Love One Another mural in National City.

Please enjoy this photograph of an inspiring mural in National City. Its message is perfect for the beginning of the Holiday Season.

This is a season for smiles, joined hands, and wishes for Love, Harmony and Peace in our world.

Riders can glimpse the beautiful artwork from the San Diego Trolley’s Blue Line, just south of where the tracks pass under Interstate 5. The mural is in a corner of a parking lot near the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Civic Center Drive.

As you can see, the words are very similar to the lyrics from that classic song Get Together by The Youngbloods.

COME ON PEOPLE, SMILE ON EACH OTHER.

EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER.

TIME TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post fresh blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and 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!

Ringing the Japanese Friendship Bell!

The Japanese Friendship Bell on San Diego’s Shelter Island is rung perhaps twice a year: typically for the New Year and during special occasions.

Yesterday, the completion of the Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk was one such occasion!

Those who participated in this walk for peace were invited up in groups of four to ring the large bell, which was forged in Japan. The bell was given to San Diego in 1958 by the city of Yokohama, its Sister City, as a token of eternal friendship. The bell symbolizes the hope for everlasting peace.

The traditional bronze bell, six feet high and almost two and half tons, was cast by Masahiko Katori, who has been called a Living National Treasure by the government of Japan.

I was expecting a loud booming clang when the swinging wooden pole struck the bell, but the sound was surprisingly low and mellow. It was a dignified, subtle, spiritual sound. The bell spoke with a voice that was strangely sublime.

Before the ringing of the Japanese Friendship Bell commenced, the taiko drumming group Genbu Daiko performed nearby.

In groups of four, people approach the Japanese Friendship Bell on Shelter Island.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and 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!

A story about desire that can’t be fulfilled.

The sky turns red and yellow just before sunrise on Mount Laguna. Photo taken at the Storm Canyon Overlook on the Sunrise Highway.

We all have deep-seated desires that can never be fulfilled. It’s an essential part of being human.

There are horizons that cannot be reached, dreams that cannot be realized. But we keep moving forward through life, in that place where we find ourselves, and we never stop hoping.

I’ve published a short story concerning this. It’s titled A Distant Place.

Writing the story was painful. Those who are thoughtful might enjoy reading it.

You can read this short work of fiction by clicking here.

COVID-19, isolation, and bright butterflies.

I tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. It’s relatively mild. I’ve been home self-isolating all week.

Unfortunately, I can’t go out on my walks. It’s a bit depressing.

One thing I can do–when not sleeping or listening to the Padres or reading a book–is scroll through my blog. To me, Cool San Diego Sights is almost like a journal. (A good reason for you to start your own blog!) The thousands of photographs and written descriptions help me to remember all the things I’ve experienced during past walks. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been doing this blogging thing for almost nine years.

So here I am, wondering this Friday morning if there are some old images I could easily repost. Then thinking: there are so many butterfly pics!

How appropriate. Butterflies are symbols of hope, transformation and healing.

These bright butterflies were spotted all over San Diego, from Escondido to Imperial Beach, from Mission Bay to El Cajon, and everywhere in between. How many do you recognize?

Fortunately, I still have many unused photos in my computer. So this weekend don’t be surprised if you see blog posts concerning past walks in La Jolla, Carlsbad, Old Town, Balboa Park, and perhaps elsewhere!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool 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 phone or 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.

An ordinary guy in San Diego thanks Peter Seidler.

All of San Diego is buzzing with excitement. Something truly extraordinary is now happening in our city. Millions of ordinary people–like me–are feeling the electricity.

San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler is someone I’ll probably never meet. He’s someone millions who live in San Diego will never personally meet.

Thank you Peter Seidler for making the Padres instant World Series contenders.

Thank you for millions of sudden cheers, smiles, high fives, great days. Thank you for all the precious lifelong memories that are surely coming. Thank you for fresh feelings of hope–a sustained anticipation for tomorrow . . . the next game . . . the next series . . . the next October.

Thank you for strengthening a diverse city’s sense of unity. Thank you for reinforcing a feeling of pride enjoyed by millions who live in San Diego.

Thank you for all the lives that will be enriched and brightened.

Parents, their children, their grandchildren and countless generations will remember. And celebrate.

Lastly, thank you from a blogger who loves the Padres. Yesterday, as I listened to the game, I experienced goosebumps.

I’ll probably have more goosebumps this afternoon.

Time to shine!

GO PADS!

Celebrating life at the 2022 Transplant Games!

A big celebration of life is taking place this week in San Diego. People from around the United States have gathered at the San Diego Convention Center for the 2022 Transplant Games!

Organ transplant recipients and living donors are participating in a variety of fun sports competitions. As you can see in the above photograph, cycling 5 km and 20 km road races along Harbor Drive were part of today’s activities!

Through this Wednesday, the public is welcome to visit the Transplant Games Village and Expo, located in Exhibit Halls A and B at the convention center. There you can watch some indoor competitions, such as basketball and table tennis. For a schedule of events, click here.

Many organizations that help those in the transplant community are also present.

I met authors who’ve written books describing the whole transplant process, making it all easier to understand. Other creators have produced videos featuring loved ones who were helped, or who helped to save a life by making an organ donation.

I saw organizations that create online community, gather inspirational stories, or offer practical guidance and mental health services. Medical providers and pharmaceutical companies also had tables. All of these smiling people were there to offer critical help.

Near the entrance to the Transplant Games Village and Expo, several beautiful quilts remembered loved one.

Everywhere I turned, I observed people full of happiness, gratitude and hope, and a strengthened love of life.

I came away feeling inspired.

Smiles from The Mended Hearts. The non-profit works to inspire hope and improve the quality of life of heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support, education, and advocacy.

Robert Horsey has written the book Gifted and is producing a video concerning the complex topic of organ donation. According to his website: Even the largest football stadium in the U.S. could not fit the number of people on the national transplant waiting list.

Many transplant stories pinned to a board, courtesy Balboa Nephrology and Evergreen Nephrology.

Author Brenda Cortez is a living kidney donor. She has written a series of Howl the Owl books making transplant and medical procedures less scary for kids.

The Joe 238 documentary celebrates the decision to donate. According to the website: Through multiple stories of grief and recovery, we learn about healthy grieving, what it means to be a donor family and plant the seed for an honest conversation about organ donation every family needs to have.

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 beautiful mural full of hope in City Heights!

A beautiful mural was painted last month in City Heights that is full of hope. You can find it on the side of Corey’s Market Liquor at the corner of University Avenue and 36th Street.

Created by artists Melody Del Los Cobos (@chicanalilly) and Armand Montiel (@artbyarmand), this is the 30th mural of the ever-growing #theavenuemuralproject drive-through art gallery, which stretches along University Avenue between Interstates 805 and 15.

A whale in the vast lonely ocean gives life to a tree, and has its own lighthouse for direction. It is swimming into butterflies, a symbol of transformation. There is always hope and new life lurking there within one’s own self.

To the left of the whale mural is a small tree painted red, white and blue. It is the work of Skyler Montiel.

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!

Sojourner Truth walks through San Diego.

Every day, every moment, Sojourner Truth walks through San Diego.

Students at UC San Diego’s Marshall College might encounter her as they proceed down the Ridge Walk. And if they pause to use curious eyes, they can see her humanity and read her words.

The statue of Sojourner Truth debuted on the campus in 2015. It was created by UCSD alumna Manuelita Brown.

Sojourner Truth was born into slavery but managed to escape it. She became an abolitionist and women’s rights activist who would not be deterred. Feeling guided by God, she testified to the hope that was within her. Read her history here.

Read an article about the sculpture’s dedication ceremony 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!

Love is an Action in San Ysidro!

A newly opened art exhibit in San Ysidro provides hope and inspiration in these difficult times. It’s titled Love is an Action – Amor en los Tiempos de Pandemia (Love in Pandemic Times).

The exhibition features works by regional artists. Positive themes are plentiful, including compassion, acceptance, hope and healing. Most of the artwork concerns female experience and empowerment.

Love is an Action is the 15th Día de la Mujer Art Exhibition at Casa Familiar’s The FRONT Arte & Cultura museum.

I was struck by the power of many of these pieces. They are full of human feeling and authenticity. You can sense how many artists were uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which threw us all into isolation and uncertainty.

You can also clearly see that art can help us through life’s difficulties–to remind us of what is good and what is important–to make us feel alive once again.

This is just a small sample of what you’ll see…

Postcards that visitors can write a message of kindness or encouragement upon. They will be sent anonymously when the exhibition ends.
Breakfast, 2021, Lourdes Araiza. Photograph mounted on wood. Image of Mom eating breakfast, whose loving smile full of gratitude was a blessing.
Amor a lo Natural, 2020, Paola Segura. Oil on canvas. Pride and power, struggle and frustration are often depicted through the artist’s pieces.
The Graduate, 2022, Monica Nunez Aragon. Acrylic.
Tu Sola Alondra, 2022, Alondra Zamora. Acrylic on canvas. The artist’s love letter to her culture as a Mexicana.
Prayer, 2022, Betty Bangs. Acrylic on canvas.
Healing, 2020, Veronica Aranda. Mixed media on canvas. An image that came to the artist of a world healing without pollution.
Re-Member Her site specific installation by Collectivo XoQUE. Imagery of Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui explores women living on the border, and seeks to “create intimacy in the attempt to pick up the fragments of our dismembered womanhood and reconstitute ourselves in harmony with nature, body and soul, and the mind and spirit.”
Braiding a Message of Love.

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!

Balboa Park’s community Christmas tree grows!

A new community Christmas tree was planted in Balboa Park a little over two years ago, across from the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. It has visibly grown!

Back in 2016, the fragile, droopy, 35-year-old Community Christmas Tree that stood in this same location no longer held lights during the holiday season. I took a photo of the sadly misshapen old cedar during Christmas on the Prado:

In late 2019 a new young tree was planted! I posted a photograph of it here. Now, for contrast, I’ll share that pic again:

Yesterday I noticed the promising young tree has grown quite a lot! Check it out:

I know, it’s odd that I’m posting these photos in late February, with war raging in Ukraine, but during my walk yesterday I also encountered a new Peace Pole that has been installed by the International Cottages.

And it occurred to me: doesn’t a growing Christmas tree also represent Life and Hope for our shared future?

One coming December, perhaps this next one, San Diego’s growing community Christmas tree will light up for its first time. And that age-old message will shine forth once again: On Earth peace, good will toward men…

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!