El Chavo and La Chilindrina appear in City Heights!

Look at the characters I spotted during a recent walk through City Heights. El Chavo and La Chilindrina!

The two were hanging out early in the morning near the corner of University Avenue and 37th Street!

Many murals have been painted along this corridor of City Heights–which has become a very colorful outdoor art gallery–but these two I hadn’t seen previously. It appears they were another fun project of Love City Heights and #theavenuemuralproject!

El Chavo pops out of a barrel on a door in City Heights!
La Chilindrina licks a lollipop in a City Heights mural!

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!

Community sculptures appear in City Heights!

An outdoor sculpture gallery is now springing up in the heart of City Heights!

Today I paused near the intersection of University Avenue and Interstate 15 to feast my eyes on all the colorful artwork!

This very cool outdoor sculpture garden is sponsored by the City Heights Community Development Corporation, the City Heights Business Association and Synergy Arts Foundation. The character sculptures, which might represent a person that is real or imagined, are all created by members of the community, under the curation of local artist Jim Bliesner.

The sculptures have personalities that are funny, or sad, or hopeful, or simply whimsical–and all are super creative! I noticed some refer to the difficult COVID-19 pandemic we are all experiencing.

You can view this unique installation in the vacant lot north of University Avenue just east of Interstate 15. The mixed media sculptures stand behind a fence that is already decorated with hand painted murals that I blogged about here.

The sculptures will be on display in the lot for a year and a variety of community events will be held among them.

I’ll return at a later time to photograph additional sculptures. Stay tuned for an update!

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!

Waldorf School students paint mural in City Heights!

High school students attending The Waldorf School of San Diego were painting a large, colorful mural in City Heights today!

I swung by the corner of University Avenue and Wilson Avenue this afternoon to see how their public art project is progressing.

The Waldorf School has teamed up with the organization Love City Heights to spread culture and beauty and positive messages in this east San Diego community! I’m told more murals might be forthcoming!

This particular mural was designed by members of the school’s Social Justice Club.

The inspiration is American author Audre Lorde. According to Wikipedia: “As a poet she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, lesbianism, illness and disability, and the exploration of black female identity…”

I observed that lots of students have participated in creating the mural.

Each hand, holding a paintbrush, has spread human kindness.

UPDATE!

I checked out the completed mural a couple days later!

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!

Mural of Padres hero Tony Gwynn in City Heights!

I finally got around to checking out the big, bold mural in City Heights depicting one of San Diego’s greatest heroes, Tony Gwynn. You can see it on the south side of the Undisputed City Heights building.

The mural was painted last November by Chula Vista artists Paul Jimenez and Signe Ditona of Ground Floor Murals. They were invited to participate in this inspirational project by community organization Love City Heights.

Tony Gwynn, one the greatest hitters in the history of Major League Baseball, was loved by many in San Diego for his easy smile and bright laughter. But when the legendary Padres player stood behind home plate holding a bat, his expression changed to one of complete concentration. You can see focus and determination in this mural.

Undisputed City Heights is an MMA, boxing and martial arts training facility on University Avenue. Their programs emphasize character building and personal empowerment. On the west side of their building is another inspirational mural that reads: I AM POSSIBLE. I posted photographs of that mural here!

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!

Photos of the Euclid Tower in City Heights.

One of the most colorful and fascinating landmarks in all of San Diego is the Euclid Tower in City Heights.

The 80‐foot tall Euclid Tower, located on University Avenue at Reno Drive, a block east of Euclid Avenue, was originally built in 1932. Today the extraordinary building is home to the Tower Bar and Tower Tattoo Parlor.

The Euclid Tower was originally a drive-in soda fountain, and its second floor served as an observation deck. Over the decades the building has been the unique home for a string of businesses, primarily restaurants. An example of the Zigzag Moderne Art Deco style, the Euclid Tower was designed by an unknown architect. You can learn more about its history and see old photographs of the building here.

By the 1980’s the old gray building had a look of neglect and decay. In 1995 a community art project painted it with colorful new designs. Third grade kids created pictures of the City Heights community, which ended up as the tiles you see in my photographs.

But structural degradation that occurred over the course of many years resulted in the tower tipping dangerously. In 1999 the tall spire of the building was removed.

In 2009 a somewhat shorter spire was erected and the building was restored using a design proposed by Cynthia Bechtel, Mark Messenger and Christina Montuouri. Their vision of the present-day Euclid Tower is what you see in my photographs.

You can read about the Euclid Tower’s restoration here.

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!

The unique, authentic life of street art.

A painting is hung on the wall of a home or museum and endures for generations. Street art–from an alley’s sudden bold graffiti to the most elaborately constructed mural–is born, sees the sunlight, greets countless passing eyes, ages quickly, fades, is ruined, vanishes. And where it once lived, often new art springs up.

In a sense, street art is like our own lives. Authentic. Something we all appreciate. That speaks from the heart, confidently. That is temporary.

During my walk through City Heights yesterday I saw how a uniquely beautiful mural painted outside a coffee shop has vanished. I enjoyed a look at it in August. But its gone in October. Its life was short. It was badly defaced, I’m told. And now this carefully made street art is gone forever, painted over.

Summer soon becomes autumn, then winter.

Cherish every moment in life.

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!

Community gathers on a fence in City Heights.

Colorful new artwork has appeared on a fence in City Heights! Small painted scenes celebrate the neighborhood and provide a feeling of life in this diverse community.

I’ve learned the paintings are by artist Jim Bliesner, who has contributed his heart and talent to projects around San Diego over the course of many years. With strokes of his brush he has magically gathered many neighbors together!

I see people from all walks of life running, jumping, playing, shopping, going to school, interacting, making their voices heard.

I see a community that’s alive!

This fence beside a vacant lot is becoming a sort of temporary outdoor art gallery. You can find this colorful artwork on University Avenue, just east of Interstate 15.

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!

Girl Scout’s inspiring community mural project!

Mural painted in City Heights inspires those who see it to register to vote.
Mural painted in City Heights inspires those who see it to register to vote.

Check out this great new mural in City Heights!

The mural was painted this weekend to inspire members of the community to vote in this year’s election. It’s the Girl Scout “Gold Award” project of Lauren Crane!

She and a team of volunteers have painted a portion of a wall at Mid City Wash on University Avenue with a cool red, white and blue design that asks: Are you registered to vote? A nearby table, presided over by a couple of other friendly Girl Scouts, provided voter registration information for anyone who might pass by on the sidewalk.

I met Lauren today, as well as the folks of the organization Love City Heights, who’ve helped to make this awesome project a reality. Painting such a public mural requires the approval, resources and coordination of many people, and earning a Gold Award is all about leadership . . . and using that leadership to actually make the world a better place.

Not only does this project provide great experience for an up-and-coming leader, but it provides inspiration to all of those who are associated with it, and encourages those who happen to see the mural to become more involved in their community, too!

Is this awesome, or what?

Girl Scout Lauren Crane is responsible for this Gold Award mural project.
Girl Scout Lauren Crane is responsible for this Gold Award mural project.

Community volunteers pitch in to help paint the inspiring mural.
Community volunteers pitch in to help paint the inspiring mural.

Here are some of the people who have volunteered and made a real difference.
Here are some of the people who have volunteered and made a real difference.

A Guide to Voting in California pamphlets on a nearby table.
A Guide to Voting in California pamphlets on a nearby table.

An important community project brought to life by a Girl Scout, working to make the world a better place.
An important community project brought to life by a Girl Scout, working to make the world a better place.

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!

Unsung hero is a bright light in City Heights!

Volunteers for a community clean-up gather in City Heights for the Global Day of Caring.
Volunteers for a community clean-up gather in City Heights for the Global Day of Caring.

I’m honored to know an unsung hero in City Heights. Carlos Quezada, co-founder of Love City Heights, has been named by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez an Unsung Hero for the 80th Assembly District!

Carlos has been working diligently for years to celebrate and revitalize the diverse east San Diego neighborhood of City Heights. He’s the driving force behind the “drive-through art gallery” on University Avenue between I-805 and I-15 that I’ve blogged about for a couple of years now.

Carlos has brought many great artists and muralists together with school students and community businesses and organizations to paint a picture in City Heights of a bright now and even brighter future. It’s amazing how one positive, energetic person can have a tremendous impact on their community!

And you know what true unselfishness is? I was going to take Carlos’ photo once and he modestly rebuffed my attempt. The only photograph of Carlos that I’ve posted until now is the one you see above. See the guy in the very back wearing a Love City Heights T-shirt? That’s him!

Congratulations to Carlos Quezada!

Yet another mural is being painted today, and I’m about to head out my door to see it!

UPDATE!

I finally got a photo of Carlos! That’s him on the left. To the right is Melody De Los Cobos, the Artistic Director of Love City Heights. She’s a super cool artist who is well known in the local arts community!

Carlos Quezada and Melody De Los Cobos of Love City Heights.
Carlos Quezada and Melody De Los Cobos of Love City Heights.

We rise by lifting up!

Can your spirits be lifted by an old faded mural in a city alley?

Of course!

I spied a smiling sun and moon near the intersection of University Avenue and 46th Street in City Heights. The enduring message: WE RISE BY LIFTIN.

And I smiled, too!

UPDATE!

I received a comment by Amber M Jahn that provides information concerning this great mural:

You forgot the beauty painted on the alley side of building at 47th and University. The entire wall was first painted by Amber Jahn in about 2017 in which she writes the message “We Rise by Lifting Others” then 2 years ago half the wall was covered, erasing the word Others, and adding a noon to the existing sun…so now it says “we rise by Lifting”….I’d love to see a community day of free hot dogs and get a few local bands to play while the mural is updated, refurbishing the sunshine and adding the word Others to complete the project right. I personally funded the first mural, it would be cool if a lift could be procured for the tallest areas of the building since my 12 ft scaffold only reached 17 feet of the 21ft wall and has been left unfinished as a result. (I’m only 5’2” and did all the work alone one summer while living in a minivan on University Ave. It was a good way to keep my mind distracted from the crisis I was currently enduring. I like that I’ve received messages from local parents thanking me for giving their children something positive to look at on their way to and from school everyday. My pleasure!!

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!