandered about Ocean Beach this weekend. I walked down an alley that runs parallel to Newport Avenue–on its north side–from Cable Street to the beach.

Lots of cool artwork can be found all up and down this alley! You might notice many of the murals appear like mosaics–those are community murals from past years. They’re painted by anybody and everybody who can use a brush during the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair And Chili Cook-offs.

I noticed the final mural with the painted SEASPELL and amazing turtle was created by local artists Christopher Konecki and Carly Ealey in 2019.

In the past I’ve photographed two other works of art in this alley. A mermaid holding a shell full of ocean gifts can be seen here. A very cool mural featuring Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash can be seen here.

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!

A slightly weird walk in Pacific Beach!

Easter Island head in a front yard.
Easter Island head in a front yard.

This afternoon I headed to PB to check out a very cool mural at Pacific Beach Elementary School. (I’ll blog about that shortly!)

After having a good look at the mural, I kept my camera out for what might be considered a slightly weird walk. I headed west toward the Pacific Ocean and eventually found myself approaching the grassy park overlooking Law Street Beach. I then turned south and followed the oceanfront boardwalk down to Crystal Pier.

Exactly how weird was this walk?

Check out this cool old truck. A guy with the welding company talked to me near a sculpture of a bison in his lot near the sidewalk, but I didn't think to snap a photo of it before I had resumed walking. Bummer.r.
A friendly guy with the welding company that owns this cool truck talked to me near a steel sculpture of a bison. It was in a work lot by the sidewalk. I forgot to snap a photo of the sculpture. Bummer.
Who wants to take surf lessons? Make this the best summer ever!
Who wants to take surf lessons? Make this the best summer ever!
Old peeling street art seems to portray Neptune on a seahorse.
As I neared the Pacific Ocean, I found this peeling street art that seems to portray Neptune on a seahorse.
Looking north toward La Jolla across the grassy park at Law Street.
Looking north toward the ocean off La Jolla from the grassy park at Law Street.
After I took this photo, I rested on the bench for several minutes.
After I took this photo, I rested on this bench for a little bit.
Thanks for the sunsets and the dawns.
In honor of our parents Bill and Jean Manion. Thanks for the sunsets and the dawns.
I see Crystal Pier in the distance.
Look at all the beach goers! I see Crystal Pier in the distance.
Tons of surfing action and swimmers today at Pacific Beach.
Tons of surfing action and swimmers today at Pacific Beach.
Another perfect bench overlooking the beach.
As I began south, I found another perfect bench overlooking the beach. A gull must think this guy has some food.
The Pacific Beach boardwalk is part of the California Coastal Trail.
The Pacific Beach boardwalk is part of the California Coastal Trail.
Lots of bicyclists out on a warm Friday afternoon.
Lots of bicyclists out on a warm summer Friday afternoon.
I passed on a Chips Galore this time.
I passed on a Chips Galore! ice cream sandwich this time.
Wooden stairs down to the beach.
Wooden stairs down to the beach.
Sign explains how Marine Protected Areas safeguard our ocean's beauty. (Click this photo and it will enlarge for easier reading.)
Sign explains how marine protected areas stretching north from here–directly off La Jolla–safeguard our ocean’s beauty. (Click this photo and it will enlarge for easier reading.)
I was very tempted to descend.
I was very tempted to descend.
Here come some inline skaters.
Here come some inline skaters.
A cool mural at Kono's Coffee by @HannasMurals.
A cool mural at Kono’s Coffee by @HannasMurals.
La Playa Nudista? Where's that?
La Playa Nudista? Never heard of it. Where’s that?
Gone Surfing.
Gone surfing.
Stay Weird.
Stay weird.

Well, honestly, this particular walk didn’t seem that weird to me. But if sunshine, a beach full of sunbathers, distant surf, passing bicyclists, skaters and walkers, and an ice cream vendor with a tinkling bell on his cart are considered weird, I’ll take it!

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!

More cool art from another East Village walk!

Face painted on temporary outdoor seating at Pokez Restaurant.
Face painted on temporary outdoor seating at Pokez Restaurant.

I went on a random zigzagging walk through East Village late this afternoon and found some artwork that I don’t believe I’ve already shared, even though some of the street art is obviously years old and faded.

I walked south from Broadway down Tenth Avenue, east on F Street, and south again along Park Boulevard to Market Street, where the last photo was taken. And there’s a good reason to be excited by that last photo!

I then proceeded to the Quartyard, where I photographed a bunch of cool new murals, but those will be in the next blog post!

Colorful parrot in window of Seven Seas Tattoo.
Colorful parrot in window of Seven Seas Tattoo.
East Village painted on a sidewalk electrical box.
East Village painted on a sidewalk electrical box.
Cool street art face on F Street in San Diego's East Village neighborhood.
Cool street art face on F Street in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood.
Your Fate is in Your Hands. Palmistry is illustrated at East Village Psychic Healing Center.
Your Fate is in Your Hands. Palmistry is illustrated at East Village Psychic Healing Center.
This street art is really old and faded, so I increased the photo contrast.
This street art is really old and faded, so I increased the photo’s contrast.
This mural is amazing but a couple years old now, by Gloria Muriel and Dave Persue. For some reason I've never taken a photo until today.
This mural is amazing but a couple of years old, by Gloria Muriel and Dave Persue. For some reason I’ve never taken a photo until today.

Another very cool (and colorful) mural by the same two artists was on the above wall years ago. See it here!

I only got a glimpse of the above mural, because a construction fence won’t let the public into a courtyard area between the big, soon-to-open downtown UC San Diego Extension building and its adjacent residential tower.

Does this mural’s style look familiar? It’s by world-renowned illustrator and muralist Rafael López! His studio is just down the street!

Once the public gets access, I’ll try to get good photos. Plus there appear to be other murals in that courtyard!

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!

A walk south of the Oceanside Transit Center.

Today I enjoyed a couple of fun walks in San Diego’s North County. After photographing a bunch of cool sights in downtown Vista, I found myself at the Oceanside Transit Center waiting for a train back home with about an hour to spare. So I walked around, of course!

The first photo was taken as I was walking from the Oceanside Transit Center south along Tremont Street. At Wisconsin Avenue I turned west and continued past the “ballerinas among sharks” mural and over the adjacent railroad tracks.

I continued all the way to a lifeguard station overlooking rocks soaked by a wildly splashing high tide. Then I turned back east.

Just before reaching the railroad tracks, I turned north along a virtually deserted bike path which followed a couple of empty paid parking lots. Even though my camera was in hand and ready, I really didn’t see anything noteworthy as I made my way back to the transit center. So my photos end near the beach!

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!

Mysteries in San Diego: solved and unsolved!

Occasionally during my walks around San Diego I stumble upon a mystery. Often there’s a solution to the mystery that I eventually discover; other more difficult mysteries remain unsolved.

It can be exciting to suddenly encounter the unknown!

Because it was too darn hot and muggy to be out walking today, and because I might not go walking for a few days, I thought we might travel back in time and review a variety of past mysteries. Several of these are still unsolved.

As always, if you know something that I don’t know, please leave a comment!

These mysteries still persist. Armchair detectives, get ready!

For the mystery of a vanished grave marker containing the name of an early San Diego character who was shot in the back, click here.

For the mystery of public art that few people see, that appears to be attributed to nobody in particular, click here.

For the mystery of old, faded signs on downtown San Diego buildings, click here.

For the mystery of musicians that were painted on downtown windows (and which have since vanished) click here!

The following mysteries were eventually solved!

For the mystery of an inexplicable lighthouse on an Old Town sidewalk, click here.

For the mystery of a fountain hidden in an almost never seen corner of Balboa Park, click here.

For the mystery of what seemed a forgotten Navy plaque on the Embarcadero, click here.

For the mystery of strange reflections on San Diego Bay, click here. (This mystery was my own photographic creation, but you might enjoy attempting to identify the reflections.)

For the infinite mystery contained in an ingenious invention that mimics the structure of the universe, click here and here.

And finally, for the mystery of a bloody crime scene that must be solved again and again, click here!

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!