Help restore the 1898 steam ferry Berkeley!

Banner along entrance gangway explains the Historic National Landmark 1898 Steam Ferry Berkeley Preservation Project.
Banner along entrance gangway explains the Historic National Landmark 1898 Steam Ferry Berkeley Preservation Project.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic 1898 steam ferry Berkeley is undergoing much-needed restoration. The wooden superstructure, exposed for many years to direct sunlight and weather, is in need of repair, as you can see from a couple of my photographs. The south side of the ship, which receives the most sunlight, is in especially poor condition. Work has already begun there.

The museum has received funding for the restoration in the form of a $200,000 grant from the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program. This prestigious grant will match every dollar contributed by the public. Funds are being used to create a watertight, weatherproof, much more durable structure that will last for another generation.

Every contribution you make will be effectively doubled by the matching grant. To make your 100% tax-deductible donation, and learn much more, please visit this page.

To see more photos of this truly amazing vessel and learn about its special place in history, you might want to visit this past blog post. Berkeley was not only the first screw propeller driven steam ferry on the West Coast, but it assisted in the evacuation of a burning San Francisco after the devastating earthquake of 1906. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of that blog post and read the extensive comment by the former museum librarian, who provides more fascinating information concerning the Berkeley!

The beautiful Berkeley is hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The vessel houses many exhibits, and hosts special events and education programs.
The beautiful Berkeley is hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The vessel houses many exhibits, and hosts special events and education programs.
Damage from the sun, salt, wind and weather is visible in this photo taken shortly before restoration began.
Damage from sun, salt, wind and weather is visible in this photo taken shortly before restoration began.
Guests to the museum are asked to be part of preserving local history. Contributions can be made online. Every dollar will be matched by a Maritime Heritage Grant.
Guests to the museum are asked to be part of preserving local history. Contributions can be made online. Every dollar will be matched by a Maritime Heritage Grant.
Scaffolding along a section of the steam ferryboat Berkeley's south-facing side. Restoration has begun.
Scaffolding along a section of the steam ferryboat Berkeley’s south-facing side. Restoration has begun.

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LimeBike smart bicycles arrive in San Diego!

Rows of bright new LimeBike smart bicycles have appeared in downtown San Diego.
Bright new LimeBike smart bicycles have suddenly appeared in downtown San Diego!

Look what I discovered as I walked down Cedar Street to the Little Italy trolley station this morning. A bunch of identical lime green bicycles were waiting in a row on the sidewalk!

Upon closer inspection, I saw these bikes can be rented simply by unlocking them with a smartphone. And riders pay only one dollar per half hour! Very affordable!

LimeBike has just announced the introduction of their smart pedal bikes into downtown San Diego. That must explain why I’ve never them before.

In the future, I’ve learned they intend to introduce a fleet of Lime-E electric assist bikes and Lime-S scooters. Sounds like a great idea to me!

The 1st ride of a LimeBike is free! They cost is only one dollar per half hour!
The 1st ride of a LimeBike is free! Renting one of these smart bikes costs only $1 per half hour.
Instructions on a LimeBike show how to scan the QR code to unlock the bicycle.
Instructions on a LimeBike show how to scan the QR code to unlock the bicycle.
I found more LimeBikes parked on the sidewalk near some colorful public art at the Little Italy trolley station!
I found more LimeBikes parked on the sidewalk at the Little Italy trolley station!

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!

Computer Science and a boom box at UCSD!

Father of the Computer, Charles Babbage, 1791-1871.
Father of the Computer, Charles Babbage, 1791-1871.

There are two electrical boxes near the UCSD Gilman Transit Center that caught my eye last weekend. One features tributes to three early pioneers of computer science. The other is painted to appear like a gigantic boom box. Technology and music are central to the life of many students at UC San Diego.

I always love revisiting the campus of UC San Diego. It’s a very beautiful place, bustling with energy. The university is rated one of the finest in the world. When I see the inventors of tomorrow, walking with smiles in the La Jolla sunshine, I feel hopeful.

Enchantress of Numbers, Ada Lovelace, 1815-1852.
Enchantress of Numbers, Ada Lovelace, 1815-1852.
Father of Computer Science, Alan Turing, 1912-1954.
Father of Computer Science, Alan Turing, 1912-1954.
An electrical box painted like a huge boom box near UCSD's Gilman Transit Center.
An electrical box painted like a huge boom box near UCSD’s Gilman Transit Center.
Musical notes stream from an enormous boom box at UC San Diego!
Musical notes stream from an enormous boom box at UC San Diego!

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!

Murals in Little Italy show history of tuna fishing.

An early 1900's Italian fishing boat looking for tuna off the coast of San Diego.
An early 1900’s Italian fishing boat looking for tuna off the coast of San Diego.

Some new murals have appeared in Little Italy on a construction site fence along Kettner Boulevard, between Beech Street and Cedar Street. The artwork, created by Elisabeth Sullivan, depicts the history of tuna fishing in San Diego.

The series of images tell the story of an industry that once prospered in our city, and that shaped the colorful downtown neighborhood of Little Italy.

Italian and Portuguese fishermen bamboo pole fishing at the peak of the industry in the late 1920's.
Italian and Portuguese fishermen bamboo pole fishing at the peak of the industry in the late 1920’s.
After a lengthy fishing expedition these tuna clippers head home with their catch.
After a lengthy fishing expedition these tuna clippers head home with their catch.
Fishing boats docked for the night in San Diego Harbor after unloading their catch.
Fishing boats docked for the night in San Diego Harbor after unloading their catch.
Women of Little Italy fishing families work to remove hooks, stretch dry and mend the nets.
Women of Little Italy fishing families work to remove hooks, stretch dry and mend the nets.
The tuna is unloaded at the wharf and delivered to San Diego fish markets and canneries.
The tuna is unloaded at the wharf and delivered to San Diego fish markets and canneries.
During World War II many tuna clippers were converted to Yacht Patrols by the U.S. Navy.
During World War II many tuna clippers were converted to Yacht Patrols by the U.S. Navy.
In the late 1950's the efficient modern purse seiner began replacing most of the bait boats.
In the late 1950’s the efficient modern purse seiner began replacing most of the bait boats.
The history of tuna fishing in San Diego can be observed on a series of new murals in Little Italy!
The history of tuna fishing in San Diego can now be observed on a series of beautiful murals in Little Italy!

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!

Art in Bloom at Japanese Friendship Garden.

You might have noticed I personally love the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. The garden always refreshes my mind and sparks my creativity. It’s one of my favorite spots to write short stories. (I hope to have a new one finished soon!)

When I learned a new cultural exhibition would open today in the garden’s handsome Inamori Pavilion, I knew at once that I had to check it out. The exhibition is called Art in Bloom – Floral Art of Japan.

The diverse pieces of artwork on display feature exquisite flower designs. By reading several signs in the exhibit, I learned about the symbolism of certain flowers in Japan. For example, I learned the camelia represents spring.

After feasting my eyes on the Art in Bloom exhibit, I walked up a winding path through the Lower Garden and carefully searched the grove of Japanese cherry trees for spring blossoms. None yet! One of the knowledgeable master gardeners informed me we have several weeks to go!

(Don’t forget to attend the certain-to-be-amazing 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival. This year it will be held on March 9 through March 11.)

Here’s a pic taken outside the Inamori Pavilion, followed by photos of a few works of the floral art inside…

Flowers at the Japanese Friendship Garden near the Inamori Pavilion, where the Art in Bloom exhibition is located.
Flowers at the Japanese Friendship Garden near the Inamori Pavilion, where the Art in Bloom exhibition is located.

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!

Getting the Starlight Bowl ready for action!

Guys work on an interactive kiosk that will be at the entrance to the renovated Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park!
Guys work on an interactive kiosk that will be at the entrance to the renovated Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park!

I was pleasantly surprised during my walk through Balboa Park today to see progress is being made in renovating the Starlight Bowl!

A couple of super cool guys from Save Starlight were installing an interactive kiosk at the outdoor amphitheater’s entrance. I learned that some events for the outdoor venue are already planned for early this year! How awesome is that?

If you are like me, you might have watched musicals performed in the Starlight Bowl under twinkling stars, before the San Diego Civic Light Opera went bankrupt in 2011. My memories from years ago are still vivid in my mind’s eye. I remember laughing as a young man at the humor of Kiss Me, Kate and The Pirates of Penzance.

I’ve blogged about the effort to save the Starlight Bowl on several occasions, and took a couple of photographs after a new paint job and clean up early last year. I posted those photos on my Beautiful Balboa Park blog here.

If you want to learn more about the Starlight Bowl’s history, challenges, rehabilitation and eventual reopening, visit this website. You can make a donation to help with the effort, or perhaps volunteer!

A performance in the Ford Bowl (now the Starlight Bowl) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. No known copyright restrictions image from Flickr.
A performance in the Ford Bowl–now the Starlight Bowl–during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. (This no known copyright restrictions image is from Flickr.)
Save Starlight is making great progress bringing the famous and beloved Starlight Bowl back to life!
Save Starlight is making great progress bringing the famous and beloved Starlight Bowl back to life!

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!

Survey of racial identity, feelings at MCASD.

People walk past the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's gallery at America Plaza.
People walk past the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s gallery at America Plaza.

I recently noticed new thought-provoking graphics in the windows of the MCASD gallery at America Plaza.

Last year, a survey was taken of 100 people passing through America Plaza. Questions were asked about racial and ethnic identity. Today an exhibit at downtown’s Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego expands on the results and explores the complicated subject.

The window graphics are designed to catch the eye and draw visitors into the gallery.

This project was produced by artists with students from local colleges in San Diego and Tijuana who participated in Transnational Seminar 1, lead by Collective Magpie.

On April 20th, 100 pedestrians took a survey here in America Plaza about race and ethnicity. Self-classification data was compiled.
On April 20th, 100 pedestrians took a survey here in America Plaza about race and ethnicity. Self-classification data was compiled.
Of the 100 surveyed, 83 answered mixed race; 14 white people; 3 people of color.
Of the 100 surveyed, 83 answered mixed race; 14 white people; 3 people of color.
Feelings about racial identity can differ from person to person.
Feelings about racial identity can differ from person to person.
One of two panels containing some of the racial or ethnic classifications that one might choose.
One of two panels containing some of the racial and ethnic categories that a person might choose.
A splash of words, asking passersby what the ultimate definition of race is.
A splash of words, asking people walking down Kettner Boulevard what the ultimate definition of race is…
People might feel differently about their racial identity depending on a range of factors and circumstances.
People might feel differently about their racial identity depending on a range of factors and circumstances, from their appearance…to their dreams…to their immediate environment…to the way they live.
Thought-provoking graphics in the windows of MCASD's downtown gallery at America Plaza.
Thought-provoking graphics concerning race in the windows of MCASD’s downtown gallery at America Plaza.

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!