Good times at City Heights’ colorful Fair @ 44.

Welcome to Fair@44 Open Air Market and Venue. Community, Coffee, Culture and More.
Welcome to Fair@44 Open Air Market and Venue. Community, Coffee, Culture and More.

Last weekend I checked out a cool community gathering space in City Heights. The Fair @ 44 occupies a lot on El Cajon Boulevard, tucked between Fairmount Avenue and 44th Street. Here neighbors can enjoy concerts, movie nights, coffee from The Dojo Cafe, and a periodic International Food and Craft Market.

When I swung by it was fairly quiet: just some folks sitting at tables and chairs in the shade enjoying conversation. I saw that people can play various games, and that kids can draw pictures on nearby boards, or even create chalk art. Colorful murals and some small sculptural artwork can also be discovered by walking around Fair @ 44!

Lots of color and cool art greet those who visit Fair @ 44.
Color and cool art greets those who visit Fair @ 44.
A very cool mural!
A very cool mural!
Hanging out in some shade on a sunny weekend afternoon.
Hanging out in some shade on a sunny weekend afternoon.
There are huge LEGOs nearby, and plenty to chat about with neighbors.
There are huge LEGOs nearby, and plenty to chat about with neighbors.
Kids created some chalk art on a picnic table.
Kids created some chalk art on a picnic table.
Coffee and treats can be found at The Dojo Cafe.
Coffee and treats can be found at The Dojo Cafe.
A board features a wise Quote of the Week.
A board features a wise Quote of the Week.
Kids have drawn lots of creative artwork on this board.
Kids have drawn lots of creative artwork on this board.
Enjoying life in City Heights.
Enjoying life in City Heights.
Do What You Love
Do What You Love
Music en la Calle is a free music festival at Fair @ 44 coming up next weekend!
Music en la Calle is a free music festival at Fair @ 44 coming up next weekend!

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!

Faces of the USS Midway Remembrance Wall.

Real people, like you and me.
Real people, like you and me.

In this crazy world, during our busy and stressful lives, it can be easy to forget just how fortunate we are. To take Freedom for granted.

This morning I was reminded that some take an oath to defend that Freedom.

After attending the Memorial Day weekend Wreath Ceremony on the flight deck of the USS Midway, I headed down to the museum’s hangar deck. I wanted to see the Remembrance Wall.

I saw the smiling faces of family and friends and neighbors.

They won’t be forgotten.

A wreath for Memorial Day weekend. USS Midway Museum Remembrance Wall. Honoring our Fallen Heroes and Gold Star Families.
A wreath for Memorial Day weekend. USS Midway Museum Remembrance Wall. Honoring our Fallen Heroes and Gold Star Families.
Many faces.
Many faces.

Thank you for your service.
Thank you for your service.

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!

Photos of Manzanita Mountain Man Rendezvous!

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live as a mountain man? Trekking through the wilderness as a trapper or frontier explorer? Journeying through the untamed American West as a trader, prospector, scout or pioneer?

What would it be like to leave the comforts and routine obligations of a civilized life behind? To go where few had gone before, finding your own way over rugged mountains, across uncharted rivers, living on the land, camping beneath the stars?

Today I learned a little of what that was like. I drove an hour east of San Diego to Northcote Ranch to enjoy the 26th Annual Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous!

This modern reenactment of an historic Rocky Mountain rendezvous takes place in the beautiful countryside near Lake Morena. It attracts reenactors and visiting history buffs, school students and families from all around the Southwest. Every single participant I met was extremely friendly. They showed me and other visitors around with enthusiasm.

I observed many participants in period costumes camping in canvas tents and tepees across a broad field and among shady trees. Many of the campers create their own leather goods, jewelry and other Old West artifacts.

As I walked about, I listened to frontier music, visited a gunsmith, looked at the wares of different traders, and stepped inside a couple of the largest tepees. On several outdoor ranges I observed people throwing tomahawks, shooting arrows, even shooting authentic black powder muskets. I even enjoyed a good old hamburger and tater tots at The Hungry Dowg restaurant tent!

Other rendezvous activities, which happened to be idle during my visit today, include blacksmithing, candle making and woodworking. There is something intriguing everywhere one turns!

I photographed some of the informative signs, including one that concerns San Diego’s early history–particularly the 1820s to 1840s, when Fur Trade goods were sold to merchant ships that traveled around Cape Horn. Back then a wandering trapper would occasionally come into Old Town. Click those photos and they’ll enlarge for easy reading!

If you’ve never been to a mountain man rendezvous, make sure to put the Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous on your calendar for next year. Kids absolutely love it.

This fantastic event is open to the general public and admission is free!

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!

Wisdom on the Love Wall in Balboa Park.

Love little moments.
Messages of love.

A heart-shaped Love Wall stands on the patio of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. It has been there for several months.

Dangling from the wall are many short messages. Powerful words have been written on pieces of colored paper by many human hands. Some messages are old and faded. Others are bright and new. There’s plenty of space on the Love Wall for more wisdom.

A heart-shaped Love Wall stands on the patio of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.
A heart-shaped Love Wall stands on the patio of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.
Many messages dangle from the Love Wall. Love each other.
Many messages dangle from the Love Wall.
Amo mi familia. Love is accepting you.
Amo mi familia. Love is accepting you.
Smile.
Smile.
Love heals all.
Love heals all.
Love one another. Kindness ripples.
Love one another. Kindness ripples.
Family is everything.
Family is everything.
Love is . . . knowing it's right.
Love is . . . knowing it’s right.
Many messages of love from many different hands, young and old.
Many messages of love from many different hands, young and old.
I love you. Friendship.
I love you. Friendship.

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 dance, Wonder Woman, empty shoes, roses.

An exhausted face looks out from the window of Via Pia restaurant.
An exhausted face looks out from the window of Via Pia restaurant.

This afternoon, feeling restless, I went on a random walk through downtown San Diego.

It’s Mother’s Day.

If this blog post seems vaguely philosophical, I’ll let you decide what it all means…

I spotted a City Ballet of San Diego poster in the lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building. Carmina Burana is coming soon.
I spotted a City Ballet of San Diego poster in the lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building. Carmina Burana is coming soon.
City Ballet of San Diego is looking for donations for their Pointe Shoe Fund.
City Ballet of San Diego is looking for donations for their Pointe Shoe Fund.
A glass container full of pointe ballet shoes. Each provides an unknown number of dances.
A glass container full of pointe shoes. Each provides an unknown number of dances.
William Dorsett, a street artist who often hangs out near the USS Midway, created this cool painting of Wonder Woman.
William Dorsett, a street artist who often hangs out near the USS Midway, created this cool painting of Wonder Woman.
A couple walks along Embarcadero Marina Park North.
A couple walks along Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Mexican dolls for sale on the boardwalk.
Mexican dolls for sale on the boardwalk.
A spinning yellow sunflower at Alamo Flags in Seaport Village.
A yellow sunflower at Alamo Flags in Seaport Village.
Someone mediates on the wall near Rock Man, the amazing stone balancer.
Someone mediates on the wall near Rock Man, the amazing balancer.
A faded flower at the foot of the Merchant Seamen Memorial.
A fading flower at the foot of the Merchant Seamen Memorial.
Walking along by the water one afternoon.
Strolling along by the water one afternoon.
A duck disregards a sign by the Children's Park fountain.
A duck disregards a sign by the Children’s Park fountain.
A restored PCC streetcar of the Silver Line arrives at the Convention Center trolley station.
A restored PCC streetcar of the Silver Line arrives at the Convention Center trolley station.
Checking out a cool classic car in the Gaslamp.
Checking out a classic car in the Gaslamp.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Shoes with no walker.
Shoes with no walker.
Carrying a bouquet of red roses.
Carrying a bouquet of red roses.

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 the 5th Anniversary of Waterfront Park!

Today is the 5th Anniversary of San Diego’s wonderful Waterfront Park!

A special event celebrating the anniversary will be held today on the park’s south side lawn from 3 pm to 10 pm. There will be live music, kids activities, food trucks, and a whole lot of family fun!

Waterfront Park remains one of my favorite spots in San Diego. It’s a sunny place where I can sit on a bench to eat or read a book. Fountains splash, people play on the grass, and sails move gracefully in the distance on San Diego Bay.

Five years ago I attended the big grand opening of Waterfront Park and took loads of photographs. To see them, click here!

UPDATE!

I swung by Waterfront Park this evening to experience a little of the anniversary event!

I checked out a couple of information tables and learned about San Diego County Parks and Recreation, and the supportive non-profit San Diego County Parks Society. Both are looking for volunteers!

I saw food trucks, bounce houses, kids running wild through the huge, awesome Waterfront Park playground, and lots of happy people by the splashing fountains and on the grass. I saw a red-tailed hawk, the Pad Squad and the Swinging Friar, and the 80s pop music cover band FlashPants.

Great fun!

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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!

Fun photos of Cinco de Mayo in Old Town!

This afternoon I strolled through Old Town and captured photos of the big 10th Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. I began in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, headed south along San Diego Avenue, then turned to make my way back to the State Park.

According to a Park Ranger, Cinco de Mayo is by far the most popular event in Old Town San Diego. I saw many families strolling about enjoying the colorful sights, Mexican food and cultural entertainment.

There was a folklorico competition and lucha libre demonstrations (which I missed), giant puppets, Aztec dancers, kids’ crafts, mariachi music, and authentic Mexican food at every turn. There were many people in traditional Mexican dress and others in period costume from the early days of San Diego. I enjoyed checking out a bunch of sweet lowrider cars and a row of shiny, customized kids’ bikes that were definitely super cool. I paused to visit the donkeys near Seeley Stable, guys hammering red hot iron in the blacksmith shop, a silly street performer with a plunger on his head, and a gentleman in La Casa de Estudillo who was playing frontier games of chance against all comers. As I walked about I even spotted some chalk art.

There was so much to see, I didn’t know where to turn next!

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!