Aero Drive’s other name in the Convoy District.

While driving through Kearny Mesa, have you glimpsed something mysterious above an Aero Drive street sign?

I saw this unique “Honorary Deegan and Stephen Lew Drive” sign last weekend. I was walking down a sidewalk through the Convoy District.

Pausing at the corner of Convoy Street and Aero Drive, I took this photograph.

When I got home, I found a press release from San Diego District 6 Councilmember Chris Cate.

I learned that the 7900 block of Aero Drive was dedicated last summer to two brothers who were members of the Asian American community. Both were “…incredibly active civically, culturally, and philanthropically…”

I also learned this is the very first street sign in San Diego written in both English and Chinese.

I don’t recall seeing the dedication event on the news, and indeed a search of Google News turns up nothing.

I’m glad I happened to see the sign. I learned a little about two people who were loved by many, and who contributed to the life of our city.

“San Diego is a better, more kind, and compassionate place because of Deegan and Stephen.”

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 winter’s day walk in Balboa Park.

Even in winter, on a gray, overcast, slightly drizzly day, Balboa Park is one of the most wonderful places on Earth.

I took an easy walk through the park yesterday.

I saw friends. I saw strangers. I saw families, people young and old.

I saw smiles and expressions of happiness and wonder.

Enjoy these photographs…

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!

Students reveal genealogy, humanity at History Center.

An exhibition at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park assembles the genealogical research of students at High Tech High.

The High Tech High “Rubber Duckies” have discovered the fascinating stories of their ancestors, and have shared them online. The stories contain joys, struggles, successes and failures–they are memories of complex lives filled with humanity whose echoes still touch the living.

At the museum, visitors can scan QR codes to read the stories. Or you can read them now by clicking Pre 1900, 1901-1950, or 1951-Present. Then click Family History at the top of each story summary to read the student report.

Many of the students have immigrant ancestors with stories that will break or lift your heart. Some distant ancestors are quite surprising, such as William the Conqueror.

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 special message from Santa Claus for San Diego!

I’ve just been contacted by Santa Claus. He has an important message for all of San Diego!

Merry Christmas, San Diego.

I hope you have a safe and dry Christmas Day with family and loved ones. Omicron is worse than getting coal in your stocking. Get vaccinated and wear a mask.

Santa hopes the pandemic will end and we all can return to “December Nights in the Park” next year.

Santa held his COVID-19 Vaccination Card during 2021 “Taste of December Nights.” (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
After “Taste of December Nights,” Santa went to visit the Nativity scenes at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
A week later, a well-dressed Chihuahua sporting a stylish Mohawk posed with Santa at Harry’s Coffee Shop in La Jolla. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
This cute little girl came to visit Santa while he was eating breakfast at Harry’s. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
… and this little guy was impressed with Santa’s baseball card. We want the Padres to win the World Series in 2022. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)

Be good to one another. Have fun. Laugh and be joyous, but also remember the meaning of the season.

Your friend,

Santa Claus

Santa Claus sightings around San Diego!

Santa Claus parachutes from a helicopter onto the deck of the USS Midway!

Two days until Christmas!

Over the years, Santa Claus has been sighted countless times around San Diego. And I’ve captured (or received) some fun photographs of jolly old Saint Nick!

I’ve seen Santa jumping from a helicopter, flying above San Diego Bay using a water jetpack, in holiday parades, and, of course, magically granting Christmas wishes to good boys and girls.

Please enjoy this happy collection of Santa photos!

Santa and Mrs. Claus read a joyful story during Christmas on the Prado in Balboa Park.
Santa and Mrs. Claus ride a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, during the Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon.
Jolly old Santa makes somebody laugh in front of Balboa Park’s Federal Building. Are those two guys naughty or nice?
Surfing Santa arrives at Seaport Village by flying a water jetpack.
Multiple bearded Santas at the Over-the-Line tournament on Fiesta Island. They encourage everyone to eat healthy! (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
Santa and Mrs. Claus smile for a photo during a Toys for Tots charity event on Navy Pier.
There’s Santa once again at Seaport Village! Looks like I took this photo during the summer of the MLB All-Star Game in San Diego.
Mrs. Claus poses with Santa during Christmas on the Prado. But he doesn’t appear like the real Santa to me.
Santa Claus waves from a fire truck during the North Park Toyland Parade.
Social Distance Santa waves at passing cars during Taste of December Nights in 2020. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
Santa in Balboa Park once again. Like everyone else in San Diego, he must love the place.
And there’s Santa again! He’s now at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A smiling Santa Claus helps warm an elf nose during Christmas on the Prado. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
Santa Claus brings joy to the brightly lit Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Christmas magic during December Nights in Balboa Park!

I wish everyone Happy Holidays!

I plan to take a little time off from blogging this week and next, just to relax and enjoy the season. But I’ll continue to walk, weather permitting, and take photos!

When I return in the New Year, be ready for many more Cool San Diego Sights!

Take care!


Chaldean Family Christmas in Balboa Park.

Today during my walk through Balboa Park I stumbled upon a special holiday event in the Hall of Nations. Families were celebrating a Chaldean Family Christmas with traditional music, dancers in folk dress, tables overflowing with food, lots of smiles and the arrival of Santa Claus!

The Chaldean Family Christmas–From Babylon to Balboa–was brought to life by the Chaldean American Family Foundation, an organization that aids the local Chaldean community.

I took a few photos of the festive event. That above first photograph was framed perfectly, but came out much too blurry. So I ran it through GIMP’s oilify filter. The joyful image really captures the Christmas spirit.

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 holiday celebration in National City!

A big, wonderful holiday celebration is going on right now at Kimball Park in National City!

I walked through the community event just as it was getting underway this afternoon. I saw lots of families enjoying a Ferris Wheel, sledding on a snowy hill, dancing performances, arts and crafts, and even Santa himself!

If you read this blog in time, you might want to head on down to this free event!

A Kimball Holiday will go until 9 pm this evening, with the Christmas tree lighting at 6 pm!

A good crowd enjoys A Kimball Holiday as the festive event gets underway.
I walked by in the late morning and saw workers getting the Christmas tree ready. That’s how I learned about this event! After walking around San Diego’s South Bay for several hours, I returned in the afternoon…
Kids were enjoying the big Ferris Wheel.
How often do you see snow in sunny National City? Looks like fun!
Uh, oh. The Grinch showed up! That elf is trying to cheer the old grouch.
Lots of vendors had seasonal crafts and gifts for sale.
Santa waved! Hi Santa!
Malashock Dance was performing on the event stage in the early afternoon.
I love National City!

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!

County ceremony at Day of the Dead altar.

This morning I walked down to the San Diego County Administration Building to view their Day of the Dead altar. Like the one last year, this new altar on some outdoor steps remembers those who’ve died from COVID-19.

When I arrived a gentleman was setting up additional luminarias and flowers.

Baltazar Hernandez, who is also Vice President of the City Heights Día de los Muertos, was busy making the altar more beautiful and meaningful.

He informed me there would be a special ceremony in the evening, so I returned to the County Administration Building after work.

The ceremony began with a blessing of the altar by Baltazar, who wore Danza Azteca garb. A few short speeches followed.

The most powerful words were spoken by someone who had tragically lost a loved one. She told everyone: “That empty place that you have in your heart–fill it with love.”

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!

Day of the Dead walk around Old Town.

Today many are celebrating Día de los Muertos–Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead. It is a time when departed loved ones are remembered and honored.

Early this evening I took a short walk around Old Town San Diego to see what I might see.

Many are still cautious because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so there wasn’t the usual crowd and activities. But I did find music and colorful Catrinas at Fiesta de Reyes, and sugar skull face painting at a few spots in the State Park and along San Diego Avenue. I also came across a couple of Día de los Muertos altars.

These are my photos…

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!

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Halloween costume fun on a San Diego walk!

It’s Halloween! Look at all these great Halloween costumes! I saw them today during a short walk near downtown San Diego.

Yes, almost all of these photographs were taken in Balboa Park. I spent several hours there, just meandering about, enjoying an orchid show, meeting friends, stepping into a museum, listening to street musicians and an amazing organ concert. In other words, simply enjoying the sights and sounds of San Diego’s most wonderful park.

The last photo with the two guys in costume was taken as I walked through Bankers Hill. If you recognize the street, you win a pretend candy corn. (Sorry, I already ate all the good stuff.)

Trick or treat!

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!