Give Love event adds kindness to San Diego!

Be encouraging. Smile. Give hugs.
Be encouraging. Smile. Give hugs.

A group called Give Love New York is in San Diego this weekend during 2017 Maker Faire. You can find them near the Old Globe in Balboa Park, passing out carnations and inviting passersby to dance and converse and smile and sing and play games and write messages containing kindness, positivity and wisdom!

This unique Give Love project is the brainchild of Alive Worldwide. Their mission is to use creativity to encourage and spread human compassion.

Very cool! Events such as this could be held in every corner of the world! It’s very easily done. Why not?

Two smiles and free carnations from Give Love San Diego, at 2017 Maker Faire in Balboa Park!
Two smiles and free carnations from Give Love San Diego, at 2017 Maker Faire in Balboa Park!
With the help of the Old Globe Theatre, spreading kindness worldwide @givelovenewyork
With the help of the Old Globe Theatre, spreading kindness worldwide @givelovenewyork
Giving words of wisdom. Share your thoughts on a written note, then come back later and retrieve new wisdom to take home.
Giving words of wisdom. Share your thoughts on a written note, then come back later and retrieve new wisdom to take home.
Try it!
Try it!
Challenge yourself daily.
Challenge yourself daily.
Freedom is found by sacrifice. Question the unknown.
Freedom is found by sacrifice. Question the unknown.
Love hard. Love strong. Love always.
Love hard. Love strong. Love always.
Give Love San Diego!
Be open. Treat others with understanding. Give Love San Diego!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Scouts remove gum at Cabrillo National Monument!

Many generous Boy and Girl Scouts volunteered to beautify Cabrillo National Monument during Operation Gum Drop Removal!
Many generous Boy and Girl Scouts volunteered to beautify Cabrillo National Monument during Operation Gum Drop Removal!

I noticed during my visit to Cabrillo National Monument today that troops of Boy and Girl Scouts were busy around the park cleaning up chewing gum and other trash!

This very cool volunteering event was part of National Public Lands Day. It was also an opportunity for Scouts to earn special badges and enjoy a free lunch with park rangers!

Wow! Great job Scouts! Your positive outlook and dedication to community service has made San Diego even more beautiful! So here’s a big Thank You!

Scouts helping to remove gum and trash were awarded a Scout Ranger Patch, and enjoyed a complimentary lunch with Park Rangers!
Scouts helping to remove gum and trash were awarded a Scout Ranger Patch, and enjoyed a complimentary lunch with Park Rangers! How cool is that!
View of Cabrillo National Monument's Visitor Center from afar. I could see Scouts working hard throughout the park!
View of Cabrillo National Monument’s Visitor Center from afar. I could see Scouts working hard throughout the 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!

I support restoring the Palisades in Balboa Park.

Some supporters of Balboa Park, including The Committee of One Hundred, would like to restore the Palisades area of the park to its former glory. I learned about this visionary effort on Labor Day while grabbing some napkins at the cafe inside the Casa de Balboa. A stack of postcards had been placed nearby. I picked one up. Here’s a photo:

Photos on a postcard created by The Committee of One Hundred shows Balboa Park's Palisades area in 1935 and 2017.
A postcard created by The Committee of One Hundred shows Balboa Park’s Palisades area in 1935 and 2017.

As you can see, in 1935, during the California Pacific International Exposition, the Palisades contained spacious lawns, flowers and benches where today you’ll find a large ugly parking lot.

Sounds familiar? For decades the Plaza de Panama on El Prado contained a similarly ugly parking lot. But after that parking lot’s removal and replacement with tables, umbrellas, potted greenery and public art, the Plaza de Panama has become a bustling hub of activity full of people enjoying the sunny San Diego outdoors, as was originally intended.

Now back to the Palisades area. After a little more research, I’ve learned The Committee of One Hundred is already working to replace the four long-lost murals that used to be above the entrance of the 1935 California State Building, which is home to the San Diego Automotive Museum. To see more about that project, check out The Committee of One Hundred’s 2017 newsletter.

Given what I’ve read and know, I must say I’m in full agreement with the idea of restoring the Palisades. The parking lot is an absolute eyesore and many of the surrounding buildings appear bare and decayed. Most people who park here don’t linger. They immediately head in the direction of El Prado.

The Palisades parking lot seems completely unnecessary. Today, without spending a penny in construction, it appears to me there’s already plenty of parking across Park Boulevard south of the Veterans Museum–that huge lower lot is usually mostly empty. Simply add signage and one or two more stops for the parking shuttle.

When San Diego Comic-Con opens their new museum in the Federal Building next year, I imagine many more visitors will be drawn into the Palisades area. It seems to me the energetic people at Comic-Con International and other museums who would greatly benefit from a revitalization of the Palisades–the San Diego Air and Space Museum in particular–could use their considerable combined influence to help speed a beautiful restoration.

And why must it be an exact restoration? Why not add more flowers, some new outdoor art, and even a lively, splashing fountain? Why not both restore history and make history? Balboa Park should be forward-looking, optimistic, alive! San Diego’s world-renowned gem could shine even more brightly! Just imagine!

A happy story about youth and gratitude.

I believe I finally got it right. My latest short story. For a while it seemed wrong, incomplete.

Returning the Ball is a happy story about youth, optimism and gratitude.

This quick read is likely to make you smile. Perhaps even wipe a tear. Click the above link to read it.

Need something to read this Labor Day? I’ve gradually built a collection of short stories (and a poem) at my blog Short Stories by Richard. These small works of fiction are ideal for a beach read. Or half an hour by the pool.

Enjoy your day and thank you for supporting Cool San Diego Sights! I plan to head up to Balboa Park! What will I discover today? I don’t know!

Richard

Family prevents suicide with art, walking and love.

The Kennedy family is working hard to prevent suicide and brighten the world.
The Kennedy family is working hard to prevent suicide and brighten the world.

I was deeply moved yesterday. I met a family who is working for suicide prevention with beautiful art, walking and love. Their collective efforts were on display at the House of the Philippines lawn program in Balboa Park. (I posted photos of folk dancing at the event here.)

Elie Kennedy paints smooth rocks that she finds on a beach that her son Anthony loved. She paints those rocks on behalf of her son, who she lost to suicide in 2015. Her healing rocks radiate love. Money that she raises goes to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She sometimes uses the hashtag #healingrocksforanthony.

The Kennedy family also raises funds for the foundation by participating in the San Diego Out of the Darkness Community Walk. You can walk, too. Such walks take place all around the United States. If you’d like, you can learn more or register for a walk here.

Positive energy flows from each member of this family. It all comes from the heart. Sin Kennedy presses leaves and creates a range of colorful artwork. Check out her Instagram page here.

Please learn more by clicking the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. With treatment and knowledge many lives can be saved. The organization also helps those afflicted with a loss, advocates for suicide prevention, and funds scientific research to prevent future suicides.

Every single life is precious.

A story about Elie's son. Painful energy is now used to create something beautiful and positive.
A story about Elie’s son. Painful energy is now used to create something beautiful and positive.
A sample of the beauty that is created.
A sample of the beauty that is created.
Sin Kennedy is also an artist.
Sin Kennedy is also an artist.
Life is precious. Art reminds us of much that is good.
Art reminds us that much in life is good.

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Join the House of Chamorros in Balboa Park!

During my walk through Balboa Park, I spotted this House of Chamorros banner in front of the Hall of Nations, so I had to investigate!
During my walk through Balboa Park, I spotted this House of Chamorros banner in front of the Hall of Nations, so I had to investigate!

I was inspired today during my walk through Balboa Park. The House of Chamorros was showcasing the culture of the Mariana Islands, including Guam, at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Interesting artifacts were on display in the Hall of Nations, and food and entertainment filled the room for the public to enjoy.

Why were these friendly people in the Hall of Nations? Because the House of Chamorros doesn’t have a cottage–not yet!

I learned that efforts are underway to build a House of Chamorros cottage in Balboa Park. A building of their own would greatly enhance their mission to educate and share the Chamorro culture with the residents of San Diego County–and the millions of tourists who visit Balboa Park.

That sounds like a worthy endeavor to me! One that requires vision, dedication and . . . money. To learn more, and perhaps join their cause or make a donation, please visit the House of Chamorros website.

Musicians filled the room with beautiful Mariana Islands melodies while food beckoned from the nearby table.
Musicians filled the room with beautiful Mariana Islands melodies while food beckoned from the nearby table.
Just a few of the artifacts and crafts on display today.
Just a few of the artifacts and crafts on display today.

I also learned the House of Chamorros is having a cool lawn program next weekend at the International Cottages. The event is called the First Annual Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival. It will include music, dance, crafts and food that represent the culture of the Mariana Islands. (In case you’re curious, I’ve learned “hafa adai” means “hello” in the Chamorro language!)

The festival will take place March 5 from 11am to 5pm. It sounds to me like it will be a lot of fun!

The House of Chamorros presents the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!
The House of Chamorros presents the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival 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!

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

San Diego Padres charity efforts: time to step up!

Tony Gwynn statue with Showley Bros. Candy Factory in background.

The Chargers are leaving San Diego. Not only will local football fans suffer, but so might various charities who have benefited from the past generosity of the Chargers football team.

Time for the San Diego Padres to step up and fill the void!

I, along with thousands of other San Diego residents, would be overjoyed to see our beloved baseball team step up to bat at this critical time. I’m thinking in particular of the very important annual blood drive that has been hosted by the Chargers for many years.

The Padres now have an opportunity to touch even more lives in a positive way, by filling community needs caused by the Chargers’ departure from San Diego. Let’s turn this negative into a positive!

UPDATE!  A summer Padres Blood Drive was announced during the Celebrate San Diego event!  Yay!