A legacy honored at Mission Bay.

A plaque by the Mission Bay boardwalk honors the legacy of a man who was an inspiration to many.

Ken “SAWMAN” Sawyer III is remembered as one who lived life to the fullest and left us a legacy of laughter, love and compassion…

I noticed this memorial plaque last weekend while walking near the boat rental dock of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort.

May we all be remembered for having such a positive influence.

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!

Ocean Beach memorial to Shoeshine Willie.

A memorial to a beloved Ocean Beach man now appears on the small building where he repaired and polished shoes for decades. William L. Washington “Shoeshine Willie” passed away early this year. The memorial contains two short poems written by Aaron Bryant.

Years ago I remember seeing Shoeshine Willie working in his modest shed next a parking lot and Ocean Beach bus stop. At the time I thought it was unusual for a shoeshiner to be active in a day and age when the profession has all but disappeared. I now wish I had spoken to him.

If you’d like to see this touching memorial, head over to the corner of Newport Avenue and Cable Street. I noticed it during my last walk in OB.

Here’s an article concerning William Washington and what he meant to the community.

…He was Ocean Beach’s bright Shining light…He’s still here in spirit…

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!

Pandemic art: Paintings from the Confinement.

The COVID-19 pandemic was difficult for all of us. Tragically, many would not live through it.

We all remember the long days of uncertainty, fear, loneliness, forced isolation.

If you head to Balboa Park today, you need to stop by the San Diego Museum of Art to experience Paintings from the Confinement. Today is the final day of this emotionally moving exhibition.

I viewed the small egg tempera paintings, created by San Diego artist Marianela de la Hoz, at the urging of my museum docent friend Catherine.

The images are symbolic, spare, often grim. There is darkness. There are claustrophobic spaces. There is flat human life on small cold screens. But there are a few rays of hope beyond the confining walls. Thank goodness those walls have now mostly come down.

The artist found it hard to honestly paint her many feelings. In particular, it was very hard to portray death.

In her statement, Marianela de la Hoz explains the only treasures I have are my loved ones, family, friends, and art; everything else remained as non-essential.

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!

Transplant Games come to San Diego!

The 2022 Transplant Games are being held this week in San Diego!

A big parade was held for participants this morning along Harbor Drive. (Which I just missed!)

This evening the Opening Ceremony will be held at the San Diego Convention Center.

As their website explains: Every two years the Transplant Games of America gathers together thousands of transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, individuals on the waiting list, caregivers, transplant professionals, supporters and spectators for the world’s largest celebration of life.

Transplant recipients and donors will compete in many different sporting events through this Wednesday. Most of the competition will be at the Convention Center. It will also be the location of the Transplant Games of America Village, and according to the Schedule of Events, the public is welcome!

I think I’ll go tomorrow. I’d like to watch a bicycling competition that will be held Sunday morning at Embarcadero Marina Park South, just behind the Convention Center.

Would you like to become involved–perhaps by becoming an organ donor yourself? Check out the 2022 Transplant Games web page here.

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!

Encountering life up close at MOPA.

An extremely powerful exhibition of portrait photography is now on view at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

Encounter: Photographs by Jed Fielding features numerous street portraits that make you feel the strangers you see have somehow become your friends. Because that’s the very personal way Jed Fielding approaches his subjects.

The photographs are full of life, smiles, eye contact, playfulness, emotion, sincerity, vulnerability, pride, sadness, freedom. Kids at play in Naples, Italy are pleased to stop for a moment and shyly grin. A mixture of more subtle emotions appear openly in the faces of those who’ve grown older.

I was particularly moved by photos Jed Fielding took of blind children in Mexico City. As his camera shutter clicked, small hands were doing their own seeing. In one photograph fingers reached up to feel the lens.

In those portraits of blind children, more than the others, not a soul wears a mask. Every expression is unaffected, absolutely genuine.

It’s an authentic connection between people that makes these photos so powerful. So alive.

Encounter: Photographs by Jed Fielding is on display at MOPA through September 25, 2022.

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!

Black history celebrated on San Diego’s Market Street.

John Franklin Ritchey. First Black player for the San Diego Padres.

A series of street lamp banners celebrating Black History in San Diego can be observed on Market Street, between Sixth Avenue and Tenth Avenue. Depicted are eight notable pioneers of downtown!

If you’d like to learn about many of our city’s Black pioneers, entrepreneurs, sports heroes and others who’ve contributed to our city’s rich history, here’s a good page to visit!

To see a timeline of Black history in San Diego, check this page out!

Sylura Barron. Civic leader and women’s rights activist.
Jasper Davis. Second Black police officer in San Diego.
Blossom Lorraine Van Lowe. First Black teacher in San Diego.
Dr. Robert Matthews. Educator and civil rights activist.
Rebecca Craft. Founder of Black Women’s Civic League.
George A. Ramsey. Entrepreneur and business owner.
Dr. Jack Kimbrough. President of NAACP, San Diego, 1947.

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Many hands raised at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon!

Hundreds of hands rose skyward in triumph at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon this morning!

At the downtown finish line, a huge crowd of spectators and supporters encouraged the runners as they approached the end of their successful race!

Arms waved, hands shot up victoriously, fists were raised, feet danced. Friends and family shouted, took photos, celebrated, hugged.

Watching the spectacle, one felt a rush of joy and elation. Before your very eyes, you could see limitless human possibility.

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!

Flags, flavor and fun at the Santee Street Fair!

The annual Santee Street Fair returned to East County today!

I rode the San Diego Trolley up to Santee Trolley Square to enjoy an event I hadn’t previously experienced.

The festival began with the presentation of colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. In addition to youthful dancing and martial arts demonstrations, a Gold Star family took to the main stage. They were thanked for their sacrifice with a standing ovation.

Lots of neighbors came out to enjoy food, fun and fellowship. The kid zone’s rides were whirling. Smiling artists, vendors and community organizations were plentiful. I’ve never seen so many prize wheels!

After a bit, the sun peeked out from the clouds above. And it felt like a perfect Memorial Day weekend had begun!

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!

Loving life at the 2022 Escondido Street Festival!

A huge crowd turned out today for the 2022 Escondido Street Festival along Grand Avenue!

After a two years’ absence during the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event in downtown Escondido is back bigger and better than ever!

In addition to numerous vendors lining several blocks of Grand Avenue, I observed a fun art show, tons of food, and multiple stages featuring diverse entertainment. I listened to both rock and roll and mariachi music! I saw colorful baile folklórico dancing!

Folks working to improve the Escondido community were also out greeting people. That first photo is of a smile from Love Esco, an organization that cares for neighbors through simple acts of kindness and tangible means of love.

A also got a smile from the Escondido Education Foundation, but I declined their offer of a free Escondido poster. (I got enough stuff already!) The foundation is a community driven fundraising organization which provides funding for essential resources, and programs that empower teachers, inspire learning, and promote innovation and academic excellence in EUSD.

Also, thanks to the Helen’s Book Mark used bookstore for the amazing deal on half a dozen books! If you haven’t seen their cool mural on the back side of the store, click here!

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!

Poetry transcends perception at Liberty Station.

One seldom observes public art that features poetry. It’s even more rare when the poems are composed by people who are frequently ignored.

Transcending Perception is public art that debuted in Liberty Station back in October, 2020. I hadn’t seen this installation until last weekend, when I walked down a pathway on the east side of THE LOT movie theater.

The images of Transcending Perception, according to the nearby information sign, “were created in a series of workshops that combined theater, poetry, and photography with the intention of ‘returning the gaze’ on both current and historical representations of those who are often excluded or misrepresented in the dominant media…”

This artwork was created by Josemar Gonzalez/Diana Cervera/The AjA Project.

Should you visit Liberty Station in Point Loma, you might want to read these potent words and consider what they mean and why they were written.

We all lead unique lives, with our own experiences and assumptions. It’s enlightening to put yourself in another’s shoes.

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!