Mario Torero and team restore Civil Rights mural!

A team of local artists works to restore the Civil Rights mural at 32nd Street and Imperial Avenue in San Diego.
A team of local artists works to restore the Civil Rights mural at 32nd Street and Imperial Avenue in San Diego.

Today I headed down to 32nd Street and Imperial Avenue to see the work being done to restore an important mural by internationally recognized muralist Mario Torero. When I arrived several local artists were gathering for the day’s work, and shortly thereafter an energetic Mario Torero himself showed up!

I first posted photos of this Civil Rights mural two years ago here. You can see how it had become faded over many years. Unfortunately, since then the mural had been defaced. If you want to learn more about the history of the mural, check out my old blog post.

The restoration has been ongoing for a couple weeks now, and the Imperial Avenue side of the long mural is nearly finished. There’s still the other side on 32nd Street to finish, and once plans are made work will begin there.

The local artists helping Mario Torero are called the Southeast Art Team. The growing team includes young people who love creating art. The Southeast Art Team has garnered a lot of media attention with this project and are already planning to restore additional murals around San Diego. But they need your help!

Please visit the GoFundMe page of the Mural Restoration Project San Diego by clicking here and help them out!

I learned that a new push is underway to not only restore many old murals, but to create new ones, too! Positive people never cease working to make the world better!

Do you want to be part of this? To pitch in, click here!

Internationally known muralist Mario Torero talks to local artists before commencing work restoring portions of his mural.
Internationally known muralist Mario Torero talks to local artists before commencing work restoring portions of his mural.

A colorful mural depicting Civil Rights icons is lovingly restored by its creator Mario Torero, and other local artists!
A colorful mural depicting Civil Rights icons is lovingly restored by its creator Mario Torero, and other local artists!

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!

Creativity and optimism in City Heights!

This afternoon I walked down University Avenue between I-805 and I-15. I’d learned a new mural is being painted in the City Heights’ outdoor “drive-through” art gallery!

Award-winning artist Sandra Escobar is painting a new mural on the wall of Super Cocina this weekend, and when I arrived the design had been sketched on a base of white paint. As I watched her helper working on the wall, the artist told me that tomorrow she’ll be applying color. I promised to swing by to check the new mural out!

Meanwhile, during my walk I discovered even more creativity along the sidewalk. Love City Heights has been working to add color and a sense of optimism to the community, and artwork now appears almost everywhere one turns. Even some boarded up windows have come alive!

I photographed several works of art that I hadn’t seen on past walks…

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!

Art on boarded up windows downtown.

Rise above.
Rise above.

Many windows are boarded up in downtown San Diego against the possibility of more looting and destruction. This moment in history is tumultuous, uncertain.

As I walked through the city this morning I noticed that many of the boards have been spray painted by street artists. I was happy to discover that most of the artwork conveys positive, powerful messages.

Celebrating life, renewal, love.

Butterflies take flight.
Butterflies take flight.
Peace in the heart.
Peace in the heart.
San Diego vida.
San Diego vida.
A flowery Volkswagen Hippie Van recalls the 1960's.
A flowery Volkswagen Hippie Van recalls the 1960’s.
Black is beautiful.
Black is beautiful.
Unity through inspiration.
Unity through inspiration.
A heart is possible with hands of all colors.
A heart is possible with hands of all colors.

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!

And still I rise.

The pace of construction in downtown San Diego hasn’t appeared to lag during the coronavirus pandemic. The city grows and grows.

Even in times that seem dark, a human urge to press forward does not die.

I took these few photographs during my walk this morning.

And still I rise…

And still I rise.
And still I rise.

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!

More signs expressing unity and thankfulness.

We are all in this together.
We are all in this together.

In San Diego we are proceeding with the gradual reopening of society as the coronavirus pandemic seems to slowly subside. Today restaurants were allowed to open for dining. Strict guidelines must be followed such as maintaining super sanitary conditions and safe social distancing.

Some say the reopening of society is proceeding too quickly; others say not quickly enough. But the future is a tricky thing to predict. There are so many variables. So many different risks. All I know is that at some point we’ll look back and see what actions in the final analysis were most wise. And our knowledge will increase.

On another hopeful note, during my walks in the past couple weeks I’ve observed more signs around town celebrating unity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other signs express thankfulness to essential workers. You’ll see that one billboard I photographed about a week ago concerning restaurants now seems dated, but no matter.

That so many people have demonstrated an urge to stay positive during this terrible crisis seems a good sign for the future of humanity in general.

At least, it appears that way to me. I’m an optimist.

San Diego strong.
San Diego strong.
To restaurants still delivering meals, thank you.
To restaurants still delivering meals, thank you.
Thanks transit driver heroes.
Thanks (transit driver) heroes.

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!

Inspirational street art in North Park!

This is tough but so are you.
This is tough but so are you.

Need a little hope and optimism during this difficult time?

Check out all this inspirational street art I discovered today during my walk through North Park!

I found positive artwork painted on an electrical box, hopeful chalk art on the sidewalk, and two cool murals (first and last photos) by PANDR Design Co., the folks who created the popular “SMILE, You’re in San Diego” mural downtown! (You can see that mural and learn more about the artists here!)

You are a radiant beam of light and capable of so much good.
You are a radiant beam of light and capable of so much good.
You got this.
You got this.
Some happy, positive street art in North Park.
Some happy, positive street art in North Park.
Breathe. You are loved.
Breathe. You are loved.
I know it's hard now but it will get better.
I know it’s hard now but it will get better.
Better day ahead.
Better days ahead.
We'll get through it together.
We’ll get through it together.

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 walk to Hillcrest during the pandemic.

We are in this together!
We are in this together!

This morning I got some exercise by taking a long safe walk. I began downtown, near the southwest corner of Balboa Park, and headed north through Bankers Hill to Hillcrest.

There were signs all around of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic…

Yellow tape stretched between trees along Sixth Avenue indicates Balboa Park is closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yellow tape stretched between trees along Sixth Avenue indicates Balboa Park is closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Written in chalk on the sidewalk: Thank you healthcare, pharmacy, grocery...
Written in chalk on the sidewalk: Thank you healthcare, pharmacy, grocery…
In one window: Social distancing equals love in action.
In one window: Social distancing equals love in action.
Sign indicates St. Paul's Cathedral is closed as a precaution during the pandemic.
Sign indicates St. Paul’s Cathedral is closed as a precaution during the pandemic.
During my walks around town I've noticed more and more businesses boarded up as the coronavirus pandemic lockdown continues.
During my walks around town I’ve noticed more and more businesses boarded up as the coronavirus pandemic lockdown continues. I noted these positive messages for an unfortunate situation.
Fifth Avenue in Bankers Hill has almost no traffic.
Fifth Avenue in Bankers Hill has almost no traffic.
Temporary services changes are posted at the bus stop on Upas Street.
Temporary services changes are posted at the bus stop on Upas Street.
A tattoo parlor has a graphic in their window. Closed 4 the plague.
A tattoo parlor has a graphic in their window. Closed 4 the plague.
Many restaurants in Hillcrest had Curbside Pickup Only signs out front.
Many restaurants in Hillcrest have Curbside Pickup Only signs out front.
In a parking lot by the UCSD Medical Center hospital, tents are set up for the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully they aren't in use at the moment!
In a parking lot by UCSD Medical Center, a major San Diego hospital, tents are set up for the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully most don’t seem to be needed at the moment! (The waving nurse reminded me to Stay Safe!)

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!

Street art around the city provides inspiration!

Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to conquer it.
Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to conquer it.

We now live in a very difficult time. The coronavirus pandemic has shut many of us indoors, darkened our days, made the future uncertain.

So I’ve decided to post these photos of inspirational street art. Reminders that hope persists. That there is love, and beauty, and a future that is always full of promise.

These examples of inspirational street art were all photographed during past walks around the city.

The only thing stronger than fear is hope.
The only thing stronger than fear is hope.
Live free like a butterfly.
Live free like a butterfly.
Let's be friends.
Let’s be friends.
Happiness is the art of making a bouquet of those flowers within reach.
Happiness is the art of making a bouquet of those flowers within reach.
I love you more than you'll ever know.
I love you more than you’ll ever know.
Be true.
Be true.
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind.
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind.
A smile among beauty.
A smile among beauty.
One love.
One love.
Faith. Hope. Peace. Love.
Faith. Hope. Peace. Love.
Be humble you are made of earth. Be noble you are made of stars.
Be humble you are made of earth. Be noble you are made of stars.
Happiness and sunshine.
Happiness and sunshine.
I am possible.
I am possible.
Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
True love is a returning... Love awakes the child in you...
True love is a returning… Love awakes the child in you…
Hand in hand.
Hand in hand.
Love.
Love.
Smiling faces.
Smiling faces.
Keep going!
Keep going!
Keep going.
Keep going.

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!

Beauty close to your door.

The coronavirus pandemic we’re all involved in is a very difficult thing. To slow the spread of the contagious, dangerous COVID-19 virus, we all must maintain social distance. Most public areas are now officially closed.

Personally, I find being shut up inside for much of the day a bit depressing. But you know what? Look what I photographed just outside the back door today!

What beauty awaits close to your door?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera. When the coronavirus pandemic finally subsides–hopefully sooner rather than later–my journeys of discovery around San Diego will resume!

You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Even in dark times, light persists.

The photographs in my previous blog post show how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting life in San Diego. But they do not reflect all that I saw during my walk today.

I also saw beauty, optimism, creativity, hope.

Even in times that are dark, light persists.

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!