Images of the pandemic tragedy downtown.

As I walk around San Diego, I try to find what is uplifting and keep a positive attitude. But these photographs from the past few days aren’t happy. They show tragic aspects of the long COVID-19 pandemic nightmare.

Throughout downtown San Diego it seems time has stopped. It seems the life of my city keeps draining away.

It’s now December and I still see posters for events scheduled last March or April. I see hundreds of boarded windows and a steadily increasing number of For Lease signs. I see people avoiding people. I see more and more who are homeless. And now we’re told a second lockdown in San Diego is imminent.

They tell us this terrible pandemic will finally end in the coming months as vaccines are distributed. But for the time being the tragic scene downtown seems to only worsen.

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 odd photos that make you look twice!

Here’s another batch of odd photographs that might make you look twice!

I captured all of these images in the past couple weeks during walks around San Diego.

Some of these are so strange and mysterious even I’m perplexed!

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!

Holiday decorations in Old Town State Park!

Late this afternoon, a little before sunset, I strolled around Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to enjoy their annual holiday decorations.

Even though all of the museums and many of the shops are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I noticed a few people walking about like me, poking their noses into scattered places that were open.

If a lockdown is mandated throughout California in the coming days or weeks, I’m sure Old Town will become a ghost town. Already there are no scheduled holiday events, such as the traditional Las Posadas procession. So if you’d like to see Old Town’s beautiful holiday decorations, now might be the best time to go!

I did notice during my late day walk that Fiesta de Reyes was open for dining, and I saw folks inside a few shops, including Cousin’s Candy Shop, Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop, and Miner’s Gems and Minerals. It appeared other shops might have closed a little earlier in the day.

As you can see in one photo, Old Town’s Cygnet Theatre is streaming two holiday radio plays this year: A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Learn how you can listen by visiting their website 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!

Making music one Sunday in Balboa Park.

As I walked about Balboa Park this Sunday afternoon, it seemed a lot of people were outdoors making music. Not just the usual street performers.

I heard a flute playing beyond some trees. I heard mysterious bagpipes somewhere in the distance.

When I arrived at the courtyard of the Casa del Prado, some socially distanced musicians were spread about engaged in what appeared to be a jam session. I don’t know. All I can say is their fine music lifted the spirits of those passing by.

Walking through the park today was a sort of living impromptu concert, performed by many musicians.

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 the Otay River Trail to Hollister Pond.

There’s a beautiful pond in San Diego’s South Bay that few seem to know about. It’s called Hollister Pond. It’s located near the west end of the large Otay Valley Regional Park.

I walked down a dirt trail to this hidden pond yesterday.

I started from Hollister Street, a short distance north of where it crosses the Otay River. The Otay River Trail heads west and soon reaches a small observation platform at the north edge of the pond.

I saw nobody else on the trail on a sunny Saturday morning. Profuse litter and graffiti seem to indicate the presence of homeless people and perhaps gang activity in the area. So if you choose to walk here, be advised. But the hike is very easy and you will be rewarded by seeing hundreds of ducks, herons and other birds out on the water.

According to an information sign at the observation platform, Hollister Pond, like many other ponds along the Otay River valley, is actually a water-filled abandoned quarry, where sand and gravel was commercially mined. Wildlife one can find on or around the pond include the Snowy Egret, Mallard Duck and Baja California Tree Frog.

After taking in the sparkling scenery, I continued west on the Otay River Trail, which passes through the darkness underneath Interstate 5, then passes a sign concerning preventable urban pollution. Unfortunately, hundreds of toxic spray paint cans are tossed along the river by those vandalizing the park with graffiti.

The trail then turns south and crosses over the Otay River bed. It’s a spot that likely becomes impassable after a good rain.

As I walked I took photographs of trees and native plants in the warm sunlight.

The trail eventually reaches a small parking lot behind a Home Depot at the north end of Saturn Boulevard in Imperial Beach. The area features a kiosk, picnic table, and several people who appeared to be using drugs, whom I avoided.

If you’d like to go on a small daytime adventure in the South Bay, consider a visit to Hollister Pond! Google Maps shows the “Walking Path” that leads to it.

But please be careful and safe.

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!

Sayings, mosaics on Barrio Logan fountain.

I was walking up Cesar E. Chavez Parkway in Barrio Logan the other day when I decided to take a close look at the Mercado del Barrio fountain.

Look what I discovered!

Popular sayings in both English and Spanish, accompanied by tiny, colorful tile mosaics, are embedded around the edge of the brightly splashing fountain!

Birds of a feather flock together.
Birds of a feather flock together.
Pajaros de la misma pluma vuelan juntos.
Pajaros de la misma pluma vuelan juntos.
Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.
Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.
No hay mal que por bien no venga.
No hay mal que por bien no venga.
When one door closes another one opens.
When one door closes another one opens.
Cuando una puerta se cierra otra se abre.
Cuando una puerta se cierra otra se abre.
La vida no retoña.
La vida no retoña.
Love is repaid with love.
Love is repaid with love.

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!

The beautiful, living art of Tree.

Tree has returned to San Diego. She has been travelling.

This morning Tree had her beautiful art on display on a downtown sidewalk. I happened to see her as I walked down Broadway near the Santa Fe Depot.

Tree is a passionate artist, full of life and energy. She’s always happy to greet passersby with a big smile.

Her small abstract watercolor paintings are like splashes of life seen through prisms. They are created with a careful eye and fine brush. Every complex design is a surprise. The colors are brilliant like jewels.

Next time you walk down Broadway just south of the Santa Fe Depot, keep your eyes open. You might discover unexpected treasures spread at your feet. And a smiling Tree.

A walk down Escondido’s Grand Avenue.

On Sunday I returned to Escondido. I wanted to explore Grand Avenue–the heart of historic downtown Escondido–a little more thoroughly.

Earlier this year I visited Maple Street Plaza on a Sunday and took a quick look from its south end up and down Grand Avenue. What I glimpsed wasn’t encouraging. Few people. Inactive storefronts. But had I walked a block or two east I would have found a much more lively scene!

Grand Avenue resembles the historic old main streets of many American towns. What used to be the central business district is now home to a multitude of cozy eateries, specialty shops, salons and antique stores. There’s an old restored movie theater, a Rotary Club street clock, a gazebo in a small sunny park, and a friendly feeling of community. During my walk I saw many families just walking along like me, enjoying a late Sunday morning.

I don’t pretend to know a whole lot about Escondido. If you don’t either, enjoy these photos of Grand Avenue as if we are walking together.

I started at the big Escondido landmark sign at Centre City Parkway and headed east. To see some great mosaics in the sidewalk at the intersection, check out my earlier blog post here!

You see that unusual sculpture in the median? I know nothing about it!

I really enjoyed peering into the window of the Timekeepers Watch and Clock Shop and took several photos. Indeed, my walk felt a little like travelling back in time.

After I passed the south end of Maple Street Plaza, I enjoyed looking into the windows of more antique stores. I noticed more and more people sitting in front of various restaurants enjoying Sunday breakfast or an early lunch. (People are dining on sidewalks and streets this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.)

There’s a very cool display near the entrance to the restored The Ritz Theater, which originally opened in 1937. You can see old film reels and all sorts of interesting equipment that was used in this historic movie house. Unfortunately bright street reflections were impossible for my camera to overcome.

I turned around at Valley Boulevard and headed back west along the opposite sidewalk.

According to a nearby plaque, that great mural on the corner of a building is titled Escondido, the Hidden Valley. It’s by artist Daniel Hernandez.

Finally–you see that cool old car coming down the street near the end of my photos? Grand Avenue is probably best known for its popular Cruisin’ Grand vintage auto show event on Friday nights! (Something I haven’t experienced yet.)

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Thanksgiving is almost here!

Thanksgiving is almost here!

During my recent walks I’ve noticed turkeys peering from shop windows, scarecrows loitering on sidewalks, and pumpkins all over the place!

In a little over a week many will sit before feasts, celebrate the harvest season, count blessings and express their gratitude!

Enjoy some random photos!

Looks like some people I know started their Thanksgiving gobbling early!

Yum!

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!

Beautiful mosaics in Escondido sidewalk!

My Sunday walk along Grand Avenue in Escondido began at Centre City Parkway–the Mercado area across from the big Escondido landmark sign. Just as I started east down the sidewalk my eyes suddenly fell upon a gorgeous tile mosaic at my feet!

A quick exploration of the intersection and I found three more similar mosaics!

I’ve since learned that the four circular mosaics were created by local artist Tama Dumlao and installed in 2003. As you can see, they pay tribute to art, entertainment and shopping in Escondido’s historic downtown, and its Friday night Cruisin’ Grand tradition!

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!