Faces of INSIDE OUT still smile in Chula Vista!

A harsh winter with rain and wind, and an occasional prankster, but dozens of optimistic faces still smile in Chula Vista!

Last weekend, as I walked down H Street east of Fourth Avenue, my eyes were surprised to see a row of large, smiling faces in an alley. They looked out at the world from a long, low wall. I turned into the alley to have a closer look.

What I discovered were faces photographed and turned into public art by the international INSIDE OUT project. INSIDE OUT had come to San Diego’s South Bay in September 2018 to encourage people to express their unique identity and viewpoint, and vote in the upcoming election.

The INSIDE OUT project is the brainchild of an anonymous artist named JR. Large‐format images of individuals in a community are pasted on buildings and along streets. Activist messages are conveyed visually, with personality and a smile!

This global “people’s art project” has achieved enormous reach. By late September 2018 over 260,000 people had participated in 129 countries!

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!

Great ideas at South Bay Earth Day!

People have gathered in Chula Vista's Memorial Park for South Bay Earth Day!
People have gathered in Chula Vista’s Memorial Park for South Bay Earth Day!

Today I headed to Memorial Park in Chula Vista to check out South Bay Earth Day!

This cool annual event inspires community members to save water and energy, protect the environment, and keep our corner of the planet beautiful and clean.

I walked about and learned all sorts of useful information at many booths. I read about environmental projects that are being undertaken by the City of Chula Vista and various nonprofit organizations. I saw how community members are working to improve their neighborhoods.

These photos contain many great ideas. Click the images of signs to enlarge them for easy reading. Much of the information is of special interest to residents in San Diego’s South Bay. If you live elsewhere, perhaps you will be inspired, too!

Chula Vista's beautiful Memorial Park provides a bit of green in an urban setting.
Chula Vista’s beautiful Memorial Park provides an oasis of green in an urban setting.
The City of Chula Vista has various programs that help to protect the environment and improve quality of life.
The City of Chula Vista has various programs that help to protect the environment and improve quality of life.
Earth Month Calendar of Events for the City of Chula Vista, which includes volunteer opportunities like the Creek to Bay Cleanup.
Earth Month Calendar of Events for the City of Chula Vista, which includes volunteer opportunities like the Creek to Bay Cleanup.
City of Chula Vista, Leaders in Innovation. Programs include smart irrigation, traffic signals, sustainable buildings and drones.
City of Chula Vista, Leaders in Innovation. Programs include smart irrigation, traffic signals, sustainable buildings and drones.
Activities at South Bay Earth Day include making art. I enjoyed seeing neighbors creating colorful tie-dye!
Activities at South Bay Earth Day include making art. I enjoyed seeing neighbors creating colorful tie-dye!
This work of art created from a gourd was one of many amazing pieces from Dream Job Craftworks by Kathy Page.
Some great artists had booths. A horse etched and painted on a gourd from Dream Job Craftworks by Kathy Page.
Southwestern College had an assortment of native succulents at its Sustainable Landscape Practice table. They can provide water saving ground cover for one's yard.
Southwestern College had an assortment of succulents at its Sustainable Landscape Practice table. These native plants can provide water saving ground cover for your yard.
Mel Clarkston of LetsGetTrashed.Art shows her mosaics made of mostly plastic trash found on beaches!
Mel Clarkston of LetsGetTrashed.Art shows her mosaics made mostly of plastic trash found on beaches!
An amazing Golden State mosaic made from small bits of litter!
An amazing Golden State mosaic made from small bits of litter!
The San Diego Fixit Clinic had a table at the event. No need to throw certain things away. They repair many broken items for free!
The San Diego Fix-it Clinic had a table at the event. No need to throw certain things away. They repair many broken items for free!
Every month, the San Diego Fixit Clinic will repair broken things like electronics, appliances, and even clothes!
Every month, the San Diego Fix-it Clinic will repair broken things like electronics, appliances, and even clothes!
The City of Chula Vista Sustainability Commission had a table and interested visitors.
The City of Chula Vista Sustainability Commission had a table and interested visitors.
One of their displays compared the biodegradability of paper, different plastics and styrofoam.
One of their displays compared the biodegradability of paper, different plastics and Styrofoam.
A perfect, sunny spring day at South Bay Earth Day!
A perfect, sunny spring day at South Bay Earth Day!
Sign explains how the City of Chula Vista is developing an Active Transportation Plan to help guide future pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
Sign explains how the City of Chula Vista is developing an Active Transportation Plan to help guide future pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
This table explained a very cool Seed Library concept.
This table explained a very cool Seed Library concept.
The Otay Ranch branch of the Chula Vista Public Library has a Seed Library. Community members can take seeds to plant, or donate harvested seeds back to the library!
The Otay Ranch branch of the Chula Vista Public Library has a Seed Library. Community members can take seeds to plant, or donate harvested seeds back to the library!
Of course, recycling stations could be found all around the South Bay Earth Day event!
Of course, recycling stations could be found all around the South Bay Earth Day event.
I learned at the Surfrider Foundation booth that the 3rd Annual March For Clean Water is next weekend in Imperial Beach!
I learned at the Surfrider Foundation booth that the 3rd Annual March For Clean Water is next weekend in Imperial Beach!
I learned from some Girl Scouts that chemicals in certain sunscreens harm coral reefs. Safe active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
I learned from some Girl Scouts that certain chemicals in sunscreens harm coral reefs. Safe active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
Community members learn how to protect the environment at South Bay Earth Day!
Community members learn how to protect the environment at South Bay Earth Day!

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!

Photos of the colorful 2019 Mariachi Festival!

Ready for some super colorful photos?

In past years, the National City Chamber of Commerce’s amazing Annual International Mariachi Festival and Competition has been held in Pepper Park. You might remember my photographs in 2016 and 2017. For this year, 2019, the event was held in Chula Vista’s spacious Bayside Park!

I love the whirling colors of Mexican ballet folklórico dancing, and the soaring, unabashed joy of mariachi music, so today I had to go again!

I took photos of anything and everything!

Enjoy!

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!

Sunrise beauty at South Bay Salt Works!

Sunrise at South Bay Salt Works is a spectacle that’s hard to describe. The sun’s first rays tint the dunelike mounds of pure white salt with a golden glow, creating an effect that is otherworldly and strangely beautiful.

Yesterday as the sun cleared the horizon I approached South Bay Salt Works to experience the magic. I took many photographs!

Wikipedia has an extensive article about South Bay Salt Works, which is located near Chula Vista, in the tiny Fruitdale section of San Diego’s Otay Mesa-Nestor community. I was interested to learn it’s the second longest running business in San Diego after the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper. The salt factory began as La Punta Salt Company sometime before 1872.

Large evaporation ponds at the southern end of San Diego Bay are the source of the salt, but the water comes directly from the Pacific Ocean. South Bay Salt Works produces about 75,000 tons of salt every year from ponds that cover over a thousand acres. For decades is was the sole supplier of salt for Southern California.

Many migrating birds are attracted to the evaporation ponds. The salinity of the water supports an abundance of brine flies and brine shrimp. Today, even as salt harvesting operations continue, the ponds are officially part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

I was once told by someone who knows a little about South Bay Salt Works that the salt is shipped from San Diego to places with freezing winters, where it’s used on roads and highways to melt the ice.

Enjoy these photographs!

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!

Cool art along Third Avenue in Chula Vista!

Mural in Chula Vista titled Lemon Capitol of the World, 1900-1945. By local artist Bob Teague, 2003.
People walk past mural in Chula Vista titled Lemon Capitol of the World, 1900-1945. By local artist Bob Teague, 2003.

As I walked about Chula Vista’s Lemon Festival yesterday, I was excited to discover some cool public art!

There are probably more examples of art to be found along the Third Avenue business district between E Street and G Street, but I photographed what I happened to stumble upon.

(Note: you will see two different sculptures. One represents sunrise, the other sunset.)

Enjoy!

Plaque by mural explains the role of lemons in the history of Chula Vista. Many grand old orchard houses can still be seen around the city.
Plaque by mural explains the role of lemons in the history of Chula Vista. Many grand old orchard houses can still be seen around the city.
Section of Lemon Capitol of the World mural that shows the historic orchard house that still stands at 210 Davidson Street.
Section of Lemon Capitol of the World mural that shows the historic orchard house that still stands at 210 Davidson Street.
ChromaSol (sunrise), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun's colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
ChromaSol (sunrise), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun’s colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
A photo of the "sunrise" sculpture from a different angle.
A photo of the translucent “sunrise” sculpture from a different angle.
ChromaSol (sunset), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun's colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
ChromaSol (sunset), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun’s colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
Sunlight shines through the "sunset" sculpture. I see the green flash!
Sunlight shines through the “sunset” sculpture. I see the green flash!
Mural on wall of Mangia Italiano on Third, by Danos Designs.
Mural on wall of Mangia Italiano on Third, by Danos Designs.
Lovers stand on a balcony, and eat Italian food by the ocean.
Lovers embrace on a balcony by the ocean; another couple holds hands over Italian food.
The Vogue Theater, an historic 1945 Chula Vista movie theater designed by architect Frank Hope Jr., awaits renovation.
The Vogue Theater, an historic 1945 Chula Vista movie theater designed by architect Frank Hope Jr., awaits renovation.
Street art on the front of The Vogue Theater in Chula Vista depicts a night out at the movies.
Artwork on the front of The Vogue Theater in Chula Vista appears to depict a night out at the movies.

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!

A taste of the Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

A giant smiling lemon greets me at the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!
A giant smiling lemon greets me at the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

I’ve never been to Chula Vista’s Lemon Festival before. So this year I thought I’d take the trolley down to the South Bay to experience this big annual event!

Not only is the Lemon Festival, which takes place along a stretch of Third Avenue, a whole lot of fun, but visitors have the opportunity to learn about the history of Chula Vista and how it once was a major center of the Southern California citrus industry.

With construction of the Sweetwater Dam completed in 1888, and the arrival of the railroad in the South Bay, Chula Vista became the perfect place to grow sun-loving lemons. At one point in the early 20th century there were nearly two thousand acres of lemon groves in the area. Chula Vista even called itself the Lemon Capital of the World.

Today lemon trees are chiefly found in backyards. After World War II, the large groves began to make way for houses. Some of the developers would leave one lemon tree in the backyard of new homes.

I did see loads of lemons during the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival: lemon art, lemon costumes, lemons in treats, lemonade . . . Lemon yellow everywhere!

See for yourself!

About 50,000 people would turn out for the yearly lemon-themed event.
About 50,000 people would turn out for the yearly lemon-themed event.
These ladies had all sorts of sweet lemon treats for sale.
These ladies had all sorts of sweet lemon treats for sale.
Some friendly people from the Restored Church posed so that a blogger could take a funny photo at their booth.
Some friendly people from the Restored Church posed so that a blogger could take a funny photo at their Lemon Festival booth.
Artists at the Lemon Festival had all sorts of colorful artwork for sale that contained bright yellow.
Artists at the Lemon Festival had all sorts of colorful artwork for sale that contained bright yellow.
This lady registering people to vote had a cool lemon slice umbrella hat and smile.
This lady registering people to vote had a cool lemon slice umbrella hat and smile.
More ice cold lemonade! Sounds good on a hot summer day in San Diego's South Bay.
More ice cold lemonade! Sounds good on a hot summer day in San Diego’s South Bay.
Even this funny pooch in a wagon was selling lemonade!
Even this funny pooch in a wagon was selling lemonade!
The Chula Vista Historical Society had a booth with books and fascinating information.
The Chula Vista Historical Society had a booth with books and fascinating information.
Their display showed Chula Vista's agricultural past. Many packing companies once exported lemons around the world.
Their display showed Chula Vista’s agricultural past. Many growers and packing companies once exported lemons around the world. Some of the beautiful old crate labels have become valuable collectibles.
The display explains different grades of lemons, including culls, which were blemished, and used to make juice, furniture polish, and other by-products.
The display explains different grades of lemons, including culls, which were blemished, and used to make juice, furniture polish, and other lemon by-products.
The festival had just started and these ladies with the Third Avenue Village Association, that puts on the popular event, were putting the finishing touches on their booth.
The festival had just started and these ladies with the Third Avenue Village Association, that puts on the popular event, were almost done decorating their booth.
Another booth at the Lemon Festival had lots of old historical photographs.
Another booth at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival featured lots of interesting historical photographs.
Someone points to a photo of workers in a lemon grove at the Higgins Ranch in Keen Valley, 1901.
Someone points to a photo of workers in a lemon grove at the Higgins Ranch in Keen Valley, 1901.
Aerial photo of the Boltz lemon ranch in the mid 1920's.
Aerial photo of the Boltz lemon ranch in the mid 1920’s.
Typical Chula Vista lemon packing plant, circa 1920's.
Typical Chula Vista lemon packing plant, circa 1920’s.
Old photos of Chula Vista streetcar and train at Third Avenue.
Old photos of Chula Vista streetcar and train at Third Avenue.
Bonita lemon pickers, 1913.
Bonita lemon pickers, 1913.
Meanwhile, people spin a lemon-themed prize wheel at the festival.
Meanwhile, people spin a lemon-themed prize wheel at the festival.
At the Lemonade Bandstand, entertainment included live music, a largest lemon and lemon peel contest, a lemon costume contest, and lemon pie eating contest.
At the Lemonade Bandstand, entertainment included live music, a largest lemon and lemon peel contest, a lemon costume contest, and lemon pie eating contest.
People watch the Lemon Squeezers play rock and roll music with a twist!
People watch the Lemon Squeezers play rock and roll music with a twist!
Cool local band, the Lemon Squeezers, at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival.
Cool local band, the Lemon Squeezers, at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival.
That great music has people dancing!
That great music has people smiling and dancing!
Batman and Wonder Woman dropped on by and posed for a photo by the Lemon Bar sign.
Batman and Wonder Woman dropped on by and posed for a photo by the Lemon Bar sign.
All that fun made me thirsty for some lemonade!
All that fun has made me thirsty for some lemonade!

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Fun photos of Chula Vista’s Pacific Rim Festival!

A performance by Japanese drummers at the 2018 Pacific Rim Festival in Chula Vista.
A performance by Japanese drummers at the 2018 Pacific Rim Festival in Chula Vista.

Yesterday I headed down to the South Bay to check out the 2nd Annual Pacific Rim Festival in Chula Vista. The fun event, sponsored by the Port of San Diego, featured food and entertainment representing many nations that share the Pacific Ocean.

I lingered for over an hour and watched a rousing performance by the Naruwan Taiko Drummers, lion dancing by the Southern Sea Kung Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association, and Philippine martial art demonstrations by the Cardenas School of Modern Arnis.

Please enjoy a few photos from my walk through Bayside Park, and many more after I arrived at the colorful event!

A family enjoys the small beach near the fishing pier at the south end of Bayside Park.
A family enjoys the small beach near the fishing pier at the south end of Bayside Park.
A father plays super hopscotch in the park!
A father plays super hopscotch in the park!
Walking slowly through sunshine, on the way to a cool festival in San Diego's South Bay.
Walking slowly through sunshine, on the way to a cool festival in San Diego’s South Bay.
Downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bay Bridge are in the hazy distance.
Downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bay Bridge are in the hazy distance.
I've arrived at the 2nd Annual Pacific Rim Festival.
I’ve arrived at the 2nd Annual Pacific Rim Festival.
The first thing I saw was lots of yummy food from many countries around the Pacific Rim.
The first thing I saw was lots of yummy food from many countries around the Pacific Rim.
Beautiful crafts were also on display and available for purchase. A nice lady made this amazing glasswork by hand.
Beautiful crafts were also on display and available for purchase. A nice lady made this amazing glass artwork by hand.
Continuing through the festival. One vendor had unique clothing for sale. Another perfect San Diego day.
Continuing through the festival. One vendor had unique clothing for sale. Kids had a bounce house. Another perfect San Diego day.
An audience has gathered at the stage to watch energetic drumming by Naruwan Taiko.
An audience has gathered at the stage to watch energetic drumming by Naruwan Taiko.
Meanwhile, some lion dancers are waiting to one side for their turn to perform.
Meanwhile, some lion dancers are waiting to one side for their turn to perform.
People have gathered to celebrate many cultures around the Pacific Ocean.
People have gathered to celebrate many cultures around the Pacific Ocean.
The lion dancing has begun. This local group is the Southern Sea Kung Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association.
The lion dancing has begun. This local group is the Southern Sea Kung Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association.
Music accompanies the fun lion dance.
Music accompanies the traditional lion dance.
Banners unfurl, wishing everyone a happy and prosperous year.
Banners unfurl, wishing everyone a happy and prosperous year.
The two lions come down onto the grass to the delight of everybody.
The two lions come down onto the grass to the delight of everybody.
A young girl offers the red lion a dollar bill for good luck.
A young girl offers the red lion a dollar bill for good luck.
After this performance, I stretched my legs with a short walk along the nearby water of San Diego Bay. Others were enjoying the day, too.
After this performance, I stretched my legs with a short walk along the nearby water of San Diego Bay. Others were enjoying the day, too.
I stumbled upon some wild California poppies. They are the official flower of the state of California.
I stumbled upon some wild California poppies. They are the official flower of the state of California.
As I returned to the stage, students from the Cardenas School of Modern Arnis had assembled.
As I returned to the stage area, students from the Cardenas School of Modern Arnis had assembled.
People get ready to view a Philippine martial arts demonstration.
People get ready to view a Philippine martial arts demonstration.
The exciting demonstration begins.
The exciting demonstration begins.
Celebrating the cultures of many Pacific Rim nations at a very fun event!
Celebrating the cultures of many Pacific Rim nations at a very fun event!

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!