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.

15 Unique Volunteering Opportunities in San Diego.

As a member of Bloggers Lifting Others Generously, I sometimes blog about those who are working to make San Diego a better place.

Here are 15 different community organizations that could use volunteers. Many of them welcome volunteers with no specific background or experience.

Click the following links to past blog posts where you can learn more:

Volunteers needed at San Diego Habitat for Humanity!

There are many different volunteer opportunities–it’s more than just building houses. No experience required!

How to get support from fellow Veterans in San Diego.

This local organization is looking for compassionate Veteran mentors who would like help others.

Guide dogs for the blind in San Diego!

If you’d like to raise a guide dog, here’s a great opportunity!

How you might save the life of a cancer patient!

Join the bone marrow registry, or donate your baby’s cord blood.

How to help special education kids in San Diego!

This school that helps special kids could always use special volunteers!

Photos from Ocean Beach Pier Cleanup Day!

Participate in a San Diego beach cleanup! It’s a lot of fun!

A San Diego gift that will last forever.

The Friends of Balboa Park needs all sorts of different volunteers! Follow the link to their website where you can learn much more.

How to help keep the San Diego River healthy.

The San Diego River Park Foundation has many different volunteering opportunities, including river cleanups.

Volunteer to help restore San Diego wetlands!

Offer your helping hand to the San Diego Audubon Society’s worthy projects!

Free books for teachers, schools, hospitals and prisons.

Volunteer for an organization whose goal is to promote literacy.

The Salvation Army celebrates service in San Diego.

Everyone has heard of the Salvation Army. Why not volunteer?

How you can help beat leukemia and blood cancers!

Create a fundraiser. Help save lives!

San Diego Marines collect Toys for Tots!

Have your San Diego business become a drop-off location for toys!

Foster homes needed for loving San Diego cats!

Open your heart and home to a rescue animal!

Glean Queens of San Diego need your help!

Pick fruit and help distribute food that would otherwise go wasted.

If you’d like to help homeless people in San Diego get back on their feet, I’ve compiled 20 Ways to Help the Homeless in San Diego. Check it out!

Have a great day!

Richard

Time, memory, and the history of Old Town.

Photographs of Old Town's history slowly fade with the passage of time.
Photographs of Old Town’s history slowly fade with the passage of time.

I recently walked down a few streets in Old Town that are seldom visited by tourists. After taking photographs of the Old Adobe Chapel, I noticed that across Conde Street there was some sort of structure containing glass display cases.

Upon closer inspection, I saw this was an outdoor exhibit concerning San Diego’s early history. And that its contents were in a sad state of decay.

No one seemed to know who’d created this exhibit until I spoke to a cashier in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s visitor center, inside the Robinson Rose House. She told me the structure had been built decades ago for the Old Town Mexican Cafe and that the displays had been designed by a woman who loved history. But she had gone blind.

Time moves incessantly forward.

You can find this fascinating but faded exhibit on Conde Street, behind Cafe Coyote.

Displays behind glass windows include old photos and historical artifacts. This was created many years ago, I was told, for the nearby Old Town Mexican Cafe.
Displays behind glass windows include old photos and historical artifacts. This was created many years ago, I was told, for the nearby Old Town Mexican Cafe.
It is silks, satin and fancy soaps, blue jackets, denims and bear grease... It is Richard Henry Dana visiting the pulperia...rowdy sailors, soldiers; gambling and vigilantes...
It is silks, satin and fancy soaps, blue jackets, denims and bear grease… It is Richard Henry Dana visiting the pulperia…rowdy sailors, soldiers; gambling and vigilantes…
Early residents of Old Town, slowly fading.
Early residents of Old Town, fading away.
A collection of photos show life as it was in Old Town San Diego.
A collection of photos show life as it was in Old Town San Diego.
It is chocolate cups, gunpowder, Louis Rose's seaweed mattresses... Spinning wool, Juanita's cactus garden...a game of basketball behind Seeley Stable...
It is chocolate cups, gunpowder, Louis Rose’s seaweed mattresses… Spinning wool, Juanita’s cactus garden…a game of basketball behind Seeley Stable…
More old photos. Life remembered here as it once was...
More old photos. Life remembered here as it once was…
A few household objects in one display case. Perhaps life those many years ago wasn't so very different...
A few household objects in one display case. Perhaps life those many years ago wasn’t so very different…
Youthful faces, now fading.
Youthful faces.
Faded by time, now ghostlike.
Faded by time, now ghostlike.
Memories of days gone by can be traced now only by adobe hummocks that the yearly rains are slowly beating down.
Memories of days gone by can be traced now only by adobe hummocks that the yearly rains are slowly beating down.
History captured, for those who might pass down the sidewalk.
History captured, for those who might pass down the sidewalk.
Palms grow. Some words fade.
Palms grow. Some words fade.
Wooden boxes were sunk in the center of Fitch Street from the river bank to the post office for sewage.
Wooden boxes were sunk in the center of Fitch Street from the river bank to the post office for sewage.
Photo of the Old Adobe Chapel. In November when it was complete, the little church could be seen for miles around...
Photo of the Old Adobe Chapel. In November when it was complete, the little church could be seen for miles around…
By 1866, the little adobe chapel was enclosed in clapboard and a new roof was installed. It served the community of Old Town for decades...
By 1866, the little adobe chapel was enclosed in clapboard and a new roof was installed. It served the community of Old Town for decades…
The Old Adobe Chapel has been preserved. Now a historical landmark, it stands across Conde Street.
The Old Adobe Chapel has been preserved. Now a historical landmark, it stands across Conde Street.
Decayed flag and old photos of tall flagpole at center of La Plaza de Las Armas.
Decayed flag, and old photos of flagpole at center of La Plaza de Las Armas.
Old photos of the Campo Santo Cemetery. Words describe: A mingling of men, women, and children from places and lives so different...
Old photos of the Campo Santo Cemetery. Words describe: A mingling of men, women, and children from places and lives so different…
One empty display case, graffiti and a place for the homeless.
One empty display case, graffiti and a hard place for the homeless.
A monument to the human desire to remember.
A monument to the human desire to remember.
Many years, many faces.
Many years, many faces.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of interesting stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Buy tasty salsa and help homeless Veterans!

Buy some tasty Military Salsa and help those who've served in the military transition back to civilian life.
Buy some tasty Military Salsa and help those who’ve served in the military transition back to civilian life.

The nonprofit Welcome Home Soldier Foundation had a tent at yesterday’s Mariachi Festival.  I learned their mission is to help those who’ve served in the military make the sometimes difficult transition back to civilian life. They have a very important project called Operation Sleeping Bag. They are providing homeless Veterans with sleeping bags.

Do you like to add tasty salsa to chips, tacos or breakfast burritos? The Welcome Home Soldier Foundation produces Military Salsas. The salsas come in many flavors, mild to hot, and the proceeds go to support this organization’s charitable work.

You can buy the salsas (and chips) online here! (Scroll down the page and you’ll see them.)

Sounds like a tasty, generous way to help Veterans who’d appreciate a helping hand!

Jars and bottles of salsa--from mild to spicy!
Jars and bottles of salsa–from mild to spicy!
Banner explains mission of the Welcome Home Soldier Foundation. Operation Sleeping Bag helps homeless Veterans.
Banner explains mission of the nonprofit Welcome Home Soldier Foundation. Operation Sleeping Bag helps homeless Veterans.

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