Photos of 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament!

Around noon today I spent some time in Little Italy watching the action-packed 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament. This very cool annual event seems to grow larger every year, attracting top stickball teams from across the country.

In 2019 the Labor Day Stickball Tournament features 18 teams, including three teams from New York and two teams from Florida. Everyone is competing to have their team name engraved on The Jillie Championship Trophy. San Diego’s own Whompers are the current champions.

During Labor Day weekend, games are played on four fields in Little Italy. It’s fun to watch pedestrians walking down a sidewalk in the field of play suddenly see a ball smashed past them! The looks of surprise!

As I watched one game beside the outfield on Columbia Street, near the San Diego Firehouse Museum, Big Lou came up and introduced himself to me. He’s a retired player who has been inducted into the New York Emperors Stickball League Hall of Fame. It’s his first time in San Diego.

Big Lou told me all about the history of stickball, it’s popularity on the East Coast and in Puerto Rico, and how generations of players have enjoyed the game. His love for the game was in his voice and in his eyes.

Enjoy some photos of the action…

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Local artists paint the streets for Art Walk!

As I walked through Little Italy this morning, local artists were busy setting up their booths for the big annual Mission Federal ArtWalk!

Finished canvases were carefully positioned for the public to admire and hopefully purchase. Artists stepped back to observe the effect of their arrangement. Asphalt streets were gradually transformed into bright corridors of imagination. Creativity swirled once again from hundreds of practiced hands.

The streets of Little Italy were being painted with dreams . . .

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!

Little Italy’s history, culture at Amici House.

Arriving at the historic Amici House, a cultural center in San Diego's downtown Little Italy neighborhood.
Approaching the historic Amici House, a cultural center in San Diego’s downtown Little Italy neighborhood.

In downtown San Diego’s beautiful Little Italy neighborhood, tucked among trees between Amici Park and the popular Little Italy Dog Park, one can find a small house that is named for friendship. It’s called Amici House.

A century ago the Amici House was home to the Giacalone family, who lived in Sicily before their arrival in San Diego in 1916. Antonio Giacalone and his wife, Josephine, became an integral part of the local Italian fishing community. Their modest Craftsman style house was originally located a few blocks to the west, near India Street. Last year the structure was moved to its present location at 250 W. Date Street, in order to make room for the new Piazza della Famiglia.

The historic home, now called the Amici House, has become a gathering place for the present-day community. Sheltered by graceful trees, its shady patio is the perfect place to relax, have a drink and chat with friends. Inside the house one can observe museum-like displays and learn about life in Little Italy, which was home to many immigrant fishermen back when San Diego was considered the tuna fishing capital of the world.

The Amici House is operated by The Convivio Society for Italian Humanities, a nonprofit organization that promotes Italian arts, culture and heritage in San Diego. The house with its intimate patio provides a unique venue for concerts and other entertainment. A variety of community activities such as outdoor movie screenings are often enjoyed in nearby Amici Park. The house can also be rented for private events.

I paid a visit on Saturday afternoon and took a few photos.

This grassy area in front of Amici House will soon be a venue for outdoor entertainment, with its own small stage.
This grassy area in front of Amici House will soon be a venue for outdoor entertainment, with its own small stage.
A group of people exits Amici House. I will be able to explore the place during a quiet moment on a Saturday afternoon.
A group of people exits Amici House. I will be able to explore the place during a quiet moment on a Saturday afternoon.
Steps lead up into the beautifully renovated Craftsman style Amici House.
Steps lead up into the small, renovated Craftsman style Amici House.
At the bottom of the front steps is a table with gifts. Caffè Convivio offers snacks and a few refreshing things to drink.
At the bottom of the front steps is a table with books and other gifts. Caffè Convivio offers snacks and a few refreshing things to drink.
Chairs and tables in front of Amici House provide a pleasant, shady place to relax on a sunny day.
Chairs and tables in front of Amici House provide a pleasant, shady place to relax on a sunny day.
This kinetic fish sculpture is popular with kids.
This kinetic fish sculpture is popular with kids.
After stepping into the small Amici House, I turned around and took a photo of old fishing artifacts above the door.
After stepping into the Amici House, I turned around and took a photo of old fishing artifacts above the door.
Photo into a large mirror on one wall provides a glimpse of the small museum-like interior.
Photo into a large mirror on one wall provides a glimpse of the small museum-like interior.
The walls inside the Amici House are full of historical photos and information concerning Little Italy, once center of a thriving tuna fishing industry.
The walls inside the Amici House are full of historical photos and information concerning Little Italy, once center of a thriving tuna fishing industry.
Posters, old photos and works of art with an Italian theme appear on all sides. I see Frank Sinatra.
Posters, old photos and works of art with an Italian theme appear on all sides. I see Frank Sinatra.
This small exhibition of art features work by sports fan and artist Christopher Paluso.
This small exhibition of art features work by sports fan and artist Christopher Paluso.
Examples of work by accomplished Italian American artist Christopher Paluso.
Examples of work by accomplished Italian American artist Christopher Paluso.
In a wooden cabinet I spied colorful gifts and crafts imported from Italy.
In a wooden cabinet I saw colorful glassware and crafts imported from Italy.
Painting of John D'Acquisto, Italian American baseball player who played four years with the San Diego Padres.
Painting of John D’Acquisto, Italian American baseball pitcher who played four years with the San Diego Padres.
Little Italy has a rich history, including many generations of families that still thrive in the community today.
Little Italy has a rich history, including many generations of families that still thrive in the community today.
I'm shown a rendering of a proposed, much larger cultural center that might be built by The Convivio Society elsewhere in Little Italy.
I’m shown a rendering of a proposed, much larger cultural center that might be built by The Convivio Society in the future.
Meanwhile, the Amici House is a repository of cherished memories for a lively and welcoming San Diego neighborhood.
Meanwhile, the Amici House holds (and produces) cherished memories for a lively San Diego neighborhood.

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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Before the Horizon, Beyond the Sea.

A colorful new mural decorates the AV8 Apartments in Little Italy.
A colorful new mural decorates the AV8 Apartments in Little Italy.

A large, very colorful mural has appeared in Little Italy! You can find it on the east wall of the brand new AV8 Aparments, overlooking a small parking lot. The public art is titled Before the Horizon, Beyond the Sea.

Artists David Leavitt and David Torres of CYRCLE created the mural, which honors the unique history of Little Italy–its many Italian and Portuguese tuna fishermen and their families, and the presence of an aviation factory years ago at this location.

Words in the mural trail an airplane, up there in the sky like the many commercial airliners today that fly over Little Italy as they approach San Diego International Airport. PRIMA DELL’ORIZZONTE is Italian for BEFORE THE HORIZON, and ALÉM DA COSTA is Portuguese for BEYOND THE COAST.

Before the Horizon, Beyond the Sea, a 2018 mural by David Leavitt and David Torres, celebrates the unique history of Little Italy.
Before the Horizon, Beyond the Sea, a 2018 mural by David Leavitt and David Torres of CYRCLE, celebrates the unique history of Little Italy.

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!

Some humorous photos in Little Italy!

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.

I was chuckling this morning as I walked through Little Italy.

Here are half a dozen humorous photos!

A friendly attendant stands by in a window of Little Italy's Loading Dock.
A friendly attendant stands by in a window of Little Italy’s Loading Dock.
Peculiar figure above the front windows of Architectural Salvage.
Whimsical figure above the front windows of Architectural Salvage.
Glittery merchandise like a pot of gold in the window of Blick Art Materials.
Glittery merchandise like a pot of gold in the window of Blick Art Materials.
Two neighbors have a friendly oink over their fence.
Two neighbors have a friendly oink over the fence.
There are many bars in Little Italy. There is also a Doggie Bar.
There are many bars in Little Italy. There is also a Doggie Bar.

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 silvery, sparkling tree in Little Italy.

Stand in certain spots on the North Embarcadero, look east toward Little Italy, and your eyes might be dazzled by a sparkling tree on a large wall.

The glittery abstract tree decorates the west side of the Broadstone Little Italy building, near the corner of Grape Street and California Street. The branches of the mirror mosaic rise above train and trolley tracks. As the sun descends toward San Diego Bay, the silvery tree really shimmers and shines.

I’ve learned that the artist’s name is Stephanie Clair and that her piece is called The Shimmer Tree!

The Shimmer Tree, public art in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood by Stephanie Clair.
The Shimmer Tree, public art in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood by Stephanie Clair.

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!

More fun artwork discovered in Little Italy!

Cool sunglasses reflect images from Little Italy.
Cool sunglasses reflect images from Little Italy.

Early yesterday morning I enjoyed a long walk through the streets of Little Italy. I discovered some fun artwork that I hadn’t previously photographed!

An owl watches over India Street.
An owl watches over India Street.
Devils roll some very tempting donuts.
Devils roll some very tempting donuts.
A sculpted cherub balances a potted plant atop its head.
A sculpted cherub balances a potted plant atop its head.
A half-painted dumpster.
A spray painted dumpster.
Awesome street art on one corner of a Little Italy building.
Awesome street art on one corner of a Little Italy building.
The San Diego Trolley has arrived in dynamic Lil Italy!
It appears the San Diego Trolley has arrived in dynamic Lil Italy!

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!