Building the San Diego Community Christmas Center!

The holidays must be near in San Diego, with Balboa Park’s December Nights right around the corner. Because look what I saw today!

San Diego Community Christmas Center volunteers were at work in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion erecting their annual Nativity Display and Gingerbread House!

I was told Santa and his reindeer will be showing up soon, too! (With a little help from City of San Diego Parks and Recreation.)

It was a bit odd to see life-size Biblical figures wrapped up in plastic. A shepherd was lying down nearby, after having “surgery” on his hand. It had been broken last year when some member of the public tore away his staff. Whatever your beliefs might be, that’s pretty sad.

The San Diego Community Christmas Center is a non-profit committee that maintains an over half century old tradition. According to their website, the Chamber of Commerce first initiated the project after World War II. Horton Plaza was first to display the Biblical figures. The next home for the Nativity Scene was the Civic Center on Pacific Highway. Finally, in 1953, the location was moved to its present home in the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park

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Star of India’s restored figurehead rises!

History was made today in San Diego!

Star of India’s beautifully restored figurehead made its debut during the 159th birthday celebration of the historic ship!

The Greek Muse Euterpe emerged from the hold of Star of India, raised by a ship’s rope to the main deck. The graceful Muse of music and lyric poetry was shining like new. Applause broke out as a throng of Maritime Museum of San Diego members and visitors ate birthday cake and watched.

Then came the selfies! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be right up close to the classic ship’s figurehead.

In the coming days, museum volunteers will mount the restored figurehead to the bow of the historic Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world.

The restoration effort required over a thousand hours of careful work. To see photos I took earlier this year of the restoration in progress, click here!

UPDATE!

Two days later, George Sutherland, who has been in charge of restoring the historic figurehead, was applying epoxy in preparation for Euterpe’s return to the tall ship’s bow.

Water is an enemy of wood, so George was applying the epoxy very carefully, in such a way that water would not intrude and pool where it could do damage.

UPDATE!

The next Sunday, Euterpe was returned to her proper place–at the head of Star of India!

I missed the operation, but I saw her on Monday and took this pic…

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You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Young Marines help feed the hungry on Veterans Day.

Today, Veterans Day, a Celebration of Service was held at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park.

Several local organizations from around San Diego came together during the event to engage in service projects that help the community.

When I arrived at the museum in the early afternoon, I noticed that hard-working Young Marines were helping Feeding San Diego to assemble Thanksgiving boxes.

Every box makes a complete Thanksgiving dinner, minus a turkey. Those who are hungry during the holiday season will greatly appreciate the kindness of others.

The Veterans Day event is part of the #ThanksToVeterans Tour, which has traveled across the United States to celebrate the service and contributions of Veterans.

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I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Help restore a memorial to lost Navy submariners.

A San Diego memorial to U. S. Navy submariners lost at sea, the 52 Boats Memorial, needs your help. Some of the monuments that line two pathways at NTC Liberty Station in Point Loma are badly damaged.

I was walking through Liberty Station today when I took these photos. A search of the internet brought up this very recent article, which describes one man’s effort to restore broken markers, like those in my photographs.

The original markers need to be replaced with more durable concrete duplicates. There are already sufficient funds to undertake this endeavor–what they need is someone who can make concrete and use the molds…Ideally, the person or business also would be able to deliver and install the heavy monuments…

I first blogged about the 52 Boats Memorial over eight years ago here. It’s a very powerful Veteran’s memorial. Certainly someone out there can help.

If you haven’t read the article yet, do so here.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Community members tidy Tweet Street park!

The Friends of Tweet Street Park were at it again this morning!

Many community volunteers had gathered at Cortez Hill’s Tweet Street linear park to tidy up and beautify a special corner of the neighborhood!

They were assisted by two friendly members of downtown San Diego’s Clean and Safe program.

As I hurried off to a morning appointment, I snapped a couple pics of the work crew getting started. When I walked past again around noon, oh, what a difference! The planted areas were more beautiful than ever!

If you want to join these good people or help them out, check out their Facebook page here!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Tar, varnish and paint on San Diego Bay!

Have you read those classic nautical stories where sailors are tasked with tarring ropes in a ship’s rigging?

Well, if you visited the Maritime Museum of San Diego today, you might have seen this age-old activity in practice. A museum volunteer was tarring the shrouds of Californian, official tall ship of California!

As I walked about the museum’s historic ships, I noticed the forward hatch of the 1904 steam yacht Medea had been recently varnished. And another volunteer was busy applying the second of three coats of paint to the railing of the San Diego harbor’s 1914 Pilot boat!

Even in calm San Diego Bay, the daily weather, salt and sun slowly ravage ships. The sun’s ultraviolet rays eventually break down everything, even tar. To maintain the beautiful vessels of a world-famous maritime museum requires elbow grease!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Learn about nature at Torrey Pines trailhead!

At Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, several popular trails (including the Beach Trail and Razor Point Trail) can be accessed from a small parking lot south of the Visitor Center.

At the trailhead visitors will see a wooden structure, the words Torrey Pines Docent Society, and many smiling volunteers who are happy to provide information or explain interpretative displays before you begin your hike. The structure is called the Trailhead Information Kiosk, or TIK for short. Docents greeting visitors here are called TIK Talkers!

I remember how, many years ago, this trailhead “kiosk” was nothing more than a portable table and EZ Up canopy. Today’s handsome, sturdy structure is a testament to what volunteer hands can create!

The Trailhead Information Kiosk is a great place to learn about Torrey Pines’ native plants and animals. There are signs detailing what hikers might encounter, photographs of wildlife, and cool models of insects, snakes and other animals.

Before beginning a short hike the other day, I paused at the TIK to absorb a little knowledge.

Reptiles of Torrey Pines

Birds of Torrey Pines

Insects

Flowering Plants of Torrey Pines

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I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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 Vintage Trolley: A Labor of Love.

Last weekend I rode the San Diego Trolley’s old PCC streetcar 530. I traveled a few stops on the Vintage Trolley’s downtown Silver Line loop.

As I looked about the interior of the restored 1940’s streetcar, I noticed a sign that I’d never seen before. Several paragraphs pay tribute to Ed Lindstrom, who was instrumental in restoring the Vintage Trolley vehicles operated by MTS.

Ed worked as a Light Rail Vehicle Project Coordinator and Electromechanic. Restoring the two streetcars that now run on the Silver Line–cars 529 and 530–required parts that are extremely difficult to find. According to the sign, Ed relentlessly sought the necessary parts from other transit agencies, collectors and museums. With some harder-to-find components, Ed got creative. He reverse-engineered and produced them specifically for the project!

To learn more about the PCC streetcar restoration, and see photos of how the old cars once looked, click here!

If you ever ride one of these nostalgic streetcars on a weekend, you can thank Ed and many others who’ve worked countless hours making a beautiful dream come true.

A LABOR OF LOVE.

Operation of the vintage streetcars in San Diego…began as a dream of Harry Mathis… A cadre of volunteers, led by our restoration manager, Dave Slater, has contributed more than 11,000 man hours of work on our fleet of PCC’s…

As a resident of downtown San Diego who loves riding the Vintage Trolley cars, 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!

Begin the adventure of a lifetime in San Diego!

Would you, or someone you know, like to embark on the adventure of a lifetime?

You can start that adventure this very moment. Sign up to become one of a select few: those who help sail famous tall ships right here in San Diego. Including the oldest active sailing ship in the world, Star of India!

Start down the path to becoming a crewmember and you’ll create incredible memories. Your background, age or experience don’t matter.

Today I watched from the poop deck of Star of India as two new museum volunteers learned to tie knots.

With training, which includes a special class that begins every January, you, too, can help operate the replica 19th century schooner Californian; the replica 18th century British Frigate HMS Surprise; the 19th century three-masted Bark Star of India; the replica 16th century Spanish Galleon San Salvador; and the 20th century steam yacht Medea.

Learn all about this incredible opportunity by clicking here!

Retired? No problem? A student? No problem. Don’t know anything about ships or sailing? No problem!

Begin this adventure and you’ll learn nautical skills and acquire knowledge that very few people share.

Afraid of climbing high into a tall ship’s rigging? No problem! When operating these historic ships, there’s plenty to do down on deck, too!

This afternoon I spoke to Jim, First Mate of Star of India, and absorbed all sorts of interesting information. He told me there’s something new to learn at the Maritime Museum every single day. And he’s been with the museum now for almost 50 years! (He started out working in the gift shop!)

Interested? Begin your adventure of a lifetime now, by clicking here. You’ll even have a chance to help sail the beautiful Star of India herself, when next she goes out to sea, in November 2023!

That would make for one amazing memory.

Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.
Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.

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 missed Red Shoe Day? Donate online!

It’s Red Shoe Day in San Diego!

Volunteers hanging out at busy intersections this morning were collecting donations for the Ronald McDonald House, which helps sick kids who are being treated at local hospitals, providing a nearby place for their families to stay!

Did you miss an opportunity to place some money in a red shoe this morning? Well, you can donate online. Do it here!

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!