A look at Our Lady of Angels in Sherman Heights.

Whenever I drive along California State Route 94, just east of downtown San Diego, I can’t help noticing a yellow church with a tall, old-fashioned steeple rising south of the highway. So I finally decided to take a walk through Sherman Heights to have a better look.

According to this, the Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church originated in 1905. A plaque by the front entrance reads: Church of Our Lady of Angels 1906. I suppose that’s the year of the building’s dedication. I tried to do a little online research, but I can’t find much about the building’s history.

As you can see, the church has a quaint but very distinctive appearance. It is said to be one of San Diego’s best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. (To me, seen from its front, the church appears like an angular yellow rocket!)

Our Lady of Angels stands in the historic old neighborhood of Sherman Heights, which today is filled with numerous picturesque Victorian houses, many of which exist in a state of semi-decay. Our Lady of Angels was San Diego’s second Catholic parish.

I didn’t venture beyond the angelic front doors of the church. The colorful building appeared to be closed the day I walked around it.

Enjoy some 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!

Angel hovers above homeless person.

An angel hovers above a homeless person.
An angel hovers above a homeless person.

I usually don’t post only one photograph, but I captured a remarkable image this morning, and thought some of you might like to see it. I was walking into the Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park when I observed the standing figure titled “Religion” hovering like a heavenly angel above a homeless person sitting alone on a bench.

Joyful, colorful street art shows music in heaven.

A diverse choir of humans singing joyfully in heaven. The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo is represented with touching fingers producing musical notes.
A diverse choir of humans singing joyfully in heaven. The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo is represented with touching fingers producing musical notes.

There’s some uplifting street art in Mission Valley. It’s painted on a large electrical box on Camino del Rio South, between the Scottish Rite Masonic Event Center and the First United Methodist Church of San Diego, which also hosts the St. Francis and St. Tarcicius Catholic Church.

As you can see, this artwork depicts happy people singing and making music in heaven among angels. The musicians appear to include both Louis Armstrong and Jimi Hendrix.

A joyful, colorful vision of harmony!

Jimi Hendrix plays electric guitar in heaven in colorful street art.
Jimi Hendrix plays electric guitar in heaven in colorful street art.

Louis Armstrong plays his trumpet in heaven with an angel nearby. Some colorful street art painted on a large electrical box on Camino del Rio South in Mission Valley.
Louis Armstrong plays his trumpet in heaven with an angel nearby. Some happy street art painted on a large electrical box on Camino del Rio South in Mission Valley.

Musical street art near both First United Methodist Church of San Diego and St. Francis and St. Tarcicius Catholic Church. An imaginative glimpse of happiness and harmony in heaven.
Musical street art near both First United Methodist Church of San Diego and St. Francis and St. Tarcicius Catholic Church. An imaginative glimpse of happiness and harmony in heaven.

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 short story about painting angels.

Here we go again! I wrote another short story! What does it have to do with Cool San Diego Sights? Nothing. Silly me!

This very short work of fiction is about life. And painting angels. It has a happy ending! Click this link to read it on my writing blog Short Stories by Richard!

Thank you! I promise my next blog post will actually be about San Diego!

And by the way–I just posted four beautiful photos of barren trees in a heavenly sky on my other blog, A Small World Full of Beauty.  In case you’re curious, I took those photos this morning in Mission Valley.

Enough blogging for today!

Richard

Orchids in Balboa Park’s amazing Botanical Building!

I believe all these beautiful images are of orchids! I apologize if I'm mistaken. Most photos were taken just inside the left door to the Botanical Building in Balboa Park.
I believe all these beautiful images are of orchids! I apologize if I’m mistaken. Most photos were taken just inside the left door to the Botanical Building in Balboa Park.

I believe all these photos are of orchids. Unfortunately, I’m not an expert when it comes to plants or flowers. Heck, I hardly even rank as an amateur. But I do recognize exquisite beauty. And you’ll find it just inside the left door of Balboa Park’s amazing Botanical Building!

I don’t know the types or names of these orchids. I looked for signs, but saw none. If you recognize anything, leave a comment!

Deep velvet beauty for everyone to enjoy.
Velvet beauty for everyone to enjoy.

So much to absorb in the amazing Botanical Building--one's eyes leap from bloom to bloom.
So much to absorb in the amazing Botanical Building–one’s eyes leap from bloom to bloom.

Nature's masterpieces are often small and fragile.
Nature’s masterpieces are often small and fragile.

Should you ever visit Balboa Park in San Diego, don't miss the Botanical Building. The enormous lath building stands behind the reflecting pool near El Prado.
Should you ever visit Balboa Park in San Diego, don’t miss the Botanical Building. The enormous lath building stands behind the reflecting pool near El Prado.

White angel-like flower seems to signal that the world is just fine.
White angel-like flower seems to signal that the world is just fine.

Many orchids in clay pots hanging from a wall trellis.
Many orchids in clay pots hanging from a wall trellis.

A long strand of gems.
A long strand of gems.

Everywhere you turn in the Botanical Building you'll discover lush plants and natural wonders.
Everywhere you turn in the Botanical Building you’ll discover lush plants and natural wonders.

A lady glides into heaven on Earth.
A lady glides into heaven on Earth.

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Foster homes needed for loving San Diego cats!

Nemo is our special needs cat. He has had left and right knee surgeries, and pins removed. He is in rehab. All Donations Appreciated! Thank you!
Nemo is our special needs cat. He has had left and right knee surgeries, and pins removed. He is in rehab. All Donations Appreciated! Thank you!

Do you love animals? Would you like to adopt a rescue cat in San Diego?

I met three nice ladies during my walk through Balboa Park, and they have a cool organization called Guardian Angels Animal Rescue. They work to save homeless cats and kittens in San Diego. The more fosters they have participating in their program, the more lives they can save. Please check out their website and perhaps you can lend a hand!

These super nice ladies are the Guardian Angels Animal Rescue, helping loving cats find new homes.
These super nice ladies are the Guardian Angels Animal Rescue, helping loving cats find new homes.

Nemo and his furry pal are enjoying another beautiful day in Balboa Park. There are many cool cats like this who'd appreciate a nice home!
Nemo and his furry pal are enjoying another beautiful day in San Diego. There are many friendly cats like this who’d appreciate your love!

Follow this blog for more random fun stuff, and various ways to help others (even those with fur) in need! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.

Rescued art in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado.

Original staff plaster memorial to Fray Junipero Serra, founder of the Franciscan missions in Alta California.  Was part of the 1915 Exposition's Food Products Building.
Original staff plaster memorial to Fray Junipero Serra, founder of the Franciscan missions in Alta California. Was part of the 1915 Exposition’s Food Products Building.

In the outdoor Panama-California Sculpture Court at Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado you’ll discover a small collection of rescued art. Most of these sculptures and decorative motifs are made of staff, which is gypsum plaster mixed with hide glue, reinforced with fibers. They were found in 1975 dumped in an unused corner of the nearby Casa de Balboa.  Many are remnants of the old Food and Beverage Building from Balboa Park’s 1915 Panama-California Exposition and were designed by architect Carleton Monroe Winslow. Visitors today can admire these beautiful historical pieces up close.

Castle, on left side of the base of Serra Memorial, depicts the heraldic emblem of the former Spanish Kingdom of Castile.
Castle, which was located on the left side of the Serra Memorial, depicts the heraldic emblem of the former Spanish Kingdom of Castile.

One of four identical heads created in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition. It was located on the Varied Industries Building facade.
One of four identical heads created in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition. It was located on the Varied Industries Building facade.

Plaster models of famous 17th century Spanish painters Velazquez, Murillo and Zurbaran.  Used to cast sculptures above what is now the San Diego Museum of Art.
Plaster models designed in 1924 of famous 17th century Spanish painters Velazquez, Murillo and Zurbaran. Used to cast sculptures above what is now the San Diego Museum of Art.

This round staff plaster Spanish Conquistador vignette, dated 1914, formed a pendant beneath sculptural groups on the Varied Industries Building.
This round staff plaster Spanish Conquistador vignette, dated 1914, formed a pendant beneath sculptural groups on the Varied Industries Building.

Freestanding figure of a woman in flowing robes titled Religion.  It stood atop the 1914 retablo of the Varied Industries Building.
Freestanding figure of a woman in flowing robes titled Religion. It stood atop the 1914 retablo of the Varied Industries Building.

Unused cast concrete replica of an original 1914 angel head finial.  Cast for the 1971 reconstruction of the Casa del Prado.
Unused cast concrete replica of an original 1914 angel head finial. Created for the 1971 reconstruction of the Casa del Prado.

Beautiful works of art in Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.
Beautiful works of art in Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.

Plaster column seen through arch of Casa del Prado.
Angelic column seen through arch of Casa del Prado.

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Homeless man sleeps beneath angels.

homeless man sleeps beneath angels

Early this evening, while I walked from work to the trolley station, I spotted this weird but truly wonderful car. I’ve seen it several times in recent months parked in the same area.

As I took out my camera, a man with a green parrot on his shoulder emerged from within and gave a friendly hello. He didn’t mind having photos taken. He claimed pictures of his strange vehicle are all over the internet.

He explained he was homeless. When I asked his name, he replied Peter Pan, followed by numerous other names, all beginning with the letter P.

He was very glad to show off his unique creation!

The roof of the car is topped with numerous bird cages containing angels. The hood features a detailed winter scene with Christmas trees, quaint houses, reindeer and snowmen. On the sides of the car are Christmas ornaments and a variety of snowy scenes from the holiday season, plus images from British literature and classic children’s stories. He pointed out painted pictures of Scrooge and Marley’s office, Mary Poppins with her umbrella, the Baker Street residence of Sherlock Holmes, the Wonkavator from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the flying bed from Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He loved pointing out every detail!

He lamented that other homeless people were often mean, tearing off bits of scenery and tossing them over a nearby fence onto the trolley tracks.

I asked Peter Pan if decorating his car was done just for fun, or if he had some larger purpose. He indicated it was his hobby.

I must confess, I love the same classic stories that he loves. Most are joyful fantasies from childhood. (How fitting a bookstore is in this photograph’s background!)

sweet fantasy and the imaginarium carriage

Here’s a close-up pic of the car’s opposite side. The Christmas Imaginarium Carriage appears to be the fantastic vehicle’s name!