Nature and art at San Diego River Garden!

There’s a very special garden in San Diego that few people visit. It’s called the San Diego River Garden. It’s situated near the center of Mission Valley, a short distance south of the San Diego River.

Every so often I drive past this native plant garden, but I never see a place to park. The stretch of Camino del Rio North beside it is mostly used by people going to and from nearby office buildings, and no street parking is available.

The gate of the San Diego River Garden’s small dirt parking lot is usually shut. The only other way in is to walk along a dirt path beside the road and pass through an entrance in the fence. Which is what I did this morning!

All was quiet. The early morning summer breeze was pleasantly cool. The few picnic benches were empty. I saw no other people. But I did see many active birds. And bright flowers. And lots of flourishing native plants including some cacti. And modest planters holding more greenery. And many winding trails. And Bigfoot! Yes, you heard me correctly! And–to my additional delight–a whole lot of nature artwork created by young students, including painted tiles scattered here and there on the ground and a cool mural on a shipping container!

According to the San Diego River Park Foundation website: “This site used to be a vacant area reserved for future use by the City of San Diego. But thanks to the City and the many volunteers, sponsors, groups that have come out to garden, the River Park Foundation is caring for this 5 acre area to make it attractive for the community.”

If you or your group would like to volunteer and do a little gardening out in the warm San Diego sunshine, or if you simply want to visit this beautiful kid-friendly park or learn more about it, 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!

Kids learn while having fun with pop culture!

What’s the best way for kids to learn?

By having fun!

The very cool Comic-Con Museum@Home web page continues to grow and grow! It’s now bursting with fun activities for kids–educational activities that relate to the popular culture!

Not only are there oodles of downloadable, printable Fun Books, which are jam-packed with word puzzles, mazes, instructions on how to draw comic art, and fantastic coloring pages (including some by prolific San Diego muralist Gloria Muriel), but now you can watch lots of cool videos, too!

A brand new series of videos this summer will be showing kids how to create superheroes and other pop culture characters out of folded cardboard! The tutorials are by Connor and Bauer Lee. You might remember seeing their fantastic creations during December Nights here!

The first cardboard character kids can create by following a YouTube video is Wall-E!

The Comic-Con Museum has also partnered with Balboa Park’s Fleet Science Center for a series called Pop Culture Science. Celebrating the anniversary of the popular character Sherlock Holmes, there’s a video about how TV crime shows accurately or imaginatively portray real forensic science. Additional activities include how to detect fingerprints and write with invisible ink!

Learning is always best when it’s fun!

Check out the Comic-Con Museum web page with all of these great activities by clicking here!

Happy art and the Escondido Students’ Tile Mural.

Do you ever blink your eyes at an oh-so-serious adult and wonder what they were like as a small child? Before growing up and becoming terribly sophisticated, did they love to draw simple things like hearts, flowers and smiles?

I saw this amazing tile wall in Escondido last weekend as I walked from the California Center for the Arts toward Grape Day Park. A plaque states it’s the 1994 Escondido Students’ Tile Mural. Hundreds of names from local schools appear on this happy, quilt-like mosaic.

The tiles were painted 26 years ago.

I have no doubt that many who painted their tile with small hands long ago still love hearts, flowers and smiles.

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!

Help others! Join virtual Red Shoe Day online!

The 11th Annual Red Shoe Day is almost here! But this year it will be different. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the gathering of donations for Ronald McDonald House in San Diego will be entirely online!

Instead of plunking your spare change into a big red Ronald McDonald shoe held by a volunteer at a busy intersection, there’s going to be a virtual Red Shoe Day on June 4, 2020 that everyone can safely take part in and share online with others!

Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego, according to their mission statement: provides a “home-away-from-home” for families with children being treated for serious, often life-threatening conditions at local hospitals.

Put yourself in the shoes of a family with a seriously ill child and imagine how important this would be. You could spend much more time with your child as they undergo super scary medical treatment at a big, scary hospital. Read more about what Ronald McDonald House Charities does here.

And here is what you can do!

Click here and join this year’s virtual Red Shoe Day!

Recruit friends, coworkers and family members! Form a winning team!

Look at all the smiling volunteers I photographed in past years, before the coronavirus pandemic…

Click here to join Red Shoe Day and make a huge difference in people’s lives!

You’ll feel good, too!

Colorful photos of historic Old Poway Park!

A couple years ago I headed up to the annual Rendezvous in Poway. The event is held in historic Old Poway Park.

The Rendezvous in Poway is a reenactment that includes many elements of the 19th century Old West, including costumed vaqueros, mountain men, cowboys, pioneers, and soldiers from the Civil War.

I blogged about the event here. I also blogged about a beautiful bronze sculpture that I came across while walking through the park. It’s titled The Pioneers. See it here.

This morning, as I went through some folders in my computer, I found one that I had named Old Poway Park. In it were various photos of the park.

Uh, oh! Yikes!

I had intended to blog those photos a day or two after the event!

My lousy memory being what it is, I thought it would be best to merely share a few photos I took of this very colorful historic park–I don’t recall most of the precise details.

I do remember that there was grass and picnic benches and shady trees, and excited kids waving as they rode along the short, looping track of the Poway-Midland Railroad, and that the Heritage Museum contained a great collection of artifacts and displays concerning Poway’s history. But I’m afraid these almost forgotten photos will simply provide a taste of my visit that day.

If you want to learn more about family-friendly Old Poway Park, its history, museum, fascinating buildings and railroad operations, visit their website here!

One day I’ll return to ride that steam locomotive train you see in the barn. The little kid in me cannot be denied.

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!

Mural on roof of old Family Court Building.

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Because I live nearby on Cortez Hill, I frequently see the colorful mural in the above photograph. It was painted last year at one end of the rooftop of the old, now vacant San Diego Superior Court Family Court Building. (Years ago the Family Court moved to another downtown location.)

For a while last year, during a larger than average influx of refugees, the unused building was turned into a temporary shelter for asylum-seeking families. At the time I often saw kids playing outdoors on the roof, to one side of the parking area.

One day the mural appeared. Some cheerful color to brighten the lives of children, who were experiencing a very stressful moment in their lives through no fault of their own.

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!

Comic-Con Museum offers fun at home!

Are the kids bored being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic? Are you bored?

The Comic-Con Museum has created something enjoyable for everyone to do! They’ve produced their first Fun Book!

Fun Book #1 has pages to color, instructions on how to draw a cute cartoon character, word puzzles and other activities! Download the .pdf here and print it out!

The Comic-Con Museum has launched a web page called Comic-Con Museum@Home, where all sorts of cool stuff will be appearing in the future, including lots of exclusive videos. Check it out here!

Like many of you, I’m really going to miss Comic-Con this summer, which was cancelled for the first time in 50 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. But time flies and next year will be here before we know it.

And the Comic-Con Museum still plans a Grand Opening in 2021!

I can’t wait!

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!

Cool photo memories from March 2015.

We’re well into March. Drizzly winter weather has returned to San Diego.

I haven’t been walking much this week, so I thought we might travel back in time and revisit some cool events from five years ago.

Click the following links!

Fun photos from today’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Creative kids paint San Diego River Estuary mural.

Photos of International Drone Day in San Diego.

International Day of Happiness in San Diego!

Kids explore science, engineering at STEM event.

Art, stories, dance at World Water Day Celebration.

Leonard Nimoy lives at Spock Block in Encinitas.

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!

Fun scenes from the Fern Street Circus!

Today I took a long walk, wrote a little, and kicked back for a while as I enjoyed some entertainment in Chula Vista. Local favorite Fern Street Circus was performing in Bayfront Park as part of a special Port of San Diego event!

Circus in the Park: A South Bay Arts Event attracted a good crowd of happy people. Everyone got to watch jugglers, acrobats, and all sorts of thrilling circus acts. Kids were kept busy with an array of games and art activities, and everyone was treated by the Port of San Diego to some tasty food.

After watching the first circus performance, I walked by the water to a quiet park bench and looked out over San Diego Bay, thinking that much in life is indeed good.

(What I discovered once I resumed my walk was absolutely amazing. It’s something very few in San Diego know about–and one of the coolest things you’ll ever see! Those photos will be in the next blog post.)

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!

Positive mural offers hope for at-risk youth.

I AM POSSIBLE. A motivational public mural in a neighborhood with at-risk youth.
I AM POSSIBLE. A public mural expresses hope for at-risk youth.

A large mural has been recently painted in a neighborhood that is home to a significant population of at-risk youth. The public mural offers hope, positive reinforcement and inspiration. It reads simply: I AM POSSIBLE.

You can find this powerful new artwork painted at the corner of University Avenue and Marlborough Avenue in City Heights. It’s the creation of @midcitycanyouthcouncil and @channinfulton for #schoolsnotprisons.

This public art is a great example that other communities might follow.

For youth who feel trapped, or hopeless, or tempted to go down a self-destructive path, these beautifully painted words provide a constant visual reminder of life’s better possibilities.