A festive summer Sunday in Balboa Park!

Summertime? A sunny Sunday? San Diego’s always amazing Balboa Park?

Combine these three to discover lots of fun, festive stuff!

Come with me. Let’s walk around Balboa Park this afternoon, taking in various cool sights…

Performers on and off stage in Balboa Park at the 35th Philippine Cultural Arts Festival.

A big outdoor audience enjoys Filipino culture in Balboa Park.

Kids dance on outdoor stage at the SAMAHAN Filipino American Performing Arts and Education Center’s annual festival in Balboa Park.

Filipino food was plentiful at the 35th Philippine Cultural Arts Festival, in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Walking around Balboa Park at the Plaza de Panama.

Super cool guys promote the San Diego Loyal soccer team. They’ve got a home game coming up on August 24th versus Oakland. The team is currently in second place!

An amazing film about Balboa Park plays in the auditorium at the San Diego History Center.

A beautiful summer day near the Japanese Tea Pavilion.

Visitors walk toward the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden. There’s a new exhibition concerning Japanese dolls that I will blog about soon.

People sit in the shade of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade during the Sunday two o’clock concert.

Colorful rented umbrellas provide more shade for the pavilion benches.

Organist Amanda Mole plays a musical piece on the Spreckels Organ. It’s a preview of her Monday night performance for the 34th San Diego International Organ Festival.

A variety of lowriders were parked between the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and the Plaza de Panama.

Taking photos near flowers at one end of the Balboa Park Lily Pond.

A Spanish speaking church group sings joyfully along El Prado, hoping to attract passersby.

Dancers in folk costume perform for the House of Panama lawn program at the International Cottages.

Cultural lawn programs can be enjoyed almost every weekend in Balboa Park during summer months!

If you’d like to see more colorful photographs from today’s House of Panama lawn program, click here!

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!

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 photos for you to enjoy!

House of Panama celebration in Balboa Park!

A big celebration brought many smiles and a joyful whirl of color to Balboa Park today! The House of Panama hosted a lawn program at the International Cottages!

A good crowd turned out to enjoy cultural entertainment, and to share excitement over the recent opening of the House of Panama’s new cottage.

Dance groups came down to San Diego all the way from Los Angeles and San Francisco. There were performances by Panamá Lindo; Panamá, Molas, Polleras y Tambores (the official House of Panama Dancers); Congo Istmeño; and Viva Panamá. Many local dignitaries also attended the event.

As I walked around Balboa Park, I swung by the International Cottages a few times to enjoy the lawn program. The next three photos were taken outside and inside the beautiful new House of Panama cottage…

On the lawn stage, there was a sea of colorful Panamanian folk dance costumes!

I caught the singing of National Anthems, then an emotional speech concerning the hard work done to open a new cottage in Balboa Park…

Then the dancing began!

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!

Wildlife mural at SDG&E Park in Chula Vista.

An amazing mural depicting wildlife was created earlier this year at SDG&E Park in Chula Vista. The artists of Ground Floor Murals, assisted by students from nearby Castle Park High School, painted a sunset scene filled with beautiful wildlife!

You might recall that several incredible Padres baseball murals visible in communities around San Diego were also painted by Ground Floor Murals.

This very colorful work of art can be found on the side of a building in San Diego Gas and Electric Park near Hilltop Drive.

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!

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Fun photos at Chula Vista Lemon Festival!

Huge crowds converged today in downtown Chula Vista for the big 25th Annual Lemon Festival!

Families were walking along Third Avenue enjoying the lemony sights and tasty smells.

Musicians performed on the Zesty Stage. Kids played and made crafts in the Lil’ Lemons zone. Vendors had all sorts of lemon-themed goodies on display, and it seemed that fresh lemonade could be found every few steps! Many neighbors were wearing bright yellow!

Why a big Lemon Festival in Chula Vista?

Once upon a time, before asphalt streets crisscrossed the sunny landscape, agriculture in San Diego’s South Bay was famous for its abundant lemon production. Our climate is perfect to grow citrus.

In the early 20th century there were almost two thousand acres of lemon groves around Chula Vista, which called itself the Lemon Capital of the World.

Enjoy the following fun photos! I walked up and down Third Avenue a couple times, taking in the festive scene, before I headed off to another cool Chula Vista location, as you will see in an upcoming blog post!

This super nice lady handed me some literature concerning the Arts in the Park festival, which is coming up in Chula Vista on August 27th from 10-5 in Memorial Park.

Mark it on your calendar!

If you’d like to see a few more photographs these great chalk art murals, click here!

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!

Chalk art at Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

Around noon today, chalk artists were doing their thing at the 25th Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

The enormously popular community event is taking place today in Chula Vista’s historic downtown, along Third Avenue.

I paused to admire the half dozen creative works, most of which were in progress.

As you might expect, all this lemony artwork required a fair amount of yellow chalk!

Sweet!

Chalk art by Dorothy Corona.

Chalk art by Brenda Mora.

Chalk art by Eric Arcala.

Chalk art by Colin Moyer.

Chalk art by Meg Canilang.

Chalk art by Cecilia Linayao.

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!

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Free ice cream and concert in Balboa Park!

What’s better than free ice cream and a free concert?

Free ice cream and a fantastic free concert in beautiful Balboa Park!

A huge crowd came out to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion this evening to smile, laugh, sing, and dance to the music of San Diego’s own The Moonlight Serenade Orchestra. And, of course, to devour ice cream!

The annual Ice Cream Social concert, one of many free summer Twilight in the Park concerts, was made possible by the awesome folks of Forever Balboa Park!

The music was infectious. The vibe was energetic. The audience was often clapping, and couples were swaying and spinning on the outdoor dance floor. Tunes included Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Dancing Queen, Old Time Rock and Roll, Respect, In the Mood, Over the Rainbow, and a variety of others, including many big band classics.

The highlight for me–and it appeared to be for many–was the solo drumming performance by D. J. Jackson in the encore song Sing, Sing, Sing. He was a magician whose magic seemed limitless. I didn’t want his inspired wizardry to end.

A long standing ovation resulted!

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 walk in the Edwards Sculpture Garden in La Jolla.

There’s a sculpture garden open to the public in La Jolla that’s very easy to miss.

Large numbers of tourists, walking along the Pacific Ocean, south of Children’s Pool near Cuvier Park, pass this sculpture garden without even realizing it.

This park-like space isn’t readily noticed from Coast Boulevard. Curious eyes might observe an unusual sculpture made of many boats mounted on the building behind it. That building is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego!

Look for the gate in my upcoming photographs. Walk through it and up the curving path. You’re now in the museum’s Sue K. and Charles C. Edwards Sculpture Garden. See what your eyes will see.

My own eyes saw these particular sculptures months ago. Yes, these images have been lingering in my computer for much too long. While I’m self-isolating recovering from mild COVID-19, I’m finally getting around to posting them!

Whether these same pieces are on display right now, I don’t know. Over the years, I’ve noticed that some of the outdoor sculptures in MCASD’s collection are shifted from place to place.

Ready for our walk? Here we go!

Niagara, Alexis Smith, 1985. NOTHING IN THE WORLD COULD KEEP IT FROM GOING OVER THE EDGE… (Marilyn Monroe starred in the film Niagara.)

Monument to a Bear, Erika Rothenberg, 2002-2003. Glass-reinforced concrete over steel, bronze plaque.

Froebel’s Blocks, Richard Fleischner, 1983. Limestone.

Spanish Fan, Robert Irwin, 1995. Steel and glass.

If you’re curious about that mural in the distance, you can see more of it here.

Pleasure Point, Nancy Rubins, 2006. Nautical vessels, stainless steel, and stainless steel wire.

Crossroads, originally sited at the border crossing of US/MEXICO in Tijuana/San Diego, Marcos Ramirez ERRE, 2003. Aluminum, automotive paint, wood, and vinyl.

If you want to see quotes by artists written on the opposite side of these directional signs, click here!

Garden Installation (Displaced Person), Vito Acconci, 1987. Concrete, stones, dirt and grass.

Pasta, Mark di Suvero, 1975. COR-TEN steel.

Long Yellow Hose, Gabriel Orozco, 1996. Plastic watering hoses.

Maria Walks Amid the Thorns, Anselm Kiefer, 2008. Lead books and NATO razor wire.

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!

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Coronado’s Spreckels Mansion: then and now.

John D. Spreckels and his family owned the Hotel del Coronado during the first half of the 20th century.

In 1906 Spreckels began construction of a palatial home in Coronado. His mansion would stand at 1630 Glorietta Boulevard, across from his extraordinarily elegant Hotel del Coronado.

The Italian Renaissance style Spreckels Mansion, designed by renowned architect Harrison Albright (who also designed the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park), would be completed in 1908.

The above photograph was taken in 1915. The description of this public domain photo on Wikimedia Commons is: Promotional image of John D. Spreckels’ home on Coronado for marketing the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.

If the building appears familiar, that’s because much of it was incorporated into today’s Glorietta Bay Inn

Coronado Historical Landmark – J.D. Spreckels House – 1908. Dedicated 1977 Coronado Historical Association.

When I visited Coronado a couple months ago, the friendly Glorietta Bay Inn receptionists behind the front counter allowed me to take a few interior photos. What I found most interesting was one framed image on a wall.

The following is described as: a photograph of an original 1911 postcard of the Spreckels home, just after completion and before the addition of the music room in 1913…

Here are two more outside photos taken by my camera for comparison…

To learn more about John D. Spreckels, one of early San Diego’s most influential entrepreneurs, developers and philanthropists, read his Wikipedia article here.

You’ll learn his Coronado mansion included six bedrooms, three baths, a parlor, dining room and library at the cost of $35,000. At that time, Spreckels’ Mansion featured a brass cage elevator, a marble staircase with leather-padded handrails, skylights, marble floors and some of the Island’s most spectacular gardens. The home was built with reinforced steel and concrete, an earthquake precaution Spreckels insisted upon after living through the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Spreckels lived in the Glorietta Boulevard mansion until his death in 1926.

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!

History inside Carlsbad’s Shipley-Magee House.

The 1887 Shipley-Magee House, home of the Carlsbad Historical Society, contains a museum that history lovers must visit. I walked through its doors earlier this year to discover a treasure trove of artifacts, documents and old photographs from Carlsbad’s earliest days.

The rooms of this historical Craftsman-style house are not only filled with fascinating exhibits, but with furnishings that represent how life must have been like for many in the late 19th century.

Enjoy the following photographs. Better yet, go visit yourself!

The Carlsbad Historical Society’s website is here, with the hours and location of the Shipley-Magee House and its museum.

The society’s website contains pages and pages detailing Carlsbad’s history: from the first settlers, to the construction of the Magee House by Samuel Church Smith (one of the founders of the Carlsbad Land and Water Company), to the layout of downtown Carlsbad in 1925.

If you’d like to see photos of Magee Park, where the house is located, along with several other historic structures and a beautiful rose garden, you can check out an old blog post here.

You can also enjoy photographs of several historical buildings in Carlsbad here, and for more on Carlsbad’s famous Twin Inns, click here and here!

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!

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 photos for you to enjoy!

A short story about a search in the dark.

Back in Middle School, a bunch of classmates and I spent a summer weekend camping on Catalina Island. At the Parsons Landing primitive campground to be exact.

We hiked all over the north part of Catalina and saw bison, cliff dived into the ocean, sat around a campfire, and even went on an afternoon snipe hunt. (We saw bison? That’s correct! A small herd of bison was transported to this Southern California island by Hollywood for the filming of The Thundering Herd, a 1925 silent movie.)

The snipe hunt fascinated me. We headed up one of the trails above the campground searching right and left and occasionally beating a bush with a stick. Everyone knew from the start that the snipes weren’t real, but we all had fun “hunting” them anyway. At least for a little while. I think what made the snipe hunt fun was the shared joke, and the fact that we were heading up a trail that was new to us.

An idea for a short story came to me some time ago, based loosely on that snipe hunt experience. Of course, I changed many elements for my fictional story. It was necessary that I make the setting of the story a dark night.

You’ll see why when you read my new story, The Snipe Hunt, by clicking here!

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!

To read a few thought-provoking stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.