Aero Drive’s other name in the Convoy District.

While driving through Kearny Mesa, have you glimpsed something mysterious above an Aero Drive street sign?

I saw this unique “Honorary Deegan and Stephen Lew Drive” sign last weekend. I was walking down a sidewalk through the Convoy District.

Pausing at the corner of Convoy Street and Aero Drive, I took this photograph.

When I got home, I found a press release from San Diego District 6 Councilmember Chris Cate.

I learned that the 7900 block of Aero Drive was dedicated last summer to two brothers who were members of the Asian American community. Both were “…incredibly active civically, culturally, and philanthropically…”

I also learned this is the very first street sign in San Diego written in both English and Chinese.

I don’t recall seeing the dedication event on the news, and indeed a search of Google News turns up nothing.

I’m glad I happened to see the sign. I learned a little about two people who were loved by many, and who contributed to the life of our city.

“San Diego is a better, more kind, and compassionate place because of Deegan and Stephen.”

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 amazing art alleys around San Diego!

Walk in and around San Diego and you might stumble upon alleys jam packed with fantastic murals.

More of these amazing art alleys exist out “in the wild” than you might realize.

Back in 2020 I shared photographs from surprising art alleys that I’d discovered during my walks. You can find those many photos by clicking here.

Since then I’ve photographed even more!

If you’d like to enjoy lots of photos of extremely creative artwork, mostly by local street and graffiti artists, click the upcoming links!

(I’ve grouped these links by city or neighborhood…)

Solana Beach

Stepping into the Art Alley on Cedros!

Ocean Beach

An alley in Ocean Beach alive with cool art!

Hillcrest

More murals painted in amazing Hillcrest alley!

Lemon Grove

The amazing, hidden art alley in Lemon Grove!

Escondido

Murals fill Escondido alley with art!

More fun art in an Escondido alley!

Normal Heights

The creativity of new graffiti in Flash Alley!

Encinitas

An amazing hidden art alley in Encinitas!

Cool art in one Encinitas alley!

Oceanside

The cool murals of Artist Alley in Oceanside!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

An amazing hidden art alley in Encinitas!

Travel down the coast highway in Encinitas and you might never know you’re a very short distance from an amazing “hidden” art alley!

Colorful murals fill the alley just west of South Coast Highway 101 between D Street and E Street.

I captured photographs of all the artwork as I walked south down the alley, from a spot behind 7-Eleven.

I noticed several artist signatures and have included that info in my captions.

Enjoy!

A blonde in blue. The one mural you might glimpse from Coast Highway 101.
Mural by CJTROXELLART.
Cool street art depicts Prince.
If you know who this might be, leave a comment! UPDATE! I’ve been informed this is from David Bowie’s album Hunky Dory!
Beautifully painted bouquet.
Words describe a morally blind society and its consequences.
Dog running in a field.
Mandala-like design and elephant.
Walking south down the alley.
Mural by @debisdoodles and @mayranavarroart painted in 2015.
I added contrast and sharpness to this photo to pop the Day of the Dead imagery.
Mural possibly depicts Mount Fuji in Japan.
Bees and flowers!
Art around the back door of Better Buzz Coffee Encinitas.
Seawalls mural by Aaron Glasson and Celeste Byers, 2016.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

Walking down the Juniper Staircase in Balboa Park.

The Juniper Staircase is located near the southwest corner of Balboa Park, just north of Marston Point. The rugged “staircase” descends toward a dirt trail that runs through Cabrillo Canyon along the west side of State Route 163.

Ninety eight stone steps that were built by the California Conservation Corps descend from a paved pathway that winds through trees on Balboa Park’s West Mesa. Google Maps refers to the several paths in Cabrillo Canyon as Bridle Trail.

You can locate the curving stairs on a map if you follow the line of Juniper Street east past the intersection of Balboa Drive and 8th Avenue.

I took these photographs walking down the rocky steps. I continued north along the dirt trail by the freeway and passed the place where one can turn to walk under the historic Cabrillo Bridge. I then completed this relatively short and easy hike at Nate’s Point Dog Park, on El Prado, just west of the bridge.

If you’re curious to see what it looks like standing directly under the Cabrillo Bridge, I took some really interesting photographs one day and posted them here!

Be sure to watch your step! The loose dirt and leaves can be slippery.

The Juniper Staircase is a destination for local joggers and runners seeking a workout.

A very peaceful spot, if it weren’t for the noise of nearby freeway traffic.

Looking northeast across Cabrillo Canyon, one can see Balboa Park’s iconic California Tower!

Make sure to wear good shoes. The trail is rough and eroded in spots.

Approaching a split in the trail, where one can walk down under the Cabrillo Bridge.

I was tempted to walk under the bridge again, but decided against it the particular day I took these photos.

Soon arriving at the fence around Nate’s Point Dog Park where happy dog’s can run freely off leash.

El Prado, the road that crosses the Cabrillo Bridge into Balboa Park, is to the right, just a short distance up the hill!

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!

Winter beauty by the San Diego River.

Please enjoy these photographs of winter beauty by the San Diego River in Mission Valley.

I framed this natural beauty during several January morning walks. Some photos were taken from the pedestrian bridge that spans the river by the Fashion Valley Transit Center; others near Mission Center Road.

Reflections created magic. White clouds in the sky floated on water. Trees were turned upside down.

Branches, leaves, river and sky danced together mysteriously.

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 winter’s day walk in Balboa Park.

Even in winter, on a gray, overcast, slightly drizzly day, Balboa Park is one of the most wonderful places on Earth.

I took an easy walk through the park yesterday.

I saw friends. I saw strangers. I saw families, people young and old.

I saw smiles and expressions of happiness and wonder.

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!

Walking information for Bankers Hill.

Would you like to know how many minutes it might take to walk to nearby destinations from Bankers Hill? Then check out this helpful sign!

I saw this new information sign on Sixth Avenue north of Laurel Street. (That’s the grassy west edge of Balboa Park in the photo background.)

I suspect other signs like it must be out there now, too.

If you want to park your car in San Diego and walk, or take public transit, this sign can help you plan a healthy and invigorating shoe leather 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!

New flowers in Balboa Park’s Alcazar Garden!

It looks like the Garden Stewards of Balboa Park have been busy in the Alcazar Garden!

I walked through Balboa Park today and discovered rows of beautiful, newly planted flowers in several areas of the garden. As you can see in my photos, it appears the larger sections will soon be planted, too!

A couple days ago I got an email newsletter from Forever Balboa Park that talked about this project. But, alas, it appears that email got deleted. So if it mentioned what sort of flowers these are, I don’t have the information.

If you know more about flowers than me (which means practically everybody), and you recognize what these are, leave a comment with your observation!

And if you’d like to volunteer to help beautify Balboa Park, San Diego’s magnificent crown jewel, here’s the website you need to check out!

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 surprising, historical La Mesa building!

At first glance, you might not believe this building is almost 130 years old. That’s because it appears much different today than it did originally.

During my last walk around La Mesa, I learned this is La Mesa’s oldest standing commercial building!

It’s interesting to compare the old photograph on the La Mesa Historical Society plaque with the building one sees today.

The La Mesa Lemon Company Store building is located at the corner of La Mesa Boulevard and Nebo Drive.

La Mesa Lemon Company Store, circa 1895

Opened adjacent to the La Mesa Springs rail station in 1895, the Lemon Company’s impressive building was the first to supply local settlers and ranchers. La Mesa’s oldest standing commercial building, it was expanded south in 1912. Charter La Mesa Rotary Club member Lawrence Washburn remodeled the building for the city’s first Ford automobile dealership in 1923.

Take a close look at the signs in the photos. “Dealers in everything used on a ranch” is now ballet and clothing!

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!

Tiny sidewalk mysteries in Balboa Park!

When you walk randomly through a city, you encounter unexpected mysteries.

The other day I was walking through Balboa Park, west of the Cabrillo Bridge, when strange, tiny mysteries greeted my eyes. Down in the concrete sidewalk were a few dozen scattered leaf impressions.

I found them on the north side of El Prado, west of Balboa Drive, in the vicinity of the Sefton Plaza statues of Balboa Park’s founders.

Did leaves falling on fresh new concrete produce these impressions? The impressions seem too deep for that.

What’s more, many of the leaf shapes don’t appear to match any of the nearby trees or vegetation.

Were these mysterious impressions produced naturally or deliberately?

Stamped in the concrete sidewalk a short distance to the west, at Sixth Avenue, is the year 1968. Perhaps that’s a relevant clue.

What do you think? Does anybody know?

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!