A legacy honored at Mission Bay.

A plaque by the Mission Bay boardwalk honors the legacy of a man who was an inspiration to many.

Ken “SAWMAN” Sawyer III is remembered as one who lived life to the fullest and left us a legacy of laughter, love and compassion…

I noticed this memorial plaque last weekend while walking near the boat rental dock of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort.

May we all be remembered for having such a positive influence.

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!

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!

Transplant Games come to San Diego!

The 2022 Transplant Games are being held this week in San Diego!

A big parade was held for participants this morning along Harbor Drive. (Which I just missed!)

This evening the Opening Ceremony will be held at the San Diego Convention Center.

As their website explains: Every two years the Transplant Games of America gathers together thousands of transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, individuals on the waiting list, caregivers, transplant professionals, supporters and spectators for the world’s largest celebration of life.

Transplant recipients and donors will compete in many different sporting events through this Wednesday. Most of the competition will be at the Convention Center. It will also be the location of the Transplant Games of America Village, and according to the Schedule of Events, the public is welcome!

I think I’ll go tomorrow. I’d like to watch a bicycling competition that will be held Sunday morning at Embarcadero Marina Park South, just behind the Convention Center.

Would you like to become involved–perhaps by becoming an organ donor yourself? Check out the 2022 Transplant Games web page 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!

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!

You missed Red Shoe Day? Donate online!

It’s Red Shoe Day in San Diego!

Volunteers hanging out at busy intersections this morning were collecting donations for the Ronald McDonald House, which helps sick kids who are being treated at local hospitals, providing a nearby place for their families to stay!

Did you miss an opportunity to place some money in a red shoe this morning? Well, you can donate online. Do it here!

Thank you!

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!

Sunflowers in Escondido help Ukrainian refugees!

An effort is underway in Escondido to help refugees who’ve fled Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

I saw numerous beautiful paintings of sunflowers on display at the 2022 Escondido Street Festival today. Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.

The bright, optimistic paintings were created by artists who belong to the Escondido Art Association. Their project is called Sunflowers for Ukraine. Purchases and donations go to World Central Kitchen, which is feeding displaced Ukrainians.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Escondido Art Association’s website by clicking here! They’ve already raised ten thousand dollars!

Feeling inspired by this project? But you don’t live in Escondido? Certainly there are many artists who can paint sunflowers where you live! You can grow sunflowers like these, too!

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!

Would you like to read a happy short story about sunflowers and spreading kindness? Then click here!

Poetry transcends perception at Liberty Station.

One seldom observes public art that features poetry. It’s even more rare when the poems are composed by people who are frequently ignored.

Transcending Perception is public art that debuted in Liberty Station back in October, 2020. I hadn’t seen this installation until last weekend, when I walked down a pathway on the east side of THE LOT movie theater.

The images of Transcending Perception, according to the nearby information sign, “were created in a series of workshops that combined theater, poetry, and photography with the intention of ‘returning the gaze’ on both current and historical representations of those who are often excluded or misrepresented in the dominant media…”

This artwork was created by Josemar Gonzalez/Diana Cervera/The AjA Project.

Should you visit Liberty Station in Point Loma, you might want to read these potent words and consider what they mean and why they were written.

We all lead unique lives, with our own experiences and assumptions. It’s enlightening to put yourself in another’s shoes.

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!

Create a superhero and win 4 Comic-Con passes!

With less than a week to go, Comic-Con International logos have appeared all over the San Diego Convention Center!

Do you know any kids who’d like to win 4 valuable passes to San Diego Comic-Con this year? Listen up!

I just learned there’s a contest underway that ends tomorrow, put on by the Comic-Con Museum and Feeding San Diego. It’s called the Hunger Action Hero Art Contest.

Students from K to 12 are invited to create a hunger fighting superhero! Artwork and a brief superhero origin story are required to enter the contest, but kids must do so by April 22, 2022–that’s tomorrow! Fortunately, submissions can be made easily online.

Various prizes will be awarded for the top ten entries, in addition to 4 Comic-Con passes for the contest winner. To learn more, 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!

Standing with Ukraine in San Diego.

I walked a little through downtown San Diego this morning and this evening. And the first thing I photographed was the above sign We Stand With Ukraine.

Later, I’d see other instances of San Diego businesses and residents standing in solidarity with the Ukrainians, who have been suffering for a month now during the brutal Russian invasion orchestrated by Putin.

The civilized world has been watching the shocking events in Ukraine with horror and great sadness.

May reason, compassion, and human liberty prevail.

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!

Love is an Action in San Ysidro!

A newly opened art exhibit in San Ysidro provides hope and inspiration in these difficult times. It’s titled Love is an Action – Amor en los Tiempos de Pandemia (Love in Pandemic Times).

The exhibition features works by regional artists. Positive themes are plentiful, including compassion, acceptance, hope and healing. Most of the artwork concerns female experience and empowerment.

Love is an Action is the 15th Día de la Mujer Art Exhibition at Casa Familiar’s The FRONT Arte & Cultura museum.

I was struck by the power of many of these pieces. They are full of human feeling and authenticity. You can sense how many artists were uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which threw us all into isolation and uncertainty.

You can also clearly see that art can help us through life’s difficulties–to remind us of what is good and what is important–to make us feel alive once again.

This is just a small sample of what you’ll see…

Postcards that visitors can write a message of kindness or encouragement upon. They will be sent anonymously when the exhibition ends.
Breakfast, 2021, Lourdes Araiza. Photograph mounted on wood. Image of Mom eating breakfast, whose loving smile full of gratitude was a blessing.
Amor a lo Natural, 2020, Paola Segura. Oil on canvas. Pride and power, struggle and frustration are often depicted through the artist’s pieces.
The Graduate, 2022, Monica Nunez Aragon. Acrylic.
Tu Sola Alondra, 2022, Alondra Zamora. Acrylic on canvas. The artist’s love letter to her culture as a Mexicana.
Prayer, 2022, Betty Bangs. Acrylic on canvas.
Healing, 2020, Veronica Aranda. Mixed media on canvas. An image that came to the artist of a world healing without pollution.
Re-Member Her site specific installation by Collectivo XoQUE. Imagery of Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui explores women living on the border, and seeks to “create intimacy in the attempt to pick up the fragments of our dismembered womanhood and reconstitute ourselves in harmony with nature, body and soul, and the mind and spirit.”
Braiding a Message of Love.

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!