Colorful photos of Chicano Park Day celebration!

Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year's Chicano Park Day Celebration. Many of the cars were fitted with hydraulic systems.
Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year’s Chicano Park Day celebration.

I headed down to Barrio Logan this morning to enjoy a bit of the 47th Annual Chicano Park Day celebration!

The big festival celebrating Mexican and Chicano culture drew huge crowds as usual from all around Southern California. There was traditional folklorico dancing, Aztec indigenous dance, and a huge contingent of lowriders and motorcyclists who converged to enjoy the scene and showcase their cool rides. Families enjoyed great food, the park’s playground, and a look at artwork and unique gifts at the many vendor tents. It was fun to just hang around, absorbing San Diego’s warm sunshine and the lively entertainment. The famous murals of Chicano Park infuse the much-loved event with a sense of history and potent meaning. The murals tell of the hard-fought struggle for civil rights.

Chicano Park Day this year was dedicated to Ramón Chunky Sánchez, a very popular musician and a leader of San Diego’s Chicano community who passed away late last year. Speakers also provided emotional tributes to the four who died last year at the annual La Raza Run motorcycle festival in Chicano Park when a car tragically plummeted onto the crowd from a ramp to the Coronado Bay Bridge.

On a happier note, I must mention that in January Chicano Park was designated a National Historic Landmark! Chicano Park contains our nation’s largest collection of outdoor murals.

Please enjoy some colorful photos from this morning!

A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Many were fitted with hydraulics. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
Cool cars in a world-famous park.
Cool cars in Barrio Logan’s world-famous park.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park's picnic tables.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park’s picnic tables.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of Chicano Park.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of San Diego’s unique Chicano Park.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A large crowd had gathered around the pavilion to hear family members remember the deceased and thank the community for its undying love.
A large crowd gathered around the pavilion to hear surviving family members remember the deceased and thank the local community for its undying love.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
And then the entertainment began!
And then the entertainment began!
People enjoy Chicano Park Day Celebration among the many expressive murals.
People enjoy Chicano Park Day among the many expressive murals.  A beautiful image of Virgin Mary has a shrine at its base.
Another photo of the festival today.
Another photo of the festival today.
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park's pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park’s pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
And more cool stuff.
And more cool stuff!
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day Celebration wore resplendent Aztec costumes.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day celebration wore resplendent Aztec-inspired costumes.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!

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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A beautiful environmental Sea Wall in Hillcrest.

A beautiful mural in Hillcrest behind Artist and Craftsman Supply depicts flowers and sea life.
A beautiful mural in Hillcrest behind Artist and Craftsman Supply depicts flowers and sea life.

Walk around to the rear parking lot at Artist and Craftsman Supply on Fourth Avenue in Hillcrest and you’ll discover a very colorful mural. It was painted in 2016 by Jet Martinez during the Sea Wall: Murals for Oceans festival in San Diego, an environmental street art project organized by the PangeaSeed Foundation.

This beautiful spray paint mural concerns the impact of floriculture on ocean ecosystems. Many flowers are grown in San Diego’s North County. In floriculture, pesticide runoff into the ocean can be a problem. Fertilizer runoff into the ocean can also cause harmful effects, including massive algae blooms and hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas.

Colorful street art painted by Jet Martinez during the 2016 Sea Wall Murals for Oceans festival.
Environmental street art created by Jet Martinez during the 2016 Sea Wall: Murals for Oceans festival.
The left part of the mural. Like an underwater garden.
The left part of the mural. Like an underwater garden.
A fish in the ocean needs a clean environment to live.
A fish in the ocean needs clean water to live.
A bright orange fish swims past jewel-like flowers.
A bright orange fish swims past jewel-like flowers.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Colorful (and funny) street art in Pacific Beach!

Street mural by artist Amandalynn, painted in 2016 near Mission Boulevard in Pacific Beach.
Street mural by artist Amandalynn, painted in 2016 near Mission Boulevard in Pacific Beach.

On Saturday I walked down Mission Boulevard through both Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. I was blown away by some of the really cool street art that I found. As you’ll see, many of the colorful murals that I spied in Pacific Beach were painted just last year.

This batch of photos represents my walk south along Mission Boulevard, which is a block from the beach, from around Emerald Street to Pacific Beach Drive. In a coming blog post, I’ll share the fun and very unusual art I encountered as I continued south through Mission Beach.

A second photo of the eye-catching art, which shows beautiful ladies in a colorful underwater scene.
A second photo of the eye-catching mural by Amandalynn, which shows beautiful ladies in a colorful underwater scene.
The Pacific Beach Mermaid hangs out on a colorful wall. Art by Jared Blake Lazar a.k.a Jared Black Lazer.
The Pacific Beach Mermaid hangs out on a rock painted on a wall. Art by Jared Blake Lazar a.k.a Jared Black Lazer.
A humorous sign on the sidewalk. Head into this barber shop and come out a completely different person!
A humorous sign on the sidewalk. Head into this barber shop and come out a completely different person!

I don’t know if some critics would classify the above as art–but it was undeniably funny!

Street art on a utility box. The curl of this coffee's steam resembles the surf beyond the sand.
Street art on a utility box. The curl of this coffee’s steam resembles the surf beyond the sand.
Bunny Kitty carries a cigarette butt away as a fierce sea monster emerges from the deep. Pacific Beach art created in 2016 by Dave Persue for PangeaSeed.
Bunny Kitty carries a cigarette butt away as a fierce sea monster emerges from the deep. Pacific Beach art created in 2016 by Dave Persue for PangeaSeed.
A cool mural near The Local Pacific Beach, painted in 2016 by artists Sean Dietrich and Kai Martin. A blonde on roller skates, the PB boardwalk, beach, and a very strange car.
A cool mural near The Local Pacific Beach restaurant and bar, painted in 2016 by artists Sean Dietrich and Kai Martin. A blonde on roller skates, the PB boardwalk, surfboards, and a rather unusual car.
A very funny utility box. This side shows a woman at the beach covering the eyes of a small boy.
A very funny utility box. This side shows a woman at the beach covering the eyes of a small boy.
The next side shows Pacific Beach tourists who have spotted something that is both interesting and alarming.
Another side shows Pacific Beach tourists who have spotted something that is both interesting and alarming.
100 years of skating talent between us, but...
100 years of skating talent between us, but…
...nobody notices!
…nobody notices!
A friendly purple mermaid watches people driving down Mission Boulevard.
Another utility box is covered with mermaids.  This friendly purple mermaid watches humans driving down Mission Boulevard.
Another mermaid on the same box.
Another long-haired mermaid on the same box.
And a third happy mermaid!
And a third happy mermaid!
Two ladies walking along the edge of a parking lot toward the nearby beach. They pass someone snoozing in a hammock strung between palm trees.
Two ladies walking along the edge of a parking lot toward the nearby beach. They pass someone snoozing in a hammock strung between palm trees.
Street art on storage doors shows a surfer climbing toward a lifeguard tower at sunset.
Street art on doors shows a surfer climbing toward a lifeguard tower at sunset.
One final close look at the gorgeous art painted by muralist Amandalynn in Pacific Beach.
One additional look at the gorgeous art painted in 2016 by muralist Amandalynn in Pacific Beach.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

A huge postcard from historic Liberty Station!

A huge postcard has appeared on Dewey Road in Point Loma, at the southwest end of the Liberty Station's Arts District!
A huge postcard has appeared on Dewey Road in Point Loma, at the southwest end of Liberty Station’s Arts District!

I walked around Liberty Station today before sitting down by the boat channel to write another short story. And look what I discovered! It’s the first time I’ve seen this cool mural!

This new public art resembles a gigantic postcard, which reads: Greetings from U.S. Naval Training Station. It was created by the two artists who painted the postcard-like Greetings from San Diego mural, which I photographed a month ago in North Park. Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs are travelling around the country in an RV and creating a whole bunch of these huge colorful postcard murals!

Painted inside the letters I see scenes from Ingram Plaza, the Barracks Arcade, Liberty Public Market and the USS Recruit!

As you might know, the U.S. Naval Training Station, or Naval Training Center San Diego, was a military base where thousands of sailor recruits learned the ropes upon enlisting in the U.S. Navy. It closed in 1997 and has been redeveloped into a mixed cultural, recreational, shopping, business and residential complex in Point Loma. It’s like a spacious park with lots of grass, arched walkways and fountains–a perfect place to relax!

During my stroll today though Liberty Station, I discovered even more public art, which I’ll blog about shortly. And please watch for my new work of fiction at Short Stories by Richard. I think it’s almost done!

Greetings from U.S. Naval Training Center. A cool new mural at Liberty Station by artists Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs.
Greetings from U.S. Naval Training Center. A cool new mural at Liberty Station by artists Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs.

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!

Life in downtown San Diego is dynamic!

A mural with a bold message. Be dynamic. Be downtown.
A mural promoting San Diego has a very bold message: Be dynamic. Be downtown.

I can’t argue with the new mural at Sixth Avenue and Ash Street. It was painted a month or two ago and states: Be dynamic. Be downtown.

I’ve made my home in downtown San Diego for about 16 years and I still enjoy the experience: the liveliness, the color, the convenience, and of course the ability to easily walk all over the place–to the Embarcadero, Little Italy, Balboa Park, Petco Park, a trolley station, the ferry to Coronado, wherever my mood directs me. Even after all these years, new discoveries await around every corner. Yes, street parking on Cortez Hill has become almost impossible, and the homeless problem downtown is getting really bad and depressing–at times even a bit scary. But I still love this place. I try to convey that feeling with my blog.

I’ve got several more posts concerning my weekend walk in National City coming up. Plus maybe some other stuff mixed in.  Stay tuned!

Young man in business suit rides a scooter to work early one morning in downtown San Diego.
Young man in a business suit rides a scooter to work in downtown San Diego.  A dynamic photograph taken early this morning as I walked to the Little Italy trolley station!
Mural at Sixth Avenue and Ash Street promotes living, working and playing in downtown San Diego.
Mural at Sixth Avenue and Ash Street promotes living, working and playing in downtown San Diego.

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!

Lumberjacks, bicycles and a mysterious tombstone!

Mural depicting three lumberjacks and one enormous tree on the wall of Made Lumber Supply in San Diego.
Mural depicting three lumberjacks and one enormous tree on the wall of Made Lumber Supply in San Diego.

After snapping some photos of this morning’s San Diego River Estuary cleanup (which I’ll blog about tonight), I decided to take a short stroll through a small part of the city that I’ve never thoroughly explored: the few blocks around Sherman Street, near Morena Boulevard.

When I ride to work on the trolley’s Green Line, I often gaze out at a mural of lumberjacks near the old location of the San Diego Humane Society. This morning, as I investigated the mural and surrounding area, look what else I discovered!

Underneath the trolley bridge over Friars Road. Images of animals used to be on the side of this building, Perhaps they were removed when the San Diego Humane Society moved to Gaines Street.
Underneath the trolley bridge over Friars Road. Images of animals used to be on the side of this building, Perhaps they were removed when the San Diego Humane Society moved to nearby Gaines Street.
Another photo of the lumberjack mural, just beyond some real lumber!
Another photo of the lumberjack mural, just beyond some real lumber!
A fourth lumberjack holds a long saw on the side of Made Lumber Supply.
A fourth lumberjack holds a long saw on the side of Made Lumber Supply.
Gigantic ants crawl in a line along the wall of Lloyd Pest Control.
Gigantic ants crawl in a line along the wall of Lloyd Pest Control.
A cool decorative bicycle suspended from a wall. I spotted this at the Reusable Finds resale and repurpose store , near their entrance.
A cool decorative bicycle suspended from a wall. I spotted this at the Reusable Finds resale and repurpose store, near their entrance.
Another rusty bike hanging above a trunk full of flowers.
Another old bike hanging above a trunk full of flowers.
Mural of a fashionable lady on the wall behind the Leatherock leather goods store.
Mural of a fashionable lady on the wall behind the Leatherock leather goods store.
Mysterious wooden tombstone with name of Juan Mendoza, who was shot by Cave Couts in the back with a double-barreled shotgun in Old Town San Diego, February 6, 1865.
Mysterious wooden tombstone with name of Juan Mendoza, who was shot by Cave Couts in the back with a double-barreled shotgun in Old Town San Diego, February 6, 1865.

Look what I stumbled upon at the west end of the old San Diego Humane Society’s parking lot! What appears to be a historic wooden grave marker! Is it real? Why is it here?

You might remember my recent blog post about the Wells Fargo Museum in Old Town. Cave Couts built the wood-frame hotel called the Colorado House in 1851 and became an influential resident of early San Diego. But by some accounts he was a sketchy character. On February 6, 1865 he shot a disgruntled former employee (who worked on one of Cave Couts’ ranches) in the back with a shotgun. This violated the unspoken “Code of the West”. The unfortunate victim who died was Juan Mendoza. A couple years ago I photographed a cross with Juan Mendoza’s name on it at the El Campo Santo cemetery located in Old Town, and I blogged about that here.

So why is there a mysterious wooden tombstone at this location? This marker doesn’t appear a century and a half old. Was it a prop? Is it a prank? Is Mendoza actually buried here? The spot isn’t far from Old Town.  Perhaps someone knows the full story about this completely unexpected discovery. I you do, leave a comment!

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!

Cosmic imagery in a cool mural evokes wonder!

A wide-eyed human face on a wall in North Park, surrounded by cosmic imagery.
A wide-eyed face on a building wall in North Park, surrounded by cosmic imagery.

Here’s even more North Park street art! Check out these photos!

This spray painted mural was signed by the artists DEXR, ARMOR, EYEMAX and SADE. Full of cosmic imagery, the panoply of swirling forms and symbols evokes wonder. The universe it seems to depict is vast and mysterious. All I know for sure is that the artwork is really cool!

You can find this colorful street art on El Cajon Boulevard, just east of 30th Street.

I first spied this cool street art from the intersection at 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard.
I first spied this street art from the intersection at 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard.
The mural on the Supercuts building contains many complex, colorful elements. Like a magnet it drew me in.
The mural on the Supercuts building contains many complex, colorful elements. Like a magnet it drew me in.
Two fused female faces, or one seen in two glances. I get the impression that time, space and information are being affected by that shining object on the left.
Two fused female faces, or one seen in two glances. I get the impression that time, space and information are being affected by that shining object on the left.
Whether that's a black hole, the origin of the universe, a star, or something else--the theme seems to be the mystery of Creation. And I see a dragon at the fractured boundary, a symbol of Chaos.
Whether that’s a black hole, the origin of the universe, a star, or something else–the theme seems to be the mystery of Creation. And I see a dragon at the fractured boundary, a symbol of Chaos.
A face seems to gaze from another place behind a transparent window at the unspeakably vast and wonderful cosmos.
A face seems to gaze from another place behind a transparent window at the unspeakably vast and wonderful cosmos.

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 fun photos for you to enjoy!