Photos of original, historic San Ysidro Library.

Front of the original San Ysidro Library, built in 1924.
Front of the original San Ysidro Library, built in 1924.

The first public library in San Ysidro was built in 1924. It still stands on San Ysidro Boulevard, between West and East Park Avenue.

I happened to walk by it last weekend.

The building is small compared to the modern, much larger San Ysidro Library on Beyer Boulevard that opened a year ago. But the smaller scale of this original library provides much of it’s charm. The modest architecture with its graceful curves is also welcoming. Had this little library been open, I would’ve stepped right inside.

Instead, I walked around the outside and took a few photos.

THE PEOPLE OF SAN YSIDRO RECORD BY THIS TABLET THEIR APPRECIATION OF THE GIFT OF THIS LIBRARY BY BLANCHE H. AND FRANK B. BEYER - AUGUST 31, 1924
THE PEOPLE OF SAN YSIDRO RECORD BY THIS TABLET THEIR APPRECIATION OF THE GIFT OF THIS LIBRARY BY BLANCHE H. AND FRANK B. BEYER – AUGUST 31, 1924
An iconic El Camino Real Bell stands near the historic San Ysidro Library on San Ysidro Boulevard.
An iconic El Camino Real Bell stands near the historic San Ysidro Library on San Ysidro Boulevard.
Plaque at base of El CAMINO REAL BELL - Dedicated October 1, 2010.
Plaque at base of El CAMINO REAL BELL – Dedicated October 1, 2010.
View of east side of the original San Ysidro Library.
View of east side of the original San Ysidro Library.
The graceful, welcoming front of the first San Ysidro Library.
The graceful, welcoming front of the first San Ysidro Library.

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 world’s “top three” maritime museum needs help!

Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.
Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego has been rated one of the top three maritime museums in the entire world, and the best in the United States.

For many museums that rely on a stream of paying visitors, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is causing financial strain. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is no exception.

I received a letter in my mail today from the museum’s President and CEO, Dr. Ray Ashley. You can read it online by clicking here.

The current COVID-19 crisis has placed the historic ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in the doldrums–that region just north of the equator where there’s little or no wind.

Without visitors, the museum is struggling. They’ve had to lay off 80% of the staff. They are relying on volunteers and new donations as they try to sail through a region that is “far more complex, ominous, and intimidating that a few degrees of latitude ever were.”

I know there are people reading this blog who love San Diego and its treasured Maritime Museum as much as I do, if not more. At this moment in time, the museum really needs our help.

Click here!

Neighborhood restaurant mural: Better is Possible.

The East Village restaurant Neighborhood closed for renovations earlier this year. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, they have yet to reopen.

I walked past their boarded-up windows this afternoon and saw a mural had been painted on them. After a little searching on the internet, I see that artists Joshua and Ezra Andrade created the artwork last month.

Positive messages in the mural, which includes images of fighting, a knife and brass knuckles, include Ego is not Your Amigo, Better is Possible, Regulate Impulses, and Hood Must be Born Again!

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!

Street art at San Ysidro and Cottonwood.

Follow your heart.
Follow your heart.

Many electrical boxes have been painted with street art on San Ysidro Boulevard, just northwest of Cottonwood Road. It appeared during my Saturday walk that some of the boxes were painted long ago, and others this year.

I took photos. The art speaks for itself.

Mental health matters.
I am loved. Grow strong.
Aztec skull imagery.
Aztec skull imagery.
A people's spirit lives on.
A people’s spirit lives on.
Two doves.
Two doves.
You are better than unicorns and sparkles.
You are better than unicorns and sparkles.
Quédate en casa con un rico pan dulce y cafecito. (Stay home with a delicious sweet bread and coffee.)
Quédate en casa con un rico pan dulce y cafecito. (Stay home with a delicious sweet bread and coffee.)
Lady Liberty in a serape.
Lady Liberty in a serape.
Kindness matters, and fireworks or stars.
Kindness matters, and fireworks or stars.
Por tu salud. (For your health.) We love our community. Street art painted in San Ysidro during the coronavirus pandemic.
Por tu salud. (For your health.) We love our community. Street art painted in San Ysidro during the coronavirus pandemic.
Firefighters of Fire Station 29 in San Ysidro.
Firefighters of Fire Station 29 in San Ysidro.
A local firefighter at work.
A local firefighter at work.
Purple and lavender flowers.
Purple and lavender flowers.
Butterfly rises near a hot air balloon.
Butterfly rises near a hot air balloon.
Bicycle by a fruit tree, and a trolley in the background.
Bicycle by a fruit tree, and a trolley in the background.
Trolley windows full of passengers.
Trolley windows full of passengers.
Trolley driver emerges from a painted electrical box.
Trolley driver emerges from a painted electrical box.
A little land and a living. Un poco tierra y una vida.
A little land and a living. Un poco tierra y una vida.
Working the land.
Working the land.
A family on a sweeping, colorful landscape.
A family on a sweeping, colorful landscape.
Handfuls of good earth.
Handfuls of good earth.

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!

Views from the Glorietta Bay Marina Building.

Looking southeast across beautiful Glorietta Bay Marina in Coronado.
Looking southeast across beautiful Glorietta Bay Marina in Coronado.

Check out these scenic views from the second level of the Glorietta Bay Marina Building in Coronado!

To the east you can see the many boats docked in Glorietta Bay, the green trees of Coronado Municipal Golf Course beyond, and tiny glimpses of distant downtown San Diego.

To the south lies the Coronado Civic Center and its Glorietta Bay Park Promenade. There’s some public art that way. See photos of a beautiful fountain here and crazy rooftop sculpture here.

To the west rise the ten white Coronado Shores condominium towers.

And finally to the north, you can see public art titled “Imagine Tent City” which I once blogged about here, plus the distinctive former Hotel Del Coronado Boathouse, with its Victorian architecture–now home to Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill.

The Glorietta Bay Marina Building was dedicated in 2009. Wonderful views surround it.
The Glorietta Bay Marina Building was dedicated in 2009. Wonderful views surround it.
Plaque near stairs to outdoor second level of the Glorietta Bay Marina Building.
Plaque near stairs to outdoor second level of the Glorietta Bay Marina Building.
Looking northeast. In the distance rises part of San Diego's downtown skyline.
Looking northeast. In the distance rises part of San Diego’s downtown skyline.
Looking south toward Coronado's City Hall and Civic Center.
Looking south toward Coronado’s City Hall and Civic Center.
Two of the Coronado Shores towers to the east. Just beyond, unseen, lies the Pacific Ocean.
Two of the Coronado Shores towers to the west. Just beyond, unseen, lies the Pacific Ocean.
To the north you can see Coronado public art titled Imagine Tent City.
To the north you can see Coronado public art titled Imagine Tent City.
And you can also see the Hotel Del's historic Victorian boathouse.
And you can also see the Hotel Del’s historic Victorian boathouse.

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!

Sunflowers on the Silver Strand.

There were many empty picnic benches on the bay side of Silver Strand State Beach today.

I chose a shady one that faced these bright sunflowers. Then I took out a notebook and struggled with my writing.

Words never seem adequate.

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!

If you’d like to read an inspirational little story about sunflowers and human kindness, click here!

Actors read literary works online for TwainFest!

The spirit of Twain lives in this wonderful annual festival.

Do you love reading literature from the 19th century?

I do!

I love Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson, Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville . . . there are too many great Victorian authors from this period to mention!

If you love to read these authors, too, there’s an online event in progress that you’ll probably like!

During this special event you can listen to selections from 19th century literature read aloud by San Diego actors!

It’s part of Write Out Loud’s virtual TwainFest, and you can subscribe by clicking here to get daily links to new YouTube readings in your email!

What was the event like before the coronavirus pandemic? To see photos from TwainFest last year in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, click here!

Mark Twain uses his cane to point out his classic novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Many 19th century authors and fictional characters were seen walking about during TwainFest.
Mark Twain uses his cane to point out his classic novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

More street art on San Ysidro Boulevard!

I’ve photographed more great street art!

Last year in December I walked around San Ysidro and took photos of street art near the Mexican border. See those images by clicking here.

During a walk in the same area this morning I headed farther up San Ysidro Boulevard and found even more colorful art. All of the following photos were taken between Willow Road and Cottonwood Road.

Except for the very first photo above! That fun artwork was painted some time after my earlier walk. It’s beside the Burger King near the intersection of San Ysidro Boulevard and Camino de la Plaza.

These images capture the life and spirit of San Diego’s bustling border community!

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!

Painter creates vivid dreams in Balboa Park.

I was walking through the recently reopened Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park today when my feet carried me into Gallery 21, where exhibitions by local artists are in frequent rotation.

A painter was busy working on a canvas inside, and I quickly learned her name is Minnie Valero. Every wall in the gallery was covered with her work!

Minnie Valero was born and raised in Argentina, but has now lived in Southern California for over a decade. She is both artist and teacher–she has taught painting in southern France for fifteen years. She has also published several books. I could plainly see her unbounded passion for creativity.

According to Minnie’s website, she enjoys “working with watercolor, pastel, acrylic and oils, artfully blending classical and contemporary. I let the painting choose the medium. Portraits, landscapes, figures: my divergent interests in genre stem from a deep love of the interplay of light, shadow, mood and drama, always trying to convey harmony in the composition. I am a contemporary impressionist…”

I really like how she captures a moment’s mood, whether it’s a couple walking down a street, dancing the tango, or simply sitting on some sun-splashed grass by a river. Every emotion is authentic. And every emotion is vivid, rendered with much color and light.

Her paintings are so vivid, to me they seem almost like powerful dreams. Dreams captured with a brush, framed.

(Incidentally, she said she’d love to do some public art, such as painting murals. Anyone out there looking for a muralist?)

If you’d like to see some fine art by a painter who has won many awards, head over to Balboa Park’s Spanish Village and look for Gallery 21. Minnie Valero will be exhibiting her pieces, which are also available for purchase, through August 24, 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!

Cottages and a platform rise in Balboa Park!

Many major construction projects are presently underway in Balboa Park. A couple months ago I posted photographs of the progress.

A raised observation platform is being built under the gigantic, very old Moreton Bay Fig by the Natural History Museum. The Mingei International Museum is undergoing a complete renovation including an expansion. Part of the Palisades area parking lot is being converted into a park-like space with grass and (I believe) a landmark fountain. Five new structures are being built for nine additional nations at the International Cottages. If you want to see photos of what all of this looked like in June, click here.

Well, it’s now August. Today I walked through Balboa Park and noticed the Moreton Bay Fig platform has appeared, raised above the ground near the tree! And the construction of those new international cottages continues to make great progress!

I took a few photos…

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!