Progress of California mural in La Jolla.

When I stepped into the La Jolla Recreation Center’s small auditorium the other day, I barely noticed the game of ping pong that was in progress. That’s because my eyes were immediately drawn to a large, incredible mural on one wall above some vending machines.

The mural, painted in 1929 by renowned artist Hugo Ballin, is titled Progress of California.

I found this article. It explains how the mural was originally located at First National Bank, which opened in La Jolla in 1930 on the corner of Silverado Street and Girard Avenue. The mural was placed on the wall above the vault door. When the bank was demolished, a decision was made to move the mural to the La Jolla Recreation Center, where the public could freely see it.

Hugo Ballin is best know for his work in Los Angeles, including murals at Burbank City Hall, Griffith Observatory, LA County General Hospital, and the Los Angeles Times Building. During the era of silent movies, he was art director for Goldwyn Pictures.

As you can see, his Progress of California mural depicts people from different periods of history, including Native Americans, Spanish explorers and missionaries, 49ers during the Gold Rush, and pioneers.

Rising at the right end of the mural is Balboa Park’s iconic California Tower, which was built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego.

I did my best to take good photos without interrupting the game of ping pong…

Restoration of the historic Progress of California mural was performed in 2000.

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La Playa Trail marker in Roseville.

In Point Loma’s Roseville neighborhood, at the intersection of Rosecrans Street and Avenida de Portugal, you’ll find a historical marker between two benches. Six similar markers were placed along San Diego’s historic La Playa Trail back in the 1930s.

According to their website, this replacement marker was the project of the La Playa Trail Association. All of the markers feature a bas-relief of an Indian and a Mexican carreta (or ox cart), and were designed by Old Town sculptor, Rose Hanks.

I happened to walk by this particular marker the other day and realized I hadn’t yet photographed it.

The La Playa Trail is considered the oldest commercial route in the western United States. In the past, I’ve photographed a few other La Playa Trail markers and provided more information. If you’re curious, you can see that here.

La Playa Trail. An ancient Kumeyaay path that became the oldest commercial trail in the western United States. La Playa Trail Association, 2010.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Kumeyaay remembered in La Jolla park.

May the resiliency of the Kumeyaay forever be remembered.

At the north end of Cuvier Park in La Jolla you will find the above plaque. It’s set beside the sidewalk near the corner of Coast Boulevard and Cuvier Street.

A nearby boulder contains a pair of oval depressions, used long ago by the native Kumeyaay to grind acorns, seeds, roots and other food. The Kumeyaay call these grinding mortars ‘ehmuu, which means bedrock hole.

The boulder with its ancient history was restored to this location last year. It had been removed for a construction project. You can read about the Re-Internment of the Mortar That was Removed by the City by clicking here.

The plaque dedication ceremony included a Kumeyaay blessing and the performance of Bird Singers.

I took these photos during a walk today.

The sun was shining. Ocean waves crashed upon rocks a short distance from the place where I paused.

May the resiliency of the Kumeyaay forever be remembered.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Colorful faces painted in Old Town!

Two colorful faces have been painted on the second floor of the Courtyard on Congress building in Old Town. Both are by local artist Guillermo “memuco” Munro.

I saw these beautiful faces as I walked near the intersection of Congress Street and Twiggs Avenue early this morning. I was able to capture the artist’s signature, then I checked out his Instagram page, which is here.

It appears the murals were created back in January.

Memuco describes the female with ceremonial Kumeyaay face decoration as a woman that represents all nationalities. A being so beautiful and peaceful. With the most sincere smile in the Universe.

The second face is of Mexican painter Diego Rivera. He’s holding a Frida Kahlo doll, which the balcony concealed from my camera. Check out the artist’s Instagram page to see it all!

You can enjoy more of his great artwork that I’ve stumbled upon here (across the street) and 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!

Culture, spirituality at UC San Diego Powwow.

The UC San Diego 2022 Powwow began late this morning with Bird Singers from the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

As people slowly arrived at Marshall College Field, the singers sang ancient stories of the world’s creation. Traditional dancers and shaken gourd rattles moved in rhythm with the words.

In the San Diego sunshine, the culture and history of the Kumeyaay was alive, passing from heart to heart, from generation to generation.

One of the bird singers explained how culture and spirituality live together hand in hand. The singing takes much time and sacrifice. It is for the people. It brought him and others happiness, enriching life in many ways.

Bringing this beautiful music to our world helps many to thrive in this day and time.

I listened. Took some photos. I stretched my legs and ate some Kumeyaay fry bread with powdered sugar and drizzled honey. Yum!

Bird Singers were followed by Gourd Dancers.

After a little while, I felt the urge to move forward through this amazing world, and I walked again down my path.

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!

Barona Indian Charter School student Heritage Project!

Students from the 8th Grade Culture Class at Barona Indian Charter School have created a Heritage Project concerning Kumeyaay culture and history. Their work will be displayed in an upcoming exhibition at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park!

The exhibition is titled Kum ‘Enyaawapch Ewuupch which is in the northern dialect of the Kumeyaay language. Translated to English, it means The Way We See It.

The exhibition has its big opening celebration on May 26, 2022. See all the details here!

I learned about this exhibition as I walked past the entrance of the Mingei International Museum last weekend. Photos of students filled one window, near an informative sign.

You can hear introductions by the participating students on the Barona Cultural Center & Museum 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!

Huge mural by Joram Roukes in Vista!

Have you seen the 60 foot tall mural at the new Found Lofts apartments in Vista’s Arts and Culture District? Joram Roukes, an internationally famous artist and muralist from The Netherlands, painted it a couple months ago!

The collage-like, multi-wall mural contains many elements, including a mountain climber, and images that represent the culture of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. The frog and the coyote in the mural come from a traditional animal story of The First People: How Coyote Killed Frog. The Luiseño people inhabited this area long before Spaniards established nearby Mission San Luis Rey in 1798.

The very cool mural is located at 516 S. Santa Fe Avenue. You can’t miss it!

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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Kumeyaay words for native animals, plants.

The rich culture of our region’s Native American Kumeyaay is honored at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Near the corner of Juan Street and Taylor Street, the beautiful Iipay ~ Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok Land of the First People outdoor interpretive area teaches interested visitors a little of the Kumeyaay language. Kumeyaay words for many native animals and plants can be read along the edge of walkways.

During my last visit, I photographed many of the engraved artworks representing wild mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, cacti and trees, and the corresponding Kumeyaay and Spanish words.

If you want to see more of the surrounding area, the Land of the First People opened last year, and soon thereafter I took these photographs.

Incidentally, today there will be a special event held in this corner of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Earth Day will be celebrated! So if you read this in time, and you’re in the area, you might want to come on by!

Milyaapan. Mexican free-tailed bat.
Sha-ii. Turkey vulture.
Meshalyaap. Monarch butterfly.
‘Aahmaa. California quail.
‘Ensnyaaw. Coast live oak.
‘Aashaa kwilaaw. Northern mockingbird.
Hatepull. Nuttall’s woodpecker.
Kekhuu. Northern flicker.
Hallyewii. Alligator lizard.
Iihay halakwal. Salamander.
‘Emallk. Big-eared woodrat.
Perhaaw. Gray fox.
Kwak. Mule deer.
Nyemtaay. Mountain lion.
E’mull. Shaw’s agave.
Ehmaall. Ground squirrel.
‘Ewii. Southern Pacific rattlesnake.
Waipuk. California kingsnake.
Kusii. Jimsonweed.
Hattepaa. Coyote.
Hampachoka Huumpaashuuk. Anna’s hummingbird.
‘Ehpaa. Coast prickly pear.
Ashaa hahpaa. Cactus wren.
Ku’uun. Red-tailed hawk.
Hachehwach. Hooded oriole.
Kupally. Blue elderberry.
Nyemii. Bobcat.
Llyexwiiw. Striped skunk.
Para ak hepeshu. Great blue heron.
Hantak. Treefrog.
Ashaa milshlap. Mallard.

UPDATE!

I took photographs of more words during a later visit…

Hantak sa-ai. California toad.
‘Ehnaally. Western pond turtle.
Mashhaatiit. Dragonfly.
E’pilly. Southern cattail.
Meshalyaap heyull. Western tiger swallowtail.
Para ak nemeshap. Great egret.
Chi ariar tenurr estik. California killifish.
‘U’uu. Great horned owl.
Nemas. Raccoon.
Miskenan. Stink beetle.
Kellyemuy. Bumble bee.
Hiiwaat. Deergrass.
‘Eshpaa ewall nemeshap. Bald eagle.
Kilyaahwii. Mourning dove.
Tellypuu. Greater roadrunner.
Meniish. Scorpion.
‘Aanall. Honey mesquite.
‘Eshpaa. Golden eagle.
Kunyaaw. Black-tailed jackrabbit.
Menniih. Tarantula.
Muu. Bighorn sheep.

The following are animals that are extinct or no longer found in the area around San Diego…

Sha-ii guatay. California condor.
Nyemii guatay yow kwakulsh. Sabertoothed cat.
Nemuuly. Grizzly bear.
Kwa nyilly. Pronghorn.

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!

San Diego River once flowed beside Old Town.

San Diego history buffs know that the San Diego River, where it approaches the Pacific Ocean, is not located where it flowed originally.

A cobblestone filled channel in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is a visual reminder that the river once flowed directly next to our city’s birthplace.

In 1853, to prevent flooding in Old Town and the build-up of sediment in San Diego Bay, the Derby Dike was built, diverting the river into False Bay–today’s Mission Bay.

A sign by a footbridge over the modest cobblestone channel shows where the San Diego River was originally located in relation to the park and nearby Taylor Street. You can find this sign in the beautiful outdoor Iipay – Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok Land of the First People, at the northwest corner of the State Park.

Long before the arrival of explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo in 1542, and the establishment of the nearby Spanish Presidio in 1769, the Native American Kumeyaay lived here on the banks of the life-sustaining river in a village called Kosa’aay. They called the river ha wenow.

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!

A little more street art in El Cajon!

Here’s a little more street art that I photographed during my last walk in El Cajon.

The red, white and blue flag horses are painted on an electrical box on Lexington Avenue, by Heartland Fire & Rescue Station 6.

The Chief Joseph box can be found a few steps to the east, between the fire station and the El Cajon Branch Library.

Both works of street art are faded, so I suppose they’ve been there for quite a while.

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!