Monday, April 2, 2018

Hello, peeps! I apologize that I haven't posted in well over a year. I have been very busy with all the volunteering I do in my community and faith. I will write a post that will catch up all that I have been doing this past year and four months, but until then, please go to my facebook pages and check out my YouTube videos in the following links. Thank you.

Travel, City and Landscape Photography & Interests:



Forteography.com

YouTube Videos

Culture:













Amici House



Little Italy Heritage Commission



The Italian Californian

Faith:



Knights of Columbus

Community Advocacy:



The Eastern Sierra Advocate

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Video of My San Diego View

Just sharing yet another great view from the rooftop of my Bankers Hill, San Diego apartment building!



Monday, December 12, 2016

Italian Catholic Federation Christmas Party 2016

In addition to conservation activism and advocacy, I am also a member of many religious and secular groups that help raise funds and other resources for the less fortunate, and a few also have the added bonus of helping to retain and teach the Italian-American heritage that I also share and am proud of, like the Italian Catholic Federation (ICF). Here is video of just one of many events they put on to raise goods, like toys and food, for the needy via Catholic Charities, as well as just have a good time with good friends and great food, the ICF-Our Lady of the Rosary Branch #230's annual Christmas Party 2016.:


Friday, December 9, 2016

My Neighborhood of Little Italy San Diego Decorated & Lit Up For Christmas 2016!

Here are just some quick pics and video of "my neighborhood," San Diego's Little Italy, all decorated and  lit up for Christmas of 2016! An article will come shortly! #LittleItalySD





Sunday, October 30, 2016

Just Sharing the View of Paradise!


While conserving natural open space and rural lands, along with smart growth and wise, strategic economic development are my main concerns and subjects regarding this blog, there are times when I just want to share a phenomenal picture I witnessed. Whenever I see an amazing sunset or storm I say to myself, "I wish everyone could see this!" Therefore I am a crazy, wild camera guy taking pictures everytime I walk out the door and everywhere I go, but since I don't have a professional DSLR camera (or any camera) anymore, I am relegated to using my cell phone. It is either the model or the fact that it is a cell phone camera with few megapixels that the photos taken with it, even after editing, don't turn out so great. So while I know these following photos won't make it into a magazine, ad campaign, or into your home through a purchase at one of my many e-stores, I hope you enjoy them nonetheless. My work isn't about me or my photographing skills, my work is about the subjects, I simply like to share what I see and I at times have to use the tools on hand to do so.




Now living in Bankers Hill, also known as "Park West" because it is west of Balboa Park in San Diego, California, I have a good view of the downtown skyline and bay. I am also so close to the airport you can almost reach out and touch the planes landing there! Like any, the view changes by the minute, depending on the time of day and weather, so I take multiple shots from the same position, that is why many photos here will look almost the same. Again, not professional quality, but I pray you like them anyways. Please feel free to comment with either a compliment, advice, or some constructive criticism. Below the photos are a few videos of the view you might like. Just scroll down! Thanks!


  

And to see more of these pics here go to 500px, and see more of my portfolio at 500pxForteography.com, and ViewBug. To purchase a gift idea or promotional items for your business like coffee mugs, T-shirts, postcards, business cards, and more, go to my Zazzle e-store and REDBUBBLE. And don't forget to click on an AdSense sponsor or other sponsor with no pressure to buy as I get paid per click, and/or partner with me by making a donation. Thank you!























Open Space in the Urban Core: Canyons & Trails I Visit in San Diego: Maple Canyon

Maple Canyon

Maple Canyon lies between State Street which turns into Reynard Way on the west in Mission Hills and Fourth Avenue in Hillcrest. But the accessible trail only goes to Third and Redwood where there is a second entrance. There is an entrance at West Maple Street just past State Street and this first half of the trail is the most secluded and quiet where you can feel like you're out in the wilderness, away from the noise and crowds of the urban city that actually surrounds you, and refresh your mind and soul and reconnect with nature. 


Of course, there are some rules that are there to protect the canyon itself and visitors, and to read them please go here  Open Space Canyons and Parklands Rulesbut basically they are just common sense stuff like No Littering, No Damaging or Removing Natural Resources, No Fires or Overnight Camping, etc.. While it doesn't say it in the link provided here, some trails do prohibit unleashed dogs and Maple Canyon is one of them, though as I often see in San Diego, few dog owners care about that. Most canyons and other parks are open sunrise to sunset, unless otherwise posted. It may be a good idea not to be in a canyon or on any trail in urban San Diego after dark, especially if you are alone. 

I'm sorry to say this, but good luck finding parking, as most of it is on the street and very hard to find in such a dense area. There are some parking lots and garages, but expect to pay top dollar for them. If you live in San Diego or are just visiting, the best thing to do is walk, ride a bike, or take the #MTS. The #11 bus goes up First Avenue and from there you can walk west down Laurel Street about 6 blocks to State, then one block north on State to West Maple Street, then right (or east) there straight just a few blocks to the canyon's entrance. It should only take about 20 minutes at most. Or you can take the #11 to First Avenue and Quince Street then east on Quince to Third, left (north) on Third to the entrance on you right. The trolley will drop you off at the Middletown Station then it is just a 20 minute walk south on California Street to Laurel Street, left (east) on Laurel a few blocks and under the freeway to State then State left (north) to West Maple and right (east) on West Maple to the trail. 

The Third and Redwood Street entrance.
An open and quiet area on the western side near West Maple Street.
While walking up the trail, I felt so relaxed and at peace amongst the quiet nature, hearing mainly birdsong and the fallen leaves and branches crushing under my feet as this was Fall. The sounds of cars on the nearby roads and freeways, jets landing and taking off at the nearby airport, and of people doing yard work at their homes; lawn mowers, weed whackers, etc. only occasionally pierced the air and woke me up from out of my dream state of being out in the mountains or countryside. Along the way, even in Autumn when most vegetation was losing its color and aura in preparation for Winter, I could still smell the mix of native sage-scrub/chaparral vegetation and the nonnative eucalyptus trees and palm trees.

Below is video of my Maple Canyon exploration. It is sort of long, about a half hour, but you may enjoy it, and you may also jump around to different parts of it. 

To see more of these pics here go to 500px, and see more of my portfolio at 500pxForteography.com, and ViewBug. To purchase a gift idea or promotional items for your business like coffee mugs, T-shirts, postcards, business cards, and more, go to my Zazzle e-store and REDBUBBLE. And don't forget to click on an AdSense sponsor or other sponsor with no pressure to buy as I get paid per click, and/or partner with me by making a donation. Thank you!

Video:


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Open Space in the Urban Core: Canyons & Trails I Visit in San Diego: Maple Canyon

Open Space in the Urban Core: Canyons & Trails I Visit in San Diego:

Maple Canyon



Thanks to concerned residents, organizations, and civic leaders, the City of San Diego has preserved natural open space even right in the middle of its urban core. So, while not perfect, it is a fine model for other cities to follow as it concerns development and planning. Which is yet just another reason, one out of thousands, why I love San Diego so much! 

While I do enjoy the urban environment, the Big City: the tall skyscrapers, the bright lights, the bustling streets, the cultural diversity and so on, there are times when I feel like John Muir who made a famous quote saying, "The mountains are calling and I must go." Also being drawn to the sands of the "lonely shore" and the waves of the "deep sea" like Lord Byron,  the land, the wild land, the mysterious mountains and forests, the bare, wide open deserts where you can see everything from afar thanks to its barren landscape yet still have to explore close up to find and contemplate an old mine or ghost town, is where I really belong. 



Like Muir, the mountains call to me. Beckoning me. Luring me. I need to climb to the top to see the view and to see what is on the other side. I am pulled into long, dark canyons and crevices, into trails fully covered and almost hidden by trees and other vegetation. I must take risks, I must be adventurous, I must risk life and limb just to see what is at the end of that canyon, that trail, what is at the top or on the other side of that mountain or hill. I must do this. And thanks, again, to the City of San Diego and those concerned residents, groups and civic leaders, as I do not have my own vehicle now, I can still do that, I can do that close to home. Blocks from my home, in fact. So close I can walk or cycle to it. Again, right in the middle of the the 3 million-strong city's urban core. 


Switzer Canyon
Tecolote Canyon
 Below are pics and videos from my favorite and most easily accessible locations I routinely visitSwitzer CanyonTecolote CanyonThe San Diego River, and the Balboa Park Trails and Florida Canyon, and most recently near my new neighborhood, Maple Canyon.. I would include other hidden gems like my real favorite, Los Penasquitos Canyon, which has a waterfall in its center,  Mission Trails Regional Park, and Cowles Mountain, etc., but I would have to use pics and wording from other sources since I have been unable to visit them due to my car breaking down a few years ago.  I don't want to do that because I want as much of my work here to be as original as possible. For more information on "natural" and "open space parks" in both the city and county of San Diego, go to San Diego County Parks and Recreation/Find a Park/Preserves and to City of San Diego Parks and Recreation/Open Space Canyons and Parklands.

I hope you enjoy this, and I pray that this article inspires you to visit them and similar parks, while being good stewards, and encourages you to be actively involved in preserving natural spaces like these at or near your home and beyond. You can find many groups doing just that on my page "Organizations I Support." 

I did not get all the locations I promised into my last post that was way back in April, but I wanted to share with you the newest canyon and open space park I just visited this Fall that is close to my new home in San Diego's Bankers Hill neighborhood. I will do a write-up on the San Diego River and the Balboa Park Trails in the near future. This post will go long and probably get broken up eventually and so will take a while to update, so please keep checking back to read about all these awesome and beneficial open space and natural parks in San Diego. 

 "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
Albert Einstein

Maple Canyon

Maple Canyon lies between State Street which turns into Reynard Way on the west in Mission Hills and Fourth Avenue in Hillcrest. But the accessible trail only goes to Third and Redwood where there is a second entrance. There is an entrance at West Maple Street just past State Street and this first half of the trail is the most secluded and quiet where you can feel like you're out in the wilderness, away from the noise and crowds of the urban city that actually surrounds you, and refresh your mind and soul and reconnect with nature. 

Of course, there are some rules that are there to protect the canyon itself and visitors, and to read them please go here  Open Space Canyons and Parklands Rules, but basically they are just common sense stuff like No Littering, No Damaging or Removing Natural Resources, No Fires or Overnight Camping, etc.. While it doesn't say it in the link provided here, some trails do prohibit unleashed dogs and Maple Canyon is one of them, though as I often see in San Diego, few dog owners care about that. Most canyons and other parks are open sunrise to sunset, unless otherwise posted. It may be a good idea not to be in a canyon or on any trail in urban San Diego after dark, especially if you are alone. 

I'm sorry to say this, but good luck finding parking, as most of it is on the street and very hard to find in such a dense area. There are some parking lots and garages, but expect to pay top dollar for them. If you live in San Diego or are just visiting, the best thing to do is walk, ride a bike, or take the #MTS. The #11 bus goes up First Avenue and from there you can walk west down Laurel Street about 6 blocks to State, then one block north on State to West Maple Street, then right (or east) there straight just a few blocks to the canyon's entrance. It should only take about 20 minutes at most. Or you can take the #11 to First Avenue and Quince Street then east on Quince to Third, left (north) on Third to the entrance on you right. The trolley will drop you off at the Middletown Station then it is just a 20 minute walk south on California Street to Laurel Street, left (east) on Laurel a few blocks and under the freeway to State then State left (north) to West Maple and right (east) on West Maple to the trail. 

The Third and Redwood Street entrance.
An open and quiet area on the western side near West Maple Street.
While walking up the trail, I felt so relaxed and at peace amongst the quiet nature, hearing mainly birdsong and the fallen leaves and branches crushing under my feet as this was Fall. The sounds of cars on the nearby roads and freeways, jets landing and taking off at the nearby airport, and of people doing yard work at their homes; lawn mowers, weed whackers, etc. only occasionally pierced the air and woke me up from out of my dream state of being out in the mountains or countryside. Along the way, even in Autumn when most vegetation was losing its color and aura in preparation for Winter, I could still smell the mix of native sage-scrub/chaparral vegetation and the nonnative eucalyptus trees and palm trees.

Below is video of my Maple Canyon exploration. It is sort of long, about a half hour, but you may enjoy it, and you may also jump around to different parts of it. 

To see more of these pics here at 500px, and see more of my portfolio at 500px, Forteography.com, and ViewBug. To purchase a gift idea or promotional items for your business like coffee mugs, T-shirts, postcards, business cards, and more, go to my Zazzle e-store and REDBUBBLE. And don't forget to click on an AdSense sponsor with no pressure to buy as I get paid per click, and/or partner with me by making a donation. Thank you!
Video: