A proposal: Celebrate San Diego Day!

Here’s a fun idea!

Yesterday, when I arrived for Silent Movie Night at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I knew almost nothing about Harold Lloyd. I had no idea that this very famous silent movie actor had once lived in San Diego, and had graduated from San Diego High School perhaps a mile from where I sat. As I watched the movie, I recalled that parts of Citizen Kane, often considered the greatest movie of all time, had been filmed in Balboa Park.

And suddenly–out of the blue–a crazy idea popped into my head!

It would be incredible to have a big annual festival in Balboa Park that celebrates San Diego! An enormous parkwide event that celebrates the amazing history, culture and people of America’s Finest City!

Imagine diverse people from every community in San Diego converging on Balboa Park to celebrate our common heritage and shared optimism. Imagine the swell of civic pride and the endless opportunities for education and entertainment!

The special day would celebrate San Diego’s artists, musicians, entertainers, athletes, authors, inventors, scientists, teachers, volunteers, visionaries . . . It would celebrate those who have contributed to our fascinating culture, and honor those who are working today to create an even more dynamic future.

Balboa Park already hosts a number of fantastic annual events, such as EarthFair, Maker Faire, Fiesta Botanica, December Nights and Make Music Day. I propose a parkwide event that celebrates San Diego!

Such an event might include San Diego musicians, Mexican baile folkl√≥rico, silent movies featuring Harold Lloyd, readings from Dr. Seuss, local outdoor artists at work, lots of tasty regional food, demonstrations of past and future technologies developed in San Diego, a tribute to Jonas Salk, performances and presentations by school students, samples of Kumeyaay culture, a variety of historical reenactments. . . There might be exhibits concerning Charles Lindbergh, and the birth of naval aviation, and Juan Bandini, and Kate Sessions, and George Marston, and Gregory Peck, and Sally Ride, and Dennis Conner, and Tony Hawk, and Meb Keflezighi, and our world champion Little Leaguers, and the history of San Diego’s tuna fishing industry, and the Palomar Observatory, and Charles Hatfield, and Richard Henry Dana Jr., and Jimmie Johnson, and Tony Gwynn, and Eddie Vedder, and Switchfoot, and Joan Embery, and Alfred Mitchell, and Roger Revelle, and L. Frank Baum, and . . . and . . . and . . . and . . . you get the idea!

The event would be like a small World’s Fair–a San Diego Fair–not unlike the two Expositions held in Balboa Park a century ago for which the park is historically famous.

My guess is an annual event like this would prove enormously popular. Everyone living throughout San Diego who loves our city would be represented and interested.

Anyway–it’s an idea that might be a lot of fun.

What do you think?

How homeless people can get help in San Diego.

Are you homeless?

During a period of my life, many years ago, I was also homeless.

When I was young I suffered from terrible depression. For reasons I’ll keep to myself, my life was incredibly painful. I threw everything away. I just about gave up.

Fortunately, there was a part inside me that never surrendered to the darkness. As I grew older, I found positive ways to overcome my depression.

I know there are many who are homeless and hurting in San Diego. If you happen to be homeless, for whatever reason, and you’d like a helping hand, I’ve learned about a great way to get help.

There’s a phone number that you can call confidentially to get lots of information. That phone number is 211.

Call 211 any time of the day or night and a friendly person will answer who can help you in different ways. The people at 211 are hooked up with over 6,000 community resources, and can assist callers in over 200 languages.

They know all about the shelters around San Diego and what you can do to get off the street. They know where to get medical help, help for emergencies, places to get food, legal help, help to overcome addiction, help for runaways, help for those who’ve been victims of violence, help for veterans who are experiencing a rough time . . . help for all sorts of difficulties that many people face in life. Call 211 and someone will assist you. It’s completely confidential.

If you don’t want to talk to anyone, you can also visit the 211 website by clicking here. Check it out and give the possibilities some thought.

I can say from personal experience that you should never give up hope. Even if your life seems completely hopeless, a path is always there to a brighter, better future. Always.

Afrofuture Art Exhibit at Worldbeat Cultural Center.

Miss Universe, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Miss Universe, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.

There’s a cool art exhibition now showing inside the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park. The Afrofuture Art Exhibit features some imaginative and thought-provoking pieces that meld the African American experience with an optimistic view of the future.

One highlight of the exhibition is a series of evocative digital collages that place individuals from the past and present in the cosmos, interacting with the planet Earth and other celestial bodies.

I did my best to capture some good photographs. Head inside the Worldbeat Cultural Center to enjoy much more futuristic African American artwork up close and in person, then walk around inside the re-purposed water tower to enjoy one of the most awesome and colorful event spaces in San Diego!

The Afrofuture Art Exhibit will be on display through Summer 2018 at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
The Afrofuture Art Exhibit will be on display through Summer 2018 at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
Uhura from the original Star Trek series depicted in futuristic artwork created by @caegallery.
Uhura from the original Star Trek series depicted in futuristic artwork by Weldon May.
Cool artwork on display at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
More cool art on display at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
A female face in the cosmos, by @caegallery.
A futuristic female face beneath stars and a streaking meteorite, by Weldon May.
The past, present and future come alive at the Afrofuture Art Exhibit.
The past, present and future come alive at the Afrofuture Art Exhibit.
Tan Man, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Tan Man, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Atlas, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Atlas, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.

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!

Real-life superheroes help San Diego homeless!

Visitor to San Diego Comic-Con takes a photo with The Nyght, patrol leader of the Xtreme Justice League, a group of real superheroes in San Diego.
Visitor to San Diego Comic-Con takes a photo with The Nyght, patrol leader of the Xtreme Justice League, a group of real superheroes in San Diego.

Today I was walking around outside San Diego Comic-Con when I met a real-life superhero. His name is The Nyght. He’s a member of the Xtreme Justice League.

The Xtreme Justice League began in San Diego, but now has superheroes operating around the country. Their primary mission is to help local communities stay safe.

These volunteer superheroes, wearing outlandish protective garb, are highly trained for what they do. They conduct safety patrols in rough neighborhoods and offer a variety of public safety services. They report dangerous activity that they observe to law enforcement. They strive to provide positive role models for at-risk youth. They oppose vigilantism–they believe in compassion, nonviolence, volunteerism and heroism.

They also work to help the homeless.

Tomorrow–Saturday July 21, 2018–members of Xtreme Justice League from all around the country will converge in Balboa Park’s Pepper Grove to help San Diego’s homeless. Their event is from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm. If you’d like to help them out, they accept donations of items such as individual tissue packs, socks, sunglasses, water bottles, sunscreen and sleeping bags.

You can learn more about who the Xtreme Justice League is, and what they do by visiting their website here!

The Xtreme Justice League works to increase community safety. They encourage residents to become involved in helping the homeless and reducing crime.
The Xtreme Justice League works to increase community safety. They encourage residents to become involved in helping the homeless and reducing crime. Be your own hero!
The Nyght tells me a little about the Xtreme Justice League, and how they and their members from around the country will help the homeless this Saturday in Balboa Park.
The Nyght tells me a little about the Xtreme Justice League, and how they and their members from around the country will help the homeless this Saturday in Balboa Park.

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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Spring flowers shine in the May gray!

An overcast May gray day.

After work I walked through Balboa Park. The clouds were gloomy, no sun in sight. But the park’s many spring flowers were reservoirs of light.

I found shining beauty wherever I turned.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Baseball dreams on banners at Petco Park!

20 Carlos Asuaje 3B
20 Carlos Asuaje 3B

Time flies! Only two days until the start of the Padres’ 2018 season! San Diego ended up with a record of 15-10 in spring training, the second best preseason record in the National League!

Expectations have risen greatly for the coming season. The team has a crop of young, hungry, super-skilled players, many rising from what is arguably the deepest and most talent-rich farm system in baseball. A sprinkling of outstanding veterans with great leadership skills are also in the mix, including newly acquired Eric Hosmer. Every indication is that the Padres’ offensive production should be really good. If the pitching is also good, who knows what might happen? It’s fun to dream, right?

During a walk around Petco Park last weekend, I spied 2018 Padres players on lamppost banners. And, naturally, I took photos!

Would you like to dream with me? Take a peek at what might be a very bright future!

3 Clayton Richard SP
3 Clayton Richard SP
4 Wil Myers 1B
4 Wil Myers 1B
7 Manuel Margot CF
7 Manuel Margot CF
12 Chase Headley 3B
12 Chase Headley 3B
13 Freddy Galvis SS
13 Freddy Galvis SS
18 Austin Hedges C
18 Austin Hedges C
52 Brad Hand RP
52 Brad Hand RP
61 Luis Perdomo SP
61 Luis Perdomo SP
64 Dinelson Lamet SP
64 Dinelson Lamet SP
30 Eric Hosmer 1B
30 Eric Hosmer 1B

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!

GO PADRES!

New turf and big dreams at Petco Park!

In late February, trucks haul in rolls of turf to resod the grass playing field at Petco Park!
In late February, trucks haul in rolls of turf to resod the grass playing field at Petco Park!

I was walking past Petco Park this morning when I noticed a long line of trucks waiting next to the ballpark. Each of the trucks was transporting rolls of sod.

It must be that time of year–about a month before the start of the season–when the field receives its brand new turf!

Beautiful new grass fits perfectly with the promise of a brand new season. Not only do the Padres have a team full of talented, hungry young players, but they recently signed baseball phenom Eric Hosmer.

Many of the people I speak to are dreaming of a much improved year ahead. Is it possible that the Padres will contend in 2018?

I can’t wait to find out!

Rolls of sod are lifted up and brought into Petco Park. Spring can't be far away now!
Rolls of sod are lifted up and brought into Petco Park. Spring can’t be far away now!
I took this photo a couple weeks ago from the Park at the Park. Workers were busy preparing the ball field for the Padres' 2018 season.
I took this photo a couple weeks ago from the Park at the Park. Workers were busy preparing the baseball field for the Padres’ 2018 season.
Numerous trucks were lined up all around Petco Park this morning. A promising new season is around the corner, and the outfield is getting a lot of fresh new turf!
Numerous trucks were lined up all around Petco Park this morning. A promising new season is around the corner, and the ball field is getting some fresh new turf!

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!