Gravestones at Pioneer Park in Mission Hills.

Pioneer Park is a city park in Mission Hills that’s popular with neighborhood families and children. It features a playground, green grass, many shady trees . . . and well over a thousand unseen graves. If you don’t wander into the southeast corner of the park, you might never know it’s also a cemetery.

Pioneer Park was originally Calvary Cemetery. The Catholic cemetery was established in the 1870s, then converted a century later into a Mission Hills community park. According to this article: “All the 800-odd memorial markers were taken away in the 1970s except for a line of tombstones left on the park’s edge. Left as a memorial, they’re still there…” Sadly, the gravestones that had been removed were callously dumped by those then living into a ravine at distant Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Many of San Diego’s earliest residents remain buried under the grass at Pioneer Park. Even after the passage of many years, surviving gravestones show historically important names like Cave Johnson Couts and Father Antonio Ubach. But all of the names are gradually fading away. Time does that.

Six nearby plaques list the names of those who are interred in the park, and it is said there might be many more.

On any given day, life goes on cheerfully above the grass. And beneath it lie the remains of those who once lived, dreamed, toiled and loved exactly like you and me.

Here are some photographs, to provoke thought, and to help preserve a little history…

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Community sculpture at entrance to Escondido.

If you’ve ever entered or departed downtown Escondido via West Valley Parkway, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a large, quite interesting sculpture a short distance east of Interstate 15. The sculpture stands at the intersection of Valley Parkway and Tulip Street, right next to the Gateway Shopping Center.

The cast bronze sculpture is titled Community. It was created by local artist Jeff Lindeneau in 1990.

The sun’s light forms dynamic human shapes that are “cut out” of the two triangular sections of Community.

According to a City of Escondido walking tour brochure: “This bronze, copper and locally mined granite sculpture celebrates people living and building together to achieve a common goal. The dramatic sculpture’s shape is reminiscent of the mountains surrounding Escondido with a central passageway depicting the valley.”

I like how you can see trees, hillsides, signs, buildings, light posts and electrical wires inside the human shapes. They, too, are part of Community.

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!

Beautiful mural in the Arcade Building in La Jolla.

I met the creator of beautiful murals today!

I was walking through La Jolla’s scenic Ellen Browning Scripps Park, gazing at the ocean, when I came upon a friendly artist selling some prints and a decorative surfboard. I soon learned that she is also a muralist, and that she has painted a very colorful mural in La Jolla’s Arcade Building!

So afterward I guided my feet in that direction!

Melanie Sojourner-Truth Atesalp is the artist’s name. Now that I’ve read her bio, I can see why her smile is so deep.

Her unique background and life experiences can be read at her website here. She’s all about imagination and laughter, healing and wisdom. She designed the large mural at the new SDSU Healing Garden and Meditation Space. Right now she’s concentrating on creating graphic novels and writing children’s literature.

If you like the mural you’re about to see, check out her website where there is art you can purchase!

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!

A rush for Valentine’s Day roses!

It’s Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air! The rush was on this morning to find red roses!

Fortunately, Dave’s Flower Box in North Park had trucks full of them! Their parking lot appeared to be a bustling flower drive-thru!

This beautiful red rose on the nearby sidewalk is for anyone who finds it.

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!

Walking downtown on an ordinary day.

If you wonder why so many Cool San Diego Sights photographs are taken downtown, it’s because that’s where I live! And where I do most of my walking.

Even on an ordinary day, there’s so much activity and so many interesting things to see downtown that my small camera is constantly aiming this way or that.

The first three photos you see here were taken on ordinary days in the past few months. The images have been sitting idle in my computer.

The remaining photos were taken this morning as I walked from Cortez Hill down Seventh Avenue, then meandered a bit through the Gaslamp Quarter.

Looks like the above photo was taken around the holidays–I see a red ribbon. While I love City Pizzeria, I believe I captured this image in front of Valentine’s Mexican Food as I waited for combo number one.

Okay, here come the photos from this morning…

A second photograph that includes pizza in neon! Apparently it’s a word that grabs my attention.

The interesting combination above also caught my eye!

Every walk is different.

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!

Contrasts in a forever evolving city.

Some of these photographs are disturbing. They show a few of the many contrasts curious eyes will observe in a city. A city that is forever evolving.

People come and go. Businesses come and go. Buildings come and go. Dreams come and go. And we are always right here in the present, trying to recall what was.

These photos were taken during a walk on Saturday. I started up Fifth Avenue from downtown, climbed north through Bankers Hill, and finally entered Hillcrest.

I observed new high-rise and bike lane construction. Striking contrasts appear in photos that include St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Abbey.

I observed new signs and fresh ambitions, and dreams that were shattered.

I glimpsed a complex world, and now even those small glimpses are a fading memory.

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 stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Memories on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

It’s a special day to remember the wisdom of one who knew that love is always greater than hatred.

Over the years, I’ve taken photographs of events and works of public art inspired by America’s great civil rights leader. I thought I’d share some of these optimistic images.

It’s always a good time to be reminded of our common humanity.

To see many past photographs concerning Martin Luther King, Jr., click the following links:

Optimism and love at the big MLK Parade!

Quotes on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

Sign language Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

Shedding the Cloak sculpture inspired by MLK.

Breaking the Chains on MLK Promenade.

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!

Shelltown public art celebrates community.

In Shelltown, a community southeast of downtown San Diego and north of National City, you’ll find fantastic public art at Southcrest Trails Park.

As one walks through the neighborhood park, one comes upon a large mosaic-like disk that contains many expressive faces. The public art, made of concrete pavers and bronze set in a small plaza, is titled A Place to Call Home. It was created in 2018 by San Diego artists Ingram Ober and Marisol Rendón-Ober.

The faces represent residents of the community speaking four names associated with the site: Chollas Creek, Shelltown, Southcrest and Home. As one circles the plaza, many mouths appear to speak.

The plaque at the center includes the words: Home is a place that helps us define who we are, and although we may leave that place, it never leaves us.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

The other day I was walking along the Embarcadero past Ruocco Park when I took this rather bizarre photograph.

What’s wrong with this picture?

If that fellow wearing orange is a huge soccer fan playing golf on an urban course that features five foot diameter holes, clearly nothing is wrong!

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!

Reflection, movement, life.

I was standing in front of the Santa Fe Depot waiting for a bus, gazing across the street at America Plaza and its trolley station, watching people and their movement, seeing strange reflections on nearby buildings–life and light dancing mysteriously–when I lifted my camera…

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!