Faces of INSIDE OUT still smile in Chula Vista!

A harsh winter with rain and wind, and an occasional prankster, but dozens of optimistic faces still smile in Chula Vista!

Last weekend, as I walked down H Street east of Fourth Avenue, my eyes were surprised to see a row of large, smiling faces in an alley. They looked out at the world from a long, low wall. I turned into the alley to have a closer look.

What I discovered were faces photographed and turned into public art by the international INSIDE OUT project. INSIDE OUT had come to San Diego’s South Bay in September 2018 to encourage people to express their unique identity and viewpoint, and vote in the upcoming election.

The INSIDE OUT project is the brainchild of an anonymous artist named JR. Large‐format images of individuals in a community are pasted on buildings and along streets. Activist messages are conveyed visually, with personality and a smile!

This global “people’s art project” has achieved enormous reach. By late September 2018 over 260,000 people had participated in 129 countries!

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!

Great ideas at South Bay Earth Day!

People have gathered in Chula Vista's Memorial Park for South Bay Earth Day!
People have gathered in Chula Vista’s Memorial Park for South Bay Earth Day!

Today I headed to Memorial Park in Chula Vista to check out South Bay Earth Day!

This cool annual event inspires community members to save water and energy, protect the environment, and keep our corner of the planet beautiful and clean.

I walked about and learned all sorts of useful information at many booths. I read about environmental projects that are being undertaken by the City of Chula Vista and various nonprofit organizations. I saw how community members are working to improve their neighborhoods.

These photos contain many great ideas. Click the images of signs to enlarge them for easy reading. Much of the information is of special interest to residents in San Diego’s South Bay. If you live elsewhere, perhaps you will be inspired, too!

Chula Vista's beautiful Memorial Park provides a bit of green in an urban setting.
Chula Vista’s beautiful Memorial Park provides an oasis of green in an urban setting.
The City of Chula Vista has various programs that help to protect the environment and improve quality of life.
The City of Chula Vista has various programs that help to protect the environment and improve quality of life.
Earth Month Calendar of Events for the City of Chula Vista, which includes volunteer opportunities like the Creek to Bay Cleanup.
Earth Month Calendar of Events for the City of Chula Vista, which includes volunteer opportunities like the Creek to Bay Cleanup.
City of Chula Vista, Leaders in Innovation. Programs include smart irrigation, traffic signals, sustainable buildings and drones.
City of Chula Vista, Leaders in Innovation. Programs include smart irrigation, traffic signals, sustainable buildings and drones.
Activities at South Bay Earth Day include making art. I enjoyed seeing neighbors creating colorful tie-dye!
Activities at South Bay Earth Day include making art. I enjoyed seeing neighbors creating colorful tie-dye!
This work of art created from a gourd was one of many amazing pieces from Dream Job Craftworks by Kathy Page.
Some great artists had booths. A horse etched and painted on a gourd from Dream Job Craftworks by Kathy Page.
Southwestern College had an assortment of native succulents at its Sustainable Landscape Practice table. They can provide water saving ground cover for one's yard.
Southwestern College had an assortment of succulents at its Sustainable Landscape Practice table. These native plants can provide water saving ground cover for your yard.
Mel Clarkston of LetsGetTrashed.Art shows her mosaics made of mostly plastic trash found on beaches!
Mel Clarkston of LetsGetTrashed.Art shows her mosaics made mostly of plastic trash found on beaches!
An amazing Golden State mosaic made from small bits of litter!
An amazing Golden State mosaic made from small bits of litter!
The San Diego Fixit Clinic had a table at the event. No need to throw certain things away. They repair many broken items for free!
The San Diego Fix-it Clinic had a table at the event. No need to throw certain things away. They repair many broken items for free!
Every month, the San Diego Fixit Clinic will repair broken things like electronics, appliances, and even clothes!
Every month, the San Diego Fix-it Clinic will repair broken things like electronics, appliances, and even clothes!
The City of Chula Vista Sustainability Commission had a table and interested visitors.
The City of Chula Vista Sustainability Commission had a table and interested visitors.
One of their displays compared the biodegradability of paper, different plastics and styrofoam.
One of their displays compared the biodegradability of paper, different plastics and Styrofoam.
A perfect, sunny spring day at South Bay Earth Day!
A perfect, sunny spring day at South Bay Earth Day!
Sign explains how the City of Chula Vista is developing an Active Transportation Plan to help guide future pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
Sign explains how the City of Chula Vista is developing an Active Transportation Plan to help guide future pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
This table explained a very cool Seed Library concept.
This table explained a very cool Seed Library concept.
The Otay Ranch branch of the Chula Vista Public Library has a Seed Library. Community members can take seeds to plant, or donate harvested seeds back to the library!
The Otay Ranch branch of the Chula Vista Public Library has a Seed Library. Community members can take seeds to plant, or donate harvested seeds back to the library!
Of course, recycling stations could be found all around the South Bay Earth Day event!
Of course, recycling stations could be found all around the South Bay Earth Day event.
I learned at the Surfrider Foundation booth that the 3rd Annual March For Clean Water is next weekend in Imperial Beach!
I learned at the Surfrider Foundation booth that the 3rd Annual March For Clean Water is next weekend in Imperial Beach!
I learned from some Girl Scouts that chemicals in certain sunscreens harm coral reefs. Safe active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
I learned from some Girl Scouts that certain chemicals in sunscreens harm coral reefs. Safe active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
Community members learn how to protect the environment at South Bay Earth Day!
Community members learn how to protect the environment at South Bay Earth Day!

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!

Cool mural at Pizzeria Luigi in Imperial Beach.

After enjoying the big Mariachi Festival in Chula Vista on Sunday, I headed south to Imperial Beach just to relax and gaze at the ocean from the pier.

As I walked down Seacoast Drive near Palm Avenue, I spied a cool mural that didn’t exist the last time I passed this way.

On the north wall of Pizzeria Luigi a splash of colorful abstract art and a bold face have appeared. I searched the mural right and left, but couldn’t figure out who the artist is. Perhaps I didn’t look closely enough. The complex spray paint art resembles the work of Maxx Moses. If someone knows more, please leave a comment.

There is another new mural on the front of the restaurant that depicts an eagle and pizza, and a third faded mural on the south side that I have observed on past walks. That one depicts surf breaking and the words from Genesis: In the beginning God Created the heavens and the earth. I wish I could recall who occupied the building before Pizzeria Luigi opened.

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!

Photos of the colorful 2019 Mariachi Festival!

Ready for some super colorful photos?

In past years, the National City Chamber of Commerce’s amazing Annual International Mariachi Festival and Competition has been held in Pepper Park. You might remember my photographs in 2016 and 2017. For this year, 2019, the event was held in Chula Vista’s spacious Bayside Park!

I love the whirling colors of Mexican ballet folklórico dancing, and the soaring, unabashed joy of mariachi music, so today I had to go again!

I took photos of anything and everything!

Enjoy!

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!

Two colorful, fun benches in Pepper Park!

Here are photos of two colorful, super fun benches in National City’s Pepper Park!

Both painted concrete benches were created in 2006 by Doug Snider, member of the San Diego Potters’ Guild. He produces all sorts of amazing art at his Studio 15 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. Step into his studio and you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a fantasy world full of whimsy and imagination!

I believe Doug has created four of these fantastic benches. In the past I photographed one of two that are located in Coronado. The one I saw is in Tidelands Park, and you can see it here!

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!

Sunrise beauty at South Bay Salt Works!

Sunrise at South Bay Salt Works is a spectacle that’s hard to describe. The sun’s first rays tint the dunelike mounds of pure white salt with a golden glow, creating an effect that is otherworldly and strangely beautiful.

Yesterday as the sun cleared the horizon I approached South Bay Salt Works to experience the magic. I took many photographs!

Wikipedia has an extensive article about South Bay Salt Works, which is located near Chula Vista, in the tiny Fruitdale section of San Diego’s Otay Mesa-Nestor community. I was interested to learn it’s the second longest running business in San Diego after the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper. The salt factory began as La Punta Salt Company sometime before 1872.

Large evaporation ponds at the southern end of San Diego Bay are the source of the salt, but the water comes directly from the Pacific Ocean. South Bay Salt Works produces about 75,000 tons of salt every year from ponds that cover over a thousand acres. For decades is was the sole supplier of salt for Southern California.

Many migrating birds are attracted to the evaporation ponds. The salinity of the water supports an abundance of brine flies and brine shrimp. Today, even as salt harvesting operations continue, the ponds are officially part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

I was once told by someone who knows a little about South Bay Salt Works that the salt is shipped from San Diego to places with freezing winters, where it’s used on roads and highways to melt the ice.

Enjoy these photographs!

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!

A short, easy walk along Paradise Creek Trail.

Paradise Trail marker PT10 rises near the National City Depot museum.
Paradise Trail marker PT10 rises near the National City Depot museum.

This morning I enjoyed an easy walk down a segment of the Paradise Creek Trail in National City.

I believe this urban trail is brand new. I find almost nothing about it on the internet. Several people I spoke to who work right next to the trail never heard of it. I had never seen the Paradise Trail markers during walks in past years.

The trail, from what I can gather, roughly follows Paradise Creek. My walk started just west of Interstate 5, on Bay Marina Drive, where I spotted markers for the Paradise Trail by the National City Depot museum and the National City Historic Railcar Plaza. I saw more markers as I walked south down Marina Way, just west of Paradise Marsh.

Paradise Creek eventually empties into the Sweetwater River. I believe the sidewalk trail ends at Pepper Park, but I spotted no markers after I passed the Pier 32 Marina and the nearby entrance to the Bayshore Bikeway. Perhaps I wasn’t looking carefully enough.

Want to see more? Years ago I visited an overlook of Paradise Marsh and photographed some informative signs. I also got a little closer to nature by walking down a short dirt trail. You can revisit that old blog post by clicking here.

In the past I also blogged about the National City Depot museum and its cool old streetcars here, the National City Historic Railcar Plaza here, and the Le Bateau Ivre sculpture here.

After I crossed Bay Marina Drive, I spotted an iconic El Camino Real bell near the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
After I crossed Bay Marina Drive, I spotted an iconic El Camino Real bell near the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
I'm now walking south down Marina Way, looking back at the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
I’m now walking south down Marina Way, looking back at the National City Historic Railcar Plaza.
Old railroad tracks run along the west edge of Paradise Marsh.
Old railroad tracks run along the west edge of Paradise Marsh.
Sunlight illuminates some natural beauty beside the sidewalk trail.
Sunlight illuminates some natural beauty beside the sidewalk trail.
Looking back north along the Paradise Creek Trail, between Paradise Marsh and the National City Cement Terminal.
Looking back north along the Paradise Creek Trail, between Paradise Marsh and the National City Cement Terminal.
Here's another marker for the Paradise Trail, which I spotted as I headed down Marina Way.
Here’s another marker for the Paradise Trail, which I spotted as I headed down Marina Way.
A banner on a street lamp says that in National City, Together We Can!
A banner on a street lamp says that in National City, Together We Can!
As I turned onto West 32nd Street, a big group of bicyclists rode onto the Bayshore Bikeway.
As I turned onto West 32nd Street, a big group of bicyclists rode onto the Bayshore Bikeway.
Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, at the Pier 32 Marina in National City.
Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, at the Pier 32 Marina in National City.
I spotted this high osprey nesting platform as I walked down Goesno Place, approaching Pepper Park. The National City Marine Terminal has many such platforms.
I spotted this high osprey nesting platform as I walked down Goesno Place, approaching Pepper Park.

Immediately to the west, right on San Diego Bay, the enormous imported car parking lot at the National City Marine Terminal has many of these platforms. I learned during a Port of San Diego harbor tour that ospreys provide effective pigeon control!

A sign describe ospreys, which can often be seen around San Diego Bay and our coastal estuaries.
A sign describes ospreys, which can often be seen flying above San Diego Bay and our coastal estuaries.
Looks like an osprey has collected all sort of odd materials for its nest!
Looks like an osprey has collected all sort of odd materials for its huge nest!

And now I’ve turned around, and I’m heading back north along the trail on Marina Way, just west of the marsh… Guess what I saw?

An osprey flies high above Paradise Marsh on a beautiful late December day.
An osprey flies high above Paradise Marsh on a beautiful late December day.
Looking past prickly pear at Paradise Marsh from the Paradise Creek Trail in National City.
Looking past prickly pear at Paradise Marsh from the Paradise Creek Trail in National City.

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