Give Love event adds kindness to San Diego!

Be encouraging. Smile. Give hugs.
Be encouraging. Smile. Give hugs.

A group called Give Love New York is in San Diego this weekend during 2017 Maker Faire. You can find them near the Old Globe in Balboa Park, passing out carnations and inviting passersby to dance and converse and smile and sing and play games and write messages containing kindness, positivity and wisdom!

This unique Give Love project is the brainchild of Alive Worldwide. Their mission is to use creativity to encourage and spread human compassion.

Very cool! Events such as this could be held in every corner of the world! It’s very easily done. Why not?

Two smiles and free carnations from Give Love San Diego, at 2017 Maker Faire in Balboa Park!
Two smiles and free carnations from Give Love San Diego, at 2017 Maker Faire in Balboa Park!
With the help of the Old Globe Theatre, spreading kindness worldwide @givelovenewyork
With the help of the Old Globe Theatre, spreading kindness worldwide @givelovenewyork
Giving words of wisdom. Share your thoughts on a written note, then come back later and retrieve new wisdom to take home.
Giving words of wisdom. Share your thoughts on a written note, then come back later and retrieve new wisdom to take home.
Try it!
Try it!
Challenge yourself daily.
Challenge yourself daily.
Freedom is found by sacrifice. Question the unknown.
Freedom is found by sacrifice. Question the unknown.
Love hard. Love strong. Love always.
Love hard. Love strong. Love always.
Give Love San Diego!
Be open. Treat others with understanding. Give Love San Diego!

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

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.

9/11 Firefighter’s legacy: Two Sons and Stickball.

Tampa Chargers huddle up during the 2017 Labor Day Stickball Tournament in Little Italy. Photo by Margie Jones.
Tampa Chargers huddle up during the 2017 Labor Day Stickball Tournament in Little Italy. Photo by Margie Jones.

An important event in San Diego history took place over the Labor Day weekend. It involved a firefighter hero who saved lives during 9/11, his two sons, and the game of stickball.

The following inspirational article is contributed by Margie Jones of 4 Heroes 4 Life:

The 2017 Labor Day Stickball Tournament in Little Italy was one of the largest in its 19 year history with a field of 16 teams, four from New York and one from Tampa Bay, Florida. New York transplant Bob Ortiz and a group of players brought the Bronx-style tradition of street baseball to California in the early 1990s, later passing the torch to brothers Louie and Joey Centanni.

This year’s tournament held a special meaning for the San Diego and New York stickball communities, bringing the return of Skylar and Austin Mercado, sons of former Emperor’s Stickball League President Steve Mercado. Mercado and his family brought the team to San Diego from the Bronx in 2001 when the boys were 6 and 2 years old. The Mercado family made a lasting impression on many San Diegans, including SD City Firefighter and Stickball League Commissioner Willie Blas and Fire Marshal Mark George. After saying their goodbyes, Steve returned to NYC and went straight to work on 9/11, courageously saving lives. He was one of 12 of 13 from Engine 40 and Ladder 35 to lose their lives on that day, along with over 400 NYC first responders.

This weekend, Skylar and Austin Mercado brought the legacy of their Dad and Grandfather to Stickball in San Diego. Their team, the Tampa Chargers, was undefeated going into the Championship Game on Monday but could not best the local Sultans of Swat, who took home the trophy this year. We hope the Mercados experienced the outpouring of love and support for these two fine young men, their family, and the entire NYC community of heroes.

So that Steve and all heroes on that day will be NEVER FORGOTTEN, Mark and Willie as sponsored by 4 Heroes 4 Life and Veteran Adventures will be hosting a 9/11 NEVER FORGOTTEN Charity Golf Tournament and Community Extravaganza on September 11. Proceeds of the event will benefit the Steven Mercado Foundation, and funds for Engine 40 and Ladder 35, and the NYC Emergency Fund. This is the first of an annual event on 9/11 as an opportunity to bring community together in support of our fallen heroes and for our nation’s healing. Please join us. Register or donate here.

Commemorative bat honoring 9/11 firefighter Steve Mercado. Photo by Margie Jones.
Commemorative bat honoring 9/11 firefighter Steve Mercado. Photo by Margie Jones.
Tampa Chargers' Austin Mercado. Photo by Margie Jones.
Tampa Chargers’ Austin Mercado. Photo by Margie Jones.
Tampa Chargers' Skylar Mercado. Photo by Margie Jones.
Tampa Chargers’ Skylar Mercado. Photo by Margie Jones.
Power hitting. Photo by Margie Jones.
Swinging with heart on a San Diego street. Photo by Margie Jones.
2017 Championship Game final score. Photo by Margie Jones.
2017 Championship Game final score. Photo by Margie Jones.
Stickball family. Photo by Margie Jones.
Stickball brings many together. Photo by Margie Jones.

Art can remind us that Life is Beautiful.

Flowers have been painted on one side of a utility box on Bankers Hill.
Flowers have been painted on a utility box on Bankers Hill.

Life is essentially beautiful. Art can remind us of this truth.

Art that affirms life’s essential beauty can be simple or complex. It isn’t small, or cynical. It generously finds wonder with every brush stroke.

Art can remind us all that this world contains wonders beyond count.
This world, and our lives, contain wonders beyond count.
A simple phrase. Life is Beautiful.
A simple phrase carefully written: Life is Beautiful.

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 amazing orchid show in Balboa Park.

Please forgive me. I’m taking it easy this weekend after all that wonderful Comic-Con insanity. So my walk today was slow and simple: meandering through Balboa Park.

I lingered a long while in the Casa del Prado, where the San Diego County Orchid Society is having their summer show and sale. (It continues on Sunday.)

I discovered amazing beauty everywhere.

Feeling lazy, I didn’t take notes. Just photos of a few blooms that caught my eye.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Broad City fans paint big coloring book at Comic-Con!

A scene from Broad City comes to life inside Comedy Central's enormous coloring book during 2017 Comic-Con.
A scene from Broad City comes to life inside Comedy Central’s enormous “coloring book” during 2017 Comic-Con.

Have you ever stepped inside a coloring book? You can at 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!

The Comedy Central series Broad City has a cool, free attraction where people can paint the walls of a room with colorful scenes from the show! It’s paint by numbers! It’s a brilliant idea that inspires fan interaction! Take a look!

Anyone can enjoy this Broad City special attraction during Comic-Con. If you share a photo with a certain hashtag, you can win a prize.
Anyone can enjoy this Broad City special attraction during Comic-Con. If you share a photo with a certain hashtag, you can win a prize.
People look at the colorfully painted walls, or take up a brush and contribute with their own creativity.
People look at the colorfully painted walls, or take up a brush and contribute with their own creativity.
Some of the bright artwork inspired by the wacky Comedy Central show Broad City.
Some of the bright artwork inspired by the wacky Comedy Central show Broad City.
Photo of finished artwork on the floor.
Photo of some finished artwork on the floor.
SpongeBob SquarePants checks out the dazzling Broad City coloring book room!
SpongeBob SquarePants checks out the dazzling Broad City coloring book room! He must think the luminous colors are like bright fish underwater.
The paint seems to magically glow in the dimly lit room.
The paint seems to magically glow in the dimly lit room.
More humorous images inspired by the popular Comedy Central show.
More humorous images inspired by the popular Comedy Central show.
Artwork painted by fans.
Artwork painted by fans.
Someone adds color to the Season Premiere.
Someone adds color to the Season Premiere.
These kids are contributing, too. It's color by number.
These kids are contributing, too. It’s color by number.
Fan of the Comedy Central show Broad City paints a wall during 2017 San Diego Comic-Con.
Fan of the Comedy Central show Broad City paints a wall during 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!

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!

Beautiful sycamores at Los Peñasquitos Canyon.

Early this morning, while it was still cool outside, I headed up to Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. My intention was to take a brisk hike around some trails near the old Adobe Ranch House. But then my eyes encountered California sycamores along one trail. And my camera came out. And then the sun came out. My hike slowed to a walk. With many long pauses.

Beautiful photos frame and emphasize the infinite beauty that surrounds every one of us. Taking such photographs does make one pause. And love life.

You might also enjoy some photos on one of my other fun blogs, A Small World Full of Beauty.

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