Category Archives: Manmade

Brand new, but no one can drive it

Picture of the Moment

I went down to the Festival of Sail early this morning, but it was foggy and overcast so I didn’t stay long. Really, after 21½ years in San Diego, I should know not to go downtown before about noon after the sun has burned the fog and marine layer away. Will I never learn?

In addition to all of the tall ships that were in port, they were having a sand-sculpting contest down by the Cruise Ship Terminal. Here’s my favorite sand sculpture from the day:

img_7959 stamp

They win points from me for putting real tires and lights on the sand sculpture, as well as parking the model vehicle right next to it.

Now I’m sad and depressed thinking about the only thing I could ever do with sand, which was to bury myself in it.

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Exterior home decorations of the extraordinarily wealthy

Out & About

It’s no secret to Southern Californians that Newport Beach—all of Orange County, really—is an enclave of fairly wealthy people. That fact seems ironic considering that Orange County filed for bankruptcy in 1994, taking two years to get its affairs back in order. Nonetheless, all one has to do is walk through some Newport Beach neighborhoods to see that it’s not your average city. Along with many large, magnificent, and beautiful homes….

Newport Beach, California

…the little things indicate that these people have a little extra disposable income. Witness the addresses on their homes:

Newport Beach, California Newport Beach, California Newport Beach, California

Once they finish the beautiful address markers, many include extra decorative ornamentation….

Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach, California Newport Beach, California Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach, California

Some of them even decorate their mailboxes. Don’t want any ugly black or gray things hanging on fences or walls.

Newport Beach, California

I don’t have access to public real estate records for Orange County like I do San Diego County, so I couldn’t check addresses to determine which was the biggest house I saw. However, I’m pretty sure this one was at or near the top:

Newport Beach, California

At first I thought it was a beach hotel since the beach is pretty much where I was standing to take the picture. However, I walked around it several times and came to the conclusion that it was, indeed, a single family home.

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2014 Festival of Sail is here!

Out & About

The San Diego Festival of Sail officially starts tomorrow and runs through Labor Day!

However, today from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. is the Festival of Sail Tall Ships Parade, always led by the Californian, the official tall ship of the State of California, based right here in San Diego.

The Californian, official tall ship of the State of California

The Californian, official tall ship of the State of California

Here are some pictures of tall ships from Tall Ship Parades in years gone by:

Tall Ship Parade at San Diego Festival of Sail

Tall Ship Parade at San Diego Festival of Sail

Tall ships in San Diego for the Festival of Sail

Tall Ship Parade at San Diego Festival of Sail

Tall ship in San Diego

Tall ship at the 2012 Festival of Sail, San Diego

The Festival of Sail is the largest tall ship festival on the west coast and is hosted at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Labor Day weekend in downtown San Diego is transformed into a nautical theme park for four days.

Admission is only $7 for adults.

Open 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday.

For more information, go to Festival of Sail.

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Historic Goldenrod Footbridge in Newport Beach, California

Out & About

Before I went to Newport Beach a couple of weeks ago, I got out all my travel books to plan my attack for seeing as much as possible in a short time frame.

One of the things that was going to be close to where I was going to be was the Goldenrod Footbridge. Looks like this:

Goldenrod Footbridge Newport Beach California

The plaque on the right post tells us just everything that average person wants to know:

Goldenrod Footbridge Newport Beach California

Of course, you know that I’m not average….

Sadly, the only other information I could dredge up on the bridge is that it underwent seismic upgrades in 2011 to ensure that it could withstand a “large seismic event.” While original construction costs amounted to $10,884, the seismic retrofitting cost $140,000.

Goldenrod Footbridge Newport Beach California

IMG_7664 bayside park drive newport beach faa framed

Goldenrod Footbridge Newport Beach California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bayside Drive Park, Newport Beach, California

Go to location on Google Maps

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Here’s the deal

Out & About

Later today I shall be leaving on a road trip. Here’s my route:

Road trip

This is a business trip to promote Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos.

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

First stop will be Borrego Springs where I shall get pictures of the Rancheti Bigfoot and the many dinosaurs roaming around in the desert. You’ll just have to wait for the pictures….

Second stop is the east shore of the Salton Sea. I have never been there, so who knows what my trusty digital camera might find…

Third stop is La Quinta where I shall drop off a Photographic Art gift to one of my Realtor friends over there.

Last stop is Ontario where I shall be attending a home inspector meeting and publicizing my effort to get out of home inspections and into Photographic Art full time.

The route is 426 miles so I’m sure I will find all sorts of interesting things to take pictures of to make into Photographic Art!

Since I won’t be home today to interact with all my blogging friends, here’s the deal:

First, like or comment on this post.

Next, go to my galleries at Fine Art America (http://1-russel-ray.artistwebsites.com/) and choose your favorite picture. Let me know what it is in an email to PhotographicArt@RusselRayPhotos.com
and that Photographic Art creation is yours in all its full resolution digital glory to do with as you please.

I will be matching likes and comments with emails, so don’t try to cheat!

That’s it! Pretty good deal, no????

I have to go alone, so the home office will be occupied and protected by Jim, Julian, and, of course, Zoey the (ferocious) Cool Cat.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
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Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Photographic Art of downtown San Diego

Out & About

San Diego has a height limit of 500 feet on skyscrapers in the downtown area. Supposedly it’s because the airport is also downtown and we saw back in 2001 what happens when planes run into tall buildings.

Following are some new Photographic Art creations based on pictures of downtown San Diego.

The new Skybridge completed in 2011, along with the Coronado Bridge at left and the Hilton Bayfront Hotel at right:San Diego Skybridge

The Omni overlooking Petco Park with the new San Diego Central Library dome in the background:Downtown San Diego

The Omni is an interesting dual-use building. The top eleven floors are multi-million dollar condominiums, and the bottom floors are hotel rooms. Since the Omni overlooks Petco Park where the San Diego Padres purport to play professional baseball, many players bought a condo at the Omni so that when they have a late night baseball game, they don’t have far to go to get home.

Two Manchester Grand Hyatt towers at left, Harbor Club at right, and the two Marriott Marina towers:Downtown San Diego

The Harbor Club has two residential towers, both standing at 424′, although only one is visible in the picture. When Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were married, they owned one of the penthouses.

The Hilton Bayfront Hotel:Downtown San Diego

The two Manchester Grand Hyatt towers:Downtown San Diego

The right tower was completed in 1992 and stands 446′ tall. The left tower was completed in 2003 and stands 497′ tall. It is the tallest building on a waterfront on the West Coast.

The three towers at the left are condo towers—Bayside at The Embarcadero (395′ tall), and The Grande North at Santa Fe Place and The Grande South at Santa Fe Place, both towers peaking at 420 feet. The tower at the right is a Wyndham Hotel:Downtown San Diego

The water park in the lower center and right was just completed a few months ago. Previously all that was ugly parking lots.

The newer (taller) of the two Manchester Grand Hyatt towers:Downtown San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado Area Designation, part 14

San Diego Historical Landmarks

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 1
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 2
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 3
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 4
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 5
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 6
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 7
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 8
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 9
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 10
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 11
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 12
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 13

El Prado Area Designation

View Larger Map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Next up on our trek through the El Prado Area Designation is Casa de Balboa:

Casa de Balboa

Of all the buildings in Balboa Park, I visit Casa de Balboa most often because my three favorite museums in all of Balboa Park are there:

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Museum of Photographic Arts
San Diego History Center

San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa ParkThe San Diego Model Railroad Museum has one of the largest model railroad layouts in all the world, is the only accredited model railroad museum in the United States, and is the largest permanent operating model railroad exhibit in North America with over 27,000 square feet of exhibit space.

The museum is particularly popular with children, especially the Toy Train Gallery, home to several model towns with multiple train lines. The towns get decorated for the seasons, which makes the fall colors and Christmas particularly colorful. San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa ParkSeveral of the train lines can be operated by the kids (or adults like me!) with pushbutton controls.

The museum gift shop has a great selection of railroad memorabilia, including vintage railroad posters, for railroad lovers like me. Sadly, my budget won’t let me buy the whole dang store…. If you are into railroads and history, you can easily spend days on end in the Erwin Welsch Research Library.San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park

The museum and gift shop are open Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older, $3 for students with ID, $4 for all military with ID, and free for children 14 years and under when accompanied with an adult.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The purpose of the Museum of Photographic Arts is to inspire, educate, and engage the broadest possible audience through the presentation, collection, and preservation of photography, film, and video. They do a great job, and I often get inspiration for my own Photographic Art by visiting the museum.

Earlier in the 21st Century I tried to volunteer at the San Diego History Center. At the time, there was a long waiting list for opportunities to volunteer. Sadly, my name never made it to the top of the list after a year of waiting, so I took it off.

The interesting thing about San Diego history is that there are three organizations that seem to own every historical image of San Diego: Google Images, San Diego U-T, and the San Diego History Center. All three organizations make it prohibitively expensive to use one of their images, effectively shutting out little people like me who want to do Then & Now pictures. That’s the only reason why I don’t do more blog posts featuring then and now pictures. I have no desire to infringe on the copyrights of others, and my budget doesn’t allow me to buy permission nor does it have a slush fund for paying the penalty for using copyrighted images illegally.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Need a unique gift?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray