Live organ concerts return to Balboa Park!

Hooray! Live organ concerts are returning to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park! The free Sunday concerts at two o’clock resume this weekend!

The COVID-19 pandemic made public gatherings of this sort out of the question for a very, very long time. Weekly concerts, performed on the Spreckels Organ by world-renowned San Diego Civic Organist Raul Prieto Ramírez, could only be heard online.

But that horrible episode is over, and one of my very favorite activities is back!

Be sure to mark Sunday at 2:00 pm on your calendar. I just did!

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!

The corner lit by San Diego’s first gaslamp!

The very first gaslamp that lit downtown San Diego was located in today’s Gaslamp Quarter. But where?

Stand at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and F Street, and you’ve found the location!

You’ll be standing next to the historic Marston Building. A plaque on this interesting old building reads:

Marston Block, 1881

In 1881, George Marston located his third department store in this two-story Victorian Italian-style building. It remained here until 1896 when it was relocated to a larger building. Until the 1970s, Marston’s was the largest and most successful San Diego-based department store and was purchased by Broadway Stores. The building suffered severe fire damage in 1903, and had to undergo extensive remodeling. The first gaslamp was placed on this corner in 1885, and on March 16, 1886, the first electric arc lamp was illuminated outside this building.

If any of you remember visiting the Marston Department Store as a young child, it was most likely Marston’s final location, in a large four-story, neo-Renaissance building on C Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. That building was demolished years ago. To learn more about George Marston’s various stores in San Diego, click here.

To view a historical black-and-white photo of Marston’s 1881 store–the location of San Diego’s very first gaslamp–click here.

As you can see, things have changed quite a bit in nearly a century and a half!

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!

The new Aztec Stadium rises!

San Diego State University’s new Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley is rapidly rising!

I took some photos in late April and you could see back then how the construction had just begun. Now huge supporting steel beams for the stands and stadium lights can be easily seen from Friars Road!

I took these photographs from the southwest side of the stadium late this afternoon.

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!

Comic-Con Shrine returning for 2021!

The San Diego Comic-Con Shrine is returning for 2021!

Just like last year, when Comic-Con was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a fun, free, semi-spontaneous, fan-centric celebration of the popular arts will be taking place during Comic-Con week just outside the Tin Fish restaurant. You know, in Gaslamp Square, the public plaza across from the convention center, next to the trolley station. There will be cosplay, chalk art, a blood drive . . . even nightly dance parties!

I saw a couple of banners at the Tin Fish this morning and took the next photo. It looks like Dude Vader and the Science Fiction Coalition will once again be a big part of the Shrine experience.

While San Diego Comic-Con was cancelled again for health reasons in 2021, a Special Edition of Comic-Con will be coming to the convention center this November.

If you live in San Diego, make sure to check out the Comic-Con Shrine this summer from July 23-25. I see they have a website here!

Meanwhile, enjoy a sample of the photographs that I took last year at and near the Shrine…

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 magical new mural slowly comes to life!

The long new mural in City Heights’ Teralta Neighborhood Park is slowly coming to life! I got another look at it this morning!

Some of the faces along the 263-foot mural are gaining color, detail and character as San Diego graffiti artist Sake continues to apply his artistry!

I last visited the mural about a month ago, and took these photos. At the time most of the faces were mere sketches.

As you can see, this monumental new mural that celebrates City Heights’s diverse community is going to be amazing!

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!

Music, dance and circus festival coming to City Heights!

Oh, wow! Check out the big, free cultural event that’s coming to City Heights on Saturday, June 26!

From noon to 6 pm, Music en la Calle is going to feature a ton of music and dance, not to mention a fun circus performance!

I see there will be mariachis, Azteca dancers, flamenco dancers, taiko drummers (I’ve been to several Naruwan Taiko performances and they are absolutely incredible!), jazz musicians, and performers from everybody’s favorite Fern Street Circus!

Music en la Calle will take place at the intersection of University Avenue and 41st Street, in City Height’s new community performance venue by the outdoor “Characters” sculpture garden!

I’ll be there!

Renovation of Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries begins!

The exterior renovation of the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries building in Balboa Park’s Palisades area has begun!

I noticed during my walk through Balboa Park this morning that the painting of the building is underway. The new color matches that of the recently painted San Diego Automotive Museum directly across Pan American Plaza.

If you’d like to learn more about the 1935 Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries building, which has long served as the Municipal Gymnasium, and to see how the historic building will appear after its renovation is complete, check out this post from early last month.

(Visit that old blog post and you’ll see an image of the fantastic bronze panel that will be installed directly above the entrance!)

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 San Diego Archers King Arthur Tournament!

I was lucky to get some photographs of the San Diego Archers annual King Arthur Tournament in Balboa Park today!

I was walking near the Rube Powell Archery Range behind Balboa Park’s Alcazar Garden when I noticed some archers dressed in medieval costumes. So I had to check it out!

One friendly archer posed for the above cool photo. I then watched a bit of the tournament from the top of the canyon and took a few distant shots.

I was told the San Diego Archers is one of the oldest organized archery clubs in California, having been established in 1938. Since 1962 their King Arthur Tournament is a popular annual event full of Arthurian costumes, pageantry and family fun!

(I didn’t notice any knights wearing shining armor. Perhaps I missed them.)

Interested in participating or learning more? Check out the San Diego Archers website here!

UPDATE!

I received a great Facebook comment concerning the San Diego Archers:

For your readers information. Archery has been practiced in Balboa Park since 1917. The archery range is open to the public and membership with the San Diego Archers is not required to participate in tournaments. The San Diego Archers host four novelty tournaments each year. In addition, there are more than twenty regular competition tournaments throughout the year. Participants are only required to show up with their own gear, sign a waiver, and pay a small fee.
For more info: https://sandiegoarchers.com/

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!

Preparing a maypole in Balboa Park!

The House of Sweden in Balboa Park is having their Midsummer Celebration this afternoon at 2 pm!

As I walked among the International Cottages this morning, I saw members of the House of Sweden preparing their beautiful maypole. And a nearby garland!

The celebration this year will be on a smaller scale than usual, as we try to finally shake free of the waning coronavirus pandemic.

It’s June 20, and a flowering spring has led to summer. Once again regenerative nature will be celebrated by many hands.

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!

Cool photo memories from June 2016.

Please enjoy a bunch of cool photographs from five years ago!

Back in June 2016, I enjoyed a special tour at the San Diego Museum of Art, checked out incredible wood art and other fun stuff at the Alice in Wonderland-themed San Diego County Fair, saw that Comic-Con was on the way, observed the installation and debut of important downtown public art, and got a rare look at one of William Shakespeare’s First Folios!

And even more amazing stuff!

Coming up are the links where you can see it all!

Click the following links for loads of photos…

Amazing animal bronzes at San Diego Museum of Art!

Amazing photos: Fantastic, incredible wood art!

Alice pops out of rabbit hole at San Diego County Fair!

Son of Zorn and The Exorcist on a Comic-Con trolley!

Public art “Tide” rises in plaza by Marriott Marquis!

Carved stone Chinese lions unveiled in San Diego!

Photos of Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibit in San Diego.

Costumes from Shakespeare’s plays at Old Globe Theatre!

New mural in San Diego extols humility, nobility.

The Art Club of San Diego showcases fine pieces!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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