Artwork next to 25th and Commercial trolley station.

Metal artwork at the 25th and Commercial trolley station honors labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.
Metal artwork at the 25th and Commercial trolley station honors labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

While riding the Orange Line of the San Diego Trolley, I noticed several works of cool art in and around the 25th and Commercial station. So I jumped off, walked around and took photos!

The metalwork that honors Cesar Chavez can be found at the westbound platform. The 25th and Commercial trolley station is dedicated to the civil rights leader.

You might recall that both platforms of the split station also feature amazing tile mosaic benches. I posted those photos here.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. --Cesar E. Chavez
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. –Cesar E. Chavez
A sign at the trolley station points to various locations of interest, including Villa Montezuma and Chicano Park.
A sign at the trolley station points to various locations of interest, including Villa Montezuma and Chicano Park.
A metal Don Quixote stands guard by a muffler shop.
A metal Don Quixote stands guard at a nearby muffler shop.
Colorful artwork on the back of the San Diego Police Department Central Division parking garage.
Colorful artwork on the back of the San Diego Police Department Central Division parking garage.
Cool street art on a corner utility box.
Mesoamerican iconography becomes street art on a corner utility box.
A fun heart in a mural on a neighborhood wall.
A fun heart in a mural on a nearby wall.
A cool car painted on a fence along Commercial Street in Logan Heights.
A cool car painted on a fence along Commercial Street in Logan Heights.

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Faces of civil rights leaders on Imperial Avenue.

A street mural in San Diego that features many famous faces. Martin Luther King, Jr. is joined by others who have worked to advance civil rights.
A street mural in San Diego that features many famous faces. Martin Luther King, Jr. is joined by others who have worked to advance civil rights.

A long mural at the corner of 32nd Street and Imperial Avenue celebrates many of history’s most recognized civil rights leaders. Among them are those who have fought to empower the poor, advocates for democracy, human equality and social justice, and peacemakers.

Originally painted in 1986 to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., the mural was restored and augmented in 2002 by internationally renowned muralist and activist Mario Torero with the help of the local community. The mural now includes faces from around the world, as you can see in these photographs.

The colorful mural spans two walls near the border of two neighborhoods east of downtown San Diego: Logan Heights and Stockton. The images have again faded with time, but the idealism represented remains timeless and powerful.

The face of Cesar Chavez.
The face of Cesar Chavez.
The face of the Dalai Lama.
The face of the Dalai Lama.
The face of Óscar Romero.
The face of Óscar Romero.
The face of Corazon Aquino.
The face of Corazon Aquino.
The face of Desmond Tutu.
The face of Desmond Tutu.
The face of Nelson Mandela.
The face of Nelson Mandela.
The face of Mother Teresa.
The face of Mother Teresa.
The face of Chief Joseph.
The face of Chief Joseph.
The face of Mahatma Gandhi.
The face of Mahatma Gandhi.

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Contemporary art program for students in San Diego.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has a special Extended School Partnership (ESP) program for local 6-12th-grade students. Teachers have the opportunity to expose their students to contemporary art in partnership with the museum.

Students are taught about art making, collaboration and, according to a new sign posted near MCASD’s downtown location, their own identity, solidarity and activism. (As someone who is passionate about writing, I hope there’s an emphasis on personal freedom, truth-seeking and authentic creativity–not politics or propaganda.)

Yesterday I took a photograph of this sign in the breezeway between downtown’s Santa Fe Depot and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The two art panels were created by local students at Valhalla High School.

Read the sign if you’d like to learn more about this program.

(Click this photo to enlarge for easy reading.)
(Click this photo to enlarge for easy reading.)

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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Tile mosaics show Hispanic life, culture and history.

Scenes of Hispanic life, culture and history decorate benches and seats at a San Diego Trolley station.
Mosaic scenes of Hispanic life, culture and history decorate benches and seats at a San Diego Trolley station.

In Logan Heights, the 25th and Commercial Street station of the San Diego Trolley’s Orange Line features public art at both it’s east and west platforms. A week or so ago, I enjoyed looking at colorful mosaics made of tiles on the base of various concrete seats and curving benches. The small mosaics depict Hispanic life, culture and history. There are abstract scenes of immigrants working in fields or in construction, of family at home, and of organized activism.

I took these photos at the eastbound platform. The mosaics are part of a project titled Achievement / Progress / Community: In the Spirit of Cesar E. Chavez that was completed in 2006. The mosaics were created by artist John Hiemstra. The trolley stop is dedicated to civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

Photo along length of 25th and Commercial Street trolley station of the Orange Line. This is the eastbound platform.
Photo along length of 25th and Commercial Street trolley station of the Orange Line. This is the eastbound platform.
This small tile mosaic scene features a red trolley in front of downtown's Santa Fe Depot.
A small tile mosaic scene features a red trolley in front of downtown’s Santa Fe Depot.
Hispanic family at home around a table laden with food.
A family at home around a table laden with food.
Migrant workers appear to be planting seeds in a field.
Migrant workers planting seeds in a field.
Mosaic shows a ranch in a Southern California landscape.
Mosaic shows what appears to be a ranch in a Southern California landscape.
Farm worker seems to be harvesting tomatoes or strawberries.
Farm worker is harvesting tomatoes or strawberries.
Saguaro cacti in a Southwestern scene.
Saguaro cacti in a Southwestern scene.
Beautiful abstract mosaic. Tiles of different colors, sizes and shapes.
Beautiful abstract mosaic. Tiles of different colors, sizes and shapes.
Hispanic workers build a wall.
Hispanic workers build a wall.
A laborer hard at work.
A laborer hard at work.
Two figures stand near automobiles on a highway.
Two figures stand near automobiles on a highway.
A diverse group appears to hold up signs in a protest.
A diverse group appears to hold up signs in a protest.
A priest and an activist.
A priest and an activist.
Hispanic youth together, perhaps students. Another scene of life, learning, hope, struggle.
Hispanic youth together, perhaps students. Another scene of life, learning, hope, struggle.

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 share and enjoy!

Street art fights domestic violence, sexual abuse.

No means no.
No means no.

Many panels of street art can be seen on a construction site fence in East Village. They address diverse issues, promote civil rights, condemn social wrongs. They all speak to the human heart. They all concern love. Real love.

I don’t know who painted these panels. All are simple, but extremely powerful.

Most of the artwork opposes domestic violence, sexual exploitation and abuse.

Domestic violence is horrific.  It’s a hidden crime that damages too many lives.

San Diego has a terrible sex trafficking problem. It’s an issue some of our city leaders are trying to address.

Here are a few photos.

There's nothing super about domestic violence.
There’s nothing super about domestic violence.
Stop human trafficking.
Stop human trafficking.
Not all monsters are in the dark.
Not all monsters are in the dark.
Sometimes people wipe away their tears so you can't see them.
Sometimes people wipe away their tears so you can’t see them.

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!

Balboa Park’s Sustainability Studio promotes conservation.

Gallery 21 in Balboa Park's Spanish Village features a special environmental exhibit called Sustainability Studio!
Gallery 21 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village features a special environmental exhibit called Sustainability Studio!

I discovered a fascinating environmental exhibit in Balboa Park this weekend. The Sustainability Studio is located in Gallery 21 near the center of the Spanish Village Art Center.

This small but information-packed exhibit discusses how various museums and buildings in Balboa Park are engaging in conservation efforts, by using solar panels, low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting, and the intelligent use of resources. The exhibit also encourages kids to think about the environment and pledge to protect it. Fun activities include making leaves for the Tree of Change and a Balboa Park scavenger hunt!

To read the signs, click the images and they will enlarge.

The Sustainability Studio will remain open to the public through December. Bring the kids! They can learn something new, create some fun art, and engage in the easy scavenger hunt and win a cool prize!

Ruby welcomes visitors into the Sustainability Studio, where one can learn about the conservation efforts of various organizations in Balboa Park.
Rubi welcomes visitors into the Sustainability Studio, where one can learn about the conservation efforts of various organizations in Balboa Park.
Signs and posters in the special exhibit raise awareness about various important environmental issues. Kids are provided with fun activities that promote activism and conservation.
Signs and posters in the special exhibit raise awareness about various important environmental issues. Kids are provided with fun activities that promote activism and conservation.
Sustainability refers to the conservation and efficient use of essential resources. Balboa Park's efforts include solar panels, low-flow water fixtures and LED lighting.
Sustainability refers to the conservation and efficient use of essential resources. Balboa Park’s efforts include solar panels, low-flow water fixtures and LED lighting.
Kids visiting the exhibit are encouraged to make a leaf with a hand tracing, then inscribe it with an environmental pledge.
Kids visiting the exhibit are encouraged to make a leaf with a hand tracing, then inscribe it with an environmental pledge.
Leaves on the Tree of Change. Kids pledge to ride bikes, turn off lights, recycle, use less water . . .
Leaves on the Tree of Change. Kids pledge to ride bikes, turn off lights, recycle, use less water . . .
A scavenger hunt is described on this flyer. Upload 5 selfies to Facebook that include a Balboa Park sustainability feature and claim a great prize!
A scavenger hunt is described on this flyer. Upload 5 selfies to Facebook that include a Balboa Park sustainability feature and claim a great prize!
Various museums and buildings in Balboa Park are working to become more environmentally friendly.
Various museums and buildings in Balboa Park are working to become more environmentally friendly.
The San Diego Natural History Museum became the first Balboa Park LEED Certified building in 2009.
The San Diego Natural History Museum became the first Balboa Park LEED Certified building in 2009.
The San Diego Air and Space Museum has increased energy efficiency and achieved significant water savings.
The San Diego Air and Space Museum has increased energy efficiency and achieved significant water savings.
Artwork produced by thoughtful, creative kids hang from the ceiling. I like the ocean!
Fun works of art produced by creative kids hang from the ceiling. I like the ocean!
I love turtles!
I love turtles!

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One voice in support of saving the Starlight Bowl.

You can help save Balboa Park's beloved Starlight Bowl!
You can help save Balboa Park’s beloved Starlight Bowl!

I’m no expert on this matter. Take whatever I say with a grain of salt. I’m just an ordinary guy who has lived in San Diego for a good chunk of my life.

I would like to raise my voice in support of saving the Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park. I’m not affiliated with Save Starlight. They have no clue who I am. But I’m attached to their cause. A chain of fond memories is my bond.

Years ago I enjoyed watching a variety of theatrical productions with my family in this beloved outdoor amphitheater. Some of those productions I experienced as a child and young adult, and they made a lasting impression. They helped me to develop my particular love for the written (and spoken) word, and for the great outdoors. My small world expanded as I sat beneath a universe of twinkling stars and absorbed great plays–those undying expressions of human longing, emotion and imagination. And it was simply exciting–like going to an outdoor concert!

I’m sure thousands–if not millions–of people have similar memories of the Starlight Bowl: memories of fine drama and pleasure under those twinkling stars, of laughs, tears and smiles, out in the fresh San Diego air, a short walk from the many other wonderful institutions in Balboa Park.

The Starlight Bowl has languished far too long. What a shame. When I walk past it during my strolls around Balboa Park, I can’t help but envision it once again filled with humanity, playing a unique role in our ever-growing city. Save Starlight is working to bring the large, functional amphitheater back to life. According to an email I received, they are now working with the city, and they intend to fill the Starlight Bowl with concerts, musicals, dance recitals, circus acts, magic shows, multicultural festivals, graduations, and much more. A few more ideas have also popped into my head: corporate events, lectures, a meeting place for large community organizations . . .

Many of my blog’s followers either live in or have a personal attachment to San Diego. Would you like to help with this effort? You know, social media sites like Facebook can have a surprisingly big impact if people post and share information and opinions. So why not make your support known? Or perhaps just tell your friends about what’s going on.

Save Starlight is making a presentation to the City of San Diego within a week, and a handwritten letter of support would be extremely powerful. Ideas for a letter might include your personal connection with Starlight, practical reasons why you would like to see the Starlight Bowl reopened, or even how you would like to become involved. Perhaps you’d like to volunteer, donate, use the venue for staging an event, have your product carried in the concessions, etc. If you plan to write, do it soon!

Letters should be sent to:

Stephen Stopper, President
Save Starlight, Inc.
9590 Chesapeake Drive
San Diego, CA 92123

The Starlight Bowl might once again be filled with humanity and magic. Your voice is important.
After languishing for many years, the Starlight Bowl might once again be filled with humanity and life. You can help make it happen.  Your voice is important.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!