The new Aztec Stadium rises!

San Diego State University’s new Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley is rapidly rising!

I took some photos in late April and you could see back then how the construction had just begun. Now huge supporting steel beams for the stands and stadium lights can be easily seen from Friars Road!

I took these photographs from the southwest side of the stadium late this afternoon.

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!

Sculpted children at the Poway Library.

Two children–a small girl and boy–linger in the outdoor courtyard area near the entrance to the Poway Library. Both are made of bronze.

I spotted the sculptures last weekend during my walking adventure in Poway.

These two works of public art, according to a nearby plaque, were created by Ardel Uvon Bloomquist and are dedicated to children of all ages. In 2000 they were donated by the Poway Woman’s Club.

As the girl sits reading a book, the boy walks along carrying his own book, no doubt checked out from this Poway Branch of the San Diego County Library.

I found an old article that describes the Poway Woman’s Club and their acquisition of this artwork 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 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!

Love of reading on a library bookmobile!

Yesterday I enjoyed a long walk in Poway. As I explored the area near Old Poway Park, I happened upon a San Diego County Library bookmobile. I took these photos.

I love how this bookmobile features painted images of diverse people reading, devouring the written word. Gaining knowledge. Activating limitless human imagination.

My own love of reading has only grown stronger with time. Experience has shown me that books are like windows that can be opened to previously undiscovered truths. They enrich one’s inner life.

When I saw the image of the boy pushing books in a cart, I had to smile. In middle school I worked as a page at a library shelving books. I can still picture that library–each room and each wonderful section.

One cool thing about being a library page was I could determine which books were showcased at the end of the shelves. There were so many fascinating titles, so many beautiful covers.

I could choose from a whole world at my fingertips.

Back when I was a kid pushing carts full of returned library books, I had no idea that one day my own fiction would be read by people everywhere around the world. And that my short story, One Thousand Likes, would be included in a textbook by a major international publisher.

Much like a book, the pages of a life turn and strange surprises await!

To read my stories, click Short Stories by Richard.

Butterflies, art and inspiration in National City!

Yesterday, as I waited for the Memorial Day ceremony to begin in National City, I wandered a short distance down 12th Street from the Veteran’s Wall of Honor. I was surprised to encounter colorful butterflies along the median, and lots of art at a bright building on the north side of Kimball Park. The building, I learned, is home to ARTS, which stands for A Reason To Survive.

ARTS is a special community center where youth are inspired to live positive, hopeful, creative lives free from destructive influences and the violence that might attract their peers.

According to their website, the mission of ARTS is “to heal, inspire, and empower youth facing life challenges through therapeutic arts, formal arts education, and college and career preparation…In 2012, ARTS moved to National City and opened a 20,000-sq. ft. ARTS Center in one of San Diego County’s most health-challenged and economically depressed communities…”

I urge you to visit the above link and read about how the ARTS program has gained national fame, and how you might personally contribute, volunteer or become involved.

Here come photographs of murals and other artwork I happened to see outside the building. Painted words encourage non-violence and provide A Reason To Survive.

The nearby butterflies at intervals along 12th Street represent a transformation into something beautiful.

Each butterfly is unique.

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!

Demonstration by San Diego Korean Karate Club!

Today I watched an amazing demonstration of some hardcore martial arts!

I was walking around the North University Community Branch Library in University City when a flurry of action caught my attention. Several members of the San Diego Korean Karate Club were practicing in a space outside the building!

The super friendly guys got talking to me and when they learned I’m a San Diego blogger, they consented to do a demonstration for my camera!

The fighting style I saw was ridiculously fast, powerful, and absolutely impressive. They were demonstrating Chung Do Kwan, which, according to the San Diego Korean Karate Club website, was “taught to the Korean military by Master Won Kuk Lee and Master Duk Sung Son…” It’s some deadly serious stuff.

Of course, the San Diego Korean Karate Club, which operates at the Nobel Recreation Center and Athletic Fields, doesn’t engage in lethal moves, but they will teach you kicking, sparring and conditioning drills, plus self-defense situations and tactics. They also offer special self-defense classes for women.

I photographed 6th Degree Black Belt Master Joe Montanez sparring with 2nd Degree Black Belt Junior Instructor Santosh Jois and have selected a few pics.

Their moves and counter-moves were so fast I could barely follow the action. In combat I would have succumbed to either one of them in a matter of seconds!

Check it out!

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!

A visit to the Encinitas Historical Society schoolhouse.

A one-room schoolhouse stands on a hilltop in San Diego’s North County, a very short distance from the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The old schoolhouse is the home of the Encinitas Historical Society, and I paid a visit last Saturday.

The historic schoolhouse, built in 1883, is the oldest building in Encinitas.

While its outward appearance is modest, step through a door and you’ll find the schoolhouse is roomy and welcoming. The wood floors are original. The bright walls are alive with photographs depicting the history of both the schoolhouse and early Encinitas–the residents, town buildings and few landmarks.

In 1883, with the arrival of a family from England, the population of Encinitas swelled to a whopping twenty two. The newly arrived father (a cabinetmaker) and his seventeen-year-old son built the schoolhouse primarily from redwood.

Today, the museum-like schoolhouse contains student desks from the period, but I learned the very first desks, due to lack of funds, were actually irregular things made of cut tree limbs. Slate boards were used for writing and arithmetic. Children who attended the school in those early days of Encinitas came from farms. Some walked as far as two miles.

The history of the schoolhouse is a bit complicated. Over the years changes and additions were made to the structure . . . it was moved in 1928 and became a private residence for half a century . . . it was saved in 1983 by the Encinitas Historical Society and moved back to its original location . . . and finally, it was restored and in 1995 opened to the public.

Visitors who peruse the many photographs and descriptions decorating the schoolhouse walls will feel they’ve travelled back in time. And perhaps to another world.

After looking at many of the displays, I joined a small group that had gathered for a once-every-two-month historical walking tour of Encinitas. I will be blogging about that great tour shortly!

The following photographs are a little of what I saw outside and inside the schoolhouse. To learn much more about this special place, and to perhaps plan your own visit, please check out the Encinitas Historical Society website by clicking here!

I also learned they’d appreciate any donations!

A plaque displayed near the chalkboard is dedicated to the Encinitas Boathouses. One block south of the schoolhouse, two unique cottages that appear like boats can be seen during a walking tour offered by the Encinitas Historical Society.
Encinitas Schoolhouse Grades One through Eight. 1883.
Concrete Highway 101. Two lane road to Los Angeles. 1913.
A craft fair was being held outside the old Encinitas schoolhouse the Saturday I visited. Beyond the parked cars you can see nearby Pacific View Elementary, closed since 2003.
Alone, at the very top of the hill stands the small one-room schoolhouse. A little beyond the hill stretches the Pacific Ocean.

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!

Closed school’s last students create mosaic wall!

Want to see something extraordinary and inspirational?

I had arrived yesterday at the 19th century schoolhouse now utilized by the Encinitas Historical Society, when I noticed a colorful tile mosaic mural wrapped around their dumpster enclosure wall.

When I asked about it, I learned the mosaics had been created by students from nearby Pacific View Elementary in 2003–the year that modern public school shut down. The final class of students produced this amazing artwork!

By looking carefully one can see the initials of students and simple images that record the experiences and desires of youth. You can see a love for art, friends, kindness, the ocean, sunshine, Encinitas and their Pacific View Elementary.

What a fine, enduring way to record important things in life.

Like the historic old schoolhouse that stands near this wall, the work of optimistic people in the past will continue to brighten our future.

If you’re curious about the old schoolhouse, which is headquarters of the Encinitas Historical Society, I’ll be posting lots of photos in the next day or two.

The historic 1883 schoolhouse, now home of the Encinitas Historical Society, can be seen just beyond that dumpster lid. The now closed Pacific View Elementary School can be glimpsed in the distance beyond the umbrellas.

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!

Old sculptural figures at San Diego High School.

I’ve often wondered about these sculptural figures that surround the rim of a planter in front of San Diego High School. Depicting academic and athletic endeavors, the figures are very weathered.

San Diego High School, the oldest high school in our city, began as the Russ School in 1882. In 1907 a new building, often referred to as the Grey Castle, opened. South of the Grey Castle, Russ Auditorium was dedicated in 1926.

The Russ School, Grey Castle and Russ Auditorium are all long gone. You can read the fascinating history of San Diego High School here and here and here.

After searching the internet, I must assume these amusing figures are the gargoyles from the façade of Russ Auditorium mentioned in the first two articles. Was the planter at one time a fountain? I’ve searched for old photographs that might provide clues, but without success.

Do you know anything about these old figures, which are seen in front of San Diego High School’s entrance when heading up Park Boulevard? If you do, please leave a comment to help preserve a little history!

Football.
Geography.
Geometry.
Music.
Mathematics.
Baseball.

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!

UC San Diego student art exhibited in Balboa Park.

This weekend I stepped into the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park to view their current exhibition, which is titled Measurements of Progress.

Graduating students (and a couple of professors) from UC San Diego’s 2021 Masters of Fine Arts program have contributed artwork that primarily concerns the ongoing human struggle to achieve certain ideals, particularly peace, liberty, and justice.

Given how the subject matter is largely political, it’s not surprising that some of the student art is ideological and simple. I was drawn to other more subtle, mysterious works that encourage the viewer to look open-eyed at a complex world and inward with questioning wonder.

A couple of pieces I really loved are sculptures made of fabric. Touched by soft light, they seem to hang in space like organic abstractions, sinuous, fragile, evocative, full of memory. One contains poetry.

Another strange, thought-provoking work is a series of prostheses that explores the “limited and flawed nature of human perceptions and the manner in which bodies experience the world…”

Another piece explores the cosmos in the artist’s own body. I’m not exactly sure what the 3-channel video depicts–possibly dyed slides under a microscope–but watching the movement of living cells in our immensely complex selves can make one less political, more philosophical.

Measurements of Progress is well worth checking out if you love endlessly fascinating productions of human creativity–particularly contemporary art.

The exhibition is free and will continue at the San Diego Art Institute through May 30, 2021.

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!

Your Actions Save Lives mural at Bread and Salt.

During my walk around Chicano Park today I noticed a huge new mural has been painted on one side of the Bread and Salt building in Logan Heights.

After I took some photos and returned home, I learned this mural, titled Stop the Spread, was painted by Tatiana Ortiz-Rubio. The eye-catching public artwork is part of the Your Actions Save Lives campaign in California. The mural, which is readily seen by those driving along Interstate 5, is intended to promote Covid-19 awareness.

To learn more about the mural and artist, and the Mexican symbolism of marigolds as a face covering, read this great article.

Late last year I photographed many other colorful murals all around Bread and Salt, and I posted those pics 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 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!