Pacific Beach’s faithful pier dog.

Walk down the boardwalk in Pacific Beach and you might notice a corroded plaque mounted near the office door of the Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages.

The plaque remembers Sinjin, the pier dog.

On the ground beside the door, water and dog treats are offered In Memory Of Sinjin, Bonita, and Mr. Blue.


07/01/91 – 01/10/06


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 missed Red Shoe Day? Donate online!

It’s Red Shoe Day in San Diego!

Volunteers hanging out at busy intersections this morning were collecting donations for the Ronald McDonald House, which helps sick kids who are being treated at local hospitals, providing a nearby place for their families to stay!

Did you miss an opportunity to place some money in a red shoe this morning? Well, you can donate online. Do it here!

Thank you!

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!

Niki and Mingei and fantastic, exuberant creativity!

Are the above chairs awesome or what? I bet you’d like to sit in one!

When I visited the Mingei International Museum last weekend, I set my astonished eyes on this furniture. I then admired other fantastic furnishings, all designed by world-renowned French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle!

The many sculptures she created during her lifetime are widely known. But chairs and tables and vases and mirrors? Yes!

You’ll discover all sorts of crazily colorful objects when you visit the Niki and Mingei exhibition at the Mingei International Museum!

You’ll see an exuberant, irrepressible love of life.

Did I mention Niki became well known for her sculptures?

She has many around San Diego!

Should you walk outside the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, you’ll likely see two of her sculptures: Nikigator and Poet and Muse. And during your travels you might observe her sculptures at Waterfront Park, or UC San Diego, or by the San Diego Convention Center, or at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. If you haven’t stepped into Queen Califia’s Magical Circle at Kit Carson Park, you’re missing a mind-blowing, incredible experience.

Niki de Saint Phalle was closely connected with San Diego and the Mingei International Museum. She spent the later years of her life in La Jolla.

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Become an advocate for Balboa Park!

Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.

Do you love Balboa Park?

Would you like to support San Diego’s beautiful, amazing crown jewel, PLUS get exclusive Balboa Park insider emails, learn about volunteer opportunities, enjoy picnic meet ups, AND get a free Forever Balboa Park enamel pin?

Then become an official advocate of Balboa Park. It’s free!

Click here to sign up!

Or, if you’d like, you can support Balboa Park financially with a sustaining membership.

Your gift allows Forever Balboa Park to grow our robust volunteer corps, including Garden Stewards, Park Ambassadors, Tree Stewards, Info Desk Volunteers…revitalize, restore and enhance Balboa Park’s historic gardens, landscapes and public spaces towards best in class conditions…enables us to provide a world-class visitor experience through creative placemaking, maps, guides, tours, information, and critical amenities in the House of Hospitality…

I signed up to be an advocate. Will you join me?

Learn all about the program 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!

The powerful Holocaust exhibit in Chula Vista.

It is essential, to maintain our humanity, that we remember the Holocaust, and the terrifying inhumanity of a time and place when six million ordinary people were systematically murdered.

RUTH Remember Us The Holocaust is an extremely powerful exhibit now on display in Chula Vista. It occupies a corner of the Chula Vista Civic Center Library–a quiet, thoughtful space set aside for the Chula Vista Heritage Museum.

Display cases filled with photographs remember the experiences of Holocaust survivors who arrived in the South Bay with important stories to tell and broken lives to renew. One survivor, in particular, is highlighted: Ruth Sax. As a girl, she lived the horror of Jewish persecution by the Nazis. Ruth would end up in three different concentration camps including Auschwitz.

Those who wish to learn from history will see how Nazis in pre-World War II Germany began with anti-Jewish propaganda and discrimination, and ended with ghettos, concentration camps and extermination centers.

“The smell, deaths, lice, beatings, isolation, tattoos, gassings, cremations, humiliations . . . and the starving, shaving, hiding, markings, threats . . . this was the Holocaust. I felt dead inside . . .” These words were written by Ursula Israelski.

Many of the Holocaust survivors who arrived in San Diego’s South Bay brought with them similar memories. And many, appreciative to be in a free country, were able to live normal lives again–to the extent normal is possible after such life changing experiences.

According to one graphic in a display case, the mission of this exhibit is to shine “a light on the darkness of the Holocaust by creating awareness so that we are guided by leadership, respect, hope and that our history teaches love is stronger than hate and kindness is stronger than power.”

Come and see it with your own eyes.

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!

Love is an Action in San Ysidro!

A newly opened art exhibit in San Ysidro provides hope and inspiration in these difficult times. It’s titled Love is an Action – Amor en los Tiempos de Pandemia (Love in Pandemic Times).

The exhibition features works by regional artists. Positive themes are plentiful, including compassion, acceptance, hope and healing. Most of the artwork concerns female experience and empowerment.

Love is an Action is the 15th Día de la Mujer Art Exhibition at Casa Familiar’s The FRONT Arte & Cultura museum.

I was struck by the power of many of these pieces. They are full of human feeling and authenticity. You can sense how many artists were uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which threw us all into isolation and uncertainty.

You can also clearly see that art can help us through life’s difficulties–to remind us of what is good and what is important–to make us feel alive once again.

This is just a small sample of what you’ll see…

Postcards that visitors can write a message of kindness or encouragement upon. They will be sent anonymously when the exhibition ends.
Breakfast, 2021, Lourdes Araiza. Photograph mounted on wood. Image of Mom eating breakfast, whose loving smile full of gratitude was a blessing.
Amor a lo Natural, 2020, Paola Segura. Oil on canvas. Pride and power, struggle and frustration are often depicted through the artist’s pieces.
The Graduate, 2022, Monica Nunez Aragon. Acrylic.
Tu Sola Alondra, 2022, Alondra Zamora. Acrylic on canvas. The artist’s love letter to her culture as a Mexicana.
Prayer, 2022, Betty Bangs. Acrylic on canvas.
Healing, 2020, Veronica Aranda. Mixed media on canvas. An image that came to the artist of a world healing without pollution.
Re-Member Her site specific installation by Collectivo XoQUE. Imagery of Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui explores women living on the border, and seeks to “create intimacy in the attempt to pick up the fragments of our dismembered womanhood and reconstitute ourselves in harmony with nature, body and soul, and the mind and spirit.”
Braiding a Message of Love.

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!

Signs of Valentine’s Day in San Diego!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!

During the past week or two, I’ve noticed signs around San Diego that the big day for lovers is almost here.

I took these photographs while walking in several San Diego neighborhoods.

(By the way, if you’re visiting Balboa Park today and would like to order a custom card created by a local artist, the next photo was taken in front of Gallery 23 in Spanish Village Art Center.)


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 special message from Santa Claus for San Diego!

I’ve just been contacted by Santa Claus. He has an important message for all of San Diego!

Merry Christmas, San Diego.

I hope you have a safe and dry Christmas Day with family and loved ones. Omicron is worse than getting coal in your stocking. Get vaccinated and wear a mask.

Santa hopes the pandemic will end and we all can return to “December Nights in the Park” next year.

Santa held his COVID-19 Vaccination Card during 2021 “Taste of December Nights.” (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
After “Taste of December Nights,” Santa went to visit the Nativity scenes at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
A week later, a well-dressed Chihuahua sporting a stylish Mohawk posed with Santa at Harry’s Coffee Shop in La Jolla. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
This cute little girl came to visit Santa while he was eating breakfast at Harry’s. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
… and this little guy was impressed with Santa’s baseball card. We want the Padres to win the World Series in 2022. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)

Be good to one another. Have fun. Laugh and be joyous, but also remember the meaning of the season.

Your friend,

Santa Claus

My Wish For You beckons in Imperial Beach.

Travel down Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach with perceptive eyes and you might discover My Wish For You. The long mural on an alley wall is located just west of Florida Street. It was created by Imperial Beach artist Michelle Lubin and installed in 2018.

According to a sign at the mural, My Wish For You was inspired by the love of the artist’s daughter for all things, including butterflies, ladybugs, dandelions, flowers, sticks, leaves and rocks. Do you see and love these things, too?

These simple things, so easily taken for granted, are among the infinite wonders all around us.

The beautiful mural is a project of the Imperial Beach Arts Bureau.

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An electric heart mural in Imperial Beach.

A couple months ago a beautiful new mural was painted on a large wall in Imperial Beach. The artist is Carly Ealey. Her brilliant art can be found all over San Diego.

The title of this amazing mural is Grounding Frequency. It appears to me its message concerns an “electrical” connection between people–the connection of love and kindness. The artwork is part of the nationwide City of Kindness movement.

If you’d like to see it for yourself, this spray painted mural with heart is near the corner of Palm Avenue and Florence Street. You can’t miss 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!

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