Firefighters descend pole outside fire station!

Yesterday I observed two firefighters sliding down a fire pole outside San Diego Fire-Rescue Station 44 in Mira Mesa.

Yes, I said outside!

Strangely, the two rapidly descending firefighters never reached the ground. Why? Because they’re life-size bronze figures and part of an extremely cool sculpture titled Firefighters at 44.

Firefighters at 44 debuted at the new fire station back in 2002. The monumental sculpture was created by artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson, whose work can be enjoyed all over San Diego.

(You can see more of their amazing sculptures by checking out certain old blog posts. To do that, 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!

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!

Fun street art along Black Mountain Road!

During my walk along a stretch of Black Mountain Road in Mira Mesa yesterday I came upon a lot of fun street art!

I found artwork both old and new. I found colorful works of imagination painted by many hands.

Why have we always needed art?

To connect with this great big world, and attempt with eyes and hands to more fully understand it?

To be engaged in the world? To feel productive and alive? To feel pleasure and a sense of personal accomplishment?

To search ourselves? Expand ourselves? Challenge ourselves? Express our desires?

To discover true things about life?

We have always needed art.
We have always needed art.
Electrical box painted with art that seems prehistoric.
Electrical box painted with art that seems prehistoric.
Street art that resembles a Rubik's Cube!
Street art that resembles a Rubik’s Cube!
A very colorful peacock.
A very colorful peacock.
Flowers in a vase.
Flowers in a vase.
Peace on a fence.
Peace on a fence.
Stay fresh.
Stay fresh.
A happy angel.
A happy angel.
Football player runs with the ball.
Football player runs with the ball.
Three parrots.
Three parrots.
Three colorful reptilian creatures.
Three colorful reptilian creatures.
A space station of the future.
A space station of the future.
An enchanted castle, perhaps.
An enchanted castle, perhaps.
Rocket on the gantry, or perhaps a futuristic building.
Rocket on the gantry, or perhaps a futuristic building.
Space monkey eats a banana!
Space monkey eats a banana!

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!

Walking by the Miramar College Vernal Pools.

Today I walked through a small section of Mira Mesa. I was on a mission to check out a cool sculpture I’d read about that stands in front of a fire station.

As I walked west along Hillery Drive from the Miramar College Transit Station, I observed what at first glance appeared like a scrubby vacant lot behind a fence. When I came to the corner of Hillery Drive and Black Mountain Road, a sign on the fence informed me that I was looking at an area of special environmental importance–a unique nature preserve!

I was walking right next to the Miramar College Vernal Pools.

Here’s a little information provided by three signs that I read:

This plot of land was originally leased to the Navy in 1931 and called Linda Vista Mesa Field, or Hourglass Field because of its distinctive shape. It was part of Camp Kearny, which was located on the site of the current Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. This field was used by the Army and Navy for dive bombing practice and emergency landings.

From 1957 to 1959, the field was used as a sports car racecourse, and from the 1970’s to 2008 what remained of the old runway was used for law enforcement training and nicknamed The Grinder.

The protected field now contains many seasonal vernal pools–a very rare type of wetland. Shallow vernal pools are wet during the rainy season–particularly in spring–then quickly turn to mud and dry out. Because of this unusual environment, a number of rare and endemic species live in vernal pool areas. In addition to teeming microscopic life and small crustaceans like the fairy shrimp, there are frogs, snakes, birds and mammals. More than 200 plant species thrive in and around vernal pools, including annual wildflowers.

One sign indicates the Miramar College Vernal Pools’ interpretive trails are open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 10:30 pm. Unfortunately, I walked by on a Saturday and had to observe this natural area from behind the surrounding fence.

If you want to read the signs, click my photos and they will enlarge.

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!

San Diego students create posters against drugs!

The students at Wangenheim Middle School in Mira Mesa have created posters that tell the truth about the destructive nature of drugs.

I was fortunate today to be walking nearby as members of the Associated Student Body were hanging these very creative anti-drug posters on the school fence facing Black Mountain Road!

And they were happy to pose for a group photo!

It’s Red Ribbon Week, when students in schools across San Diego and the United States engage in an annual drug and violence prevention awareness campaign.

Wangenheim Middle School students and members of the Associated Student Body are involved in all sorts of positive community activities, such as a Thanksgiving food drive. It’s encouraging to know the youth you see in the next photograph are some of our future leaders!

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 past Lunar New Year celebrations!

Over the years I’ve enjoyed watching many celebrations of the Lunar New Year.

My camera has captured Chinese New Year events in the Asian Thematic District in downtown San Diego, and in Balboa Park. I’ve attended large Tết Festivals at SDCCU (then named Qualcomm) Stadium and Mira Mesa Community Park.

The Year of the Rat begins this Saturday. Those born in the Year of the Rat are said to be optimistic and energetic! Prosperous, too!

I do know that past celebrations I’ve enjoyed are full of color, life, smiles and optimism.

Want to have a glimpse of past Lunar New Year celebrations around San Diego?

Enjoy some photos by clicking these links:

Lion dances and fun in downtown San Diego! (Asian Thematic District in 2016)

A fun Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park! (Balboa Park in 2018)

More photos of the Chinese New Year Festival! (Balboa Park in 2019, from my special website Beautiful Balboa Park)

Photos of Chinese New Year celebration in Balboa Park. (Balboa Park in 2016)

San Diego’s 2015 Lunar New Year Tết Festival. (Qualcomm Stadium in 2015)

Colorful photos of San Diego Tet Festival. (Mira Mesa in 2017)

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!

Colorful photos of San Diego Tet Festival.

Colorful lion heads in a row. It's the Year of the Rooster and many throughout the world are celebrating!
Colorful lion heads in a row. It’s the Year of the Rooster and many throughout the world are celebrating!

I enjoyed strolling around the San Diego Tet Festival today. I arrived a few minutes after the annual free festival, held at Mira Mesa Community Park, opened its gate. People were slowly streaming in, and everyone was happy. It’s the Year of the Rooster!

Here are some colorful photos…

Visitors enter the San Diego Tet Festival as it opens late Sunday morning.
Visitors enter the San Diego Tet Festival as it opens late Sunday morning.

A free annual celebration of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, takes place at Mira Mesa Community Park.
A free annual celebration of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, takes place at Mira Mesa Community Park.

A dragon near the festival entrance.
A dragon near the festival entrance.

Many booths in the park had all sorts of gleaming goods for sale.
Many booths in the park had all sorts of glittering goods for sale.

A representation of the Hoàn Kiếm Lake Turtle Tower.
A representation of the Hoàn Kiếm Lake Turtle Tower.

Model of a small fishing boat used by 69 people to flee the Vietnamese communist regime.
Model of a small fishing boat used by 69 people to flee the Vietnamese communist regime.

History of the Escape Boat. Fleeing brutal communism, the refugees arrived at a camp set up by the United Nations on the island of Galang, in Indonesia.
History of the Escape Boat. Fleeing brutal communism, the refugees arrived at a camp set up by the United Nations on the island of Galang, in Indonesia. (Click the sign to enlarge it.)

Large bronze drum with ornate designs. They are a traditional symbol of power, used in religious ceremony, festival and war.
Large bronze drum with ornate design. These drums are a traditional symbol of power, used in religious ceremony, festival and war.

The Year of the Rooster has begun. It's the tenth in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac.
The Year of the Rooster has begun. It’s the tenth in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

Martial arts students demonstrate some moves for the gathering crowd.
Martial arts students demonstrate some moves for the gathering crowd.

Taking photos of the stage on a sunny San Diego day in late January.
Taking photos of the stage on a sunny San Diego day in late January.

The friendly martial arts group poses.
The friendly martial arts group poses.

A representation of the sacred Hùng Kings' Temple, which is located on the Nghĩa Lĩnh mountain.
A representation of the sacred Hùng Kings’ Temple, which is located on the Nghĩa Lĩnh mountain.

Lots of Asian food could be found around the San Diego Tet Festival, as well as more ordinary American fare.
Lots of Asian food could be found around the San Diego Tet Festival, as well as more ordinary American fare.

Pikachu sits protecting a spot where food is picked up.
Pikachu sits protecting a spot where food is picked up.

Donations help keep the Tet Festival alive.
Donations help keep the Tet Festival alive.

More area at the festival was dedicated to kids games and carnival rides than anything else! Oh, to be young again!
More area in the park was dedicated to kids games and carnival rides than anything else! Oh, to be young again!

A child rides a dragon.
A child rides a dragon.

A beautiful wishing tree at the San Diego Tet Festival.
A beautiful wishing tree at the San Diego Tet Festival.

A wish for abundance of love and health. Togetherness.
A wish for abundance of love and health. Togetherness.

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!

Happy street art in Mira Mesa!

A lady with flowers in her long flowing purple hair.
A lady with flowers in her long flowing purple hair.

Late this morning I went to the San Diego Tet Festival at Mira Mesa Community Park. (I’ll blog about that shortly.) Hoping to avoid crowds, I parked a distance from the park before the festival opened, then spent a half hour or so walking around the area.

I was happy to spy a whole bunch of cool street art in the vicinity of Mira Mesa Boulevard and Camino Ruiz! Naturally, I had to take some photos!

Lovely street art painted on a transformer box in Mira Mesa.
Lovely street art painted on a transformer box in Mira Mesa.

A tree behind a white fence seems to bear pencils.
A tree behind a white fence seems to bear pencils.

Are mushrooms sprouting from the nearby grass?
Are mushrooms sprouting from the nearby grass?

A happy dream takes the form of mazy images. This street art is on a utility box near the intersection of Mira Mesa Boulevard and Camino Ruiz.
A seeming dream takes the form of mazy images. This street art is on a utility box near the intersection of Mira Mesa Boulevard and Camino Ruiz.

Just a big heart and bright colors.
Just a big heart and simple blocks of bright color.

Looks like a Chargers bolt. Unfortunately, San Diego's football team bolted.
Looks like a Chargers bolt. Unfortunately, San Diego’s NFL football team bolted.

One Love and many symbols atop a utility box in Mira Mesa.
One Love and many symbols atop a utility box in Mira Mesa.

A painted Asian landscape of mountains rising from water.
A painted Asian landscape.  Mountains rise from turbulent water.

Another side of the same dramatic box.
Another side of the same dramatic box.

A happy mug of coffee gives a wink near muffins, beneath musical notes.
A happy mug of coffee gives a wink near muffins, beneath musical notes.

Happy food and drink!
Happy food and drink!

A happy face on a teacup!
A happy face on a blue teacup!

Kid with phonograph sits at base of a pagoda in this unique street art.
Kid with phonograph sits at base of a pagoda in this unique street art.

A bunch of colored circles.
A bunch of colored circles.

A red, geometric, minimalist bit of street art.
A red, geometric, minimalist bit of street art.

Colors like stained glass and a rising koi on this utility box.
Colors pieced together like stained glass, and a rising koi on this utility box.

Koi, sun and clouds.
Koi, water, sun and clouds.

I can't quite make out the beginning of what is written. Mira Mesa remain Strong, Brave and Proud!
I can’t quite make out the beginning of what is written. I can read: Mira Mesa remain Strong, Brave and Proud!

Two colorful electrical boxes along Mira Mesa Boulevard.
Two colorful electrical boxes along Mira Mesa Boulevard.

Looks like a hip hop kid with a big cap.
Looks like a hip hop kid with a big funky cap.

An old school phonograph!
An old school phonograph!

Looks like one of those trick squirting flowers.
Looks like one of those trick squirting flowers.

Two beautiful flowers.
Two beautiful flowers.

This puzzle-like street art looks both ancient and alien.
This puzzle-like street art looks both ancient and alien.

A touching image of a young girl. She seems to sit alone on the sidewalk.
A touching image of a young girl. She seems to sit alone on the sidewalk.

Abstract hills, trees and blue beams of sunshine.
Abstract hills, trees and blue beams of sunshine.

More cool street art in Mira Mesa.
More cool street art in Mira Mesa.

A flying saucer cat and an orange tabby that doesn't appear amused.
A flying saucer cat and an orange tabby that doesn’t appear amused.

A smiling girl astronaut among happy colorful stars.
A smiling girl astronaut among happy colorful stars.

A dog in a space helmet joyfully rockets above a ringed planet.
A dog in a space helmet joyfully rockets above a ringed planet.

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!