A tale of two San Diegos.

Many of these photos aren’t cool. But they represent reality.

There is a tale of two San Diegos that can be read every day.

One San Diego is optimistic. The other is bleak.

We are all participants in this tale of two San Diegos.

The story is complex and heart-breaking, and has uncounted pages.

There are many ways to help San Diego’s homeless. If that’s something you’d like to do, click here.

You can help restore murals around San Diego!

Do you love art? Do you love San Diego’s unique history and culture? Do you want to beautify our city?

Your help is needed!

As you might have read in my previous blog post, local artists have formed a team that intends to restore many of San Diego’s neighborhood murals. Over time street murals can become faded, peeled, dirty or defaced, and need a little love to restore them to their full glory.

The growing Southeast Art Team, led by a super optimistic, smiling Kim Phillips-Pea, has plans to restore various murals in different San Diego communities. But, of course, buying paint and other supplies requires funds. That is where you come in!

You can help to restore beautiful murals around San Diego by visiting the Mural Restoration Project San Diego’s special GoFundMe page here.

Perhaps, like me, you don’t have much skill with a paintbrush, but you can provide a helping hand to mural-restoring artists who do!

Click here!

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Last year, at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s annual Fourth of July celebration, diverse people from our community joined together on stage to read parts of the Declaration of Independence.

People from all walks of life, converging from different places, each with their own unique struggles, ambitions and experiences, remembered some of the enduring principles that underlie a free society.

During the event, anyone in the crowd was invited to come up onto the stage to read, and many did.

Of all the photos I took at the event, the above photograph to me is the most powerful.

Even with all of our human differences–the millions of unique personal beliefs and desires that frequently conflict–there are high ideals that are cherished by one and all.

We all want to live. We all want to be free. We all seek happiness.

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Little Saigon Stories in North Park windows.

...You are the bright pearly moon at night...Thousands of distant stars Am I...
…You are the bright pearly moon at night…Thousands of distant stars Am I…

Little Saigon Stories can be glimpsed in the windows of a North Park building, at the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.

A project of Media Arts Center and The AjA Project, Little Saigon Stories celebrates and recounts the history of the Vietnamese community in East San Diego. Various events were held in 2019, including lectures and the creation of public art recounting the stories of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants.

The area called Little Saigon is generally located along El Cajon Boulevard, in the neighborhood of Euclid Avenue.

Little Saigon Stories in windows at El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.
Little Saigon Stories in windows at El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street.
Despite living here for so long, I've actually never gone back to Vietnam...
Despite living here for so long, I’ve actually never gone back to Vietnam…

I speak four languages. English, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Chinese...
I speak four languages. English, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Chinese…

I came here under the ODP program, parental sponsorship...I sponsored my son to come here...Now he has a child...
I came here under the ODP program, parental sponsorship…I sponsored my son to come here…Now he has a child…

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!

Love Locks many hearts together, forever.

In the city of Vista many hearts are locked together.

A double heart-shaped sculpture on Main Street titled Love Locks invites residents to permanently attach a padlock. Each lock symbolizes an unbreakable bond of love.

Love Locks was created by artists Rick Randall and Jaydon Sterling Randall in 2016.

People have added hundreds of unique locks to the two joined hearts.

Each lock has its own story.

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!

Transit mural shows our common humanity.

Years ago a pair of murals were painted under Friars Road, one on either side of Mission Center Road. Both show scenes related to San Diego’s public transit system.

On one mural there is a bus; on the other, a trolley. People stand near a bus stop, or a trolley station, or walk along, or simply engage in busy urban living.

I looked at the time-stained murals this morning and realized they emphasize our common humanity.

Diverse figures appear as simple silhouettes. As you pass through the darkness under the Friars Road bridge, you see these outlines of ordinary citizens to your right and to your left. All moving through the city together.

I’ve tried to ascertain who painted these murals–they are signed Duff 1997. If anyone knows more about them, please leave a comment!

Camera in hand, I walked beside the murals and took photographs of the mysterious silhouettes.

We can’t see the faces. But we can absolutely see the humanity.

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!

The answer to hate, violence and anger.

In this old world, there seems to be no shortage of hate, violence and anger.

In my experience, there’s only one answer to all that is negative.

Love.

A positive, unselfish love for one another.

During my walks around San Diego, I’ve photographed many words and images that express a simple idea: We should love one another.

And why not?

Life is short for every one of us.

Only love in our hearts gives us true fulfillment.

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!

Complex people in a complex city.

The immense complexity of the city and its people is evident in every one of my walks.

A city is like a small slice of the larger human world. Many individuals heading in different directions, or forward together…talking or silently thinking…interacting in the places where they work, rest, shop, live. You see the complexity in the streets signs and the architecture, in restaurant menus and colorful store windows. You see it on the active sidewalks, in styles of dress, facial expressions, postures of ambition or resignation. A city and its people are too complicated to ever adequately describe.

Much of the complexity rises from the ongoing tangle of human desires, predilections, emotions. One thing that seems constant in the world is human yearning. And those yearnings often create tension.

Today I walked around downtown. I came upon a political rally at the County Administration Building. Roused citizens, desiring liberty, were chafing at the slow reopening of society during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They expressed their reasons. They yearned for individual liberty. But others in our society yearn for collective security. It’s that never-ending political conflict.

As I continued my walk, I turned my eyes upward to see the mysterious, ordered windows where different people work and live. And I looked at the intersecting streets and sidewalks, where separate lives move forward.

All that human complexity makes a city what it is. It also makes every single walk every single day fascinating. And thought-provoking.

Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, when the city seems more lonely and troubled than usual.

He was simply resting in the sun.

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!

If the above images feel almost like a poem, it was my intention. To read a few philosophical stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Oil painted people in San Diego.

This morning I was going through hundreds of unused photographs filed on my computer when I was struck with another fun idea!

Why not use a few of my old photos to create more oil paintings?

These digitally created “oil paintings” are of people in San Diego!

Can you recognize some of the locations?

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!