Tag Archives: downtown

Saturday Drive: Coronado, Gaslamp, Pioneer Park, Pringle Street (Photos)

5 Nov

Here’s a bunch of fotos I snapped today. After the rain it was nice to get out and experience a crisp fall day.

I made the mistake of driving into Mission Valley, inspired to breeze through Ikea, not realizing a huge event was underway. So plan B, we headed out to Coronado and Gaslamp for a drive.

Had to pull over and chow on some tasty tacos at Las Quatro Milpas before heading to Coronado. Did you know they are on Facebook? I reviewd LQM on Yelp too, be sure to read the post with all the links here.

We ended the day of errands by walking the dogs through Pioneer Park to Pringle Street. Also one of my favorite modern homes is listed below. From time to time I come across homes I have admired my whole life living here in Mission Hills, this house is one of them. Love the views from that area in back of the park. There was a wedding and I couldn’t resist sharing a snaps or two, so cute! Forgot my camera again so forgive my Blackberry quality. Enjoy

Innovative idea comes to San Diego

1 Nov

Converted parking meters will raise money to house the homeless

IMAGE SOURCE: Brian Freskos Lumina New

San Diego is going to install converted parking meters to raise money for homelessness programs.

The primary use of any money raised will be for:

“move-in kits”—bedding, toiletries, kitchen supplies and basic furniture—which cost roughly $1,000 each to put together.

Meters are located in Horton Plaza, near the Lyceum Theatre, and at the First and Fourth avenue entrances. Plans are to have more in the downtown area, you can read more in the original post below.

Innovative idea comes to San Diego By Kelly Davis

Fall Sunday Afternoon in The Gaslamp Quarter

23 Oct
Sunday in The Gaslamp Quarter:


Sunday Moments 10/9: Boats, Baseball, Hot Rods & Bayfront

11 Oct

Here are photos from my Sunday: #Embarcadero, #Fifth Avenue Auto Show, #Petco Park, #Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, #Bayfront Park, #Evening Walk in #Mission Hills…Perfect #Fall Day! Enjoy


County Admin Blgd. Lit Up for Holidays

8 Oct

I snapped these pics during the rain a few nights ago as I drove by the County Admin Building at 1600 Pacific Highway, I really like the orange lenses they put over the flood lights, Ember Glow! Festive!

1600 Pac Hwy Orange
Glowing Orange

Memories of Mission Hills: The Fox Theatre Downtown, Video

9 Aug
I grew up loving the Fox Theatre in Downtown, San Diego. I saw Escape from Witch Mountain, Herbie the Love Bug, the Broadway musical Annie and my last memory was Devo concert at The Fox Theatre, 07/09/80. Today Im including some history and pics from one of my fav memories from growing up in Mission Hills. I also liked going to the sporting goods store Stanley Andrews on 2nd and Broadway.
The Fox Theatre opened in San Diego at the heyday of the silver screen era in 1929 with a huge contingent of stars arriving in their limousines to celebrate the beautiful addition to downtown San Diego. After World War II, the Fox stood silent. The San Diego Symphony acquired what was the Fox Theatre in 1984 at an initial cost of $7.5 million and renovations began performed by the same company that built the original theater. Video after the jump.

Skip to 3:35sec for Fox Theatre


It was David Atherton who, as music director, led the efforts to move the orchestra to the vacant Fox Theatre in downtown San Diego. That hall has a very interesting history. Philip Gildred, a carefree young entrepreneur whose travel plans were delayed in San Diego on his way from South America to New York, liked San Diego so much that he embarked upon a plan to give the city a landmark theatre. In association with William Fox of the Fox Theatre chain, he built the Fox Theatre for $2.5 million. It is estimated that today’s cost would be 20 times that amount. Originally the full structure between 8th and 9th avenues on B Street contained not only the large theatre but also a parking garage (a new concept in the 1920’s), offices and a large department store that served downtown for many years as Montgomery Ward.


The new Fox received only the best. A huge, $50,000 pipe organ was built into five walled chambers of the theatre. The interior decorative motif was cast vaguely in a Rococo theme, somewhat typical of the French Renaissance. Built by William Simpson Construction Co., the theatre was designed jointly by the architect W. Templeton Johnson, and William Day of the designer firm Weeks and Day. The theatre is believed to be the last surviving example of designer William Day’s creative work with this decor. Accuracy insists, however, that much of the interior decoration was the work of William Fox’s favorite designer, Mrs. Fox, whose tastes ran to the somewhat spectacular, often combining facets of various periods and geographies. Over the years, the interior has been preserved in its original motif, and regardless of the mélange it represents, it must be acknowledged that, if anything, it is appropriately theatrical!


In addition to a trainload of Hollywood personalities brought to San Diego for the opening night festivities in 1929, San Diegans turned out in record numbers to participate in the parade from Broadway to the theatre. The city’s population was 147,000. The crowd was estimated at 100,000. Some of the guest stars on opening night were Jackie Coogan, Buster Keaton, George Jessel and Will Rogers.
On opening day the Fox became San Diego’s largest movie theatre. It was then the third largest in the state, but today stands as California’s largest. Because of San Diego’s cross section of population, the Fox also became a choice for motion picture sneak previews. Walt Disney loved the atmosphere so much that he opened all of his movies at the Fox.
Click here for interview with Stanley Andrews: http://libraries.ucsd.edu/ark:/20775/bb5154766c/1-1.html

Making It Easier, But Not Safer, to Cross into Balboa Park – voiceofsandiego.org: Survival

2 Aug

Photo by Sam Hodgson

Kate McGraw and Alex Oat walk McGraw’s dog across Sixth Avenue, where a curb cut leads the way into the busy road.
From the Reporter
What’s New
Improved curb ramps on the western perimeter of Balboa Park now make it easier for disabled pedestrians to get in and out of the park along busy Sixth Avenue.
The Problem
The city installed the upgraded ramps to comply with disability laws. But it does not plan to install other improvements, like stop lights or crosswalks, that would actually make them safer to use.
What Advocates Want
Pedestrian advocates want the city to do more to improve pedestrian safety on Sixth Avenue along Balboa Park, which has only four crosswalks across a span of 16 city blocks.
It’s common for impatient pedestrians to do what Alex Oat and Kate McGraw did Monday afternoon. Standing on the western edge of Balboa Park, they stepped into Sixth Avenue and crossed the wide, busy four-lane street at an unmarked intersection. Sixth Avenue runs alongside Balboa Park for more than a mile — that’s 16 city blocks — but has only four crosswalks.

Crossing at one of the unmarked intersections is more dangerous, yes, but for able-bodied women like Oat and McGraw, also more convenient than walking two blocks to the nearest traffic signal.
Now there’s good news for the wheelchair-bound, visually impaired, or otherwise handicapped who want to do the same. San Diego’s traffic department has just replaced old curb ramps along the park’s western perimeter with new, wider ones at each of those unmarked intersections. The new curb ramps were installed to make it easier for the handicapped to get into the street to cross in order to meet federal and state disability laws.
But the city has no plans to make other improvements, like stop lights, stop signs or crosswalks, that would make crossing the street at those wide intersections safer for disabled pedestrians, improvements that pedestrian advocates have long sought on Sixth Avenue.
Bill Harris, a traffic department spokesman, said the city’s decision to forego crosswalks was a deliberate one, based on traffic engineers’ belief that painting them at those intersections — which lack stop signs or traffic signals — could actually make crossing more dangerous. They would give pedestrians a false sense of security, engineers say, and make them less likely to look for oncoming cars before venturing into the street.
“By not putting crosswalks in we’re keeping people more aware of their surroundings and letting them make a decision about whether to cross,” Harris said. “If someone with mobility issues wants to cross the street, we want to make it easier. But installing two white lines is not related to that.”
And installing new stop signs or signal lights would interrupt the flow of traffic, which the city does not want to do on that busy corridor.
There is disagreement over whether painting crosswalks at intersections like those along Sixth Avenue — ones that don’t also have signal lights or stop signs — makes crossing safer or more dangerous for pedestrians. Traffic engineers still cite an influential 1970s study in San Diego that found more pedestrian accidents in intersections painted with crosswalks than in those without them.
But the newly replaced curb ramps illustrate what advocates say is a broader problem in the effort to improve pedestrian safety in San Diego. In this case, the city has complied with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements to aid mobility for disabled people without making other improvements that would actually make the ramps safe to use.
“This is a piecemeal effort to improve pedestrian safety,” said Kathleen Ferrier, a planner with the pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Diego. “ADA is required by federal law but those improvements are being done out of sync with other improvements to calm traffic along those corridors.”
For years, local advocates have been calling for broader pedestrian improvements along Sixth, Fifth and Fourth avenues in Bankers Hill, streets with bustling pedestrian traffic but also heavy car traffic from drivers trying to avoid congestion on nearby State Route 163.
A 2005 study commissioned by the Uptown Partnership, a group formed to address uptown parking issues, recommended eliminating a lane in each direction along Sixth Avenue and installing curb pop-outs that reduce the distance that pedestrians have to cross to get to and from Balboa Park.
Harris didn’t immediately know the fate of that study’s recommendations. But he said Sixth Avenue is one of Bankers Hill’s main north-south thoroughfares, with fast-moving traffic that the city would not want to interrupt.
“We just want traffic to flow more regularly on that street,” he said. That is why the city hasn’t moved forward with installing more traffic signals, he said, even at intersections like those that now have new pedestrian ramps to guide the disabled across four busy lanes of traffic.
Ferrier said more improvements were needed.
“We would like to see a more comprehensive approach to pedestrian safety, especially as it relates to improvements cited in the 2005 report,” Ferrier said. “These improvements would not only support comments from the community but also the city’s recently adopted General Plan,” which emphasized more sustainable, walkable neighborhoods.
Harris said the traffic department was interested in hearing recommendations to improve pedestrian safety, though he said walking a couple of blocks to get to the nearest crosswalk was a reasonable tradeoff to keep car traffic flowing freely down Sixth Avenue. The city still recommends crossing at marked intersections, Harris said.
Many pedestrians choose not to do that, though. On Monday, Charlie Offenhauer, a 96-year-old Bankers Hill resident, was inching across an unmarked intersection at Sixth Avenue and Nutmeg Street. Walking to the nearest crosswalk would have taken him two blocks out of his way.
“I’m very traffic-concerned,” he said after crossing.
Then again, he’s from New York City. Where he comes from, he said, pedestrians just wait until the traffic clears, and go.
Sam Hodgson contributed reporting to this story.
Adrian Florido is a reporter for voiceofsandiego.org. He covers San Diego’s neighborhoods. What should he write about next?
Contact him directly at adrian.florido@voiceofsandiego.org or at 619.325.0528 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/adrianflorido.