A legacy honored at Mission Bay.

A plaque by the Mission Bay boardwalk honors the legacy of a man who was an inspiration to many.

Ken “SAWMAN” Sawyer III is remembered as one who lived life to the fullest and left us a legacy of laughter, love and compassion…

I noticed this memorial plaque last weekend while walking near the boat rental dock of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort.

May we all be remembered for having such a positive influence.

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!

Ocean Beach memorial to Shoeshine Willie.

A memorial to a beloved Ocean Beach man now appears on the small building where he repaired and polished shoes for decades. William L. Washington “Shoeshine Willie” passed away early this year. The memorial contains two short poems written by Aaron Bryant.

Years ago I remember seeing Shoeshine Willie working in his modest shed next a parking lot and Ocean Beach bus stop. At the time I thought it was unusual for a shoeshiner to be active in a day and age when the profession has all but disappeared. I now wish I had spoken to him.

If you’d like to see this touching memorial, head over to the corner of Newport Avenue and Cable Street. I noticed it during my last walk in OB.

Here’s an article concerning William Washington and what he meant to the community.

…He was Ocean Beach’s bright Shining light…He’s still here in spirit…

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!

Pandemic art: Paintings from the Confinement.

The COVID-19 pandemic was difficult for all of us. Tragically, many would not live through it.

We all remember the long days of uncertainty, fear, loneliness, forced isolation.

If you head to Balboa Park today, you need to stop by the San Diego Museum of Art to experience Paintings from the Confinement. Today is the final day of this emotionally moving exhibition.

I viewed the small egg tempera paintings, created by San Diego artist Marianela de la Hoz, at the urging of my museum docent friend Catherine.

The images are symbolic, spare, often grim. There is darkness. There are claustrophobic spaces. There is flat human life on small cold screens. But there are a few rays of hope beyond the confining walls. Thank goodness those walls have now mostly come down.

The artist found it hard to honestly paint her many feelings. In particular, it was very hard to portray death.

In her statement, Marianela de la Hoz explains the only treasures I have are my loved ones, family, friends, and art; everything else remained as non-essential.

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 Vintage Trolley: A Labor of Love.

Last weekend I rode the San Diego Trolley’s old PCC streetcar 530. I traveled a few stops on the Vintage Trolley’s downtown Silver Line loop.

As I looked about the interior of the restored 1940’s streetcar, I noticed a sign that I’d never seen before. Several paragraphs pay tribute to Ed Lindstrom, who was instrumental in restoring the Vintage Trolley vehicles operated by MTS.

Ed worked as a Light Rail Vehicle Project Coordinator and Electromechanic. Restoring the two streetcars that now run on the Silver Line–cars 529 and 530–required parts that are extremely difficult to find. According to the sign, Ed relentlessly sought the necessary parts from other transit agencies, collectors and museums. With some harder-to-find components, Ed got creative. He reverse-engineered and produced them specifically for the project!

To learn more about the PCC streetcar restoration, and see photos of how the old cars once looked, click here!

If you ever ride one of these nostalgic streetcars on a weekend, you can thank Ed and many others who’ve worked countless hours making a beautiful dream come true.

A LABOR OF LOVE.

Operation of the vintage streetcars in San Diego…began as a dream of Harry Mathis… A cadre of volunteers, led by our restoration manager, Dave Slater, has contributed more than 11,000 man hours of work on our fleet of PCC’s…

As a resident of downtown San Diego who loves riding the Vintage Trolley cars, 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!

Transplant Games come to San Diego!

The 2022 Transplant Games are being held this week in San Diego!

A big parade was held for participants this morning along Harbor Drive. (Which I just missed!)

This evening the Opening Ceremony will be held at the San Diego Convention Center.

As their website explains: Every two years the Transplant Games of America gathers together thousands of transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, individuals on the waiting list, caregivers, transplant professionals, supporters and spectators for the world’s largest celebration of life.

Transplant recipients and donors will compete in many different sporting events through this Wednesday. Most of the competition will be at the Convention Center. It will also be the location of the Transplant Games of America Village, and according to the Schedule of Events, the public is welcome!

I think I’ll go tomorrow. I’d like to watch a bicycling competition that will be held Sunday morning at Embarcadero Marina Park South, just behind the Convention Center.

Would you like to become involved–perhaps by becoming an organ donor yourself? Check out the 2022 Transplant Games web page 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!

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.

Sinjin

07/01/91 – 01/10/06

LOYAL COMPANION, KNOWN BY MANY, FRIEND TO ALL, FAITHFUL PIER DOG, A TRUE BEST FRIEND YOU ARE FAMILY AND WILL BE MISSED AND LOVED ALWAYS.

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.

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!

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!