A magical new mural slowly comes to life!

The long new mural in City Heights’ Teralta Neighborhood Park is slowly coming to life! I got another look at it this morning!

Some of the faces along the 263-foot mural are gaining color, detail and character as San Diego graffiti artist Sake continues to apply his artistry!

I last visited the mural about a month ago, and took these photos. At the time most of the faces were mere sketches.

As you can see, this monumental new mural that celebrates City Heights’s diverse community is going to be amazing!

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!

Music, dance and circus festival coming to City Heights!

Oh, wow! Check out the big, free cultural event that’s coming to City Heights on Saturday, June 26!

From noon to 6 pm, Music en la Calle is going to feature a ton of music and dance, not to mention a fun circus performance!

I see there will be mariachis, Azteca dancers, flamenco dancers, taiko drummers (I’ve been to several Naruwan Taiko performances and they are absolutely incredible!), jazz musicians, and performers from everybody’s favorite Fern Street Circus!

Music en la Calle will take place at the intersection of University Avenue and 41st Street, in City Height’s new community performance venue by the outdoor “Characters” sculpture garden!

I’ll be there!

FireBirds’ karate chicken vs. flaming devils!

A chicken with a brown belt in karate is pitted against flaming hot devils in this crazy City Heights mural!

The mural, which I believe was painted in 2020, can be found on the side of FireBirds Chicken at 4155 University Avenue. The restaurant opened in late 2019. The mural is part of City Heights’ growing collection of awesome street art tagged #TheAvenueMuralProject.

From what I’ve read, FireBirds chicken is the first Nashville hot chicken restaurant in San Diego. It is operated by two brothers who are UC San Diego alumni.

I know I like Louisiana fried chicken, so I guess I better head inside one day and give it a try!

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!

Faces appear in amazing new Teralta Park mural!

Dozens of faces have appeared in artwork that, when finished, will be one of San Diego’s most impressive murals. The 263-foot mural is being spray painted on a long wall at the south end of Teralta Neighborhood Park, directly over Interstate 15!

Unity in the Community is the name of the new, very colorful City Heights mural, and it’s being created by San Diego graffiti artist Sake.

In addition to important City Heights landmarks like the Euclid Tower, Silverado Ballroom, City Heights/Weingart Library and Central Elementary School, the mural depicts many faces from this diverse San Diego community.

As I walked along the mural from right to left, I saw images of children in playground swings and riding bikes, musicians playing instruments, kids playing volleyball, basketball and soccer in the park, happy dogs, smiling families, youth graduating from school, and proud neighborhood residents from all walks of life.

The mural, which is being painted in an area known for gang activity, is meant to inspire those who see it with its positive, hopeful, unifying imagery.

I took these photographs several days ago. I plan to post additional photos as the mural progresses.

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!

Another very cool mural at Super Cocina!

Lorena Correa, a tattoo and mural artist from Bogotá, Colombia, completed painting a very cool mural a couple weeks ago at Super Cocina in City Heights!

If you like her detailed artwork, check out her Instagram @lorenaskunkrocker. You’ll see lots of hyenas!

This cool mural fills in a wall that features some earlier murals. It’s the latest addition to San Diego’s big outdoor art gallery that continues to grow in City Heights, on University Avenue between I-805 and I-15.

To see a couple other murals on the same wall at Super Cocina, click here and 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!

A colorful Cultural Fusion in City Heights!

City Heights is one of San Diego’s most culturally diverse communities.

Over the decades, immigrants have arrived in waves from different parts of the world, making this neighborhood in east San Diego their new home.

So it’s not surprising to find public art in City Heights that celebrates diversity and the dynamic interaction of people who have converged from different places.

Cultural Fusion is an abstract sculpture that stands near the entrance of the La Maestra Community Health Center in City Heights. The public art was created in 2015 by local artist Jim Bliesner, in collaboration with Victor Chavez Metal Works.

I took these photographs today!

To me, the colorful shapes that compose Cultural Fusion appear like symbols and ideas and fragments of life that continually collide and intermix, joining in places, producing new offshoots, creating endless combinations of complexity and beauty.

It sort of looks like music.

That’s what happens when many people with very different life stories come together in one 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!

The unexpected Egyptian Garage in City Heights.

The Egyptian Garage building in City Heights is a fascinating example of Egyptian Revival architecture.

This building with a rather unexpected appearance is located at University Avenue and Euclid Avenue. It’s adjacent to two other unique, historical buildings–directly west of the prominent Euclid Tower, and south across the street from the Silverado Ballroom (both of which you can see in a few of the following photographs).

To learn about the history of the Egyptian Garage, I’ve had to sort out conflicting dates from several web pages. Apparently the building was constructed in 1923, at the end of the old East San Diego trolley line. It was one of three Egyptian Revival streetcar electrical substations that were built. It was sold only two years after beginning operation.

After a remodel in 1925 by David H. Ryan, the building served from 1926 to 1932 as the Egyptian Garage, complete with gas pumps in front. An addition was made on the south side in 1927. Since 1957 it has been the home of Big City Liquor.

Today you can see pharaoh heads atop pilasters on a couple sides of the building, horizontal vulture wings containing cobras and suns up by the rooftop, and an obelisk-like projection on the garage’s south end with a hieroglyphic design featuring ibis-headed Egyptian moon god Thoth.

To learn much more, you can read a detailed article about the Egyptian Garage building’s history and the phenomenon of Egyptian Revival architecture in the 1920’s here.

A few other examples of the Egyptian Revival architectural style can be found in San Diego, most notably in Hillcrest. Years ago I took some fun photos in Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter and posted them here.

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Two amazing Buddhist temples in City Heights.

Last Sunday, during my walk in City Heights, I admired the exteriors of two amazing buildings near the corner of 52nd Street and Rex Avenue, one block south of University Avenue.

As far as I understand it, both beautiful buildings are Buddhist temples, and together they are called Wat Sovannkiry, Cambodian Buddhist Society San Diego. The head monk of Wat Sovannkiry is Reverend Father Khian Prom Attaguto of Cambodia, Abbot of Wat Suwan Khiri, San Diego.

I’ve tried to ascertain more information concerning Wat Sovannkiry, but there is almost nothing online, and not all of what I read, including names and spelling, is consistent. I didn’t venture into either temple building because I didn’t want to intrude. But I did take photographs of the highly ornate exteriors.

Hidden San Diego has an article about Cambodian and Laotian temple Wat Sovannkiri which you can read here.

My first photographs are of the truly amazing building on the east side of 52nd Street…

The following photographs, also taken from the sidewalk, are of the second building, which is located just west of 52nd Street on Rex Avenue…

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!

Colorful characters gather for City Heights celebration!

This afternoon I attended an inspirational event in the heart of City Heights. Local artists, community leaders and excited residents gathered for a fun celebration in the newly opened “Characters” outdoor sculpture garden!

You might recall I posted some photos of this cool art installation a while back before it was completed. Since then, more creative sculptures have been installed! I also noticed small signs have been added to each piece, with information about the artist and artwork.

I arrived early and watched as the crowd slowly grew, mingling among the diverse Characters sculptures. And before my eyes the number of smiling characters increased!

Everyone enjoyed food and live music, and there was juggling and stilt-walking by a member of the Fern Street Circus. After a little while various community leaders spoke, including local artist Jim Bliesner, the curator of Characters.

He introduced the neighborhood artists who created each sculpture, and many of the stories were inspirational. Every piece, like every person in the life of a community, is special and unique.

During the event I also learned that in two years this now vacant lot at the corner of University Avenue and Interstate 15 will be developed into affordable housing. When finished, a five-story building, the project of Wakeland Housing & Development and the City Heights Community Development Corporation, will be located conveniently near the City Heights Transit Plaza.

What I learned above all, however, is that City Heights is becoming an ever more vibrant community, with the help of many hands and hearts.

Edwin Lohr poses beside his sculpture Covid Calamity.

The sculpture was created using scarves that belonged to Ruth, a City Heights neighbor, friend, and victim of COVID-19.
Kay Aye poses for a photo by her sculpture titled Speaking for Silent Majorities/Fruit of My Heart.
Kay Aye was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her art speaks of the oppression that has been going on for years in her native land.
Member of the Fern Street Circus engages in performance art! Different color paints dribble down 2020 Man, a sculpture made of tangled branches by Jim Bliesner.
Twisted, chaotic broken branches form a human shape. 2020 was a year full of twists and turns!
Art brings even more life to a vibrant City Heights community.

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!

Permanent outdoor circus tent comes to City Heights!

San Diego’s beloved Fern Street Circus has erected a permanent outdoor performance tent on a corner in City Heights!

Pedestrians coming down the sidewalk will soon begin seeing practice sessions and circus classes at the corner of University Avenue and 41st Street!

I learned about this cool development today during a big cultural celebration in City Heights, which took place in the adjacent, newly installed “Characters” sculpture garden. I’ll be blogging more about that event shortly.

As I walked around with my camera, I took these photos of the big circus tent and some of the colorful artwork that decorates the Fern Street Circus vehicles, which happened to be parked nearby. The cool graphics are the work of local artist Sergio Hernandez, who is also known as Surge.

To learn more about the Fern Street Circus and their many positive community activities, including after-school circus programs, click here. Fern Street Circus has been designated Cirque du Soleil’s Social Action Partner in San Diego, and they are celebrating their 30th anniversary!

Over the years I’ve attended several Fern Street Circus shows around San Diego and they are indeed wonderful.

Adding smiles to the world makes it a better place. And soon people walking and driving through City Heights will have another reason to smile!

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!