A short story about hidden treasure.

Please indulge me one more time as I share another short story that I’ve written. I published it a moment ago.

If you like the heartwarming stories of O. Henry, there’s a decent chance you’ll like this one. It’s titled A Key to Treasure.

Yes, there’s a surprise ending.

Read it here.

Sorry for the interruption! Fear not! The walks around San Diego will continue! More cool photographs are sure to come!

Colorful mural in Hillcrest at Urban MO’s!

I spotted a new mural in Hillcrest at the corner of University and Third Avenue! A rainbow heart and glamorous face decorate one wall of Urban MO’s Bar and Grill.

The artwork, adding even more color to the dynamic LGBT community in Hillcrest, was spray painted by cool local artist Alex Julian.

Check it out!

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 hopeful New Year in the Gaslamp.

It’s New Year’s Eve. This morning and afternoon I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter to see what’s in store for the midnight celebrations.

Up and down Fifth Avenue the restaurants, bars and hotels were getting ready. Workers were sweeping sidewalks, putting up balloons.

I see the Gaslamp Quarter has big plans for the future. According to some information you can read in one photo, Fifth Avenue is to become the Gaslamp Promenade–a sprawling urban plaza. I’m sure it will be opulent and amazing.

Apart from one photo in particular, in the morning I didn’t point my camera at the numerous homeless, who sleep on the sidewalk and in doorways before being ushered along.

The Gaslamp Quarter contains some very stark contrasts. There is material self-indulgence, and there is despair.

Hopefully, in the New Year, there’s more heart.

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!

Strangers come together to sing joyfully.

This afternoon, residents of San Diego and tourists from places around the world came together to sing joyfully.

Rising from the audience, perfect strangers gathered on the stage of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and sang Christmas carols.

Their voices touched the hearts of many who listened.

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!

Bankers Hill street art loves National Parks!

Street art at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Quince Street in Bankers Hill.
Street art at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Quince Street in Bankers Hill.

I spotted this happy street art while walking up Sixth Avenue, along the west edge of Balboa Park. An electrical box was recently painted. It shows a wilderness scene with the words: National Parks Are For Lovers.

I believe it’s the same utility box that featured a Pixar Up! adventure theme years ago. That photo is here.

Wilderness painted in the city.
Wilderness painted in the city.
National Parks are for lovers.
National Parks are for lovers.

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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Concert celebrates organist Jared Jacobsen.

This evening there was a special concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Former Civic Organist Jared Jacobsen was celebrated.

Jared Jacobsen was the fifth official San Diego Civic Organist, serving from 1978 to 1985. In more recent years, I was fortunate to hear him extract magic from the great Spreckels Organ on those memorable Sundays when he was a substitute organist.

This summer he tragically passed away.

Thinking back, I recall that whenever I attended one of his concerts, his easy smile, wit, and his sparkling music always made me feel joy.

The concert this evening, performed by Civic Organist Emeritus Robert Plimpton and current Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez, featured the exact same selections that were performed during Jared Jacobsen’s final concert on the Spreckels Organ, on January 1, 2019.

During the concert many words were spoken of Jared Jacobsen’s character, and of how he touched those around him. There were heartfelt tributes by Jean Samuels, President of the Spreckels Organ Society; Lyle Blackington, Spreckels Organ Curator Emeritus; Jeremy Kaercher, of the First Lutheran Church of San Diego where Jared was Director of Music; and a very moving recollection of Jared’s humanity and generous spirit by Christine Micu, of The Bishop’s School in La Jolla where Jared taught.

I jotted down some words that were spoken.

“…he was gifted, charming, and he showed us all how to be a great human being…he was a superstar…his vitality was infectious…contagious zest for life…he was never a self-promoter…his verbal skills were equal to his musical skills…a living encyclopedia…elegant simplicity…the kindest and most caring person…to put it simply, he made people happy…his capacity to sparkle and spread light wherever he went…”

The popularity and success of the great Spreckels Organ today owes much to the tireless efforts and optimism of Jared Jacobsen.

More importantly, thousands of lives have been enriched by the spirit of one beloved man.

His music plays on.

Community volunteers beautify City Heights!

Today I headed to City Heights to join a group of community members in a very special event. Today is the Global Day of Caring, and our mission was to pick up litter and cheer on artists as they painted a couple of new street murals!

This inspiring event was organized by Love City Heights and made possible by a very generous donation from Huntington Ingalls Industries, which operates one of the largest shipyards in San Diego.

A diverse group of volunteers came together in the space behind the Treasure Trove antique store for the big clean up. I noticed that many hands were provided by the San Diego Asian Youth Organization!

After scouring the sidewalks near several blocks of University Avenue for trash, we all enjoyed a super tasty lunch served up by Brochachos Tacos and Faith Chapel of Spring Valley.

During the event there was a variety of fun activities. A colorful mural was being painted by Matthew Curtis (@naylorcurtis). And there was face painting, too!

Large permanent murals were also being created by street artists a block away at two separate locations. I’ll blog about those next…

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!