Refugee students learn job skills at city farm!

Refugee high school students grow and sell vegetables in North Park. They are Youth FarmWorks interns receiving a helping hand from the International Rescue Committee!
Refugee high school students grow and sell vegetables in North Park. They are Youth FarmWorks interns receiving a helping hand from the International Rescue Committee!

I was walking around North Park yesterday when I stumbled upon a small farm on a dirt lot north of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. I crossed 30th Street to see what was going on, and noticed a bunch of youth working the soil, and sitting at a table selling vegetables!

It turns out these super friendly new San Diego residents are refugees attending local high schools. As Youth FarmWorks interns they are learning job skills and gaining confidence in their new country. This urban farming project was created by the International Rescue Committee, which helps refugees adjust to life in the United States, where they are safe and free from persecution.

I was given a tour of the small farm by a super cool young man–he’s the guy who gave me a thumbs up in that first photo! He showed me the various vegetables they were growing, including different types of lettuce, beets, squash, cherry tomatoes, and much more. My tour was awesome!

Good luck to everyone!

Sign by the large vegetable garden reads Youth Farm Works - Job Training Urban Farm.
Sign by the large vegetable garden reads Youth Farm Works – Job Training Urban Farm.
Many large planters contain all sorts of growing vegetables.
Many large planters contain all sorts of growing vegetables.
Kids at work on the urban farm.
Students at work on the urban farm.
A very cool smile!
A very cool smile!

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 taste of San Diego’s historic Little Portugal.

Design on tiles indicates Portuguese American Social and Civic Club.
Image on tiles indicates Portuguese American Social and Civic Club.

The history of the Portuguese community in Point Loma is fascinating. During a walk along a block of Avenida de Portugal, I got just a small glimpse of it.

Many have heard of Little Italy in San Diego, but I suspect few have heard of a neighborhood that some call Little Portugal. It can be found near the entrance to Shelter Island, an area settled by many families of Portuguese fishermen when the tuna industry flourished in our city. The neighborhood was once called Tunaville. Two landmarks that were built by the Portuguese almost a century ago still exist today: the United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall where the community gathers and a small Catholic chapel beside it.

I spotted some round plaques in the sidewalk and images on tile on the hall’s exterior during my walk beside these two buildings. They provide a small taste of Little Portugal’s history. I thought you might enjoy taking a look at a few of them.

Small Catholic chapel in Point Loma, in a neighborhood sometimes called Little Portugal.
Small Catholic chapel in Point Loma, in a neighborhood sometimes referred to as Little Portugal.
Front of the United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall on a sunny San Diego day.
Front of the United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall on a sunny San Diego day.
Plaque in the sidewalk is a Tribute to our Immigrants. Determination, hard work and strength of character are only a few of the gifts you have given us.
Plaque in the sidewalk is a Tribute to our Immigrants. Determination, hard work and strength of character are only a few of the gifts you have given us.
In admiration of their loyalty and commitment to the Fishing Industry and never ending support of our Portuguese Community.
In admiration of their loyalty and commitment to the Fishing Industry and never ending support of our Portuguese Community.
Age of Exploration. In thoughtful memory of God and our parents who so successfully contributed to our Festas do Espirito Santo, the tuna industry and our lives in America.
Age of Exploration. In thoughtful memory of God and our parents who so successfully contributed to our Festas do Espirito Santo, the tuna industry and our lives in America.
The flag of Portugal flies proudly in San Diego near Shelter Island.
The flag of Portugal flies proudly in San Diego near Shelter Island.
Map of the island of Madeira and image of Santo Amaro.
Map of the island of Madeira and image of Santo Amaro.
Image of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's galleon San Salvador and his statue at Cabrillo National Monument, a gift from the government of Portugal. Exploring on behalf of Spain, Cabrillo was Portuguese.
Image of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s galleon San Salvador and his statue at Cabrillo National Monument, a gift from the government of Portugal. Exploring on behalf of Spain, Cabrillo was Portuguese.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

A glimpse of history at Mount Hope Cemetery.

I happened upon a few notable names during a walk through Mount Hope Cemetery. I had over an hour before the Memorial Day ceremony would begin, so I just wandered down winding roads through fields of headstones.

Many early residents of San Diego are buried at Mount Hope. Among the jumble of names engraved in stone, one can find some of the city’s most influential citizens. Like Alonzo Horton, Kate Sessions, George Marston, Thomas Whaley, Ah Quin, E. S. Babcock, and Robert Waterman. (Not to mention the famous author Raymond Chandler!) But I didn’t have a map. So I just meandered through the hilly cemetery and gazed.

Thousands of gravestones.

Every life different. Every life important in its own way.

Some of the dates indicate long lives, others short. But isn’t it true that all of our lives are short?

Someone asked about my visit–if the cemetery felt spooky. No. The best word that comes to mind is bittersweet. A feeling of both joy and sadness.

Every single name has become a part of San Diego history.

(I did a bit of research for this blog post. Hopefully I got the following information right. If not, leave a comment!)

George James Keating
George James Keating

George James Keating was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1840. He and his wife Fannie, owners of a farming company, eventually moved to San Diego in 1886. Keating made large investments in the city’s booming real estate market. After his death, Fannie oversaw the construction of the five-story Keating Building, which I blogged about several years ago here.

Graves of the Marston family.
Graves of the Marston family.
George White Marston
George White Marston

George W. Marston was often referred to as “San Diego’s First Citizen.”

A successful department store owner, he founded the San Diego Historical Society and was a prominent advocate for and planner of Balboa Park. He was a critical force in the establishment of the San Diego Public Library System and Presidio Park.

You can see a sculpture of George Marston on my blog here, and the garden of his beautiful, historic house, which is located in the northwest corner of Balboa Park, here.

George F. Stockton
George F. Stockton

Lt. George F. Stockton’s tragic drowning on August 21, 1921 prompted the creation of the City of Oceanside Lifeguard Service. He was pulled out to sea by a rip current. He had served on the World War I ship USS San Diego.

Edward McGurck
Edward McGurck

Col. Edward McGurck was born in Ireland. He purchased property on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Market Street in 1876 for $50. In 1887 he developed the McGurck Block Building at that location.

Monument to the Kurtz family.
Monument to the Kurtz family.
Daniel Brower Kurtz
Daniel Brower Kurtz

Daniel Brower Kurtz has an important San Diego street named after him. He arrived in San Diego in 1850 and was elected second city mayor in 1851. He also served as a state senator, county judge, and assemblyman.

James Edward Friend
James Edward Friend

James Edward Friend was an enterprising reporter and newspaper publisher in the early days of San Diego.

Seeing his name brought a smile to my face. He was a good friend of Bum, San Diego’s Town Dog, and figured prominently in the wonderful book titled The Dog That Belonged to No One. Any young person living in San Diego should read this short book. It’s quite enjoyable, full of history and good humor.

Captain James Friend was also known as a friend and benefactor to San Diego’s newsboys.

You can read about Bum, San Diego’s lovable Town Dog, and see his sculpture in my blog post 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 share and enjoy!

Museum celebrates diversity in American baseball.

The New Americans Museum at NTC Liberty Station opens an important exhibit. Becoming All-American Diversity, Inclusion, and Breaking Barriers in Major League Baseball.
The New Americans Museum at NTC Liberty Station opens an important exhibit titled Becoming All-American: Diversity, Inclusion, and Breaking Barriers in Major League Baseball.

Today I experienced something undeniably cool. The New Americans Museum, located at NTC Liberty Station, held Becoming All-American Family Day. The fun event celebrated the opening of the museum’s new exhibit, Becoming All-American: Diversity, Inclusion & Breaking Barriers in Major League Baseball.

In keeping with the small museum’s American immigration and diversity theme, this inspiring exhibit showcases Major League Baseball players who broke through racial barriers during the long history of the quintessentially American sport.

If you live in San Diego and you’re a fan of history or baseball, make sure to check it out! You might also visit the many other interesting museums nearby! Liberty Station, the redeveloped site of the old Naval Training Center, is brimming with flowers, sunshine, fountains, shops, culture and history.

Becoming All-American: Diversity, Inclusion, and Breaking Barriers in Major League Baseball runs April 24 to July 5.

The New Americans Museum is located at the beautifully redeveloped old Naval Training Center in Point Loma.
The New Americans Museum is located at the beautifully redeveloped old Naval Training Center in Point Loma.
Becoming All-American Family Day was held to celebrate a fascinating new exhibit.
Becoming All-American Family Day was held to celebrate a fascinating new exhibit.
Cool displays in a unique immigrant-themed museum showcase diverse players through the history of professional American baseball.
Cool displays in a unique immigrant-themed museum showcase diverse players through the history of professional American baseball.
Colorful painting of Gene Locklear, Native American of Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. He played for several teams, including the San Diego Padres.
Colorful painting of Gene Locklear, Native American of Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. He played for several teams, including the San Diego Padres.
A quote from Gene Locklear. Education, that's the only way it's going to change...
A quote from Gene Locklear. “Education, that’s the only way it’s going to change…”
Black, white...and shades of gray. In American society, Jews, Irish, Latinos and Asians were sometimes considered white...and sometimes not.
Black, white…and shades of gray. In American society, Jews, Irish, Latinos and Asians were sometimes considered white…and sometimes not.
Museum display honors the legacy of Roberto Clemente with his quote. My greatest satisfaction comes from helping to erase the old opinion about Latin Americans and blacks.
Museum display honors the legacy of Roberto Clemente with his quote. “My greatest satisfaction comes from helping to erase the old opinion about Latin Americans and Blacks.”
Timeline on wall shows notable baseball players through history, eventually shattering racial stereotypes and barriers.
Timeline on wall shows notable baseball players through history, eventually shattering racial stereotypes and barriers.
Harry Kingman in 1914, the only Major League player to have been born in China.
Harry Kingman in 1914, the only Major League player to have been born in China.
Putting on a baseball uniform was like wearing the American flag. Japanese baseball player and manager Kenichi Zenimura, placed in internment camp during WWII, organized a league.
Putting on a baseball uniform was like wearing the American flag. Japanese baseball player and manager Kenichi Zenimura, placed in internment camp during WWII, organized a league.
Museum visitor reads display about Ted Williams, American baseball legend who grew up in San Diego. He had Welsh, Irish, Mexican, Basque, Russian and Native American roots!
Museum visitor reads display about Ted Williams, American baseball legend who grew up in San Diego. He had Welsh, Irish, Mexican, Basque, Russian and Native American roots!
Padres baseball mascot the Swinging Friar plays with kids at the batting inflatable outside during the museum event.
Padres baseball mascot the Swinging Friar plays with kids at the batting inflatable outside during the museum’s family event.
The wisdom of courageous hero Jackie Robinson. A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
The wisdom of courageous hero Jackie Robinson. “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

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