Cortez Hill blooms at Jacaranda Flower Fest!

Many jacaranda trees add color to downtown San Diego's Cortez Hill neighborhood.
Jacaranda trees add color to downtown San Diego’s beautiful Cortez Hill neighborhood.

Today I headed to Ocean Beach to check out a big kite festival. As I left my home atop Cortez Hill, and when I returned home a few hours later, I wandered through a fun neighborhood event just outside my front door. What in years past was playfully called the Jacaranda Spring Thing is now the Jacaranda Flower Fest. The event is organized every spring by the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

One nice aspect of living atop Cortez Hill are all the flowers. Especially along Tweet Street Park.

Another reason why I love to walk outdoors every day!

As I was leaving home in the morning, I spotted this nice lady setting up a table for the Jacaranda Flower Fest on Cortez Hill.
As I was leaving home in the morning, I spotted this nice lady setting up a table for the Jacaranda Flower Fest on Cortez Hill.
Later in the day, the Flower Fest was underway. Neighbors relax and enjoy a fun community event.
Later in the day, the Flower Fest was underway. Neighbors relax and enjoy a fun community event.
Little Dandelions had some activities at the Flower Fest. They are a non-profit organization based in Imperial Beach. Their mission is to inspire and teach the importance of agriculture to all ages.
Little Dandelions had some activities at the Flower Fest. They are a non-profit organization based in Imperial Beach. Their mission is to inspire and teach the importance of agriculture to all ages.
Visitors to the Jacaranda Flower Fest could propagate a succulent cutting in a small pot.
Visitors to the Jacaranda Flower Fest could propagate a succulent cutting in a small pot.
There are many flowers on Cortez Hill along linear Tweet Street Park.
There are many flowers on Cortez Hill along linear Tweet Street Park.
I took this beautiful photo at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street.
I took this beautiful photo at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street.
More flowers!
More flowers along Tweet Street!
Local chalk artist Cecelia Linayao creates a beautiful jacaranda themed work of art on Date Street.
Local artist Cecelia Linayao creates a beautiful jacaranda-themed piece of chalk art on Date Street.

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!

Your donation improves beautiful Tweet Street Park.

A recently improved section of Tweet Street Park on Cortez Hill. Volunteers help make this downtown neighborhood more beautiful.
A recently improved section of Tweet Street Park on Cortez Hill. Volunteers help make this downtown neighborhood even more beautiful.

Do you love Tweet Street Park on Cortez Hill? I feel very fortunate that I get to walk through the narrow but lush park almost every single day.

Over the past weeks and months, I’ve noticed smiling volunteers busy pruning, planting, removing trash, and adding new beauty to our downtown park. They are the Friends of Tweet Street Park! They welcome new community members!

A couple days ago I talked to Joe Ciavarella as he was working on one section of the park. I learned that Cortez Hill residents and anyone interested in beautifying this special corner of downtown San Diego can make a tax deductible contribution that benefits the Friends of Tweet Street Park. Funds obtained go to the purchase of gardening tools, new plants and materials that are used for a variety of landscaping improvements.

If you’d like to make a donation, visit this page.

Positive people doing positive things make each corner of this world a whole lot better!

In addition to hard work, improving the park requires the purchase of tools, plants and other material. Anyone can now easily make a donation!
In addition to the work of volunteers, improving the park requires the purchase of tools, plants and other material. Anyone can now easily make a donation!

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Become a volunteer friend of Tweet Street park!

These good Friends of Tweet Street Park sign up volunteers during the Jacaranda Spring Thing on Cortez Hill.
Some smiling Friends of Tweet Street Park sign up volunteers during the Jacaranda Spring Thing on Cortez Hill.

After a very long walk today, I ended up on Cortez Hill in downtown San Diego. The Jacaranda Spring Thing festival was taking place just outside my door, right next to Tweet Street Park, and I lingered to check things out.

And look what I discovered!

A community group called Friends of Tweet Street Park was organized about a year and a half ago, and they’ve been working on a volunteer basis to clean, improve and beautify our neighborhood park! If you live in or near Cortez Hill and love the Tweet Street bird-friendly park, please consider joining the group, or adding yourself to their email list, or at least following their Facebook page, which is here!

Recently I noticed some flowering succulents had been planted in a couple bare spots in the park. It turns out that was the work of these good folks!

Thank you!

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!

Fun, artistic birdhouses restored at Tweet Street!

The Birds and The Bees. Birdhouse by artist Joel Sotelo.
The Birds and The Bees, a birdhouse by artist Joel Sotelo.

Looks what I noticed today. Most of the fun, artistic birdhouses that were installed for Tweet Street in 2008 have been restored! With new coats of paint and a little work, they once again appear like new!

You might remember my blog post a couple years ago concerning these fun birdhouses. At the time, weather had gotten the better of them. Well, check them out now!

If you want to see these very creative works of public art in person, Tweet Street is another name for the linear Cortez Hill Park, located on Date Street roughly between Seventh and Ninth Avenue.

Public art restoration in progress. The City of San Diego develops, exhibits, conserves and restores the Civic Art Collection to provide meaningful aesthetic and cultural experiences for San Diego's residents and visitors.
Public art restoration in progress. The City of San Diego develops, exhibits, conserves and restores the Civic Art Collection to provide meaningful aesthetic and cultural experiences for San Diego’s residents and visitors.
Tweet Street sign on Date Street in San Diego's Cortez Hill neighborhood. Many artistic birdhouses line the narrow urban park.
Tweet Street sign on Date Street in San Diego’s Cortez Hill neighborhood. Many artistic birdhouses line the narrow urban park.
Boat House. Birdhouse by artist Kirk Crow.
Boat House, a birdhouse by artist Kirk Crow.
Anil'u. Birdhouse by artist Lilia Peji.
Anil’u, a birdhouse by artist Lilia Peji.
Coexistence. Birdhouse by artist Bob Gromofsky.
Coexistence, a birdhouse by artist Bob Gromofsky.
Cunae. Birdhouse by artist Miguel Salmeron.
Cunae, a birdhouse by artist Miguel Salmeron.
Mas Vale Pajaro en Mano. Birdhouse by artist Joel Sotelo.
Mas Vale Pajaro en Mano, a birdhouse by artist Joel Sotelo.
Bewick's Bunker. Birdhouse by artists Rafael Lopez and Daniel Renner.
Bewick’s Bunker, a birdhouse by artists Rafael Lopez and Daniel Renner.
Air Traffic Control. Birdhouse by artist Amy Ennis Achaibou.
Air Traffic Control, a birdhouse by artist Amy Ennis Achaibou.
Birdinsky, a birdhouse by artist Amy Levine.
Birdinsky, a birdhouse by artist Amy Levine.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Plants that attract birds, butterflies in San Diego.

Purple Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and a wide range of feeding insects and birds.
Purple Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and a wide range of feeding insects and birds.

Tweet Street park on Cortez Hill has a sign with some very useful information. It shows shrubs and trees that attract local San Diego birds and butterflies.

Please refer to the information on the sign and my photo captions. As you can see, some of these plants are native to San Diego. All are beautiful and would fit nicely in most San Diego gardens. And all naturally attract winged life. Even in the heart of the big city.

A sign in the Tweet Street linear park on Cortez Hill shows beautiful plants that attract local San Diego birds and butterflies.
A sign at the Tweet Street linear park on Cortez Hill, a neighborhood in downtown San Diego.  It shows beautiful plants that attract local birds and butterflies.
Jacaranda (Jacaranda acutifolia) is a flowering tree that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. The trees host insects that are a food supply for insectivorous birds such as finches.
Jacaranda (Jacaranda acutifolia) is a flowering tree that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. The trees host insects that are a food supply for insectivorous birds such as finches.
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is a San Diego native. White flowers in March attract hummingbirds and butterflies. In winter, red berries are food for many different birds.
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is a San Diego native. White flowers in March attract hummingbirds and butterflies. In winter, red berries are food for many different birds.
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora "Samuel Sommer") provides shade and perches for birds. The fragrant white flowers attract bees and hummingbirds.
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora “Samuel Sommer”) provides shade and perches for birds. The fragrant white flowers attract bees and hummingbirds.
Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii "Purple Passion") has flowers that are a rich source of nectar, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.
Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii “Purple Passion”) has flowers that are a rich source of nectar, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.
Ornamental Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) has flowers, fruit and seeds that make a good food source for many birds.
Ornamental Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) has flowers, fruit and seeds that make a good food source for many birds.
Prostrate Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis "Prostratus") is an herb that attracts bees, butterflies and insects that many birds eat.
Prostrate Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis “Prostratus”) is an herb that attracts bees, butterflies and insects that many birds eat.
Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) is a native clumping grass abundant with seeds that birds eat. The high grass tufts also serve as shelter.
Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) is a native clumping grass.  It’s abundant with seeds that birds eat. The tall grass tufts also serve as shelter.
Rockrose (Cistus "Sunset") attracts birds and insects with its magenta color and fragrance.
Rockrose (Cistus “Sunset”) attracts birds and insects with its magenta color and fragrance.
Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) is native to Mexico and attracts butterflies with its strong lemon-mint fragrance.
Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) is native to Mexico.  It attracts butterflies most of the year with its strong lemon-mint fragrance.
Torch Lily (Kniphofia uvaria) also known as Red Hot Poker, produces sweet nectar that hummingbirds love.
Torch Lily (Kniphofia uvaria) also known as Red Hot Poker, produces sweet nectar that hummingbirds absolutely love.
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus) is a popular perennial that attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus) is a popular perennial that attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.

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 fun and useful photos that you can share and enjoy!

Jacaranda spring festival coming to Cortez Hill!

Those pink spring blooms, I believe, actually belong to Pink Trumpet Trees in Tweet Street Park, site of the upcoming Jacaranda Spring Thing!
Cheerful blooms cover Pink Trumpet Trees in Tweet Street Park.  The neighborhood park is site of an upcoming spring festival!

This morning, when I saw a large temporary sign on the street outside my front door, I went to investigate. And look what I discovered! A neighborhood spring festival is going to take place on Cortez Hill!

It’s called Jacaranda Spring Thing! (Yes, there are lots of beautiful Jacaranda trees on Cortez Hill. Many can be found in Tweet Street Park where the festival will take place.)

The free outdoor event will feature food trucks, a special Home Depot workshop (about fixing up your outdoor patio), live music, a book truck, a photo booth . . . all sorts of fun stuff!

Okay, are you interested? It takes place on April 16 at Tweet Street Park, along Date Street between 8th and 9th Avenue, from noon to 4pm.  Here’s a link with more info.  (By registering at that link, the organizers at the Downtown San Diego Partnership can get an idea of how many people might show up.)

A special neighborhood event is coming to Cortez Hill. The Jacaranda Spring Thing takes place Saturday, April 16, from 12pm-4pm.
A special neighborhood event is coming to beautiful Cortez Hill. The Jacaranda Spring Thing takes place Saturday, April 16, from 12pm-4pm.
I love walking along Date Street through sunny Tweet Street, a park dedicated to city birds.
I love walking along Date Street through sunny Tweet Street, a park dedicated to city birds.
Spring is in the air on Cortez Hill. The gentle season brings new life and great natural beauty.
Spring is in the air on Cortez Hill. The gentle season brings new life and great natural beauty.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Watching for rare birds at Tweet Street park.

Looking west along the narrow linear Cortez Hill Park, also called Tweet Street.
Looking west along the narrow linear Cortez Hill Park, also called Tweet Street.

Every day for the past six years I’ve been watching for rare birds.

As you might have read on this blog, I live at the top of Cortez Hill in downtown San Diego. One cool feature of my neighborhood is a modest but well-loved park that awaits a few steps from my front door. Cortez Hill Park, more commonly called Tweet Street, is an extremely narrow urban park that stretches for several blocks along Date Street and Tenth Avenue. Completed in 2008, it includes a small playground, dog rest areas, and benches where visitors can rest and enjoy the San Diego sunshine. But Tweet Street’s unique purpose is to provide an inviting refuge of trees, shrubs and birdhouses that encourages birds to take up residence!

I remember when Tweet Street first opened, and my excitement. The artistic, brightly painted birdhouses were simply fun to walk past, and the idea that the park would soon be full of birds put a spring in my step.

Years later, I’m still watching for birds. Occasionally one can be glimpsed or heard in the deeper parts of the trees, or down on the hillside above Interstate 5. But to see a bird near the sidewalk is a rare thing. I’ve never seen a single birdhouse being used.

I suppose the lesson is that birdhouses shouldn’t be erected 5 or 6 feet from a popular walkway, where many people pass throughout the day, often with dogs. And that birds need a little more cover than what an extremely narrow park provides. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tweet Street! I love how the trees have grown out. I love walking along the park and gazing out at different vistas. The idea of attracting birds was terrific. But birds have their own notions about where to live. It seems they prefer a little more privacy.

Metal artwork resembles a bird perched atop trees in the downtown community.
Metal artwork resembles a bird perched atop trees in the downtown community.
Houses for birds are creative works of imagination, built by local artists in 2008.
Houses for birds are creative works of imagination, built by local artists in 2008.
Birds might choose to live in this traffic light.
Birds might choose to live in this traffic light.
Display near center of park shows how to build a birdhouse.
Display near center of park shows how to build a birdhouse.
Bees have taken over this wooden birdhouse.
Bees have taken over this empty wooden birdhouse.
The eyes of this colorful cat invite birds to enter.
The eyes of this colorful, weather-beaten cat invite courageous birds to enter.
Human condos and apartments are across the street from vacant bird housing.
Human condos and apartments are across the street from vacant bird housing.
House finches are among the birds that visit the Tweet Street park.
House finches are among the birds that occasionally visit the Tweet Street park.
Another fanciful birdhouse in the downtown San Diego park.
Another fanciful but unused birdhouse in the downtown San Diego park.
Stylish birdhouse, palm tree and downtown buildings.
Stylish birdhouse, palm tree and downtown buildings.
Squirrel perched on fence above Interstate 5 at edge of Tweet Street park.
Squirrel perched on fence above Interstate 5 at edge of Tweet Street park.

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