San Diego students create posters against drugs!

The students at Wangenheim Middle School in Mira Mesa have created posters that tell the truth about the destructive nature of drugs.

I was fortunate today to be walking nearby as members of the Associated Student Body were hanging these very creative anti-drug posters on the school fence facing Black Mountain Road!

And they were happy to pose for a group photo!

It’s Red Ribbon Week, when students in schools across San Diego and the United States engage in an annual drug and violence prevention awareness campaign.

Wangenheim Middle School students and members of the Associated Student Body are involved in all sorts of positive community activities, such as a Thanksgiving food drive. It’s encouraging to know the youth you see in the next photograph are some of our future leaders!

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!

Colorful banners celebrate Italian Americans.

Jim Croce.
Jim Croce.

Occasionally, over the years, I’ve shared photographs of colorful banners hung from street lamps in Little Italy. Many can be found along India Street. Most celebrate famous Italian Americans.

The face you see might be of a popular musician, or an Oscar winner, or an inventor, or a Major League Baseball player, or a religious leader, or a powerful politician or businessman . . . you get the idea.

During walks through Little Italy in the past few weeks I noticed many banners that I hadn’t photographed yet.

In no particular order, here they are:

Mother Cabrini.
Mother Cabrini.

Bruce Springsteen.
Bruce Springsteen.

Jerry Lewis and Frank Busalacchi (San Diego restauranteur).
Jerry Lewis and Frank Busalacchi (San Diego restauranteur).

Vito Marcantonio.
Vito Marcantonio.

Fiorello La Guardia.
Fiorello La Guardia.

Louis Prima.
Louis Prima.

Dana Reeve.
Dana Reeve.

Al Pacino.
Al Pacino.

Francis Ford Coppola.
Francis Ford Coppola.

Jimmy Durante.
Jimmy Durante.

Giada De Laurentiis.
Giada De Laurentiis.

Joe Pass.
Joe Pass.

Russ Columbo.
Russ Columbo.

Robert Mondavi.
Robert Mondavi.

Jennifer Capriati.
Jennifer Capriati.

Roger Enrico.
Roger Enrico.

Ernest and Julio Gallo.
Ernest and Julio Gallo.

Frank Capra.
Frank Capra.

Carlo Vinci.
Carlo Vinci.

Dean Martin.
Dean Martin.

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!

Girl Scouts work to make a better community!

Believe.
Believe.

Today I enjoyed a tour of a fantastic outdoor mural exhibition in San Ysidro. It was the highlight of my day. I’ll blog about that shortly.

Earlier in the afternoon, I walked a little around the neighborhood and found myself looking at some creative artwork on a fence at the San Ysidro Community Center. I’d stumbled upon the Gold Award project of two local Girl Scouts!

According to a sign on the fence, in 2018 Orian Martinez restored the community center’s outdoor playground, and Sofia Perez-Valles created the Utopia Mural on the surrounding fence, embellishing it with positive messages.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has closed the San Ysidro Community Center and its outdoor area for many months now, so if things look a bit weathered and ragged, you can understand why. But the positive efforts and messages endure.

The actions and leadership of these two Girl Scouts have indeed made the world (and their community) a better place!

Utopia Mural.
Utopia Mural.

Butterflies decorate a gate to an outdoor playground and gathering place.
Butterflies decorate a gate to an outdoor playground and gathering place.

Sign near entrance to San Ysidro Community Center.
Sign near entrance to San Ysidro Community Center.

Two Girl Scouts achieved the Gold Award for a 2018 project at the San Ysidro Community Center.
Two Girl Scouts achieved the Gold Award for a 2018 project at the San Ysidro Community Center.

Recycled materials turned to art on the chain link fence.
Recycled materials turned to art on the chain link fence.

Courage.
Courage.

More colorful butterflies.
More colorful butterflies.

Action Changes Things.
Action Changes Things.

The future has many names...
The future has many names. For the fearful, the unknown. For the weak, the unreachable. For the brave, an opportunity.

Action is the foundational...
Action is the foundational…

...skill to all success.
…skill to all success.

Fall seven times and get up eight.
Fall seven times and get up eight.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get where you've always gone.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll arrive where you’ve always gone.

Changes bring opportunity.
Changes bring opportunity.

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 lesson I have learned from blogging.

Never stop flying.
Never stop flying.

This coming Sunday, Cool San Diego Sights turns seven years old.

Seven years doing this? Unbelievable.

Starting a blog and watching it grow very, very slowly over many years has taught me an important lesson about life. Patience and perseverance might be the two most important keys to success.

While having fun and doing things that I love–walking and writing–I have spent literally thousands of hours working on Cool San Diego Sights. A good chunk of my life has been spent taking and selecting photos, cropping and adjusting them, doing research, being a detective, plotting out future blogs, making corrections, being obsessive/compulsive, providing updates, pulling out my hair (what’s left of it), periodically wondering if I should quit this sometimes tedious exercise…

And now, to my complete surprise, I find myself getting traffic from Google News, News Break, Chrome’s suggested articles, and a remarkable variety of major websites.

As a result of Cool San Diego Sights’ growing success, one of my other websites, Short Stories by Richard, is being visited by students from classrooms around the world. Most are reading my little story One Thousand Likes, which I’m told might be used in an upcoming twelfth grade textbook produced by one of the world’s most prestigious publishers.

Pinch me.

Is this real?

To think this thing started on a whim. I’ve always walked. I had an unused little camera. I created a simple, easy WordPress blog. I figured I’d post a photo and a few words once in a while.

So if you’re a blogger or writer out there in a ridiculously enormous world that contains billions of web pages, and you’ve begun to wonder if it’s really worth the effort–keep at it! Don’t give up! Do your best! Stay passionate! Write well, be truthful, be original, be creative, be smart, be curious, understand and appeal to your readers’ humanity, and remember to always maintain your sense of humor!

And never lose hope! Because you never know!

Plaques honor golf champions at Torrey Pines.

San Diego’s beloved Torrey Pines Golf Course is one of the most beautiful and famous golf courses in the world. It has a history of great competitions between the world’s top professional golfers.

Last weekend I walked a little around Torrey Pines Golf Course and took photos of outdoor plaques that honor notable past champions.

Plaques along one side of a practice putting green at Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Plaques along one side of a practice putting green at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

The Century Club WALK OF FAME.
The Century Club WALK OF FAME.

Arnold Palmer, San Diego Open Champion 1957, 1961.
Arnold Palmer, San Diego Open Champion 1957, 1961.

Billy Casper, San Diego Open Champion 1966.
Billy Casper, San Diego Open Champion 1966.

Gene Littler, San Diego Open Champion 1954.
Gene Littler, San Diego Open Champion 1954.

Tom Watson, San Diego Open Champion 1977, 1980.
Tom Watson, San Diego Open Champion 1977, 1980.

Craig Stadler, Buick Invitational Champion 1994.
Craig Stadler, Buick Invitational Champion 1994.

Jack Nicklaus, San Diego Open Champion 1969.
Jack Nicklaus, San Diego Open Champion 1969.

Scott Simpson, Buick Invitational Champion 1998.
Scott Simpson, Buick Invitational Champion 1998.

Gary Player, Buick Invitational Champion 1963.
Gary Player, Buick Invitational Champion 1963.

108th United States Open Championship, June 12-16, 2008. Champion Tiger Woods.
108th United States Open Championship, June 12-16, 2008. Champion Tiger Woods.

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!

And still I rise.

The pace of construction in downtown San Diego hasn’t appeared to lag during the coronavirus pandemic. The city grows and grows.

Even in times that seem dark, a human urge to press forward does not die.

I took these few photographs during my walk this morning.

And still I rise…

And still I rise.
And still I rise.

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!

Library honors those who dare to write!

To write a book requires great daring.

An author labors every day, hour, minute, writing, brainstorming, re-writing, doubting, dreaming, despairing, pouring out heart, soul and some of their deepest, most vulnerable thoughts for the entire public to read.

Will the finished words be criticized?

Will the author be ridiculed?

Will all that hard, agonizing work simply be ignored?

During the month of February, the San Diego Central Library is honoring the work of local writers. Books and eBooks that have been published in the past year are on display in the Local Author Showcase. The beautiful books have taken center stage on the first floor of the library for everyone to admire.

Writing is difficult. Writing a book is extremely difficult.

Congratulations to those who dared and succeeded!

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!

Comic-Con panel: The rise of Mexican filmmaking.

Today I attended a fascinating panel at 2019 Comic-Con titled Making a Bridge with Genre Movies. The panel wasn’t held in the San Diego Convention Center, but offsite in Barrio Logan, in the Artists’ Loft at BarrioHaus. Panels at this location tend to concentrate on Latinx culture and contributions to the popular arts.

Four panelists–Victor Osuna, Frank Rodriguez, Sebastian Finck and Mitch Hyman–discussed the rise of independent Mexican filmmaking and how Latin filmmakers have increasingly achieved success reaching an international audience. I was introduced to the hashtag #Jallywood, which is a combination of Jalisco and Hollywood. Filmmakers are striving to attract creative people for projects in Mexico.

I learned that using today’s technology, a quality film can be produced by anyone anywhere. With the internet, to achieve substantial success no longer requires a relocation to Hollywood or other media centers–it requires vision, passion, persistence, and a broadly appealing story. Good stories are universal in nature–all people react similarly to powerful human dramas and themes. Genres, styles and topics might be diverse, but basic human emotions are shared by all. Spicing a film with the culture of Mexico, or any other place, simply adds uniqueness and authenticity. The trick is connection: creating that irresistible appeal.

I learned that not only is the cost of producing a film in Mexico much less expensive than the United States, but there are fantastic settings (and stories) just waiting to be tapped. The opportunities in Mexico are wide open to any creator who is optimistic–who can see and grasp that unlimited future.

In this digital world, isn’t that true for much creative activity? While good equipment and skilled production is essential for filmmaking, isn’t it the extent to which the end product achieves likes and shares and downloads and streams that increasingly determines real success?

At the panel’s conclusion, the audience was asked to share their experience on social media.

Seems to me like good advice!

Why did this panel fascinate me? I do a little writing here.

Student art recognized by the Congressional Institute.

Lady of the Garden, Veronica McFarland, acrylic. San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts.
Lady of the Garden, Veronica McFarland, acrylic. San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts.

High school students from the San Diego area have been recognized for outstanding achievement. Their artwork has been displayed inside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC!

Some of that excellent art can now be seen at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.

The exhibition is titled An Artistic Discovery. These expressive pieces were created by students who attend schools throughout the 53rd Congressional District, which is represented by Congresswoman Susan Davis.

Check out a few examples that caught my eye during my visit yesterday to the San Diego History Center!

A wall inside the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park features art created by students in local high schools.
A wall inside the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park features art created by students in local high schools.

An Artistic Discovery is an exhibition that showcases the artwork of students in the 53rd Congressional District. Winning works are displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building.
An Artistic Discovery is an exhibition that showcases the artwork of students in the 53rd Congressional District. Winning works are displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building.

Our Future, Chivone Brittney-Dawn Cervantes, oil paint. Diego Hills Central Charter School.
Our Future, Chivone Brittney-Dawn Cervantes, oil paint. Diego Hills Central Charter School.

Deliberate Red, Maryann Lee, watercolor and colored pencils. Bonita Vista High School.
Deliberate Red, Maryann Lee, watercolor and colored pencils. Bonita Vista High School.

Black Woman, Danielle Simone Grimes, acrylic. Morse High School.
Black Woman, Danielle Simone Grimes, acrylic. Morse High School.

Pure Joy, Julianna Pantoja, colored pencil. Otay Ranch High School.
Pure Joy, Julianna Pantoja, colored pencil. Otay Ranch High 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!

How the most wonderful dreams are made real.

Your most wonderful dreams can turn into reality . . . with effort, optimism and dogged persistence. And patience. And unwavering vision.

Over the years I’ve recorded many instances of extraordinary–even improbable–dreams coming true. I’ve learned about or have met people who raise their eyes toward a distant, shimmering dream, then reach up to grab it.

All of these individuals are motivated by an undying passion.

Here are a few instances that I happen to remember. I’ve blogged about athletes who achieve the pinnacle of success; artists, inventors and visionaries who create astonishing new wonders; students who step confidently into the future…

Click the following links:

Celebration of Champions at Elite Athlete Training Center!

“There is no shortcut to true success.”

More photos of amazing, experimental holographic art!

An amazing cube, like real Space: full of stars!

The fantastic, amazing Harper’s Topiary Garden!

Aviation history at Waldo Dean Waterman Park.

World’s most amazing car, displayed in San Diego!

Cool photos of creativity at Maker Faire San Diego!

Salk Institute architect Louis Kahn: an amazing exhibit!

Founders of Balboa Park linger in Sefton Plaza.

Kid entrepreneurs showcase their creativity!

San Diego school students do amazing things!

What amazing things will you do?