Free activities and help for San Diego seniors!

Look what I discovered today!

I was walking around Balboa Park, looking at an arts and crafts sale in the Casa del Prado courtyard, when I discovered some great information. If you’re in San Diego and at least 55 years old (or if you know someone who is) there are lots of activities and services available for seniors, and many are absolutely free!

A friendly gentleman with the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department told me all about it. The program is called AgeWell Services. You can visit the AgeWell Services website by clicking here.

AgeWell Services offers art classes, senior art shows, needle crafts, poetry parties, dance lessons, talent shows, craft sales and much more. There’s free tea, coffee, water, bingo and social opportunities in the Balboa Park Senior Lounge, and easy walks around Balboa Park. There are laugh hours and free movies. There are informative talks. There is even free assistance for those 60 years or older with a variety of legal issues such as wills and renter disputes!

There are senior activities at many City of San Diego Recreation Centers!

AgeWell Services also has occasional day trips to interesting places like the J. Paul Getty Museum, Big Bear, Catalina Island and Julian. I noticed these special trips are offered for a very reasonable fee.

If you’d like to see all of these activities and services that are available to San Diego seniors, you should subscribe to a newsletter that comes out every few months called The Scroll. The Scroll is packed with all the latest information, including a Calendar of Events.

To join the mailing list for The Scroll, or to learn more about AgeWell Services, simply call 619-525-8247.

Volunteers are also needed! Call 619-236-6905 if you’d like to volunteer!

A ride on the San Diego and Arizona Railway!

Today I took a wonderful ride aboard an historic train!

In the morning I drove out to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, about an hour east of downtown San Diego, in order experience the 100th Anniversary celebration of the San Diego & Arizona Railway.

Before the gold spike reenactment ceremony took place, I wandered about the extensive museum grounds, enjoying all sorts of nostalgic entertainment and attractions, then boarded an old passenger train at the depot for a short but very scenic excursion!

I took photos as I rode the route of the Golden State west several miles through rocky terrain. The San Diego & Arizona Railway, founded by San Diego entrepreneur and philanthropist John D. Spreckels, earned the name of The Impossible Railroad because of the logistical difficulty of routing a train through this very rugged countryside.

The train’s cars were all packed on this special day, and we were rolling past other old locomotives and railroad cars belonging to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum before the conductor came down the aisle to collect our round-trip tickets. As you might imagine, kids and families were super excited!

On the way out, I sat in one of the seats on the south side of a coach car. Because my long legs were a bit cramped, and I wanted to see the countryside to the north, I went to the observation car during the return trip. You can see some smoke coming from the diesel locomotive in a couple of my photographs.

Too soon we were once again passing the Gaskill Brothers Stone Store Museum (the distinctive building you see in one photo), crossing over Highway 94, and back at the museum. We continued past the old depot and stopped near the place where the San Diego & Arizona Railway centennial gold spike ceremony would be staged. (I’ll blog about the fantastic event in my next post!)

Should you ever visit the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, make sure to enjoy a cool train ride!

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!

Vintage postcards remember old San Diego.

Vintage postcard shows Lindbergh's San Diego-built Ryan plane over San Diego; Air Capital of the West.
Original vintage postcard shows Lindbergh’s San Diego-built Ryan plane over San Diego; Air Capital of the West.

A very cool exhibition titled “Wish You Were Here” is about to officially open at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The colorful exhibit, which I experienced this evening aboard the 1898 steam ferryboat Berkeley, features vintage postcards of San Diego from a century ago.

A collection of authentic original postcards is displayed in glass cases; enlarged images from dozens of fascinating old postcards cover several walls.

Visitors to the exhibit will see depictions of popular destinations, famous attractions, Balboa Park, beaches, downtown, Coronado, La Jolla, and all sorts of unique places around San Diego County. Many of the hand-colored postcards show what life was like in our city in the early part of the 20th century.

The images for the wall displays were obtained from the Coronado Public Library, San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego History Center, and the archives of the Maritime Museum.

The official opening of “Wish You Were Here” will be on Saturday, November 16, 2019. On that special day representatives of the U.S. Postal Service will be at the museum from 11 am to 3 pm. Visitors will be able to get a collectible Maritime Museum of San Diego cancellation postmark on a special commemorative postcard!

The following photos provide a small taste of this amazing exhibit…

Many historical postcards are on display for the Wishing You Were Here exhibit at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Many historical postcards are on display for the “Wish You Were Here” exhibit at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Ferry between Coronado and San Diego.
Original postcard shows Ferry between Coronado and San Diego.
Various postcards promote a visit to Star of India, the oldest iron sailing vessel afloat.
Various postcards images that promote a visit to Star of India, the oldest iron sailing vessel afloat.
Diverse themes in the postcard exhibit include beach fun and sailing.
Diverse themes in the postcard exhibit include beach fun and sailing.
Bathing in the surf in winter.
Bathing in the surf in winter.
U. S. Sailors Life 'Sport aboard Ship.'
U. S. Sailors Life “Sport aboard Ship.”
Lake at Lakeside, near San Diego.
Lake at Lakeside, near San Diego.
Carriso Gorge showing track skirting mountain side in the distance, on San Diego and Arizona Railway.
Carriso Gorge showing track skirting mountain side in the distance, on San Diego and Arizona Railway.
Ruins of San Diego Mission.
Ruins of San Diego Mission.
Ramona's Marriage Place (Casa de Estudillo in Old Town), and monument where American flag was first raised in Southern California.
Ramona’s Marriage Place (Casa de Estudillo in Old Town), and monument where American flag was first raised in Southern California.
International Panama-California Exposition, San Diego. Portion of the Pueblo Village.
International Panama-California Exposition, San Diego. Portion of the Pueblo Village.
International Boundary Line, Tijuana, Mexico.
International Boundary Line, Tijuana, Mexico.
Main Entrance of Wonderland Park, Ocean Beach.
Main Entrance of Wonderland Park, Ocean Beach.
Aquaplaning, San Diego Bay.
Aquaplaning, San Diego Bay.

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!

Public art at Liberty Station invites interaction.

Facetime is a site-specific public art piece that offers three separate spaces for both interaction and contemplation, while providing temporary shelter.
Facetime is a site-specific public art piece that offers three separate spaces for both interaction and contemplation, while providing temporary shelter.

Very cool new public art was installed at Liberty Station this summer. I saw it for the first time last weekend while I experienced the La Jolla Playhouse’s outdoor WOW festival.

The public art is titled Facetime. It was created by Ocean Beach artist Miki Iwasaki. Three angular sculptures made of corten steel contain seats, inviting face to face human interaction.

I watched a couple enter one shelter, promptly pull out phones and bow their heads.

At least they sat near one another.

Facetime on grass near walkways at Liberty Station.
Facetime on grass near walkways at Liberty Station.
Instead of speaking face to face, two people stare silently down at their phones.
Instead of speaking face to face, two people stare silently down at their phones.
Miki Iwasaki. Facetime. August 2019. Corten steel with seating elements. In partnership with Mingei International Museum.
Miki Iwasaki. Facetime. August 2019. Corten steel with seating elements. In partnership with Mingei International Museum.
Materials will patinate over time, enhancing the visible connection to natural forces and site context.
Materials will patinate over time, enhancing the visible connection to natural forces and site context.
Three can sit near each other in this shady sculpture and share an experience.
Three can sit near each other in this shady sculpture and share an experience.
Facetime is public art located in Liberty Station's ARTS DISTRICT.
Facetime is public art located in Liberty Station’s ARTS DISTRICT.
Cool public art invites human interaction.
Cool public art invites human interaction.

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!

Morning color and light in Little Italy.

In the early morning yesterday I took a stroll through Little Italy.

I headed west down Cedar Street, north up India Street to Piazza della Famiglia and Piazza Basilone, then back south down Kettner Boulevard.

The sun was beginning to rise and few people were about. Some of the Little Italy restaurants were receiving their morning deliveries. As you can see in several photographs, a full moon was descending in the western sky.

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!

The revitalization of Seaport Village!

I was walking along the Embarcadero this evening after dark when I heard some music in the “Lighthouse District” of Seaport Village. I headed over to see what was going on.

To my delight, I discovered a serious attempt is being made to revitalize Seaport Village, and the concert I stumbled upon is part of this effort. The weekly event is called Seaport Sessions.

Important speakers from around San Diego provide presentations about art, culture, history and other fascinating subjects every Thursday evening, followed by drinks and live music at the East Plaza Gazebo. (Next Thursday Adam Smith, Executive Director of the Comic-Con Museum will be the speaker!)

Learn more at the Seaport Sessions page here.

I also observed that Seaport Village now offers a podcast studio for rent, and I stepped inside for a moment and took the following photo.

I asked a few questions of a nice lady, and she informed me that Seaport Village is working to upgrade its image and will be getting new tenants. From what I could gather, the long term plan to redevelop Seaport Village into a completely different, greatly enlarged Seaport San Diego is apparently in flux and any groundbreaking is still many years away.

I have special childhood memories of Seaport Village, so it has pained me to watch its gradual decline in recent years. But now things appear to be on the upswing!

I hope so!

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!

Fascinating photos behind the scenes in San Diego.

Over the years I’ve taken photos “behind the scenes” at various interesting and historic places in San Diego. I thought it would be fun to revisit some of those blog posts, in case you’ve missed them.

Here are ten guided tours and curious walks that provided fascinating views of San Diego that many do not see.

Click the following links:

A tour inside the historic Spreckels Theatre.

A very cool tour of Petco Park in San Diego!

Get out of jail free at old police headquarters!

Photos behind the scenes at Copley Symphony Hall!

Photos aboard new Scripps research vessel Sally Ride!

Behind the scenes look at the Spreckels Organ.

Photos from Port of San Diego’s harbor tour.

History comes alive during tour of Spanish Village.

Photos: amazing tour of Spanish galleon build site!

Photos inside a World War II bunker on Point Loma.

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!