Surfers ride waves near Imperial Beach pier.

Surfer rides a wave just below the Imperial Beach pier.
Surfer rides a wave just below the Imperial Beach pier.

Wow! Check out this first cool pic! Did that come out great, or what?

I’m in the middle of my week off from work, and today I went to Coronado again and biked down the Silver Strand to Imperial Beach. I’ve got more photos than you can shake a stick at!

What a beautiful day. I stood on the pier at a spot between the beach and breaking waves and tried to photograph a group of surfers below. Most of action was too far away for my little camera, but a few pics seem worth sharing…

Surfers wait for the perfect wave near Imperial Beach pier.
Surfers wait for the perfect wave near Imperial Beach pier.
Surfer gets ready to go for a ride.
Surfer gets ready to go for a ride.
Surfer riding a nice wave on a sunny day.
Surfer riding a nice wave on a sunny day.
Guy on surfboard just coasting along the foamy ocean surface.
Guy on surfboard just coasting along the foamy ocean surface.
No fishing in the surf zone on Imperial Beach pier.
No fishing in the surf zone on Imperial Beach pier.

MOOPA ArtWall mural in San Diego’s East Village.

Part of Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art's mural on F Street.
Part of Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art’s mural on F Street.

On F Street, one block west of SMARTS farm (see my last blog post), San Diegans can enjoy a huge public mural. Created by the Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art (MOOPA), the photo ArtWall covers the upper portion of the old Jerome’s Warehouse between 14th and 15th Street.

The mural features the work of three photographers. Matt Black’s photos feature a village in the Mixteca, an impoverished area in Mexico. Susan Madden Lankford’s photos show the streets of San Diego and contain many diverse portraits. A simple photo of a cone flower in the center of the mural, linking north and south, is the work of Polly Lankford Smith.

Face peers over treetops from large MOOPA ArtWall.
Face peers over treetops from large MOOPA ArtWall.
Segment of gigantic mural in downtown San Diego.
Segment of gigantic mural in downtown San Diego.
Walking along the rails on wall of abandoned warehouse.
Walking along the rails on the upper wall of an old warehouse.
Photography records face in time in San Diego.
Amazing photography records a face in time.
Another example of art in downtown's East Village.
Another example of art in downtown’s vibrant East Village.
Old Jerome's warehouse on F Street features the huge mural.
Old Jerome’s warehouse on F Street features the huge mural.
Public art includes farm workers on the empty city warehouse.
Public art in San Diego’s East Village  includes farm workers.
Photo of child in a mask is part of MOOPA mural.
Photo of child in a mask is part of MOOPA mural.
Playing a tuba on F Street between 14th and 15th.
Playing a tuba on F Street between 14th and 15th.
Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art's ArtWall is in East Village.
Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art’s ArtWall is a very cool sight.
East side of old Jerome's warehouse across from SMART farms.
East side of old Jerome’s warehouse across from SMART farms.

East Village’s SMARTS farm, a cool urban garden!

A friendly greeting from the folks at downtown's SMARTS farm.
A friendly greeting from the folks at downtown’s SMARTS farm.

This morning I headed out for a short walk along F Street in downtown San Diego’s East Village, with the intention of photographing some awesome murals and street art. As I was strolling along, my feet carried me into a super cool place I really hadn’t noticed before.

SMARTS farm is an urban garden run by the nonprofit organization Humane Smarts. In addition to being a community garden, SMARTS farm offers educational programs aimed at local kids. Children plant their own produce, watch it grow and learn about our environment. Photography classes are also offered!

How appropriate that I randomly discovered this cool place on Earth Day!

Happiness is working in a beautiful urban garden.
Happiness is working in a beautiful urban garden.
Lots of stuff to see, including some photo art.
Lots of stuff to see, including some photo art.
An educational community garden in the concrete jungle.
An educational community garden in the concrete jungle.
SMARTS farm is located on F Street in downtown San Diego.
SMARTS farm is located on F Street in downtown San Diego’s East Village.
Children learn to love gardening and being outside.
Children learn to love gardening and being outside.
New beds where salsa ingredients will be grown.
New beds where salsa ingredients will be grown.
Lots of fun stuff to see!
Lots of fun stuff to see!
Look at this big old tub of color!
Look at this big old tub of color!
Grow, Cultivate, Learn, Share.
Grow, Cultivate, Learn, Share.

Kaleidoscope and a revolving bowl of flowers.

Interesting contraption in a nook at Spanish Village.
Interesting contraption in a nook at artsy Spanish Village.

In a nook of Balboa Park’s Spanish Village, right next to the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building, you’ll find this interesting contraption. Is it an antique device once used to navigate a ship? Is it a microscope? What is it?

It’s a kaleidoscope mounted above a revolving bowl of flowers! Instead of turning the kaleidoscope tube, you whirl the bowl of blooms and watch different colorful patterns form through the lens. Several mirrors in the tube create the complex symmetry.

Once I figured out what the contraption was, I tried putting my camera right up to the eyepiece. I got a bunch of interesting photos!

A kaleidoscope aimed at turning bowl of flowers.
A kaleidoscope aimed at turning bowl of flowers.
Mirrors of kaleidoscope turn flower blooms into art.
Mirrors of kaleidoscope turn flower blooms into art.
Revolving the bowl turns flowers and leaves into amazing patterns.
Revolving the bowl turns flowers and leaves into amazing patterns.
Infinite beauty created via the reflection of light.
Infinite beauty created via the reflection of light.

Bronze plaque marks birthplace of naval aviation.

Bronze plaque in Coronado marks birthplace of naval aviation.
Bronze plaque in Coronado marks birthplace of naval aviation.

In Coronado’s beautiful Centennial Park, just north of the Coronado Ferry Landing, you can find this relatively new bronze plaque. It marks the birthplace of naval aviation, Rockwell Field, which no longer exists.

The historical marker reads:

BIRTHPLACE OF NAVAL AVIATION

In 1910, on the unoccupied brushland of North Coronado Island, inventor and entrepreneur Glenn Hammond Curtiss opened his winter flying school for prospective “aeroplane pilots.” Among his first class of students was Navy Lieutenant Theodore G. “Spuds” Ellyson, who would become the first Naval Aviator. In 1917, the U.S. Congress appropriated the island to support the World War I effort and two airfields occupied its sandy flats–the Navy’s “Camp Trouble” and the Army Signal Corps’ Rockwell Field. The Army vacated Rockwell Field in 1935, at which time the Navy expanded its operations to cover the whole island. Many aviation milestones originated from North Island including the first seaplane flight in the United States in 1911.

San Diego, California was designated the “Birthplace of Naval Aviation” by the Armed Services Committee of the United States House of Representatives on 24 March 1961.

Marker Place By

California State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution

2011

Historical marker is located near east end of Centennial Park.
Historical marker is located near east end of Centennial Park.
Rockwell Field in 1924.
Rockwell Field in 1924.

Old Coronado ferry ticket booth recalls history.

Original Coronado ferry ticket booth remains as historical artifact.
Original Coronado ferry ticket booth remains as historical artifact.

About a block north of today’s touristy Coronado Ferry Landing, you’ll find the old ticket booth of Coronado’s original working ferry. It stands beside a beautiful patch of roses and a pleasant walkway that runs from the end of Orange Avenue east to San Diego Bay. This beautiful area is called Centennial Park.

The original ferry was designed to transport horses and buggies; later ferries took automobiles across the bay. This vital link to downtown San Diego ran from 1886 to 1969, the year the Coronado Bay Bridge finally opened.

Looking over roses near the nostalgic old ticket booth.
Looking over roses near the nostalgic old ticket booth.
Sign reminds passersby of nearly a century of history.
Sign reminds passersby of nearly a century of history.
Plaque describes the history of the once vital Coronado ferry.
Plaque describes the history of the once vital Coronado ferry.
Old Coronado ferry ticket booth surrounded by flowers.
Old Coronado ferry ticket booth surrounded by flowers.

The Wizard of Oz house in Coronado.

Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum rented this house in Coronado.
Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum rented this house in Coronado.

L. Frank Baum is one of America’s most beloved authors. He wrote the Wizard of Oz series of novels.

Baum, who lived in South Dakota, spent many winters at this rented house in Coronado, where he wrote three novels: Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz and The Road to Oz, plus significant portions of The Marvelous Land of Oz.

When not writing, he enjoyed himself at the nearby Hotel del Coronado. The Victorian architecture of the famous beach resort is said to be the inspiration for much of the fantastic imagery in the Oz novels.  He personally designed the huge crown-shaped chandeliers in the hotel’s grand Crown Room.

Today, the island city of Coronado has two nicknames: the Crown City and the Emerald City.

Wizard of Oz Ave sign above front door.
Wizard of Oz Ave sign above front door.
L. Frank Baum wrote several Wizard of Oz novels at this house.
L. Frank Baum wrote several Wizard of Oz novels at this house.
The Wizard of Oz house is located in Coronado, the Emerald City.
The Wizard of Oz house is located in Coronado, the Emerald City.