Endless scenes of beauty in Balboa Park.

Children gaze at the beautiful fountain and sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec by Donal Hord, in the courtyard of Balboa Park's House of Hospitality.
Children gaze at the beautiful fountain and sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec by Donal Hord, in the courtyard of Balboa Park’s House of Hospitality.

It’s difficult to find words that adequately describe Balboa Park. Endless scenes of beauty open up everywhere. Every walk is a different voyage through wonder.

Many of these photos were taken recently. A few have been residing in my computer waiting for the perfect moment.

There Are Places I'll Remember All My Life. A colorful banner near door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
There Are Places I’ll Remember All My Life. A colorful banner near door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
Gigantic bubbles form like magic in the Plaza de Balboa.
Gigantic bubbles form like magic in the Plaza de Balboa.
The House of Charm's tower rises above the Alcazar Garden.
The House of Charm’s tower rises above the Alcazar Garden.
A twisted, wonderful Australian tea tree on Balboa Park's West Mesa.
A twisted, wonderful Australian tea tree on Balboa Park’s West Mesa.
Walking through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Walking through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Wedding photos are taken at one end of the beautiful Lily Pond, or reflecting pool.
Wedding photos are taken at one end of the beautiful Lily Pond, or reflecting pool.
Sunlight reveals natural beauty at the House of Hospitality.
Sunlight reveals natural beauty at the House of Hospitality.
People head up toward the Casa del Prado's outdoor courtyard to enjoy another special event in Balboa Park.
People head up toward the Casa del Prado’s outdoor courtyard to enjoy another special event in Balboa Park.
I took this striking photo yesterday at the San Diego Fern Society Show inside the Casa del Prado.
I took this striking photo yesterday at the San Diego Fern Society Show inside the Casa del Prado.
People relax and picnic on the lawn near the Botanical Building.
People relax and picnic on the lawn near the Botanical Building.
A scene of great beauty in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A scene of great natural beauty in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Visitors to Balboa Park walk toward the Plaza de Panama.
Visitors to Balboa Park head toward the Plaza de Panama.
Walking along. More things to see.
Walking along. More things to see.
Gazing toward Balboa Park's Pepper Grove from the pathway inside the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Gazing toward Balboa Park’s Pepper Grove from a pathway inside the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Abundant beauty at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Abundant beauty at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Resting at tables in the Plaza de Panama near the front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Resting at tables in the Plaza de Panama near the front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
San Diego sunshine highlights arches at the Casa del Prado.
San Diego sunshine highlights arches inside the Casa del Prado.
Sitting along the colonnade at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Sitting along the colonnade at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during an outdoor concert.
Walking past the magnificent facade of the Casa del Prado Theater.
Walking past the magnificent facade of the Casa del Prado Theater.
Bright flowers near a window at the International Cottages.
Flowers brighten a window at the International Cottages.
A leisurely walk through Spanish Village.
A leisurely stroll through Spanish Village.
The amazing tile dome of the California Building, home of the Museum of Man.
The amazing tile dome of the California Building, home of the Museum of Man.
The Bea Evenson Fountain lit at night.
The Bea Evenson Fountain lit at night.
Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.
Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park, too? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

More color and creativity in Spanish Village!

Visitors to the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park walk through a sunlit paradise of color and creativity.
Visitors to the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park walk through a sunlit paradise of color and creativity.

Over the past five years, I’ve blogged about Spanish Village Art Center many times, on Cool San Diego Sights and on my other website Beautiful Balboa Park. Spanish Village one of my go-to places when I need to feel optimistic, free and alive.

Whenever I stroll around the many art studios, I feel like I’ve entered a kaleidoscope of living color and creativity. It’s a wonderful place to visit if you want to feel inspired.

Lovers of art in San Diego need to swing on by. You’ll find yourself lingering. And smiling.

Sign lists 2018 events, including special shows and sales, in Spanish Village Art Studios in Balboa Park.
Sign lists 2018 events, including special shows and sales, in Spanish Village Art Studios in Balboa Park.
Patio tiles leading visitors to the front door of Studio 26 seem like a Yellow Brick Road of many colors.
Patio tiles leading visitors to the front door of Studio 26 seem like a Yellow Brick Road of many colors.
Surprising color fills four pots.
Surprising colors grow in four pots.
The rear of the Uni-two-corn by sculptor Kim Ogburn, which functions as a seat for two.
The rear of the Uni-two-corn by sculptor Kim Ogburn, which functions as a seat for two.
A dreamlike canvas in front of Studio 31 in Spanish Village.
A dreamlike canvas in front of Studio 31 in Spanish Village.
Someone admires a glass vase created by the friendly glassblowers in Studio 19.
Someone admires a glass vase created by the friendly glassblowers in Studio 19.
Beautiful cacti in a planter near the front door of Studio 18.
Beautiful cacti in a planter near the front door of Studio 18.
An amazing flower outside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building in Spanish Village.
An amazing flower outside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building in Spanish Village.
Colorful cats have gathered on the patio in front of Studio 16 in Spanish Village.
Colorful cats have gathered on the patio in front of Studio 16 in Spanish Village.
The local artists in Studio 14 specialize in Kaleidoscopes, Egg Art and Handmade Art.
The local artists in Studio 14 specialize in Kaleidoscopes, Egg Art and Handmade Art.
A painter creates new artwork outside the window of the Southwestern Artists' Association Gallery in Studio 23.
A painter creates new artwork outside the window of the Southwestern Artists’ Association Gallery in Studio 23.
Mary-Ella Bowles in Studio 6 created this fun Fairy House out of a gigantic gourd!
Mary-Ella Bowles in Studio 6 created this fun Fairy House out of a gigantic hollow gourd!
A colorful frog is standing on a leaf outside Studio 10.
A colorful frog is standing on a big leaf outside Studio 10.

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!

Photos of Navy Band Southwest Alumni Concert.

I enjoyed another special event today during my visit to Balboa Park. As I walked past the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I was surprised and happy to learn there would be a Navy Band Southwest Alumni Concert in the afternoon.

When I returned to the pavilion to listen to the concert, many present and past members of Navy Band Southwest were posing for a group photo by the colonnade. The concert soon began, and I snapped a few photos as I listened to the often rousing music, played with perfect precision.

All stood for the National Anthem. A few minutes later those braving the hot sun directly in front of the stage were privileged to hear an extremely talented duet sing a superb rendition of The Prayer by David Foster. What amazing voices. Personally, I got goosebumps. Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli have nothing on those two!

I’m sorry to say Cool San Diego Sights does not feature sound. But here are a few photos!

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!

US National Beat Poet Laureate in Balboa Park!

Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.

Tomorrow you have a chance to hear US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, Chris Vannoy, read live poetry in Balboa Park! He’ll be performing with local poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. (Poetic Expeditionary Nation of Semanticists) in the Zoro Garden beginning at 2 pm.

Today during my extensive walk through Balboa Park, I happened to stumble upon this summer’s weekend Garden Theatre Festival. As I entered the stony, amphitheater-like Zoro Garden, live poetry readings were underway. Everyone in the audience was invited up to the microphone to read poetry!

And wouldn’t you know it, I was fortunate to enjoy several readings by Chris Vannoy, who will soon be named the United States Beat Poet Laureate by the National Beat Poetry Foundation!

I’d heard Chris perform with The Mightier P. E. N. S. a couple years ago, and blogged about that event here.

His hard-hitting beat poetry is vivid and resonant. His words are like the many butterflies that flit through the garden–bright sparks in the sunlight–burning red hot for just a moment–each a revelation–a brief glimpse of something elemental. Delicate words, transient words, an incantation of power spoken briefly into the wind.

Congratulations to a local poet whose voice is now magnified! And whose smile appears to be indomitable!

The Garden Theatre Festival continues through Sunday August 19, 2018. Live performances are enjoyed free to the public in Balboa Park's Zoro Garden.
The Garden Theatre Festival continues through Sunday August 19, 2018. Live performances are enjoyed free to the public in Balboa Park’s Zoro Garden.
Chris Vannoy of the local poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. expresses thought and emotion with vigorous words as the audience listens and reacts.
Chris Vannoy of the San Diego poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. expresses complex thought and emotion with vigorous words as the audience listens and reacts.
Two in the audience listen to powerfully spoken truth.
Two in the audience listen to a poet’s powerfully spoken truth.
Someone in the audience signs up to read a poem. Anybody could participate during the event.
Someone in the audience signs up to read a poem. Anybody could participate during the event.
Chris Vannoy, who will be named US National Beat Poet Laureate in September, finishes and earns enthusiastic applause.
Chris Vannoy, who will be named US National Beat Poet Laureate in September, finishes his reading and earns enthusiastic applause.

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 walk from Middletown to Broadway Pier.

Part of a long mural on the back of a building behind the Park 'N Fly Lot 1 on Pacific Highway.
Part of a cool mural on a building behind the Park ‘N Fly Lot 1 on Pacific Highway.

Today I got off from work a little early, so I decided to use my extra time for a walk from the Middletown trolley station down to the Embarcadero.

My main intention was to get photographs of a long mural I’ve glimpsed while driving along Pacific Highway near San Diego International Airport. The mural is a fair distance from the street, on the back of an old building behind the Park ‘N Fly Lot 1.

I snapped some photos of the cool mural, but as you can see, the results were not all that great. After doing some internet searching, I still know nothing about this artwork.

My walk turned west on Laurel Street as a series of airplanes came in for landings overhead. My eyes moved right and left searching for interesting sights, but nothing struck my fancy until I came to the big white anchor in the grassy median at the intersection of Harbor Drive and Laurel Street.

I vaguely recall learning something about this historical anchor–where it came from–but now when I do some searching I come up with nothing. The big anchor has been a landmark occupying that spot for as long as I can remember.

My leisurely walk south along the Embarcadero stalled when I came to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I’m a member, so naturally I had to enjoy the elegant passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley to do some quiet reading. When I noticed through a window that the sun was about to slip behind clouds, I ventured outside and took more photos.

The photograph of Sea Shepherd’s vessel Farley Mowat reminds me that I blogged about their mission to protect the critically endangered vaquita porpoise a couple years ago.

My walk then resumed, and I proceeded along the water to Broadway Pier.

The extensive mural on the building is blocked by parked cars and too distant from the street for a good photograph.
The long mural near Pacific Highway is blocked by parked cars and too distant from the sidewalk for a good photograph.
An airplane comes in for a landing at San Diego International Airport near the intersection of Pacific Highway and Laurel Street.
An airplane comes in for a landing at San Diego International Airport near the intersection of Pacific Highway and Laurel Street.
Here comes another plane for a late afternoon arrival.
Here comes another plane for a late afternoon arrival.
A plane lands at San Diego International Airport, just beyond a large white anchor at Harbor Drive and Laurel Street.
A plane lands at San Diego International Airport, just beyond the large white anchor at Harbor Drive and Laurel Street.
A closer photo of the historical anchor.
A close photo of the anchor. If I obtain more information about its history, I’ll post an update.
Circling the big anchor, my camera captured the skyline of downtown San Diego.
After I circled the big anchor, my camera captured the skyline of downtown San Diego.
Now I'm on the Embarcadero by the water, in the Crescent Area that I visited in my last blog post.
Now I’m on the Embarcadero by the water, in the Crescent Area that I visited in my last blog post.
Photo from the Steam Ferry Berkeley of Farley Mowat which is now docked in San Diego. Sea Shepherd's vessel will soon return to the Sea of Cortez to protect the vaquita.
Photo from the steam ferry Berkeley of the Farley Mowat, which is presently docked in San Diego. Sea Shepherd’s vessel will soon return to the Sea of Cortez to resume its urgent mission protecting the critically endangered vaquita.
The sun is still shining on the floating barge behind the Berkeley.
The sun is still shining on the floating barge behind the Berkeley.
People enjoy a look inside the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
People enjoy exploring the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
The sun shines out from behind clouds, and the masts of America, Californian and San Salvador.
The sun shines out from behind clouds . . . and the masts of America, Californian and San Salvador.
People relax on one of the benches along the edge of Broadway Pier. The fog-like marine layer is coming in over Point Loma as nightfall approaches.
People relax on one of the benches along the edge of Broadway Pier. The fog-like marine layer is coming in over Point Loma as nightfall approaches.
Spirit of San Diego is coming in from a harbor cruise.
Spirit of San Diego is coming in from a harbor cruise.
Piloting the incoming ship, with the USS Midway Museum in the background.
Piloting the incoming ship, with the USS Midway Museum in the background.
Downtown buildings reflected in windows of the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.
Downtown buildings reflected in windows of the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.
Late sunlight shines from beautiful high-rise buildings in downtown San Diego.
Late sunlight shines from high-rise buildings in beautiful downtown San Diego.

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!

Water, boats and sunset at the Crescent Area.

This evening before sunset I walked beside San Diego Bay.

Late sunlight reflected from the boats moored in the Crescent Area of the North Embarcadero.

I walked north from the Grape Street Pier not quite to the Coast Guard Station.

This is what I saw:

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!

How homeless people can get help in San Diego.

Are you homeless?

During a period of my life, many years ago, I was also homeless.

When I was young I suffered from terrible depression. For reasons I’ll keep to myself, my life was incredibly painful. I threw everything away. I just about gave up.

Fortunately, there was a part inside me that never surrendered to the darkness. As I grew older, I found positive ways to overcome my depression.

I know there are many who are homeless and hurting in San Diego. If you happen to be homeless, for whatever reason, and you’d like a helping hand, I’ve learned about a great way to get help.

There’s a phone number that you can call confidentially to get lots of information. That phone number is 211.

Call 211 any time of the day or night and a friendly person will answer who can help you in different ways. The people at 211 are hooked up with over 6,000 community resources, and can assist callers in over 200 languages.

They know all about the shelters around San Diego and what you can do to get off the street. They know where to get medical help, help for emergencies, places to get food, legal help, help to overcome addiction, help for runaways, help for those who’ve been victims of violence, help for veterans who are experiencing a rough time . . . help for all sorts of difficulties that many people face in life. Call 211 and someone will assist you. It’s completely confidential.

If you don’t want to talk to anyone, you can also visit the 211 website by clicking here. Check it out and give the possibilities some thought.

I can say from personal experience that you should never give up hope. Even if your life seems completely hopeless, a path is always there to a brighter, better future. Always.