Making new memories in Balboa Park.

Another easy Sunday in Balboa Park. Creating new memories. Remembering good times.

Another sunny day with more ice cream, more music, more people laughing and smiling.

I recognized some people in the park I hadn’t seen in years. I saw Fast Heart Mart playing his banjo. I saw Brandon riding his big-wheeled penny-farthing.

I observed how memories are now being made in the new Pan American Plaza in Balboa Park’s Palisades area, where tables welcome families and roller skating has become popular.

Every visit to Balboa Park is unique.

And to think another Spring will soon be 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!

A rush for Valentine’s Day roses!

It’s Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air! The rush was on this morning to find red roses!

Fortunately, Dave’s Flower Box in North Park had trucks full of them! Their parking lot appeared to be a bustling flower drive-thru!

This beautiful red rose on the nearby sidewalk is for anyone who finds it.

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!

Walking downtown on an ordinary day.

If you wonder why so many Cool San Diego Sights photographs are taken downtown, it’s because that’s where I live! And where I do most of my walking.

Even on an ordinary day, there’s so much activity and so many interesting things to see downtown that my small camera is constantly aiming this way or that.

The first three photos you see here were taken on ordinary days in the past few months. The images have been sitting idle in my computer.

The remaining photos were taken this morning as I walked from Cortez Hill down Seventh Avenue, then meandered a bit through the Gaslamp Quarter.

Looks like the above photo was taken around the holidays–I see a red ribbon. While I love City Pizzeria, I believe I captured this image in front of Valentine’s Mexican Food as I waited for combo number one.

Okay, here come the photos from this morning…

A second photograph that includes pizza in neon! Apparently it’s a word that grabs my attention.

The interesting combination above also caught my eye!

Every walk is different.

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 poet, a didgeridoo, and Balboa Park.

I spent a couple hours today with my friend Mitchell. He plays didgeridoo in Balboa Park.

We went on a walk and got lunch at the Japanese Tea Pavilion. Then I listened for a while to his extraordinary pulsating music.

During the concert a traveling poet came by, watched and listened.

After I said goodbye to Mitchell and began down El Prado, I came upon the poet sitting at a small table before his manual typewriter.

His name is Ben Bernthal. He will write an original poem based on words passersby give him. I gave him the word “didgeridoo.”

What I received was an exceptional piece of poetry and a friendly chat.

After I headed off on my way, it occurred to me that Balboa Park is one enormous, colorful poem. In the way every life is a sort of poem.

Visit Ben Bernthal’s website and learn more about a really great writer by clicking here. You can request a poem online. He will type the poem on high quality paper and mail it to you!

Better yet, if you’re in San Diego, look for him sitting at his typewriter in Balboa Park . . . before life’s grand adventure turns him elsewhere.

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!

Memories on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

It’s a special day to remember the wisdom of one who knew that love is always greater than hatred.

Over the years, I’ve taken photographs of events and works of public art inspired by America’s great civil rights leader. I thought I’d share some of these optimistic images.

It’s always a good time to be reminded of our common humanity.

To see many past photographs concerning Martin Luther King, Jr., click the following links:

Optimism and love at the big MLK Parade!

Quotes on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

Sign language Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

Shedding the Cloak sculpture inspired by MLK.

Breaking the Chains on MLK Promenade.

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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Fog and silver at South Mission Beach.

I took these moody photos yesterday afternoon near South Mission Beach Park and the Mission Beach Jetty. You can see the volleyball courts on the sand. You’ll also see the nearby lifeguard station.

The lowering sun had vanished behind a gray bank of fog drifting in from the Pacific Ocean. I thought I’d snap a few photos to see how they’d come out.

They seem to tell a mysterious story about life.

And about silver that lives in the gray.

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!

Shelltown public art celebrates community.

In Shelltown, a community southeast of downtown San Diego and north of National City, you’ll find fantastic public art at Southcrest Trails Park.

As one walks through the neighborhood park, one comes upon a large mosaic-like disk that contains many expressive faces. The public art, made of concrete pavers and bronze set in a small plaza, is titled A Place to Call Home. It was created in 2018 by San Diego artists Ingram Ober and Marisol Rendón-Ober.

The faces represent residents of the community speaking four names associated with the site: Chollas Creek, Shelltown, Southcrest and Home. As one circles the plaza, many mouths appear to speak.

The plaque at the center includes the words: Home is a place that helps us define who we are, and although we may leave that place, it never leaves us.

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Two short stories about Christmas.

A bit later, Santa and Mrs. Claus read The Night Before Christmas to gathered children and the young-at-heart.

Would you like to read two very short stories about Christmas?

Both works of fiction might touch your heart.

The first short story is titled A Wise Man. It concerns how we all can become jaded over the years, and how one seemingly ordinary moment can renew our appreciation of life’s preciousness and beauty. Read it here.

The second short story is titled An Encounter With Santa Claus. It’s about the spirit of Christmas. About unselfishness, not rampant materialism. Read it here.

Love in San Ysidro for those lost.

AMOR spelled out on a fence in San Ysidro. A project for Día de los Muertos in 2020 to remember lost loved ones during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Today I enjoy a long walk in South Bay.

As I wandered through San Ysidro, I passed the parklike space where the neighborhood celebrates Día de San Ysidro/San Ysidro Day each year. I found the Spanish word AMOR, which in English means love, spelled out on a fence.

As you can see, AMOR was made from numerous small circular tags. They represent the many who’ve passed away this year from COVID-19. It was a project earlier this year of Casa Familiar, a South Bay community development organization.

Unfortunately, the virus is still taking a very big toll in mid-December, as the world waits to be vaccinated in the months ahead.

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!

Simple messages and poems giving thanks.

Thanksgiving arrives tomorrow.

Today I thought I’d go through thousands of old photos and find examples of street art that include the words “Thank you” or whose central theme is gratitude.

I found almost none.

Many of the beautiful murals and painted electrical boxes I’ve photographed over the years encourage the viewer to be or do something. Be kind, be brave, be inspired, be strong, fight for a cause, love, hope, laugh, smile, be yourself…

Only a small handful of messages concern gratitude, or directly say thank you.

And these tend to be written in chalk or very simply.

Why is this?

I do know that to acknowledge indebtedness to others requires humility.

I fell a far distance –
You caught me many, many
Times – Awoken revived thankful
to be alive – Living is a privilege
Take care – See the life you’ve
been given – Cherish it

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!