New downtown trashcans celebrate neighborhoods!

New trashcans are being rolled out by the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Clean and Safe program. And these cans celebrate the neighborhoods in which they’re placed!

I saw the first such trashcan a few weeks ago on the corner of C Street and Sixth Avenue, next to the Clean and Safe headquarters. Today, as I walked down from the top of Cortez Hill, I noticed multiple cans have recently been installed that celebrate the Cortez neighborhood, with images of the landmark El Cortez building.

The next two images are different sides of the above trashcan. I love the fact they are relatively mess proof and foot activated. No touching a dirty, germy handle!

The next two photos are of that first can by the Clean and Safe headquarters. It celebrates the “Business District”–an area of downtown sometimes referred to as the City Center or Core–with images of skyscrapers and the interior of historic Symphony Hall.

I’ll keep my eyes open for new cans in additional neighborhoods. Watch for updates 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!

Ocean Beach memorial to Shoeshine Willie.

A memorial to a beloved Ocean Beach man now appears on the small building where he repaired and polished shoes for decades. William L. Washington “Shoeshine Willie” passed away early this year. The memorial contains two short poems written by Aaron Bryant.

Years ago I remember seeing Shoeshine Willie working in his modest shed next a parking lot and Ocean Beach bus stop. At the time I thought it was unusual for a shoeshiner to be active in a day and age when the profession has all but disappeared. I now wish I had spoken to him.

If you’d like to see this touching memorial, head over to the corner of Newport Avenue and Cable Street. I noticed it during my last walk in OB.

Here’s an article concerning William Washington and what he meant to the community.

…He was Ocean Beach’s bright Shining light…He’s still here in spirit…

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!

Cool photo memories from August 2017.

History was made on Tuesday in San Diego. The Padres made what some are calling the most important trade in baseball history. But, of course, history is made every single day.

Let’s relive a few cool memories from five years ago!

Back in August 2017, events in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park recreated life in our city a century and a half ago; a fun community festival celebrated Logan Heights; and a couple of big Labor Day festivals–the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and the Festival of Sail–were almost ready to open!

If you’d like to experience a little bit of San Diego history, click the upcoming links!

Click the following links to enjoy many photographs…

Trades That Shaped the West demonstrated in Old Town!

History at the Los Peñasquitos adobe ranch house.

Days of the Vaqueros in Old Town San Diego!

Cool photos from Steampunk Day at the Library!

Cool photos of the Imperial Avenue Street Festival!

Three cool sand sculptures at the Broadway Pier!

Natural beauty at the West Coast Shell Show!

Festival of Sail tall ships at sunset!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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Celebrating life at the 2022 Transplant Games!

A big celebration of life is taking place this week in San Diego. People from around the United States have gathered at the San Diego Convention Center for the 2022 Transplant Games!

Organ transplant recipients and living donors are participating in a variety of fun sports competitions. As you can see in the above photograph, cycling 5 km and 20 km road races along Harbor Drive were part of today’s activities!

Through this Wednesday, the public is welcome to visit the Transplant Games Village and Expo, located in Exhibit Halls A and B at the convention center. There you can watch some indoor competitions, such as basketball and table tennis. For a schedule of events, click here.

Many organizations that help those in the transplant community are also present.

I met authors who’ve written books describing the whole transplant process, making it all easier to understand. Other creators have produced videos featuring loved ones who were helped, or who helped to save a life by making an organ donation.

I saw organizations that create online community, gather inspirational stories, or offer practical guidance and mental health services. Medical providers and pharmaceutical companies also had tables. All of these smiling people were there to offer critical help.

Near the entrance to the Transplant Games Village and Expo, several beautiful quilts remembered loved one.

Everywhere I turned, I observed people full of happiness, gratitude and hope, and a strengthened love of life.

I came away feeling inspired.

Smiles from The Mended Hearts. The non-profit works to inspire hope and improve the quality of life of heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support, education, and advocacy.

Robert Horsey has written the book Gifted and is producing a video concerning the complex topic of organ donation. According to his website: Even the largest football stadium in the U.S. could not fit the number of people on the national transplant waiting list.

Many transplant stories pinned to a board, courtesy Balboa Nephrology and Evergreen Nephrology.

Author Brenda Cortez is a living kidney donor. She has written a series of Howl the Owl books making transplant and medical procedures less scary for kids.

The Joe 238 documentary celebrates the decision to donate. According to the website: Through multiple stories of grief and recovery, we learn about healthy grieving, what it means to be a donor family and plant the seed for an honest conversation about organ donation every family needs to have.

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!

Cool cars on a Thursday in La Mesa!

It’s summer. It’s a Thursday.

That, of course, means the weekly La Mesa Classic Car Show was held this evening in the Village of La Mesa!

A large crowd was sitting along La Mesa Boulevard east of Spring Street, on sidewalk benches, on lawn chairs, or at tables outside restaurants, looking at cars as families passed by.

There were classic cars, lowriders, hot rods . . . cars that were perfectly restored or partially restored–it didn’t matter. And there were trucks, and vans, and uniquely modified vehicles that were one-of-a-kind. All were admired as works of art.

What an awesome event!

A community drawn together. Generations sharing one passion.

Voices sharing stories. . . the smell of food . . . the sound of a band playing nearby . . .

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!

Geek culture helps military veterans!

Some very cool people are helping military veterans by bringing them the joys of geek culture and video gaming.

Stack Up is the name of the organization. They have a table outside Comic-Con, near the “pirate ship” behind the San Diego Convention Center.

Serving far from home or coming back into civilian life can be difficult for veterans. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories in the news. Or you have friends or family with experience. Feelings of isolation. Anxiety. Depression. Or worse.

Stack Up provides these veterans with community and fun!

They send video games to deployed troops; they offer veterans trips to cool geek culture events; they engage in community outreach; and they provide mental health support through online community.

It’s a uniquely awesome way to help those who’ve sacrificed.

If you want to learn more about Stack Up, and perhaps get connected, or help them out, click here!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

ARTS youth add more smiles to National City!

A few weeks ago a corner store in National City was brightened by the young artists of A Reason To Survive (ARTS).

The Munchies Corner Store, at the corner of 18th Street and Palm Avenue, has been painted colorfully with many fun, smiling characters! (Including a few of the tasty snacks that await inside!)

The mission of A Reason To Survive is to lift and encourage South Bay youth to become confident, compassionate, and courageous community builders through the transformative power of creativity. As you can see, these young painters have made a positive contribution to their community!

Enjoy some photos that I took this morning. You can plainly see how the efforts of ARTS and inspired young people are making National City more welcoming and beautiful…

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!

La Mesa gathers for big Flag Day Parade!

A good crowd gathered late this morning in the Village of La Mesa for the big 23rd Annual Flag Day Parade!

Excited people–young and old, kids and parents, friends and neighbors–lined the sidewalks on either side of La Mesa Boulevard to watch heroes and active members of the community pass by in a sea of American flags.

Flags waved for marching bands, veterans, beauty queens, scout troops, youthful dancers, politicians–everything you’d expect from this red, white and blue slice of Americana!

The patriotic spectacle is a popular La Mesa tradition that I personally hadn’t seen until today.

I took lots of colorful photographs that you, too, might 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!

Creating beautiful mosaics for Little Saigon!

Stunning public art is being created in the heart of San Diego’s Little Saigon!

Planters at the intersection of El Cajon Boulevard and Menlo Avenue are being decorated with bright, colorful mosaics. As you can see in the following photographs, which I took several days ago, the project is ongoing.

These beautiful mosaics are being assembled by City Heights artist Vicki Leon and the volunteer Azalea Park Mosaic League!

(You’ve seen their artwork elsewhere on my blog. Click here!)

The shining images I noticed on three different planters are of sunshine and water and radiant lotus flowers. The lotus is Vietnam’s national flower.

When I walked past the same intersection two years ago, one of these mosaic planters appeared to be finished. You can see it, a commemorative “The Little Saigon District” plaque, and other street art photographs that I took back then, 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!

Loving life at the 2022 Escondido Street Festival!

A huge crowd turned out today for the 2022 Escondido Street Festival along Grand Avenue!

After a two years’ absence during the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event in downtown Escondido is back bigger and better than ever!

In addition to numerous vendors lining several blocks of Grand Avenue, I observed a fun art show, tons of food, and multiple stages featuring diverse entertainment. I listened to both rock and roll and mariachi music! I saw colorful baile folklórico dancing!

Folks working to improve the Escondido community were also out greeting people. That first photo is of a smile from Love Esco, an organization that cares for neighbors through simple acts of kindness and tangible means of love.

A also got a smile from the Escondido Education Foundation, but I declined their offer of a free Escondido poster. (I got enough stuff already!) The foundation is a community driven fundraising organization which provides funding for essential resources, and programs that empower teachers, inspire learning, and promote innovation and academic excellence in EUSD.

Also, thanks to the Helen’s Book Mark used bookstore for the amazing deal on half a dozen books! If you haven’t seen their cool mural on the back side of the store, click 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!