The San Diego River has always been a source of life. Ancient people flourished on its banks. It’s where European civilization began in California. That civilization today has grown to include freeways, shopping malls, industrial parks and immense residential complexes. Like a gleaming thread of silver, the river flows through it all, eternally, west to the Pacific Ocean.
The health of this once-pristine river, crowded in many areas by human development, is threatened in challenging ways. Pollutants found in storm runoff, windblown litter, piles of garbage and human waste from homeless encampments, encroachment by non-native vegetation… These problems and others require the thoughtful involvement of the local community. Volunteers monitor the river; some help to pick up trash or report graffiti. Active, concerned residents attend special meetings to discuss improvements or make critical decisions.
Would you like to become involved? Click here, or check out my two photos of posters that include contact information.
Our careful stewardship of the San Diego River will ensure the survival of an important riparian ecosystem, and will allow future generations to walk down trails of spirit-nourishing beauty.
I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!
This morning, residents of San Diego gathered at Fault Line Park in East Village to learn how to make mosaic planters! The neighborhood event was put together by the Downtown San Diego Partnership and Home Depot.
To make your own cool mosaic planter, you need a clay pot, ceramic tile adhesive, and broken bits of tile, colored glass or mirror. Apply a generous coat of adhesive to the outside of the pot, then press in the colorful, shiny mosaic bits! I was told it takes a good 24 hours for the white adhesive to thoroughly dry and harden.
What a fun DIY gift idea! Or a cool craft project for a downtown apartment or condo!
I think I heard that events like this will be happening at different parks around downtown San Diego every first Saturday of the month!
Today I enjoyed a beautiful hour at the San Diego Symphony. I arrived at noon to listen to a free public concert, which was just the first part of the five hour Hands On Community Day event. Later on, after I left for my walk, there were additional performances, and kids were taught how to play the piano by world-class musicians!
The San Diego Symphony is celebrating the piano during an ongoing Upright and Grand festival, which continues through February 8. If you haven’t been to a concert at Copley Symphony Hall, I assure you it’s a magical, wonderful experience!
Please enjoy a few photos and read the captions for explanations…
I was privileged today to meet Bill Swank. Perhaps you’ve met him, too. Since 2002, Bill has been the volunteer Santa Claus at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during Balboa Park’s popular December Nights. He’s a friendly good guy who effortlessly spreads cheerfulness and joy.
Bill Swank is probably best known for being a leading expert on baseball and the San Diego Padres. He’s written numerous books about baseball history. His knowledge is so deep, the San Diego Historical Society has called him our city’s top baseball historian.
His most recent book, published earlier this year, is titled Christmas in San Diego. If you love both Christmas and San Diego, I know you’ll treasure this book. It’s loaded with history, local traditions and hundreds of fun, very unique photos. (Five photos from Cool San Diego Sights are in the book! How cool is that?)
Bill “Santa” Swank believes the true meaning of Christmas is found in the Golden Rule. His excellent book also proves another important truth: that human hearts are warmed when we are generous and kind. In the book you’ll see community-spirited Santas through the decades bringing joy to many generations, lifting the spirits of all.
From Christmas Eve way back in 1775, to the present day, Christmas in San Diego covers over two hundred years of local history. You’ll find out how both famous and ordinary San Diegans have celebrated the holiday season, and learn a good deal about many historical places and events. Personally, I love the parts concerning unselfish Santa Claus volunteers who’ve participated in a surprising range of charitable activities. Touching young and old alike, with a twinkle-eyed smile and merry Ho, Ho, Ho!
I was privileged to shake the hand of Santa Claus today. Read Christmas in San Diego, and you will be able to peer into Santa’s heart.
From time to time I walk through San Diego’s historic Chinatown, which is located in what is officially called the Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District. The area is bounded by Market Street, 2nd Avenue, 6th Avenue and J Street. You’ll find it downtown right next to the Gaslamp Quarter.
Over the years, I’ve learned a bit about San Diego’s early history during these walks. And I’ve accumulated a few photographs. Here are some cool sights that you might enjoy. I’ve provided interesting information in the captions.
I’d like to propose a new informal organization. Anyone can join. It exists in our spirit. It’s called B.L.O.G., which stands for Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.
We bloggers have amazing power. Our presence on the internet is enormous. We have significant and increasing influence in the world. Together we can make a huge positive difference.
So why not flex our muscles and use that growing influence to do good?
To be a self-appointed member of B.L.O.G., one must make a conscious effort to help nonprofits, charities and unselfish individuals who tirelessly work to improve our world.
Bloggers Lifting Others Generously will help these deserving folks by providing them with publicity.
From time to time–when opportunities arise–members of B.L.O.G. will publish posts about charitable efforts. One might write a post to help publicize an organization’s food drive, or a community’s environmental cleanup, or neighborhood students trying to raise money, or a walk to find a cure…
Every member of B.L.O.G. will use the power of their passionate words to support those who work to improve our world.
Will you join me? I even made a big blue B.L.O.G. graphic as you can see at the top of this post! Make your own or use mine if you’d like! It’s all about a spirit of giving and doing things that are meaningful. Isn’t generosity what’s ultimately important in life, anyway?
Let’s make this world (and the internet) a better place!
I went for a long walk this morning. My feet carried me through Sherman Heights, a neighborhood directly east of downtown San Diego. I was hoping to see some of the community Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) altars. These outdoor altars, distributed about a few residential streets, were the focus of yesterday’s popular Sherman Heights Muertos Festival, which I missed.
Heading down 24th Street, I spotted one elaborate altar near the sidewalk and was struck by the rich, heartfelt symbolism.
Loved ones who’ve “passed to the other side” are remembered with reverence on Dia de los Muertos, and their spirits are enticed back among the living. Traditional items featured in the altars can include sugar skulls, samples of the deceased person’s favorite food, pan de muertos (bread with a small human figurine baked inside), seeds, flowers, portraits of the dead, candles, alcohol (to toast the arrival of spirits), and papel picado (decorative perforated paper which represents the fragile nature of life).
I don’t know whose spirits are being summoned by this particular altar. I can tell that precious memories are being kept alive among the living, and that those memories contain whole lifetimes of love.
Thanks to all you great folks who visit my fun blog. And thanks for sharing! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.