The colorful new Cesar Chavez Park Mural.

During my walk last weekend through Cesar Chavez Park, I was delighted to see a bright new mural painted on the long wall behind the park’s expanse of grass.

When I approached the mural, I noticed it was painted by Pandr Design Co. In my previous blog post you saw another mural that these artists recently painted! That one is on Market Street in downtown San Diego!

This new Cesar Chavez Park Mural was commissioned by the Port of San Diego. According to a nearby sign, this artwork brings color and inspiration to the park, creates a sense of place, and enhances the cultural richness of the Port’s waterfront.

It does!

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 photos for you to enjoy!

A colorful walk from Tuna Harbor to East Village.

People walk and jog along San Diego's Embarcadero near Tuna Harbor.
People walk and jog along San Diego’s Embarcadero near Tuna Harbor.

I did a lot of walking last Saturday! Downtown, Barrio Logan, San Ysidro… If I’m a little less active this weekend, it’s because my poor old legs are still sore!

Please enjoy some photos I took Saturday morning as I headed from Tuna Harbor on San Diego’s Embarcadero to 13th Street in East Village. I passed through Ruocco Park, walked a short stretch down Harbor Drive past Kansas City Barbeque, then turned east on Market Street.

Many of these sights you might have seen in the past on my blog. I did photograph a few new things, however, including the whale street art by Nicholas Danger, some Gaslamp Quarter historical artwork, and a very colorful mural by Pandr Design Co. Read the captions!

The photos you will see are the last I’ve taken with the old Canon Powershot that launched Cool San Diego Sights. Over the course of seven years my trusty friend must have recorded hundreds of thousands of images. But alas, its shutter began to stick and there have been other problems (which you might have already noticed), so I finally bought a shiny, much newer version Powershot, which I already love!

I hope my new camera successfully documents many more walks!

A couple hangs out by the Fish Tree, by artists Zbigniew Pingot and Toby Flores.
A couple hangs out by the Fish Tree, by artists Zbigniew Pingot and Toby Flores.
A vendor was selling lots of colorfully decorated Día de los Muertos skulls.
A vendor on the boardwalk was selling lots of colorfully decorated Día de los Muertos skulls.
Whenever I hear this friendly street musician playing beautiful music, I pause for a bit to listen.
Whenever I hear this friendly street musician playing beautiful music, I rest for a bit on a nearby bench to listen.
Ruocco Park on a late summer's day is very green and inviting.
Ruocco Park on a late summer’s day is very green and inviting.
I'm about to walk through some unique public art titled The Riparium, by artist Roman de Salvo.
I’m about to walk through some unique public art titled The Riparium, by artist Roman de Salvo.
Historical marker indicates the location of the San Diego Barracks from 1850 to 1921.
Historical marker indicates the location of the San Diego Barracks from 1850 to 1921.
Kansas City Barbeque is where a couple of great scenes from Top Gun were filmed.
Kansas City Barbeque is where a couple of great scenes from Top Gun were filmed.
Street art by Mindful Murals, cool people I once met. I saw how they painted positive messages at Edison Elementary School's playground.
Street art by Mindful Murals, cool people I once met. I saw how they painted positive messages on handball backboards at Edison Elementary School’s playground.
Looks like some leaves are turning along Market Street.
Looks like these sunlit leaves along Market Street are turning, anticipating autumn.
Geometric street art near scooters parked in a neat line.
Geometric street art near scooters parked in a straight line.
Someone walks past this fun street art by Nicholas Danger, another cool local artist!
Someone walks past this fun street art by Nicholas Danger, another cool local artist!
Plaque in the sidewalk on Market Street recalls major renovations that were made in the once-seedy Gaslamp Quarter in 1981.
Plaque in the sidewalk on Market Street recalls major renovations that were made in the once-seedy Gaslamp Quarter in 1981.
A mixture of Gaslamp history and present day entertainment in one photo.
A mixture of Gaslamp history and present day entertainment in one photo.
As I passed Fifth Avenue, the hub of San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter, I turned my camera south to take a picture.
As I passed Fifth Avenue, the hub of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, I turned my old camera south to take a picture.
The I.O.O.F. Building was built by the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges in 1882. Its cornerstone contains a stone recovered from Solomon's Temple!
The I.O.O.F. Building was built by the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges in 1882. Its cornerstone contains a stone recovered from Solomon’s Temple!
Eating on the street during the coronavirus pandemic.
Eating on the street during the coronavirus pandemic.
Artwork on a Gaslamp Quarter utility box shows historical photo of the San Diego Mercantile Co.
Artwork on a Gaslamp Quarter utility box shows historical photo of the San Diego Mercantile Co.
Here's a relatively new mural on Market Street that I noticed before but failed to photograph.
Here’s a relatively new mural on Market Street that I noticed before but failed to photograph.
This colorful WOW mural is by Pandr Design Co., who've done work all over San Diego. Their artwork can also be found at various Major League Baseball stadiums!
This colorful WOW mural is by the artists of Pandr Design Co., who’ve done work all over San Diego. Their artwork can also be found at various Major League Baseball stadiums!
Sculpted dog holds open a shop door.
Sculpted dog holds open a shop door.
There's some construction along Market Street as I approach 13th Street.
There’s some construction along Market Street as I approach 13th Street.
I'm greeted by this face on the construction site fence!
I’m greeted by this face on the construction site fence!

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro.

One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.
One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.

If you notice two colorful benches in San Ysidro Park, go take a closer look. On both you’ll discover a Trail to Literacy.

The benches are decorated with tiles painted by children. You’ll see small works of art that celebrate books and stories that young people love.

This wonderful community project promotes reading. After looking at the tiles, I think I want to visit a library and check out some children’s books. What better way to activate imagination? And relearn wisdom.

The benches stand not far from renowned artist Victor Ochoa’s beautiful Tree of Life, which I photographed while walking around the park last weekend. See those photos here.

Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.
Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.
The Paperboy.
The Paperboy.
Dogzilla.
Dogzilla.
Froggy Gets Dressed.
Froggy Gets Dressed.
The Cat in the Hat.
The Cat in the Hat.
The Gingerbread Man.
The Gingerbread Man.
Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.
Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.
Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.
Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.
A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.
A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.
Mulan.
Mulan.
Corduroy.
Corduroy.
La Hermana de Froggy.
La Hermana de Froggy.
Mouse Mess.
Mouse Mess.
Viva Piñata!
Viva Piñata!
Just Imagine with Barney.
Just Imagine with Barney.
El Arbol Generoso.
El Arbol Generoso.
More colorful, imaginative tiles painted by youth.
More colorful tiles painted by creative youth.
Reading activates imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.
Reading sparks imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Mingei’s lucky Japanese cats visit Friendship Garden.

The Mingei International Museum has a collection of over 150 maneki neko. Maneki neko are Japanese beckoning cats, made of clay, porcelain, metal, rock, wood or other material. They are talismans of good fortune in Japan.

Seventy examples of maneki neko in the Mingei’s collection are now on display in the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden. Both the Mingei and JFG are located in Balboa Park, the cultural center of San Diego. Currently the Mingei’s building–the House of Charm–is closed to the public as it undergoes a major renovation.

This afternoon I visited the Japanese Friendship Garden and viewed this exhibition. It’s simply titled: Maneki Neko – Japan’s Beckoning Cats.

I must admit that until today I knew nothing about maneki neko. While admiring the many beckoning cats, I read some informative signs.

I learned that a maneki neko with a raised right paw indicates a wave of good fortune to a home, and a raised left paw brings luck to a business. The higher the paw, the greater the good fortune!

I learned maneki neko sometime wear colorful bibs, which represent an expression of gratitude for a wish realized. Also, the color of the cat is meaningful. Black symbolizes safety, gold symbolizes money, white symbolizes happiness, red symbolizes protection.

I learned about Hatsutatsu-san, a popular variety of beckoning cat that wears human clothing! (You can see an example in an upcoming photo.)

I also learned about a few of the different kilns in Japan that produce maneki neko, and how each kiln has its own distinctive style.

When you view this exhibition, you’ll probably learn a lot, too! And you’ll be charmed by the beauty and unique personality of every beckoning cat.

Planning a trip to Balboa Park? This wonderful exhibition can be enjoyed at the Japanese Friendship Garden through November 29, 2020.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Dappled beauty at Japanese Friendship Garden.

This afternoon I enjoyed a new exhibition of beautiful cultural artifacts at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. The exhibition, featuring pieces in the collection of the Mingei International Museum, concerns Japanese maneki neko, which are beckoning cat figurines believed to bring good luck.

Beforehand and afterward, I walked about the garden. Everywhere I turned I saw dappled light and shadow–in trees, on rocks, on the grass. So I took these photographs of the surrounding beauty…

If you love the Japanese Friendship Garden and would like to walk with them as they grow, read the above sign.

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!

Surprising art on two Barrio Logan corners!

Some surprising and truly fantastic art can be observed on two adjacent street corners in Barrio Logan. I spotted these during a recent walk through the neighborhood.

I was looking up at some banners hung from a street lamp at Main Street and Beardsley Street when I suddenly noticed some incredible wire art suspended nearby! I have no idea who created this unique sculptural artwork! I think the creature grasping a bug has been up there for a while, because it’s visible on Google’s street view.

Fantastic wire art hung from a street lamp at Main Street and Beardsley Street in Barrio Logan!
Fantastic wire art hung from a street lamp at Main Street and Beardsley Street in Barrio Logan!

The two square mosaic panels at Newton Avenue and Beardsley Street decorate a building of Perkins Elementary School. Colorful ceramic fish swim through water-blue tiles! I don’t know who made this artwork, either. Students perhaps?

If you know anything, leave a comment!

Two mosaics depicting colorful fish outside Perkins Elementary School at Newton Avenue and Beardsley Street in Barrio Logan.
Two mosaics depicting colorful fish, located outside Perkins Elementary School at Newton Avenue and Beardsley Street in Barrio Logan.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Free bicycling prizes during Cycle September!

If you bicycle in San Diego, or plan to this month, check out this great info!

I walked past the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition office in East Village last weekend and observed a poster in their window. Today I finally visited the coalition’s Upcoming Events web page.

And I suddenly learned this week is Bike to Work Week!

If you click here, you’ll see an event calendar for the entire month of “Cycle September,” where there are weekly biking challenges and cool prizes that you can win!

The Family Ride Challenge begins this Saturday. It will run September 26 – 30. To be eligible to win a free prize, you must provide a story or photo concerning your ride. A different winner will be selected every day.

If this interests you, time is of the essence!

September is almost over!

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!

The face of one very cool mural in East Village!

Cool face of East Village mural by Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki of Cohort Collective.
Cool face of an East Village mural by Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki.

I spotted a very cool face during my walk through East Village last weekend! It was spray painted in a nook that might be easy to miss.

The mural was created in 2019 by Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki of Cohort Collective. If those names seem familiar, their fantastic art can be enjoyed all over the city. (They have another mural with a similar vibe and palette of colors on nearby Park Boulevard. See photos of that one here.)

You can find this cool face near the corner of 15th Street and K Street, not far from the entrance to the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Birds gather election ballots on a city wall!

On Saturday morning I walked through downtown San Diego’s East Village.

As I headed along Market Street and approached Tenth Avenue, I noticed something interesting on a wall next to the Grocery Outlet parking lot. I had discovered a flock of birds gathering ballots!

The graphic pasted to the wall, which promotes voting in the upcoming general election, was created by Ramzy Masri, a New York based graphic designer, photographer and artist. Click the photograph below and you can more easily read what is written. In a nutshell, the mural is “part of a series inspired by the idea that ‘voting is voice.’ It’s one of five designs for fifty murals currently on view in ten cities across the country…”

The mural is sponsored by the non-partisan Voting Information Center on Facebook, which is found here.

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!

Almost autumn beauty by the river.

It’s almost autumn. Tomorrow we’ll experience the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. And the weather feels a bit like it.

I rose early this morning and found myself walking by the San Diego River in Mission Valley, enjoying the cool air. I moved slowly along the river wondering when the sun might break through the gray clouds. Maybe later in the morning.

Even though the very gradually yellowing leaves and gray, wrinkled trunks of nearby cottonwood trees seemed dull under the overcast, in places I found patches of unexpected light. Here and there new green was pushing through. I even found tiny flowers.

Nature in every season is beautiful.

It’s right there in front of you.

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!