A taste of San Diego’s historic Little Portugal.

Design on tiles indicates Portuguese American Social and Civic Club.
Image on tiles indicates Portuguese American Social and Civic Club.

The history of the Portuguese community in Point Loma is fascinating. During a walk along a block of Avenida de Portugal, I got just a small glimpse of it.

Many have heard of Little Italy in San Diego, but I suspect few have heard of a neighborhood that some call Little Portugal. It can be found near the entrance to Shelter Island, an area settled by many families of Portuguese fishermen when the tuna industry flourished in our city. The neighborhood was once called Tunaville. Two landmarks that were built by the Portuguese almost a century ago still exist today: the United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall where the community gathers and a small Catholic chapel beside it.

I spotted some round plaques in the sidewalk and images on tile on the hall’s exterior during my walk beside these two buildings. They provide a small taste of Little Portugal’s history. I thought you might enjoy taking a look at a few of them.

Small Catholic chapel in Point Loma, in a neighborhood sometimes called Little Portugal.
Small Catholic chapel in Point Loma, in a neighborhood sometimes referred to as Little Portugal.
Front of the United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall on a sunny San Diego day.
Front of the United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall on a sunny San Diego day.
Plaque in the sidewalk is a Tribute to our Immigrants. Determination, hard work and strength of character are only a few of the gifts you have given us.
Plaque in the sidewalk is a Tribute to our Immigrants. Determination, hard work and strength of character are only a few of the gifts you have given us.
In admiration of their loyalty and commitment to the Fishing Industry and never ending support of our Portuguese Community.
In admiration of their loyalty and commitment to the Fishing Industry and never ending support of our Portuguese Community.
Age of Exploration. In thoughtful memory of God and our parents who so successfully contributed to our Festas do Espirito Santo, the tuna industry and our lives in America.
Age of Exploration. In thoughtful memory of God and our parents who so successfully contributed to our Festas do Espirito Santo, the tuna industry and our lives in America.
The flag of Portugal flies proudly in San Diego near Shelter Island.
The flag of Portugal flies proudly in San Diego near Shelter Island.
Map of the island of Madeira and image of Santo Amaro.
Map of the island of Madeira and image of Santo Amaro.
Image of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's galleon San Salvador and his statue at Cabrillo National Monument, a gift from the government of Portugal. Exploring on behalf of Spain, Cabrillo was Portuguese.
Image of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s galleon San Salvador and his statue at Cabrillo National Monument, a gift from the government of Portugal. Exploring on behalf of Spain, Cabrillo was Portuguese.

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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Photos of America’s best Fourth of July parade!

Many say the best Fourth of July parade in America takes place every year in Coronado. Thousands of spectators line Orange Avenue and watch a glorious two hour parade that stretches from one side of the island to the other.

This year I managed to take a bunch of good photos. You can get a flavor of the patriotism and the appreciation our community has for those who serve in the military. Coronado, of course, is home to many Navy SEALs and a Naval Air Station, including two active aircraft carriers. And San Diego is home to most of the Pacific Fleet and a large number of Marines. Over the years, many veterans have also settled down in our fair city.

I saw many smiling families and much love of country on this Independence Day. These photos (except for the one above) are in chronological sequence. First we see a crowd gathering along the parade route…

The Star-Spangled Banner was sung before the parade commenced. Hats came off, and some saluted.

The kids were drawing poop circles. If a horse makes a deposit inside your circle, you win!

Here we go!

These guys, under the direction of a Drill Instructor, periodically reenacted Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima during the parade.

A wounded warrior received a Thank You and loud cheers.

People crossed Orange Avenue during breaks in the parade.

Those guys in the classic cars are Pearl Harbor survivors.

There were some guys engaged in Star Wars cosplay at this point during the parade. Check my previous blog post to see photos of that!

That’s just a taste of what is arguably the best Fourth of July parade in America!

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!

Murals in urban park celebrate La Mesa volunteers.

A small park located on the 8300 block of La Mesa Boulevard contains murals that celebrate people helping people.
A small urban park located on the 8300 block of La Mesa Boulevard contains murals that celebrate people helping people.

Yesterday I discovered a very special park in San Diego’s East County city of La Mesa. The small urban park is called Walkway of the Stars. You can find it in the historic heart of the city, a stretch of La Mesa Boulevard called The Village.

Civic-minded volunteers who have worked over 10,000 hours for the community are celebrated with stars embedded in the park’s walkway. Colorful murals on either side show people helping people.

Come with me and we’ll take a look…

City of La Mesa Walkway of the Stars, in recognition of our community volunteers.
City of La Mesa Walkway of the Stars, in recognition of our community volunteers.
One mural in the park shows youth working to clean up graffiti.
One mural in the park shows youth working to clean up graffiti.
One mural behind a small succulent garden shows musicians in a public concert.
One mural behind a small succulent garden shows musicians in a public concert.
Volunteers in the community help to teach swimming.
Volunteers in the community help to teach swimming.
A volunteer coach teaches baseball.
A volunteer coach teaches baseball.
A closer look at humanity in one mural.
A closer look at humanity in one mural.
I believe this mural depicts the annual La Mesa Flag Day Parade.
I believe this mural depicts the annual La Mesa Flag Day Parade.
Clowns bring joy.
Clowns bring joy.
Volunteers help to keep La Mesa parks beautiful and friendly.
Volunteers help to keep La Mesa parks beautiful and friendly.
Lots of dogs and a smile.
Lots of dogs and a smile.
Painted dog on a utility box seems to have jumped out from the bustling mural.
Painted dog on a utility box seems to have jumped out from the bustling mural.
One mural pays tribute to volunteer law enforcement.
One mural pays tribute to volunteer law enforcement.
This pedestrian walkway has been transformed into a landmark known as the Walkway of the Stars. The park and its murals honor La Mesa volunteers who have 10,000 hours or more of service.
This pedestrian walkway has been transformed into a landmark known as the Walkway of the Stars. The park and its murals honor La Mesa volunteers who have 10,000 hours or more of service.
Walkway of the Stars provides a public "Thank You" to dedicated citizen volunteers who make La Mesa a better place to live.
Walkway of the Stars provides a public “Thank You” to dedicated citizen volunteers who make La Mesa a better place to live.

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!

Artists add life to the Ocean Beach Street Fair!

Peace. Love. Art. OB.
Peace. Love. Art. OB.

Late this morning I went to the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair. As usual there was lots of live music, tons of yummy food, endless smiles, and a whole bunch of friendly artists creating amazing art.

Here is just a little of what I saw…

Someone tries their hand at creating with chalk during the Ocean Beach Street Fair. I Love Art.
Someone tries their hand at creating with chalk during the Ocean Beach Street Fair. At the center, I Love Art.
A large Artists' Alley was full of life and energy.
A large Artists’ Alley was full of life and energy.
One artist was painting while people looked at her colorful canvases.
One artist was painting while people looked at her colorful canvases.
This artist was just getting started. All art begins with an empty space that is full of infinite potential.
This artist was just getting started. All art begins with an empty space that is full of infinite potential.
Many different musical artists entertained the crowd at the OB Street Fair. This band could be heard at the Wonderland Stage.
Many different musical artists entertained the crowd at the OB Street Fair. This rollicking band could be heard at the Wonderland Stage.
Meanwhile, another keg of beer is arriving in an alley by the Kilowatt Ocean Beach mural.
Meanwhile, another keg of beer is arriving in an alley by the Kilowatt Ocean Beach mural.
Kids enjoyed a bounce house that featured comic book art.
Kids enjoyed a bounce house that featured comic book art.
This bubble blower guy is an artist. He creates shimmering joy.
This bubble blower guy is an artist. Right? He creates shimmering joy.
Another artist at the Ocean Beach Street Fair concentrates on her work.
Another artist at the Ocean Beach Street Fair concentrates on her work.
One guy in Artists' Alley had a bunch of cool robot artwork for sale.
One guy in Artists’ Alley had a bunch of cool robot artwork for sale.
Kids were learning how to make music, and were entertaining the crowd like rock 'n roll superstars!
Kids were learning how to make music, and were entertaining the crowd like rock ‘n roll superstars!
Some surfers pass fun public art on Newport Avenue. They hear music coming from the main stage by the beach.
Some surfers pass fun public art on Newport Avenue. They hear music coming from the main stage by the beach.
These skateboarders hear it, too.
These skateboarders hear it, too.
A band pleases the OB crowd.
A band pleases the OB crowd.
Others were happy to just sit by the sand and gaze out at the ocean.
Others were happy to just sit by the sand and gaze out at the beautiful ocean. The sun finally came out.
A local photographer was showing off his art to those passing by.
A local photographer was showing off his art to those passing by.
Members of the Ocean Beach community (or anyone) could paint a square of a new community mural.
Members of the Ocean Beach community (or anyone at all) could paint a square of a new community mural.
A number of colorful squares have already been painted!
A number of colorful squares have already been painted!
Love of life and love of art combine at the Ocean Beach Street Fair!
Love of life and love of art combine at the always wonderful Ocean Beach Street Fair!

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!

A few San Diego Bike to Work Day photos!

Someone rides a bicycle along B Street during San Diego's Bike to Work Day.
Someone rides a bicycle along B Street during San Diego’s Bike to Work Day.

This morning, on my way to catch the trolley downtown, I saw lots of people heading to work by bicycle. Today was Bike to Work Day in San Diego!

I snapped a few photos just for the fun of it. I also took a photo of a cool map showing designated places to bike in San Diego’s downtown and uptown areas. Make copies of it for your own use if you’d like!

The Donut Bar had a Bike to Work Day pit stop in downtown San Diego. Many morning riders swung on by.
The Donut Bar had a Bike to Work Day pit stop in downtown San Diego. Many morning riders swung on by.
There were tables full of goodies for those who commuted to work by bike.
There were tables full of goodies for those who commuted to work by bike.
Another pit stop at Civic Center Plaza. The City of San Diego has a special program that encourages bicycling.
Another pit stop at Civic Center Plaza. The City of San Diego has a special program that encourages bicycling.
A map of the San Diego downtown and uptown bike loop. (Click image to enlarge.)
A map of the San Diego downtown and uptown bike loop. (Click image to enlarge.)
Even a blogger who is more into walking received big smiles!
Even a blogger who is more into walking received big smiles!

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 Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway.

A statue of Tony Gwynn was dedicated last Tuesday at Lake Poway, near the place he called home.
A statue of Tony Gwynn was dedicated last Tuesday at Lake Poway, not far from the place where he lived.

This morning I had to visit the new Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway. It was unveiled and dedicated last Tuesday.

I had to fill my eyes once again with that smile, imagine his laugh, remember his swing of the bat.

I never met Tony, but he touched my life, and the lives of countless others.

He worked hard.  He gave much.  He loved everybody.

He made the world much better.

Someone in a Gwynn San Diego Padres jersey sits by the softball field at Lake Poway, not far from the statue.
Someone in a Gwynn San Diego Padres jersey sits by the softball field at Lake Poway, not far from the statue.
The beautiful bronze sculpture celebrates one of the greatest hitters in MLB baseball. Gwynn doffs his cap while carrying his daughter Anisha.
The beautiful bronze sculpture celebrates one of the greatest hitters off all time in Major League Baseball. Gwynn doffs his cap while carrying his daughter Anisha.
Plaque near the statue. Tony Gwynn was known as Mr. Padre. His humanitarian spirit was felt around Poway, the place he called home. His smile and laugh touched many around the world.
Plaque near the statue. Tony Gwynn was known as Mr. Padre. His humanitarian spirit was felt around Poway, the place he called home. His smile and laugh touched many around the world.
Statue of Tony Gwynn in a beautiful park, where his children played.
Statue of Tony Gwynn in a beautiful park, where his children played.
Flowers and a heart with the word LOVE at Tony's feet.
Flowers and a heart with the word LOVE at Tony’s feet.
Tony Gwynn's signature greets those who visit the sculpture.
Tony Gwynn’s autograph greets those who visit the sculpture.
This is how we should live.
This is how we should live.

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!

Roses remember, honor fallen peace officers.

Roses for the fallen at San Diego's Regional Law Enforcement Memorial.
Roses for the fallen at San Diego’s Regional Law Enforcement Memorial.

Yesterday the 33rd Annual San Diego County Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial ceremony was held at the Regional Law Enforcement Memorial, which stands eternally in San Diego’s beautiful Waterfront Park, in front of the County Administration Building.

During the solemn ceremony, fallen San Diego County peace officers were remembered, and honored.

The day after the ceremony roses remain scattered by the names of heroes who sacrificed everything for you and me.

Flowers fade. Memory–and gratitude–will endure forever.

Names of heroes.
Names of heroes.
Flowers fade. Memory--and gratitude--will endure forever.
Flowers fade. Memory–and gratitude–will endure forever.