Every Saturday thousands of people converge on Date Street to take a stroll through Little Italy’s Mercato, an amazing Farmers Market that stretches half a dozen city blocks! Residents of downtown San Diego and the surrounding communities mingle in the sunshine, checking out an amazing variety of organic produce, freshly cut flowers, unique arts and crafts, tasty food and live music.
I took a walk through Little Italy’s Mercato this morning and was struck by the many vivid colors. There were over 150 booths to check out. I hardly knew which direction to point my camera!
I enjoyed a stroll through East Village this morning. It was my opportunity to take a few pics of the Padres Opening Day Block Party just north of Petco Park.
Dozens of tents and booths were lined up on either side of J Street. Kettle corn, barbeque on the grill, baseball souvenirs, assorted nonprofits and salespeople and radio shows…all the usual suspects were there. And, of course, baseball fans!
San Diego’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held this morning. It ran along Fifth and Sixth Avenue, on Bankers Hill just west of Balboa Park.
I captured a whole bunch of fun pics just prior to the parade’s start. There’s no shortage of the color green! All sorts of people and pets were gathering and preparing and positioning themselves for the exciting event!
The Eighth Annual Bark in Balboa Park was a triumphant success this afternoon. Hundreds of furry, tail-wagging best friends got to join in the festivities, and nearly all become instantly famous. How does an ordinary, easy-going, everyday dog get 15 seconds of fame? You’re about to find out!
This morning I spent a little time at this year’s Padres FanFest. Wow! I’d never been to this event before, and it was bigger and more exciting than I expected! Padres fans could engage in all sorts of fun activities throughout Petco Park, and I took photos everywhere I turned. Here are a few good ones…
This afternoon I enjoyed watching a good portion of San Diego’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. Every January, MLK’s dream of racial equality is celebrated downtown in one of the largest parades of its kind in the United States. The parade route runs down Harbor Drive on San Diego’s waterfront.
I got a whole lot of photos. Please feel free to share and enjoy them!
Today, an estimated 5000 people turned out for the public memorial service celebrating the life of the late Jerry Coleman. The service took place at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. “The Colonel” had been the central figure in the Padres baseball organization for over four decades. Jerry’s broadcasting voice will be missed by generations of fans. An excellent argument can be made that he was the most loved public figure in the history of our city.
I apologize that my camera isn’t of the highest quality. I do hope you enjoy a few images that I captured.
Dick Enberg noted that the stage was located on Jerry’s favorite spot: second base. After the playing of the National Anthem by the Marine Band, F-18 fighter jets roared overhead in the missing man formation.
After speeches by Randy Jones, Bob Chandler, Ron Fowler and Ron Roberts, fan-favorite former Padres player Tim Flannery sang his own stirring composition about Jerry Coleman, the man who hung the stars.
Joe Torre received great applause when he related a few humorous and touching old Yankees stories, and spoke of Jerry Coleman’s heroism and humility.
Ted Leitner, Jerry’s broadcast partner for many years, brought laughter and tears with his intimate accounts of a baseball legend’s modest personality and funny quirks. He concluded that Jerry Coleman was the best man he’d ever known.
After a salute by the Marine Corps, a T-6 SNJ aircraft from 1942, similar to the one Coleman flew in World War II passed overhead to honor the former Marine.
Jerry’s daughter Chelsea then spoke about her dad. She said that all he really lived for was his country, the game of baseball, and the people he loved. Dick Enberg concluded the memorial by saying that we all were fortunate to be part of the legacy of Jerry Coleman.
Here are some pics I took Sunday during the second day of Cabrillo National Monument’s centennial celebration.
Cabrillo National Monument is located at the tip of the Point Loma peninsula. The hilly peninsula helps to enclose San Diego Bay and is a perfect lookout over both the ocean and harbor. The park includes most notably the historic Old Point Loma Lighthouse and a 1988 replica of the original statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo that was commissioned by the Portuguese government in 1935. It also includes military bunkers that were used to protect the bay during World War II, and a very popular whale-watching lookout.
The park this year turned one hundred years old. In 1913 Woodrow Wilson reserved a portion of Fort Rosecrans on the Point Loma peninsula for a statue of Cabrillo. Unfortunately, a statue was not immediately forthcoming, and the park’s development became the work of many decades.
The work in progress continues today. My last visit was a few years ago, and this time I noticed many big changes and improvements!
The first photo shows a bunch of people near the Visitor Center, on the walkway that leads out to the Cabrillo statue.
For the centennial event, many community and government organizations had exhibits near the entrance to the Visitor Center. This pic shows what appeared to be the most popular table. The friendly lady had numerous snakes that fascinated young and old alike.
Everybody enjoyed a small slice of birthday cake!
Here’s the iconic statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the Portuguese explorer who sailed into San Diego Bay on behalf of Spain nearly five hundred years ago. It stands not far from the Visitor Center overlooking both the bay and Pacific Ocean.
As I walked up the hill to observe a reenacted air raid drill from World War II, I looked back at this beautiful view. Great views can be had at Cabrillo National Monument looking in almost any direction!
These tents and some nearby vehicles were on display for the centennial. During World War II, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, many feared an attack on San Diego. So defenses were quickly erected. In addition to a number of observation bunkers, a few gun emplacements were situated along the end of Point Loma to defend the mainland and bay.
A small museum nearby includes many photographs, recordings and artifacts from that period in San Diego’s history.
At eleven o’clock, a mock air raid was staged! An aircraft from nearby Naval Air Station North Island swept over the bluffs as World War II veterans and enthusiasts looked on from the hilltop near some old bunkers.
After the air raid, we all took turns going down into Battery E.
We were surprised at what we found! The flash of my camera illuminated the small semi-dark bunker, capturing this instrument used to scan the horizon for Japanese warships during World War II.
Down a nearby ladder was a second small room containing beds for those who stood watch at all hours.
A short distance from Battery E is the historic Old Point Loma Lighthouse. From 1855 to 1891 it stood as a beacon for those entering San Diego Bay, before being replaced by an automated lighthouse down near the water. This old lighthouse is one of San Diego’s most well-known sights!
A small museum near the lighthouse’s entrance is worth a quick look. It includes an amazing Fresnel lens that magnified light to help sailors out at sea.
A large flat area in front of the lighthouse was used by the keeper and his family to capture rainwater. Back then this lighthouse stood isolated, far from the small town across the water that grew into metropolitan San Diego.
Several furnished rooms in the lighthouse are on display behind glass. Very little space was available to accommodate the keeper and his family. In addition to this main room, there’s a kitchen area, closet, and two bedrooms up the winding stairs.
Speaking of the stairs, I couldn’t resist taking this pic!
Another great look.
Interesting sculptures, artwork and signs can be found at the Pacific Ocean overlook. During the winter months, you can see gray whales spouting as they travel between the Arctic and Baja California.
You can see where the tidepools are below. I didn’t go down to the water on this trip, but it’s a fun place to see all sorts of sea creatures!
At noon there was a guided hike down the Bayside Trail. We walked down a short road to the trailhead, where an old military truck waited with some folks dressed in historic uniforms. They would show us some interesting stuff down the trail.
Here we go down the Bayside Trail. The lady park ranger showed us a large number of native plants, including Coastal Sage, Lemonade Berry, Prickly Pear and more. The flora you see here is what is natural to the area. San Diego is located in a semi-arid zone, with very little precipitation. Most of the trees and other plants you see around town are not native.
We’ve come to a small structure built into the hillside that houses an old electric spotlight. The huge lamp was used to watch the San Diego Bay’s entrance during World War II. It rolled out on a pair of tracks and plugged into an outlet that you can see by the trail.
My camera’s flash brightly illuminated the old spotlight inside.
Now we’ve walked down to the electrical generator building–really just two small empty rooms. Usually these structures are closed to the public.
The group turned back, but I walked on…
And I was rewarded with this view. Having lived in San Diego a good many years, I recognized the large sailboat leaving San Diego Bay. It’s the Abracadabra, a boat used in a past America’s Cup. I also spotted the Stars and Stripes, just out of this picture.
Beyond downtown San Diego I could see numerous mountains, from Cuyamaca on down to Otay. When it snows in the mountains, San Diego has a snow-capped backdrop viewed from here!