Art tiles painted by East Village neighbors.

Exotic mask with horns painted on a tile.
Exotic mask with horns painted on a tile.

The other day I walked down 11th Avenue through East Village. For a few moments I paused to again enjoy The Power of Collective Thought urban art tile mosaic. I took a few photos of individual tiles hand-painted by creative San Diego neighbors. Many caught my eye…

Robert and his mom hold hands beneath trees.
Robert and his mom hold hands beneath trees.
I large open eye gazes at people passing down the sidewalk.
I large open eye gazes at people passing down the sidewalk.
Another eye on a fiery, dazzling art tile.
Another eye on a fiery, dazzling art tile.
A sun painted on a tinted sky.
A sun painted on a tinted sky.
Smiling sun and blue moon fused into one.
Smiling sun and blue moon fused into one.
Cool cat dances under a crescent moon.
Cool cat dances under a crescent moon.
A dinosaur among dots.
A dinosaur among dots.
Ghostly figures rise like swirls of color.
Ghostly figures rise like swirls of color.
One cool painted tile in The Power of Collective Thought.
Cool painted tile in The Power of Collective Thought.
A blue peacock and two fruit trees.
A blue peacock and two fruit trees.
A fun dragonfly with a human-like face.
A fun dragonfly with human-like face.
Female head with curly hair and yellow flowers.
Female head with curly hair and yellow flowers.
A kimono and umbrella.
A kimono and umbrella.
Two people connect on a purple tile.
Two people connect on a purple tile.
A mysterious monster rises from the deep!
A mysterious monster rises from the deep!
A colorful abstract design.
A colorful abstract design.
A sailboat and shell in San Diego.
A sailboat and shell in San Diego.
A smiling face peers back at you!
A smiling face peers back at you!

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The Salvation Army celebrates service in San Diego.

The Salvation Army marching band parades around County of San Diego Waterfront Park.
The Salvation Army marching band parades around County of San Diego Waterfront Park.

Almost everyone recognizes their red shield. Most have walked past their holiday season bell ringers. Many have been helped by their programs and services. The Salvation Army, an important part of our community, is 150 years old.

The local branch of the worldwide organization celebrated that history today in the County of San Diego Waterfront Park. I walked there this morning to see what was going on.

What does the Salvation Army do? In San Diego, their Sierra Del Mar Division provides transitional living for homeless mothers and children. They help the unemployed homeless return to a normal, stable, working life. They have disaster response programs, providing emergency food and help. They provide seniors with nutritional assistance. They help people recover from drug and alcohol addiction. They operate the expansive Ray and Joan Kroc Community Corps Center, which features education, recreation and family support programs. They do a whole lot of good. While The Salvation Army is a Christian organization, everybody is welcome. None are turned away.

As I approached the park, I was surprised and pleased to see a dignified parade coming down the sidewalk…

150 years of community service is being celebrated by The Salvation Army.
150 years of community service is being celebrated by The Salvation Army.
Drums, banners, uniforms and kids stepping proudly down the San Diego sidewalk.
Drums, banners, uniforms and kids stepping proudly down the San Diego sidewalk.
The modest parade ends at the waterfront park, where music, fun and fellowship begin.
The modest parade ends in the waterfront park, where music, fun and fellowship begin.
A speech kicks off the event. The Salvation Army helps the homeless, the poor, the suffering around the world.
A speech kicks off the event. The Salvation Army helps the homeless, the poor, the suffering around the world.
Coffee is served from rear of an emergency disaster services vehicle.
Coffee is served from rear of an emergency disaster services vehicle.
This friendly lady provided some info about the popular Christian charitable organization.
This friendly lady provided some info about the popular Christian charitable organization.
A gathering in the park celebrates 150 years of doing the most good.
A gathering in the park celebrates 150 years of doing the most good.

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Life, art, food and home on National Avenue.

Awesome street art on a chiropractic office near Cesar Chavez Pkwy.
Awesome street art on a chiropractic office near Cesar Chavez Pkwy in Barrio Logan.

I have some time off from work, so I’m able to do a little more weekday walking than usual. Yesterday I wandered through a gritty but fascinating neighborhood near downtown that’s a bit off the beaten track. A stretch of National Avenue runs through a narrow section of the city between Logan Heights and downtown San Diego, directly east of the rail and trolley yards; I walked from Imperial Avenue to Cesar E. Chavez Parkway, then back.

The area contains many car repair shops, welding shops, warehouses, and other small businesses which occupy modest, often decayed buildings. In a few places, groups of homeless had gathered. Small, neglected shanty-like houses are interspersed with elegant historic old homes and newer apartment buildings. Yet vibrant life was active everywhere. And everyone I met gave me a friendly greeting!

Cool mural on residential building features an eagle, cacti, palm trees.
Cool mural on residential building features an eagle, cacti, palm trees.
Quaint narrow house on National Avenue near downtown San Diego.
Quaint narrow house on National Avenue near downtown San Diego.
Portion of colorful graffiti in a weedy space between buildings.
Portion of colorful graffiti in a weedy space between buildings.
This very cool mural caught my eye as I walked down the street. It's on Logan Avenue, one block from National Avenue.
This very cool mural caught my eye as I walked down the street. It’s on Logan Avenue, a couple blocks from National Avenue.
Plaque on La Entrada project explains reconstructed Mission Revival facade.
Plaque on La Entrada project explains reconstructed Mission Revival facade.
The Mission Revival facade on La Entrada apartments is an homage to the neighborhood's history.
The Mission Revival facade on La Entrada apartments is an homage to the region’s history.
Local vendor is selling tamales under a canopy by the sidewalk.
Local vendor is selling tamales under a canopy by the sidewalk.
Mother's Nutritional Center helps local low-income women with young children.
Mother’s Nutritional Center helps local low-income women with young children.
A soccer ball on utility box by a small local market known for their sub sandwiches.
A soccer ball on utility box by a small local market known for their sub sandwiches.
One word on this old wall says it all--Life.
One word on this fantastic old wall says it all: Life.

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Art made of coins helps Rady Children’s Hospital!

Never Stop Dreaming. It's the face of Mickey Mouse made of quarters!
Never Stop Dreaming. It’s the face of Mickey Mouse made of quarters!

Today a very special event took place: the Miracle Mile of Quarters!

Every year, the Division 100 Miracle Mile of Quarters Kiwanis Club San Diego (that’s quite a mouthful) raises money for Rady Children’s Hospital in a unique way. Thousands of patiently collected quarters are used by local kids to create works of inspirational art!  The money is then donated to the hospital!

I took some pics of the glittering artwork late this morning.  I thought you might enjoy them.

Would you like to help others with this important effort? Rady Children’s Hospital has saved thousands of young lives over the years. Click here and become a hero!

Judges look at the highly original artwork. Kids assembled quarters collected by local Kiwanis Club Divisions.
Judges look at the fun, original artwork. Kids assembled quarters collected by local Kiwanis Club Divisions.
Division 100 Miracle Mile of Quarters Kiwanis Club San Diego created this annual event to raise money for Rady Children's Hospital.
Division 100 Miracle Mile of Quarters Kiwanis Club San Diego created this annual event to raise money for Rady Children’s Hospital.
Inspiration Fountain in front of the pediatric hospital shows children flying kites.
Inspiration Fountain in front of the pediatric hospital shows children flying kites.
Photo of beautiful Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, California. This is a world-class life-saving medical facility that touches thousands of lives.
Photo of beautiful Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California. This is a world-class life-saving medical facility that touches thousands of lives.
Kiwanis International, founded in Detroit, Michigan, is 100 years old!
Kiwanis International, founded in Detroit, Michigan, is 100 years old!
Artwork fashioned from shiny silver coins depicts two infants.
Artwork fashioned from shiny silver coins depicts two infants.
Rady is the sixth largest children’s hospital in the country! It was established in 1954.
Rady is the sixth largest children’s hospital in the country! It was established in 1954.
A dolphin and a heart glitter in the sunshine.
A dolphin and a heart glitter in the sunshine.
Kids (and adults) created fun artwork with the quarters. Millions of dollars have been raised over the years.
Kids (and adults) created unique artwork with the quarters. Millions of dollars have been raised over the years.
Absolutely anyone can help out when it comes to a good cause! Kiwanis is celebrating its centennial this year.
Absolutely anyone can help out when it comes to a good cause! Kiwanis is celebrating its centennial this year.
Hundreds of coins form one huge happy coin!
Hundreds of coins form one huge happy coin!
Discover the Cure!
Discover the Cure!
Service is Timeless.
Service is Timeless.
A chef made of coins serves up a Kiwanis birthday cake!
A chef made of coins serves up a Kiwanis birthday cake!
Most of the artwork emphasized service.
Most of the artwork emphasized service.
Do you want to build a future?
Do you want to build a future?
Bright coins on the long red carpet form different imaginative works of art.
Bright coins on the long red carpet form thoughtful works of art.
Young lady places coins to form a cool image as the art competition nears its conclusion.
Young lady places coins to form a cool image as the art competition nears its conclusion.
Unlock your heart with service.
Unlock your heart with service.
Be a hero for your community.
Be a hero for your community.
Key leaders take the risk.
Key leaders take the risk.
Like Big Hero 6, service is super!
Like Big Hero 6, service is super!
Kirby is going to smash difficult diseases!
Kirby is going to smash difficult diseases!
Robot Hope and robot -ful.
Robot Hope and robot -ful.
The Miracle Mile of Quarters is a wonderful San Diego tradition.
The Miracle Mile of Quarters is a special San Diego tradition.

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A flavor of Olive in the San Diego cocktail.

A tiny barn in a fun garden between the sidewalk and a local acupuncture and wellness center.
A tiny barn and rabbits in a narrow garden, located between the sidewalk and a local acupuncture and wellness center.

I recently walked through Bankers Hill, a historic neighborhood just north of downtown San Diego. During my small adventure I got a few interesting photos on and around Olive Street. Like the sights in any city, they form a mixture. Here’s a flavor of Olive in the San Diego cocktail!

Flower at the HERBIN Community Garden Project, among plots where many herbs are grown.
Flower at the HERBIN Community Garden Project, among plots where many herbs are grown.
Ms. Pacman, Space Invaders and other video game legends hang out on a porch railing.
Ms. Pacman, Space Invaders and other video game legends hang out on a porch railing.
The Amy Strong House, built in 1906 by an enterprising San Diego dressmaker, or couturier.
The Amy Strong House, built in 1906 on Olive Street by an enterprising San Diego dressmaker, or couturier.
Amy Strong lived here until 1912. The house is in the early 20th century Craftsman architectural style.
Amy Strong lived here until 1912. The house is in the early 20th century Craftsman architectural style.
A few unusual features foretold the highly eccentric Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson, which she built years later.
A few unusual features anticipated the highly eccentric Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson, which she built years later.
Future site of Olive Street Park. This small plot of land for years has been the object of contention, as some might have seen on KUSI News' Turko Report.
Future site of Olive Street Park. This small plot of land for years has been the object of contention, as you might have seen on KUSI News’ Turko Files.
Large medical office building on Fifth Avenue just north of Olive being demolished. I saw a doctor here many years ago!
Huge medical office building between Fifth and Sixth Avenue just north of Olive being demolished.
Cool art on wall of residential building at corner of Fourth and Olive.
Cool art hangs on residential building at corner of Fourth and Olive.

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Symbolism in Barrio Logan’s new gateway sign.

The colorful new Barrio Logan gateway sign arches over Cesar Chavez Parkway.
The colorful new Barrio Logan gateway sign arches over Cesar Chavez Parkway.

A little over a week ago, the new Barrio Logan gateway sign had a dedication ceremony. The welcoming sign, arching over Cesar Chavez Parkway between Harbor Drive and Interstate 5, is similar to others that can be spotted in various communities around San Diego. Its design, however, is notably different. The cornice contains a variety of symbolic elements inspired by this neighborhood’s complex history.

The cornice contains a variety of combined symbols that represent the community.
The cornice contains a variety of combined symbols that represent the community.
One of two displays on either column that explains the design.
One of two displays on either column that explains the design.

Small displays near the base of each column can be read from either sidewalk. They explain the significance of the cornice design:

“This Barrio Logan sign was created with input from the local community. Their ideas resulted in this unique and relevant design, representative of one of San Diego’s oldest and most culturally rich urban neighborhoods.

The design pays homage to Kumeyaay, Aztec, Mayan and all other cultures, representing many concepts including creation, the cycle of life, and evolution into the modern world. The pyramids symbolize cultures coming together as one society. The fish and corn symbols refer to the reliance on the sea as a food source, and fertility of the lands.

The designs on the columns honor the kiosk in Chicano Park. The columns are also adorned with the Conch, Sky and Earth symbols, which were inspired by indigenous cultures.”

View of the gateway sign as one approaches from the Barrio Logan trolley station.
View of the gateway sign as one approaches from the Barrio Logan trolley station.

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Scuba divers help clean up San Diego waterfront!

Volunteers help clean up San Diego Bay near the Star of India.
Volunteers help clean up our San Diego Bay near the Star of India.

The annual San Diego Bay Downtown Cleanup was held this morning! Local scuba divers cleaned up underwater garbage at the edge of our beautiful waterfront, while other volunteers assisted gathering trash above water.

I walked along the Embarcadero from the San Diego Maritime Museum down to Tuna Harbor and took a bunch of cool photographs. Hopefully these pics provide a little inspiration! Let’s make the world more clean and beautiful!

This guy was assisting divers removing trash along the Embarcadero.
This guy was assisting divers removing trash along the Embarcadero.
Power Scuba and Control Group teamed up for downtown waterfront cleanup event.
Power Scuba and Control Group teamed up for downtown waterfront cleanup event.
Looking out at diving boat from inside Anthony's Fishette.
Looking out at dive boat from inside Anthony’s Fishette.
Many San Diegans assisted in various ways, or just watched with curiosity.
Many San Diegans assisted in various ways, or just watched with curiosity.
Bags of garbage were gathered throughout the morning to be hauled away later.
Bags of garbage were gathered throughout the morning to be hauled away later.
A participant checks out what's going on in the water below.
A participant checks out what’s going on in the water below.
The boardwalk near the USS Midway was full of activity.
The boardwalk near the USS Midway was full of activity.
New trash compacting and recycling cans along the Embarcadero are solar powered.
New trash compacting and recycling cans along the Embarcadero are solar powered.
Old and young were helping out making our fine city even better.
Old and young were helping out the environment, making our fine city even better.
Scuba divers checked in here before beginning their underwater mission.
Scuba divers checked in here before beginning their underwater mission.
Piles of garbage found in the bay include construction cones and a shopping cart.
Piles of garbage found in the bay include construction cones and a shopping cart.
Bags of trash are collected as the morning progresses.
Bags of trash are collected as the morning progresses.
Pool skimming nets were handy for removing floating litter and debris.
Pool skimming nets were handy for removing floating litter and debris.
Port of San Diego's boat Tsunami II is used to help clean the bay.
Port of San Diego’s boat Tsunami II is used to help clean the bay.
Scuba diver gets hosed off on Tuna Harbor dock after gathering trash.
Scuba diver gets hosed off on Tuna Harbor dock after gathering trash.

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