Simple messages and poems giving thanks.

Thanksgiving arrives tomorrow.

Today I thought I’d go through thousands of old photos and find examples of street art that include the words “Thank you” or whose central theme is gratitude.

I found almost none.

Many of the beautiful murals and painted electrical boxes I’ve photographed over the years encourage the viewer to be or do something. Be kind, be brave, be inspired, be strong, fight for a cause, love, hope, laugh, smile, be yourself…

Only a small handful of messages concern gratitude, or directly say thank you.

And these tend to be written in chalk or very simply.

Why is this?

I do know that to acknowledge indebtedness to others requires humility.

I fell a far distance –
You caught me many, many
Times – Awoken revived thankful
to be alive – Living is a privilege
Take care – See the life you’ve
been given – Cherish it

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!

Sayings, mosaics on Barrio Logan fountain.

I was walking up Cesar E. Chavez Parkway in Barrio Logan the other day when I decided to take a close look at the Mercado del Barrio fountain.

Look what I discovered!

Popular sayings in both English and Spanish, accompanied by tiny, colorful tile mosaics, are embedded around the edge of the brightly splashing fountain!

Birds of a feather flock together.
Birds of a feather flock together.
Pajaros de la misma pluma vuelan juntos.
Pajaros de la misma pluma vuelan juntos.
Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.
Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.
No hay mal que por bien no venga.
No hay mal que por bien no venga.
When one door closes another one opens.
When one door closes another one opens.
Cuando una puerta se cierra otra se abre.
Cuando una puerta se cierra otra se abre.
La vida no retoña.
La vida no retoña.
Love is repaid with love.
Love is repaid with love.

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!

Students honored on the Walls of Excellence.

It was raining when I walked up to the Walls of Excellence in Lincoln Park today. Moments after I lifted my camera, as if by magic, the sun came out, shining upon the names of students who have achieved a great honor in this southeast San Diego community.

Every year, since 2000, three seniors from each of four school are selected for inclusion in the Walls of Excellence. These students, from Gompers Preparatory Academy, Lincoln High School, Morse High School and the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, are honored with their own engraved glass panel. Those who are selected have excelled both in their studies and in community service.

Along one side of the walls are quotes concerning wisdom. Above the walls rises a beautiful monument like a long finger. When the sun comes out, that sky-pointing finger turns golden.

The Walls of Excellence is located on Imperial Avenue at Willie James Jones Avenue.

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!

Art panels say BE THE CHANGE.

Three panels of painted art have appeared in the breezeway between downtown’s Santa Fe Depot train station and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Together they form a positive message: BE THE CHANGE.

BE
THE
CHANGE
Goal Warm Liberated Kindness Peaceful Tender Determined Brave Spirited…
Motivated Playful Amazed Passionate Sunshine Intelligent Unique Calm Free Grace…
Wonderful Inspire Strength Curious Encouraged Mindful Onward Beauty Freedom…
A new butterfly.

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!

Businesses board up before Election Day.

This is not a cool sight. Not for those who want to live in a representative democracy. Free to vote for their candidate or party of choice, no matter which side. Free to live without political violence or the threat of violence.

I noticed while walking through downtown San Diego that some businesses are boarding up doors and windows anticipating the possibility of destruction and looting.

No matter the outcome of this year’s election, no matter who is disappointed or who is elated, whether power over others is increased or diminished, may a shared sense of our common humanity prevail.

The unique, authentic life of street art.

A painting is hung on the wall of a home or museum and endures for generations. Street art–from an alley’s sudden bold graffiti to the most elaborately constructed mural–is born, sees the sunlight, greets countless passing eyes, ages quickly, fades, is ruined, vanishes. And where it once lived, often new art springs up.

In a sense, street art is like our own lives. Authentic. Something we all appreciate. That speaks from the heart, confidently. That is temporary.

During my walk through City Heights yesterday I saw how a uniquely beautiful mural painted outside a coffee shop has vanished. I enjoyed a look at it in August. But its gone in October. Its life was short. It was badly defaced, I’m told. And now this carefully made street art is gone forever, painted over.

Summer soon becomes autumn, then winter.

Cherish every moment in life.

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!

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!

A short story about a paintbrush and magic.

Anyone could participate in painting a small square in this large mural!

It has been months since I promoted my blog Short Stories by Richard, but I just now published a new short story titled Father’s Paintbrush, and I think some readers might enjoy it.

Like several other stories I’ve written, it has a surprising O. Henry-like ending!

If you’re interested, you can read this small work of fiction about life, learning and magic by clicking here.

I have more photographs taken yesterday at Presidio Park coming up, so stay tuned!

Where will I walk today? I haven’t decided!

Six names on six benches.

Around noon today I sat down, opened a book.

I’d taken a walk around Cardiff-by-the-Sea and had found a perfect shady bench in Glen Park.

Below in the distance people were darting about the basketball court shooting hoops. One person missed, madly whirled, lunged forward, fell back, reached, barely intercepted, passed, darted, jumped impossibly high, caught, shot again, swished, shouted happily.

Upon finishing a chapter, I got up and gathered my stuff. The bench I’d been sitting on had a plaque. “Gotta go, gotta ride.”

It felt like the perfect small poem.

I found six names on six empty benches.

Every word shined.

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!

Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro.

One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.
One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.

If you notice two colorful benches in San Ysidro Park, go take a closer look. On both you’ll discover a Trail to Literacy.

The benches are decorated with tiles painted by children. You’ll see small works of art that celebrate books and stories that young people love.

This wonderful community project promotes reading. After looking at the tiles, I think I want to visit a library and check out some children’s books. What better way to activate imagination? And relearn wisdom.

The benches stand not far from renowned artist Victor Ochoa’s beautiful Tree of Life, which I photographed while walking around the park last weekend. See those photos here.

Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.
Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.

The Paperboy.
The Paperboy.

Dogzilla.
Dogzilla.

Froggy Gets Dressed.
Froggy Gets Dressed.

The Cat in the Hat.
The Cat in the Hat.

The Gingerbread Man.
The Gingerbread Man.

Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.
Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.

Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.
Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.

A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.
A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.

Mulan.
Mulan.

Corduroy.
Corduroy.

La Hermana de Froggy.
La Hermana de Froggy.

Mouse Mess.
Mouse Mess.

Viva Piñata!
Viva Piñata!

Just Imagine with Barney.
Just Imagine with Barney.

El Arbol Generoso.
El Arbol Generoso.

More colorful, imaginative tiles painted by youth.
More colorful tiles painted by creative youth.

Reading activates imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.
Reading sparks imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.

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!

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