Two special trees at Alvarado Hospital.

I had to wait a few minutes at the Alvarado trolley station this afternoon, so I walked across the street to look at some brilliantly shining green trees.

The beautiful trees stand in front of Alvarado Hospital Medical Center. Each had a plaque at its base.

I read the words..

Anthony J. Wapnick, M.D. - Dedicated and caring physician - He will never be replaced in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.
Anthony J. Wapnick, M.D. – Dedicated and caring physician – He will never be replaced in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.
Judy Cherry - Microbiologist - A special friend and colleague.
Judy Cherry – Microbiologist – A special friend and colleague.

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!

Chalk art supports Rady Children’s Hospital.

Look at the beautiful chalk art that I spotted this morning! It was created a day or two ago on Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp by local artist Cecelia Linayao, whose work you’ve seen in many posts on my blog.

I learned upon reading words at my feet that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and that the artwork’s purpose is to support Rady Children’s Hospital. Rady is where children throughout San Diego go to be treated by world-class doctors with the most advanced medicine.

If you are inspired by the story of two young brothers told by this chalk art, then please visit the Rady Children’s Hospital donation page by clicking here. You can also volunteer!

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!

Standing woman sculpture at UC San Diego.

There’s an unusual sculpture at UC San Diego rising high in the air between the Medical Teaching Facility and the Basic Sciences Building. I say it’s unusual because it doesn’t feature a “usual” depiction of the human form and I’m not sure how it affects me.

The piece’s title is Standing, and its creator is artist Kiki Smith. The public art was added to UCSD’s Stuart Collection in 1998.

Gazing up at the small, vulnerable figure you’ll notice what appear to be nails sticking out from her upper body. It looks like an example of a surgical procedure in a medical textbook. It makes her look like a passive, punctured thing, not a vibrant human. The form appears tired, aged, fragile, resigned to her inescapable condition. It strikes me the sculpture depicts a confrontation with our human mortality. She stands atop a severed tree trunk. Her face seems to ask: Why me? When the fountain feature is on (it wasn’t when I walked by), water drips from her hands. I almost wonder if the dripping water makes one think of draining blood.

Yet, to me, the sculpture isn’t really that morbid. It’s simply seems a clear-eyed observation of the material human condition.

An interpretation from the website that describes the piece emphasizes certain dualities: “Cast from a live model, the female figure atop Standing calls forth thoughts of human strength and frailty, and both the power and the limits of medicine. Serene and ageless, she stands in a Madonna-like pose that is both vulnerable and generous. Ribbons of water – the source of life – flow from her hands into the rock-lined pond below, with a soothing, mellifluous sound.”

Perhaps my own interpretation is too bleak. It’s hard to see past those nails. They remind me of an earthworm dissection I performed using a square of cardboard and pins in high school. Perhaps if clear bright water was flowing from her hands my feelings would change.

If there is strength and generosity in this sculpture, it comes from within the form, from a place unseen–an organ those sharp painful nails cannot reach. And the water’s sound must be the gentle sound of present living. A sonorous whisper from a human standing.

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!

Amish in San Diego, postcards, and Mexico.

I learned something interesting yesterday.

I was downtown inside the Santa Fe Depot, waiting at the train station’s kiosk for my microwaved chicken burrito, when I noticed a stand containing postcards. I wondered, in this digital age of ubiquitous cell phone cameras, where anyone can instantly post photos to social media, who would buy postcards? I asked and received a surprising reply. Amish tourists love postcards!

Which makes sense. The Amish tend to live much more simple lives, remaining largely “in the past” and shunning many of the conveniences of modern technology. And it seems to me that in some respects this might be wise. Less distraction. More eye to eye human contact.

I’ve often wondered why I sometimes see Amish folk walking around downtown San Diego, gazing about in wonder at the tall buildings and hustle and bustle around them. It seems a very odd place for these people to be. One thinks of the Amish driving pony carts in the rural Midwest or Northeast, not walking about urban California in the extreme southwestern corner of the United States.

I was told by my friend at the kiosk that the Amish come to San Diego to seek medical treatments in Mexico. I did an internet search and found this page with some explanation.

I asked my friend what Amish “tourists” were like. He explained they tend to be very quiet, but if you initiate a conversation they are surprisingly friendly and open, and in many respects much like you or me.

Next time I see these plain-dressed folk walking about, I think I’ll smile and say hello.

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!

Help others! Join virtual Red Shoe Day online!

The 11th Annual Red Shoe Day is almost here! But this year it will be different. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the gathering of donations for Ronald McDonald House in San Diego will be entirely online!

Instead of plunking your spare change into a big red Ronald McDonald shoe held by a volunteer at a busy intersection, there’s going to be a virtual Red Shoe Day on June 4, 2020 that everyone can safely take part in and share online with others!

Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego, according to their mission statement: provides a “home-away-from-home” for families with children being treated for serious, often life-threatening conditions at local hospitals.

Put yourself in the shoes of a family with a seriously ill child and imagine how important this would be. You could spend much more time with your child as they undergo super scary medical treatment at a big, scary hospital. Read more about what Ronald McDonald House Charities does here.

And here is what you can do!

Click here and join this year’s virtual Red Shoe Day!

Recruit friends, coworkers and family members! Form a winning team!

Look at all the smiling volunteers I photographed in past years, before the coronavirus pandemic…

Click here to join Red Shoe Day and make a huge difference in people’s lives!

You’ll feel good, too!

Quarantine dreams and COVID-19 war posters.

Quarantine Dreams mural in La Jolla. When quarantined due to coronavirus, you can't travel, dine, date, surf, play sports, or even play outside with the dog. Hang in there!
Quarantine Dreams mural in La Jolla. When quarantined due to the novel coronavirus, you can’t travel, dine, date, surf, play sports, or even play catch outside with the dog. Hang in there!

The coronavirus pandemic is no laughing matter. But I cracked a smile when I discovered a gently humorous mural and amusing “war posters” pertaining to COVID-19 in La Jolla.

I spied the mural, titled Quarantine Dreams, at the entrance to an alley off Pearl Street. The artwork speaks for itself!

The posters, some of which were done in the distinctive World War II style, are on display in the windows of Copy Cove on Pearl Street. The posters offer helpful advice for fighting the invisible enemy, COVID-19. (I believe you can purchase the posters at this shop.)

Enjoy!

Don't hoard rolls! Eat less chili. Flatten the curve! Support our healthcare heroes. Don't be a burden. Don't do stupid sh*t.
Don’t hoard rolls! Eat less chili. Flatten the curve! Support our healthcare heroes. Don’t be a burden. Don’t do stupid sh*t.

Buy takeout. Touch your face, lose the race. The enemy win when you touch your face.
Buy takeout. Touch your face, lose the race. The enemy win when you touch your face.

A dirty phone is a danger zone! Damnit! Wash your hands. Victory at home starts with a good scrub!
A dirty phone is a danger zone! Damnit! Wash your hands. Victory at home starts with a good scrub!

Good fellows use elbows. Keep the nation fighting fit! Stay back, Jack! Use air fist bumps.
Good fellows use elbows. Keep the nation fighting fit! Stay back, Jack! Use air fist bumps.

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!

Have fun on Mission Bay for a good cause!

Today I learned that Susan G. Komen’s 19th Annual Row for the Cure is coming up on Sunday, October 27, 2019!

I can affirm after watching the Row for the Cure out on Mission Bay last year that this event is definitely fun! And money raised is used to fight breast cancer!

Any and all are welcome to participate. There are a variety of activities that you can enjoy, including kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. Or simply hang out on the grass or the sand and watch!

Learn the details by visiting the Susan G. Komen website here!

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

Help a fireman assist burn victims.

Did you miss the opportunity to drop a donation into a firefighter’s boot at a San Diego intersection this morning?

You can still help the Burn Institute educate the public about the danger of fire, and assist and provide care for the severely burned.

Donate online here!

Cowboys, the homeless, and 6000 neuroscientists.

The human world is complex. I suppose that’s due in large part to the contradictory impulses and plasticity of the human mind.

A big city like San Diego is filled with this often disconcerting complexity.

My walk around downtown today was a little more interesting than usual. Cowboys, symbols of rugged individualism and freedom, had gathered in the Gaslamp Quarter for the annual Fall Back Festival, an event that celebrates the Old West and early history of San Diego. Meanwhile, 6000 neuroscientists attending the big Society for Neuroscience conference at the convention center were sharing sidewalks with San Diego’s large homeless population.

Seeing that particular combination all together–cowboys, neuroscientists and homeless people–fired up a few billion neurons in my own mysterious brain. And stirred emotions.

So many human values, often in conflict.

Every so often a small work of fiction bubbles out of my brain.

If you enjoy reading, you might click Short Stories by Richard.

Rowing For the Cure on beautiful Mission Bay.

Early this morning I headed to Ski Beach Park, on Vacation Isle at the center of Mission Bay. I wanted to take photographs of a dramatic post-storm sunrise, and people out on the silver water rowing to cure breast cancer.

If you want to learn more about Susan G. Komen’s annual Row For the Cure event, and perhaps watch or participate next year, check out their website 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!