Cool faces encountered on the streets of Ocean Beach.

Wander the streets of OB and you'll encounter all sorts of very cool urban art, including many colorful faces.
Wander the streets of OB and you’ll encounter lots of fun urban art, including a variety of cool faces.

Here are a few cool faces I photographed while randomly walking along the busy sidewalks of Ocean Beach. Mosey around OB and your eyes will be dazzled by amazing street art wherever you turn. Some of that artwork stares right back at you!

A stylish lady regards people who walk down popular Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach.
A stylish lady regards people who walk down popular Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach.
Super cool street mural in Ocean Beach depicts music legends Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash.
A cool street mural in Ocean Beach depicts music legends Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash.
The immortal Jimi Hendrix gazes out from an OB wall.
The immortal Jimi Hendrix gazes out from an OB wall.
The face of Johnny Cash spray painted in Ocean Beach.
The face of Johnny Cash spray painted in Ocean Beach.
Long hair and a long nose...and a surfing hamburger. The famous Hodad's in Ocean Beach is a popular destination for many hungry people in San Diego.
Long hair and a very big nose…and a positively gigantic surfing hamburger. The famous Hodad’s in Ocean Beach is a popular destination for hungry people in San Diego.
Happy smileys and a peace sign within some rainbowy, swirly 60's style artwork at the USA Hostels Ocean Beach.
Smileys, flowers and a peace sign are just a few of the fun elements decorating a youth hostel in Ocean Beach.
The exterior of USA Hostels Ocean Beach is absolutely covered with colorful psychedelic artwork.
The exterior of USA Hostels Ocean Beach is absolutely covered with bold, swirly psychedelic artwork.
Those look more like surfers than hippies. Hanging out in front of the fun youth hostel in OB.
Those look more like surfers than hippies. A photo of guys hanging out in front of the wildly colorful youth hostel in OB.
A happy artist applies brush to canvas, painted on a utility box in Ocean Beach. Please disregard the mustache!
A happy artist at the beach applies her brush to paint the beach…painted on a utility box in Ocean Beach!  (And a graffiti mustache has been added, for good measure!)
Sheer happiness. Ocean Beach is a place where carefree living is celebrated.
Sheer joy. Ocean Beach is a place where a laid-back, carefree lifestyle is celebrated.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! 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 enjoy!

Take a San Diego Eco Tour . . . and benefit local students!

You can go kayaking on a cool Eco Tour and try to spot green sea turtles in San Diego's South Bay! Image courtesy of Ocean Connectors. Photograph by Harry Orgovan.
You can go kayaking on a cool Eco Tour and try to spot green sea turtles in San Diego’s South Bay! Image courtesy of Ocean Connectors. Photograph by Harry Orgovan.

If you’d like to take a cool San Diego Eco Tour, check this out!

At last weekend’s Earth Day on the Bay, I learned about some awesome Eco Tours on San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Experienced guides take you by kayak around the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge to search for green sea turtles, or by bicycle around San Diego Bay to view all sorts of migratory birds, or by boat off our coast to spot gray whales and other marine life! These tours are provided by Ocean Connectors.

Why am I blogging about this? What makes these tours so amazingly cool? Ocean Connectors uses the money they make from their San Diego Eco Tours to directly benefit local students! Every year, Ocean Connectors introduces hundreds of kids in the National City School District to the beautiful natural world along San Diego’s coast, educating them about migratory wildlife and stewardship of the environment–all at no cost!

That’s right! Thousands of students in Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grades have had an experience of a lifetime thanks to Ocean Connectors. In their formative years, these young people, many from low-income situations, have ventured out from the city and have experienced profound wonders they otherwise might have missed. They are taken on fun and inspiring educational field trips that are sometimes described as the best day of their lives!

Thanks to Ocean Connectors, local school students can learn about marine wildlife during a whale watching tour off the San Diego coast. Image courtesy of Ocean Connectors. Photograph by Ralph Pace.
Thanks to Ocean Connectors, local school students can learn about marine wildlife during a whale watching tour off the San Diego coast. Image courtesy of Ocean Connectors. Photograph by Ralph Pace.

Seeing green sea turtles, wild birds taking flight, and majestic gray whales out on the wide blue water deeply affects a young person’s view of the world, teaches one about the web of life, helps one to grow into a thoughtful, responsible adult. I know this is true. Because I had a similar experience when I was growing up.

Back in junior high school, I went on a sea adventure with some classmates along Alaska’s Inland Passage. I saw breaching humpback whales, bald eagles, even an orca. That memory is still vivid in my mind. That unforgettable experience broadened my horizons, made me appreciate the wonders of nature, gave me a sense of belonging to a larger world, a world that should be carefully preserved. I’ve been an avid hiker and lover of the outdoors during my adult life, and I have no doubt my own personal adventure those many years ago is one big reason why.

So . . . have you been considering having your own unforgettable adventure in ecotourism? Would you like to possibly spot one of the 60 green sea turtles that spend part of their lives feeding on eel grass in San Diego’s South Bay? Would you like to bike around the Bayshore Bikeway and see hundreds, even thousands of wild birds? (And some are quite rare!) Would you like to head out onto the ocean with trained, knowledgeable naturalists, and see gray whales, dolphins, and a huge variety of other sea mammals and coastal wildlife?

Ocean Connectors’ mission is to educate, inspire and connect people to the outdoors. And one of those people could be YOU!

Click here to have your own unique Eco Tour in San Diego. Book a tour, and you’ll benefit kids in San Diego’s South Bay! It’s a win-win!

Someone learns about the amazing Eco Tours and the educational programs provided by Ocean Connectors during Earth Bay on the Bay at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Someone learns about the amazing Eco Tours and the educational programs provided by Ocean Connectors during Earth Bay on the Bay at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

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

Are you a blogger? Do you want to make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

A spring Sunday. Life is good on San Diego Bay!

Visitors and members of the Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoy a spring Sunday aboard HMS Surprise. The Star of India's masts rise in the background.
Visitors and members of the Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoy a spring Sunday aboard HMS Surprise. The Star of India’s masts rise in the background.

A sunny spring Sunday. So I just walked along the Embarcadero. To no place in particular. I started late this morning at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, where Earth Day on the Bay was taking place. I checked out the exhibits for a few minutes, talked to a few cool people, then walked around outside. And I just kept on walking. Life is good on San Diego Bay.

Today was Earth Day on the Bay at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Exhibitors on the passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley demonstrated the work they're undertaking to protect the environment.
Today was Earth Day on the Bay at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Exhibitors on the passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley demonstrated the work they’re undertaking to protect the environment.
It's Sunday, which is volunteer work day at the maritime museum. If I recall correctly, these guys near the San Salvador were applying tar to some steel cables that will be used on the HMS Surprise.
It’s Sunday, which is volunteer work day at the Maritime Museum. If I heard correctly, these guys near the San Salvador were applying tar to some steel cables that will be used on the HMS Surprise.
Two parrots on the Pearl Harbor memorial plaque near the USS Midway. Behind it is the Navy Bicentennial plaque, whose mysterious origin was revealed by visitors to this blog!
Two parrots on the Pearl Harbor memorial plaque near the USS Midway. Behind it is the Navy Bicentennial plaque.  As you might recall, the Navy Bicentennial plaque’s mysterious origin was revealed in detail by a few of its creators on this blog! I’m still astounded!
Some folks out fishing from the Tuna Harbor pier were catching a few spotted seabass! This one was too small and was quickly returned to San Diego Bay.
Some folks out fishing on the Tuna Harbor pier were catching spotted seabass! This one was too small and was quickly returned to San Diego Bay.
This sneaky gull perched atop a docked bait boat seemed to be watching the folks fishing nearby!
This sneaky gull perched atop a docked bait boat seemed to be watching those folks fishing nearby!
Someone zooms by riding a bucking water scooter over the sparkling blue water.
Someone zooms by riding a bucking water scooter over the sparkling blue water.
Close-up photo of a colorful float inside a lobster trap. I just walked along the pier, looking out at boats, water and the beautiful San Diego skyline.
Close-up photo of a colorful float inside a lobster trap. I just walked along the pier, looking out at boats, water and the beautiful San Diego skyline.
Skaters take a break in the sunshine near Tuna Harbor.
Skaters take a break in the sunshine near Tuna Harbor.
Someone relaxes on a spring Sunday by maneuvering a remote control model sailboat in Tuna Harbor. Another cool sight along San Diego's always lively Embarcadero.
Someone relaxes on a spring Sunday by maneuvering a remote control model sailboat in Tuna Harbor. Another cool sight along San Diego’s always lively Embarcadero.
Fun marine artwork depicts a pod of dolphins in the ocean. A window of the Wyland Galleries in Seaport Village.
Fun marine artwork depicts a pod of dolphins in the ocean. A window of the Wyland Galleries in Seaport Village.
Colorful banner fluttering in the sea breeze proclaims Life is Good. I always enjoy walking past Alamo Flags in Seaport Village.
Colorful banner fluttering in the sea breeze proclaims Life is Good. I always enjoy walking past Alamo Flags in Seaport Village.
Just some bright yellow flowers.
Just some bright yellow flowers.
A street magician, cyclists, and the Californian tall ship out on San Diego Bay.
A street magician, cyclists, and the Californian tall ship out on San Diego Bay.
Papa Alex is a very friendly, happy, soulful psychic. He hangs out near Seaport Village and Embarcadero Marina Park North. His motto is: "Peace and love. No drama." Sounds wise to me!
Papa Alex is a very friendly, happy, soulful psychic. He often hangs out between Seaport Village and Embarcadero Marina Park North. His motto is: “Peace and love. No drama.” Sounds wise to me!
Wow! Look at those massive bubbles flying through the air! This fun could be found on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Wow! Look at those massive bubbles flying through the air! This fun could be found on the grass at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
And high above those bubbles was this kite. I love San Diego.
And high above those bubbles was this kite. I love San Diego.
Tourists rent some wheels near the Marriott Marquis and Marina.
Tourists rent some wheels near the Marriott Marquis and Marina.
I rested for a bit on the fishing pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South. Here comes the Stars and Stripes racing yacht, carrying people enjoying an adventure on our picturesque bay.
I rested for a bit on the fishing pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South. Here comes the Stars and Stripes racing yacht, carrying passengers enjoying a unique adventure on the Big Bay.
And there goes the Silvergate, ferrying people over to Coronado Island. What a glorious spring day!
And there goes the Silvergate, ferrying people over to Coronado Island. What a glorious spring day!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Spreckels Organ retakes world record! Concert celebrates!

The historic 1915 Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park has regained the title of largest outdoor pipe organ in the world!
The historic 1915 Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park has regained the title of largest outdoor pipe organ in the world!

There’s a special concert going on right now in San Diego, celebrating the breaking of a world record. The Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park, after a drive to 5000 pipes, has regained the title of largest outdoor pipe organ in the world! (For several years, the Heroes’ Organ at Kufstein Fortress in Austria held the record.)

Here are some photos from about an hour before the celebration concert. Congrats to the Spreckels Organ Society for their fine achievement!

Before the celebration concert, a photographer gets ready and organ enthusiasts have a special dinner in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Before the celebration concert, a photographer gets ready and organ enthusiasts have a special dinner in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
A special program! Taking the Title: The Celebration Concert for the World's Largest Outdoor Pipe Organ. Sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University.
A special program! Taking the Title: The Celebration Concert for the World’s Largest Outdoor Pipe Organ. Sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University.
Friendly Spreckels Organ Society volunteer confirms that Balboa Park's amazing outdoor organ has regained the world record with 5000 pipes!
Friendly Spreckels Organ Society volunteer confirms that Balboa Park’s amazing outdoor organ has regained the world record with 5017 pipes!
Spreckels Organ Society tent welcomes new members at the very special event.
Spreckels Organ Society tent welcomes new members at the very special event.
Getting the famous Spreckels Organ ready. San Diego Civic Organist Dr. Carol Williams looks on.
Getting the famous Spreckels Organ ready. San Diego Civic Organist Dr. Carol Williams looks on.
A crowd gathers. About an hour to go before the evening concert.
A crowd slowly gathers. About an hour to go before the evening concert!
The House of Scotland Pipe Band will take part in a grand procession into the Spreckels Organ Pavilion as the concert begins. They wear the official San Diego tartan!
The House of Scotland Pipe Band will take part in a grand procession into the Spreckels Organ Pavilion as the evening concert begins. They wear the official San Diego tartan!
I paused to listen for a few minutes as concert organist Dr. Carol Williams and singer Diane Alexander, a soprano, practiced. It was beautiful music. Congratulations to the world-record Spreckels Organ!
I paused to listen for a few minutes as concert organist Dr. Carol Williams and singer Diane Alexander, a soprano, practiced. It was beautiful music. Congratulations to the world-record Spreckels Organ!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! 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 sometimes historic) photos for you to enjoy!

St. Crispin’s Day speech and medieval armor in San Diego!

Performers in medieval chain mail and shining breastplate armor pose inside the main entrance of the San Diego Central Library downtown!
Performers in medieval chain mail and shining breastplate armor pose inside the main entrance of the San Diego Central Library downtown!

Check out a few pics of a certifiably cool event I witnessed at noon today! There was a pop-up performance of the St. Crispin’s Day speech from Shakespeare’s play Henry V! Complete with medieval costumes and shining armor!

The short performance honored the birthday (and death day) of Shakespeare, and was put on in the Central Library’s lobby as part of the San Diego Public Library’s First Folio multi-month extravaganza. Shakespeare’s rousing fictional speech by King Henry V–meant to inspire his English army in 1415 before the Battle of Agincourt, where he faced a vastly larger French army–was recited at several libraries around San Diego.

The enthusiastic performers were all great! And super friendly! I spoke to them and learned about their love for the Age of Chivalry. They make their own armor and other items associated with medieval life. They are deeply interested in the history of the Middle Ages and learning how to craft objects with historical authenticity. According to their website, Chivalry Today, they offer a variety of presentations, workshops and activities to introduce chivalry into your education, business and life. They provide quality historical interpretive programs for schools studying Medieval and Renaissance history.  Click on the above link to check these guys out!

(If I may provide some constructive criticism of the library, which I otherwise love. I arrived early because I wasn’t sure where exactly in downtown’s large Central Library the performance would take place. I asked five different library employees. Not one of them knew. One severe lady at the reference desk after searching for about five minutes on her computer told me there was no such event. Ouch. Worse, it appeared I was the only person to intentionally show up for the performance. The others in the small audience arrived after an announcement over the library public address system. Isn’t a library essentially about maximizing communication?  Hello!  We live in the age of the internet!  Okay, my rant is over.  I love you guys.)

Reciting Shakespeare's rousing speech by King Henry V, urging his English army to bravely fight the French at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Reciting Shakespeare’s rousing speech by King Henry V, urging his English army to bravely fight the French at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
At the end of the short pop-up performance, banners are raised by the small troupe in the lobby of the San Diego Central Library.
At the end of the short pop-up performance, banners are raised by the small troupe in the lobby of the San Diego Central Library.
Henry V inspires his troops in the Age of Chivalry, while historical commentary is provided in a modern library. The performance was part of an ongoing summer-long First Folio celebration of Shakespeare.
Henry V inspires his troops in the Age of Chivalry, while historical commentary is provided in a modern library. The performance was part of an ongoing summer-long First Folio celebration of Shakespeare.

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

Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? You might enjoy checking out Short Stories by Richard.

Photos of Chargers’ downtown stadium petition drive event.

Chargers football fans hold huge bolts for a photograph!
Chargers football fans hold huge bolts for a photograph!

Here are a bunch of photos from today’s Chargers petition drive event in downtown San Diego. Our NFL team is seeking to have a new stadium built downtown, and a petition has been launched to put their proposal on the November ballot. The event brought several popular players and dignitaries to the spot where the proposed stadium would be built, and signature gatherers circulated among Chargers fans.

I had planned to check out a pop-up Shakespeare performance at the nearby Central Library at noon (I’ll blog about that shortly), but when I saw this rally was planned for eleven o’clock, I added it to my list of things to do! Personally, I enjoy watching the Chargers play on television on Sunday, but am not really a diehard fan. I agree it would be a shame to see them leave San Diego. They are a part of our history and community.  I’m not especially passionate about any particular stadium proposal–either Mission Valley or downtown. As a downtown resident, a new football stadium nearby (which would also be used in conjunction with the San Diego Convention Center) would bring a lot of excitement into the neighborhood. It might also create certain inconveniences.

Today’s big Chargers petition drive kickoff intrigued me, not because I’m an advocate for any side, but because I’ve become more and more philosophical as I’ve grown older. It’s interesting to simply observe human behavior.

Lots of diehard Chargers fans were on hand Saturday for a big signature gathering kickoff sponsored by the San Diego Chargers organization, in their quest for a downtown stadium.
Lots of diehard Chargers fans were on hand Saturday for a big signature gathering kickoff sponsored by the San Diego Chargers organization, in their quest for a downtown stadium.
People arriving at the San Diego Chargers downtown stadium petition drive event are asked to add their signatures.
People arriving at the San Diego Chargers downtown stadium petition drive event are asked to add their signatures.
Petitions were being signed on the sidewalk along Park Boulevard, where many homeless people camp in San Diego.
Petitions were being signed on the sidewalk along Park Boulevard, where many homeless people camp in San Diego.
Someone in the gathering crowd holds a Vote for Chargers Stadium sign.
Someone in the gathering crowd holds a Vote for Chargers Stadium sign.
One of several stations where people attending the event could sign the Chargers' downtown stadium petition.
One of several stations where people attending the event could sign the Chargers’ downtown stadium petition.
A videoboard showed various conceptual drawings of what the proposed downtown stadium would look like. It would also be used for conventions.
A videoboard showed various conceptual drawings of what the proposed downtown stadium would look like. It could also be used for conventions.
Camera people get ready for the heavily promoted event to begin.
Camera people get ready for the heavily promoted event to begin.
A fan in a Chargers team jersey holds a poster that says Thank You 21. That was LaDainian Tomlinson's number.
A fan in a Chargers team jersey holds a poster that says Thank You 21. That was LaDainian Tomlinson’s number.
A fairly large crowd has gathered in the parking lot near Petco Park where Padres fans often tailgate. The proposed stadium would be built here.
A fairly large crowd has gathered in the parking lot near Petco Park where Padres fans often tailgate. The proposed stadium would be built here.
A fan brought a football. Perhaps he was hoping for an autograph.
A fan brought a football. Perhaps he was hoping for an autograph.
Footage of LaDainian Tomlinson's football exploits was a big crowd pleaser.
Footage of LaDainian Tomlinson’s football exploits was a big crowd pleaser.
Television news cameras and media photographers jam together to capture the Chargers' downtown stadium petition publicity event.
Television news cameras and media photographers jam together to capture the Chargers’ downtown stadium petition publicity event.  It seems everyone has a role to play.
Dean Spanos, team president and CEO of the National Football League's San Diego Chargers team takes the stage. Pre-made signs intended to shame Mayor Faulconer rise in unison.
Dean Spanos, team president and CEO of the National Football League’s San Diego Chargers team takes the stage. Pre-made signs intended to shame Mayor Kevin Faulconer rise in unison.
Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League, advocates for a new football stadium downtown.
Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League, advocates for a new football stadium downtown.
LaDainian Tomlinson, one of the best running backs in NFL history, flew in from Texas for the event. He was clearly the crowd favorite and received loud cheers.
LaDainian Tomlinson, one of the best running backs in NFL history, flew in from Texas for the event. He was clearly the crowd favorite and received loud cheers.
Philip Rivers, star quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, got the crowd excited during the petition event.
Philip Rivers, star quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, got the crowd excited during the petition event.
Several super fans take part in a ceremonial first signing on stage with the various dignitaries.
Several super fans take part in a “ceremonial first signing” on stage with the various dignitaries.
A blast of glitter and raised pom-poms from smiling San Diego Charger Girls cheerleaders as the event comes to a conclusion.
A blast of glitter and raised pom-poms from smiling San Diego Charger Girls cheerleaders as the rousing event comes to a conclusion.
After the event is over, someone holds up a cardboard Not Downtown poster. There are many interested people on both sides of the issue.
After the event is over, someone holds up a cardboard Not Downtown poster. There are various interests on either side of the issue. Many people are passionate for one reason or another.  And of course a lot of money is at stake.

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

Do you have a philosophical bent? Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? You might enjoy checking out Short Stories by Richard.

Online petition to prevent Coronado Bridge suicides.

The Coronado Bay Bridge has seen too many tragic suicides.
The Coronado Bay Bridge has seen far too many tragic suicides.

Would you please consider signing a very important online petition? The Coronado San Diego Bridge Collaborative For Suicide Prevention has begun a petition to help prevent Coronado Bay Bridge suicides.

Tragically, in the past 47 years, about 370 souls have jumped from the bridge. Most of these people felt driven to end their own lives because of deep depression. All could have been helped. The petition, addressed to the California Department of Transportation, asks that a suicide barrier be installed on the San Diego–Coronado Bridge. It would be similar to a intelligently-designed device now being installed on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which is a unique type of a net that is configured to safely catch jumpers and arrest them until help arrives.

You can sign the petition by clicking here.

Thank you for your consideration, and for any help that you might provide!

Richard

Are you a blogger? Do you want to make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.