Honorary Tom Hom Avenue in downtown San Diego.

At the intersection of Market Street and Third Avenue in downtown San Diego, you might spot an unusual street sign.

Third Avenue where it runs through the Asian Pacific Historic District is now also called Honorary Tom Hom Avenue.

I noticed the sign the other day while driving down Market Street, so I walked through the neighborhood this evening in order to take a few photographs.

I’ve learned the street sign made its first appearance this February during a public ceremony with many dignitaries.

Tom Hom was a civic leader who worked hard to achieve his successes. In 1963, he was the first person of color to be elected to the San Diego City Council. He later would be elected the city’s deputy mayor, and then only the second Asian American elected to the California State Legislature!

As a politician, Tom Hom used his influence to help get San Diego Stadium built. He also supported the gentrification of the run-down but historic Gaslamp Quarter.

This Wikipedia article details his rich life, including how his family came to California in 1909 on the steam liner SS Manchuria, and how his father named him after Thomas Edison!

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!

Exhibit shows history of Japanese Americans in Coronado.

The Coronado Historical Association’s Museum of History and Art presently features an exhibit titled Uprooted: The Story of the Japanese Americans of Coronado.

I visited the museum yesterday. The kind lady at the entrance allowed me to take a few photos when she learned I’m a blogger.

As I stepped into the first gallery, I was immediately pleased to see that the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park had contributed objects for display, including beautiful kimonos. I’m a member of the garden.

Then, as I looked at old photographs and read descriptions, I was stunned to learn that Coronado once had its own Japanese garden! Actually two tea gardens! And the second would be the setting for four motion pictures from 1913 to 1919!

Looking at the exhibit’s many historical photographs, I tried to imagine what life on the island might have been like years ago, particularly for Japanese Americans. The years covered are from the mid-1800’s when immigrants came to California seeking opportunity, to the forced detention of Japanese American citizens during World War II, to more recent and optimistic times.

Many of the displays are made possible by the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego.

Anyone interested in local history absolutely should visit this exhibit. I was surprised to learn so much!

More information can be found on the Coronado Historical Association website 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!

Hidden historical markers around San Diego.

Walk around the city and you’ll discover surprising things. Once in a while, if you’re lucky, you might stumble upon an historical marker in a hidden or unexpected place!

Over the years I’ve happened upon a number of these historical plaques and markers. I’ve seen them by shopping centers, by apartment buildings, on hilltops, beside trails, and tucked away in odd places off the beaten track.

I thought that perhaps you’d enjoy reading a few of them.

Here are a few of the more interesting markers I’ve found….

To read a plaque in Linda Vista about one of the first planned shopping centers in the United States, click here.

To read a plaque in National City about a “miraculous” well dug for Mount Paradise Sanitarium, click here.

To read numerous historical plaques on the top of Presidio Hill, where Fort Stockton once was, click here.

To read an historical marker in the middle of UC San Diego in La Jolla, click here.

To read a plaque marking the location of Kate Sessions’ nursery in Pacific Beach, click here.

To read a plaque near old Mission San Diego de Alcalá, marking the location of Padre Luis Jayme’s death during a Native American uprising, click here.

To see a fascinating marker recalling the historic La Playa Trail which passed through present-day Point Loma, near Midway and Rosecrans, click here.

To read several historical markers that are easily overlooked near an entrance to Presidio Park, click here.

To read a plaque in Coronado that concerns the birthplace of naval aviation, click here.

To read a marker that recalls a long vanished Chinese shipbuilding site in Point Loma, click here.

To read a marker in Chula Vista that commemorates Japanese immigrant farmers in the South Bay, click here.

To read plaques and inscriptions near the Old Mission Dam in Mission Trails Regional Park, click here.

Finally, to read a marker at the edge of a golf course near Old Town, detailing the history of San Diego’s oldest surviving structure, click here.

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

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More beautiful faces appear in City Heights!

Look at all these beautiful new faces in City Heights! I saw them today during a morning walk.

An incredible 263-foot long mural is gradually coming to life at the south end of Teralta Park, which is located on the freeway cap over Interstate 15. The mural is being painted by talented San Diego graffiti artist Sake, whom I met last year.

Last time I photographed the mural-in-progress, several faces at the left end had been finished. Since then, more faces have been completed! And other painted details throughout the very long mural are appearing as well.

City Heights is a community in east San Diego that is home to many immigrants and refugees from all around the world. That diversity is reflected in this colorful, positive artwork!

If you’d like to see photographs of artist Sake at work last year, and find links to even earlier photos, you can click 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!

Holiday Bazaar helps refugees, immigrant owned business!

A very cool San Diego holiday event is coming up this Saturday in North Park!

A Holiday Bazaar will be held December 4, 2021 from 10 am to 1 pm at the urban farm at 3745 30th Street. Look for the outdoor space just north of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. According to the event website, you’ll be able to shop from “local refugee and immigrant owned business, explore global street food, and listen to live music.”

I came upon this urban farm four years ago and described my experience here. As you can see in the above photo, I met friendly refugee students whose new home was San Diego. They were gaining confidence and learning job skills!

The 3rd Annual Holiday Bazaar is put on by MAKE Projects and International Rescue Committee’s Small Business Development Center.

Why not swing by and find some unique Christmas gifts? Vendors will be selling clothing, art, crafts, jewelry and much more!

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!

Monument honors South Bay Issei Pioneers.

In Chula Vista, at the corner of Palomar Street and Broadway, you’ll find busy shopping malls in every direction. And thousands of passing cars.

What you won’t see, unless you are one of the few who walk down the sidewalk, is a bronze plaque on a stone set back among bushes. This small monument to South Bay Issei Pioneers marks the place where the Chula Vista Gakuen or Japanese School stood when it was dedicated in 1925.

I’ve transcribed what I read on the plaque. (Issei are immigrants born in Japan. Nisei are their children, born in the new country.)

SOUTH BAY ISSEI PIONEERS

Initially arriving in 1885, these immigrants from Japan, through their intellect, diligence, and tenacity made numerous major contributions to the agricultural development of this area. These accomplishments were achieved at the same time as the issei were fighting discrimination, unfair land laws, and ultimately, the mass removal of all person of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast of the United States during World War II. This site marks the final location of the Chula Vista Gakuen or Japanese School, which was originally dedicated on October 6, 1925. The school helped nisei children to better understand and honor their heritage.

Japanese American Citizens League San Diego Chapter

Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego
September 1996

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!

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Photos outside the historic Stein Family Farm.

The other day I walked down a National City sidewalk past the historic Stein Family Farm. It was closed at the time, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so I took these outside photographs!

I spoke over the fence briefly to a couple of nice ladies near the farmhouse and a gentleman volunteer. I vowed that one day I’d return and take a tour!

The Stein Family Farm was once home to Charles Stein, an immigrant German farmer, his wife Bertha and five children. The construction of the Otay Dam in 1897 caused flooding to the Stein’s original property near Mexico, so the family moved to this National City location in 1900.

The 2-acre Stein Family Farm Museum includes their house, barn containing many antique farm implements and vehicles, and other structures, as well as farm animals (from around the world!) and an orchard containing a variety of fruit trees, which you can see in the last two photos.

I learned that second house you see in my photos, a 19th century Queen Anne Victorian, was recently relocated to the museum grounds. It awaits restoration.

Check out the Stein Family Farm’s website for more information 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!

Photos of Chicano Legacy mural at UCSD.

During my weekend walk through UC San Diego, I headed to the east side of Peterson Hall to check out some fantastic public art: the Chicano Legacy 40 Años (Years) mosaic. The 17-by-54-foot mosaic was created in 2011 by world-renowned local muralist Mario Torero and UCSD students. Thousands of pieces of colored glass were used to create a permanent mural.

The artwork honors Chicano culture. According to the UCSD website: “It depicts the struggles and dreams of underrepresented communities, pays tribute to social justice and brings a sense of warmth and hope to UC San Diego…”

Click the photo of the plaque and you can read an explanation of the different images contained in the mosaic. The two boldest, which immediately draw your attention, are the Corn Goddess near the center representing Mother Earth, and the large face of civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

The bright sunlight on glass and the dark shadows cast by nearby trees made taking good photographs a challenge. You really should see this vibrant mural in person.

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!

Street art at San Ysidro and Cottonwood.

Follow your heart.
Follow your heart.

Many electrical boxes have been painted with street art on San Ysidro Boulevard, just northwest of Cottonwood Road. It appeared during my Saturday walk that some of the boxes were painted long ago, and others this year.

I took photos. The art speaks for itself.

Mental health matters.
I am loved. Grow strong.

Aztec skull imagery.
Aztec skull imagery.

A people's spirit lives on.
A people’s spirit lives on.

Two doves.
Two doves.

You are better than unicorns and sparkles.
You are better than unicorns and sparkles.

Quédate en casa con un rico pan dulce y cafecito. (Stay home with a delicious sweet bread and coffee.)
Quédate en casa con un rico pan dulce y cafecito. (Stay home with a delicious sweet bread and coffee.)

Lady Liberty in a serape.
Lady Liberty in a serape.

Kindness matters, and fireworks or stars.
Kindness matters, and fireworks or stars.

Por tu salud. (For your health.) We love our community. Street art painted in San Ysidro during the coronavirus pandemic.
Por tu salud. (For your health.) We love our community. Street art painted in San Ysidro during the coronavirus pandemic.

Firefighters of Fire Station 29 in San Ysidro.
Firefighters of Fire Station 29 in San Ysidro.

A local firefighter at work.
A local firefighter at work.

Purple and lavender flowers.
Purple and lavender flowers.

Butterfly rises near a hot air balloon.
Butterfly rises near a hot air balloon.

Bicycle by a fruit tree, and a trolley in the background.
Bicycle by a fruit tree, and a trolley in the background.

Trolley windows full of passengers.
Trolley windows full of passengers.

Trolley driver emerges from a painted electrical box.
Trolley driver emerges from a painted electrical box.

A little land and a living. Un poco tierra y una vida.
A little land and a living. Un poco tierra y una vida.

Working the land.
Working the land.

A family on a sweeping, colorful landscape.
A family on a sweeping, colorful landscape.

Handfuls of good earth.
Handfuls of good earth.

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!

More street art on San Ysidro Boulevard!

Street art in San Ysidro by Gerardo Meza.
Street art in San Ysidro by Gerardo Meza.

I’ve photographed more great street art!

Last year in December I walked around San Ysidro and took photos of street art near the Mexican border. See those images by clicking here.

During a walk in the same area this morning I headed farther up San Ysidro Boulevard and found even more colorful art. All of the following photos were taken between Willow Road and Cottonwood Road.

Except for the very first photo above! That fun artwork was painted some time after my earlier walk. It’s beside the Burger King near the intersection of San Ysidro Boulevard and Camino de la Plaza.

These images capture the life and spirit of San Diego’s bustling border community!

Colorful artwork in San Ysidro by renowned muralist Victor Ochoa depicts the artist's family.
Colorful artwork in San Ysidro by renowned muralist Victor Ochoa, known for his work in Chicano Park. I’ve been told this small mural depicts the artist’s family.

Mural in San Ysidro by Los Angeles artist Sand One.
Mural in San Ysidro by Los Angeles artist Sand One.

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!