A hamburger and Vista’s old Wishing Well.

In Vista, California there’s a Wishing Well that is several generations old. It has gathered pennies in one spot for almost three quarters of a century.

Curious eyes can discover this small Wishing Well across the driveway of Pepper Tree Frosty, right next to their outdoor eating area.

I happened to see it today while waiting for my order of a hamburger at the walk-up window. I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a wishing well. When’s the last time you’ve seen one?

I learned from Dan, the friendly owner of Pepper Tree Frosty, that the well was created in the 1950’s by the Lions Club.

Pepper Tree Frosty, a popular ice cream and fast food destination at 270 South Santa Fe Avenue, was originally a Tastee-Freez, built in 1953. When acquired by Dan’s family years later, it was renamed for the pepper trees lining the nearby creek.

Dan said that coins dropped into the shallow, ornamental Wishing Well go to the Boys and Girls Clubs, although donations came to a long pause during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By the way, my hamburger and fries were super good!

(There’s an image of Pepper Tree Frosty in a cool mural in downtown Vista! I’ll be posting those photos soon! As “well” as more interesting stuff I saw today in Vista!)

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!

Colorful fun at Old Town’s Cinco de Mayo!

Big crowds are coming out this weekend for Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo! The popular festival is taking place on San Diego Avenue, between Conde Street and Twiggs Street.

I took loads of photos today!

Look at all the colorful fun! There’s a Lowrider Lane with cool bicycles, awesome motorcycles and a bunch of modified Volkswagens! There’s tons of yummy food, many smiling vendors, plus entertainment on a main stage.

I saw joyful, twirling Mexican baile folklórico dancing at the Cafe Coyote Stage, then grabbed two buttery, freshly made warm tortillas at Cafe Coyote across the street.

As I wandered about, I discovered representatives from the Mormon Battalion Historic Site in the small park behind the Whaley House. They were teaching people frontier dances, recalling their part of early San Diego history, and engaged in various fun activities.

During much of the day, at the top of each hour, there’s an exciting Lucha Libre match. I watched with dismay as the bad guys defeated the crowd-favorite good guys with a series of wicked body slams and wrestling moves, plus, of course, some villainous cheating. Fortunately, a rematch was promised, and I’m sure the good guys would be victorious later in the day!

Thanks to the STAR 94.1 radio guys for the prize!

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!

Golden hamburgers tempt eyes in Oceanside!

Huge juicy hamburgers, served with precious gold, tempt the eyes of those visiting the Oceanside Museum of Art!

I said gold?

Yes!

The hamburger paintings and a sculpture, by San Diego artist Duke Windsor, are made to shine with the application of gold leaf. He was inspired by the gilt religious icons in the collection of Balboa Park’s Timken Museum. (Would that make these hamburgers secular icons?)

This savory exhibition of rather peculiar still lifes is titled Duke Windsor: Nothing’s Impossible.

When you’re an artist, indeed all things are possible. Even a luscious golden hamburger fit for a king!

I wonder . . . did that butterfly land on lunch during a picnic? Or does it symbolize something in particular?

Better place your order soon. The fast food will expire next weekend, when this cool exhibition ends!

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!

Chinese New Year returns to Balboa Park!

Chinese New Year has returned to Balboa Park!

Today I walked through the annual festival, which takes place at Balboa Park’s International Cottages. The celebration is hosted by the House of China.

Last year the House of China held this event online, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, many people on the lawn outside were wearing face masks just to be careful.

I didn’t stay too long, because I was headed over to the Comic-Con Museum for a screening of Black Panther. (A fun perk of being a Comic-Con Museum member. And I got a free high quality Black Panther movie poster, too!)

These are the images of the Chinese New Year festival that I captured. I saw a good crowd of visitors and lots of tempting food and talented musicians on the stage!

The popular free event continues on Sunday!

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!

Healthy food, art and books in National City!

Healthy food, art and books are easily accessible to residents in National City’s Old Town neighborhood. Take a look!

During my incredible tour around National City last month, Patty Corona of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center showed me how positive changes have come to a community that has been historically underserved.

Many liquor stores in National City now offer fresh fruits and vegetables, thanks to students at San Diego State University who operate nonprofit BrightSide Produce Distribution. National City residents who rely on fast food restaurants, or who have difficulty traveling to distant supermarkets, are able to purchase fresh produce within several blocks of their home. The availability of fruits and vegetables at many corner liquor stores has made it easier for lower-income residents to find healthy, nutritious food.

In the case of Big B Market & Deli in National City’s Old Town neighborhood, not only are fresh veges available, but a whole lot of inspiring art has been installed around the building! Mosaics on planters and walls and a very colorful mural were all created with the help of A Reason To Survive (ARTS), an organization in National City that uplifts and inspires at-risk youth.

And there’s a cheerful little free library box outside the store that promotes literacy, too!

At the corner of 16th Street and Coolidge Avenue, many good things are in reach for body, mind and soul!

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!

Lunar New Year Festival in City Heights!

A very popular, family friendly Lunar New Year Festival is being held this weekend in City Heights!

I walked down to Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park today where the annual event, hosted by the Little Saigon Foundation of San Diego, is being held.

It’s 2022 . . . the Year of the Tiger. Look what I saw!

If you’re in San Diego and want to enjoy a free Tet festival that celebrates Vietnamese culture and features lots of yummy food, beautiful Lunar New Year displays, lion and dragon dances, games, folk dance, and much more, head over to City Heights on Sunday! See details 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!

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!

Wishing everyone a sweet New Year!

Yes, the older I get, the faster time flies. I still haven’t figured that out.

I remember thinking as a boy: Wow, I’m probably going to be around in the distant future . . . in the 21st century! There’s going to be a year 2000! The very notion I’d be living in a whole new millennium seemed inconceivable.

Now it’s 2022!

In the blink of an eye!

And here comes the metaverse!

Having made it this far, I guess we all deserve a virtual doughnut. (A yummy Donut Bar one, too!)

Wishing everyone a sweet New Year!

Jack in the Box clown head at History Center!

These photos might stir up some nostalgic San Diego memories.

How many of you used to pull through Jack in the Box half a century ago, when happy clown heads decorated the fast food restaurant’s roofs and served as the drive-thru speaker box? I remember it from my own childhood.

Last weekend, when I saw this Jack in the Box Clown Head (circa 1950’s to 1970’s) in a display case at the San Diego History Center, I had to smile.

What memories do you have?

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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Have a sweet and Happy Thanksgiving!

Just in case the roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, rolls, candied yams, green bean casserole, cranberries and pumpkin pie isn’t enough to send you into a blissful post-feast coma, have a turkey donut! (I swung by the downtown Donut Bar a couple days ago.)

Have a sweet and Happy Thanksgiving!

Richard