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!

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!

San Diego Stadium parking lot vanishes!

The enormous parking lot around San Diego Stadium–which over the years has been called SDCCU, Qualcomm and Jack Murphy Stadium, and which has been the home of the Chargers, Padres and SDSU Aztecs–is vanishing!

Check out a few photos I took today from a corner of the raised platform at the Stadium trolley station. The west portion of the 120 acre parking lot–once the largest parking lot west of the Mississippi River–is being removed to make way for the “SDSU West” Mission Valley development.

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!

Music education fund honors past Civic Organist.

The Spreckels Organ Society has announced that their increasingly important music education fund is now named after beloved past Civic Organist Jared Jacobsen.

According to the Spreckels Organ Society website’s page concerning this news, the Jared Jacobsen Educational Fund: “…underwrites the visits made by elementary school class groups to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion for mini-concerts and a peek backstage…” In addition, new financial support offered up in honor of Jared has allowed the Spreckels Organ Society to produce “a foundation on which to plan more ‘distance learning’ options for educational programs, identifying projects that can introduce the organ to students everywhere…”

There are certain things I especially love in San Diego that I blog about repeatedly. The Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park is near the top of that list. I can’t tell you how much enjoyment and inspiration I’ve received while attending free Sunday organ concerts over the years.

Indeed, thousands of music lovers in San Diego and around the world are inspired by the great Spreckels Organ. And by San Diego’s extraordinary Civic Organists, too!

So, during this period in time when we’re all trying to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, I was excited to learn the Spreckels Organ Society is planning to implement more distance learning. Music in our schools, and in the life of young people, should thrive no matter the present circumstances! Don’t you think?

Imagine. Kids have the amazing opportunity to learn from Raúl Prieto Ramírez, one of the world’s recognized top concert organists! That’s pretty special.

If you’d like to make a donation to the Jared Jacobsen Educational Fund, click here then scroll down for more detailed information.

A very favorite mural lives in Pacific Beach.

An extraordinary mural at Pacific Beach Elementary School painted in 2010 by artist Isaias Crow.
An extraordinary mural at Pacific Beach Elementary School painted in 2010 by artist Isaias Crow.

Yesterday I encountered one of my very favorite murals in San Diego. It lives at Pacific Beach Elementary School. I say this mural lives, because the artwork is vibrant, inspiring and has genuine soul. I couldn’t take my eyes off it!

The artist is Isaias Crow, and it was painted in 2010. You can see more of Isaias Crow’s work here and here. He also mentored a young muralist in City Heights, as you might recall here!

According to his website, Isaias Crow is a motivational speaker with an inspiring message. If his words are anything like this art, they must be powerful indeed!

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!

Art outside Vista Library celebrates learning!

Colorful artwork that encourages reading greets visitors to the Vista Library.
Colorful artwork that encourages reading greets visitors to the Vista Library.

Many fantastic works of art outside the Vista Library celebrate learning!

An imaginative sculpture and colorful murals greet the eyes of those who draw near this branch of the San Diego County Library. The art inspires us to read books, pursue knowledge, and fulfill our dreams!

I walked past the library yesterday and was absolutely amazed by what I discovered!

I took photos…

Front entrance to the public library in Vista, California.
Front entrance to the public library in Vista, California.
Sculpture at library's parking lot entrance. Climbing into Adventure, by Rick Randall and Jaydon Sterling-Randall, 2012.
Sculpture at Vista Branch Library’s parking lot entrance. Climbing into Adventure, by Rick Randall and Jaydon Sterling-Randall, 2012.
Up in the sky are many colorful wonders toward with the children together climb.
Up in the sky are many fantastic wonders toward with the children ascend.
A fantastic mural near front door of the library. Kids activate their imagination and ambitions with a book.
A fantastic mural near front door of the library. Kids activate their imagination and ambitions with a book.
The mural on the other side of the entrance, with a window to the library bookstore. Students pursue scientific knowledge.
The mural on the other side of the entrance, with a window to the Friends of the Library bookstore. Students pursue scientific knowledge.
Even a painted mouse in the mural is reading a tiny book.
Even a tiny painted mouse in the mural is reading a book.
Bike rack spells READ.
Cool bike rack spells READ.
Abstract mosaic near roof seems to depict bodies in our solar system.
Abstract mosaic near the library’s roof seems to depict bodies in our solar system.
A second mosaic glass mural. All three are titled Interconnected. Created by Cherrie LaPorte.
A second mosaic glass mural. All three are titled Interconnected. Created by Cherrie LaPorte.
The third mosaic glass mural. Abstract design shows how every element in the universe is interconnected.
The third mosaic glass mural. Abstract design shows how every element in the universe is interconnected.
Learning is celebrated with amazing artwork at the Vista Library.
Learning is celebrated with truly amazing artwork at the Vista Library!

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 of Chicano Legacy mural at UCSD.

During my weekend walk through UC San Diego, I headed to the east side of Peterson Hall to check out some fantastic public art: the Chicano Legacy 40 Años (Years) mosaic. The 17-by-54-foot mosaic was created in 2011 by world-renowned local muralist Mario Torero and UCSD students. Thousands of pieces of colored glass were used to create a permanent mural.

The artwork honors Chicano culture. According to the UCSD website: “It depicts the struggles and dreams of underrepresented communities, pays tribute to social justice and brings a sense of warmth and hope to UC San Diego…”

Click the photo of the plaque and you can read an explanation of the different images contained in the mosaic. The two boldest, which immediately draw your attention, are the Corn Goddess near the center representing Mother Earth, and the large face of civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

The bright sunlight on glass and the dark shadows cast by nearby trees made taking good photographs a challenge. You really should see this vibrant mural in person.

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!

Living Coast Discovery Center needs your help!

I just read an article on the KPBS website about how the Living Coast Discovery Center desperately needs donations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of their revenue comes from people visiting the center, which has been closed. Meanwhile, the many animals in their care–the birds, turtles, snakes, small mammals and other wild critters rescued around South Bay’s wetlands–need to eat! That requires money!

So I thought perhaps some of my San Diego readers might like to help out, too.

Have your kids taken school field trips to the Living Coast Discovery Center? Have you enjoyed a visit with your family? These deserving people really need your help!

Click here to learn more and perhaps make a donation!

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!

UCSD: a walk back in time, and into the future.

Carved likeness of a famous naturalist at UC San Diego's John Muir College. The college motto is Celebrating the Independent Spirit.
Carved likeness of a famous naturalist at UCSD’s John Muir College. The college motto is Celebrating the Independent Spirit.

I was a student at UC San Diego’s John Muir College in the early 1980’s. Every so often I’ll walk through the campus and try to recrystallize those memories. But the older I get, the hazier those memories become.

My walk through UCSD yesterday did make it clear how, after nearly four decades, everything about the university has changed. The explosion of growth is ongoing. New buildings are everywhere. Muir College–once one of UCSD’s most esteemed pillars along with the original Revelle College–is now just a small part of a sprawling university that’s considered one of the best in the entire world.

It’s summer. Almost nobody could be seen as I walked around. That is, until I reached the north edge of John Muir College. Construction workers were busy.

The two enormous parking lots that I remember between Muir and Marshall Colleges are being transformed into what’s called the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood. And I learned from a friendly worker that the two new dormitory buildings near North Torrey Pines Road will be finished in a couple of weeks! Other impressive buildings, which include new academic centers—one for Social Sciences and one for Arts and Humanities–will be completed in a month or two!

The new North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood is to become the home of Sixth College.

Six colleges now?

Time marches on.

Campus sign details the legacy of famous naturalist, environmentalist, explorer, and nature writer John Muir, advocate for America's national park system and one of the founders of the Sierra Club.
Campus sign details the legacy of famous naturalist, environmentalist, explorer, and nature writer John Muir, advocate for America’s national park system and one of the founders of the Sierra Club.
A grove of tall eucalyptus trees near the center of John Muir College, where there's an emphasis on individual study.
A grove of tall eucalyptus trees near the center of John Muir College, where there’s an emphasis on individual study.
McGill Hall behind trees of an outdoor common area.
McGill Hall behind trees of an outdoor common area.
It's summer. School's out. And there's the ongoing coronavirus pandemic situation, too.
It’s summer. School’s out. And there’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic situation, too.
A John Muir quote on a banner. How fiercely, devoutly wild is Nature in the midst of her beauty-loving tenderness.
A John Muir quote on a banner. How fiercely, devoutly wild is Nature in the midst of her beauty-loving tenderness.
To the north of John Muir College, multiple large buildings will be finished in the near future.
To the north of John Muir College, multiple large buildings will be finished in the near future.
Banner on fence shows rendering of the new North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood.
Banner on fence shows rendering of the new North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood.
Part of UCSD's large expansion near North Torrey Pines Road.
Part of UCSD’s large expansion near North Torrey Pines Road.
A student dorm building that will be finished in a matter of two weeks. Time marches forward.
A student dormitory building that will be finished in two weeks.

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!

Stuff the Bus online to help students in need!

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Stuff the Bus campaign is being held entirely online this year!

You can help San Diego students who are in need–including those who are homeless–by providing them with school supplies. SDCCU has partnered with the San Diego County Office of Education to make your participation easy. Simply go to this GoFundMe page and make a donation!

Funds received will purchase backpacks full of school supplies like pencils, pens, binders and crayons for those kids who might otherwise go without. The backpacks will be distributed to schools all around San Diego County.

Last year, over 6,800 backpacks filled with school supplies were handed out!

The SDCCU Stuff the Bus campaign runs through July 31, 2020.

Visit the donation page here!