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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Stunning sunrise over downtown San Diego.

Blazing sunrise seen from Tweet Street park in San Diego.
Blazing sunrise seen from Tweet Street park in San Diego.

Check out these photographs!  I captured these three amazing images early this morning.  Sunrises over San Diego are often beautiful, but today the brightly painted clouds were absolutely stunning!

Fiery sunrise over Cortez Hill in downtown San Diego.
Fiery sunrise over Cortez Hill in downtown San Diego.
Beautiful sunrise colors clouds above El Cortez Hotel.
Beautiful sunrise colors clouds above El Cortez Hotel.

Just for fun, here are a couple more photos! I took these in March of 2015…

El Cortez seen from a couple blocks away early one morning at sunrise.
El Cortez seen from a couple blocks away early one morning at sunrise.
The sun begins to rise as I take a picture on Cortez Hill.
The sun begins to rise as I take a picture on Cortez Hill.

San Diegans donate used textiles for charity.

san diegans donate used textiles for charity

I just got home from my walk today, when lo and behold, on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street right next to the Tweet Street playground are a couple of friendly folks collecting used and unwanted textiles. Here’s a pic!

Their website is www.rippletextilerecycling.com and they raise money by collecting old, stained or torn clothing, bedding, towels, shoes, stuffed animals . . . you name it! Wearable and useable items are sent to developing nations. The other stuff is ground up and converted into new products. They earn 10 cents a pound, and the proceeds are donated to local charities.

The money raised today will go to the YWCA Cortez Hill Family Center!

Please check out their website and make a note of their upcoming events!