Public art at Liberty Station invites interaction.

Facetime is a site-specific public art piece that offers three separate spaces for both interaction and contemplation, while providing temporary shelter.
Facetime is a site-specific public art piece that offers three separate spaces for both interaction and contemplation, while providing temporary shelter.

Very cool new public art was installed at Liberty Station this summer. I saw it for the first time last weekend while I experienced the La Jolla Playhouse’s outdoor WOW festival.

The public art is titled Facetime. It was created by Ocean Beach artist Miki Iwasaki. Three angular sculptures made of corten steel contain seats, inviting face to face human interaction.

I watched a couple enter one shelter, promptly pull out phones and bow their heads.

At least they sat near one another.

Facetime on grass near walkways at Liberty Station.
Facetime on grass near walkways at Liberty Station.
Instead of speaking face to face, two people stare silently down at their phones.
Instead of speaking face to face, two people stare silently down at their phones.
Miki Iwasaki. Facetime. August 2019. Corten steel with seating elements. In partnership with Mingei International Museum.
Miki Iwasaki. Facetime. August 2019. Corten steel with seating elements. In partnership with Mingei International Museum.
Materials will patinate over time, enhancing the visible connection to natural forces and site context.
Materials will patinate over time, enhancing the visible connection to natural forces and site context.
Three can sit near each other in this shady sculpture and share an experience.
Three can sit near each other in this shady sculpture and share an experience.
Facetime is public art located in Liberty Station's ARTS DISTRICT.
Facetime is public art located in Liberty Station’s ARTS DISTRICT.
Cool public art invites human interaction.
Cool public art invites human interaction.

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History of IDW at San Diego Comic Art Gallery.

The San Diego Comic Art Gallery at Liberty Station in Point Loma has a current exhibition that might interest those who are attending 2019 Comic-Con. The History of IDW Publishing is now on display in the museum-like gallery, which is located inside of IDW’s San Diego-based corporate headquarters.

The exhibit describes the evolution of IDW and their popular artwork, from the company’s 1999 local inception in Pacific Beach to its very successful present day.

Visitors to the San Diego Comic Art Gallery can enjoy artwork from many diverse IDW projects, including art books like that of Ashley Wood; comic books like 30 Days Of Night, CSI, The Transformers, Star Trek, Locke & Key and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; reprinted material from The Library of American Comics; art magazines like Swallow; and IDW Games.

In addition, one section of IDW’s art gallery contains some of the amazing work of Justin “J-Po” Ponsor, a comic book artist born and raised in San Diego. It’s a fine tribute to a talented colorist who worked on many major series including Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers and Star Wars. He passed away two months ago.

For more information about the San Diego Comic Art Gallery, visit their website here.

The following photos are from the gallery’s wall that pays tribute to Justin Ponsor.

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Scenes from Memorial Day in San Diego.

This morning I went to a Memorial Day ceremony at the San Diego Vietnam Peace Memorial, next to Balboa Park’s Veterans Museum. Representatives from San Diego’s Vietnamese community attended. They presented a wreath in remembrance. A beautiful new POW/MIA monument was revealed. (See my previous blog post.)

I and others then boarded an Old Town Trolley Tours bus. We were driven by our amazing Vietnam veteran driver Sam to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. There we attended the 119th Memorial Service and Day of Remembrance.

We heard deeply felt tributes to those who have served and sacrificed. Many wreaths were presented. Hearts poured out.

Thousand of tiny flags fluttered in the sea breeze.

Come along with me…

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!

Storm Drain Stenciling Day at Liberty Station!

At work on a Liberty Station sidewalk.
At work on a Liberty Station sidewalk.

During my walk through Liberty Station this morning I noticed several volunteers working on sidewalks near storm drains. Turns out that today was Storm Drain Stenciling Day!

Think Blue and I Love A Clean San Diego teamed up for this cool volunteer event. The freshly painted messages near storm drains remind everyone that these drains don’t lead to a sewer system, but drain directly into San Diego Bay and other local waterways.

Litter, waste, oil and chemicals that find their way into storm drains end up polluting beaches, estuaries and lagoons, harming birds, fish, other natural wildlife . . . and people!

This important stenciled message has faded over time.
This important stenciled message has faded over time.
Volunteer on a sidewalk in Liberty Station applies a new coat of paint on the curb above a storm drain.
Volunteer on a sidewalk in Liberty Station applies a new coat of paint on the curb above a storm drain.
Newly stenciled message by a storm drain in Point Loma. NO DUMPING GOES TO OCEAN
Newly stenciled message by a storm drain in Point Loma. NO DUMPING GOES TO OCEAN
Liberty Station in Point Loma is a very beautiful part of San Diego.
Liberty Station in Point Loma is a very beautiful part of San Diego.
I Love a Clean San Diego! (Don't you?)
I Love a Clean San Diego! (Don’t you?)
Let's all keep San Diego safe, beautiful and clean!
Let’s all keep San Diego safe, beautiful and clean!

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!

History and faith at St. Agnes Catholic Church.

On Saturday I stepped inside St. Agnes Catholic Church. It was one of three sites I visited in Point Loma during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO.

Donna Alves-Calhoun, author of the book Portuguese Community of San Diego, told me a little about the history of this church and the people whose lives are deeply linked to it.

I learned that an original church was built in 1908 by Portuguese fisherman families that had settled in La Playa, near the entrance to San Diego Bay. It was difficult for them to travel to Old Town or La Jolla to attend church services, so they built a small mission church in Point Loma.

In 1933 the new Mediterranean-style St. Agnes Catholic Church was built at the same location, using funds donated by the crews of local fishing boats.

The beautiful church’s bell tower was decorated with an illuminated statue of Our Lady of Good Voyage, which could be seen at a distance. Like a beacon it guided the Portuguese fishermen safely home. I also learned the extraordinary stained glass windows were made in Ireland, and the religious statues placed in corners of the church are from Italy.

After I moved around the church, looking up at the ceiling and its dark wooden beams painted faintly with tulips, Donna explained that many Dutch settled in the Azores. Like many who have descended from San Diego’s Portuguese fishermen, she herself possesses a measure of Dutch ancestry.

During the annual Festa do Espírito Santo celebration, a crown kept in a glass case near the altar, symbol of the supreme dominion of the Holy Spirit, is brought with other holy objects in a ceremonial procession from the U.P.S.E.S. Chapel and Hall to St. Agnes Catholic Church. The bringing of the “Coroa” remembers an historical gesture of compassion by Portugal’s beloved Santa Isabel, the Peacemaker and Holy Queen.

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A look inside the Portuguese Historical Center.

Anyone interested in the rich history of the Portuguese community in San Diego should visit the Portuguese Historical Center in Point Loma. It’s located at 2831 Avenida de Portugal, in a neighborhood that was home to many immigrant fishermen who came from the Azores, Madeira, and the mainland of Portugal, back in the days when tuna fishing was a major industry in our city.

I took a look inside the center yesterday during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO.

Every corner of the small museum is jam-packed with history. Shelves are brimming with Portuguese cultural artifacts, and there are photos of notable people, places and events. I saw many references to Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the Portuguese explorer who discovered San Diego Bay in 1542 on behalf of Spain.

A recently opened exhibit in the Portuguese Historical Center remembers those in the local Portuguese community who have served their country. During World War II, San Diego’s many Tuna Clippers were converted into patrol and supply boats that served the United States military throughout the Pacific Ocean theater. You can learn much more about that fascinating aspect of San Diego history here.

When I visited yesterday, the centerpiece of the museum was a stunning dress worn by the 2018 Festa Queen. The traditional Festa do Espírito Santo is celebrated each year by the community at the nearby U.P.S.E.S. Chapel and community hall. Festa is a Catholic celebration of Pentecost Sunday. During the colorful event a religious procession makes its way several blocks up Avenida de Portugal to St. Agnes Catholic Church.

In front of the Portuguese Historical Center, a shining Tuna Fishing Industry Monument is inscribed with the names of loved ones who’ve become a part of local history. Members of the Portuguese Historical Center also maintain the Tunaman’s Memorial on Shelter Island. You can see photos of that iconic memorial here.

Please enjoy this quick look . . .

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Inside the historic Portuguese U.P.S.E.S. Chapel.

Today I enjoyed a look inside a beautiful Catholic chapel in Point Loma. The historic U.P.S.E.S. Chapel, located on Avenida de Portugal, was open to curious visitors for the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO.

The small, nearly one hundred year old chapel stands in a neighborhood that once was the home to many Portuguese tuna fishermen. Many families that have descended from these seafaring fishermen still call this part of San Diego their home.

U.P.S.E.S. comes from União Portuguesa Açoreana Sociedade do Espírito Santo, which in English means the United Portuguese Azorean Society of the Holy Spirit.

According to the U.P.S.E.S. website, this building “was completed and inaugurated in 1922. The design of the Chapel is a facsimile of those that exist on the island of Terceira, Azores and follows the design of the chapels of that era. The interior reflects the design of the chapels that were found in the tuna vessels of that era. Today, as it was intended in 1922, the Chapel is used to house the Crown of the Holy Spirit during the Festa do Espirito Santo celebrations. On Pentecost Sunday, devotees of the Holy Spirit visit the Chapel to pray and offer a donation of money or Portuguese sweetbread to assure the continuation of this time honored ethnic religious celebration.”

The chapel stands adjacent to the United Portuguese SES Hall, directly across the street from the Portuguese Historical Center.

After walking up some steps and looking at memory-filled commemorative pavers, I stepped inside the chapel and took photos of its modest, elegantly beautiful interior.

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