Flowers and gratitude for two fallen officers.

Flowers and messages of condolence and gratitude now surround the memorial for fallen officers by the downtown headquarters of the San Diego Police Department.

These heartfelt expressions were placed at the memorial by residents of San Diego after the tragic deaths of two married detectives in a wrong way car collision last Friday. Detectives Ryan Park and Jamie Huntley-Park attended the police academy together, and both were promoted to detective at the same time. A fund for their families has been set up here.

I was walking down Broadway early this morning to check out a mural in East Village when I saw the flowers. I had to stop and read one large message which you can see in my final photograph.

I’m certain many in San Diego share the same feelings.

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!

Gwynn, Kobe and Nipsey Hussle mural in IB.

A mural in Imperial Beach honors three heroes who made positive contributions to their Southern California communities: Tony Gwynn, Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle.

The mural was spray painted on the side of the Ace of Fades Barbershop by Los Angeles-based tattoo artist Tha Sloe (@sloe_motions) in late 2020.

Tony Gwynn, otherwise known as Mr. Padre, was a beloved baseball superstar and hero to all of San Diego. Lakers basketball superstar Kobe Bryant was a beloved hero throughout Southern California and beyond. Nipsey Hussle (Ermias Joseph Asghedom) was a rising hip-hop artist who promoted African American self-sufficiency, education, pride and unity, and an end to gun violence in Los Angeles.

I meant to capture all three heroes in one photograph, but a couple of vehicles parked close to the mural when I happened to walk past made that difficult.

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 can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

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!

Kobe Bryant mural in National City!

A big, amazing mural paying tribute to late Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was painted last year on the side of La Casa Liquor in National City. The artwork was created by David Gane Feucht, who goes by the name GANE ONE.

To the right of a dynamic Kobe with basketball is his quote: “Heroes come and go but legends are forever.”

I really increased the contrast in the next photograph to make the brilliant colors pop.

If you’d like to see a cool mural in Normal Heights that also celebrates Kobe Bryant, check out one of my past blog posts 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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Tributes to Jimmie Johnson in El Cajon.

As many car racing fans know, seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson grew up in El Cajon, in San Diego’s East County.

Born in El Cajon, Jimmie Johnson began to race motorcycles when he was only four years old, and he won his first racing championship four years later. He attended Crest Elementary School, then Granite Hills High School. After he graduated, he competed in off-road motocross racing, with an extraordinary degree of success. To read a good bio of Jimmie, who in his youth also loved dirt biking in the desert during family camping trips and surfing, check out this website.

As one might expect, tributes to the now legendary Jimmie Johnson can be found around the city of El Cajon.

During my walk yesterday, I photographed a sign in the median of 2nd Street, a short distance south of Interstate 8. The sign was placed here in 2014. 2nd Street is playfully renamed Jimmie Johnson Drive – Home of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.

The above photograph shows the sign’s north side. The following two photos are of the opposite side. The sign on its south side is lighter in color, probably due to fading from years of direct sunlight.

Banners celebrating Jimmie Johnson can also be found near the El Cajon Civic Center. In each banner, a cool graphic shows him standing next to his No. 48 Chevrolet, racing during his NASCAR career with Hendrick Motorsports.

The following photos show a banner on the north side of Main Street near The Magnolia performing arts theater. I noticed an identical banner hangs in the nearby Prescott Promenade park.

Starting this year, Jimmie Johnson is competing in the IndyCar Series, driving the No. 48 Honda over road and street courses for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Will the El Cajon native also excel at open-wheel racing? I wouldn’t be surprised!

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 can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Mural of Padres hero Tony Gwynn in City Heights!

I finally got around to checking out the big, bold mural in City Heights depicting one of San Diego’s greatest heroes, Tony Gwynn. You can see it on the south side of the Undisputed City Heights building.

The mural was painted last November by Chula Vista artists Paul Jimenez and Signe Ditona of Ground Floor Murals. They were invited to participate in this inspirational project by community organization Love City Heights.

Tony Gwynn, one the greatest hitters in the history of Major League Baseball, was loved by many in San Diego for his easy smile and bright laughter. But when the legendary Padres player stood behind home plate holding a bat, his expression changed to one of complete concentration. You can see focus and determination in this mural.

Undisputed City Heights is an MMA, boxing and martial arts training facility on University Avenue. Their programs emphasize character building and personal empowerment. On the west side of their building is another inspirational mural that reads: I AM POSSIBLE. I posted photographs of that mural 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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Rosa Parks and the Quiet Strength bus stop.

One bus stop at San Diego Mesa College is extraordinary. It’s a place where the quiet strength of Rosa Parks is remembered and celebrated.

When you do the right thing, but many are against you, it requires strength. That’s what Rosa Parks had back in 1955, when she refused to give up her front seat on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama city bus.

This special MTS bus stop at Mesa College, referred to as the Rosa Parks Transit Center, features signs that describe the history of civil rights activist Rosa Parks and her visits to the school in the 1990’s. It also includes a graceful bench to one side, with the words QUIET STRENGTH.

The Rosa Parks Memorial Project was finished in 2010. Passengers waiting for the bus here are encouraged to reflect. Perhaps they will realize that they, too, are part of history.

Rosa Parks visited San Diego Mesa College in 1992, 1993 and 1995.
Rosa Parks’ act of quiet courage mobilized the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century.
QUIET STRENGTH

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 can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

America’s Heroes of 9-11 mural painted by Navy SEAL.

A large patriotic mural paying tribute to firefighting heroes is visible to those driving down Main Street in Barrio Logan. It can be observed on the side of the FIRE ETC firefighter supply store.

Titled “America’s Heroes of 9-11,” the mural was painted in 2011 by Pete Carolan, a retired Navy SEAL.

To learn more about Pete Carolan’s career and accomplishments, check out his website here. I see he has painted an outdoor mural at the UDT-SEAL Museum, and “his many works…appear in such places as The Pentagon, our Nation’s Capitol and The White House.”

Pete Carolan got his start early in life as a lifeguard in Huntington Beach, California, became a world champion outrigger canoe paddler, and would eventually become a Navy frogman. He was chosen to be swim team leader in the recovery of the Apollo-13 capsule when it finally splashed down in the South Pacific.

He was the one who painted “Freddie the Frog” on the Sea King helicopter that recovered the astronauts. You can see “Freddie the Frog” briefly in the Apollo 13 movie starring Tom Hanks!

Should you visit the USS Midway Museum, check out their SH-3 Sea King helicopter. It, too, has been painted with Pete Carolan’s “Freddie the Frog!”

(You might notice I took these photographs late in the afternoon. I had to cope with glare produced by reflecting sunlight, plus a few trees across Main Street were casting their long shadows upon the artwork.)

UPDATE!

Here’s a photo I took at a later time when the sun and shadows weren’t being problematic…

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 can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Monuments to freedom by Escondido City Hall.

Several plaques and monuments honoring military veterans can be found around Grape Day Park in Escondido. One tribute, the Wall of Courage, I previously photographed here.

At the east end of the park, between Broadway and Escondido’s City Hall, two marble monuments stand together in the shade of trees.

The four sides of an obelisk display the United States Constitution’s first Ten Amendments, the Bill of Rights, which guarantees our individual rights and liberty. According to a plaque at its base, the obelisk was presented by the Escondido Rotary Club to the City of Escondido on July 4, 1976, during our nation’s Bicentennial.

The second monument honors all veterans who serve to defend that freedom. The memorial was dedicated twenty years later, in 1996 on Veterans Day.

It reads: The eternal gratitude of the citizens of Escondido and the nation is extended to every man and woman, living or dead, who wore the uniform of our military services with honor past, present and future.

A flag flies above both.

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 can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Memories of past Veterans Days in San Diego.

I would like to express my appreciation to all Veterans who have served to defend our Freedom.

Thank you.

I don’t believe there were many Veterans Day events around San Diego this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation. So I thought it might be a good idea to link to a few old blog posts that feature photographs from past years.

You will see men and women who made sacrifices for you and me.

To see photographs from past Veterans Day events in San Diego, click the following links:

Historical reenactment on Veterans Day in Balboa Park.

Bells of Peace ring on a special Veterans Day!

Faces tell stories at Veterans Day parade.

Photos of the San Diego Veterans Day Parade!

Veteran’s Day celebrated in Balboa Park.

If you’d like to create a virtual tribute to a Veteran who is deceased, you can learn how to do so here.