First Responders to be honored in Little Italy.

First Responders in San Diego will be celebrated this Saturday, August 4th in Little Italy. The event will be held in Piazza Della Famiglia beginning at 5pm, and a special concert at 6pm will feature Marine Band San Diego.

This morning as I walked through Little Italy, I happened to see several banners stretched above the piazza honoring our community’s First Responders, including our Lifeguards, Sheriff, Firefighters and Police.

A big thank you to all of our heroes!

Photos of cool aviation event at Gillespie Field!

Someone looks at a restored North American L-17 aircraft on display at Gillespie Field during a special Air Group One event.
Someone looks at a restored North American L-17 airplane on display at Gillespie Field during a special Air Group One event.

Yesterday I enjoyed a very cool event at Gillespie Field in El Cajon. Air Group One, the San Diego wing of the Commemorative Air Force, put on a unique Warbird Expo and Aviation & Military Memorabilia Swap Meet out on the airfield’s tarmac!

All sorts of restored World War II aircraft were on display, as well as jeeps, vintage automobiles and other unique vehicles–even old tractors! I noticed that a few of the historical airplanes belong to Air Group One; others are stationed at Gillespie Field or flew in for the occasion.

The swap meet portion of the event featured all sort of artwork and aviation collectibles. Occasionally a World War II airplane would take off, land or roar by. Visitors could purchase a short ride around Gillespie Field! While Air Group One often participates in airshows, I was told this was their first ever event of this type. Hopefully it becomes an annual tradition!

Read the photo captions to learn more!

Checking out a row of shiny restored aircraft from the World War II era.
Checking out a row of shiny restored aircraft from the World War II era.
People were riding vintage military planes that helped the Allies to win World War II.
People were riding vintage military planes that helped the Allies to win World War II.
A banner explains that Air Group One's restored SNJ-5 is available for warbird rides for those who love the sound and feel of vintage round engines.
A banner explains that Air Group One’s restored SNJ-5 is available for warbird rides for those who love the sound and feel of vintage round engines.
Someone leaves the cockpit of "Sassy" after a ride around "The Patch" of Gillespie Field in El Cajon.
Someone leaves the cockpit of “Sassy” after a ride “around the patch” at Gillespie Field in El Cajon.
This golf cart was modified to look like a tiny jet airplane! It even has a tailhook!
This golf cart was modified to look like a tiny jet airplane! It even has a tailhook!
Guys hang out beside a 1943 Ford GPW that was assigned to Captain Victor Lucky Moen of the 13th AAF on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, during World War II.
Guys hang out beside a 1943 Ford GPW that was assigned to Captain Victor “Lucky” Moen of the 13th AAF on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, during World War II.
I was surprised to see several old farm tractors out on display among the airplanes!
I was surprised to see several old farm tractors out on display among the aircraft!
Several restored Beechcraft T-34 Mentor aircraft were out on the Gillespie Field tarmac. These planes served as versatile military trainers after World War II.
Several restored Beechcraft T-34 Mentor aircraft were out on the Gillespie Field tarmac. These planes served as versatile military trainers after World War II.
This super nice guy was a pilot for the United States Air Force. He now flies T-34 aircraft as a member of the March Field Aero Club in Riverside.
This super nice guy was a pilot for the United States Air Force. He now flies T-34 aircraft as a member of the March Field Aero Club in Riverside.
Visitors to Air Group One's first ever Warbird Expo and Militaria Swap Meet check out more vintage airplanes at Gillespie Field.
Visitors to Air Group One’s first ever Warbird Expo and Militaria Swap Meet check out more vintage airplanes at Gillespie Field.
This Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 biplane from the World War II era was painted to honor victims of 9/11.
This Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 biplane from the World War II era was painted to honor victims of 9/11.
Victims of the September 11 attacks are remembered on either side of the historical airplane.
Victims of the September 11 attacks are remembered on either side of the historical airplane.
American Airlines Flight 11 and Flight 77.
American Airlines Flight 11 and Flight 77.
United Airlines Flight 175 and Flight 93.
United Airlines Flight 175 and Flight 93.
This particular 1945 Stearman PT-17, an Army primary trainer, was the last airplane owned and flown by legendary actor Steve McQueen. The N number N-3188 was McQueen's reform school number!
This particular 1945 Stearman PT-17, an Army primary trainer, was the last airplane owned and flown by legendary actor Steve McQueen. The N number N-3188 was McQueen’s reform school number!
Looking into the rear cockpit of Steve McQueen's old Stearman PT-17.
Looking into the rear cockpit of Steve McQueen’s old Stearman PT-17.
I saw lots of cool artwork at the Expo.
I saw lots of cool artwork at the Expo.
All sorts of miscellaneous aviation antiques, gear and parts were for sale at some swap meet tables.
All sorts of miscellaneous aviation antiques, gear and parts were for sale at some swap meet tables.
Many books could be found, including one about the history of soaring in San Diego.
Many books could be found, including one about the history of soaring in San Diego.
Aviation souvenirs and stuff for sale at the swap meet included pins and patches.
Aviation souvenirs and collectibles for sale at the swap meet included pins and patches.
Lots of vintage cars were also on display. The San Diego Model A Club was well represented.
Lots of vintage cars were also on display. The San Diego Model A Club was well represented.
Other vehicles at the event included an old San Diego Police paddy wagon and a unique patrol car and taxi combo that discourages drinking and driving.
Other vehicles at the event included an old San Diego Police paddy wagon and an eye-catching San Diego Police Museum patrol car/taxi combo that discourages drinking and driving.
Keep 'em Flying.
Keep ’em Flying.
Checking out a Ryan STM-2 manufactured in San Diego in 1940. It now belongs to the Allen Airways Flying Museum at Gillespie Field.
Checking out a Ryan STM-2 manufactured in San Diego in 1940. It now belongs to the Allen Airways Flying Museum at Gillespie Field.

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!

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Flowers remember, honor fallen peace officers.

Roses for the fallen at San Diego's Regional Law Enforcement Memorial.
Flowers for the fallen at San Diego’s Regional Law Enforcement Memorial.

Yesterday the 33rd Annual San Diego County Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial ceremony was held at the Regional Law Enforcement Memorial, which stands eternally in San Diego’s beautiful Waterfront Park, in front of the County Administration Building.

During the solemn ceremony, fallen San Diego County peace officers were remembered, and honored.

The day after the ceremony flowers remain scattered by the names of heroes who sacrificed everything for you and me.

Flowers fade. Memory–and gratitude–will endure forever.

Names of heroes.
Names of heroes.
Flowers fade. Memory--and gratitude--will endure forever.
Flowers fade. Memory–and gratitude–will endure forever.

Donate to help the San Diego Police Department.

Wreath in front of San Diego Police Headquarters' Wall of Honor, remnant of a recent memorial ceremony. The wall is inscribed with the names of all police officers killed in the line of duty since 1913.
San Diego Police Headquarters’ Wall of Honor. The wall is inscribed with the names of police officers killed in the line of duty since 1913.

Almost everyone in San Diego, and many across the country, know the heartbreaking news. Two San Diego gang-unit officers were shot in the Southcrest neighborhood late last night. One, Jonathan DeGuzman, has passed away. The second, Wade Irwin, remains in serious condition.

As an ordinary citizen, would you like to help the San Diego Police Department? It’s an extremely difficult job they do, and a noble one. Their task is to protect our communities. They risk their own lives every single day to save others, to protect and assist law-abiding citizens, and to keep the peace. Unfortunately, in some important areas our local police department is underfunded.

Please visit the San Diego Police Foundation website to learn how you can directly help, and consider giving a donation. Thank you.

A walk up Broadway, from downtown to Golden Hill.

A large bee and the word LOVE. Street art on a fence near the top of Golden Hill.
A large bee and the word LOVE. Street art on a fence near the top of Golden Hill.

I went on a long walk today and took many photos. Enough for several blog posts!

I’ll begin at the beginning–walking in the mid-morning from downtown San Diego to the top of Golden Hill. I headed east along Broadway, crossed Interstate 5, then began my climb up the hill, looking this way and that. Here are a few interesting things I saw, starting at the Police Headquarters located at 14th and Broadway…

Wreath in front of San Diego Police Headquarters' Wall of Honor, remnant of a recent memorial ceremony. The wall is inscribed with the names of all police officers killed in the line of duty since 1913.
A wreath in front of the San Diego Police Headquarters’ Wall of Honor is the remnant of a recent memorial ceremony. The wall is inscribed with the names of all police officers killed in the line of duty since 1913.
A prayer on Broadway. Shelter my brothers and sisters in arms who have fallen in the fight. Let their stars, lit by your love, shine brightly through the night.
A prayer on Broadway. Shelter my brothers and sisters in arms who have fallen in the fight. Let their stars, lit by your love, shine brightly through the night.
A sign points to Golden Hill as I walk east up Broadway from downtown San Diego.
A sign points to Golden Hill as I walk east up Broadway from downtown San Diego.
Looking back west toward downtown. Many jacaranda trees line San Diego's streets. A man waits at a bus stop.
Looking back west toward downtown. Many jacaranda trees line San Diego’s streets. A man waits at a bus stop.
Crazy decal on the back of a stop sign.
Crazy decal on the back of a stop sign.
A utility box with a bit of funny street art. This tired buffalo appears to be crunching some numbers.
A utility box with a bit of funny urban art. This tired buffalo appears to be crunching some numbers.
A nicely restored Victorian residence on Broadway in Golden Hill. This neighborhood contains many historic houses, and some are quite amazing. A hundred years ago, this area on a hill near downtown was quite affluent.
A nicely restored Victorian residence on sloping Broadway, photographed while heading up Golden Hill. This neighborhood contains many historic houses. A hundred years ago, this area on a scenic hill near downtown was very affluent.
One side of a fun utility box has been boldly painted with a fiery green dragon.
One side of a utility box has been boldly painted with a fiery green dragon.
A lady and another scaly dragon on the opposite side of the box. A floral mural decorates a nearby store's wall.
A lady and a scaly dragon on the opposite side of the box. A floral mural decorates a nearby store’s wall.
The San Diego Reader is a very popular alternative weekly newspaper in our city. Their headquarters is located on Broadway in Golden Hill.
The San Diego Reader is a very popular alternative weekly newspaper in our city. Their headquarters is located on Broadway in Golden Hill.
The 1896 Quartermass-Wilde House is a San Diego Historic Landmark. This elegant Victorian is an outstanding example of Queen Anne style architecture.
The 1896 Quartermass-Wilde House is a San Diego Historic Landmark. It’s difficult to miss!  This elegant Victorian is an outstanding example of Queen Anne style architecture.
Lots of balloons and flowers for sale at the corner of Broadway and 25th Street. It's Mother's Day.
Lots of balloons and flowers for sale at the corner of Broadway and 25th Street. It’s Mother’s Day.
A beautiful bit of shining art inlaid in the sidewalk. A marker at the top of Golden Hill.
A beautiful bit of shining art inlaid in the sidewalk. A marker at the top of Golden Hill.
San Diego Fire Station 11, at the corner of Broadway and 25th Street. It's a perfect day for a walk!
San Diego Fire Station 11, at the corner of Broadway and 25th Street. It’s a perfect day for a walk!
A Mexican taco shop and graffiti on the windows. The neighborhood today is a bit rundown, but sunny and pleasant.
A Mexican taco shop has graffiti on the windows. The neighborhood today is slightly neglected, but sunny and pleasant.
A wooden fence along the sidewalk contains amazing, colorful murals, beginning with this flowery skull.
A wooden fence along the sidewalk contains amazing, colorful murals, beginning with this flowery skull.
A brilliant butterfly spotted on Broadway, near the top of Golden Hill!
A brilliant butterfly spotted on Broadway, near the top of Golden Hill!
A hummingbird drawn like ancient Southwest rock art.
A hummingbird drawn like ancient Southwestern rock art.
A magical lady, eyeball blooms and an unfinished Simba.
A magical lady, eyeball plants and an unfinished Simba.
Someone walks west along the Broadway sidewalk. I continued east, turned north up 28th Street and directed my feet toward South Park.
Someone walks west along the Broadway sidewalk. I continued east, turned north up 28th Street and directed my feet toward South Park.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Get out of jail free at old police headquarters!

People view photos and memorabilia in corridor of the old San Diego Police Headquarters located downtown near Seaport Village.
People view photos and memorabilia in corridor of the old San Diego Police Headquarters located near Seaport Village.

In downtown San Diego, one can enter a highly secure jail cell, then turn around and easily walk right out! How? Simply visit the old police headquarters!

The Headquarters at Seaport is the official name of a relatively new shopping center on Harbor Drive, located right next to Seaport Village. The unique complex features several fine restaurants and specialty shops, housed in a restored building that was originally built in 1939. For almost half a century–until its closure in 1987–the fortress-like building with its large courtyard was home to San Diego’s police headquarters.

Anyone visiting The Headquarters can enjoy a free glimpse of San Diego history by checking out a modest exhibit in a corridor that leads to the old cell block and some restrooms. I took photographs during one walk that you might find interesting.

This beautifully restored building now contains shops and restaurants on San Diego's waterfront. Built in 1939, it served for half a century as the city's central police station.
This beautifully restored building now contains shops and restaurants on San Diego’s waterfront. Built in 1939, it served for half a century as the city’s central police station.
People amble past a doorway which leads into the past. A bit of San Diego history beckons the curious.
People amble past a doorway which leads into the past. A bit of San Diego history beckons the curious.
Old jail cells and an interesting police department exhibit are inside!
Old jail cells and an interesting police department exhibit are inside!
Fascinating photographs on one corridor wall show scenes from the old police headquarters.
Fascinating photographs on one corridor wall show scenes from the old police headquarters.
Many operations were under one roof, including administrative offices, jails, a law library, crime lab, pistol range, and even a police car maintenance facility.
Many operations were under one roof, including administrative offices, jails, a law library, crime lab, pistol range, and even a police car maintenance facility.
This photo shows officers posing in front of the iconic tower. The historic building is a mixture of architectural styles often seen in San Diego and Southern California.
This photo shows officers posing in front of the iconic tower. The historic building is a mixture of architectural styles often seen in San Diego and Southern California.
Display cases in this preserved hallway contain artifacts from local law enforcement decades ago.
Display cases in this preserved hallway contain artifacts from local law enforcement decades ago.
Vintage police shields and badges are among the interesting items in this museum-like display.
Vintage police shields and badges are among the interesting items in this museum-like display.
Handcuffs, documents and law enforcement equipment educate visitors about police history in San Diego.
Handcuffs, documents and law enforcement equipment educate visitors about police history in San Diego.
Some patches that were worn proudly.
Some patches that were worn proudly.
Image shows original construction of the police headquarters in 1939.
Image shows original construction of the police headquarters in 1939.
I believe someone who was arrested is being photographed. I see a clock, calendar, lights and identifying placard.
I believe someone who was arrested is being photographed. I see a clock, calendar, lights and identifying placard.
The door of a holding cell in the old police headquarters corridor.
The door of a holding cell in the old police headquarters corridor.
Cells for prisoners and suspects were securely locked and unlocked using this mechanism.
Cells for prisoners and suspects were securely locked and unlocked using this mechanism.
A look inside the eight cell, two level jail block. If you want to see what life was like behind bars, that last door is wide open!
A look inside the eight cell, two level jail block. If you want to see what life was like behind bars, that last door is wide open!
These jail cells are very simple and primitive. Comfort is not a priority.
These jail cells are very simple and primitive. Comfort is not a priority.
A few bare essentials and a pretty face.
A few bare essentials and a pretty face.
Visitors to The Headquarters old cell block look at mug shots on one wall.
Visitors to The Headquarters old cell block look at mug shots on one wall.
Prisoner Information. Personal property is surrendered, necessities are provided, hours for lights out and visitors, and two telephone calls are granted at the time of booking.
Prisoner Information. Personal property is surrendered, necessities are provided, hours for lights out and visitors, and two telephone calls are granted at the time of booking.
Kids are photographed at the lineup wall. They look slightly suspicious!
Kids are photographed at the lineup wall. They look slightly suspicious!

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