Stuff the Bus online to help students in need!

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Stuff the Bus campaign is being held entirely online this year!

You can help San Diego students who are in need–including those who are homeless–by providing them with school supplies. SDCCU has partnered with the San Diego County Office of Education to make your participation easy. Simply go to this GoFundMe page and make a donation!

Funds received will purchase backpacks full of school supplies like pencils, pens, binders and crayons for those kids who might otherwise go without. The backpacks will be distributed to schools all around San Diego County.

Last year, over 6,800 backpacks filled with school supplies were handed out!

The SDCCU Stuff the Bus campaign runs through July 31, 2020.

Visit the donation page here!

Happy art and the Escondido Students’ Tile Mural.

Do you ever blink your eyes at an oh-so-serious adult and wonder what they were like as a small child? Before growing up and becoming terribly sophisticated, did they love to draw simple things like hearts, flowers and smiles?

I saw this amazing tile wall in Escondido last weekend as I walked from the California Center for the Arts toward Grape Day Park. A plaque states it’s the 1994 Escondido Students’ Tile Mural. Hundreds of names from local schools appear on this happy, quilt-like mosaic.

The tiles were painted 26 years ago.

I have no doubt that many who painted their tile with small hands long ago still love hearts, flowers and smiles.

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!

Let’s celebrate Read Across America Week!

Soar to new heights. Read.
An outdoor mural near the Linda Vista library. Soar to new heights. Read.

Read Across America Week kicked off on Monday!

Read Across America Day, which begins a week-long celebration of reading, was created by the National Education Association. It’s held on the school day that is nearest to March 2nd. That’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday! And, as many of you know, Theodor Seuss Geisel was a famous resident of La Jolla in San Diego!

I thought I’d celebrate Read Across America Week with some past photographs concerning the written word. And photos that celebrate Dr. Seuss, too!

Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!
Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!
First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.
First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.
Eat. Sleep. Read.
Eat. Sleep. Read. A shirt for sale at the Festival of Books at Liberty Station.
Cat in armchair reads Of Mice and Men. On the shelves are Cat's Cradle, The Cat in the Hat, Puss in Boots, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof...
Street art in Normal Heights. Cat in armchair reads Of Mice and Men. Book on the nearby shelves include Cat’s Cradle, The Cat in the Hat, Puss in Boots, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof…
Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Library books are transported by public volunteers from an old branch library to a brand new building down the street. Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley
Mark Twain is reading his own classic American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Sculpture of Mark Twain on a bench. The humorist is reading his own classic American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Mr. Samuel Clemens, American author of many famous books and stories, relaxes under a tree in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2015 TwainFest.
Mr. Samuel Clemens, American author of many famous books and stories, relaxes under a tree in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2015 TwainFest.
Moby Dick reading marathon on the poop deck of the 1863 tall ship Star of India.
Moby Dick reading marathon on the poop deck of the 1863 tall ship Star of India.
Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges . . . I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library . . .
Words engraved outside the San Diego Central Library. Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges. I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library.
Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.
Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.
A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody's front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!
A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody’s front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!
It’s Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham! This fun art was photographed outside the Legends Gallery in La Jolla, hometown of popular children’s book author Theodor Geisel.
It’s Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham! This fun art was photographed outside the Legends Gallery in La Jolla, hometown of popular children’s book author Theodor Geisel.
Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat are cast in bronze at UC San Diego in La Jolla, not far from the place where the famous children’s author resided much of his life.
Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat are cast in bronze at UC San Diego in La Jolla, not far from the place where the famous children’s author resided much of his 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!

Do you love to read? I love to write!

If you’d like to check out my short works of fiction (and a few poems), click Short Stories by Richard.

A short story about a mysterious artifact.

Have you ever visited a museum and viewed an historical object that seems timeless? An artifact that might still belong in the hands of the living?

I’ve written a short story based on my own strange experiences. It has a surprise ending. It’s titled The Recovered Artifact.

To read it, click here!

I would like to express gratitude to those teachers who’ve introduced my story One Thousand Likes to students recently using Google Classroom. I observe my website stats and am stunned. I never imagined such a small story would be read by so many. It’s a writer’s wildest dream come true!

Now it’s time to start brainstorming again!

There are many more places to walk in San Diego and many more photographs to take. Unexpected new adventures await! Thanks for coming along!

Wishing all my readers a Happy New Year!

Richard

Two fun cool photos!

Cali Cool
Cali Cool

To justify the name of my website, I probably should present some “cool” photos.

I took these two fun pics during recent walks!

(The first is from a downtown sidewalk; the second is from Balboa Park by the San Diego Air and Space Museum.)

Cool Bus
Cool Bus

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!

Two colorful new sights in Old Town!

Three happy, silly creatures greet fun-loving people in front of Dr. Freeze Amazing Desserts!
Silly creatures greet hungry, fun-loving people in front of Dr. Freeze Amazing Desserts!

During my walk around Old Town on Saturday, I stumbled upon a couple of very colorful sights. I believe both of these are relatively new. At least, I don’t recall seeing either before!

A colorful mural decorates one side of a building at the Harold J Ballard Parent Center. Created by @ronald.paints and @artreachsd.
A colorful mural decorates one side of a building at the Harold J. Ballard Parent Center. Images are of nature and Kumeyaay culture. Created by @ronald.paints and @artreachsd.

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 final decision to write.

The older I become, the more I understand that life is fleeting.

Because of that, I’ve come to a decision.

I will now dedicate my spare hours to writing fiction.

Why?

While I enjoy walking everywhere and taking photos of San Diego, I feel that my efforts in creative writing might be more important. Apparently some people think my works of fiction have merit.

It doesn’t seem possible, but my website Short Stories by Richard has received visitors from school classrooms in four different countries now. Most of the students are reading the story One Thousand Likes. Many people around the world have also begun to read An Unexpected Sunflower, which is my very first short story and still my favorite.

So now I’m really going to concentrate on writing. Which means Cool San Diego Sights and my other photography blogs will be put on pause.

I’m hoping a few more worthwhile stories will come to me!

If I’m lucky!

If you’d like to read and follow my writing, you can click here!

Thank you for sharing my journey!

Student Art Gallery comes to Seaport Village!

Jeryn Young, Pop Art Portraits, 2019. Tempera paint on paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Jeryn Young, Pop Art Portraits, 2019. Tempera paint on paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.

Something new and very cool has recently opened in Seaport Village.

In partnership with the San Diego Unified School District, Seaport Village is now home to the Student Art Gallery!

I visited the gallery today and was blown away by some truly amazing student artwork. The pieces are selected by classroom teachers all around San Diego. Artists attend grades from Kindergarten through High School.

I learned the exhibition will rotate every few weeks, continuously introducing new artwork produced by San Diego’s talented youth. I also learned the gallery will move to a different, larger location inside Seaport Village in a couple of weeks.

If you want to check it out for yourself, visit the Seaport Village website here.

Please enjoy photos representing some of the art currently on display…

The Student Art Gallery at Seaport Village, in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District's Visual and Performing Arts Department.
The Student Art Gallery at Seaport Village was created in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts Department.
Trinity Covarrubias-Burns, Bees and Bloom, 2019. Construction paper, marker and tempera on paper. Kindergarten, Vista Grande Elementary School.
Trinity Covarrubias-Burns, Bees and Bloom, 2019. Construction paper, marker and tempera on paper. Kindergarten, Vista Grande Elementary School.
Valeria Romero Padilla, Mas Que Una Voz, 2019. Graphite pencil on paper. Grade 9, Crawford High School.
Valeria Romero Padilla, Mas Que Una Voz, 2019. Graphite pencil on paper. Grade 9, Crawford High School.
Amalia Martinez-Oviedo, Anime, 2019. Colored crayon and marker on paper. Grade 4, Toler Elementary School.
Amalia Martinez-Oviedo, Anime, 2019. Colored crayon and marker on paper. Grade 4, Toler Elementary School.
Isaac Benitez, Tree Frog, 2019. Tempera on paper. Grade 10, Lincoln High School.
Isaac Benitez, Tree Frog, 2019. Tempera on paper. Grade 10, Lincoln High School.
Jessie Hsu, Abstract Face in Glitter, 2019. Pastel and glitter glue on paper. Grade 2, E. B. Scripps Elementary School.
Jessie Hsu, Abstract Face in Glitter, 2019. Pastel and glitter glue on paper. Grade 2, E. B. Scripps Elementary School.
Jaime Barrozo, The Steeple, 2019. Black ink Pointillism on paper. Grade 8, Correia Middle School.
Jaime Barrozo, The Steeple, 2019. Black ink Pointillism on paper. Grade 8, Correia Middle School.
Leigh Archibald, Orange, 2019. Multiple mediums on paper. Grade 12, La Jolla High School.
Leigh Archibald, Orange, 2019. Multiple mediums on paper. Grade 12, La Jolla High School.
Jade Someda, The Fruits in Four, 2019. Wax crayon and watercolor on paper. Grade 9, Mission Bay High School.
Jade Someda, The Fruits in Four, 2019. Wax crayon and watercolor on paper. Grade 9, Mission Bay High School.
Daniel Perez, Blind Contour Self-Portrait, 2019. Black marker on paper. Grade 5, Edison Elementary School.
Daniel Perez, Blind Contour Self-Portrait, 2019. Black marker on paper. Grade 5, Edison Elementary School.
Lillian Robinson, Silence of the Lilies, 2019. Colored pencil on textured paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Lillian Robinson, Silence of the Lilies, 2019. Colored pencil on textured paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Tiernan Nauton, Cezanne Apples, 2019. Tempera on paper. Grade 3, Kumeyaay Elementary School.
Tiernan Nauton, Cezanne Apples, 2019. Tempera on paper. Grade 3, Kumeyaay Elementary School.
Kelsey Amann, Censored, 2019. Graphite pencil on paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Kelsey Amann, Censored, 2019. Graphite pencil on paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Riley Fritzenkotter, Love Thyself, 2019. Oil pastel and black marker on paper. Grade 4, Alcott Elementary School.
Riley Fritzenkotter, Love Thyself, 2019. Oil pastel and black marker on paper. Grade 4, Alcott Elementary School.

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!

Students create art for North Park festival!

Fourth and fifth grade students at Jefferson IB STEAM Magnet School created a bunch of cool art for the SDCCU Festival of Arts in North Park!

I spotted their artwork in the windows of the Target store on University Avenue. The theme is love of music…

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!

Learning one’s letters in Old Town San Diego.

In the one room Mason Street School in Old Town San Diego, younger and older children sat together before the teacher and learned their letters.
In the one room Mason Street School in Old Town San Diego, younger and older children sat together before the teacher and learned their letters.

A cool theme developed during my walk through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park yesterday. First I wandered into the 1868 San Diego Union Building and observed ladies in 19th century dress practicing calligraphy. A short time later, as my eyes scanned the walls of the one room 1865 Mason Street Schoolhouse, I noticed a sheet on the wall titled First Lessons in Penmanship.

Turns out it was a great day to relearn the alphabet!

A super nice gentleman in the old print shop provided all sorts of tidbits of information concerning printing, publishing and life in early San Diego. I learned the original Washington hand press that was used by the San Diego Union newspaper is now in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. And that setting up the tiny type for a single page of the newspaper took a keen-eyed person about 12 hours!

I posted photos of the old print shop and editor’s office four years ago. I also wrote a little about the San Diego Union’s history. You can revisit that blog post by clicking here.

You can see much more inside the old Mason Street School building and learn more about San Diego’s first school teacher, Mary Chase Walker, by clicking here!

Additional information that I learned yesterday is in my photo captions!

A sheet on the schoolhouse wall contains First Lessons in Penmanship. THE ALPHABET.
A sheet on the schoolhouse wall contains First Lessons in Penmanship. THE ALPHABET.
I'm given a small tour of the print shop inside the historic San Diego Union Building.
I’m given a small tour of the print shop inside the historic San Diego Union Building.
Like wet laundry, hundreds of newspaper sheets would be strung up all around the print shop so that the freshly impressed ink would dry!
Like wet laundry, hundreds of newspaper sheets would be strung up all around the print shop so that the freshly impressed ink would dry!
A demonstration of assembled type and the finished impression.
A demonstration of assembled type and a finished impression.
Part of a large plate in the Washington hand press. Today school students often visit the historic print shop to learn about publishing long before the digital age.
Part of a large plate in the massive Washington hand press. Today school students often visit the historic print shop to learn about publishing long before the digital age.
Those students can rearrange these letters to spell words like SUPER.
Those students can rearrange these letters to spell words like SUPER.
To proof newspaper sheets as type was assembled, this huge heavy roll would be used to make a quick impression.
To proof newspaper sheets as type was assembled, this huge heavy roll would be used to make a quick impression.
In the entrance of the San Diego Union Building, ladies sat at a desk practicing their penmanship.
In the entrance of the San Diego Union Building, ladies sat at a desk practicing their penmanship.
A sample of elegant Copperplate Calligraphy.
A sample of elegant Copperplate Calligraphy.
This beautifully penned text is from Lewis Carroll's humorous Lobster Quadrille in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
This beautifully penned text is from Lewis Carroll’s humorous Lobster Quadrille in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Showing how to write fancy letters with a quill and inkwell!
Showing how to write fancy letters with an old-fashioned pen and inkwell.

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!

Do you love to read?

You can find small, thought-provoking works of fiction at my website Short Stories by Richard.