Hidden mural celebrates Little Italy!

There’s a hidden mural very few people see that celebrates downtown’s Little Italy community.

Neither drivers nor pedestrians can see it well, unless they head down little-used, alley-like California Street just south of Laurel Street.

I first saw this Little Italy mural because I often ride the Green Line trolley. As the San Diego Trolley rises high in the air to pass over busy Laurel Street, passengers looking down can see the artwork on a parking lot wall. The small lot is located behind a Valero gas station and Fairway Golf USA store, which are both on Pacific Highway.

I walked down California Street last weekend to get a good look at this great mural. It depicts the Little Italy landmark sign above fishing boats in a row by a pier.

Little Italy was once a center of the tuna fishing industry, which was very big in San Diego for much of the 20th century.

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Gravestones at Pioneer Park in Mission Hills.

Pioneer Park is a city park in Mission Hills that’s popular with neighborhood families and children. It features a playground, green grass, many shady trees . . . and well over a thousand unseen graves. If you don’t wander into the southeast corner of the park, you might never know it’s also a cemetery.

Pioneer Park was originally Calvary Cemetery. The Catholic cemetery was established in the 1870s, then converted a century later into a Mission Hills community park. According to this article: “All the 800-odd memorial markers were taken away in the 1970s except for a line of tombstones left on the park’s edge. Left as a memorial, they’re still there…” Sadly, the gravestones that had been removed were callously dumped by those then living into a ravine at distant Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Many of San Diego’s earliest residents remain buried under the grass at Pioneer Park. Even after the passage of many years, surviving gravestones show historically important names like Cave Johnson Couts and Father Antonio Ubach. But all of the names are gradually fading away. Time does that.

Six nearby plaques list the names of those who are interred in the park, and it is said there might be many more.

On any given day, life goes on cheerfully above the grass. And beneath it lie the remains of those who once lived, dreamed, toiled and loved exactly like you and me.

Here are some photographs, to provoke thought, and to help preserve a little history…

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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Bike to Explore the Shore in April!

Bicyclists are encouraged to Explore the Shore during the month of April!

As I walked along the Embarcadero today, I saw an interesting sign just south of the USS Midway Museum.

Residents are being urged by Circulate San Diego to bike the Bayshore Bikeway, which circles San Diego Bay. The sign explains: “The Bayshore Bikeway is a 24-mile bicycle circuit with 13 miles of car-free bicycle paths and a number of scenic points.”

The route leads from downtown San Diego through Barrio Logan, National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, the Silver Strand and Coronado. To return to downtown San Diego from Coronado, people can transport their bikes on the Coronado Ferry.

Of course, you can also ride in the opposite direction!

I took some photos of the sign, but to see a better, easier to read interactive Google map of the Bayshore Bikeway, click here.

Check this out! When you ride the Bayshore Bikeway through Chula Vista, you’ll see a series of amazing, huge outdoor murals that almost nobody else can see!

Or you can click here and see them right now!

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!

Chicano Federation and San Diego Loyal paint mural!

Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.

Last Wednesday, international soccer superstar Landon Donovan and the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club participated in very cool project at the Delta Apartments in Shelltown. A colorful mural was painted in celebration of Cesar Chavez Day!

Volunteers came together to paint this community mural, which was designed by artist Yessenia Hulsey. The artwork depicts children having fun playing soccer. The mural adds life, beauty and inspiration to this affordable housing complex operated by the Chicano Federation.

I couldn’t be present that day, but photographs of the event were sent my way!

The Chicano Federation manages nine apartment complexes in San Diego, providing affordable housing for families, seniors and people with disabilities. They also offer child development and nutrition programs, and a Women’s Small Business Development Program. To learn more about their important work, click here!

Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.

This is how the completed mural would appear!

Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.

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!

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Community sculpture at entrance to Escondido.

If you’ve ever entered or departed downtown Escondido via West Valley Parkway, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a large, quite interesting sculpture a short distance east of Interstate 15. The sculpture stands at the intersection of Valley Parkway and Tulip Street, right next to the Gateway Shopping Center.

The cast bronze sculpture is titled Community. It was created by local artist Jeff Lindeneau in 1990.

The sun’s light forms dynamic human shapes that are “cut out” of the two triangular sections of Community.

According to a City of Escondido walking tour brochure: “This bronze, copper and locally mined granite sculpture celebrates people living and building together to achieve a common goal. The dramatic sculpture’s shape is reminiscent of the mountains surrounding Escondido with a central passageway depicting the valley.”

I like how you can see trees, hillsides, signs, buildings, light posts and electrical wires inside the human shapes. They, too, are part of 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!

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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 painted by youth celebrates San Diego!

Have you seen that incredible mural that celebrates San Diego, painted on a wall where National Avenue turns into Logan Avenue, at South 43rd Street? It has become a very cool landmark where two southeast San Diego neighborhoods, Mountain View and Southcrest, meet!

The mural was painted a couple years ago by local youth! The project was organized by Concrete and Canvas, whose stated mission is “to mobilize the neighborhood to collaborate in creating community transformation through art, murals, and mentors.” Check out their website here.

This very colorful mural pays tribute to many of the places that make San Diego a special city. Looking at my photos, I recognize (among other things) the Hotel del Coronado, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, the Padres, Mount Soledad, coastal cliffs and beaches (and sea lions), the Belmont Park roller coaster, downtown, the Unconditional Surrender “Kiss” statue, California golden poppies and bear, the Del Mar racetrack, the trolley, the Old Point Loma lighthouse, the Blue Angels, Balboa Park, the Coronado Bay Bridge, and the words: America’s Finest City.

I see two artist signatures: Irieanna Sesma (@SD_IRIE) and El Artista (@ILLUMIN8_SD).

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Old photos on AT&T building in El Cajon.

I saw these during my recent walk through El Cajon.

Decorating the AT&T building at the corner of Main Street and Lincoln Avenue are various historical photographs on tiles. The old photos show telephone company personnel at work or out in the community.

One photograph shows Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co. employees or dignitaries on a parade float. That was the name of the Pacific Bell Telephone Company, now owned by AT&T, between the 1910’s and 1984.

I assume these photographs were taken around San Diego, but I don’t know. The one taken of a worker with his truck out in sagebrush covered hills does seem to show a Southern California landscape. The exact same photo can be found on an AT&T building in nearby La Mesa. You can see that here.

Do you know anything about these photos? If you do, please leave a comment!

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 Welcoming Arches and Bell of Oceanside.

The Welcoming Arches and the Welcome Bell greet motorists driving south on Interstate 5 as they enter Oceanside, California. The arches and bell stand just beyond a large American flag and beside the parking lot of an In-N-Out Burger.

I passed by the California Mission inspired structure last weekend as I walked down the Coast Highway.

Mission San Luis Rey, founded in 1798, is located about four miles east-northeast of these bright white adobe mission-style arches.

The Welcoming Arches were designed by noted Southern California architect George M. Adams in 1978 and dedicated in 1982.

The first part of the above plaque reads:

THE WELCOMING ARCHES

AN OCEANSIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PROJECT

“THE WELCOMING ARCHES WERE CONCEIVED FROM A WISH THAT
OCEANSIDES’ VISITORS RECEIVE A WELCOME REFLECTING THE
BEAUTY, BOUNTY AND HERITAGE OF THIS AREA.

REALIZING WHERE THERE IS PRIVILEGE THERE IS ALSO
OBLIGATION, THIS ENTRANCE EDIFICE WAS BUILT BY THE
VOLUNTARY GENEROSITY OF THE PEOPLE OF OCEANSIDE”


..LORRAINE SHAFFER

Part of this smaller plaque reads:

“WELCOME BELL”
DONATED BY
OCEANSIDE ROTARY CLUB
JOHN A. STEIGER, PRESIDENT
JANUARY 1983

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!