Bells ring in San Diego for Constitution Day!

Fred Grand, President of the Old Town Chamber of Commerce, reads a proclamation during a special Constitution Day ceremony.
Fred Grand, President of the Old Town Chamber of Commerce, reads a proclamation during a special Constitution Day ceremony.

Bells rang in San Diego at exactly one o’clock this Sunday afternoon to celebrate Constitution Day. A special ceremony took place on the steps of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Old Town, where a gathering of people rang bells they had brought for the occasion.

The patriotic ceremony was organized by the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and featured a proclamation by Fred Grand, President of the Old Town Chamber of Commerce. Attendees also sang the Star-Spangled Banner, America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee), America the Beautiful, and God Bless America.

To celebrate the United States Constitution and the freedoms the document guarantees all citizens, many bells rang today simultaneously all across America. Bells pealed in Pennsylvania, where the United States Constitution was signed by delegates to the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787.

The Daughters of the American Revolution supports Old Town and have for almost 100 years. You can see their historical markers on the big rock in the southeast corner of the grassy Plaza de las Armas, at the Casa de Estudillo, the Cosmopolitan Hotel, the San Diego Union print shop, the Rockin Baja restaurant (over their front doorway), and another on Taylor Street near Presidio Drive. The DAR will soon be placing another marker at the site of the First San Diego Courthouse.

Priest of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Old Town talks to people in front of the historic church after Sunday Mass.
Priest of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Old Town talks to people in front of the historic church after Sunday Mass.
At one'o'clock, people of many backgrounds and beliefs gather on the church steps to celebrate the United States Constitution, which enshrines human liberty.
At one o’clock, people of many backgrounds and beliefs gather on the church steps to celebrate the United States Constitution, which enshrines individual human liberty.
This old bell of the Daughters of the American Revolution features an inscription from the United States Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
This old bell of the Daughters of the American Revolution features an inscription from the United States Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
One historical plaque, which marks the end of the Kearney Trail in Old Town San Diego, was placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1920.
One historical plaque, which marks the end of the Kearney Trail in Old Town San Diego, was placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1920.
Another historical marker placed by the DAR can be found in Old Town's Casa de Estudillo.
Another historical marker placed by the DAR can be found inside Old Town’s Casa de Estudillo.
Kathleen Winchester, historian of the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, is presented with an official proclamation on Constitution Day.
Kathleen Winchester, historian of the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, is presented with an official proclamation on Constitution Day.
The patriotic gathering sings The Star-Spangled Banner.
The patriotic gathering sings The Star-Spangled Banner.

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!

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A walk along rocks south of the OB Pier.

Walking south along the Ocean Beach boardwalk near the foot of the OB Pier, toward the old Silver Spray Apartments and Plunge.
Walking south along the Ocean Beach boardwalk near the foot of the OB Pier, toward the old Silver Spray Apartments and Plunge.

Let’s take a walk along the shore! We’re going to start at the boardwalk near the foot of the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, pass quickly around the historic, ruin-like Plunge, then head along a rocky trail between cliffs and the crashing ocean.

We’ll see tide pools, tiny pocket beaches and amazing scenery. Many refer to this stretch as a part of San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs, even though the official Sunset Cliffs neighborhood lies farther south down the Point Loma peninsula.

Ready to go exploring? Let’s start!

People explore tide pools between the sand-filled, long-defunct Plunge and the OB Pier.
People explore tide pools between the sand-filled, long-defunct Plunge and the OB Pier.
The Plunge, often called the Sandbox, was built in 1917. Famous English Channel swimmer Florence Chadwick, who grew up in San Diego, trained here.
The saltwater Plunge, now often called the Sandbox, was built in 1917. Famous English Channel swimmer Florence Chadwick, who grew up in San Diego, trained in this historic pool.
We've passed the Plunge, which is officially part of the beach, and are now carefully traversing sandstone rocks along the base of cliffs. It can be very slippery.
We’ve passed the Plunge, which is officially part of the beach, and are now carefully traversing sandstone rocks along the base of cliffs. It can be very slippery.
Looking back north we see the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier and beach.
Looking back north we see the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier and beach.
People enjoy looking into small tide pools in the eroded sandstone. I occasionally saw some crabs.
People enjoy looking into small tide pools in the eroded sandstone. I occasionally saw some small crabs.
The easily carved sandstone is like a book containing years of names and often humorous images.
The easily carved sandstone is like a book containing years of names and often humorous images.
OB is a place for free spirits, and the rocks along the water attract many.
OB is a place for free spirits, and the rocks along the water attract many.
Looking north again. I see Pacific Beach and La Jolla in the distance.
Looking north again. I see Pacific Beach and La Jolla in the distance.
Splashing water and curious eyes.
Splashing water and curious eyes.
People peer down at us from the street level high above.
People peer down at us from the street level above.
A small group walks along the crude trail.
A small group walks along the crude trail.
A perfect day to explore nature's many wonders beside the ocean.
A perfect day to explore nature’s many wonders beside the ocean.
Someone heads toward one of the small pocket beaches tucked between rocky outcrops.
Someone heads toward one of the small pocket beaches tucked between rocky outcrops.
Standing on a tiny beach at the water's edge.
Standing on a tiny beach at the water’s edge.
The sandstone cliffs are unstable and sometimes you hear of people falling and needing rescue.
The sandstone cliffs are unstable and sometimes you hear of people accidentally falling and needing rescue.
Here comes a guy and his dog.
Here comes a guy and his dog.
As we continue to walk south, we can see the coast vanishing into the distance. The actual Sunset Cliffs neighborhood is farther down the Point Loma peninsula.
As we continue to walk south, we can see the coast vanishing into the distance. The actual Sunset Cliffs neighborhood is farther down the Point Loma peninsula.
A white sailboat out on the wide blue Pacific Ocean.
A white sailboat out on the wide blue Pacific Ocean.
In places the rocky and slippery sand footing is a bit difficult to navigate, even on the trail. Wear good shoes.
In places the rocky and slippery sand footing is a bit difficult to navigate, even on the trail. Wear good shoes!
Looking north. Spectacular scenery.
Looking north. Spectacular scenery.
More natural beauty.
More natural beauty.
The rough trail continues south. Fewer people seem to be in this section.
The rough trail continues south. Fewer people seem to be in this section.
Now we're approaching an interesting part of the walk, with a short, undulating path along a sea wall.
Now we’re approaching an interesting part of the walk, with a short, undulating path along a sea wall.
Looking back.
Looking back.
We've almost reached the end of our walk. The concrete pathway ahead has either been undermined by water, or intentionally made into a ramp for thrill seekers.
We’ve almost reached the end of our walk. The concrete pathway ahead has either been undermined by water, or intentionally made into a ramp for thrill seekers.
At the foot of old stairs that climb up to Orchard Avenue.
At the foot of old stairs that climb up to Orchard Avenue.
As we head up, someone begins down.
As we head up, someone begins down.
Two people begin their own adventure along the rocks.
Two people begin their own adventure along the rocks.
Looking back north at the short stretch we just finished.
Looking back north at the short stretch we just finished.
Someone gets exercise on the steps. At the top there is some fun artwork.
Someone gets exercise on the steps. At the top there is some fun artwork.
Sitting on a unique surfboard bench, gazing across the blue ocean.
Relaxing on a unique surfboard bench, gazing across the magical blue ocean.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

A good day to catch mackerel in OB.

Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.
Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.

Today was a good day to catch mackerel in Ocean Beach. Fishermen were pulling up shining prizes all along the OB Pier.

What was their secret? Cut bait, a little patience, slathered sunscreen, and perhaps a cool beverage and some music. Nothing more. (Not even a fishing license. It’s free to fish from a San Diego pier.)

The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
Young and old alike were having success!
Young and old alike were having success!
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as mackerel in the ocean.
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as fish in the ocean.
Some kids at the OB Pier's T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
Some kids at the OB Pier’s T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
This guy caught one, too!
This guy caught one, too!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!

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!

Festive culture and tradition at Fiestas Patrias!

Every year, Fiestas Patrias, which celebrates Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, includes traditional entertainment for the entire family.
Every year, Fiestas Patrias, which celebrates Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, includes traditional entertainment for the entire family.

This morning I missed a bus to Ocean Beach at the Old Town Transit Center, so to pass the time I walked the short distance over to the State Park to see if anything was going on. And I discovered that Fiestas Patrias was being celebrated today!

I lingered for a few minutes and took some photos, headed over to OB (as you will see), then returned to Old Town a couple hours later to really soak in the event. Fiestas Patrias is a yearly celebration of Mexican independence from Spain in 1821. San Diego, a small town founded near a Spanish presidio in Alta California, thereafter became a part of Mexico until 1848.

Many diverse traditions have intermingled during San Diego’s history to make our city what it is today. The rich and colorful culture of Mexico has remained an essential part of life in San Diego!

A mariachi welcomes visitors to the historic Casa de Estudillo in Old Town San Diego.
A mariachi welcomes visitors to the historic Casa de Estudillo in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
A friendly horse came for a visit as I took some photos outside the Casa de Estudillo during Fiestas Patrias.
A friendly horse came for a visit as I took some photos outside the Casa de Estudillo during Fiestas Patrias.
Traditional dances were being performed on the central plaza's main stage. Las damas y los caballeros took turns being el toro and el matador!
Traditional dances were being performed on the central plaza’s main stage. Las damas y los caballeros took turns being el toro and el matador!
The annual event features authentic costumes from a time when San Diego was a small Mexican town in Alta California.
The annual event features authentic costumes from a time when San Diego was a small Mexican town in Alta California.
Kids were decorating traditional cascarones eggshells.
Kids were decorating traditional cascarones eggshells.
A demonstration inside the Casa de Estudillo of yarn being spun. During the Spanish period, sheep were first introduced along with cattle and horses at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá.
A demonstration inside the Casa de Estudillo of yarn being spun. During the Spanish period, sheep were first introduced along with cattle and horses at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá.
Nearby, ladies were demonstrating Colcha Spanish Colonial embroidery, which was typical in San Diego in the early 1800s.
Nearby, ladies were demonstrating Colcha Spanish Colonial embroidery, which was typical in San Diego in the early 1800s.
At the same table, another lady was cutting out festive Mexican papel picado.
At the same table, another lady was cutting out festive Mexican papel picado.
The historically authentic musical group Los Californios wait for their turn on the stage at Fiestas Patrias in Old Town San Diego!
The historically authentic musical group Los Californios wait for their turn on the stage at Fiestas Patrias in Old Town San Diego!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Visually interesting photos of downtown buildings.

I have a tendency to take photos of everything and anything while I’m walking. Sometimes I’m surprised at the results!

Here are some visually interesting photos of buildings in downtown San Diego. You’ll find reflections in windows, strange shadows, and splashes of light. There are unusual shapes, surprising contrasts, and a few delightful discoveries.

Every walk through downtown is an optical adventure!

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!

15 Unique Volunteering Opportunities in San Diego.

As a member of Bloggers Lifting Others Generously, I sometimes blog about those who are working to make San Diego a better place.

Here are 15 different community organizations that could use volunteers. Many of them welcome volunteers with no specific background or experience.

Click the following links to past blog posts where you can learn more:

Volunteers needed at San Diego Habitat for Humanity!

There are many different volunteer opportunities–it’s more than just building houses. No experience required!

How to get support from fellow Veterans in San Diego.

This local organization is looking for compassionate Veteran mentors who would like help others.

Guide dogs for the blind in San Diego!

If you’d like to raise a guide dog, here’s a great opportunity!

How you might save the life of a cancer patient!

Join the bone marrow registry, or donate your baby’s cord blood.

How to help special education kids in San Diego!

This school that helps special kids could always use special volunteers!

Photos from Ocean Beach Pier Cleanup Day!

Participate in a San Diego beach cleanup! It’s a lot of fun!

A San Diego gift that will last forever.

The Friends of Balboa Park needs all sorts of different volunteers! Follow the link to their website where you can learn much more.

How to help keep the San Diego River healthy.

The San Diego River Park Foundation has many different volunteering opportunities, including river cleanups.

Volunteer to help restore San Diego wetlands!

Offer your helping hand to the San Diego Audubon Society’s worthy projects!

Free books for teachers, schools, hospitals and prisons.

Volunteer for an organization whose goal is to promote literacy.

The Salvation Army celebrates service in San Diego.

Everyone has heard of the Salvation Army. Why not volunteer?

How you can help beat leukemia and blood cancers!

Create a fundraiser. Help save lives!

San Diego Marines collect Toys for Tots!

Have your San Diego business become a drop-off location for toys!

Foster homes needed for loving San Diego cats!

Open your heart and home to a rescue animal!

Glean Queens of San Diego need your help!

Pick fruit and help distribute food that would otherwise go wasted.

If you’d like to help homeless people in San Diego get back on their feet, I’ve compiled 20 Ways to Help the Homeless in San Diego. Check it out!

Have a great day!

Richard

Green Flash public art in Mission Beach!

Beside the Mission Beach boardwalk, across the street from the "Hamel's Castle" surf shop, one can find the Green Flash.
Beside the Mission Beach boardwalk, across the street from the “Hamel’s Castle” surf shop, one can see the Green Flash.

I love fun, super creative public art!

Thanks to the imagination of Malcolm Jones, the San Diego artist who also created Imperial Beach’s Surfhenge, people can glimpse the Green Flash right next to the boardwalk that runs along Mission Beach!

This cool artwork is inspired by that rare sunset phenomenon called the green flash. An educational plaque also provides a scientific explanation of why the color green might briefly appear. I like to learn new things, too!

People head down the fun, always busy Mission Beach boardwalk, not far from public art titled Green Flash.
People head down the always busy Mission Beach boardwalk, not far from public art titled Green Flash.
The Green Flash seems to rise just above the far horizon of the blue Pacific Ocean.
The Green Flash seems to rise just above the far horizon of the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean.
A plaque describes the unusual public artwork. Green Flash by Malcolm Jones, 2002. Solid cast acrylic and concrete.
A plaque says who created this unusual public artwork. Green Flash by Malcolm Jones, 2002. Solid cast acrylic and concrete.
A beachgoer walks under the Green Flash in Mission Beach. I see Belmont Park's Giant Dipper roller coaster in the background.
A beachgoer walks under the Green Flash in Mission Beach. I see Belmont Park’s Giant Dipper roller coaster in the background.
The sunset phenomenon called the green flash is often cited but seldom seen. A diagram shows how near-horizontal sunlight is refracted through the atmosphere.
The sunset phenomenon called the green flash is often cited but seldom seen. A diagram shows how near-horizontal sunlight is refracted through the atmosphere.
I think I've glimpsed the Green Flash!
I think I’ve finally glimpsed the elusive Green Flash!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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