Double takes and a heartfelt San Diego welcome!

Tourists take the Coronado ferry across the bay to downtown San Diego. What will they see?
Curious tourists take the Coronado ferry across the bay to downtown San Diego. What will they see?

Yesterday I bumped into a few unexpected sights. No different than any other day. A walk through the world with open eyes can tickle both one’s funny bone and heart.

A pedicab advertising marijuana delivery!
A pedicab advertising marijuana delivery!
A walking, smiling iced coffee!
A walking, smiling iced coffee!
Upside down visitor information!
Upside down visitor information!
A heartfelt welcome on the bow of the USS Midway. Welcome home to the troops.
A heartfelt welcome on the bow of the USS Midway. Welcome home to the troops.

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!

Legendary Mariachi Leader Oscar Amezcua in Balboa Park!

Legendary musician Oscar Amezcua performs on stage with his sons during a Cinco de Mayo concert in Balboa Park.
Legendary musician Oscar Amezcua performs on stage with his sons during a Cinco de Mayo concert in Balboa Park.

What a treat! This evening I got to listen to legendary Mariachi Leader Oscar Amezcua perform in a special Cinco de Mayo concert in Balboa Park!

Along with stirring performances by the City Heights Music School Mariachi Ensemble, Jarabe Mexicano and the really outstanding SDSU Jazz Ensemble, Oscar Amezcua wowed the crowd with his passionate voice and irrepressible personality! Two standing ovations were well-earned!

The 87-year-old musical legend has performed for American presidents, dignitaries and countless adoring fans. It’s no mystery why he is loved by so many. Life sparkles in his eyes. His timeless voice comes directly from the heart.

A free concert in Balboa Park at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion on Cinco de Mayo featured beloved, world-famous Mariachi Leader Don Oscar Amezcua.
A free concert in Balboa Park at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion on Cinco de Mayo featured beloved, world-famous Mariachi Leader Don Oscar Amezcua.
Donation box for the Kiwanis Club of San Diego, who along with the SDSU School of Music and Dance presented the special Cinco de Mayo Concert in the Park. Kiwanis has provided many scholarships for SDSU students.
Donation box for the Kiwanis Club of San Diego, who along with the SDSU School of Music and Dance presented the special Cinco de Mayo Concert in the Park. Over the years Kiwanis has provided many generous scholarships for SDSU students.
Event emcee Carlos Amezcua, son of Oscar Amezcua, and his KUSI Good Morning San Diego co-host Lisa Remillard get the program started with a few words.
Event emcee Carlos Amezcua, son of Oscar Amezcua, and his KUSI Good Morning San Diego co-host Lisa Remillard get the program started with a few words.
Kevin Lomes sings Granada, with a powerful voice that deeply moved the audience.
Kevin Lomes sings Granada with a powerful voice that deeply moved the audience.
Art Stillwell of the San Diego Kiwanis Club remembers benefactor Bill Gibbs by ringing a Tibetan singing bowl.
Art Stillwell of the San Diego Kiwanis Club remembers benefactor Bill Gibbs by ringing a Tibetan singing bowl.
The City Heights Music School Mariachi Ensemble plays for the large crowd.
The City Heights Music School Mariachi Ensemble plays for the large crowd.
Oscar Amezcua comes onto the stage at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion, introduced by his popular journalist son Carlos.
Oscar Amezcua comes onto the stage at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion, introduced by his popular journalist son Carlos.
Legendary Mariachi Leader Oscar Amezcua was born in Jalisco, Mexico. He immigrated to San Diego in 1945 and proceeded to make musical history.
Legendary Mariachi Leader Oscar Amezcua was born in Jalisco, Mexico. He immigrated to San Diego in 1945 and proceeded to make music history.
The ageless Oscar Amezcua sings. The mariachi music full of vigor and joy.
The ageless Oscar Amezcua sings. Mariachi music is full of vigor, passion and joy.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer presents a plaque. May 5, 2017 is officially Oscar Amezcua Day.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer presents a plaque. May 5, 2017 is officially Oscar Amezcua Day.
Oscar, his three sons and daughter perform together while his wife watched from the audience. I saw some tears. A moment in history.
Oscar, his three sons and daughter on stage together. I saw some tears. A moment in history.
People can't help dancing.
People can’t help dancing.
Love of life. Pure and simple.
Love of life. Pure and simple.

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!

Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog.

One of many benches around Mission Bay in San Diego. Most feature a small plaque remembering loved ones.
One of many park benches near the beautiful water of Mission Bay.

My walk today took me a good distance around Mission Bay.

Benches can be found at intervals along the pedestrian and bike path that circles much of the bay. Most of these benches feature a small plaque dedicated to a beloved person or memory.

I paused on several occasions to read these thoughtful plaques. One really touched me for some reason. I found it at the base of a quiet bench next to Riviera Shores. It is dedicated to Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog.

There are so many stories, and so many lives. There’s much love in this world.

While I sat quietly on the bench, runners flew past.
While I sat quietly on the bench, runners breezed past.
I gazed across the beach at the calm blue water. Many have found enjoyment here.
I gazed across the sand at the calm blue water. Many have found enjoyment here.
1999 - In Loving Memory - Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog. They loved this beach. Ed and Beth of Buena Vista Street.
1999 – In Loving Memory – Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog. They loved this beach. Ed and Beth of Buena Vista Street.

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!

Guide dogs for the blind in San Diego!

Loving, intelligent guide dogs and their trainers attend a special event in San Diego.
Loving, intelligent guide dogs and their trainers attend a special event in San Diego.

During my walk today I came across a special event taking place at Embarcadero Marina Park North. A local group representing Guide Dogs for the Blind was having a gathering by San Diego Bay!

I was impressed at how loving and intelligent the guide dogs all were. I asked where people could go to learn more about possibly raising a guide dog, and was told to check out this website!

According to a handout I received, Guide Dogs for the Blind was created in 1942 to aid servicemen blinded in World War II. I also learned their services are offered free to people throughout the United States and Canada.

If you know someone who is blind or visually impaired, tell them about Guide Dogs for the Blind! Or check out their puppy raising program!

Guide Dogs for the Blind had a special gathering today at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Guide Dogs for the Blind had a special gathering today at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
You see a puppy, a person who is blind sees the world.
You see a puppy, a person who is blind sees the world.
This best friend can make a difficult life much better.
This best friend can make a difficult life much better.
Guide Dogs for the Blind. Raise a puppy. Change a life.
Guide Dogs for the Blind. Raise a puppy. Change a life.

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

More short stories about light and darkness.

My writing blog Short Stories by Richard continues to grow. It now features 17 short works of fiction.

Many of the stories concern magic–or elements in life that seem to be magic. Most of the pieces contain both light and darkness.

I already posted a summary of my first six short stories here.

These are the next eleven:

One Strange, Shimmering Dream follows one man’s fantastic pursuit.

A Small Fountain in Green Park is about love and cherished moments in our brief life.

Irresistible Gravity is about futility and self-questioning.

A Dance in the Lightning takes a dangerous peek at ultimate reality.

Waterfall Tears interprets a moment of grieving.

An Old Man on a Bus demonstrates undying human defiance.

Dew on the Grass is about keen perception.

How to Paint Angels tells a story of despair, then sudden miraculous inspiration.

Final Real Magic is about youth and the uncertain nature of magic.

The Piano Player Sat Down produces a bit of strange, musical magic.

The Child and the Koi is a short fable about opposing primal powers.

Thank you for following my blog! Today I’m going to a Mariachi Festival in San Diego’s South Bay. Photos should be coming later!

Have a fine Sunday and keep on smiling!

Richard

Workday snapshots of downtown San Diego.

On a weekday morning, construction workers remove debris from the interior of the now vacant Gaslamp 15 movie theater.
On a weekday morning, construction workers remove debris from the interior of the now vacant Gaslamp 15 movie theater.

Here comes a batch of lively photos that I took downtown this morning. I have the week off from work, so I’m trying to take full advantage of it.

On this typical workday, I simply walked down from Cortez Hill and enjoyed some of the ordinary bustle downtown that I don’t always have time to appreciate. Among other things, I noticed the clean up is still going on from last night’s Mardi Gras celebrations. Life goes on…

Workers on scaffolding renovate the exterior of a building on Sixth Avenue
Workers on scaffolding renovate the exterior of a building on Sixth Avenue.
Meals are being delivered by the San Diego Unified School District's Food and Nutrition Services to Kipp Adelante Preparatory Academy.
Meals are being delivered by the San Diego Unified School District’s Food and Nutrition Services to Kipp Adelante Preparatory Academy.
Priests from St. Paul's Cathedral provide Ashes To Go and a blessing to anybody passing by on B Street on this Ash Wednesday.
Priests from St. Paul’s Cathedral provide Ashes To Go and a quick blessing to believers passing by on B Street on this Ash Wednesday.
A window washer at work at City Pizzeria.
A window washer at work at City Pizzeria.
Sidewalk sign proclaims that your future is waiting upstairs!
Sidewalk sign proclaims that your future is waiting upstairs!
I saw this art in a shop window as I walked by so I had to post it, of course!
I saw this art in a shop window as I walked by so I had to post it, of course!
A row of motorcycles and a construction worker taking a break near Horton Plaza.
A row of motorcycles, and a worker taking a break near Horton Plaza.
Torn sign at a Broadway bus station informs riders about yesterday's Mardi Gras detours.
Torn sign at a Broadway bus station informs riders about yesterday’s Mardi Gras detours.
This cool guy holding a parking sign outside the Bristol Hotel was nice to smile for a pic.
This cool guy holding a parking sign outside the Bristol Hotel was nice to smile for a pic.
A worker crosses Broadway while a homeless man looks into a trashcan.
A construction worker crosses Broadway while a homeless man looks into a trashcan.
Here comes a guy riding a cool bicycle that appears to be designed for deliveries.
Here comes a guy riding a cool bicycle that appears to be designed for deliveries. Perhaps he’s a courier. A few bike couriers still make deliveries downtown.
One guy crosses the street while carrying plans, another escorts dogs with a coffee in hand.
One guy crosses the street while carrying plans; another escorts dogs with a coffee in hand.
People board an MTS bus near the Fifth Avenue trolley station.
People board an MTS bus near the Fifth Avenue trolley station.
A walker runs his cane through some spilled leftover ice on a Gaslamp sidewalk.
A walker runs his cane through some spilled leftover ice on a Gaslamp sidewalk.
A firetruck turns a corner in the Gaslamp, and reflections of nearby buildings appear in the windows.
A firetruck turns a corner in the Gaslamp, and reflections of nearby buildings appear in the windows.
A worker with Clean and Safe's downtown program mops the sidewalk while a businessman walks by.
A worker with Clean and Safe’s downtown program mops the sidewalk while a businessman walks by.
An Old Town Trolley Tours vehicle loaded with tourists waits for a homeless man with a packed shopping cart to clear a downtown intersection.
An Old Town Trolley Tours vehicle loaded with tourists waits for a homeless man with a packed shopping cart to clear an intersection.
People work on laptop computers outside a coffee shop.
People work on laptop computers outside a coffee shop.
Birds fly in a blue downtown San Diego sky.
Birds fly in a blue downtown San Diego sky.
Someone unlocks the security gate in front of a small downtown shop. It is morning, so time to open.
Someone unlocks the security gate in front of a small downtown shop. It’s morning, so time to open.
I wait for my pollo asado burrito inside The Taco Stand and gaze out the window at B Street.
I wait for a pollo asado burrito inside The Taco Stand and gaze out the window at B Street.
A street musician near the C Street trolley tracks.
A street musician near the C Street trolley tracks.
Finally, I spotted these people as I headed back up Cortez Hill. They were crossing the street with some shining balloons. I guess it must be someone's anniversary!
Finally, I spotted these people as I headed back up Cortez Hill. They were crossing the street with some shining balloons. I guess it must be an anniversary!

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!

Writing on a rainy day.

smiley-face-widened

It’s raining today. And I’m off from work. So I’ve been sitting at my computer wrestling with words.

I believe I’ve now finished another short story.  At least, it seems complete.  This story concerns youth, magic, innocence, dreams, the passage of years and what might happen in life. If you’d like to read it, click the following link: Final Real Magic is the title of the story.