Pixelated Summer photo art in Mission Beach.

Very colorful public art decorates two sides of the Mission Beach boardwalk restrooms that are located just south of Belmont Park. These two photo montages on tile are titled Pixelated Summer. They were created by Southern California artists Sarah Lejeune and Angelo Camporaso in 2008.

Looking at this artwork is like tumbling through many bright kaleidoscope memories. There are bits and flashes from endless summers at the beach, combined with glimpses of the Belmont Park amusement park, its wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster and The Plunge indoor pool.

My first photos show this unique public art installation on the restroom’s north side.

The next two photos are of a nearby marker commemorating the one hundred year anniversary of Mission Beach. It was placed here during a centennial ceremony in 2014.

It’s worth a quick look..

Now we’ll take a look at the south side of the public restroom, where the other watery half of Pixelated Summer is installed…

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Help raise awareness for World Rare Disease Day.

World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.
World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.

I learned something important today. This coming Wednesday–February 28, 2018–is World Rare Disease Day.

I wouldn’t have known this had I not walked through Mission Beach’s Belmont Park and met some smiling volunteers. They are working to raise awareness about rare diseases. They had a table set up near the carousel and told me a little about this often overlooked problem.

Rare diseases are usually caused by faulty genes, and about half of the people affected by rare diseases are children. Almost a third of these children will not live to see their fifth birthday.

Sadly, about half of all rare diseases do not have a specific foundation supporting or researching the condition. As you can see, it’s critical for many kids that we spread the word and provide support for those who are sick, and fund research in the search for effective treatments.

Two websites where you can learn more and perhaps help are here and here.

Please click my photo of the information chart, and it will enlarge so you can read it. Feel free to share any of these images.

These cool volunteers at Mission Beach's Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.
These cool volunteers at Mission Beach’s Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.

Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.
Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.

Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.
Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.

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Belmont Park’s fun Giant Dipper roller coaster!

Looking across Ventura Place at the Giant Dipper roller coaster.
Looking across Ventura Place at the Giant Dipper roller coaster.

Mission Beach is one of the most popular attractions in Southern California. One big reason: Belmont Park and the wonderful Giant Dipper roller coaster!

In my last blog post I walked south down the busy beach boardwalk to Hamel’s. Belmont Park stands just across the street. The historic amusement park was built in 1925 by wealthy sugar magnate John D. Spreckels, and was called the Mission Beach Amusement Center. The 2,600 foot Giant Dipper roller coaster, made entirely of wood, was built in less than two months. Over the ensuing years, the coaster fell into disrepair; it was then carefully restored in 1990 and became a huge success.

Entering Belmont Park beneath the wooden roller coaster.
Entering Belmont Park beneath the wooden roller coaster.

Looking up at tracks of the picturesque coaster.
Looking up at red tracks of the picturesque coaster.

Kid-friendly Belmont Park has thrilling rides and fun stuff.
Kid-friendly Belmont Park has thrilling rides and lots of fun stuff.

People wait to board the historic rollercoaster.
People wait to board the historic roller coaster.

The winding coaster tracks make for interesting photos.
The winding coaster tracks make for interesting photos.

Palm fronds, colorful track and clear blue sky.
Palm fronds, painted wood and clear blue sky.

A large indoor arcade features loads of classic games.
A large indoor arcade at Belmont Park features many classic games.

This small merry-go-round is a treat for kids of every age.
This small merry-go-round is a treat for kids of every age.

A carnival midway area has tests of skill and a food court.
A carnival midway area has tests of skill and a food court.

Riders whiz by as the cars rattle on wooden rails.
Riders whiz by as the cars rattle on wooden rails.

This yellow submarine requires no water!
This yellow submarine requires no water!

Wild and crazy Tilt-A-Whirl provides a big adrenaline rush.
Wild and crazy Tilt-A-Whirl provides a big adrenaline rush.

The Giant Dipper roller coaster swooshes by!
The Giant Dipper roller coaster swooshes by!

Peeking into the innards of a wooden roller coaster.
Peeking into the innards of a wooden roller coaster.

It’s interesting to walk around the perimeter of the Giant Dipper. You can peer beneath the rails and see the materials used to build and maintain the huge wooden construction.

The Plunge giant swimming pool is undergoing restoration.
The Plunge giant swimming pool is undergoing restoration.

Right next to Belmont Park’s amusement rides you’ll find The Plunge, originally called The Natatorium. The huge 12,000 square foot swimming pool originally contained salt water.  It was the largest such pool in the world with 400,000 gallons of water!

The Plunge has also become famous for its Orcas off Point Loma whaling wall, painted in 1989 by famous marine artist, Wyland.

Today the pool and surrounding structure are being repaired. It’s scheduled to reopen by the end of this summer.

I hoped to get pictures of Belmont Park’s relatively new FlowRider wave machine, which allows thrill-seekers continuous surfing without entering the ocean! Unfortunately, it was down for maintenance.

Photo mosaic on beach restroom shows bits of Belmont Park.
Photo mosaic on a nearby beach restroom shows bits of Belmont Park.

Playing football on the nearby sand at Mission Beach.
Playing football on the sand at Mission Beach.

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