Great ideas at South Bay Earth Day!

People have gathered in Chula Vista's Memorial Park for South Bay Earth Day!
People have gathered in Chula Vista’s Memorial Park for South Bay Earth Day!

Today I headed to Memorial Park in Chula Vista to check out South Bay Earth Day!

This cool annual event inspires community members to save water and energy, protect the environment, and keep our corner of the planet beautiful and clean.

I walked about and learned all sorts of useful information at many booths. I read about environmental projects that are being undertaken by the City of Chula Vista and various nonprofit organizations. I saw how community members are working to improve their neighborhoods.

These photos contain many great ideas. Click the images of signs to enlarge them for easy reading. Much of the information is of special interest to residents in San Diego’s South Bay. If you live elsewhere, perhaps you will be inspired, too!

Chula Vista's beautiful Memorial Park provides a bit of green in an urban setting.
Chula Vista’s beautiful Memorial Park provides an oasis of green in an urban setting.
The City of Chula Vista has various programs that help to protect the environment and improve quality of life.
The City of Chula Vista has various programs that help to protect the environment and improve quality of life.
Earth Month Calendar of Events for the City of Chula Vista, which includes volunteer opportunities like the Creek to Bay Cleanup.
Earth Month Calendar of Events for the City of Chula Vista, which includes volunteer opportunities like the Creek to Bay Cleanup.
City of Chula Vista, Leaders in Innovation. Programs include smart irrigation, traffic signals, sustainable buildings and drones.
City of Chula Vista, Leaders in Innovation. Programs include smart irrigation, traffic signals, sustainable buildings and drones.
Activities at South Bay Earth Day include making art. I enjoyed seeing neighbors creating colorful tie-dye!
Activities at South Bay Earth Day include making art. I enjoyed seeing neighbors creating colorful tie-dye!
This work of art created from a gourd was one of many amazing pieces from Dream Job Craftworks by Kathy Page.
Some great artists had booths. A horse etched and painted on a gourd from Dream Job Craftworks by Kathy Page.
Southwestern College had an assortment of native succulents at its Sustainable Landscape Practice table. They can provide water saving ground cover for one's yard.
Southwestern College had an assortment of succulents at its Sustainable Landscape Practice table. These native plants can provide water saving ground cover for your yard.
Mel Clarkston of LetsGetTrashed.Art shows her mosaics made of mostly plastic trash found on beaches!
Mel Clarkston of LetsGetTrashed.Art shows her mosaics made mostly of plastic trash found on beaches!
An amazing Golden State mosaic made from small bits of litter!
An amazing Golden State mosaic made from small bits of litter!
The San Diego Fixit Clinic had a table at the event. No need to throw certain things away. They repair many broken items for free!
The San Diego Fix-it Clinic had a table at the event. No need to throw certain things away. They repair many broken items for free!
Every month, the San Diego Fixit Clinic will repair broken things like electronics, appliances, and even clothes!
Every month, the San Diego Fix-it Clinic will repair broken things like electronics, appliances, and even clothes!
The City of Chula Vista Sustainability Commission had a table and interested visitors.
The City of Chula Vista Sustainability Commission had a table and interested visitors.
One of their displays compared the biodegradability of paper, different plastics and styrofoam.
One of their displays compared the biodegradability of paper, different plastics and Styrofoam.
A perfect, sunny spring day at South Bay Earth Day!
A perfect, sunny spring day at South Bay Earth Day!
Sign explains how the City of Chula Vista is developing an Active Transportation Plan to help guide future pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
Sign explains how the City of Chula Vista is developing an Active Transportation Plan to help guide future pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
This table explained a very cool Seed Library concept.
This table explained a very cool Seed Library concept.
The Otay Ranch branch of the Chula Vista Public Library has a Seed Library. Community members can take seeds to plant, or donate harvested seeds back to the library!
The Otay Ranch branch of the Chula Vista Public Library has a Seed Library. Community members can take seeds to plant, or donate harvested seeds back to the library!
Of course, recycling stations could be found all around the South Bay Earth Day event!
Of course, recycling stations could be found all around the South Bay Earth Day event.
I learned at the Surfrider Foundation booth that the 3rd Annual March For Clean Water is next weekend in Imperial Beach!
I learned at the Surfrider Foundation booth that the 3rd Annual March For Clean Water is next weekend in Imperial Beach!
I learned from some Girl Scouts that chemicals in certain sunscreens harm coral reefs. Safe active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
I learned from some Girl Scouts that certain chemicals in sunscreens harm coral reefs. Safe active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
Community members learn how to protect the environment at South Bay Earth Day!
Community members learn how to protect the environment at South Bay Earth Day!

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!

Little Italy’s history, culture at Amici House.

Arriving at the historic Amici House, a cultural center in San Diego's downtown Little Italy neighborhood.
Approaching the historic Amici House, a cultural center in San Diego’s downtown Little Italy neighborhood.

In downtown San Diego’s beautiful Little Italy neighborhood, tucked among trees between Amici Park and the popular Little Italy Dog Park, one can find a small house that is named for friendship. It’s called Amici House.

A century ago the Amici House was home to the Giacalone family, who lived in Sicily before their arrival in San Diego in 1916. Antonio Giacalone and his wife, Josephine, became an integral part of the local Italian fishing community. Their modest Craftsman style house was originally located a few blocks to the west, near India Street. Last year the structure was moved to its present location at 250 W. Date Street, in order to make room for the new Piazza della Famiglia.

The historic home, now called the Amici House, has become a gathering place for the present-day community. Sheltered by graceful trees, its shady patio is the perfect place to relax, have a drink and chat with friends. Inside the house one can observe museum-like displays and learn about life in Little Italy, which was home to many immigrant fishermen back when San Diego was considered the tuna fishing capital of the world.

The Amici House is operated by The Convivio Society for Italian Humanities, a nonprofit organization that promotes Italian arts, culture and heritage in San Diego. The house with its intimate patio provides a unique venue for concerts and other entertainment. A variety of community activities such as outdoor movie screenings are often enjoyed in nearby Amici Park. The house can also be rented for private events.

I paid a visit on Saturday afternoon and took a few photos.

This grassy area in front of Amici House will soon be a venue for outdoor entertainment, with its own small stage.
This grassy area in front of Amici House will soon be a venue for outdoor entertainment, with its own small stage.
A group of people exits Amici House. I will be able to explore the place during a quiet moment on a Saturday afternoon.
A group of people exits Amici House. I will be able to explore the place during a quiet moment on a Saturday afternoon.
Steps lead up into the beautifully renovated Craftsman style Amici House.
Steps lead up into the small, renovated Craftsman style Amici House.
At the bottom of the front steps is a table with gifts. Caffè Convivio offers snacks and a few refreshing things to drink.
At the bottom of the front steps is a table with books and other gifts. Caffè Convivio offers snacks and a few refreshing things to drink.
Chairs and tables in front of Amici House provide a pleasant, shady place to relax on a sunny day.
Chairs and tables in front of Amici House provide a pleasant, shady place to relax on a sunny day.
This kinetic fish sculpture is popular with kids.
This kinetic fish sculpture is popular with kids.
After stepping into the small Amici House, I turned around and took a photo of old fishing artifacts above the door.
After stepping into the Amici House, I turned around and took a photo of old fishing artifacts above the door.
Photo into a large mirror on one wall provides a glimpse of the small museum-like interior.
Photo into a large mirror on one wall provides a glimpse of the small museum-like interior.
The walls inside the Amici House are full of historical photos and information concerning Little Italy, once center of a thriving tuna fishing industry.
The walls inside the Amici House are full of historical photos and information concerning Little Italy, once center of a thriving tuna fishing industry.
Posters, old photos and works of art with an Italian theme appear on all sides. I see Frank Sinatra.
Posters, old photos and works of art with an Italian theme appear on all sides. I see Frank Sinatra.
This small exhibition of art features work by sports fan and artist Christopher Paluso.
This small exhibition of art features work by sports fan and artist Christopher Paluso.
Examples of work by accomplished Italian American artist Christopher Paluso.
Examples of work by accomplished Italian American artist Christopher Paluso.
In a wooden cabinet I spied colorful gifts and crafts imported from Italy.
In a wooden cabinet I saw colorful glassware and crafts imported from Italy.
Painting of John D'Acquisto, Italian American baseball player who played four years with the San Diego Padres.
Painting of John D’Acquisto, Italian American baseball pitcher who played four years with the San Diego Padres.
Little Italy has a rich history, including many generations of families that still thrive in the community today.
Little Italy has a rich history, including many generations of families that still thrive in the community today.
I'm shown a rendering of a proposed, much larger cultural center that might be built by The Convivio Society elsewhere in Little Italy.
I’m shown a rendering of a proposed, much larger cultural center that might be built by The Convivio Society in the future.
Meanwhile, the Amici House is a repository of cherished memories for a lively and welcoming San Diego neighborhood.
Meanwhile, the Amici House holds (and produces) cherished memories for a lively San Diego neighborhood.

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!

A look inside the Portuguese Historical Center.

Anyone interested in the rich history of the Portuguese community in San Diego should visit the Portuguese Historical Center in Point Loma. It’s located at 2831 Avenida de Portugal, in a neighborhood that was home to many immigrant fishermen who came from the Azores, Madeira, and the mainland of Portugal, back in the days when tuna fishing was a major industry in our city.

I took a look inside the center yesterday during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO.

Every corner of the small museum is jam-packed with history. Shelves are brimming with Portuguese cultural artifacts, and there are photos of notable people, places and events. I saw many references to Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the Portuguese explorer who discovered San Diego Bay in 1542 on behalf of Spain.

A recently opened exhibit in the Portuguese Historical Center remembers those in the local Portuguese community who have served their country. During World War II, San Diego’s many Tuna Clippers were converted into patrol and supply boats that served the United States military throughout the Pacific Ocean theater. You can learn much more about that fascinating aspect of San Diego history here.

When I visited yesterday, the centerpiece of the museum was a stunning dress worn by the 2018 Festa Queen. The traditional Festa do Espírito Santo is celebrated each year by the community at the nearby U.P.S.E.S. Chapel and community hall. Festa is a Catholic celebration of Pentecost Sunday. During the colorful event a religious procession makes its way several blocks up Avenida de Portugal to St. Agnes Catholic Church.

In front of the Portuguese Historical Center, a shining Tuna Fishing Industry Monument is inscribed with the names of loved ones who’ve become a part of local history. Members of the Portuguese Historical Center also maintain the Tunaman’s Memorial on Shelter Island. You can see photos of that iconic memorial here.

Please enjoy this quick look . . .

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Inside the historic Portuguese U.P.S.E.S. Chapel.

Today I enjoyed a look inside a beautiful Catholic chapel in Point Loma. The historic U.P.S.E.S. Chapel, located on Avenida de Portugal, was open to curious visitors for the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO.

The small, nearly one hundred year old chapel stands in a neighborhood that once was the home to many Portuguese tuna fishermen. Many families that have descended from these seafaring fishermen still call this part of San Diego their home.

U.P.S.E.S. comes from União Portuguesa Açoreana Sociedade do Espírito Santo, which in English means the United Portuguese Azorean Society of the Holy Spirit.

According to the U.P.S.E.S. website, this building “was completed and inaugurated in 1922. The design of the Chapel is a facsimile of those that exist on the island of Terceira, Azores and follows the design of the chapels of that era. The interior reflects the design of the chapels that were found in the tuna vessels of that era. Today, as it was intended in 1922, the Chapel is used to house the Crown of the Holy Spirit during the Festa do Espirito Santo celebrations. On Pentecost Sunday, devotees of the Holy Spirit visit the Chapel to pray and offer a donation of money or Portuguese sweetbread to assure the continuation of this time honored ethnic religious celebration.”

The chapel stands adjacent to the United Portuguese SES Hall, directly across the street from the Portuguese Historical Center.

After walking up some steps and looking at memory-filled commemorative pavers, I stepped inside the chapel and took photos of its modest, elegantly beautiful interior.

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!

New murals add more life to City Heights!

More fantastic street murals have been popping up in City Heights!

Artists have been painting all sorts of new murals along University Avenue, primarily between I-805 and I-15. Most have been created for #theavenuemuralproject. According to Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights, brand new murals have been debuting almost every month!

On Sunday I was shown a bunch that were recently completed. Each new mural uniquely enriches this proud, culturally diverse community. Artists, volunteers and neighbors have been coming together one wall at a time to make a positive difference for all.

And the future is bright! The stretch of University Avenue between I-805 and I-15 is a growing “drive-through” art gallery with truly unlimited potential. Muralists of local, national and even international renown are showing an interest in City Heights.

Victor Ochoa, one of the world’s most famous muralists, a pioneer of San Diego’s Chicano art movement, will be creating an amazing new masterpiece on University Avenue later this year!

To see some of these new murals, check out my previous two blog posts.

The following photographs show even more!

A cool new mural on University Avenue in City Heights, created by Beth Emmerich, with the assistance of other great street artists.
A cool new mural on University Avenue in City Heights, created by Beth Emmerich, with the assistance of several other great street artists.

This abstract mural is titled UnPerfect, by Walker Matthews, Carlos Quezada and Edwin Lohr.
This abstract mural is titled UnPerfect, by Walker Matthews, Carlos Quezada and Edwin Lohr.
LOVE CITY HEIGHTS
LOVE CITY HEIGHTS
Left end of a long mural on University Avenue near 50th Street. It faces a new park-like community gathering place across University. Created by @illumihaadi and local youth, with support from City Heights CDC and City Heights Business Association. The neighborhood is home to many Somalis.
Left end of a long mural on University Avenue near 50th Street. It faces a new park-like community gathering place. Created by @illumihaadi and local youth, with support from City Heights CDC and City Heights Business Association. The neighborhood is home to many Somalis.

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!

New muralist in San Diego makes her debut!

Naomi GonzalezMartinez (to the right) poses by her new mural in City Heights with her artistic mentor Brise Birdsong.
Naomi GonzalezMartinez (to the right) poses by her new mural in City Heights with her artistic mentor Brise Birdsong.

Today I met San Diego’s newest muralist!

Naomi GonzalezMartinez has painted a colorful mural for #theavenuemuralproject on University Avenue in City Heights. Please check out her new Instagram page!

Guided by Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights, I was able to meet Naomi and enjoy her artwork during a tour of several new street murals along University Avenue. Love City Heights is a group of community leaders working to enliven this culturally diverse San Diego neighborhood.

Naomi’s first mural was created with a little help from her mentor Brise Birdsong, a prolific local artist and muralist whose often humorous street art I stumble upon from time to time during my walks around San Diego.

Naomi told me a little about the mural, and the symbolism that it contains. Her family is very important to her, and being of Mayan descent, she incorporated the Mayan logogram that represents a companion spirit. You can see it in the following photograph at the center of the lower tea cup. The next cup up contains elements representing Korea, a place that is special to her. The third cup up contains colors from both the Mexican and American flags.

Other designs in the mural like the flowers and butterfly? Painted just for fun!

A very cool new work of art brightens City Heights!

The colorful mural contains diverse symbols that hold special meaning for the artist.
The colorful mural contains diverse symbols that hold special meaning for the artist.
Naomi GonzalezMartinez poses by her delightful City Heights mural with her family!
Naomi GonzalezMartinez poses by her new City Heights mural with her family!

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!

Fun mosaic sculptures at IB’s Peoples Park!

Peoples Park in Imperial Beach is now over two years old.

In 2016, residents of IB volunteered their skills, labor and love, and helped 4 Walls International create this fun, relaxed park on Seacoast Drive.

There are benches, planters and curving pathways, but the highlight of the park is a group of colorful, organic sculptures. Some appear to me like sea snails; others, as you can see, are turtles!

Decorating the surface of these mosaic sculptures are bits of broken tile and other small treasures, like beads and seashells.

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!