ARTS youth add more smiles to National City!

A few weeks ago a corner store in National City was brightened by the young artists of A Reason To Survive (ARTS).

The Munchies Corner Store, at the corner of 18th Street and Palm Avenue, has been painted colorfully with many fun, smiling characters! (Including a few of the tasty snacks that await inside!)

The mission of A Reason To Survive is to lift and encourage South Bay youth to become confident, compassionate, and courageous community builders through the transformative power of creativity. As you can see, these young painters have made a positive contribution to their community!

Enjoy some photos that I took this morning. You can plainly see how the efforts of ARTS and inspired young people are making National City more welcoming and beautiful…

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!

Many hands raised at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon!

Hundreds of hands rose skyward in triumph at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon this morning!

At the downtown finish line, a huge crowd of spectators and supporters encouraged the runners as they approached the end of their successful race!

Arms waved, hands shot up victoriously, fists were raised, feet danced. Friends and family shouted, took photos, celebrated, hugged.

Watching the spectacle, one felt a rush of joy and elation. Before your very eyes, you could see limitless human possibility.

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!

Huge fun coming to downtown’s Children’s Park!

Whoa! Check it out!

Look at the huge multi-level playground structure that’s being built for Children’s Park in downtown San Diego! The park is undergoing a major redesign, which will make it more . . . children friendly!

Children’s Park is located north of Harbor Drive, adjacent to Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade. That circular pool with its unique fountain between Front Street and 1st Avenue is part of it. The two-acre city park, with its many shady trees, is a very short walk from both The New Children’s Museum and the San Diego Convention Center.

The park has often been used as a convenient offsite location during Comic-Con. Evidently not this year!

You might remember how, years ago, Children’s Park was filled with numerous large rounded mounds that unfortunately concealed drug and other illegal activity. Those mounds were removed in phases.

Now this important downtown open space is being completely revitalized, with the addition of a playground, an interactive water feature, and a new vendor building.

If you’d like to learn more about the project, you can visit this web page.

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 sunny Easter walk in San Diego!

It’s Easter Sunday! The sun is shining in San Diego and it feels like Spring!

How perfect for a long, leisurely walk around downtown San Diego.

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!

A park designed for healing in La Mesa.

Briercrest Park in La Mesa was designed for healing.

The tranquil, beautiful park is located adjacent to the Herrick Community Health Library, and near many medical office buildings in La Mesa, not to mention Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

Briercrest Park, at 9001 Wakarusa Street, was purposely designed to be wheelchair friendly. Paths winding beneath shady sycamores and oaks lead to benches that accommodate those in wheelchairs. A special stone alcove, which you can see in my photographs, was specially constructed for this purpose.

It has been demonstrated that being outside in nature promotes healing. I know that, for me, fresh air and sunshine produces a greater sense of well-being.

Nature was an important element in the design of this park. There are flowers, gentle bridges over still water, and ample opportunity for easy exploration or quiet meditation. There is also stunning public artwork at every turn.

A mosaic butterfly at one entrance symbolizes transformation and renewal. It’s placement on the pathway was intentional. The butterfly along with other park mosaics (including a gorgeous labyrinth) were designed by renowned artist James Hubbell, along with his award-winning architect son, Drew.

I learned all of this today as I toured the park during the 2022 San Diego Architectural Foundation’s annual Open House event. My next blog post will detail what I learned about the amazing mosaics, plus other unique aspects of Briercrest Park.

If I lived nearby, I would walk through this park often. To help soothe my small day-to-day hurts. To feel whole.

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!

Signs of Valentine’s Day in San Diego!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!

During the past week or two, I’ve noticed signs around San Diego that the big day for lovers is almost here.

I took these photographs while walking in several San Diego neighborhoods.

(By the way, if you’re visiting Balboa Park today and would like to order a custom card created by a local artist, the next photo was taken in front of Gallery 23 in Spanish Village Art Center.)

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!

Public musical instruments in North Park!

Want to make some music? Head to North Park’s newly opened mini park located south of University Avenue behind the Observatory Theater!

The North Park Mini Park had its grand opening last weekend. It was all over the San Diego news. I hadn’t walked around that neighborhood in a long while, so yesterday morning I decided to check things out.

Look what I found!

The North Park Mini Park is not only a fine new community gathering place, but it’s full of musical instruments that people can freely play!

I saw xylophones and chimes and drums and a sign explaining the many health benefits of playing percussion instruments. (Perhaps it’s just plain fun, too.)

Young and old alike can reach out their hands at any time to create music.

How cool is this?

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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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!

Happy “early risers” before the parade!

The big Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade, billed as America’s Largest Balloon Parade, was held this morning along the Embarcadero.

My camera captured a few happy “early risers” before I jumped onto the trolley for work.

The annual parade features all sorts of popular characters, including Garfield, Mr. Potato Head and many, many others.

Several hours before the start of the parade, the balloons were being inflated one after another in a parking lot near the County Administration Building!

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!

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!

Richard