The colors of one weekend walk downtown.

Flower vendor at the Saturday Little Italy Mercato Farmers' Market.
Flower vendor at the Saturday Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market.

Several walks today.

This morning it was around downtown, mostly near the water. I saw many colors, much life, and even a little bit of history.

Banner at Civic Center Plaza celebrates Office of the City Clerk's Archives Month. Images include glimpses of San Diego history. (Click to enlarge.)
Banner at Civic Center Plaza celebrates Office of the City Clerk’s Archives Month. Images include glimpses of San Diego history. (Click to enlarge.)

The above Archives Month banner is hanging from the City Administration Building. It shows interesting bits of San Diego History, including the 1887 Circus Parade, construction of Balboa Park for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, and aircraft over downtown celebrating the end of World War I.

Members of Navy Band Southwest entertain visitors to the Broadway Pier during Fleet Week San Diego 2017.
Members of Navy Band Southwest entertain visitors to the Broadway Pier during Fleet Week San Diego 2017.
People fill the Embarcadero near the Broadway Pier during Fleet Week.
People fill the Embarcadero near the Broadway Pier during Fleet Week.
Waiting in line for the weekend Fleet Week event, which includes a ship tour of the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage.
Waiting in line for the weekend Fleet Week event, which includes a ship tour of the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage.
Banner along the Embarcadero promote the Breeders' Cup, which is coming to Del Mar in November.
Banner along the Embarcadero promote the Breeders’ Cup, which is coming to Del Mar in November.
A sailboat out on San Diego Bay.
A sailboat out on San Diego Bay.
Relaxing at the Waterfront Park on a beautiful October Saturday in San Diego.
Relaxing at the Waterfront Park on a beautiful October Saturday in San Diego.
Lots of yummy food is found at the Little Italy Mercato Farmers' Market.
Lots of yummy food is found at the Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market.

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!

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!

Your donation improves beautiful Tweet Street Park.

A recently improved section of Tweet Street Park on Cortez Hill. Volunteers help make this downtown neighborhood more beautiful.
A recently improved section of Tweet Street Park on Cortez Hill. Volunteers help make this downtown neighborhood even more beautiful.

Do you love Tweet Street Park on Cortez Hill? I feel very fortunate that I get to walk through the narrow but lush park almost every single day.

Over the past weeks and months, I’ve noticed smiling volunteers busy pruning, planting, removing trash, and adding new beauty to our downtown park. They are the Friends of Tweet Street Park! They welcome new community members!

A couple days ago I talked to Joe Ciavarella as he was working on one section of the park. I learned that Cortez Hill residents and anyone interested in beautifying this special corner of downtown San Diego can make a tax deductible contribution that benefits the Friends of Tweet Street Park. Funds obtained go to the purchase of gardening tools, new plants and materials that are used for a variety of landscaping improvements.

If you’d like to make a donation, visit this page.

Positive people doing positive things make each corner of this world a whole lot better!

In addition to hard work, improving the park requires the purchase of tools, plants and other material. Anyone can now easily make a donation!
In addition to the work of volunteers, improving the park requires the purchase of tools, plants and other material. Anyone can now easily make a donation!

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!

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

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!

Scenes of life at Ruocco Park.

Walking very slowly, rhythmically, toward Ruocco Park, playing bagpipes.
A man walks along slowly, rhythmically, playing bagpipes.

Just before sunset I found myself at Ruocco Park, between the USS Midway and Seaport Village. Many were out in the warm air enjoying life. I saw people talking, laughing, creating music, walking, skating, sitting, catching a ball on the grass . . .

People at a picnic table and on the grass at Ruocco Park.
People at a picnic table and on the grass at Ruocco Park.
Couple rolls down the Embarcadero on inline skates and a skateboard.
Couple rolls down the Embarcadero on inline skates and a skateboard.
Kid looks with yearning at an ice cream seller's cart.
Kid looks with yearning at an ice cream seller’s cart.
Folks talk as the sun approaches the horizon.
Folks quietly talk as the sun approaches the horizon.
A family walks along and gazes out at a sunlit ship.
A family walks along and gazes out at a sunlit ship.
A slow walk along San Diego Bay at Ruocco Park.
A slow walk along San Diego Bay at Ruocco Park.
A couple sits on a bench inside a work of public art, The Riparium, in a corner of Ruocco Park.
A couple sits on a bench inside a work of public art, The Riparium, in a corner of Ruocco 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!

Boats, art and wildlife at Chula Vista Harbor.

Looking out at the many boats in Chula Vista Harbor.
Looking out at many boats in Chula Vista Harbor.

In the morning I took the trolley down to Chula Vista and walked to the harbor. I’ve blogged on several occasions about Bayside Park and the adjacent Chula Vista Marina, but I had never explored Chula Vista Bayfront Park on the south side of the harbor, near the boat ramp.

I found a peaceful, grassy place with inviting paths, wide views of the South Bay, and a couple fascinating works of public art. And some wildlife, too!

Come with me as we walk from the tall ship Bill of Rights around the south end of the California Yacht Marina and finally to Chula Vista Bayfront Park.

The schooner Bill of Rights, based in Chula Vista, can be chartered for fun adventures. It often participates in San Diego's annual Festival of Sail.
The schooner Bill of Rights, based in Chula Vista, can be chartered for fun adventures. It often participates in San Diego’s annual Festival of Sail.
Relaxing by the picturesque marina on a quiet, peaceful morning.
Relaxing by the picturesque marina on a quiet, peaceful morning.
Flags fly near the California Yacht Marina, located at the south end of Chula Vista's pleasant harbor.
Flags fly near the California Yacht Marina, located at the south end of Chula Vista’s pleasant harbor.
The California Yacht Marina building appears inviting.
The California Yacht Marina building appears inviting.
Circling around the marina toward the boat ramp and grassy park, where you can see some trees.
Circling around the marina toward the boat ramp and adjacent grassy park, where you can see some trees.
A quiet morning walk in San Diego's South Bay.
A quiet morning walk in San Diego’s South Bay.
A person sitting on a bench in Chula Vista Bayfront Park enjoys some shade. Nearby boats float gently on the water.
A person sitting on a bench in Chula Vista Bayfront Park enjoys some shade. Nearby boats float gently on the water.
A boater heads into the dock, toward the tall ship Bill of Rights.
A boater heads into the marina, toward the tall ship Bill of Rights.
The fishing pier of nearby Bayside Park lies to the north across Chula Vista Harbor's entrance. I see the Coronado Bay Bridge and downtown San Diego in the distance!
The fishing pier of nearby Bayside Park lies to the north across Chula Vista Harbor’s entrance. I see the Coronado Bay Bridge and downtown San Diego in the distance!
These three abstract sculptures near the walking path are titled Konoids, by Kenneth Capps, 1984.
These three abstract sculptures on the grass near the walking path are titled Konoids, by Kenneth Capps, 1984.
An osprey in its nest out on San Diego Bay.
An osprey in its nest out on San Diego Bay.
A sign in Chula Vista Bayfront Park describes the osprey, a majestic raptor.
Sign in Chula Vista Bayfront Park describes the osprey, a large raptor.
Ospreys like to dive for fish. They are year-round residents of San Diego Bay.
Ospreys like to dive for fish. They are year-round residents of San Diego Bay.
An unusual sculpture. Powering the Arts, by artist Micheal Leaf, 2015. It stands next to the blue water in Chula Vista Bayfront Park.
An unusual sculpture. Powering the Arts, by artist Micheal Leaf, 2015. It stands next to the blue water at Chula Vista Bayfront Park.
Sign describes how Powering the Arts was once a cylinder atop the now demolished South Bay Power Plant.
Sign describes how Powering the Arts was once a cylinder atop the now demolished South Bay Power Plant.
A cool, unexpected sight in San Diego's sunny South Bay!
A cool, unexpected sight in San Diego’s sunny South Bay!

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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Beautiful sycamores at Los Peñasquitos Canyon.

Early this morning, while it was still cool outside, I headed up to Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. My intention was to take a brisk hike around some trails near the old Adobe Ranch House. But then my eyes encountered California sycamores along one trail. And my camera came out. And then the sun came out. My hike slowed to a walk. With many long pauses.

Beautiful photos frame and emphasize the infinite beauty that surrounds every one of us. Taking such photographs does make one pause. And love life.

You might also enjoy some photos on one of my other fun blogs, A Small World Full of Beauty.

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!

To read a few small stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.