The mysterious standing stones of Nestor!

Mysterious standing stones rise in Nestor, a community located in San Diego’s South Bay. You can find them in a quiet residential area, just north of Nestor Park, on Grove Avenue east of Hollister Street.

Few people ever see this unique public art. Why is it here?

The standing stone sculptures together are titled Plaza Piedras. They were created in 2001 by internationally renowned artist Roberto Salas. Plaza Piedras was commissioned through the City of San Diego Metropolitan Wastewater Department and the Commission for Arts and Culture. The public art was created to enhance the nearby Grove Avenue Pump Station.

Roberto Salas created these large, mysterious stelae to pay tribute to indigenous cultures. According to this website: “Salas chose a variety of monumental forms to evoke associations with ancient sites such as the Pre-Colombian pyramids, mysterious ruins of Stonehenge, and the massive figures of East Island…”

At the bottom of the central sandbox, kids digging down can discover various relief shapes. I poked around the sand with my foot like a lazy archaeologist, without success.

As you can see from my photos, this quiet park-like place sees gang activity and is frequented by the homeless. Vandalism on the standing stones appears to be regularly painted over.

I took these photographs while moving north through Plaza Piedras.

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Heroes honored at Chula Vista’s Memorial Monument.

The Memorial Monument stands near the center of Chula Vista’s Memorial Park. It lists the names of honored heroes.

According to bronze plaques, bookending names engraved in marble, the monument is…

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF CHULA VISTA (AND SOUTH BAY) HEROES OF ALL WARS WHO SO GALLANTLY FOUGHT TO PRESERVE OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE THAT

GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH

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A gigantic sandcastle in Imperial Beach!

An absolutely gigantic sandcastle is now being built at the foot of the Imperial Beach Pier!

The huge two-stories high sand sculpture, which is being referred to as the Monument Castle, is the centerpiece of this year’s week-long Sun and Sea Festival. Imperial Beach has become Sandcastle City!

The I.B. Posse, a team of local sand artists, began to build the castle a couple days ago. The sand carving will continue through this week.

I intend to swing by again next weekend to check out the finished sandcastle! I’ll post those pics in an update here!

UPDATE!

I swung by the following weekend after the huge sandcastle was completed. I see the I.B. Posse was assisted by the Sand Squirrels, Dan Belcher, Bruce Phillips and Sculpting San Diego.

Wow! Check it out!

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Photos of Veterans Park in Poway.

Beneath the flags of Veterans Park, located across Midland Road from Old Poway Park, those who have served in the United States military are honored and remembered.

I visited Veterans Park during my most recent walk in Poway. I found many tributes to those who sacrificed.

I saw plaques, engraved bricks in a Wall of Honor, and small monuments filled with memory.

There’s a bronze Battlefield Cross and a large Meneely Bell.

Six stations near the center of the Veterans Park circle feature artwork and audio recordings. The history of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine is told.

There’s a cannon, an anchor, and other artifacts from war, and words of pain, and courage, and gratitude for freedom. And many names.

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!

Markers and monuments at San Ysidro border.

Two historical markers can be seen just north of the San Ysidro Port of Entry border crossing. They stand near the entrance to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over Interstate 5 to Camino de la Plaza. I spotted them during my last walk around San Ysidro and took photographs.

A granite monument, marker number 255, reads Boundary of the United States–Treaty of 1853–Re-Established by Treaties of 1882-1889. The opposite side contains the same information in Spanish. The monument’s two other sides show the principal names from the international commission that precisely determined the previously disputed boundary with Mexico in 1892 to 1896. It was one of 258 markers placed along 689 miles of border.

The fascinating story of this particular marker includes a flood, a replacement duplicate, and the original marker’s rediscovery and relocation to this spot. Read more about its complicated history here.

Behind the granite boundary monument, a historical sign on a post marks the Blue Star Memorial Highway. The sign describes the highway as A tribute to the Armed Forces that have defended the United States of America.

Perhaps you’ve seen these signs elsewhere across the United States. Read more about the Blue Star Memorial Highway (which is in fact numerous highways) 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!

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Memorial Day flowers in Balboa Park.

After my visit to La Mesa today, I found myself in Balboa Park for another Sunday afternoon walk.

I kept looking right and left for an indication that this is Memorial Day weekend. I had to go to the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center to find it.

Even though the museum was closed when I walked past, I noticed fresh flowers and a wreath had been placed at its outdoor San Diego Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial.

Those who fought and died in that terrible war are still remembered.

If you’d like to see photos of an emotional Memorial Day ceremony that was held at the San Diego Peace Memorial four years ago, 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!

Monument to historic radio station KCBQ in Santee.

I remember listening to KCBQ 1170 as a youth. For decades it was one of San Diego’s leading radio stations, featuring radio personalities that are legendary, including “Shotgun Tom” Kelly and Charlie Tuna.

This groundbreaking AM radio station has had a complicated history, its many different owners moving the studio about from time to time and playing everything from contemporary music to country music. A detailed Wikipedia article can be found here.

A monument to the original KCBQ, which was influential in popularizing the Top 40 music format for the rest of the nation, now stands at the radio station’s old Santee transmitter site. It was dedicated on August 28, 2010. You can find the monument on Mission Gorge Road just east of Carlton Hills Boulevard, in front of an In-N-Out Burger fast food restaurant.

Scan the list of past on-air personalities and you’ll see names that have been well known in San Diego radio for decades. Personally, I easily recall the unique voices of Frank Anthony, Gene Knight and Gary Kelley, not to mention “Shotgun Tom” Kelly.

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Dancing children on a marble bench in La Jolla.

Perhaps you remember a blog post from years ago, when I shared photographs of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial in La Jolla, with its beautiful sculpture of a young girl dipping her finger into a pool of water. For photos of the sculpture, and to learn more, click here.

On Saturday I headed to La Jolla again to photograph playful images carved on the back of the nearby marble bench. I added contrast to my photos, so you can see the fine, fluid carvings of children making music and dancing, and the lines from Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved A Child’s Garden of Verses.

Like the original sculpture, which was commissioned by the City of San Diego (and which went missing in 1996, to be replaced by a different sculpture) this curved marble bench was created by James Tank Porter in 1926. Inscribed in the front of the bench are the words: “Presented to the people of La Jolla by the people of San Diego, in honor and appreciation of Ellen Browning Scripps.”

The happy, carefree carvings make me wish I were a child again.

The world is so full of a number of things…
…I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

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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Monument honors South Bay Issei Pioneers.

In Chula Vista, at the corner of Palomar Street and Broadway, you’ll find busy shopping malls in every direction. And thousands of passing cars.

What you won’t see, unless you are one of the few who walk down the sidewalk, is a bronze plaque on a stone set back among bushes. This small monument to South Bay Issei Pioneers marks the place where the Chula Vista Gakuen or Japanese School stood when it was dedicated in 1925.

I’ve transcribed what I read on the plaque. (Issei are immigrants born in Japan. Nisei are their children, born in the new country.)

SOUTH BAY ISSEI PIONEERS

Initially arriving in 1885, these immigrants from Japan, through their intellect, diligence, and tenacity made numerous major contributions to the agricultural development of this area. These accomplishments were achieved at the same time as the issei were fighting discrimination, unfair land laws, and ultimately, the mass removal of all person of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast of the United States during World War II. This site marks the final location of the Chula Vista Gakuen or Japanese School, which was originally dedicated on October 6, 1925. The school helped nisei children to better understand and honor their heritage.

Japanese American Citizens League San Diego Chapter

Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego
September 1996

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A walk around beautiful Oceanside Harbor.

These photographs were taken during a walk around beautiful Oceanside Harbor.

I began where Harbor Drive descends to the water and intersects with North Harbor Drive.

The walk proceeds west along the South Harbor, then curves to the North Harbor, taking in many interesting sights along the way.

At a point across the water from the Jolly Roger restaurant, I turned about, retraced my steps, then explored the South Harbor’s various shops and attractions.

I then made my way west to North Pacific Street, next to Oceanside Harbor Beach, and headed past the boat ramps to the jetty that juts out into the Pacific Ocean beyond a parking lot.

Hopefully you’ll get a taste of what this walk on a sunny, late February weekend afternoon was like!

Descending Harbor Drive to beautiful Oceanside Harbor.
Looking past Joe’s Crab Shack and boats in the South Harbor marina toward the picturesque lighthouse.
Across from the Oceanside Harbor boat ramps, which we’ll see close up later in the walk.
Turning north, walking past the Oceanside Broiler restaurant, where diners sit outdoors gazing at boats in the Southern California sunshine.
Many benches along Oceanside Harbor are dedicated to loved ones, or feature inspirational messages.
Monument to Erwin Sklar, 1910-1974. During his term as Mayor and City Councilman this harbor was designed and built, fulfilling a Dream of Erwin Sklar and the People of Oceanside.
Small boats pass stand up paddleboarders near the entrance to Oceanside Harbor.
Watching activity on the water from the end of the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier.
Monument by the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier. Remember Pearl Harbor.
Fishermen wait patiently for a bite on the pier. I was told many types of fish can be caught here, especially when the water warms up later in the year.
A large ship’s anchor with a small plaque across from the entrance to Oceanside Harbor.
In memory of those lost at sea. Dedicated January 9, 1979.
Along North Harbor Drive, large blue and white letters spell OCEANSIDE.
Many along the boardwalk were watching Sea Lion Island, where there appeared to be a lot of napping.
Sea lions relax in the Oceanside sunshine.
A better view of the OCEANSIDE sign, which is visible to boaters entering the harbor.
Continuing the walk, now along the North Harbor.
People pass me on the boardwalk carrying a kayak.
I pass the Oceanside Weighing Station. No fish being weighed at the moment.
The Jolly Roger restaurant across the North Harbor.
Kayaks stacked on the nearby dock.
Right around here I turned about to retrace my steps.
Back by Joe’s Crab Shack. The walk now proceeds in that direction.
People walk out onto the docks.
Some sportfishing vessels can be boarded nearby.
Approaching shops and restaurants and other touristy attractions of the New England-style Oceanside Harbor Village.
Sportfishing and whale watching trips are available at the Oceanside Sea Center.
A great view from up there.
I like this mail box!
Interesting photo of the red and white faux lighthouse, which is actually home to Lighthouse Oyster Bar and Grill.
Lots of beachy souvenirs attract passersby.
Looking back at the lighthouse and Oceanside Harbor Village.
We’ve arrived at North Pacific Street, which runs between the harbor and the beach.
Heading north again, but on the west side of Oceanside Harbor.
We’ve come to the boat ramps, which are very active on a sunny weekend day.
Marker at the Oceanside Harbor Boat Launching Facility.
Curtis Landing, dedicated September 17, 2005, honors two people named Curtis. Jon W. Curtis was a harbor police officer hero. Joe V. Curtis contributed as a community leader.
Photo taken across the harbor from beside the boat ramps.
Another photo.
Continuing north.
Kites were flying near the harbor entrance.
I’ve turned west and am heading toward the jetty which protects Oceanside Harbor from the Pacific Ocean. In the distance past a sailboat you can see the Oceanside Marina Suites.
A right turn on the water leads to Camp Pendleton Harbor’s boat basin.
That sailboat we just saw is now entering the harbor.
Near the foot of the T-shaped jetty. The beach is on the left.
People by the shining Pacific Ocean.
And to the south, far beyond this surfer on the beach, juts the long Oceanside Pier.

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!