Colorful photos of Chicano Park Day celebration!

Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year's Chicano Park Day Celebration. Many of the cars were fitted with hydraulic systems.
Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year’s Chicano Park Day celebration.

I headed down to Barrio Logan this morning to enjoy a bit of the 47th Annual Chicano Park Day celebration!

The big festival celebrating Mexican and Chicano culture drew huge crowds as usual from all around Southern California. There was traditional folklorico dancing, Aztec indigenous dance, and a huge contingent of lowriders and motorcyclists who converged to enjoy the scene and showcase their cool rides. Families enjoyed great food, the park’s playground, and a look at artwork and unique gifts at the many vendor tents. It was fun to just hang around, absorbing San Diego’s warm sunshine and the lively entertainment. The famous murals of Chicano Park infuse the much-loved event with a sense of history and potent meaning. The murals tell of the hard-fought struggle for civil rights.

Chicano Park Day this year was dedicated to Ramón Chunky Sánchez, a very popular musician and a leader of San Diego’s Chicano community who passed away late last year. Speakers also provided emotional tributes to the four who died last year at the annual La Raza Run motorcycle festival in Chicano Park when a car tragically plummeted onto the crowd from a ramp to the Coronado Bay Bridge.

On a happier note, I must mention that in January Chicano Park was designated a National Historic Landmark! Chicano Park contains our nation’s largest collection of outdoor murals.

Please enjoy some colorful photos from this morning!

A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Many were fitted with hydraulics. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
Cool cars in a world-famous park.
Cool cars in Barrio Logan’s world-famous park.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park's picnic tables.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park’s picnic tables.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of Chicano Park.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of San Diego’s unique Chicano Park.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A large crowd had gathered around the pavilion to hear family members remember the deceased and thank the community for its undying love.
A large crowd gathered around the pavilion to hear surviving family members remember the deceased and thank the local community for its undying love.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
And then the entertainment began!
And then the entertainment began!
People enjoy Chicano Park Day Celebration among the many expressive murals.
People enjoy Chicano Park Day among the many expressive murals.  A beautiful image of Virgin Mary has a shrine at its base.
Another photo of the festival today.
Another photo of the festival today.
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park's pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park’s pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
And more cool stuff.
And more cool stuff!
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day Celebration wore resplendent Aztec costumes.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day celebration wore resplendent Aztec-inspired costumes.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!

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More cool artwork I’ve randomly stumbled upon!

Symmetrically painted figures practice yoga under crescent moons as the sun rises. Cool street art in downtown San Diego.
Symmetrically painted figures practice yoga under crescent moons as the sun rises. Cool street art in downtown San Diego.

Here’s another batch of colorful art. As usual, I stumbled upon these cool discoveries while walking around the city, perhaps on one errand or another. Most of this fun urban artwork was photographed in downtown San Diego…

More cosmic yoga street art on another side of the same transformer box.
More cosmic yoga street art on another side of the same transformer box.
Boldly painted colors on a row of electrical boxes in Little Italy.
Boldly painted colors on a row of electrical boxes in Little Italy.
This super cool car made of colorful wires recently appeared at The Garden Project of the New Children's Museum.
This super cool car made of colorful wires recently appeared at The Garden Project of the New Children’s Museum.
The Eiffel Tower has magically appeared inside a shop on Sixth Avenue!
The Eiffel Tower has magically appeared inside a shop on Sixth Avenue!
Fun utility boxes near Pantoja Park feature lots of artistic flowers and birds.
Fun utility boxes near Pantoja Park feature lots of artistic flowers and birds.
Natural scenes painted in a big city.
Natural scenes painted in a big city.
I love this carved wooden bear bench! But for the life of me, I can't remember where I photographed this! I think somewhere near Petco Park . . . maybe.
I love this carved wooden bear bench! But for the life of me, I can’t remember where I photographed this! I think somewhere near Petco Park . . . maybe.
More random colorful street art on a downtown sidewalk.
More random colorful street art on a downtown sidewalk.
I stumbled upon these rocketing pie slices in Hillcrest!
I stumbled upon these rocketing pie slices in Hillcrest! I’m not sure if these spaceships belong to the strawberry fleet, rhubarb fleet, or the cherry fleet. But I’m certain they’re piloted by the good guys!

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!

Photos of Mission Valley flooding from El Niño storm.

Car deep in the water. The flooded lower level of a Fashion Valley parking garage in San Diego's Mission Valley.
Car deep in the water. The flooded lower level of a Fashion Valley mall parking garage in San Diego’s Mission Valley.

Occasionally I post not-so-cool photos on my blog. Here are some that are noteworthy. I took these this morning while walking through a section of Mission Valley on my way to work. Because it lies right next to the San Diego River, the area is notorious for catastrophic flooding.

Yesterday we had a storm that brought intense rain to our region. It was the second winter storm of this El Nino year. Today we’re having our third storm, and it looks to be fairly rainy for many days to come.

Of course, after California’s long drought, we need the water. Unfortunately, the rain that falls in Mission Valley and many other parts of San Diego isn’t captured–it simply runs off into the ocean. I hope there isn’t too much damage caused this winter by El Nino. To my blog’s followers who are affected, take care!

The morning after an early winter storm during an El Nino year. The sun is out as people cross the San Diego River near the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
The morning after an early winter storm during an El Nino year. The sun is out as people cross the San Diego River near the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
Areas along the San Diego River are notorious for flooding. Yesterday a long deluge raised the water to an unusually high level.
Areas along the San Diego River are notorious for flooding. Yesterday a long deluge raised the water to an unusually high level.
A couple dozen cars were spotted flooded at the Fashion Valley shopping mall. This one was stranded not far from Macy's, which also suffered some flooding inside the store.
A couple dozen cars were spotted flooded at the Fashion Valley shopping mall. This one was stranded not far from Macy’s, which also suffered some flooding inside the store.
More cars abandoned in the flood. Many storms are in line to strike San Diego in the coming days during this El Nino year.
More cars abandoned in the flood. Many storms are in line to strike San Diego in the coming days during this El Nino year.
The bike and pedestrian pathway beneath Highway 163 flooded and was impassable. The nearby river was swollen with the recent rain.
The bike and pedestrian pathway beneath Highway 163 flooded and was impassable. The nearby river was swollen with the recent rain.
A beautiful morning photo of the San Diego River taken from Mission Center Road. This spot often floods and traffic must be diverted.
A beautiful morning photo of the San Diego River taken from Mission Center Road. This spot floods during severe storms and traffic must be diverted.
A barrier stands ready for the next storm. It looks to be a long, watery winter!
A barrier stands ready for the next storm. It looks to be a long, watery winter!

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Fun murals on the North Park parking garage.

A carefree girl rides a scooter on the side of the North Park parking garage.
A carefree girl rides a scooter on one side of the North Park parking garage.

Here are some fun images I photographed during my recent walk through North Park. A number of murals decorate the multi-level parking garage located just south of University Avenue, between 29th and 30th Streets.

I performed all sorts of internet searches to learn more about this artwork, but have come up with nothing. Perhaps someone out there knows something.

Anyway, I really like these simple, light-hearted graphics! They definitely add to the cool vibe of North Park. It looks to me like a very imaginative artist had lots of fun creating them!

Because these photos were taken from a bit of a distance (and some were faint), I had to adjust their brightness and contrast quite a bit.

UPDATE!

Silly me.  The artist’s name is on one of the images.

These were created by Blair Thornley.  Sponsored by the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego.

A couple of unique characters out for a drive. Fun murals decorate the sides of North Park's multi-level parking garage.
A couple of unique characters out for a drive. Fun murals decorate the sides of North Park’s multi-level parking garage.
This cool guy is riding in some sort of vehicle painted with the word Paradigm. If it's a manual transmission, I suppose he must engage in paradigm shifting.
This cool guy is riding in some sort of vehicle painted with the word Paradigm. If it’s a manual transmission, I suppose he must engage in paradigm shifting.
Looks like some sort of hip creature carrying a tray of glasses, and some spoons. I like the style of this artwork.
Looks like some sort of hip creature carrying a tray of glasses, and some spoons. I like the style of this artwork.
This one seems to depict a restaurant hostess taking a call while sitting atop her workplace.
This one seems to depict a restaurant hostess taking a call while sitting atop her workplace.
Three more fun murals. If I recall, these are on the north-facing side of the garage.
Three more fun murals. If I recall, these are on the north-facing side of the garage.
A bird in a bib ready to chow down.
A bird in a bib ready to chow down.
An amusing box-dog about to eat some letters in a bowl. I love it!
An amusing box-dog about to eat some letters in a bowl. I love it!

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Electric wicker carts returning to Balboa Park!

The electric wicker cart Electriquettes are returning to Balboa Park early 2016!
The electric wicker cart Electriquettes are returning to Balboa Park in early 2016!

The wicker carts are returning to Balboa Park! What fun!

The now famous electric motorized wicker carts were introduced to Balboa Park one hundred years ago for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. They were called Electriquettes. They were an enormous success!

Starting in early 2016–perhaps February I was told–visitors to Balboa Park will be able to rent the new wicker carts at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. The test program will run for a year, and I hope it’s successful!

I learned that the carts travel at about 2-3 miles per hour, an easy-going speed appropriate for a pedestrian and family-friendly city park. As I understand it, the carts will be restricted to Balboa Park’s core area. They appear super easy to operate–one just steers and applies power! Perhaps the coolest thing is that these vehicles are a reasonably close representation of the original Electriquettes.

Check out the San Diego Electriquettes website, and you can see additional historical photos!

I can’t wait to ride one!

UPDATE!

The Electriquettes began running toward the end of March! I even saw a couple driving about the Plaza de Panama, but didn’t have my camera handy! I’ve learned they can be rented right in front of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center!

A modern Electriquette is displayed in Balboa Park, in anticipation of its reintroduction. The unique wicker carts will be rented by visitors at the Air and Space Museum.
An Electriquette is displayed in Balboa Park, in anticipation of the vehicle’s reintroduction. The unique wicker carts will be rented by visitors at the Air and Space Museum.
Old photograph of an original Electriquette in San Diego's Balboa Park a century ago. 2015 is the park's centennial.
Old photograph of an original Electriquette in San Diego’s Balboa Park a century ago.
Introduced at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, the historical wicker Electriquettes are making a comeback! Cool!
Introduced at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, the historical wicker Electriquettes are making a comeback! Very cool!

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Cool Corvette car show benefits San Diego USO.

People at the annual Plastic Fantastic check out cars of the North County Corvette Club.
People at the annual Plastic Fantastic check out cars of the North County Corvette Club.

Here are some cool pics!

I was walking along San Diego’s waterfront today, with no destination in mind, when I stumbled upon a huge gathering of car enthusiasts! Members of the North County Corvette Club had come together for a fun day at Embarcadero Marina Park North, right next to Seaport Village. Their annual car show, dubbed the Plastic Fantastic, is said to be the oldest and largest all-Corvette show in the Southwest. There had to be well over a hundred perfectly gorgeous Corvettes gleaming in the San Diego sunshine!

This cool event benefits the club charity, the San Diego USO, an organization that serves active-duty, reserve, guard and military families. If you’d like, you can donate to USO San Diego here!

The San Diego USO benefited from the all-Corvette car show near Seaport Village.
The San Diego USO benefited from the all-Corvette car show near Seaport Village.
The King Lives--but he must be laying off the donuts, because it seems he's shrunk a bit.
The King Lives–but he must be laying off the donuts, because it seems he’s shrunk a bit.
Shiny metallic American flag inside the hood of a cool Chevy Corvette.
Shiny metallic American flag inside the hood of a cool Chevy Corvette.
Artwork on this slick sports car includes flames and a checkered flag.
Artwork on this slick sports car includes flames and a checkered flag.
A racy paint job and a beautiful downtown San Diego backdrop.
A racy paint job and a beautiful downtown San Diego backdrop.
Lots of Corvettes were on the grass of Embarcadero Marina Park North, right next to San Diego Bay.
Lots of Corvettes were on the grass of Embarcadero Marina Park North, right next to San Diego Bay.
Another great photo, with the Marriott Marina in the background.
Another colorful photo, with the Marriott Marina in the background.
Corvette owners await to hear which cars win show awards.
Corvette owners wait to hear which cars won show awards.
It's two o'clock and time to head home. Drivers are graciously thanked for attending!
It’s two o’clock and time to head home. Drivers are graciously thanked for attending!

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Art Deco car, train, ship and plane on Post Office.

Art Deco relief work shows female above propellers of airplane.
Art Deco relief work shows female flying above propellers of airplane.

“Through science and the toil of patient men, the nation’s thought traverses land and air and sea.” Those are the words inscribed along the top of downtown San Diego’s Post Office, on E Street between 8th and 9th Avenue. Beneath the words are nine terra-cotta panels created by Archibald Garner in 1937. The Art Deco images include a car, train, ship and airplane, the means by which mail has been delivered over many decades, transmitting the written word across the nation and around the world.

Titled “Transportation of the Mail,” Garner’s handsome panels were the result of a Department of Treasury competition. Like most Post Office public art created during the New Deal, the work was funded through the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, also known as The Section of Fine Arts. The post office itself was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and stands across the street from the now closed old Central Library. You can see a few interesting photos of the library here.

View of San Diego's downtown Post Office from Ninth Avenue.
View of San Diego’s downtown Post Office from Ninth Avenue.
Ship cuts through ocean waves on its way to deliver the mail.
Steamship cuts through ocean waves on its way to deliver the mail.
Distinctive Art Deco train can be seen near roof of San Diego's old Post Office.
Distinctive Art Deco train can be seen near roof of San Diego’s old Post Office.
Historically interesting panels, which appear at the top of high windows.
Historically interesting panels, which appear at the top of high windows.
Classic automobile in Art Deco artwork in downtown San Diego.
Classic automobile in Art Deco public artwork in downtown San Diego.

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