A discouraging visit to Harbor Island.

Early this morning I headed to Harbor Island, hoping to capture photos of the sun rising over downtown San Diego. Alas, the sky remained gray and overcast.

Even worse, I observed something that was ugly and very discouraging.

I’ve never seen gang-style graffiti on Harbor Island. Not until today.

Harbor Island, the home of large bayfront hotels, elegant restaurants and marinas, has always seemed immune from any negative influences from downtown San Diego. Growing homeless and drug problems downtown and in neighboring communities haven’t seemed to reach this tourist destination. That appears to be changing.

I seldom post photos of the street people, the drug addicts and drug dealers on stolen bicycles, and the many broken souls that now fill most corners of downtown. I try to keep my blog positive. But this extremely sad and sometimes frightening reality seems to be growing worse.

Fortunately, on my quiet morning walk along San Diego Bay, I also saw much that was beautiful and good.

And I discovered something cool! Fun photos of some colorful artwork on Harbor Island are coming up in my next blog post!

On the bright side, this friendly guy caught some fish at one of the beautiful Harbor Island marinas.
On the bright side, this friendly guy caught some fish at one of the beautiful Harbor Island marinas.
And grass is still green, and flowers still bloom.
And grass is still green, and flowers still bloom.

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 forward through life, or a dream.

Color in the sky above downtown San Diego.
Color in the sky above downtown San Diego.

Here are photos from different walks the past couple of weeks.

It’s odd–how every living experience instantly vanishes, becomes intangible: an insubstantial memory. I look at these photographs and my days seem so ephemeral. Our walk through life is very much like a dream.

Garbage truck lifts dumpster in front of the San Diego Symphony's Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center.
Garbage truck lifts dumpster in front of the San Diego Symphony’s Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center.
Working on the street near Sixth and Broadway.
Guys working on the street near Sixth and Broadway.
Someone rides a dockless rental bike down the sidewalk after an early morning shower.
Someone rides a dockless rental bike down the sidewalk after an early morning shower.
Wichita State band members by downtown hotel gets instruments ready for their NCAA basketball tournament game that was held at SDSU's Viejas Arena.
Wichita State band members by downtown hotel, getting their instruments ready for an NCAA basketball tournament game held at SDSU’s Viejas Arena.
Having a friendly chat while walking the dog on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.
Having a friendly chat while walking the dog on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.
Picking up litter on railroad tracks.
Picking up litter on railroad tracks.
A tree's reflection in windows.
A tree’s mysterious, golden reflection in windows.
A gull soars above downtown San Diego buildings.
A gull soars above downtown San Diego buildings.
A TV news van is parked by the Hall of Justice one evening.
A TV news van is parked by the Hall of Justice one evening.
Walking along in the Gaslamp near Bub's.
Holding hands in the Gaslamp Quarter near Bub’s.
Homeless man walks through life with his stuff.
Homeless man walks through life with his stuff.
Man in kilt, smoking a pipe, relaxes in Seaport Village on St. Patrick's Day.
Man in kilt, smoking a pipe, relaxes in Seaport Village on St. Patrick’s Day.
Fishing in the Marriott Marina. A friendly wave from folks who work at Hookup Baits, my work neighbors.
Fishing in the Marriott Marina. A friendly smile and thumbs up from folks who work at Hookup Baits, my work neighbors.
Looking down from the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge at the train and trolley yard.
Looking down from the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge at the train and trolley yard.
People linger high above the city on the 9th floor of the Central Library.
People linger high above the city on the 9th floor of the Central Library.
A view over East Village construction toward mountains in San Diego's East County.
A view over East Village construction toward mountains in San Diego’s East County.
Feeding birds at the library one fine day.
Feeding birds at the library one fine day.

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!

Mysterious visions underfoot.

Blue face of a dog, afire with red nightmares, with eyes that are haunting.
A dog’s face–a small work of haunting chalk art.

As I journey through the city I often see mysterious visions underfoot, produced by unknown hands. They are the dreams of wandering souls, made visible.

Dreams of the searchers . . . the restless . . .

Wherever you happen to walk, countless others have walked.

Free Yourself, with a heart.
Free yourself, with a heart.
Grace, on a step among leaves.
Grace, one step up from fallen leaves.

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!

Photos of real life in downtown San Diego.

Many poignant photos yesterday.

As I walked with my camera I tried to capture small scenes of real life. Some scenes evoked a sense of sadness, waiting, uncertainty; others contained glimmers of hope or subtle humor. In downtown San Diego thousands of lives mingle.

Mysteries around every corner.

Countless untold stories.

You might recognize that plaque.

Its exact origin was once was a mystery. But the plaque’s fascinating story was revealed here.

The Jessop’s clock fascinates many eyes.

After 125 years, Jessop’s jewelry store is closing. A chapter in San Diego’s history ends.

But the clock’s hands will will continue to mark time.

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 stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Photos of a walk up India Street in Middletown.

The Interstate 5 pedestrian overpass at Palm Street connects India Street to Kettner Boulevard. It is little used. The homeless sometimes make it their home.
The gritty Interstate 5 pedestrian overpass at Palm Street connects India Street to Kettner Boulevard. It is little used. The homeless sometimes make it their home.

Just a few quick urban photos.

My long walk today included a stretch along India Street in San Diego’s Middletown neighborhood. I sauntered up India Street from Palm Street to Vine Street, in order to check out something indescribably cool that I will soon blog about. I then turned about and returned to the pedestrian freeway overpass, where I crossed over to Kettner Boulevard and made my way to the nearby Middletown trolley station.

The road here is in constant motion, with loads of traffic to and from Interstate 5. As I headed up the sidewalk I passed a number of small businesses in plain, mostly unremarkable buildings. Looking eastward I observed a jumble of modest but colorful houses climbing the steep hill. From busy India Street, residential streets ascend a short distance toward the top of Bankers Hill, and Mission Hills to the north.

Stay tuned! I have many more photos coming from today’s adventure! There’s a good chance you’ll really enjoy the aforementioned super cool sight!

In addition, before I headed up India Street, I checked out a new park in Bankers Hill and learned about some incredible, little known San Diego history!

I also swung by Balboa Park. I’ll be posting those photos later on my other blog, Beautiful Balboa Park!

I hope you all are having a great weekend!

At first glance I thought some people were just hanging out above the freeway--but I was wrong! They were taking urban photographs with a model.
At first glance I thought some people were just hanging out above the freeway–but I was wrong! They were taking urban photographs with a model.
A stretch of India Street looking north from the overpass. Cars speed along continuously. As I proceeded up the opposite sidewalk for many blocks, I saw no other walkers.
A stretch of India Street looking north from the overpass. Cars speed along continuously. As I proceeded up the opposite sidewalk for many blocks, I saw no other walkers.
Bright clouds in an urban setting.
Bright clouds in an urban setting.
An interesting doorway beckons customers into the Starlite eatery.
An interesting doorway beckons customers from India Street into the Starlite eatery.
Cacti rise below electrical wires.
Cacti rise beneath electrical wires.
I'm approaching the Aero Club.
I’m approaching the Aero Club. It seems my camera was aimed upward quite a bit today.
Bold graphics on the white wall by their parking lot.
Bold graphics on the white wall by the bar’s parking lot.
Two golden mermaids above the front door of the Aero Club.
Two golden mermaids above the front door of the Aero Club.
It appears someone scratched many warnings, symbols, theories and ideas on a section of the sidewalk.
Someone scratched many warnings, symbols, concerns and thoughts on a section of the sidewalk. Where is that person now?
A fragment of sidewalk remains from 1914.
A fragment of sidewalk remains from 1914.
A colorful dinosaur on the building of Dyno Brand custom t-shirts!
A colorful dinosaur on the building of Dyno Brand custom t-shirts!

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!

Art by creative homeless provides purpose, hope.

Life In A Meadow, by Chrystina W.
Life In A Meadow, by Chrystina W.

Some powerful canvases by talented artists are now on display on the first floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library. These artists all happen to be homeless.

The artwork you see in the following photos was created with the help of HEAL, a nonprofit organization that provides purpose, hope, and a creative outlet for the homeless in San Diego. Homeless Empowerment Through Art and Leadership has a Mobile Art Studio, allowing anyone on the streets to freely express themselves. Locations include Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and the downtown library. To learn more, click the photos of signs below and they will expand for easy reading!

If you’d like to shop for art that supports San Diego artists affected by homelessness, please visit HEAL’s Etsy store. The money from your purchase of artwork goes directly to the artist! (And please share that store’s link with your friends, too!)

If you happen to be homeless and are visiting my blog, first of all welcome! When I was young I was homeless myself for a time. But I found my way out of that maze and now have a hopeful, fulfilling life.

If you’re homeless, one thing you might consider doing is starting your own blog. You can easily start a free blog on WordPress. A public computer at the library is all you need! it’s actually pretty easy and if you accidentally mess up you can make changes or start over.

You can blog about anything that interests you. As you can see from my own blog, I like to walk around San Diego, take photographs and write short stories. After blogging consistently for a good while, Cool San Diego Sights now gets hundreds of page views every day! If I can accomplish that, believe me, anyone can! You just have to stick with it.

If you’re an artist and have a smartphone with a camera, you can use it to upload your own art online. Not only will that make you feel fantastic, and possibly open new avenues for your future, but by sharing your artwork with the world you might uplift the lives of many other people, too!

HEAL is a nonprofit that provides opportunities for creative self-expression and personal growth for individuals experiencing homelessness in San Diego.
HEAL is a nonprofit that provides opportunities for creative self-expression and personal growth for individuals experiencing homelessness in San Diego.
Many expressive works by talented artists are now on display at the San Diego Central Library.
Many expressive works by talented artists are now on display at the San Diego Central Library.
Blue Eye, by Dominique H.
Blue Eye, by Dominique H.
Fight To Be Happy, by Marius.
Fight To Be Happy, by Marius.
HEAL is Homeless Empowerment Through Art and Leadership. Their mobile art studio is free. Locations include Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and downtown San Diego. (Click the above image to expand it, for easy reading of days and times.)
HEAL is Homeless Empowerment Through Art and Leadership. Their mobile art studio is free. Locations include Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and downtown San Diego. (Click the above image to expand it, for easy reading of days and times.)
Love Is Eternal Tree, by Jolie.
Love Is Eternal Tree, by Jolie.
Geo Wood Collage, by Ben.
Geo Wood Collage, by Ben.
Circle Mandala, by Votive.
Circle Mandala, by Votive.
A Look Into My Mind, by David R.
A Look Into My Mind, by David R.
Sunny Day, by Carlos.
Sunny Day, by Carlos.
Shells By The River, by Propane Purps.
Shells By The River, by Propane Purps.
I Beseech You . . . Crows, by V The Artist.
I Beseech You . . . Crows, by V The Artist.
Memories Of The Caribbean, by Dario D.
Memories Of The Caribbean, by Dario D.
A very beautiful work of art. I apologize for not knowing the title or the artist's name.
A very beautiful work of art. I apologize for not knowing the title or the artist’s name.
Pink Sky, by Helena D.
Pink Sky, by Helena D.
River And Pine Trees, by Timothy R.
River And Pine Trees, by Timothy R.
Hindi Girl, by Shawn L.
Hindi Girl, by Shawn L.
Woman With Afro, by Dominique H.
Woman With Afro, by Dominique H.
Palms On The Beach, by Lawrence S.
Palms On The Beach, by Lawrence S.
Colorful Zig Zags, by Zak T.
Colorful Zig Zags, by Zak T.
Faces And Trees, by Vince and Leni.
Faces And Trees, by Vince and Leni.
Teal Dragon, by Kayla.
Teal Dragon, by Kayla.
Eye On A Butterfly, by Jelyn E.
Eye On A Butterfly, by Jelyn E.
Floating Face, by Kermina P.
Floating Face, by Kermina P.

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!

Support Veterans Village with a brick or paver.

Order a Veterans Village courtyard brick or paver and help Veterans who have been homeless, or at the risk of homelessness. Provide hope, love, compassion and understanding.
Order a Veterans Village courtyard brick or paver and help Veterans who are homeless, or at the risk of homelessness. Your donation provides real hope. The words you choose radiate compassion and understanding.

Veterans Village of San Diego provides a helping hand to those Veterans in our city who are homeless or at the risk of homelessness. This critically important organization provide housing, rehabilitation, education, job training and a safe place to regain hope and a sense of belonging.

Veterans Village also organizes the annual Stand Down, where homeless Veterans can receive a smile, a handshake, breakfast, clothing, showers, a hair cut, makeovers, plus free medical, dental and vision services. At Stand Down homeless Vets can also access court services, VA benefit and job counseling, and much more.

You can support the mission of Veterans Village by putting a special message on a brick or paver in their beautiful courtyard location. Messages of support, compassion and love will be read by many who might need a little inspiration. Your generosity makes the world better.

To learn more about Veterans Village, or if you have a question about purchasing a brick or paver, click here!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.