Optical magic at the Marriott Marquis.

A bicyclist passes reflections on the glassy two-level ballroom of the Marriott Marquis.
A bicyclist passes reflections on the glassy two-level ballroom of the Marriott Marquis.

Here are two magical photos. Bright reflections of nearby high-rises were captured by my camera as I walked past the new ballroom expansion of the Marriott Marquis. I love San Diego’s beautiful waterfront.

Optical magic on glass windows.
Optical magic on glass windows.

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!

Bits of humor glimpsed downtown!

Geeks who drink.
Geeks who drink.

Walking around downtown San Diego, you never quite know what you’ll find. Some sights merit a quick chuckle, or a roll of the eyes. ┬áSometimes laughter erupts!

Guy in suit with briefcase seems desperate to escape from this building.
Guy in suit with briefcase seems desperate to escape from this building.
I hate tacos said no Juan ever.
I hate tacos said no Juan ever.
Pirate Pac-Man! Arrrr!
Pirate Pac-Man! Arrrr!
Beer . . . ask your doctor if it's right for you.
Beer . . . ask your doctor if it’s right for you. (Be mindful of possible side effects.)
More espresso, less depresso.
More espresso, less depresso.
STD Construction - We're Contagious
STD Construction – We’re Contagious
All of me loves all of you (when you do the dishes).
All of me loves all of you (when you do the dishes).
Fried, my second favorite f-word.
Fried, my second favorite F-word.
Reggae Dog!
Reggae Dog!
Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.
Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.

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!

Colorful stained glass windows of The Abbey.

Stained glass window and reflection in a mirror inside The Abbey on Fifth Avenue, originally the Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church.
Stained glass window, and its reflection in a mirror, inside The Abbey on Fifth Avenue.  The building was originally the Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church.

I’ve walked past The Abbey on Fifth Avenue many times over the years. I often pause to admire the monumental building’s Classical Revival style exterior and take a photo or two. But last weekend I finally ventured inside.

That’s because The Abbey was open to the public during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017. It was one of several fascinating places that I visited!

The Abbey on Fifth Avenue is utilized by Hornblower Cruises in San Diego for private parties, weddings and corporate events. In 1910, however, when its doors were first opened to welcome the people of San Diego, the building was a place of worship: the Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church. A gleaming gold leaf statue of the angel Gabriel stands atop the roof, blowing his horn, summoning eyes around Bankers Hill. Approach the building and one sees its dozen stained glass windows illustrating figures from the Bible.

Stained glass when viewed from outside a building can often appear a bit dull and unremarkable. When seen from inside, however . . . words can barely express the feeling. It’s like finding the end of a rainbow. It’s like stepping into a light-filled heaven.

Please enjoy some photos of The Abbey’s exterior and interior.

Today the Abbey on Fifth Avenue is operated by Hornblower Cruises and Events. Built as a church in 1910, the building has undergone various changes over the years. In 1984 it became a restaurant.
Today the Abbey on Fifth Avenue is operated by Hornblower Cruises and Events. Built as a church in 1910, the building has undergone various changes over the years. In 1984 it became a restaurant.
Photo of The Abbey taken from the intersection of Olive Street and Fifth Avenue in the Bankers Hill neighborhood, near downtown San Diego. A new building is under construction on its north side.
Photo of The Abbey taken from the intersection of Olive Street and Fifth Avenue in the Bankers Hill neighborhood. A new building is under construction on the north side.
Stained glass windows seen from the outside.
Stained glass windows seen from the street outside.
The 1910 Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church was built in the Classical Revival style, which is quite unusual in San Diego.
The 1910 Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church was built in the Classical Revival style, which is quite unusual in San Diego.
Gabriel blows his horn. Light reflecting from the gold leaf shines brightly like the sun.
Gabriel blows his horn. Light reflecting from the gold leaf shines brightly like the sun.
This gorgeous stained glass skylight and purple floor lights tinting the walls make a memorable dining experience at these tables on the second floor of The Abbey.
This gorgeous stained glass skylight and purple floor lights tinting the walls make a memorable dining experience at these tables on the second floor of The Abbey.
Another dome of stained glass in the ceiling.
Another dome of stained glass in the ceiling.
These doors on the second floor have beautiful floral stained glass panels.
These doors on the second floor have beautiful floral stained glass panels.
The interior of The Abbey on Fifth Avenue is a wonderland of colorful light.
The interior of The Abbey on Fifth Avenue is a wonderland of colorful light.
People pause by one of the south-facing stained glass windows.
People pause by one of the south-facing stained glass windows.
These tables along the second floor overlook a large space where people might dance or mingle during a special event.
These tables along the second floor overlook a large space where people might dance or mingle during a special event.
Stained glass shows classical columns and a cross in a crown.
Stained glass shows classical columns and a cross in a crown.
If I recall, this stained glass panel was in a door on the second floor. Those appear to be grapes.
If I recall, this stained glass panel was in a door on the second floor. Those appear to be grapes.
More stained glass behind dining tables on the north side of the second floor.
More stained glass behind dining tables on the north side of the second floor.
The many stained glass windows seem to fill the historic building with magic.
The many stained glass windows seem to fill the historic building with magic.
Close look at one window.
Close look at one window.
Christ portrayed in one radiant window.
Christ portrayed in one radiant window.
Religious figures near wine glasses hanging in a bar on the second floor. An interesting juxtaposition.
Religious figures near wine glasses hanging in a bar on the second floor. An interesting juxtaposition.
The beautiful stained glass is both mysterious and penetrating.
The beautiful stained glass is both mysterious and penetrating.
Another vibrant stained glass window portrays a risen Christ in heaven.
Another vibrant stained glass window portrays a risen Christ in heaven.
A scene from the Bible. One of many stained glass windows that fill The Abbey on Fifth Avenue with color and life.
A scene from the Bible. One of many stained glass windows that fill The Abbey on Fifth Avenue with color and life.

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!

Student posters celebrate United States Constitution.

A young student's very creative poster demonstrates the principal of equal rights for all citizens in the United States Constitution. Equality for all. We the people.
A young student’s colorful poster celebrates equal rights and protections. These are established by the United States Constitution. Equality for all. We the people.

Please enjoy a few photos that I took yesterday as I walked down Broadway past the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse. My eye was attracted by happy, colorful artwork created by children on display in some windows.

These posters were designed by young students last year for 2016 Law Week. They celebrate principles that are enshrined in the United States Constitution.

(I have many blog posts coming up pertaining to this weekend’s San Diego Architectural Foundation OPEN HOUSE 2017 event. A couple of the locations will probably be featured on my Beautiful Balboa Park blog. And it might take me some time to prepare everything. Stay tuned!)

2016 Law Week Poster Contest winners in window of San Diego's downtown Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse. Students from a variety of local schools participated.
2016 Law Week Poster Contest winners in a window of San Diego’s downtown Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse. Students from a variety of local schools participated.
...insure domestic Tranquility... We get along with each other.
…insure domestic Tranquility… We get along with each other.
...in Order to form a more perfect Union... Make things better for all who live here.
…in Order to form a more perfect Union… Make things better for all who live here.
...Secure the Blessings of Liberty... We have freedom.
…Secure the Blessings of Liberty… We have freedom.
We the People of the United States...
We the People of the United States…

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!

Two observation windows high above San Diego!

View from the Top of the Hyatt. The Marriot Marquis and Marina can be seen below, sparkling in the San Diego sunshine.
View from the Top of the Hyatt. The Marriott Marquis and its marina can be seen below, sparkling in the San Diego sunshine.

Perhaps the best view of downtown San Diego can be enjoyed through two observation windows on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Stand on Harbor Drive and face the beautiful hotel–the older, taller tower on the left is where you need to go.

Take the guest elevator to the 40th floor after 3pm, to the bar at the Top of the Hyatt, and the two observation windows await on either side of the elevator. No need to enter the bar.

Check out the amazing views to the north and to the south!

At the top of this 497 foot tower, the highest waterfront building on the West Coast, one can peer through two observation windows and enjoy phenomenal views of San Diego.
At the top of this 497 foot tower, the highest waterfront building on the West Coast, one can peer through two observation windows and enjoy phenomenal views of San Diego.
Approaching the south observation window on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Approaching the south observation window on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Looking to the south across San Diego Bay and past the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Looking to the south across San Diego Bay and past the Coronado Bay Bridge.
From the same window, gazing to the southeast. A portion of downtown is visible. San Miguel Mountain and Otay Mountain rise in the distance.
From the same window, gazing to the southeast. A portion of downtown is visible. San Miguel Mountain and Otay Mountain rise in the distance.
At the other window, looking northwest, past the hotel's second tower, one can see a slice of San Diego Bay and Point Loma.
At the other window, looking northwest, past the hotel’s second tower, one can see a slice of San Diego Bay and Point Loma.
To the north one can see another part of downtown, near the North Embarcadero.
To the north one can see another part of downtown, adjacent to the North Embarcadero.
Written on the window are words from a popular children's book. Oh the places you'll go. Dr. Seuss.
Written on the window are words from a popular children’s book. Oh the places you’ll go. Dr. Seuss.

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!

Watch processing through a window at Chesapeake Fish!

Worker inside the processing window at Chesapeake Fish packages fresh local catch. Their seafood products are used by nearby restaurants and shipped around the world.
Worker inside the processing window at Chesapeake Fish packages fresh local catch. Their seafood products are used by nearby restaurants and shipped around the world.

Millons of pounds of fish are processed at San Diego’s Chesapeake Fish Company every year. The dock where local fishermen unload their fresh catch is just steps away.

Most visitors to San Diego’s Embarcadero don’t realize they can actually watch freshly caught fish being processed. Just north of Seaport Village, a window invites tourists and passersby to watch the fish cleaning and packaging operation. The friendly workers will even hold up the fish for photographs and sometimes wave!

The processing room is refrigerated, but this morning I still managed to get some decent photos through the thick, fogged, drippy glass window…

If you see this sign just north of Seaport Village, take a look into the big window. Workers inside might be cleaning fish caught off San Diego!
If you see this sign just north of Seaport Village, take a look into the big window. Workers inside might be cleaning fish caught in the ocean off San Diego!
Near the processing window of Chesapeake Fish Co. is the small dock where fishermen unload their catch. Beyond is Tuna Harbor, full of commercial fishing boats.
Near the processing window of Chesapeake Fish Co. is the small dock where fishermen unload their catch. Beyond is Tuna Harbor, full of commercial fishing boats.
A worker holds up some fish for my camera!
A worker holds up a de-boned fish for my camera!
I believe these are the bones, heads and inedible parts that are removed from the fish during the cleaning operation.
I believe these are the bones, heads and inedible parts that are removed from the fish during the cleaning operation.
Two workers get dinner ready for seafood lovers!
Two workers get dinner ready for seafood lovers!

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!

Workday snapshots of downtown San Diego.

On a weekday morning, construction workers remove debris from the interior of the now vacant Gaslamp 15 movie theater.
On a weekday morning, construction workers remove debris from the interior of the now vacant Gaslamp 15 movie theater.

Here comes a batch of lively photos that I took downtown this morning. I have the week off from work, so I’m trying to take full advantage of it.

On this typical workday, I simply walked down from Cortez Hill and enjoyed some of the ordinary bustle downtown that I don’t always have time to appreciate. Among other things, I noticed the clean up is still going on from last night’s Mardi Gras celebrations. Life goes on…

Workers on scaffolding renovate the exterior of a building on Sixth Avenue
Workers on scaffolding renovate the exterior of a building on Sixth Avenue.
Meals are being delivered by the San Diego Unified School District's Food and Nutrition Services to Kipp Adelante Preparatory Academy.
Meals are being delivered by the San Diego Unified School District’s Food and Nutrition Services to Kipp Adelante Preparatory Academy.
Priests from St. Paul's Cathedral provide Ashes To Go and a blessing to anybody passing by on B Street on this Ash Wednesday.
Priests from St. Paul’s Cathedral provide Ashes To Go and a quick blessing to believers passing by on B Street on this Ash Wednesday.
A window washer at work at City Pizzeria.
A window washer at work at City Pizzeria.
Sidewalk sign proclaims that your future is waiting upstairs!
Sidewalk sign proclaims that your future is waiting upstairs!
I saw this art in a shop window as I walked by so I had to post it, of course!
I saw this art in a shop window as I walked by so I had to post it, of course!
A row of motorcycles and a construction worker taking a break near Horton Plaza.
A row of motorcycles, and a worker taking a break near Horton Plaza.
Torn sign at a Broadway bus station informs riders about yesterday's Mardi Gras detours.
Torn sign at a Broadway bus station informs riders about yesterday’s Mardi Gras detours.
This cool guy holding a parking sign outside the Bristol Hotel was nice to smile for a pic.
This cool guy holding a parking sign outside the Bristol Hotel was nice to smile for a pic.
A worker crosses Broadway while a homeless man looks into a trashcan.
A construction worker crosses Broadway while a homeless man looks into a trashcan.
Here comes a guy riding a cool bicycle that appears to be designed for deliveries.
Here comes a guy riding a cool bicycle that appears to be designed for deliveries. Perhaps he’s a courier. A few bike couriers still make deliveries downtown.
One guy crosses the street while carrying plans, another escorts dogs with a coffee in hand.
One guy crosses the street while carrying plans; another escorts dogs with a coffee in hand.
People board an MTS bus near the Fifth Avenue trolley station.
People board an MTS bus near the Fifth Avenue trolley station.
A walker runs his cane through some spilled leftover ice on a Gaslamp sidewalk.
A walker runs his cane through some spilled leftover ice on a Gaslamp sidewalk.
A firetruck turns a corner in the Gaslamp, and reflections of nearby buildings appear in the windows.
A firetruck turns a corner in the Gaslamp, and reflections of nearby buildings appear in the windows.
A worker with Clean and Safe's downtown program mops the sidewalk while a businessman walks by.
A worker with Clean and Safe’s downtown program mops the sidewalk while a businessman walks by.
An Old Town Trolley Tours vehicle loaded with tourists waits for a homeless man with a packed shopping cart to clear a downtown intersection.
An Old Town Trolley Tours vehicle loaded with tourists waits for a homeless man with a packed shopping cart to clear an intersection.
People work on laptop computers outside a coffee shop.
People work on laptop computers outside a coffee shop.
Birds fly in a blue downtown San Diego sky.
Birds fly in a blue downtown San Diego sky.
Someone unlocks the security gate in front of a small downtown shop. It is morning, so time to open.
Someone unlocks the security gate in front of a small downtown shop. It’s morning, so time to open.
I wait for my pollo asado burrito inside The Taco Stand and gaze out the window at B Street.
I wait for a pollo asado burrito inside The Taco Stand and gaze out the window at B Street.
A street musician near the C Street trolley tracks.
A street musician near the C Street trolley tracks.
Finally, I spotted these people as I headed back up Cortez Hill. They were crossing the street with some shining balloons. I guess it must be someone's anniversary!
Finally, I spotted these people as I headed back up Cortez Hill. They were crossing the street with some shining balloons. I guess it must be an anniversary!

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!