Monday, June 15, 2009

My Town Monday: Mr. Sandman

Aerial view of cul de sac

There is a little public street that runs off Silver Strand Blvd and leads to the beach close to the Hotel del Coronado. Avenida del Sol. There are a couple of reasons to be aware of this street.

First, it's a cul-de-sac that offers free parking with great beach access.

Second, you're likely to see sand art by our very own Coronado Sandman.

Yes, yes, that's some at the top of this post! With a broom and a dust pan and sand trekked off the beach to the street, Alberto Avilla AKA the Coronado Sandman creates. He claims his inspiration comes from an angel who speaks to him. If you catch him at work, don't hesitate to say hi. He's friendly and chatty. He dresses in a cap and old suit. He doesn't have a lot of teeth left, but he loves to design "sand formations" which is what he calls his art. He has received a few citations based on complaints by citizens.

Look for his art on the cul de sac and on the sidewalk leading to the Hotel del. Cars drives over it. People walk on it. The sand pictures are quite long lasting, though.

If you happen to visit the area on a day without art (or if you don't have plans to visit San Diego), you can keep an eye on the Coronado webcam. http://coronadowebcam.com/

Last week, Child #4 and I were meandering along Avenida del Sol, admiring the sand art. But I'd forgotten my camera.

Luckily, my psychic niece (who occasionally comments on this blog) still had the photos she'd taken on her last trip out to visit us. And she emailed them to me. Thanks, Stef! Here they are for your viewing pleasure!










Here's the man himself!

You can friend him on myspace.

And on facebook










Please pop over to Travis Erwin's blog. He's our Fearless Leader for My Town Mondays. Along with his own MTM post, he'll have a list of participants.



sources:
http://www.ecoronado.com/profiles/blogs/local-spotlight-the-coronado
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bundabergtim/1824355694/
http://www.eaglenewsca.com/articles/2008/07/10/news/news02.txt

32 comments:

Teresa said...

Very cool, Barrie! Next time I'm in San Diego, I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara Martin said...

Mr. Sandman has quite a good style in his drawings. He should be paid, don't you think?

Barrie said...

Barbara: I do think he should be paid. He's supposedly a resident of Coronado, but I can't imagine where he lives. He looks a step away from being homeless.

debra said...

I love it! Art in public places.

Stacy Nyikos said...

We've been to Hotel del Coronado many times, and never once we did happen upon Mr. Sandman, which is a really really big bummer. I'll have my eyes peeled for him next time. He's got such a unique and neat form of art.

gabe said...

Thanks for sharing about Mr. Sandman ... somehow I connect him to the Balloonman ... whistling far and wee ...
San Diego is a very interesting place.

Jenn Jilks said...

What a great post! Terrific celebration of this man.

Sarakastic said...

Thats beyond awesome

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

what a treasure! I admire anyone who spends time creating something so temporary like that--sidewalk painters too!

I've tagged you--it's a fun one for a writer like you I think.

Lainey-Paney said...

VERY cool.

Travis Erwin said...

He can't be homeless if he has internet and facebook and myspace. Can he?

Amy said...

Wow, these looks like the ultimate 'crop' circles! To envision something like that in your mind and then creating it on such a large surface is amazing!

I hope you're doing well, Barrie! I enjoy reading your comments on my blog. Take care! :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

This really makes me wonder (and imagine) what his life was like before this. Was he a child who doodled in the margins of his schoolwork? Was he an illustrator or cartoonist? I'm guessing he doesn't have images that he is copying but is pulling these pictures out of his head, his memory. Thanks for this.

Barrie said...

Travis--I'm not sure that he actually maintains the myspace and facebook. When I met him, he gave me his "business card" but it was really someone else's business card with his (the Sandman's, that is) supposed website jotted down. The website doesn't exist. I don't know exactly what to think of him. Hmm....maybe there's a mystery there!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the props! I am glad my pics could help. xo

-YPN

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Very cool. Maybe you should start offering 'Barrie Summy's My Town Tours. You could be the it-girl of San Diego...like Paula Deen is the Queen of Savannah. In your spare time. :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I may be coming to San Diego in January. Yay!!!

Larramiefg said...

Think about the happiness Mr. Sandman has brought to millions over the years. What a reward!

lotusgirl said...

That's amazing stuff.

Ddusty said...

Thank you for this article. It's exciting in the extreme. Lovely pictures, mysterious artist. It has everything. Gentlemen, start your pencils!

Wendy said...

My husband and I met Sandman yesterday. He is quite a character! Very positive, upbeat and totally into what he's doing. Turns out one of his dreams is to send sand birthday wishes to each indivual member of the Obama family, have them see it via the webcam and get an invitation to the White House. I think in this day and age his dream can come true! Barrie- thanks for the link so we can keep watching the Sandman's progress via the internet. I was thrilled to see the Sandman's work here in Phoenix this morning via the internet.

Paz said...

Very cool! Glad your was able to send you some photos. ;-)

Paz

Keri Mikulski said...

Wow! Amazing. :)

Bee said...

Another reason to love San Diego! I love the people who endeavor to add beauty and humor to our world . . .

Linda McLaughlin said...

How cool. I've been to Coronado a number of times and never seen any sand art, but maybe I just didn't go down the right street. Next time.

laughingwolf said...

fab art from and ab fab guy, thx barrie :)

Vodka Mom said...

I love it! And I also love the Hotel Del....my sister-in-law worked there for a few years when we all lived there.......

she worked like a DOG...........

Cait O'Connor said...

He is a very talented artist

Solvang Sherrie said...

Those are so cool! I can't believe people would complain and issue citations. I hope he doesn't stop :)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Citations? Everyone's a critic.

These are very cool!

Elena said...

I will be visiting my dad, the Sandman this weekend. I enjoyed reading all of your comments. I am very proud of my dad and love that he does something he enjoys!

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