Ringing the Japanese Friendship Bell!

The Japanese Friendship Bell on San Diego’s Shelter Island is rung perhaps twice a year: typically for the New Year and during special occasions.

Yesterday, the completion of the Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk was one such occasion!

Those who participated in this walk for peace were invited up in groups of four to ring the large bell, which was forged in Japan. The bell was given to San Diego in 1958 by the city of Yokohama, its Sister City, as a token of eternal friendship. The bell symbolizes the hope for everlasting peace.

The traditional bronze bell, six feet high and almost two and half tons, was cast by Masahiko Katori, who has been called a Living National Treasure by the government of Japan.

I was expecting a loud booming clang when the swinging wooden pole struck the bell, but the sound was surprisingly low and mellow. It was a dignified, subtle, spiritual sound. The bell spoke with a voice that was strangely sublime.

Before the ringing of the Japanese Friendship Bell commenced, the taiko drumming group Genbu Daiko performed nearby.

In groups of four, people approach the Japanese Friendship Bell on Shelter Island.

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San Diego’s Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk!

A very special event was held today on San Diego’s Shelter Island. The Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk brought together many people who desire a better world, where everyone everywhere lives in peace.

The Friendship Walk was created by the Ilan-Lael Foundation, which was established in 1982 by world-renowned local artists James Hubbell and his wife Anne.

As we walked along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park, led by the fun Chunky Hustle Brass Band, we saw several works of public art created by James Hubbell, and inspiring messages, and a sparkling view of San Diego Bay.

We started at Hubbell’s fanciful Pacific Portal, passed his female sculpture Pacific Spirit, and ended at the amazing Pearl of the Pacific. The Pearl of the Pacific is one of several Pacific Rim Parks uniting many nations, all inspired by Hubbell and built with many volunteer hands.

As you can see in the upcoming photos, we also passed the Shelter Island Pier and the Tunaman’s Memorial.

An awesome Japanese taiko drumming performance by Genbu Daiko was followed by many honorary speakers, including from a group that traveled to San Diego for the event from South Korea, and Drew, son of James Hubbell.

After checking out a couple of food trucks and an Ilan-Lael Pop-up Gift Shop, it was time to head over to Shelter Island’s historic Japanese Friendship Bell, to hear it ring. I’ll be blogging about that coming up!

I was told this was the first ever Friendship Walk. I hope there are many more to come!

Friendship begins with a smile.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

A fun special event was held today at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park. It was the San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

Music, food and dance was provided by various hosts, who represented some of San Diego’s sixteen Sister Cities. San Diego’s oldest Sister City partnership is with Yokohama, Japan. That relationship was established 65 years ago!

At information tables visitors to the event could learn about the history of different Sister Cities, and see how mutual programs, such as student and cultural exchanges, help create peace and understanding between nations.

I stayed for a bit and watched several dances while eating very tasty West African Ghana sambusa. I also asked a few questions at the tables, and learned much!

(By the way, there are signs in downtown’s Civic Center Plaza pointing to San Diego’s Sister Cities. I took photos of the signs years ago and posted them here!)

Alcalá de Henares, Spain has been a San Diego Sister City since 1982. It is the birthplace of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote!

Tema, Ghana, has been Sister City to San Diego since 1976. The “Peace and Unity Wall” mosaic mural in Tema was made from supplies donated from San Diego.

Crafts and cultural artifacts from Ghana.

Jeonju, South Korea has been a San Diego Sister City since 1983. The San Diego-Jeonju Society introduces local students to Korean culture.

Did you know Carlsbad, California has two Sister Cities? Kalovy Vary (Karlsbad), Czech Republic’s famed mineral springs inspired the naming of Carlsbad, whose artesian mineral water is nearly identical. Futtsu, Japan is the other Sister City.

Images from the long history of San Diego and Yokohama, Japan’s deep Sister City ties. In the center is the Japanese Friendship Bell, which now stands on Shelter Island. See more about it here!

Where there is friendship, there is much hope.

A nice smile!

Flamenco dancing to guitar celebrates Spain’s culture.

Lunch! Yummy!

Dancers representing Panama take the stage!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Community members tidy Tweet Street park!

The Friends of Tweet Street Park were at it again this morning!

Many community volunteers had gathered at Cortez Hill’s Tweet Street linear park to tidy up and beautify a special corner of the neighborhood!

They were assisted by two friendly members of downtown San Diego’s Clean and Safe program.

As I hurried off to a morning appointment, I snapped a couple pics of the work crew getting started. When I walked past again around noon, oh, what a difference! The planted areas were more beautiful than ever!

If you want to join these good people or help them out, check out their Facebook page here!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

The only constant in a city is . . . change.

In San Diego, as in any city, the only true constant is change.

Trucks load and unload. Buildings fall and rise. Cars turn corners. People from every walk of life funnel through crosswalks. Lives intersect.

We travel down countless paths to futures unknown.

To curious eyes, the city reveals infinite complexity. And infinite mystery.

I took most of these photographs very recently.

In East Village, a new high-rise is being built above the old façade of the Farkas Store Fixtures building. A 2020 Carly Ealey mural still smiles.

People walking very different paths cross the same street.

Tearing down to build up.

Millions of Dole bananas show up on schedule at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Some changes are predictable.

Other changes aren’t quite so predictable. San Diego Padres make the Major League Baseball Playoffs in 2022!

Old friends. New friends. Soon to be friends. TwitchCon at the San Diego Convention Center.

I was told another track is coming by the Green Line platform at the 12th and Imperial trolley station.

Heading toward the border. A life in progress.

Pesos, Euros, Dollars and a bicycle. Where to?

What change is coming to this corner of the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park?

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!

Pacific Beach’s faithful pier dog.

Walk down the boardwalk in Pacific Beach and you might notice a corroded plaque mounted near the office door of the Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages.

The plaque remembers Sinjin, the pier dog.

On the ground beside the door, water and dog treats are offered In Memory Of Sinjin, Bonita, and Mr. Blue.

Sinjin

07/01/91 – 01/10/06

LOYAL COMPANION, KNOWN BY MANY, FRIEND TO ALL, FAITHFUL PIER DOG, A TRUE BEST FRIEND YOU ARE FAMILY AND WILL BE MISSED AND LOVED ALWAYS.

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 Are Not Alone in San Diego.

I saw this new mural the other day while walking along West Morena Boulevard, at the south end of San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood. It’s near the new Tecolote Road trolley station.

Nobody in this world should ever feel alone. Even if you have no family. Even if you have difficult problems. Even if you’re feeling depressed or hopeless.

San Diego–and indeed every community in the world–has friendly, compassionate people. Find them.

I see the mural’s artist is Catherine Carlton.

If you are elderly or disabled, San Diego has a You Are Not Alone program that will call you regularly to see if you’re doing okay. Learn more about it 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 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

Kids join the circus in City Heights!

Do you know any kids who’d like to join the circus?

Listen up!

Kids between 6 and 17 years old who live in City Heights are invited to join the circus!

The Fern Street Circus is offering a free after-school circus program at their new Outdoor Community Center at 4108 University Avenue!

Those who participate can learn tightwire, juggling, acrobatics and clowning. They’ll gain confidence, make new friends, learn to work as a team and have a ton of fun!

Why spend the summer doing the same old ordinary thing when you can actually join the circus!

How do you learn more about this very cool program? You visit the Fern Street Circus website by clicking 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!

San Diego hero beautifies our city.

An unselfish, unsung hero in San Diego has dedicated countless hours of hard work to making our city more beautiful.

I’m speaking of Joseph Ciavarella. For five years he spearheaded the improvement and beautification of Tweet Street Park, a neighborhood park atop Cortez Hill.

During my walks over the years I often saw Joe in the park spreading mulch, pruning, cleaning up debris, and planting flowers and other greenery. I would express my appreciation, and he was always modest.

Joseph Ciavarella’s quiet optimism, his effective community organizing and relentless hard work, along with the important contributions of Friends of Tweet Street volunteers and San Diego Parks and Recreation, have turned the Tweet Street linear park into the amazing lush garden that it is today.

Joe moved away from Cortez Hill not long ago. His last day at Tweet Street was Arbor Day. I noticed today that the Downtown San Diego Partnership planted a tree in his honor.

That tree will grow and become ever more beautiful over time, bringing a little joy to the lives of so many people.

That’s was Joe did.

Check out the “Friends of Tweet Street Park” Facebook page here.

Donate to the Friends of Tweet Street via a new web page provided by the Downtown San Diego Partnership here.

Thank you.

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!