Working to clean and beautify National City!

During my visit to the fun “A Kimball Holiday” event on Saturday, I met a couple of guys who are working to clean and beautify National City!

In an effort to promote a pedestrian corridor along Interstate 805, they are asking the public which improvements would be most important. Native and drought-resistant landscaping, trash and recycling receptacles, lighting, signage and more are being considered.

I don’t live in National City, but I am a very big walker who passes through its neighborhoods from time to time, so obviously I was excited to hear of this effort!

The guys I spoke to are hoping to receive a Caltrans Clean California Program grant to implement this positive vision for the community.

All I can say is, National City certainly deserves these improvements. This community might be a bit under-resourced, but its residents are equal members of the California family.

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 trashcan art painted in Spanish Village!

There’s a very cool project now underway in Balboa Park’s always colorful Spanish Village Art Center. Artists from various Spanish Village studios have begun to paint metal trashcans that are placed around the big central patio!

It appears to me any subject matter is fair game. In this special place, where you can say hello to local artists and even watch them at work, it’s all about creativity!

These are the trashcans I spotted today…

What will appear 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!

Alley cats (and mice) painted on dumpsters!

An alley in downtown Escondido, which contains numerous amazing murals created for the Esco Alley Art project, is also home to several alleys cats. And mice.

They’ve been painted on two dumpsters!

Strangely, one alley cat appears to be a barber. Another appears to be an artist.

Check out photos I took of this fun Alley Art!

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!

Build an easy compost bin and grow worms!

Look what I learned yesterday! How to easily build a compost bin and grow worms!

Two super friendly ladies at the Ramona Country Fair showed me how its done. They were at the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation booth, displaying ways people can bring environmental sustainability to their homes.

The Solana Center has a great website with lots of informative resources. Check it out here. You can even become a Master Composter! They have a wide variety of educational programs and host sustainability events all around San Diego County. They also feature special programs for schools and businesses.

Okay. Are you ready? To compost in a small yard, apartment or condo, all you need is a couple of plastic storage bins with holes drilled a certain way. And some shredded paper. And some starter worms. Then begin adding food scraps to your vermicompost bin.

You’ll end up with excellent potting soil, plus lots of wiggly bait for fishing, if that’s your thing!

For the exact step-by-step details, check out the instructions I photographed below! (You might be able to read the words more easily by using a computer, rather than a phone. Open the images in a new tab and they’ll enlarge somewhat.)

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!

Walking east along the Sweetwater River.

A couple weekends ago I walked a very short segment of the Sweetwater River Bikeway, from Hoover Avenue west to the Pier 32 Marina. You can revisit those photos here.

Today I returned to the Sweetwater River and walked east along the bikeway from Hoover Avenue all the way to Plaza Bonita.

I was struck by the contrasts.

The rocky-sided river channel, as seen looking down from Interstate 5, appears almost barren, but when you walk along the bike path you notice many plants among the broken rocks, and the ones that are deep-rooted were very green in the summer sunlight.

During the day bicyclists and runners passed me by as I slowly walked, and the nearby busy westbound lanes of U.S. Route 54 sometimes came into view. But late at night, the scene is obviously very different. There was graffiti which increased as I progressed east to Interstate 805. There was trash and frequent evidence of homelessness. As I came into the vicinity of Interstate 805, I passed several active homeless encampments. And the graffiti spoke of gang activity, with references to drugs and death.

But as I headed east, the river also became more alive. A marshy wetland appeared with discarded shopping carts and happily paddling ducks. Trees began to flourish along the banks, and eventually grew so thick they concealed a river full of reeds and lush greenery.

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!

Scenes from Little Italy on a trashcan!

If you want to laugh out loud, feel free!

As I walked this morning near Amici Park in Little Italy, I tossed a wrapper into a trashcan.

Suddenly I noticed the top of the trashcan is decorated with colorful scenes from the neighborhood, including the Little Italy landmark sign and the Our Lady of the Rosary church.

And I reflexively took photos!

(Okay, if for some mysterious algorithmic reason Google News feeds you this blog post, you can laugh twice as hard! I have no control over that!)

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 remains of Mardi Gras, and glitter ashes.

Mardi Gras has come and gone. Today some of the revelers will be observing Ash Wednesday.

I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter this morning and saw the remains of Mardi Gras.

Then I spotted smiles and glitter ashes at the Old Town trolley station…

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!

To read a few philosophical bits of fiction I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Fun art on the sidewalk for a rainy day.

A dapper gentleman with an elegant automobile looks at a lady with a bottle.
A dapper gentleman with an elegant automobile looks at a lady with a bottle.

According to this morning’s weather report, it’s supposed to rain in San Diego for most of the day. We can always use more water in dry Southern California. But rain, and a bit of a sore throat, means I probably won’t go out walking today.

Meanwhile, here’s some fun artwork that I discovered yesterday while walking through North Park. Both works of art were on the sidewalk in the vicinity of El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.

Enjoy!

I'm sorry love, the only rubbish I have time for is in this bin.
I’m sorry love, the only rubbish I have time for is in this bin.

Tile mosaic of a motorcycle and rider. A very cool sight in the sidewalk in front of Belching Beaver Brewery in North Park.
Tile mosaic of a motorcycle and rider. A very cool sight in the sidewalk in front of Belching Beaver Brewery in North 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!

Cool environmental mural on Commercial Street.

Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.
Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.

I got off the Orange Line trolley the other day to capture photos of some cool street art on Commercial Street just east of 20th Street.

Like many other PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans artwork that one can spot around San Diego, this one has an environmental message about taking care of the ocean. The mural, which illustrates the harmful effects of plastic pollution on marine life, was painted in 2016 by Dolan Stearns.

The left side of the mural shows an ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.
The left side of the mural shows a big, ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.

The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.
The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.

The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic junk.
The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic bags, bottles, cups and junk.

The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting trash into the blue ocean.
The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting waste into the blue ocean.

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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Scouts remove gum at Cabrillo National Monument!

Many generous Boy and Girl Scouts volunteered to beautify Cabrillo National Monument during Operation Gum Drop Removal!
Many generous Boy and Girl Scouts volunteered to beautify Cabrillo National Monument during Operation Gum Drop Removal!

I noticed during my visit to Cabrillo National Monument today that troops of Boy and Girl Scouts were busy around the park cleaning up chewing gum and other trash!

This very cool volunteering event was part of National Public Lands Day. It was also an opportunity for Scouts to earn special badges and enjoy a free lunch with park rangers!

Wow! Great job Scouts! Your positive outlook and dedication to community service has made San Diego even more beautiful! So here’s a big Thank You!

Scouts helping to remove gum and trash were awarded a Scout Ranger Patch, and enjoyed a complimentary lunch with Park Rangers!
Scouts helping to remove gum and trash were awarded a Scout Ranger Patch, and enjoyed a complimentary lunch with Park Rangers! How cool is that!

View of Cabrillo National Monument's Visitor Center from afar. I could see Scouts working hard throughout the park!
View of Cabrillo National Monument’s Visitor Center from afar. I could see Scouts working hard throughout the 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!