Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro.

One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.
One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.

If you notice two colorful benches in San Ysidro Park, go take a closer look. On both you’ll discover a Trail to Literacy.

The benches are decorated with tiles painted by children. You’ll see small works of art that celebrate books and stories that young people love.

This wonderful community project promotes reading. After looking at the tiles, I think I want to visit a library and check out some children’s books. What better way to activate imagination? And relearn wisdom.

The benches stand not far from renowned artist Victor Ochoa’s beautiful Tree of Life, which I photographed while walking around the park last weekend. See those photos here.

Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.
Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.
The Paperboy.
The Paperboy.
Dogzilla.
Dogzilla.
Froggy Gets Dressed.
Froggy Gets Dressed.
The Cat in the Hat.
The Cat in the Hat.
The Gingerbread Man.
The Gingerbread Man.
Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.
Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.
Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.
Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.
A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.
A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.
Mulan.
Mulan.
Corduroy.
Corduroy.
La Hermana de Froggy.
La Hermana de Froggy.
Mouse Mess.
Mouse Mess.
Viva Piñata!
Viva Piñata!
Just Imagine with Barney.
Just Imagine with Barney.
El Arbol Generoso.
El Arbol Generoso.
More colorful, imaginative tiles painted by youth.
More colorful tiles painted by creative youth.
Reading activates imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.
Reading sparks imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.

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 face of one very cool mural in East Village!

Cool face of East Village mural by Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki of Cohort Collective.
Cool face of an East Village mural by Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki.

I spotted a very cool face during my walk through East Village last weekend! It was spray painted in a nook that might be easy to miss.

The mural was created in 2019 by Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki of Cohort Collective. If those names seem familiar, their fantastic art can be enjoyed all over the city. (They have another mural with a similar vibe and palette of colors on nearby Park Boulevard. See photos of that one here.)

You can find this cool face near the corner of 15th Street and K Street, not far from the entrance to the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

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!

Murals behind San Ysidro’s The Front gallery!

An astonishing abstract face painted on the rear of The FRONT art gallery in San Ysidro!
An astonishing abstract face painted on the rear of The FRONT art gallery in San Ysidro!

As you saw in my last blog post, yesterday I enjoyed a tour of the “Walls – Cross Border Urban Art/Muros – Arte Urbano Interfronterizo” outdoor mural exhibition in San Ysidro.

After Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT Arte Cultura, provided a walking tour of the exhibition’s public murals, we took a short walk through The FRONT gallery building itself. When we stepped out back, where there’s a small parking area, my eyes opened wide. More amazing murals!

The dazzling abstract face, which appears to me like a joining of the technological and the spiritual, was painted in 2013 by two popular, well-known artists.

The left half was created by Gibran Isaias Lopez, commonly known as Isaias Crow. His work appears in several places on Cool San Diego Sights. A few weeks ago I posted photos of his incredible mural at Pacific Beach Elementary School here!

The right half of the mural is the creation of Jari “Werc” Alvarez, who was born in Cd. Juárez, Mexico and raised in El Paso, Texas. He spends a lot of time working in New York City. You might have seen a past mural he painted at San Diego International Airport. I took a photo of it four years ago here.

A second, very wonderful mural beside The FRONT’s rear parking area depicts colorful, smiling sea creatures. I learned it was painted years ago by lots of happy kids.

The FRONT Arte Cultura is a very cool gallery operated by the San Ysidro community organization Casa Familiar. The gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions, educational programs and community events.

Check out The FRONT’s website here. If you’re a lover of art, music and culture, you should listen to their series of podcasts!

The FRONT Arte Cultura is an art gallery in San Ysidro operated by the community organization Casa Familiar.
The FRONT Arte Cultura is an art gallery in San Ysidro operated by the community organization Casa Familiar.
This extraordinary mural, created in 2013, can be found behind The FRONT art gallery, beside a parking area. The left side was painted by Isaias Crow, the right side by Werc Alvarez.
This extraordinary mural, created in 2013, can be found behind The FRONT art gallery, beside a parking area. The left side was spray painted by Isaias Crow, the right side by Werc Alvarez.
Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT, smiles for a photo by this very cool mural.
Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT, smiles for a photo by this very cool mural.

Another fun mural beside the parking area was painted years ago by happy kids. I've never seen so many smiling sea creatures!
Another fun mural beside the parking area was painted years ago by happy kids. I’ve never seen so many smiling sea creatures!

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!

Girl Scouts work to make a better community!

Believe.
Believe.

Today I enjoyed a tour of a fantastic outdoor mural exhibition in San Ysidro. It was the highlight of my day. I’ll blog about that shortly.

Earlier in the afternoon, I walked a little around the neighborhood and found myself looking at some creative artwork on a fence at the San Ysidro Community Center. I’d stumbled upon the Gold Award project of two local Girl Scouts!

According to a sign on the fence, in 2018 Orian Martinez restored the community center’s outdoor playground, and Sofia Perez-Valles created the Utopia Mural on the surrounding fence, embellishing it with positive messages.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has closed the San Ysidro Community Center and its outdoor area for many months now, so if things look a bit weathered and ragged, you can understand why. But the positive efforts and messages endure.

The actions and leadership of these two Girl Scouts have indeed made the world (and their community) a better place!

Utopia Mural.
Utopia Mural.
Butterflies decorate a gate to an outdoor playground and gathering place.
Butterflies decorate a gate to an outdoor playground and gathering place.
Sign near entrance to San Ysidro Community Center.
Sign near entrance to San Ysidro Community Center.
Two Girl Scouts achieved the Gold Award for a 2018 project at the San Ysidro Community Center.
Two Girl Scouts achieved the Gold Award for a 2018 project at the San Ysidro Community Center.
Recycled materials turned to art on the chain link fence.
Recycled materials turned to art on the chain link fence.
Courage.
Courage.
More colorful butterflies.
More colorful butterflies.
Action Changes Things.
Action Changes Things.
The future has many names...
The future has many names. For the fearful, the unknown. For the weak, the unreachable. For the brave, an opportunity.
Action is the foundational...
Action is the foundational…
...skill to all success.
…skill to all success.
Fall seven times and get up eight.
Fall seven times and get up eight.
If you do what you've always done, you'll get where you've always gone.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll arrive where you’ve always gone.
Changes bring opportunity.
Changes bring opportunity.

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!

Neighbor releases butterflies in San Diego park!

A neighbor in San Diego’s Cortez Hill community has released butterflies in a city park. She accomplished this with a paintbrush and stencils!

Take a look!

I learned from Joe Ciavarella of Friends of Tweet Street Park that the beautiful butterflies–and birds, flowers and dragonflies–you see in my photos were painted on planters and stones recently by Victoria Villavicencio, who periodically visits Cortez Hill.

Tweet Street Linear Park at the top of Cortez Hill becomes ever more inviting over time, thanks not only to the friendly workers of San Diego’s Parks and Recreation Department, but to unselfish community volunteers who devotedly plant, tend and clean the garden-like park.

From one who lives a few steps away: 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!

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!

An amazing center for creativity in Chula Vista!

Interior photo of Chula Vista's Art on Third, courtesy Rich Walker.
Interior photo of Chula Vista’s very unique Art on Third, courtesy Rich Walker.

Check out the amazing interior of Art on Third in the heart of Chula Vista!

I was walking down Third Avenue on Saturday, taking photos of interesting things, when I peered through the windows of what appeared to be a colorful art gallery. And out comes Rich Walker, the super friendly artist who runs the place!

We talked. He showed me inside his fantastic Art on Third. I learned that it’s far more than a gallery. It’s a creative space and cultural event venue, where there are concerts, poetry readings, and a whole variety of community gatherings. It’s a place where eyes are dazzled no matter which way they turn! I felt as through I had stepped into a completely different world. A world of uninhibited freedom, joy and creativity!

Take a look at these photographs!

Rich explained he’d like downtown Chula Vista to become even more dynamic–to become a magnet for artists and those who love the arts. To become a popular, widely-known destination.

I don’t see why that shouldn’t happen. There are cool eateries and intriguing little shops up and down Third Avenue’s historic business district. Chula Vista has plenty of artists. And there’s the ideal location. Chula Vista sits smack dab in the middle of two major international cities: San Diego and Tijuana.

And, of course, there’s the very unique Art on Third–a truly amazing place with a smiling proprietor who believes in the following: Enjoy Life. Be Creative. Laugh Often.

At Chula Vista's cool Art On Third, love should be the loudest voice!
At Chula Vista’s cool Art On Third, love should be the loudest voice!
Photo of creative space Art on Third, courtesy Rich Walker.
Photo of creative space Art on Third, courtesy Rich Walker.
Crowd comes together for a concert at Art on Third, photo courtesy of Rich Walker.
Crowd comes together for a concert at Art on Third, photo courtesy of Rich Walker.

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!

Amazing mural at Chula Vista Yoga Center!

Check out this amazing mural!

Today I went for a walk through Chula Vista. My camera really started clicking on E Street outside the Chula Vista Yoga Center.

If you recognize the distinctive style of this very colorful, abstract mural, that’s because it’s by local artist Maxx Moses, and you’ve seen other examples of his work on my blog. His artwork, which seems a fusion of familiar forms and strange, layered dreams, produces a feeling that is both cosmic and spiritual. Definitely fitting for a yoga studio!

Very cool!

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!

See how amazing the Comic-Con Museum will be!

Are you wondering how amazing the Comic-Con Museum will be when it has its Grand Opening in Balboa Park in 2021?

It promises to be super amazing!

Check out this web page to see a video fly-through of the future museum’s layout and features. Numerous renovations and additions to the museum will continue from it’s Opening Day in 2021 through 2024.

The Comic-Con Museum is going to be the place where pop culture fans of all ages go for a wide range of unique experiences–to be dazzled, learn, create and simply have fun.

Students will have access to an Education Center where STEAM learning will be emphasized. The museum will have multiple rotating art galleries, areas where fans can participate in panels, movie nights, workshops and a variety of special events, a super cool lounge area above it all for social gatherings, tabletop gaming, book club meetings and more, plus a cafe with ever-changing themes, and a store filled with comic books, graphic novels, and all sorts of cool, collectible merchandise. There will also be an Online Museum for those fans who can’t make it to San Diego, or who’d like to enhance their visit!

And much of the Comic-Con Museum’s programming will be determined by the community of fans!

Does that sound pretty amazing to you?

Check out this web page for all the details!

An artist's rendering of what the entrance to the Comic-Con Museum will appear like when it opens in San Diego!
An artist’s early rendering of what the entrance to the Comic-Con Museum might appear like when it opens in San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! And I’m an excited Comic-Con Museum charter member! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A fine art salon at the San Diego History Center!

Several museums in Balboa Park have reopened this Labor Day weekend. Among them is one of my favorite destinations–the San Diego History Center.

I ventured inside the museum this afternoon and discovered an amazing exhibit that I hadn’t yet experienced.

Revealed: The San Diego History Center’s Fine Art Collection presents many great examples of art in the San Diego History Center’s permanent collection. Dozens of paintings are arranged on several large walls in a salon style exhibition. A wide variety of important regional artists are represented, including Belle Baranceanu, Ivan Messenger, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, Dan Dickey, Dorr Bothwell, Alfred R. Mitchell, Maurice Braun, and Charles Reiffel.

What I enjoyed most about his exhibition was an amazing video documentary projected against one wall that concerns the creation of San Diego’s iconic sculpture, Guardian of Water. The video follows the conception and painstaking production of this extraordinary public artwork by renowned San Diego sculptor Donal Hord.

If you’ve ever wondered how that beautiful fountain and sculpture ended up on the waterfront side of the San Diego County Administration Building, you want to view this documentary!

Are you planning a visit to Balboa Park? Look for the Casa de Balboa near the east end of El Prado and step through the door of the San Diego History Center. Admission is free, but a donation is greatly appreciated. And while the COVID-19 pandemic persists, make sure to bring a face covering!

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!

Photos from past US Sand Sculpting Challenges!

The annual US Sand Sculpting Challenge was cancelled this year due the COVID-19 pandemic. The world-class event takes place each Labor Day weekend and draws huge crowds to San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Having gone to this mind-blowing international competition for the past six years, I’ve accumulated lots of cool photos! The world’s top sand masters can produce absolutely astonishing works of art!

To recall past wonders from this event, I’ve linked to blog posts containing hundreds of photographs. Before you check those out, however, in no particular order, here are some of the sand sculptures I’ve particularly enjoyed!

The following links provide six years of photographs from the US Sand Sculpting Challenge…

2014

Photos of world-class sand sculptors at work!

2015

Photos of amazing, incredible sand sculptures!

2016

The most amazing sand sculptures in the world!

2017

World’s top sand sculptors create fantastic art!

2018

Masterpieces by World Master sand sculptors!

2019

Amazing art at U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

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!