Huge banner celebrates San Diego’s birthday!

The County Administration Building in downtown San Diego got a gigantic new banner today! It celebrates the 250th Anniversary of San Diego’s founding!

Those who look up at the banner from the Embarcadero are reminded that San Diego–which started very modestly back in 1769 with the construction of a Spanish mission and presidio–was California’s first port and first city!

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!

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Strange story read on the roof of the library.

This afternoon I read a strange story. Pages turned as I stood on the rooftop of the downtown library.

It was a story with no words.

To read a few unusual stories I’ve written–stories containing words–click Short Stories by Richard.

Colorful map shows San Diego neighborhoods!

Cool map made of colorful words shows different neighborhoods, lakes, beaches and parks in San Diego.
Cool map made of colorful words shows different neighborhoods, lakes, beaches and parks in San Diego.

I was walking through the Horton Plaza shopping mall this morning when I spotted this awesome map of San Diego decorating one side of a vendor’s cart. It shows our city’s neighborhoods using their colorful names! It’s so cool I had to take a picture!

I’m not sure whether this graphic is available for purchase, however. The vendor hadn’t opened yet.  If I recall, they were on the ground level not far from the Jessop’s Clock.

Colorful mural: Greetings from San Diego!

The distinctive Victorian roof of the Hotel del Coronado, a top San Diego resort and tourist attraction, appears in the letter S in a North Park mural.
The distinctive Victorian roof of the Hotel del Coronado, a top San Diego resort and tourist attraction, appears in the letter S in a North Park mural.

I walked through North Park today with my camera. I had intended to continue up to Normal Heights and walk along Adams Avenue, photographing lots of street art, but I got distracted! I’ll head that way another time.

Meanwhile, stay tuned, because a whole bunch of super cool North Park street art is coming up!  (I think North Park probably has more street art per city block than any other San Diego neighborhood.)

To get things started, check out this cool mural that caught my eye while I walked along 30th Street. Using the magic of the internet, I now send it to you! Greetings from San Diego!

Balboa Park's iconic California Building and bell tower appear in the letter G in the same colorful North Park mural.
Balboa Park’s iconic California Building and bell tower appear in the letter G in the same colorful North Park mural.
Greetings from SAN DIEGO. Cool urban art on 30th Street, just south of El Cajon Boulevard in North Park. Locations in the letters include the Ocean Beach Pier, La Jolla Cove and the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster at Belmont Park in Mission Beach.
Greetings from SAN DIEGO! It’s a postcard painted on a building wall!  This cool urban art is on 30th Street, just south of El Cajon Boulevard in North Park. Images in the eight letters include the Ocean Beach Pier, La Jolla Cove, the U.S./Mexico border, and the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster at Belmont Park in Mission Beach!

This cool urban art was created in 2016 by New York graffiti artist Victor Ving and Ohio photographer Lisa Beggs. They have been traveling around the United States in an RV painting these postcard-like murals!

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 Saturday journey through colorful San Diego.

A group of young skateboarders cruises down C Street.
A group of young skateboarders cruises down C Street.

Here are a few scenes from my walk (and trolley ride) today around downtown San Diego. There is beauty, there is color, there is grit, there is life. My fascination with the dynamic city that I call home is never-ending.

Graffiti on a truck, an old blue house, and a modern high-rise, together in one photo.
Graffiti on a truck, an old blue house, and a modern high-rise, together in one photo.
Colorful art by a downtown San Diego doorway.
Colorful art by a downtown San Diego doorway.
Someone out for a walk passes a window of the Smart Corner building.
Someone out for a walk passes a window of the Smart Corner building.
A truck waits to haul pianos away at the backstage door of Copley Symphony Hall.
A truck waits to haul pianos away at the backstage door of Copley Symphony Hall.
Clean and Safe equipment in the foreground, as a Silver Line vintage trolley approaches the Fifth Avenue station.
Clean and Safe equipment in the foreground, as a Silver Line vintage trolley approaches the Fifth Avenue station.
A couple passengers will take a ride on this restored PCC streetcar, of the San Diego Trolley. I joined them!
Passengers will take a ride on this restored PCC streetcar of the San Diego Trolley. I joined them!
Looking out the vintage trolley window at people walking through the City College station.
Looking out the vintage trolley window at people walking through the City College station.
Heading down Park Boulevard, and people camped on the sidewalk. San Diego, unfortunately, contains many homeless.
Heading down Park Boulevard, and people camped on the sidewalk. San Diego, unfortunately, contains many homeless.
Looking out the trolley window at the Park and Market station.
Looking out the trolley window at the Park and Market station.
A crane above construction near Petco Park holds a POW MIA flag. Banners along Imperial Avenue show Monster Energy Supercross stars. The event is happening this weekend.
A crane above construction near Petco Park holds a POW/MIA flag. Banners along Imperial Avenue show Monster Energy Supercross stars. The event is happening this weekend.
Supercross Party in the Pits is taking place in a parking lot adjacent to Petco Park.
Supercross Party in the Pits is taking place in a parking lot adjacent to Petco Park.
Sign near Downtown Johnny Brown's at Civic Center Plaza reads Eat Drink See Dinosaurs if you drink enough.
Sign near Downtown Johnny Brown’s at Civic Center Plaza reads Eat Drink See Dinosaurs if you drink enough.
Someone looks up at inflatable dinosaur arch outside the entrance to T. Rex Planet at the Community Concourse.
Someone looks up at inflatable dinosaur arch outside the entrance to T. Rex Planet at the Community Concourse.

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Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Please visit Short Stories by Richard.

San Diego and Yokohama: friendship, a girl and a bell.

A simple but meaningful pavilion stands at the west end of Shelter Island. It holds the Bell of Friendship.
A simple but meaningful pavilion stands at the west end of Shelter Island. It holds the Bell of Friendship.

At the west end of Shelter Island, which lies near the entrance to San Diego Bay, you’ll find a testament to the enduring friendship that has been established between two sister cities. San Diego and Yokohama are located on opposite sides of the wide Pacific Ocean, yet these two beautiful cities are closely connected.

In 1958 a large bronze traditional Japanese bell was dedicated on Shelter Island with great ceremony.  It’s located in a prominent spot; ships from countries throughout the world pass it every day. The bell, created by Masahiko Katori, one of Japan’s living National Treasures, was presented during a Centennial Celebration which marked a hundred years of formal relations between the United States and Japan. The bell hangs in a pavilion surrounded by a narrow moat of water and a space of green grass.

The Bell of Friendship, which is six feet high and almost two and half tons, is seldom rung; but on New Year’s Eve the ram strikes the heavy bronze, resonating deeply–many say spiritually–welcoming a hopeful future.

The Japanese Friendship Bell was presented by the City of Yokohama to the people of San Diego in 1958 as a symbol of eternal friendship.
The Japanese Friendship Bell was presented by the City of Yokohama to the people of San Diego in 1958 as a symbol of eternal friendship.
This magnificent bell was cast by the artist Masahiko Katori who has been designated as a living National Treasure by the government of Japan.
This magnificent bell was cast by the artist Masahiko Katori who has been designated as a Living National Treasure by the government of Japan.
The Japanese Friendship Bell is one of several landmarks that can be seen along the length of San Diego's park-like Shelter Island.
The Japanese Friendship Bell is one of several landmarks that can be seen along the length of Shoreline Park on Shelter Island.

At the front of the simple pavilion stands a three foot tall sculpture of a young girl. “The Girl in Red Shoes” by Japanese artist Munehiro Komeno debuted in 2010 and represents the friendship between the ports of San Diego and Yokohama. The sculpture portrays Kimi, a Japanese orphan who was adopted by a loving American couple in the 1920s. The girl was later diagnosed with tuberculosis and couldn’t leave Japan. The touching story has been told many times, and has become a symbol of the goodwill that exists between our two nations. Kimi holds a rose and carnation. The rose symbolizes Yokohama; the carnation is San Diego.

The Girl in Red Shoes by Munehiro Komeno. June 2, 2009. Kimi represents close friendship between the United States and Japan.
The Girl in Red Shoes by Munehiro Komeno. June 2, 2009. Kimi represents close friendship between the United States and Japan.
Biking past a unique and beautiful sight on a glorious summer day.
Biking past a unique and beautiful sight on a glorious summer day.

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Millions of city doors, beckoning restless people.

Decorative doors to La Granada Ballroom at the House of Hospitality in Balboa Park.
Decorative doors to La Granada Ballroom at the House of Hospitality in Balboa Park.

How many doors are waiting to be opened in one ordinary city? In San Diego, with a population that exceeds one million, there must be many millions of doors.

We take doors for granted, pushing through them like nothing, and yet there is something magical and transformational about each one. Doors represent movement through space and time, from this amazing present to a future, amazing present. As we’re propelled forward in life we pass through many doors, and like the choices we face they are found on every side. Where do we turn our feet? Which doors do we try? Every chosen door leads our restless feet into a beckoning and wonderful unknown.

So, anyway, I just love looking at endless doors. And each unique invitation they present to the eye, while concealing unseen places beyond.

Here’s a variety of doors that I’ve photographed during many walks…

Colorful front door to a small residence in San Diego's Little Italy.
Colorful front door to a small residence in San Diego’s Little Italy.
Colors of the Italian flag frame this unusual door on India Street.
Colors of the Italian flag frame this unusual door on India Street.
Imperial Beach surf shop has a door plastered with beach-themed decals and signs.
Imperial Beach surf shop has a door plastered with beach-themed decals and signs.
Caged lion in the Gaslamp guards the Hard Rock Cafe, and a door with electric guitar handle.
Caged lion in the Gaslamp guards the Hard Rock Cafe, and a door with electric guitar handle.
Funky west entrance to the House of Blues in downtown San Diego.
Funky west entrance to the House of Blues in downtown San Diego.
Walking past distinctive front of Our Lady of the Rosary church in Little Italy.
Walking past distinctive front of Our Lady of the Rosary church in Little Italy.
St. Paul's Cathedral in Bankers Hill and an elegant red door behind rows of columns.
St. Paul’s Cathedral in Bankers Hill and an elegant red door behind rows of columns.
A little shop in Sherman Heights has a plain door invitingly open beside fun pinatas.
A little shop in Sherman Heights has a plain door invitingly open beside fun pinatas.
Artist studio door is wide open and welcoming in Balboa Park's colorful Spanish Village.
Artist studio door is wide open and welcoming in Balboa Park’s colorful Spanish Village.
International Travelers House has a door that welcomes one and all.
International Travelers House has a door that welcomes one and all.
Is that a swinging saloon door in Old Town, or a painted version on an ordinary door?
Is that a swinging saloon door in Old Town, or a painted version on an ordinary door?
This rusted door makes a fashionable statement in downtown San Diego.
This rusted door makes a fashionable statement in downtown San Diego.
Just a cheerful orange and bright green door in East Village!
Just a cheerful orange and bright green door in East Village!

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