COVID-19, isolation, and bright butterflies.

I tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. It’s relatively mild. I’ve been home self-isolating all week.

Unfortunately, I can’t go out on my walks. It’s a bit depressing.

One thing I can do–when not sleeping or listening to the Padres or reading a book–is scroll through my blog. To me, Cool San Diego Sights is almost like a journal. (A good reason for you to start your own blog!) The thousands of photographs and written descriptions help me to remember all the things I’ve experienced during past walks. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been doing this blogging thing for almost nine years.

So here I am, wondering this Friday morning if there are some old images I could easily repost. Then thinking: there are so many butterfly pics!

How appropriate. Butterflies are symbols of hope, transformation and healing.

These bright butterflies were spotted all over San Diego, from Escondido to Imperial Beach, from Mission Bay to El Cajon, and everywhere in between. How many do you recognize?

Fortunately, I still have many unused photos in my computer. So this weekend don’t be surprised if you see blog posts concerning past walks in La Jolla, Carlsbad, Old Town, Balboa Park, and perhaps elsewhere!

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 phone or 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!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A beautiful mural full of hope in City Heights!

A beautiful mural was painted last month in City Heights that is full of hope. You can find it on the side of Corey’s Market Liquor at the corner of University Avenue and 36th Street.

Created by artists Melody Del Los Cobos (@chicanalilly) and Armand Montiel (@artbyarmand), this is the 30th mural of the ever-growing #theavenuemuralproject drive-through art gallery, which stretches along University Avenue between Interstates 805 and 15.

A whale in the vast lonely ocean gives life to a tree, and has its own lighthouse for direction. It is swimming into butterflies, a symbol of transformation. There is always hope and new life lurking there within one’s own self.

To the left of the whale mural is a small tree painted red, white and blue. It is the work of Skyler Montiel.

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!

A park designed for healing in La Mesa.

Briercrest Park in La Mesa was designed for healing.

The tranquil, beautiful park is located adjacent to the Herrick Community Health Library, and near many medical office buildings in La Mesa, not to mention Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

Briercrest Park, at 9001 Wakarusa Street, was purposely designed to be wheelchair friendly. Paths winding beneath shady sycamores and oaks lead to benches that accommodate those in wheelchairs. A special stone alcove, which you can see in my photographs, was specially constructed for this purpose.

It has been demonstrated that being outside in nature promotes healing. I know that, for me, fresh air and sunshine produces a greater sense of well-being.

Nature was an important element in the design of this park. There are flowers, gentle bridges over still water, and ample opportunity for easy exploration or quiet meditation. There is also stunning public artwork at every turn.

A mosaic butterfly at one entrance symbolizes transformation and renewal. It’s placement on the pathway was intentional. The butterfly along with other park mosaics (including a gorgeous labyrinth) were designed by renowned artist James Hubbell, along with his award-winning architect son, Drew.

I learned all of this today as I toured the park during the 2022 San Diego Architectural Foundation’s annual Open House event. My next blog post will detail what I learned about the amazing mosaics, plus other unique aspects of Briercrest Park.

If I lived nearby, I would walk through this park often. To help soothe my small day-to-day hurts. To feel whole.

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!

Butterflies and views at the Stairway to Hell!

A steep outdoor staircase in Tierrasanta has been called both the Stairway to Hell and the Stairs of Death. Take your pick!

The 112 steps start from the Clairemont Mesa Boulevard sidewalk and ascend northward. They can be found a short distance west of Antigua Boulevard.

As you climb this popular neighborhood exercise spot, you might notice colorful butterflies all about your feet. They seem to be flying skyward, too.

Once you reach the top, you’ll find yourself by a large grassy sports field near Vista Grande Elementary School. And look at the views!

Stairway to Hell? Perhaps these steps should be called Stairway to 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 photos for you to enjoy!

Bright, colorful butterflies fill National City parks!

Giant butterflies take flight in the blue sky above three National City parks!

Should you visit Butterfly Park, Kimball Park or Las Palmas Park, you’re certain to spot many large butterfly wings! The colorful sculptures were created in 2015 by families throughout the National City community.

Every butterfly is composed of two pieces of cut aluminum, and the separate sides of each butterfly are uniquely decorated with different colors of reflective vinyl tape. I’ve been told that car headlights shining on the butterflies at night reveal bright bursts of life!

The project, led by local artist Roberto Salas, is called Butterfly Path. Its creation was made possible through a commission from the San Diego Museum of Art’s “Open Spaces” program, supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

The first time I spotted some of these butterflies–last year at Kimball Park–I didn’t know a thing about them. Comments made by readers provided great information. Revisit that old blog post here.

Since then I’ve seen more of the beautiful sculptures, and have learned more about them, particularly during an amazing tour of Butterfly Park, which you can read about by clicking here.

These artistic butterflies symbolize an ongoing metamorphosis in National City. The transformation is to an even more proud, healthy and environmentally friendly community that shines with greater and greater beauty.

Here are just some of the butterflies you might encounter, in no particular order…

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!

A beautiful transformation in National City!

A beautiful transformation began in National City in 2013. Hundreds of community members came together to make a positive, permanent change. Butterfly Park, a blighted strip of land near the corner of 20th Street and Palm Avenue, became more like its namesake!

I first learned about this wonderful transformation on Sunday, during an incredible tour provided by Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center’s super nice Cooking for Salud Coordinator, Patty Corona.

We walked through the park and were greeted by colorful butterflies everywhere we turned!

I learned how, during the course of several days, families from throughout the neighborhood, school students, the Kitchenistas of Olivewood Gardens, and even the mayor of the time worked in the park installing butterfly beauty: mosaics on benches, a table and a trashcan, beautiful metalwork on posts, and an outdoor stage shaped like a butterfly wing! Vegetation that attracts butterflies was planted, too!

According to this article, “The project was led by Pomegranate CenterOlivewood Gardens and Learning Center…pitched the idea for a community gathering space in November 2012.

(The Pomegranate Center was also instrumental in creating the Manzanita Gathering Place in City Heights. See those photos here.)

As we walked through the park, I learned the wavy metal sculptures on posts were created by Sweetwater High School welding students, and the log benches were the work of former National City Mayor Ron Morrison.

In 2015 the very colorful aluminum butterfly sculptures you see in my photos were decorated by community members using reflective vinyl, under the leadership of local artist Roberto Salas. This “Butterfly Path” can also be found in two other National City Parks: Kimball Park and Las Palmas Park.

I’ll be posting more photos of them in an upcoming blog post!

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!

My Wish For You beckons in Imperial Beach.

Travel down Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach with perceptive eyes and you might discover My Wish For You. The long mural on an alley wall is located just west of Florida Street. It was created by Imperial Beach artist Michelle Lubin and installed in 2018.

According to a sign at the mural, My Wish For You was inspired by the love of the artist’s daughter for all things, including butterflies, ladybugs, dandelions, flowers, sticks, leaves and rocks. Do you see and love these things, too?

These simple things, so easily taken for granted, are among the infinite wonders all around us.

The beautiful mural is a project of the Imperial Beach Arts Bureau.

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 phone or 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!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Kindness and Love Mural in Imperial Beach.

I spotted this big, colorful mural during my walk in Imperial Beach today. I see it’s titled the Kindness & Love Mural. It’s by local artist Michelle D. Lubin aka MDFerrera. Visit her website here.

She painted the mural earlier this year outside the Imperial Palms Apartments on Seacoast Drive. It’s part of an ongoing Imperial Beach beautification project.

Hands offer flowers, which attract butterflies and a hummingbird.

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!

More fun art in an Escondido alley!

The alley in Escondido that I visited a couple weekends ago, where I found many Esco Alley Art murals and alley cats painted on dumpsters, contains even more fun artwork!

Take a look!

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!

Butterflies, art and inspiration in National City!

Yesterday, as I waited for the Memorial Day ceremony to begin in National City, I wandered a short distance down 12th Street from the Veteran’s Wall of Honor. I was surprised to encounter colorful butterflies along the median, and lots of art at a bright building on the north side of Kimball Park. The building, I learned, is home to ARTS, which stands for A Reason To Survive.

ARTS is a special community center where youth are inspired to live positive, hopeful, creative lives free from destructive influences and the violence that might attract their peers.

According to their website, the mission of ARTS is “to heal, inspire, and empower youth facing life challenges through therapeutic arts, formal arts education, and college and career preparation…In 2012, ARTS moved to National City and opened a 20,000-sq. ft. ARTS Center in one of San Diego County’s most health-challenged and economically depressed communities…”

I urge you to visit the above link and read about how the ARTS program has gained national fame, and how you might personally contribute, volunteer or become involved.

Here come photographs of murals and other artwork I happened to see outside the building. Painted words encourage non-violence and provide A Reason To Survive.

The nearby butterflies at intervals along 12th Street represent a transformation into something beautiful.

Each butterfly is unique.

UPDATE!

I received a great comment concerning the butterflies and their origin. Please read the comments after the upcoming 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!