Category Archives: Public art

But what is it?

Inspiration

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of the interesting things that I have noticed during my stompings around San Diego County is the number of impromptu memorials (for lack of a better, or more relevant, term), such as this one:

Impromptu memorial

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I found that near some coastal railroad tracks where I had set up to watch the trains go by.

I was transfixed, mesmerized, inspired by it. It exuded peace and relaxation. Maybe that was its intent.

Is it a memorial? Is it religious? Anyone know?

DaturaThe reason why I ask is because I want to create Photographic Art from that picture but I don’t want to be using a religious symbol or memorial inappropriately. The other thing is that on the back of each Photographic Art print will be some fact/information/trivia about what’s presented in the art. For example, the back of a flower art print might have information about the flower or plant—datura and brugmansia, known as angel’s trumpet and pictured at the right, are toxic and can create severe skin problems if you get the sticky white sap on you. How can something so beautiful be so dangerous?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Create change

Out & About

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Earlier this year when I went to Laguna Beach for the Festival of Arts (see my posts, Festival of Arts and Laguna Beach), I noticed that the city was remarkably clean and not a homeless person in sight.

I’m still cataloging the hundreds of pictures I took that day, and I just discovered why there did not appear to be any homeless people in Laguna Beach:

Laguna Beach parking meter

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Yes, that’s a parking meter, a pretty parking meter, but it’s more than just a parking meter. See the little “CREATE CHANGE” plaque at the bottom? That tells you exactly where your money is going:

Create Change

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What a novel idea! Here in San Diego, I believe parking meter money goes into the general fund, and we all know what happens to general fund money!

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Laguna Beach location

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
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Laguna Beach, where even the grocery stores feature art

Out & About

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Four very large paintings on the side of a grocery store in Laguna Beach, Southern California’s greatest arts community:

Laguna Beach, California

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Laguna Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Laguna Beach, California

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Laguna Beach, California

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Laguna Beach, California

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Laguna Beach location

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego in April 2013

Larger than life

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Some things are larger than life, such as this statue titled “Unconditional Surrender” (aka “The Kiss”) in downtown San Diego:

Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego in April 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That picture was taken in April 2013, just a few days after the statue had been installed. The statue was a replacement for one created by Seward Johnson that was originally installed in March 2007. Johnson’s original statue was on loan to San Diego and was to be removed in August 2010.

Initially, the public was aghast: It was too large for its location on the harbor, it was copyright infringement of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph titled V–J day in Times Square which was published in Life magazine in 1945. I can’t show you Eisenstaedt’s photograph since he died in 1995; thus, it is still protected by copyright law.

Johnson has stated that he was familiar with the copyright law regarding Eisenstaedt’s photograph so instead he used a different photograph of the same scene taken by Victor Jorgensen and which is in the public domain:

Unconditional Surrender

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Way too many people said that the statue was inappropriate since little children could look up the nurse’s skirt. Here is a picture taken on July 14, 2009, of two adults and two children who just finished doing exactly that—I watched them!

Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego in July 2009

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As you can see, the boy appears to be ecstatic about what he just saw, which was absolutely nothing!……lol

Some people said that the statue, and even the iconic photograph, was not appropriate in today’s world because the woman involved was not asked for her consent to be kissed. The soldier simply grabbed the closest woman and kissed her. Such would be considered sexual assault in today’s world and thus should not be used as public art.

Seals and sea lions at La Jolla Cove, La Jolla, CaliforniaDespite public opinion against the statue, it remained. Eventually the public accepted it since it became a tourist attraction, one of two controversial tourist attractions in San Diego, the other being the seals and sea lions at La Jolla Cove.

In August 2010 when it was announced that the statue was being removed, the public was outraged. The statue remained under a one-year extension.

Finally, in August 2011, it was announced that the statue would be dismantled and taken away. It could not stay under an extension because, since it was made of foam and urethane, it had deteriorated and needed to be repaired. The City could buy it for half a million or so, but it still needed to be repaired. The City said no; the public was disheartened. People rushed down to have their picture taken with the statue, many emulating the famous pose (see the couple that the arrow points to in the picture below):

IMG_6034 framed

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Because the statue had become an iconic tourist attraction, and because it was located right next to the USS Midway Museum, the folks at the Midway Museum undertook a public relations campaign to get the San Diego Unified Port District to purchase a replacement statue. Due to the problems with foam and urethane, a weather-resistant bronze statue was considered. Unfortunately, the cost for a bronze statue was up in the million-dollar range.

Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego taken from the USS Midway Museum on May 27, 2012.

Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego seen from the USS Midway Museum on May 27, 2012.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

USS Midway Museum and Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Nonetheless, in March 2012, the Port voted to purchase a bronze replacement. That turned into a controversial decision due to the cost, ultimately causing three of the Port’s Board members to resign. The Midway Museum took the lead in fundraising; construction of the new statue proceeded. Ultimately, three overly wealthy citizens contributed $100,000 each while thousands of people like me donated the rest.

Finally, in late May 2012, after Memorial Day, the statue was removed.

Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego

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Gone

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The new “Unconditional Surrender” statue arrived on February 11, 2013, and was bolted into place two days later. The public was happy.

Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego

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Location of the Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego

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THE END

Unconditional Surrender statue in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

New San Diego Central Library on February 2, 2013

The new San Diego Central Library— Why women should not vote

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The new San Diego Central Library is already a week old after its grand opening on Monday, September 30, 2013. It is a photographer’s dream, both inside and outside, with its interesting architecture, angles, windows, elevators, walls, stairs, interior design, public art…. I can see photographers practicing their craft in this building for many decades, hopefully centuries, to come.

The dome, at 143 feet in diameter and 255′ tall, is the third largest dome in North America. The widest are the Superdome at 680′ and Astrodome at 642′. The tallest are Texas Capitol at 310′ and United States Capitol at 288′.

New San Diego Central Library on March 23, 2013

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The Library was built from 2010-2013. The Superdome was built from 1971-1975, St. Peter’s Basilica from 1506-1626, and Il Duomo di Firenze from 1296-1436. I hope that libraries, and the new San Diego Central Library, are around in 700 years, or even 40 years!

Following are 31 pictures of the interior and exterior (mostly interior; for more exterior pictures, see the three links at the end of this post) along with some trivia (called “facts” on the Library’s PR materials).

San Diego Central Library, 2013

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One of Lego’s six LEGOLAND theme parks is located here in San Diego County. How appropriate, then, that in the lobby of the new Library is a large Lego model of the Library:

Lego model of the new San Diego Central Library, 2013

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Unfortunately, none of the PR materials indicate how many Legos it took to build the model :).

Jim said that the library looked very industrialized. It does. A great description, and, I think, appropriate since it and the nearby Petco Park (where the Padres purport to play professional baseball) both were built in the old East Village industrialized area of downtown San Diego.

The Library won the 2013 “Best in Show” by the Decorative Concrete Council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors. Along with 43,000 cubic yards of concrete and 850 miles of steel rebar, there are 328 concrete columns and 356 concrete “wallumns.” The lobby features an exposed structural concrete gravy arch 46′ tall and 70′ wide.

Lobby of the new San Diego Central Library

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

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San Diego Central Library, 2013

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San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Throughout the years, many citizens have left their art collections to the Library but the old building had no place to exhibit them. Thus they were stored in the basement beyond anyone’s enjoyment. In the new Library, there is art everywhere, and plenty of space for more.

Art in the San Diego Central Library, 2013

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A library, of course, is very much about history. In light of old Republican white men doing everything they can to control women’s vaginas, not to mention the voting rights of minorities, I was fascinated by the historical display on women’s suffrage. Stupid women, voting is for men!

San Diego Central Library, 2013

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Study rooms, conference rooms, reference rooms, reading areas, and computer areas are plentiful and spacious, lending an air of relaxation to them and making one want to stay and have fun learning.

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The ceilings are exposed concrete “waffle” decks designed for both structural strength and aesthetics. I found the interior design accoutrements more appealing, and they helped soften the hardness of too much exposed concrete.

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I found the follow beauty with long drawers full of 3×5 cards…….. Interesting………Smile if you know what all the little cards are for….

San Diego Central Library, 2013

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Browsing through the nine floors of the Library provides many opportunities for a photographer to get interesting pictures.

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Even the power transformers, visible on a ledge outside a window, were beautiful and picture-worthy:

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There were two elevators (not enough!), and the walls were covered with what looked like common stucco lathe.

San Diego Central Library, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That will keep people from writing on the walls, but I can see people sticking their gum in it. When I commented on it, the guy we were riding with in the elevator said, “It makes a great back scratcher.” Jim and I tested it…. yes, it does!

There is a 350-seat auditorium but it was not open while we were there. However, Jim and his chamber music group will be playing three concerts there next June and July. I’ll have a report then….

Jim and I found three areas of disappointment:

  1. Lack of elevators. Two elevators are not enough to service a nine-floor library.
  2. The parking garage. It’s underground and features 250 parking spaces. The old library had 0 (zero) parking spaces. Unfortunately, it was poorly designed, causing those searching for a parking spot to have to go around in circles and meet both entering and exiting traffic. If you’re trying to get out and get behind people looking for parking, you can sit there for many, many minutes. Skip the underground parking garage and park in the lot across the street or on surrounding streets. Both have adequate parking.
  3. The sinks in the ninth floor restrooms (or at least the men’s restroom). Here is what they look like:San Diego Central Library, 2013
    They are meant to look like open books. The spine is the drain. However, if you are standing in front of the sink washing your hands and have no knowledge of these two poorly designed sinks, you’ll quickly have wet feet. Water pours out of the end of the sinks and onto the floor. It happens quickly and it’s not just a dribble, so watch out!

Trivia

  1. e3 Civic High, a charter high school, is located on the sixth and seventh floors. It solved the need for a new high school in downtown San Diego to alleviate the overcrowding of nearby high schools and helped with financing the new library. San Diego Unified School District paid $20 million in exchange for a 40-year lease for the high school, which eventually will help over 500 students prepare for college and careers.
  2. The library cost $196.7 million but is completely paid for! And with no nex taxes, no construction bonds, and not even a penny of San Diego’s General Fund. Even ongoing operating costs have been taken into consideration with two private contributions totaling $15 million. Over three thousand bricks in the lobby and courtyard floors were purchased for $150 to $1,000 each. Many bricks are still available if you would like to be a part of the Library.
  3. View from the San Diego Central Library, 2013There is a 3,000-square-foot art gallery which will showcase the library’s Visual Arts Program.
  4. The Hervey Rare Books Room includes tablets with cuneiform inscriptions dating from 2300 B.C.
  5. The new library building is 497,652 square feet, with 290,000 square feet dedicated specifically to the library, twice the size of the old library.
  6. The Library’s 1.2-million-items special collection and the 1.6-million-items government publications, previously stored in the basement of the old library and inaccessible, are now on public shelves and available for browsing and research.
  7. The Pauline Foster Teen Center is a beach-themed space for teens only. It is a relaxing and safe environment that includes a specialized media and gaming room, computers, and study rooms to encourage teens to hang out and collaborate. Bring your iPads, Chromebooks, and eReaders, or use those available in the Library.
  8. San Diego Central Library, 2013If you love baseball, you’ll love the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center, home of the Ted Williams Chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research collection. It is the largest baseball archive outside the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
  9. The Shiley Special Events Suite offers panoramic views of downtown San Diego and the waterfront. It can be reserved for weddings and other functions.
  10. I’m still exploring the Library and have not yet found the “Pelican’s Perch” or the “Stairway to Somewhere.” As soon as I do, I’ll post pictures right here in my blog!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

More about the new San Diego Central Library:

Inside the new San Diego Central Library (videos)

Let’s hear it for the 1%!

Well worth the wait

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Location of new San Diego Central Library

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

San Diego tuna industry, part three

Out & About

Halls of History

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego tuna industry, part one (opens in a new tab so you won’t lose your place here)
San Diego tuna industry, part two (also opens in a new tab)

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I promised I would take you on a tour of Cesar Chavez Park (neé Crosby Street Park) a couple of miles south of downtown San Diego, in the heart of San Diego’s heavy industry comprising NASSCO ship building, the BNSF Railroad, 32nd Street Naval Base (the largest Navy base on the West Coast), and several Port of San Diego marine terminals. The area is known as Logan Heights. In its prime, it was a fascinating neighborhood of hard workers on San Diego’s Cannery Row. Sadly, Logan Heights now often tops the list of most dangerous San Diego neighborhoods.

Cesar Chavez Park (neé Crosby Street Park)

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Although I thought the park was rather small, it does have many amenities usually found in bigger parks, such as restrooms, picnic tables, sandboxes, playground equipment, and a baseball field.

Coronado Bridge from Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

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Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

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Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

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Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

 Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

 Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is a long pier just feet from the NASSCO shipbuilding facility, the Navy base, and several marine terminals, making it easy to watch the maritime traffic go by.

Pier at Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

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Marine traffic from Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

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NASSCO ship builder in San Diego

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Coast Guard & Navy in San Diego

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32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego

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Although I did not play in the sandboxes, have a picnic, or use the playground equipment, I still had a lot of fun. That’s because I love history, and Cesar Chavez Park is full of history, literally. There is a high wall, probably ten feet high, that separates the park from the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Attached to the wall are hundreds of tiled historical pictures creating a long mural about the history of the San Diego tuna industry, the canneries, and the community of Logan Heights. It took me about an hour to be fascinated by them and take pictures.

Logan Heights In Its Golden Years

Logan Heights in its golden years

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The text below the following pictures was transcribed from the picture above. All grammar/syntax/punctuation errors were transcribed as is.

Aztec Brewery

Aztec Brewery Art Ensemble adorned the ceilings and walls of the Rathskeller & Beer Tasting Room of the brewery in the early to mid 1900′s on Main Street.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Features hoop skirts

Features hoop skirts, 1932 Model T car with rumble seat and white 1936 Ford, Metro Theater usherette twins, model parents of the era, neighborhood Rhythm & Blues bands and their followers.

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Papa Chuey

Papa Chuey founding proprietor of Chuey’s Restaurant cashed checks & provided credit accounts for fishermen and cannery workers in hard times.

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Nifty Fifties

Nifty Fifties teen scene in “The Heights” spotlights Physical Education class, jitterbug dancing and positive socialization. Friendship was a true binding factor among teenagers.

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Tuna boats

Tuna boats filled with tired fishermen arrived at the tuna canneries bringing work for hopeful dockworkers and cannery workers. Their arrival meant livelihood for countless families.

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San Diego Packing Company

This 1948 Cannery Workers group photo depicts the numbers and spirit of the work force of the various canneries of San Diego’s Cannery Row.

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Leona C

The “Leona C – San Diego” fishing crew portray the faces of the hard working men who in turn provided for numerous jobs for entire communities.

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Logan Heights landmarks

Logan Heights landmarks include the street car @ 5 cents per ride, Jack’s Island a triangle house, the beautiful earlier architecture of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and Las Palmas night club hosted the legendary Ray Vasquez Mambo Orchestra and the Big Jay McNeely Rhythm & Blues Band.

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Community social groups

Community social groups fostered a healthy and happy neighborhood where age gaps did not exist. Neighbors watched out for each other and provided a safety net for the youth.

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Teen social clubs

Teen social clubs such as LosGallos, Los Chicanos and the Drifters comprised the Southeast Youth Council, which was sponsored by the Old Neighborhood House.

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Neighborhood House

Neighborhood House provided many community programs including Rondalla musical groups for women. Lupita, far right first row, is a legend in Logan Heights.

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The final text on the tiles is this:

This mural is dedicated to the people of Logan Heights that they may forever know the rich culture and history of this magnificent community. The tuna canneries were the livelihood of countless families in Logan Heights, National City, and beyond. The cannery workers were primarily Mexican American & Japanese American and the fishermen were primarily Portuguese American and Italian American. Various canneries were located at this site over the years. This unique waterfront community experienced happy times of youth clubs, streetcar rides and a long working relationship with the Port of San Diego.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

San Diego tuna industry, part two

Out & About

Halls of History

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego tuna industry, part one (opens in a new tab so you won’t lose your place here)

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The history of San Diego’s tuna fishing industry began in the 1890s with Chinese and Japanese fishermen. By the 1920s, Italian and Portuguese had become the majority and would remain so into the 1980s. Many fisherman who took up residence in San Diego got their start in the North Atlantic where the fishing days were accompanied by raging storms and bitter cold. To them, the San Diego weather and West Coast fishing were a huge magnet.

San Diego was known as the Tuna Capital of the World from the early 1930s through the late 1970s. With over 40,000 people employed in the industry, and with a financial influence of over $30 million a year, the tuna industry was third only to the Navy and aircraft industries.

Sadly, most of San Diego’s tuna fishing industry today is gone. Remaining are Bumble Bee Foods’ world headquarters, Tuna Harbor and Tuna Harbor Park in downtown San Diego, and a tuna fishing memorial on Shelter Island. All of those are in high-traffic tourist areas. About two miles south of downtown San Diego is the heart of long-time industrial San Diego with railroads, the largest Navy base on the West Coast, and tuna canning plants. There are no tuna canning plants anymore but at the intersection of Cesar Chavez Parkway and Crosby Street is a little park previously known as Crosby Street Park but now known as Cesar Chavez Park.

Cesar Chavez Park (neé Crosby Street Park)

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Before you actually get to the park, there is a nice tuna industry memorial at the north end of the park. It’s difficult to get to because it sits by itself on the left side of two roads that are very well used.

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In the first picture above, you can see a white building at the center right with the words “Where Restaurants Shop” on it. That building was originally a tuna cannery.

The original artwork shown in the second and third pictures is titled “The Cannery Workers Tribute,” and was created in 2009 by Nancy Moran, Valerie Salatino, and Sheila Moran of Nature Works.

There are several plaques near the artwork describing the tuna industry, and life in that industry. Pictures of the plaques are included below, and I have transcribed the plaques to make it easier for you to read. However, I did not correct any punctuation or grammatical/syntax errors, so what you read below the picture is what the plaque says, literally.

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

The Advent of the Cannery Industry— In 1988, the Peerless hauled in the largest catch of tuna San Diego had ever seen. This once sleepy coastal  town was riding the wave of a new industry that at its height would have become the largest in the world.  The tuna industry brought many jobs to the region. Italian, Japanese, Mexican and Portuguese men with little more than the shirts on their backs could make a hard but decent living as crew members or boat owners in the fishing industry. Their San Diego's tuna industrywives, mothers, sisters and brothers could also make ends meet by working in San Diego’s canneries. Sardines were the first fish canned, but after tuna was taste tested at the Pomona Fair in 1902, it became popular. In 1911, Pacific Tuna Canning Co. at the foot of F Street was the first cannery to start processing tuna. By 1920, San Diego was home to ten canneries. Fishermen unloaded their albacore, skipjack, blue fin, big eye, yellow fin and yellowtail at canneries that included Premier Packing Co., Hovden Company, Arrow Packing, Steel Hume and Neptune Sea Foods. The plants were located on water-front property spanning from Laurel and Pacific highways to Crosby Street near the Coronado Bridge. The canneries did everything: process tuna, hand-solder cans, label, market and distribute canned tuna. San Diego’s tuna industry was born giving life to growing local neighborhoods such as Little Italy, Barrio Logan, Point Loma and would thrive for almost eighty years.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

The Process—For tuna to go into a sandwich or a salad bowl, it often traveled up to 7,000 miles. The tuna would first be caught on a tropical fishing bank off of the coast of South America, the South Eastern Atlantic and West Coast of Africa and travel back by boat in a well. It would then be unloaded at a San Diego cannery. That process, as expressed by most involved was wet, smelly and messy. Yet the women who “worked the lines” managed to keep their uniforms and hats in pristine condition. The men who unloaded the tuna handled the racks and ovens didn’t have to adhere to such a uniform. The The canning processcanneries processed tuna, hand soldered cans, labeled, marketed and distributed canned tuna. Frozen fish were delivered, thawed, washed, separate and cleaned. Fish were then placed in wire mesh baskets, loaded onto racks, rolled into tunnels and steam cooked. At the cleaning tables, workers removed heads, fins and tails. Dark and light meat was separated then the meat was loaded by hand into cans. 90 percent of a fish was used in processing. The parts of the fish that were not for human consumption went to plants to make animal feed. “As long as the fish canning industry lasted in San Diego, I could produce up to 2,000 tons of fish meal a month”, said a business man who in 1922 was one of the largest manufacturers of tuna by-products in the state.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

The People—When the bell rang, it was time to go to work. Fishing boats had no schedule. When the boats needed to unload their catches, cannery workers reported for duty. “You could hear the bells from the waterfront canneries ring, as far away as Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Little Italy and Logan Heights”, says one long-time resident of Point Loma. Her mother used to leave her and her small brothers and an aunt in the middle of the night to go work at the Westgate Cannery while her father Women working in the canneriesfished off the coast. At one time or another, almost every Italian, Japanese, Mexican or Portuguese family in the area was hooked to the tuna fishing industry, says another whose mother quit high school in 1929 and, at 15, went to work at the Sun Harbor Cannery. A cannery worker in those days was usually paid by piecework, recalls a former cannery worker and fisherman. Women worked the line and did the cleaning and prepping of the tuna fish and could work as many as 12 to 14 hours in a day. In the 1920′s, women working in the canneries could earn about $10 a day, however, men were always paid more. Another cannery worker, originally from Italy, worked in the canneries at age 16 after quitting school out of necessity. She joined the Westgate Cannery in 1927 as a packer. “Sometimes there would be three or four boats at the same time and the cannery would be flooded with fish that all had to be packed. sometimes I worked from eight in the morning until ten at night,” she said.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego

The End of An Era—Tuna canneries from the early 1900′s to the 1980′s employed thousands of San Diegans and produced millions of cans of tuna. In 1961 the $6 million Breast O’ Chicken plant opened on San Diego Bay producing 650,000 cans of tuna per day and employing 600 workers who received minimum wage which was $1 dollar per hour. As cannery workers unionized and conditions became better, so did the pay. In the 1980′s however, San Diego’s tuna fishing began to move to other areas because of foreign competition, high expenses and other factors. The canneries also faced economic hardships due to high fuel prices. Bumble bee Seafoods was the last cannery in San Diego and shut it’s Breast O' Chickendoors in 1983. Canneries have followed the fishermen and their boats to American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico to take advantage of cheaper labor overseas and fertile fishing seas. Tuna remains, however, the number one seafood in America. San Diego’s tuna fishing and cannery industries helped many families attain their American dreams. Generations later many descendants of the cannery workers went on to college and professional careers. Many have become prominent community, civic and political leaders. The Cannery Workers Tribute Park – Parque del Sol has been created in thanks and remembrance to the cannery workers.

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In part three of San Diego’s tuna industry, I’ll show you the park and its amenities, including a long wall exhibiting historical photos of the tuna industry in San Diego. You won’t believe how the photos were created for outdoor exhibit in this little park.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

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Wall art featuring fish

Blah pictures don’t have to stay blah

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As I’ve been cleaning and rearranging the home these past 24 days, I have found things that I never knew I had….

….such as postcards, Christmas cards, birthday cards, thank-you cards, all unused…. all from a past where I used to send out cards like it was the last day of Earth.

Now we have e-Cards, email…. everything except cards that actually arrive in a mailbox.

That, however, didn’t prevent me from taking some pictures that otherwise had flaws in them, modify them, and create some cards, mostly to put my Photoshop CC skills to the test.

One card that I particularly like started with this photograph:

Wall art featuring fish

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The wall art is pretty cool but the picture itself needs some work. It’s underexposed, has contrast and clarity issues, is tilting backwards, and simply is a blah picture.

First, I solved the tilting problem using Perspective Crop and then lightened the shadows so the fish were better seen. That also lightened the darker areas, which I think is good, because the shadows were overshadowing (so to speak) the fish.

Wall art featuring fish

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Then I realized that whomever installed the artwork should have centered it within the wall boards. Notice that the right side has a small slice of board? The fishies should swim over to the left a couple of inches or so….

I tried working with that image but the board slice was really bugging me.

Wall art featuring fish

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The texture of the boards was bugging me, too. I mean, do fish swim on lumber?

There are several ways to resolve these issues but I thought the easiest thing to do would be to remove the boards.

Using the Magic Wand and a lot of work at high magnifications, I selected the boards I wanted to remove and then inverted my selection. I did that because I didn’t really want to remove the boards. What I wanted to do was to remove the fish from the boards. In other words, I needed to select what I wanted to keep rather than what I wanted to remove.

I highlighted the boards, though, because they were easy to highlight, all of them being the same basic light gray. Inverting the selection then gave me just the fish, fishing line, and shadows. I then saved those to continue to work on them.

It took me a while to get the shadows just the way I wanted them. The final product looks like this:

Wall art featuring fish

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One fish has escaped from the fishing line. Do you see it?

I can leave those fish on a white background or change the background to another color, such as blue for water. Or I can apply filters to them; this is one of my favorites:

Wall art featuring fish

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Now that I can cut out pieces of pictures, oh the possibilities are endless as to what I can accomplish. I might never have a real picture in my blog again………..lol

In recognition of the start of another football season:

Texas A&M UniversityGive me a P!

P!

Give me an H!

H!

Give me an O!

O!

Texas A&M UniversityGive me a T!

T!

Give me an O!

O!

Give me an S!

S!

Fightin' Texas Aggie Band from Texas A&M UniversityGive me an H!

H!

Give me a third O!

O!

Give me two P’s!

P!

P!

Gig 'em, Aggies!Give me an E!

E!

Give me a D!

D!

What does it spell?

Photoshopped!

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Photoshop!

Texas Aggie football game after 9/11

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scenes from the beach

Out & About

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Two of my favorite beaches in San Diego are Imperial Beach and Ocean Beach. Here are some scenes:

Ocean public art indicates we’re getting close!

Public art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As do street utility boxes

Street utility box at the beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Street utility box at the beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Street utility box at the beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Even the sidewalks are beachy.

Sidewalk at the beach

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Houses near the beach.

House near the beach

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House near the beach

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Surfing is a big pastime.

Surf's up!

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Surf's up!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

We’re there!

The beach

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The beach

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Public art at the beach

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Beach house

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Boats at the beach

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The beach

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The beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fishing is allowed from the pier since it’s a “fishing pier.”
Not from in the waters or on the beach, though.

The pier at the beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

No fishing in the surf zone

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My wise old grandmother taught me to share,
so I passed by this drinking fountain:

My wise old grandmother taught me to share

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The pier’s restaurant is a relaxed place to eat with the best view.

IMG_4647 framed

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The Tin Fish

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Until tomorrow.

Goodbye to the beach!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Underground in Hollywood, California

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hollywood, CaliforniaI love visiting historic places, and Hollywood certainly ranks up there with its history, especially music, movies, and television. That made Hollywood a definite stop when Jim and I went traveling on National Train Day (May 11).

We probably would have seen more of Hollywood if we weren’t admiring the many Los Angeles Metro subway stations. Following are some pictures of subway stations on the Red Line from Union Station to the Highland/Hollywood Station (North Highland Avenue at Hollywood Boulevard) in Hollywood.

Of course, “subway” does not mean a place to eat. It means going underground.

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Underground was unique. Metro Rail serves an average of 363,000 people on a weekday, yet everywhere I looked it was clean, shiny, and beautiful.

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I looked around for people cleaning, shining things, sweeping, picking up trash….

No one.

Maybe Los Angelenos are naturally clean people?

Maybe they simply like living, working, and riding in a clean environment?

Or……………………………..

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

You can’t do anything within the subway environment without risking a $250 fine.

No entry without valid fare….

No littering….

No eating or drinking….

No smoking….

No spitting or chewing gum….

No skateboarding or scooters….

No loud or rowdy activity….

No rollerblading….

No playing of sound equipment.

I can see mommy and her little child:

Child: “Mommy, I want some chewing gum.”

Mommy: “No!”

Child: “Mommy, can I turn my iPod on?”

Mommy: “No!”

Child: “Mommy, can I have my sandwich?”

Mommy: “No!”

Child: “Mommy, can I have a Coke?”

Mommy: “No!”

Child: “Mommy, can we go home?”

Mommy: “YES!”

Hmmmm. I think I’m understanding why I didn’t see any children on the subway. I think the youngest people I saw were college students on their way to classes. Interesting.

Murals were everywhere:

Los Angeles Metro subway station mural

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Anyone know what this doohickey is?Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

How about these doohickeys,
which were all over the walls and ceilings at one station?Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If the rest of the Los Angeles Metro Rail routes — Blue, Purple, Green, Gold, and Expo lines — are anything like the Red Line, I look forward to exploring Los Angeles by rail in the next few years. No reason to stay away simply because of the traffic and lack of parking.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos