While Mike and I were in San Diego last weekend, we made a visit to the Hillcrest Pride Flag display and public plaza, and saw that it's a marvelous instrument for engagement on many levels. Erected with much grassroots community support, small business backing and political power in 2012, the flagpole activates the plaza where it resides.
Centered on a median strip just off a major traffic intersection, the flagpole is surrounded by a flourishing and clean small park and hard to miss. An air of invitation and welcome beckoned as we strolled up the sidewalk to get a closer look. The entire plaza is clearly well-maintained.
Three plaques featuring text and photos about the history of San Diego's LGBT community and fight against AIDS encircle the metal pole. Several concrete balls suitable for sitting and resting a spell, line the outermost pavement of the monument with thick, flowering plants giving the urban public space a woodsy feel. The height of the plants create a sanctuary effect especially when you walk about the plaza a few times.
The one off-putting thing was labeling people with AIDS who died in the 1980s as "victims" in the text accompanying the plaque titled "From Adversity to Diversity", seen here. We were educated about the Blood Sisters effort to combat fear three decades ago about gay men donating blood by organizing blood drives.