Antonio Garra Day in Old Town San Diego.

This afternoon I attended Antonio Garra Day in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. The event, which comes on the anniversary of Garra’s death, was organized by the Pala Band of Mission Indians. I listened to several speakers, including authors and historians, talk about Garra and historical events in the mid-1800s, and I watched different Kumeyaay groups perform Bird Songs and Dances.

Antonio Garra was a leader of the Cupeño people in Southern California who sought to organize tribes of our region to resist unfair taxation. Even though Native Americans were not citizens of the United States, a tax was levied upon their animals, property and agriculture. This taxation without representation was considered by many fair-minded people to be illegal and unjust.

Garra was educated at Mission San Luis Rey and could speak English, Spanish and Latin. He was an influential leader who opposed the ill-treatment of indigenous people. According to Wikipedia: “In 1851, because of several issues of conflict, Antonio Garra, a Cupeño from Warner’s Ranch, tried to organize a coalition of various Southern California Indian tribes to drive out all of the European Americans. His Garra Revolt failed, and settlers executed Garra. The Cupeño had attacked Warner and his ranch, burning some buildings.”

Garra was blamed for the murder of four people at Colonel Warner’s Rancho on November 22, 1850, and he was sentenced to be executed. On January 12, 1852, he was brought to the El Campo Santo cemetery in Old Town and told to kneel down beside a ready grave in front of a firing squad. He last words were: “Gentlemen, I ask your pardon for all my offenses and expect yours in return.”

Antonio Garra Day arose because of a Wanted poster that has long been displayed in the First San Diego Courthouse museum. The poster does not provide the full story of the Garra Uprising and the suffering of indigenous people. Today, a plaque beneath the poster provides more historical context.

Between performances of Bird Songs, which honored Native American ancestors, elders and Garra, I listened to the words of Patricia Nelson. She is a descendant of Antonio Garra. As a youth she was incensed by the cruel treatment of her people. Today, she works to honor and proudly remember those people, their culture, their lives and humanity.

Antonio Garra Day has grown over the past 4 or 5 years, and next year it will be a much larger event, filling the plaza of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, with many Kumeyaay participants from all around our region.

A display of Kumeyaay artifacts at the event, by the Wa$xayam Pomki Museum on the Rincon Reservation.
A display of Kumeyaay artifacts at the event, by the Wa$xayam Pomki Museum on the Rincon Reservation.

Garra and his people assisted weary immigrants who had crossed the desert. He also gave aid and comfort to General Kearney and his troops during the Mexican-American war.
Garra and his people assisted weary immigrants who had crossed the desert. He also gave aid and comfort to General Kearney and his troops during the Mexican-American war.
Bird Singers sing of the world's creation and the first people.
Bird Singers tell of the world’s creation and the first people.
A crowd observes Antonio Garra Day at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
A crowd observes Antonio Garra Day at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Wanted posters in the First San Diego Courthouse museum include one concerning Antonio Garra.
Wanted posters in the First San Diego Courthouse museum include one concerning Antonio Garra.
The grave of Antonio Garra in Old Town San Diego's El Campo Santo cemetery.
The grave of Antonio Garra in Old Town San Diego’s El Campo Santo cemetery.

A horse came to Old Town for the event. Its rider represented Juan Verdugo, who participated in the Garra Uprising and was executed. He is also buried at El Campo Santo cemetery.
A horse came to Old Town for the event. Its rider (not visible) represented Juan Verdugo, who participated in the Garra Uprising and was executed. He is also buried at El Campo Santo cemetery.
Patricia Nelson, a descendant of Antonio Garra, talks about her memories, generations of her people, and their lives.
Patricia Nelson, a descendant of Antonio Garra, talks about her memories, many generations of her people, and their lives.
Bird Song and Dance honor a people who lived in our region many thousands of years before the arrival in 1769 of Spanish missionaries and soldiers.
Bird Song and Dance honor a people who lived in our region many thousands of years before the arrival in 1769 of Spanish missionaries and soldiers.

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!

Shulman’s architectural photography in San Diego.

Ford Building, 1934, Digital reproduction of a photograph by Julius Shulman. The first known photo by Shulman in San Diego County.
Ford Building, 1934, Digital reproduction of a photograph by Julius Shulman. The first known photo by Shulman in San Diego County.

Today I headed to the San Diego Central Library Art Gallery to view some amazing photographs. Many images captured by famous architectural photographer Julius Shulman are on display free to the public for a couple more weeks. The exhibition, which concludes on January 19, 2020, is titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego.

Julius Shulman’s renowned work spans seven decades, from 1934 to 2007. He is best known for his photography in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but he did photograph a variety of projects in San Diego. He worked mostly for architects and publishers, and his images have appeared in many leading magazines.

I was interested to see photos of historic buildings that no longer exist, and other iconic buildings that I often pass during my walks.

Those who are fascinated by San Diego’s history and architecture should head to the 9th floor of the Central Library to experience this exhibition. Shulman had a discerning eye, capturing the lines, depth and essence of the structures he photographed. The dozens of images you’ll encounter are not only brilliant, but they will help you to travel back in time and see San Diego in a whole new light.

An exhibition of important architectural photographs, titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego, at the San Diego Central Library Gallery.
An exhibition of important architectural photographs, titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego, at the San Diego Central Library Art Gallery.
Shulman began as an amateur photographer using a Vest Pocket Kodak. His eventual career in architectural photography would span seven decades.
Shulman began as an amateur photographer using a Vest Pocket Kodak. His eventual career in architectural photography would span seven decades.
Cover of The Photography of Architecture and Design, by Julius Shulman.
Cover of The Photography of Architecture and Design, by Julius Shulman.
Capri Theater, 1954, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Frank Guys. The building, at Park Boulevard and Essex Street, was demolished in 2003.
Capri Theater, 1954, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Frank Guys. The building, at Park Boulevard and Essex Street, was demolished in 2003.
El Cortez Hotel, 1957, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. The 1956 building remodel added the world's first outdoor glass elevator--the Starlite Roof Express.
El Cortez Hotel, 1957, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. The 1956 building remodel added the world’s first outdoor glass elevator–the Starlite Roof Express.
San Diego State College, 1968, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Mosher and Drew. Interior of Aztec Center, which was demolished in 2011.
San Diego State College, 1968, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Mosher and Drew. Interior of Aztec Center, which was demolished in 2011.

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!

Photos of a hike up Mother Miguel Mountain.

At the top of Mother Miguel Mountain you'll find the Stone House and its flags, and a view of nearby San Miguel Mountain.
At the top of Mother Miguel Mountain you’ll find the Rock House and its flags, and a view of nearby San Miguel Mountain.

Today I enjoyed a hike to the top of Mother Miguel Mountain, just northeast of Chula Vista. While not as high as nearby San Miguel Mountain, the views of the southern part of San Diego from Mother Miguel Mountain are pretty amazing.

On a clear day you can see Mexico, San Diego Bay, Coronado, downtown, Point Loma, and various peaks including Otay Mountain, Mount Soledad, Cowles Mountain and Mt. Helix. Looking down to the south you can see Salt Creek Golf Course, which was closed a couple of years ago and will undergo future development.

Fortunately it wasn’t very hot today, being early January. I just wore jeans, a simple shirt and some good shoes. Should you hike this steep rocky trail on a hot day, make sure to bring lots of water. There are virtually no trees and no shade. And it’s a constant very rocky climb. Pay attention to where you step and wear boots or shoes with a good grip!

In addition to a fair number of other hikers and some mountain bikers, I saw half a dozen ravens circling above and below, a few cacti, lots of sagebrush and wild grass, and many crumbled rock outcroppings. To the northwest one can look down at Sweetwater Reservoir. And of course, there’s impressive nearby San Miguel Mountain, rising not far to the northeast.

I started at the trailhead at the corner of Paseo Veracruz and Paseo Los Gatos and started up the Rock House Trail for the peak! It’s a moderately difficult 4.3 miles round trip with a 1,171 feet elevation gain. Follow the designated trail, which has many switchbacks.

Halfway up you find a sign which points out and names many of the distant sights that are visible. From there, the trail gets steeper. (Those airplanes flying overhead are making their approach to San Diego International Airport which is near downtown!)

At the top of Mother Miguel Mountain is the Rock House: a large mound of rocks with several flags and an adjacent low stone open shelter. On all sides are scenic views. If you proceed a little beyond the Rock House, there’s a large outcropping and nearby crude wood bench with a small plaque. From it you can look toward the northeast and see distant El Cajon Mountain, often called El Capitan.

If you want to read the photos of signs, click the images and they will expand for easy reading.

Now come along with me and get a taste of this rewarding hike!

Mother Miguel Trail Head Bulletin Board contains useful information and a map for hikers.
The Mother Miguel Trail Head Bulletin Board contains useful information and a topographic map for hikers.
The Mother Miguel Mountain Trail is inside the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. Stay on the trails to protect the habitat of many animal and plants species, some of which are endangered.
The Mother Miguel Mountain Trail is inside the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. Stay on the designated trail to protect the habitat of many animal and plants species, some of which are endangered.
Starting up the trail, which was muddy in spots.
Starting up the trail, which was muddy in spots. This winter it has been rainy in San Diego.
One of two information signs, on opposite sides of a small bridge spanning tiny creek.
One of two information signs, on opposite sides of a very small bridge spanning a tiny creek.
Sign describes this part of San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and protecting natural biodiversity.
Sign describes this part of San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and protecting natural biodiversity.
The small California gnatcatcher makes its home on Mother Miguel Mountain.
The small California gnatcatcher makes its home on Mother Miguel Mountain.
Second sign describes the Quino checkerspot butterfly, which is listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Second sign describes the Quino checkerspot butterfly, which is listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
A section of very rocky trail.
A section of very rocky trail.
Looking down after climbing for a bit. I could see downtown San Diego and Point Loma in the far distance.
Looking down after climbing for a bit. I could see downtown San Diego and Point Loma in the far distance.
Sweetwater Reservoir appears below.
Sweetwater Reservoir appears below.

Another sign ahead.
Another sign ahead.
Left part of long sign, showing peaks and features from Mexico northward.
Left part of long sign, showing peaks and features from Mexico northward.
Right part of sign shows sights to the northwest, as far away as Mount Soledad in La Jolla.
Right part of sign shows sights to the northwest, as far away as Mount Soledad in La Jolla.

Looking southward toward the San Ysidro Mountains and Mexico.
Looking southward toward the San Ysidro Mountains and Mexico.
Looking back down the climbing trail, you can see green Mount San Miguel Park with its sports fields, not far from the trailhead.
Looking back down the trail, you can see green Mount San Miguel Park with its sports fields, not far from the trailhead.
The view of Sweetwater Reservoir keeps getting better as we climb.
The view of Sweetwater Reservoir keeps getting better as we climb.

You can see some of the now closed Salt Creek Golf Course to the southeast.
You can see some of the now closed Salt Creek Golf Course to the southeast.
San Miguel Mountain rises to the northeast.
San Miguel Mountain rises to the northeast.

Someone stands on an outcropping just below the summit of Mother Miguel Mountain.
Someone stands on an outcropping just below the summit of Mother Miguel Mountain.
Mount San Miguel Park is now far below.
Mount San Miguel Park is now far below.
Flags show we've almost reached the Rock House atop Mother Miguel Mountain.
Flags show we’ve almost reached the Rock House atop Mother Miguel Mountain.
We made it!
We made it!
A couple of hikers brought a blanket to rest on the grass beneath the sky.
A couple of hikers brought a blanket to rest on the grass beneath the sky.
This rocky enclosure at the Rock House might provide a little bit of shelter on a windy day.
This rocky enclosure at the Rock House might provide a little bit of shelter on a windy day.

Continuing along, we approach another rocky outcropping atop Mother Miguel Mountain.
Continuing along, we approach another rock outcropping atop Mother Miguel Mountain.
The view to the northeast includes part of the Cuyamaca Mountains.
The view to the northeast includes part of the Cuyamaca Mountains.
A simple wood plank serves as a bench. I was surprised to see it has a plaque.
A simple wood plank serves as a bench. I was surprised to see it has a plaque.
TO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE MOUNTAIN FOR THE BETTER APPRECIATION OF HOME 2016
TO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE MOUNTAIN FOR THE BETTER APPRECIATION OF HOME — 2016

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!

Beauty and history in Carlsbad Village.

Photo of the beautiful old Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad Village. Built in 1887, it is one of the few pre-1900 stations left in the country.
Photo of the beautiful old Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad Village. Built in 1887, it is one of the few pre-1900 stations left in the country.

Last weekend I walked around Carlsbad Village. After taking photos of several historic buildings, I strolled for a bit along the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Did you know Carlsbad is named after Karlsbad in Bohemia? That’s because Carlsbad was founded after mineral springs were discovered not far from the beach in the late 19th century. The water was said to be identical in taste and chemical content to the famous healing waters in Karlsbad.

Because my walk was meandering and random, I didn’t see or photograph all of the historic buildings in Carlsbad Village. But I did learn quite a bit about this beautiful coastal community!

To learn more about Carlsbad Village, which is the downtown part of Carlsbad in north San Diego County, please read my photo captions.

Train tracks pass the Santa Fe Depot. The modern Carlsbad Village Station is located one block to the north.
Active train tracks pass the historic Santa Fe Depot. (The modern Carlsbad Village Station is located one block to the north.)
The restored Santa Fe Depot is now the home of Carlsbad's Convention and Visitors Bureau, where tourists can obtain local information.
The restored Santa Fe Depot is now the home of Carlsbad’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, where tourists can obtain local information.
The Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad also served as telegraph, Wells Fargo, Post Office and general store. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad also served as telegraph station, Wells Fargo, Post Office and General Store. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A look inside Carlsbad's historic Santa Fe Depot, now a tourist information center. (Photo taken shortly before Christmas.)
A look inside Carlsbad’s historic Santa Fe Depot, now a tourist information center. (Photo taken shortly before Christmas.)
A vintage wood stove in the depot.
A vintage wood stove in the depot.
A board on the wall shows arrival times for Amtrak and the Coaster. The active Carlsbad Village train station is one block north.
A board on the wall shows arrival times for Amtrak and the Coaster. The modern Carlsbad Village train station is located one block north.
Photo of the grand Twin Inns building beyond the landmark Carlsbad sign on Carlsbad Boulevard, which is a segment of Historic Route 101.
Photo of the grand Twin Inns building beyond the landmark Carlsbad sign on Carlsbad Boulevard, which is a segment of Historic Route 101.
Twin Inns is a Victorian structure built in 1887 by Gerhard Schutte, the Father of Carlsbad, co-founder of the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company.
Twin Inns is a Victorian structure built in 1887 by Gerhard Schutte, the Father of Carlsbad, co-founder of the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company.
Alt Karlsbad, built in 1964, recreating a 12th century structure. Today it is a spa and bottling plant for its famous mineral water.
Alt Karlsbad, built in 1964, recreating a 12th century structure. Today it is a spa and bottling plant for its famous mineral water.
Statue of Captain John A. Frazier, created by sculptor Vaclav Lokvenc, of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) in the Czech Republic, sister city of Carlsbad.
Statue of Captain John A. Frazier, created by sculptor Vaclav Lokvenc, of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) in the Czech Republic, sister city of Carlsbad.
Captain John A. Frazier discovered artesian springs with mineral water on his farm in 1882. He built a hotel and spa and was co-founder of the city of Carlsbad.
Captain John A. Frazier discovered artesian springs with mineral water on his farm in 1882. He built a hotel and spa and was co-founder of the city of Carlsbad.
Someone performs a handstand in a grassy park that overlooks the beach in Carlsbad Village.
Someone performs a handstand in a grassy park that overlooks the beach at Carlsbad Village.
A view of nearby coastal scenery.
A view of nearby coastal scenery.
Sign above Carlsbad's beach bluff, describing its animals and plants, unique habitat and the cycle of life.
Sign above Carlsbad’s beach bluff, describing its animals and plants, unique habitat and the cycle of life.
A beautiful photo of Carlsbad State Beach near Carlsbad Village.
A beautiful photo of Carlsbad State Beach near Carlsbad Village.

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!

Cool street art throughout Carlsbad Village!

This weekend I took a long random walk through Carlsbad Village to see what I might see. And I discovered lots of super cool street art!

Carlsbad Village is the downtown part of Carlsbad, situated right near the Pacific Ocean. As you might imagine, many of the images depicted in the street art are of surfing, the beach, sea life, and the laid-back Southern California lifestyle.

My feet turned corners randomly, so these photos aren’t in any particular order. Because my thoughts were far away at the time, I’m afraid I didn’t gather a whole lot of information concerning all this artwork. But you can see artist signatures on a few of the murals.

Which do you like? I think my favorites are the surfing Mario and the two tigers under colorful dripping paint!

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!

Photo memories of San Diego winters.

Yes, winter does come to San Diego. It begins in about one week. Winters in coastal Southern California are generally mild, due to our arid climate, and the moderating influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Winter storms tend to be short-lived, gray and drizzly. In San Diego, if you want to see occasional snow, you need to head to the mountains of East County, and even then the returning sun and dry desert winds melt it in a day or two. Temperatures at the lower elevations almost never reach freezing.

However, winter storms in San Diego have been known to provide drama!

There have been unusually violent windstorms, huge surf and flooding. A few of those memories have been preserved in photographs on this blog. And so have examples of winter’s unique beauty!

To see photos from past winters, click the following links:

Snow and winter beauty at Cuyamaca.

Boats destroyed by El Niño winds in San Diego.

Photos of San Diego River, after three storms.

Glimpses of nature’s beauty after a storm.

Photos of winter along San Diego River.

A winter’s day full of magical light.

Storm brings huge surf to Ocean Beach Pier.

Amazing vistas atop Mount Soledad.

Signs of the coming big winter storm.

Los Peñasquitos Lagoon between winter storms.

Winter beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

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!

Photos of Our Lady of Guadalupe Procession.

Catholics from across a large area of Southern California gathered today on B Street by San Diego City College for a special event. The many parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego took part in the annual Procession to Honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In the late morning I watched as the faithful gathered just east of Park Boulevard. The annual procession would head west to Civic Center Plaza, where a ceremony would take place.

I took some photos as people busily prepared each parish float, attaching religious banners, flowers, flags, and a special spot where a young lady would pose as a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Then the procession began down B Street, into the heart of downtown.

I saw colorful Aztec dancers, and black-garbed priests, and the Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego, and smiling queens, and joyous mariachis and baile folklórico dancers.

Members of Catholic churches across San Diego County and beyond walked behind the parish floats, singing and rejoicing and holding banners, celebrating the miracle appearance of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, all those years ago outside Mexico City.

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!