Bless The Healers in Golden Hill.

A large, bold mural in San Diego’s Golden Hill neighborhood shows a praying nurse and reads: Essential – Bless The Healers. It can be seen on the side of a building on the southwest corner of 30th Street and B Street.

I discovered the mural yesterday. I hadn’t walked this way in quite a long time. Given the message, I suppose the mural was created during the COVID-19 pandemic. But I don’t know exactly when it was painted, or by whom. Leave a comment if you know!

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Mural in San Ysidro encourages vaccination!

A mural full of whimsy decorates a fence at the north end of San Ysidro’s Cultural Corridor. Painted by local artist Gerardo Meza (@mezarte), the colorful street art encourages residents to become vaccinated against COVID-19!

I walked up the Cultural Corridor today and noticed a variety of new murals that were painted since my last visit. I’ll be sharing the rest of them in my next blog post, but this particular mural is so creative and visually fun I thought I’d post it first, to get things started.

Last time I passed this section of the fence–about a year and half ago–it featured Día de los Muertos artwork, also created by Meza. You can see a portion of it in the final two photos here.

As you can see, the San Diego Trolley passes very close by–just southeast of the Beyer Avenue station. The Cultural Corridor, with its many murals, runs south down Cypress Drive.

Casa Familiar, a nonprofit service and community development organization, reminds those passing by that Las Vacunas Salvan Vidas–Vaccination Saves Lives.
Composite creatures, seemingly emerged from mythology, capture the eye.

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!

Celebrating life at the 2022 Transplant Games!

A big celebration of life is taking place this week in San Diego. People from around the United States have gathered at the San Diego Convention Center for the 2022 Transplant Games!

Organ transplant recipients and living donors are participating in a variety of fun sports competitions. As you can see in the above photograph, cycling 5 km and 20 km road races along Harbor Drive were part of today’s activities!

Through this Wednesday, the public is welcome to visit the Transplant Games Village and Expo, located in Exhibit Halls A and B at the convention center. There you can watch some indoor competitions, such as basketball and table tennis. For a schedule of events, click here.

Many organizations that help those in the transplant community are also present.

I met authors who’ve written books describing the whole transplant process, making it all easier to understand. Other creators have produced videos featuring loved ones who were helped, or who helped to save a life by making an organ donation.

I saw organizations that create online community, gather inspirational stories, or offer practical guidance and mental health services. Medical providers and pharmaceutical companies also had tables. All of these smiling people were there to offer critical help.

Near the entrance to the Transplant Games Village and Expo, several beautiful quilts remembered loved one.

Everywhere I turned, I observed people full of happiness, gratitude and hope, and a strengthened love of life.

I came away feeling inspired.

Smiles from The Mended Hearts. The non-profit works to inspire hope and improve the quality of life of heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support, education, and advocacy.

Robert Horsey has written the book Gifted and is producing a video concerning the complex topic of organ donation. According to his website: Even the largest football stadium in the U.S. could not fit the number of people on the national transplant waiting list.

Many transplant stories pinned to a board, courtesy Balboa Nephrology and Evergreen Nephrology.

Author Brenda Cortez is a living kidney donor. She has written a series of Howl the Owl books making transplant and medical procedures less scary for kids.

The Joe 238 documentary celebrates the decision to donate. According to the website: Through multiple stories of grief and recovery, we learn about healthy grieving, what it means to be a donor family and plant the seed for an honest conversation about organ donation every family needs to have.

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!

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!

Star Trek’s tricorder inspires new medical technology!

An extraordinary panel was held this afternoon at the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego.

The Science and Science Fiction of Star Trek’s Tricorder brought together four panelists who are helping to lead our way into the future. It will be a future of almost unlimited possibility, replete with groundbreaking technologies what were barely imagined when the original television series was created.

Dr. Erik Viirre, who acted as moderator, is Professor of Neurosciences at UC San Diego; Dr. Paul E. Jacobs is Chairman and CEO of XCOM Labs, and former executive chairman of Qualcomm; Dr. Yvonne Cagle is a physician, professor, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, and former NASA astronaut; Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, the CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment and head of the Roddenberry Foundation, is the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett. He is also an executive producer on Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Prodigy and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

The first thing the audience learned is that all four panelists are fans of Star Trek! (Did you know that the former head of Qualcomm, many moons ago, was founding member of Star Fleet Club La Jolla?)

The next thing we learned was that Star Trek has inspired generations of scientists, engineers, inventors and visionaries. Many technological advances we know today were first conceived by Gene Roddenberry and the experts he turned to for advice when writing the show. He wanted Star Trek to be believable and largely based on science.

We were reminded how Star Trek’s communicator became the actual flip phone, and how today’s smartphones have essentially become Star Trek’s tricorder. Think about it!

The various multi-function tricorders carried by Spock, McCoy, and other Star Trek characters could provide a user with all sorts of useful information. A tricorder could be used to ascertain location and weather, or analyze the physical environment or obtain cultural information. A tricorder could be used as a universal translator. It could even be used to assess one’s medical condition.

In many ways, your smartphone does all of those things today!

We then learned our own future contains even greater possibilities.

The panelists explained how a smartphone, or handheld mobile device, used by an ordinary person, could become a practical health tool. For example, such a medical “tricorder” could analyze the sound of irregular breathing or a cough and determine a likely medical condition or disease. And such a device, by detecting signals or other data from the user’s body, could provide a warning that a stroke or heart attack is imminent.

Projects like that are underway today!

Five years ago, The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE was a $10 million global competition to incentivize the development of innovative technologies capable of accurately diagnosing a set of 13 medical conditions independent of a healthcare professional or facility, ability to continuously measure 5 vital signs, and have a positive consumer experience. Read more about it here.

The co-winning Canadian team, CloudDX, propelled by their Tricorder XPRIZE participation, has gone on to commercialize remote, connected patient monitoring hardware and software that anyone can easily use at home!

And that’s just the beginning.

On the International Space Station today, 250 miles above Earth, astronauts wear a Smart Shirt that senses body temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen, EKG, and even the activity of heart valves!

Can you imagine a virtual reality doctor’s visit in your future? (Oh, wait. Star Trek envisioned this already. USS Voyager’s Emergency Medical Holographic Doctor.) Advances in artificial intelligence and tele-medicine have just barely begun.

(And yes, virtual reality was envisioned many decades ago. It was the basis for many tangled plots on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The holodeck!)

Those who sat listening to this extraordinary Comic-Con Museum panel learned all of this, and more. We saw that, in the hands of thoughtful people who desire positive, healthy outcomes, our technological future can be very bright, indeed.

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 park designed for healing in La Mesa.

Briercrest Park in La Mesa was designed for healing.

The tranquil, beautiful park is located adjacent to the Herrick Community Health Library, and near many medical office buildings in La Mesa, not to mention Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

Briercrest Park, at 9001 Wakarusa Street, was purposely designed to be wheelchair friendly. Paths winding beneath shady sycamores and oaks lead to benches that accommodate those in wheelchairs. A special stone alcove, which you can see in my photographs, was specially constructed for this purpose.

It has been demonstrated that being outside in nature promotes healing. I know that, for me, fresh air and sunshine produces a greater sense of well-being.

Nature was an important element in the design of this park. There are flowers, gentle bridges over still water, and ample opportunity for easy exploration or quiet meditation. There is also stunning public artwork at every turn.

A mosaic butterfly at one entrance symbolizes transformation and renewal. It’s placement on the pathway was intentional. The butterfly along with other park mosaics (including a gorgeous labyrinth) were designed by renowned artist James Hubbell, along with his award-winning architect son, Drew.

I learned all of this today as I toured the park during the 2022 San Diego Architectural Foundation’s annual Open House event. My next blog post will detail what I learned about the amazing mosaics, plus other unique aspects of Briercrest Park.

If I lived nearby, I would walk through this park often. To help soothe my small day-to-day hurts. To feel whole.

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!

History and the Hearne Surgical Hospital Building.

I often walk past the old Hearne Surgical Hospital Building in downtown San Diego. It stands near the corner of Fourth Avenue and Ash Street.

A plaque by the door indicates the building is Historical Site No. 115, and that it was designed by the Quayle Brothers and built in 1906.

But until a few minutes ago that’s all I knew.

With the help of Google, I found some fascinating history concerning the building!

Part of a book titled Hearne History describes Dr. Joseph Carter Hearne’s medical practice in San Diego. The following information is transcribed here.

The doctor located in San Diego, Cal., Dec., 1891, where he soon took his place at the head of the medical fraternity. Indeed it is not too much to say that he is well recognized as one of the leading, if not the leading, surgeon of Southern California. Soon after his arrival at San Diego he was appointed local surgeon to the Southern California railway

On March 8, 1906, the doctor completed and opened for the use of his own patients a Private Surgical Hospital, which in appointment and equipment is acknowledged to be equaled by none. Surgeons connected with the foreign battle ships visiting the harbor of San Diego are loud in its praise and say that there is no hospital abroad, public or private, that equals it. It has accommodations for twenty-five patients and is fully equipped.

So, apparently, the building you see in my photographs was, in its day, one of the most impressive hospitals to be found anywhere!

It is now an apartment building.

The Quayle Brothers architects, who designed the Hearne Surgical Hospital Building, were responsible for other important structures in San Diego, including the 1928 North Park Theatre and the 1939 San Diego Police Department Headquarters. They are probably best remembered as the designers of San Diego’s original City Stadium, which was built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Standing beside San Diego High School, it was later renamed Balboa Stadium.

If you’d like to see photos of the very handsome Alfred Haines House in Golden Hill, which the Quayle Brothers also designed, check out a past blog post 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!

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!

How kids in hospitals become superheroes!

Young patients in the hospital or an outpatient setting have the opportunity to become superheroes!

Kids can gain amazing superpowers (and smiles) with the help of the Healing Little Heroes Foundation!

The HLH Foundation brings encouragement, happiness and hope to sick and disabled children, especially those with cancer. How? By helping kids play the role of superhero!

I met Dr. Justin Wu today. He’s co-founder of the HLH Foundation. We met at the Fandom Invasion event today in Escondido. He brought three cool cars along which kids love, including Lightning McQueen from the animated movie Cars!

Justin is an unselfish, enthusiastic guy who is changing people’s lives–and the world–for the better.

Want to learn more? Click 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!

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!