Scenes of life at Ruocco Park.

Walking very slowly, rhythmically, toward Ruocco Park, playing bagpipes.
A man walks along slowly, rhythmically, playing bagpipes.

Just before sunset I found myself at Ruocco Park, between the USS Midway and Seaport Village. Many were out in the warm air enjoying life. I saw people talking, laughing, creating music, walking, skating, sitting, catching a ball on the grass . . .

People at a picnic table and on the grass at Ruocco Park.
People at a picnic table and on the grass at Ruocco Park.
Couple rolls down the Embarcadero on inline skates and a skateboard.
Couple rolls down the Embarcadero on inline skates and a skateboard.
Kid looks with yearning at an ice cream seller's cart.
Kid looks with yearning at an ice cream seller’s cart.
Folks talk as the sun approaches the horizon.
Folks quietly talk as the sun approaches the horizon.
A family walks along and gazes out at a sunlit ship.
A family walks along and gazes out at a sunlit ship.
A slow walk along San Diego Bay at Ruocco Park.
A slow walk along San Diego Bay at Ruocco Park.
A couple sits on a bench inside a work of public art, The Riparium, in a corner of Ruocco Park.
A couple sits on a bench inside a work of public art, The Riparium, in a corner of Ruocco Park.

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 Steven Universe music video with Estelle!

Wow! I just watched an amazing performance!

A fun, upbeat music video featuring Estelle was videotaped this afternoon in San Diego during 2017 Comic-Con! And hundreds of super enthusiastic people–young and old–came out to sing along!

Many in the crowd dressed like their favorite Steven Universe characters or held up signs containing messages of optimism and love!

The crowd sang along and enjoyed every second of it. I’m still feeling elated as I write this blog! Even though I’ve never watched a single episode of Steven Universe or heard the song before.

Estelle is a Grammy-award winning musician. She also voices the character Garnet in Cartoon Network’s super popular animated TV show. It looks to me like Steven Universe rocks!

The guy in charge of the production announced to the crowd that the video, titled Stronger Than You, should appear on Cartoon Network in a couple days.

Let me share a few photos…

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!

Combat veterans create art to bring hope.

A unique work of urban art on a car wash in Normal Heights speaks to the struggles of combat veterans.
A unique work of urban art on a car wash in Normal Heights. It speaks to the struggles of combat veterans.

Painful. Hopeful.

Those two words might describe some artwork on the side of a car wash in Normal Heights. You can find this thought-provoking mural near the corner of 33rd Street and Adams Avenue.

A nearby plaque invites curious eyes. Thank you for your service, it reads.

The mural is the work of seven post-911 combat veterans. A project of Combat Arts San Diego, it helps to spread awareness about the therapeutic benefit of creating art. And it shows the unconditional love that is provided by service dogs.

Creating art helps us to sort through conflicting thoughts and emotions. Art is an outlet for pent up pain. Art connects people. Art stirs the heart. Art provides meaning. Art offers hope.

This mural was created by seven combat veterans working with Combat Arts San Diego. Art-making benefits those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This mural was created by seven combat veterans working with Combat Arts San Diego. Art-making benefits those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Art over fear.
Art over fear.
A warrior. A jumble of emotions. Isolation. A true best friend. Hope.
A warrior. A jumble of emotions. Isolation. A true best friend. Hope.

UPDATE!

Wow! Shortly after posting this I received additional info concerning this great project and a group photograph of those responsible!

I learned:

“There are hidden things in the art piece. If you look hard enough you can see Army written and Navy and others… If you look at ART in the middle on the left you will see from the A…rmy attached to it. Then on the right towards the bottom you will see the N in friends…you will see Navy… In (the word) Isolation – the A..ir Force is on the A. Just below the O in Isolation you will see some letters D E S P..if you look close at the S you will see a U in the bottom of the S and then the MC on the other side of the S. Look close.”

I also learned that the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution raised funds for the project from their National Society.

The following photo includes Elizabeth Washburn, the leader of Combat Arts, two Vets who worked on the mural, and a few smiling local members of the D.A.R.

Group picture with Artists, Elizabeth, and San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution members.
Group picture with artists, Elizabeth Washburn, and San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution members. Photo provided by Kathleen Winchester.

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!

Fill a red shoe online for Ronald McDonald House!

Your online gift to Ronald McDonald House will sponsor a meal, buy supplies for a student, support a night's stay for a family with a hospitalized child.
Your online gift to Ronald McDonald House will sponsor a meal, buy supplies for a student, or support a night’s stay for a family with a hospitalized child.

Today was Red Shoe Day. If you drove about San Diego, you might have seen smiling, unselfish people holding up big Ronald McDonald shoes at major intersections. Perhaps you were in traffic and didn’t have a chance to make a charitable donation.

Well, here’s your opportunity. Make your donation online (or learn about Ronald McDonald House) by clicking here!

Help support Ronald McDonald House. Fill the red shoe with an online donation!
Help support Ronald McDonald House. Fill the red shoe with an online donation!

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

Family prevents suicide with art, walking and love.

The Kennedy family is working hard to prevent suicide and brighten the world.
The Kennedy family is working hard to prevent suicide and brighten the world.

I was deeply moved yesterday. I met a family who is working for suicide prevention with beautiful art, walking and love. Their collective efforts were on display at the House of the Philippines lawn program in Balboa Park. (I posted photos of folk dancing at the event here.)

Elie Kennedy paints smooth rocks that she finds on a beach that her son Anthony loved. She paints those rocks on behalf of her son, who she lost to suicide in 2015. Her healing rocks radiate love. Money that she raises goes to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She sometimes uses the hashtag #healingrocksforanthony.

The Kennedy family also raises funds for the foundation by participating in the San Diego Out of the Darkness Community Walk. You can walk, too. Such walks take place all around the United States. If you’d like, you can learn more or register for a walk here.

Positive energy flows from each member of this family. It all comes from the heart. Sin Kennedy presses leaves and creates a range of colorful artwork. Check out her Instagram page here.

Please learn more by clicking the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. With treatment and knowledge many lives can be saved. The organization also helps those afflicted with a loss, advocates for suicide prevention, and funds scientific research to prevent future suicides.

Every single life is precious.

A story about Elie's son. Painful energy is now used to create something beautiful and positive.
A story about Elie’s son. Painful energy is now used to create something beautiful and positive.
A sample of the beauty that is created.
A sample of the beauty that is created.
Sin Kennedy is also an artist.
Sin Kennedy is also an artist.
Life is precious. Art reminds us of much that is good.
Art reminds us that much in life is good.

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

Young champions fight childhood cancer!

A huge crowd of families and young heroes converged on Embarcadero Marina Park North for the 2017 Celebration of Champions!
Families, generous supporters, and many young heroes converged on Embarcadero Marina Park North this morning for the 2017 Celebration of Champions!

During my walk along the Embarcadero this morning, I encountered a legion of amazing young heroes! Courageous children who are fighting cancer–and those who have defeated cancer–were gathering with their families for the 2017 Celebration of Champions!

I learned the emotionally moving event is in its 22nd year.  It features young cancer battlers passing a simulated torch, from one hand to the next, as participants run a very short distance. Money raised supports Rady Children’s Hospital’s social, psychological and emotional support programs.

Parents of brave children who lost their battle with cancer also attend the event, in a tribute to loved ones whose smiles and hopeful hearts were in this world too briefly.

Please visit the Celebration of Champions website to learn more–and perhaps provide helping a hand.

Heading to the annual event, which honors young people who fight and have fought childhood cancer.
Folks head to the annual Celebration of Champions event, which honors young people who are fighting and have fought childhood cancer.
A youthful honor guard arrives before the ceremonies begin.
A youthful honor guard arrives before the ceremonies begin.
Later in the day, many young cancer-fighting champions will carry a simulated torch around the grassy park at the edge of beautiful San Diego Bay.
I learned that later in the day, many young cancer-fighting champions would carry a simulated torch around the grassy park at the edge of beautiful San Diego Bay.
Some very young children were excited to be greeted by princesses!
Some very young children were excited to be greeted by princesses!
Young champions would hand off a torch as they completed running a small length of the park's looping walkway.
Young champions would hand off a simulated torch once they finished running a short length of the park’s looping walkway.
Go Champions!
Go Champions!

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

Photos of Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway.

A statue of Tony Gwynn was dedicated last Tuesday at Lake Poway, near the place he called home.
A statue of Tony Gwynn was dedicated last Tuesday at Lake Poway, not far from the place where he lived.

This morning I had to visit the new Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway. It was unveiled and dedicated last Tuesday.

I had to fill my eyes once again with that smile, imagine his laugh, remember his swing of the bat.

I never met Tony, but he touched my life, and the lives of countless others.

He worked hard.  He gave much.  He loved everybody.

He made the world much better.

Someone in a Gwynn San Diego Padres jersey sits by the softball field at Lake Poway, not far from the statue.
Someone in a Gwynn San Diego Padres jersey sits by the softball field at Lake Poway, not far from the statue.
The beautiful bronze sculpture celebrates one of the greatest hitters in MLB baseball. Gwynn doffs his cap while carrying his daughter Anisha.
The beautiful bronze sculpture celebrates one of the greatest hitters off all time in Major League Baseball. Gwynn doffs his cap while carrying his daughter Anisha.
Plaque near the statue. Tony Gwynn was known as Mr. Padre. His humanitarian spirit was felt around Poway, the place he called home. His smile and laugh touched many around the world.
Plaque near the statue. Tony Gwynn was known as Mr. Padre. His humanitarian spirit was felt around Poway, the place he called home. His smile and laugh touched many around the world.
Statue of Tony Gwynn in a beautiful park, where his children played.
Statue of Tony Gwynn in a beautiful park, where his children played.
Flowers and a heart with the word LOVE at Tony's feet.
Flowers and a heart with the word LOVE at Tony’s feet.
Tony Gwynn's signature greets those who visit the sculpture.
Tony Gwynn’s autograph greets those who visit the sculpture.
This is how we should live.
This is how we should live.

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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