Ocean Beach memorial to Shoeshine Willie.

A memorial to a beloved Ocean Beach man now appears on the small building where he repaired and polished shoes for decades. William L. Washington “Shoeshine Willie” passed away early this year. The memorial contains two short poems written by Aaron Bryant.

Years ago I remember seeing Shoeshine Willie working in his modest shed next a parking lot and Ocean Beach bus stop. At the time I thought it was unusual for a shoeshiner to be active in a day and age when the profession has all but disappeared. I now wish I had spoken to him.

If you’d like to see this touching memorial, head over to the corner of Newport Avenue and Cable Street. I noticed it during my last walk in OB.

Here’s an article concerning William Washington and what he meant to the community.

…He was Ocean Beach’s bright Shining light…He’s still here in 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!

Orchids in the Park returns to San Diego!

The San Diego County Orchid Society is hosting their summer Orchids in the Park show and sale in Balboa Park this weekend!

I was drawn to Room 101 in the Casa del Prado once I saw a sign pointing to the popular free event.

The show’s many tables were overflowing with orchids in many shapes, sizes and colors. Every flower was like a perfect jewel.

I found so many examples of nature’s beauty (tended by the caring hands of society members), that I had to capture a little bit of it with my camera…

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!

Natural beauty and art at the Bromeliad Show!

Did you know pineapples are bromeliads?

I had no idea until I checked out the Bromeliad Plant Show and Sale in Balboa Park today. It was the second day of a weekend event held at the Casa del Prado.

A friendly gentleman answered all sorts of odd questions that popped into my mind concerning bromeliads. They’re distinguished from other similar-appearing plant types primarily by their flowers. Many bromeliads are found naturally at higher elevations and are pollinated by hummingbirds, that tolerate colder temperatures than bees. And . . . and . . . I already forgot half of what I was told!

I did notice some tiny, beautiful purplish flowers, and all sorts of fun artwork and crafts at several tables.

The San Diego Bromeliad Society, who hosted the show, has many enthusiastic members. Perhaps you’d like to join!

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!

Creating beautiful mosaics for Little Saigon!

Stunning public art is being created in the heart of San Diego’s Little Saigon!

Planters at the intersection of El Cajon Boulevard and Menlo Avenue are being decorated with bright, colorful mosaics. As you can see in the following photographs, which I took several days ago, the project is ongoing.

These beautiful mosaics are being assembled by City Heights artist Vicki Leon and the volunteer Azalea Park Mosaic League!

(You’ve seen their artwork elsewhere on my blog. Click here!)

The shining images I noticed on three different planters are of sunshine and water and radiant lotus flowers. The lotus is Vietnam’s national flower.

When I walked past the same intersection two years ago, one of these mosaic planters appeared to be finished. You can see it, a commemorative “The Little Saigon District” plaque, and other street art photographs that I took back then, 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!

Sunflowers in Escondido help Ukrainian refugees!

An effort is underway in Escondido to help refugees who’ve fled Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

I saw numerous beautiful paintings of sunflowers on display at the 2022 Escondido Street Festival today. Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.

The bright, optimistic paintings were created by artists who belong to the Escondido Art Association. Their project is called Sunflowers for Ukraine. Purchases and donations go to World Central Kitchen, which is feeding displaced Ukrainians.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Escondido Art Association’s website by clicking here! They’ve already raised ten thousand dollars!

Feeling inspired by this project? But you don’t live in Escondido? Certainly there are many artists who can paint sunflowers where you live! You can grow sunflowers like these, too!

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!

Would you like to read a happy short story about sunflowers and spreading kindness? Then click here!

Tears water a blossom in San Diego.

Where the San Diego communities of Normal Heights and City Heights meet, the tears of Chucho water a small human blossom.

Perhaps you’ve seen the piñata character Chucho on El Cajon Boulevard just east of Felton Street, on the wall of U-Stor-It, facing a car sales lot.

Chucho is the creation of San Diego born Latina artist/muralist Michelle Ruby, aka Mr. B Baby. There’s a good chance you’ve observed the colorful character in other street murals around the city. You can find more photos of Chucho by clicking here.

The artist, describing her largest mural yet, says the imagery can be interpreted as your pain is what truly makes you blossom. There’s a description of her thinking and philosophy of life on her Instagram page here.

The beautiful mural was painted several months ago.

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!

Beautiful new stained glass panels in Vista!

Check out this amazing new public artwork!

Many additional stained glass panels have appeared in Vista along South Santa Fe Avenue in the past couple years.

It was the summer of 2020 when I last explored the Paseo Santa Fe street improvement project and found an early set of panels along the sidewalk. (You can see those photographs and learn a little more about the project here.)

The panels are numerous now. They show various aspects of life in Vista, California. Many of the small scenes depict local plants or agriculture.

To the best of my knowledge, the artist creating all of these beautiful mosaics is still Buddy Smith.

Given the direction of my walk last weekend, I probably didn’t find every finished panel. But I hope you enjoy looking at these…

UPDATE!

I’ve learned from Buddy, the artist, that there are now 28 finished panels! Super cool!

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!

Let’s Grow Together in Pacific Beach!

A very large floral mural was painted last year in Pacific Beach. You can view it on the outdoor wall of Pastiamo, a pasta restaurant on Turquoise Street just east of Mission Boulevard. A bee flying over colorful flowers has written let’s grow together.

The artists are from Mindful Murals.

Mindful Murals must be going strong, because I see more and more of their work all over San Diego. They often paint positive, encouraging graphics at schools.

A friendly lady I spoke to who works at Pastiamo says they plan to serve pizzas at those shady tables!

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!

The many colors of a living city.

The life of any city is endlessly complex and interesting. The colors one encounters reflect this truth.

Early in the morning I walked around downtown San Diego–primarily through Little Italy and the Columbia District. Then in the evening I walked down Broadway.

My camera found these colors…

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!

Downtown’s Jacarandas begin their Spring bloom!

Do you know why there are so many Jacaranda trees in San Diego? A century ago, horticulturist Kate Sessions, the Mother of Balboa Park, planted hundreds of these colorful trees in the heart of our city. They are native to South America.

Twice a year–in Spring and Autumn–the striking lilac-blue blooms appear along city streets, adding their unique hue to sunny San Diego. Of course, they’re very messy trees, and you don’t want to park under them when the sticky flowers are dropping!

In 2000, Jacaranda mimosifolia was designated the official non-native tree of San Diego.

I walked from Cortez Hill to Little Italy this morning, and these photos represent a little of what I saw!

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!