Shakespeare lives at the Old Globe Theatre.

old globe theatre in san diego

Now back to our walk in Balboa Park!

You’re looking at the Old Globe Theatre. It’s modeled after the original Globe Theatre in London, where Shakespeare enjoyed watching many plays that he’d penned. This beloved building is a popular San Diego landmark.

The Tudor-style building was originally constructed in 1935, and was first used for the California Pacific International Exposition to stage Shakespearean plays. In 1978 it was burned down by an arsonist. A nearby festival stage was quickly erected so that performances could go on, then the Old Globe was rebuilt with the generous help of many San Diegans.

Since 1949, The Old Globe has hosted an annual summer Shakespeare Festival. During the summer and winter, the theatre puts on about 15 different shows including modern plays, comedies, musicals and classics.

Many productions that originated here have gone on to Broadway. These shows have won nine Tony Awards and almost 60 nominations!

Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center near Old Globe Theatre.
Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center next to Old Globe Theatre.

Chargers kicker Nick Novak at Kids Newsday.

chargers kicker nick novak at kids newsday

Our leisurely walk through Balboa Park has been interrupted by a great pic I got this morning!

Outstanding kicker Nick Novak and other Chargers players were out on busy street corners to help with Kids Newsday, which raises money for Rady Children’s Hospital! They were handing out newspapers filled with cool articles written by kids while collecting donations from passing motorists.

In this photo, Nick is being interviewed by a Union Tribune journalist in Mission Valley. You can see other participants holding yellow signs across the intersection.

Pleasant stroll toward the Old Globe Theatre.

old globe theatre comes into view

Here comes the famous Old Globe Theatre into view! It’s the round Tudor-style building there on the left. More about it in my next blog post…

museum of man and california tower from the east

Turning for a moment to the left, we see the east side of the Museum of Man’s colorful dome and the picturesque California Tower.

a pleasant nook in balboa park

A pleasant nook below with benches. That’s the Craig Noel Garden, named after the Old Globe Theatre’s founding director. This is a great place to take a rest, or read a book!

Water splashes from face in fountain at west end of the Craig Noel Garden.
Water splashes from face in fountain at west end of the Craig Noel Garden.
Plaque explains how Craig Noel helped to found the Old Globe Theatre.
Plaque explains how Craig Noel helped to found the Old Globe Theatre.
Passage by Museum of Man leads back toward El Prado.
Passage by Museum of Man leads back toward El Prado.

Follow me to see Balboa Park’s theatres.

view from el prado of conrad prebys theatre center

Join me as we walk east through Balboa Park. Having passed the Museum of Man, we now turn north to peer through an archway that leads to three of San Diego’s most prominent theatres. They are the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, and the world-famous, much celebrated Old Globe Theatre. The latter is modeled after the original Globe Theatre in London, where William Shakespeare saw many of his own plays performed. Just a sliver is visible in this photo, on the left.

In the next blog post we will proceed through the archway…

Another pic taken from an archway on the opposite side of El Prado.
Another pic taken from an archway on the opposite side of El Prado.

Beer, headhunters, and instruments of torture.

beer, headhunters, and instruments of torture

What’s that? Huh?

Check out these two banners! They’re hanging in the courtyard in front of the Museum of Man, at the west end of El Prado in Balboa Park.

The first advertises an exhibition about the history of beer. Beerology seems to include the study of imbibing pharaohs and thirsty headhunters. Drink up!

The second depicts a chair covered with sharp spikes. Presumably one of those can be found on display in the museum, along with other delightful instruments of torture. A quite memorable cultural experience!

People walk through plaza in front of the Museum of Man.
People walk through plaza in front of the Museum of Man.

Lawn bowlers enjoy Sunday in Balboa Park.

san diego lawn bowling club in balboa park

Every weekend, folks dressed in white are out on the bowling green near the west end of Balboa Park. The San Diego Lawn Bowling Club must have a pretty good membership, because I’ve seen scores of players all out enjoying the sport at the same time.

I usually linger for a couple minutes to watch a game unfold. Excellent accuracy is required to win.

A game has ended and the scattered balls are collected.
A game has ended and the scattered balls are collected.
Keeping score on a lazy, sunny weekend day.
Keeping score on a lazy, sunny weekend day.
Sign provides info about free lawn bowl lessons.
Sign provides info about free lawn bowl lessons.

Peek into the San Diego Firehouse Museum.

sign at the firehouse museum in little italy

If you’re ever in the Little Italy neighborhood in downtown San Diego, you might want to check out the small but jam-packed Firehouse Museum.

Shiny red fire trucks, interesting historical photos, old fire fighting apparatus, memorabilia and even Smokey Bear are on display. And excited kids can climb into one of the cool fire engines!

This sign by the sidewalk invites tourists and passersby to take a peek into the firehouse.

a peek at a cool firetruck and smokey bear

I took a photo from outside, aiming left.

old firetrucks in san diego firehouse museum

And then the above photo aiming right.

The next pic was taken on a later day, in the early morning when the museum was still closed…

The San Diego Firehouse Museum in the early morning.
The San Diego Firehouse Museum in the early morning.

A plaque appeared on the museum’s exterior in mid to late 2015!

Old Fire Station Number Six. From 1915 to 1970, San Diego Fire Department's original Fire Station 6 proudly served the community of Little Italy.
Old Fire Station Number Six. From 1915 to 1970, San Diego Fire Department’s original Fire Station 6 proudly served the community of Little Italy.

The plaque includes this fascinating information:

In the workshop on this site some of America’s most significant fire service innovations were created by the specialty trade-skilled firefighters who worked here, including the world’s first gas engine powered fireboat, the Bill Kettner. In 1963 the National Fire Protection Association declared the national standard thread the official fire hose thread of the United States of America. The machine which enabled this federal legislation was invented here six years earlier by inventor and battalion chief Robert Ely. The common thread allowed thousands of American firefighters to connect their fire hoses together, allowing them to work as one. As a result, countless lives and priceless amounts of property and the environment have been saved.

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