Cool photos of chalk art at the ArtWalk!

People gather around chalk art created on boards for the 2018 Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy.
People gather around chalk art created on boards for the 2018 Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy.

Here come more cool photos that I promised you!

Half a dozen colorful works of chalk art were displayed at the 2018 Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy. Piazza della Famiglia isn’t the ideal place to create chalk art, so the pieces were rendered on boards.

Every work of art was great! See for yourself!

Gold and Yellow Roses, chalk art by Cecelia Linayao.
Gold and Yellow Roses, chalk art by Cecelia Linayao.
A colorful chalk art Salvador Dalí, by artist Chris Brake.
A colorful chalk art Salvador Dalí, by artist Chris Brake.
A chalk art lion representing the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, created by Lorna Prijoles.
A chalk art lion representing the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, created by Lorna Prijoles.
Young girl kisses a happy wrinkled woman. Touching chalk art by Brenda Mora and Jessie Reyes.
Young child kisses a happy wrinkled woman. Heartwarming chalk art by Brenda Mora and Jessie Reyes.
A striking chalk art face by Meg Canilang.
A striking chalk art face by Meg Canilang.
Another superb chalk art piece by young local phenom Lidia Vasquez.
Another superb chalk art piece by young local phenom Lidia Vasquez.
Half a dozen beautiful works of chalk art could be seen in Piazza della Famiglia at the 2018 Mission Federal ArtWalk!
Half a dozen beautiful works of chalk art could be seen in Piazza della Famiglia at the 2018 Mission Federal ArtWalk!

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!

Naruwan Taiko’s thundering, unabashed joy!

This afternoon I headed to the Pacific Rim Festival in Chula Vista’s Bayside Park. I’ll blog more about this fun event shortly!

The highlight of my day was an incredible performance by Naruwan Taiko!

Imagine resonant, heart-pounding, pulsing beats, and drummers swinging unstoppable arms in a synchronized dance. Imagine smiles and shouts, muscles and sweat, powered by a pure love of life. For a few moments Bayside Park was stirred by magic. Hearts were lifted by thundering, unabashed joy!

I was ready to leap over the sun!

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!

Amazing views from sky deck of The Barcelona!

Old photo of The Barcelona Apartment-Hotel in Bankers Hill, built 1921-1923.
Old photo of The Barcelona Apartment-Hotel in Bankers Hill, built 1921-1923.

I hadn’t planned to visit The Barcelona yesterday during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2018 OPEN HOUSE event. But as I walked up Bankers Hill from one site to another, I spotted the old building and decided to venture inside. I’m so happy I did!

The almost century-old structure originally featured both a hotel and apartments, complete with solarium, ballroom, restaurant and golf course. Today it has been converted into an apartment building with amazing views of nearby downtown San Diego.

My favorite part of the short tour was visiting the sky deck up on the rooftop. Check out my photos and you’ll see why! Make sure to read the captions for more info about this historical building.

The Barcelona's apartments today, photographed from Juniper Street.
The Barcelona’s apartments today, photographed from Juniper Street.
The Barcelona is a featured location during the San Diego Architectural Foundation's 2018 OPEN HOUSE event.
The Barcelona is a featured location during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2018 OPEN HOUSE event.
City of San Diego historical landmark plaque near entrance to The Barcelona.
City of San Diego historical landmark plaque near entrance to The Barcelona.
The Barcelona was built in the Spanish Colonial/Spanish Eclectic style. It was designed by architect Eugene Hoffman.
The Barcelona was built in the Spanish Colonial/Spanish Eclectic style. It was designed by architect Eugene Hoffman.
Excavation of the site took 6 months. The current penthouse units on the 5th floor roof originally formed a solarium.
Excavation of the site took 6 months. The current penthouse units on the 5th floor roof originally formed a solarium.
Historic postcards of The Barcelona in San Diego.
Historic postcards of The Barcelona in San Diego.
A volunteer for the OPEN HOUSE event took me up the historic elevator!
A volunteer for the OPEN HOUSE architectural event took me up the historic elevator!
The cool old elevator reminded me of my childhood, when I dreamed of becoming an elevator operator!
The cool old elevator reminded me of my childhood, when I dreamed of becoming an elevator operator!
The volunteer guide quickly showed me one of the sunlight-filled apartments. The view of downtown is incredible.
The volunteer guide quickly showed me one of the sunlight-filled apartments. The view of downtown is incredible.
But the sky deck is something else!
But the sky deck will take your breath away!
Incredible view of Bankers Hill and San Diego Bay from the sky deck of The Barcelona!
Incredible view of Bankers Hill and San Diego Bay from the sky deck of The Barcelona!
The building's penthouse apartments are beyond this comfy outdoor sofa.
The building’s penthouse apartments are beyond this comfy outdoor sofa.
Looking down on the rooftops of Bankers Hill!
Looking down on the many colorful rooftops of Bankers Hill!
An incredible view of the downtown San Diego skyline from the sky deck of The Barcelona!
An incredible view of the downtown San Diego skyline from the sky deck of The Barcelona!

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!

Transformation of Mingei Museum previewed!

View of the House of Charm in Balboa Park, home of the Mingei International Museum.
View of the House of Charm in Balboa Park, home of the Mingei International Museum.

I made a very cool discovery today during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2018 OPEN HOUSE event!

After an amazing tour of the Timken Museum in Balboa Park, which I will be blogging about shortly, I crossed the Plaza de Panama to catch the final part of a special talk at the Mingei International Museum. I was astonished to learn the museum is about to undergo a complete transformation!

What I learned about the upcoming changes is really exciting! In order to make the museum more dynamic and accessible to the San Diego community, the first floor Plaza Level will become a free space where ordinary people can mingle and openly enjoy culture and expression with friends and other visitors. New additions will include a cool sculpture garden, a small sit-down restaurant, and a new theater space. A balcony overlooking the Plaza de Panama will provide amazing views of Balboa Park, and stairs to the second floor art gallery will ascend through the House of Charm’s iconic tower, with views of the beautiful Alcazar Garden below, where there will be a new west entrance!

I didn’t catch all the details, so I hope that what I’ve just told you is correct. You can see some of the plans on the Mingei’s website here. I did learn that this amazing transformation will begin later this year–I believe I was told around September–and the museum will close during construction. During the House of Charm’s renovation the museum will have surprise pop-up exhibitions around San Diego and other fun events to fill in the void.

I also learned the total cost of the project is $40 million, and more money needs to be raised. Can you help? If you’d like to help shape Balboa Park’s brilliant future, check out this page!

Visitor to the Mingei learns about the museum's upcoming transformation during the San Diego Architectural Foundation's 2018 OPEN HOUSE event.
Visitor to the Mingei learns about the museum’s upcoming transformation during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2018 OPEN HOUSE event.
Images were displayed after a talk by celebrated architect Jennifer Luce. This one shows a theater space to be added to the building's southeast corner.
Images were displayed after a talk by celebrated architect Jennifer Luce. This one shows a theater space to be added to the building’s expanded southeast corner.
Rendering of the theater that will add even more life to the Mingei International Museum.
Rendering of the theater that will add even more life to the Mingei International Museum.
Stairs to the second floor Gallery Level will ascend through the House of Charm's iconic tower. A new entrance to the museum will be added at the east end of the Alcazar Garden.
Stairs to the second floor Gallery Level will ascend through the House of Charm’s iconic tower. A new entrance to the museum will be added at the east end of the Alcazar Garden.
Rendering of daytime activity on a new second floor balcony overlooking the Plaza de Panama.
Rendering of daytime activity on a new second floor balcony overlooking the Plaza de Panama.
Rendering shows diners at night on the balcony. Illumination along the balcony will add a signature touch to the museum's appearance.
Rendering shows diners at night on the balcony. Illumination along the balcony will add a signature touch to the museum’s appearance.
People freely enjoy a new pocket park-like sculpture courtyard at the Mingei.
People freely enjoy a new pocket park-like sculpture courtyard at the Mingei.
Photo taken today of the House of Charm and its iconic tower from the Alcazar Garden. Big changes are coming!
Photo taken today of the House of Charm and its iconic tower from the Alcazar Garden. Big changes are coming!

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!

Exquisite flower arrangements at ikebana show.

The highlight of my walk through Balboa Park today was the San Diego Wabi Spring Flower Show. My feet often halted as I passed dozens of exquisite Japanese ikebana flower arrangements. My camera couldn’t stop snapping. As you will see, the beauty was indescribable.

This annual event, which is held for one weekend inside the Casa del Prado, provides a breathtaking exhibition of the traditional Japanese art, as taught by the Ohara School of Ikebana. In addition to the many heavenly flower arrangements, there were demonstrations by local ikebana masters for those who are interested in learning about or practicing this ancient art form.

Many of these photos are close-ups of flower arrangements. I tried my own “hand” at artistic composition.

I’m so envious of the talent displayed at this show. Every careful work of floral art was a poem for the eyes.

The San Diego Wabi Study Group Annual Flower Show, with beautiful ikebana arrangements and demonstrations, was held this weekend in the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.
The San Diego Wabi Study Group Annual Flower Show, with beautiful ikebana arrangements and demonstrations, was held this weekend in the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.
Many superb examples of exquisite ikebana Japanese flower arrangement pleased the eyes of delighted visitors.
Many superb examples of exquisite ikebana Japanese flower arrangement pleased the eyes of delighted visitors.

Watching a demonstration of traditional ikebana flower arrangement. Every work in this ancient art form is like a visual poem.
Young eyes observe a demonstration of traditional ikebana flower arrangement. Every work in this ancient art form is like a visual poem.

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!

Six amazing murals in front of the Museum of Art!

Close up of a colorful mural now on display in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Close up of a colorful mural now on display in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.

Many extraordinary artists make San Diego their home. They help our city sparkle with culture and energy.

Amazing works by distinguished local muralists are now on display in Balboa Park, directly in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.

The six colorful murals, painted live a couple weeks ago, are inspired by a world-class exhibition now running inside the museum. Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection is an exhibition of modern Latin masterpieces that no art lover should miss. I blogged about it here.  Go soon. It will be closing in two weeks.

I don’t know how long these murals will be on display outdoors in front of the museum, so swing by Balboa Park soon to enjoy them in person!

To see the murals of Chicano Park, you can click here.

Visitors to Balboa Park check out a couple of the murals temporarily on display in the Plaza de Panama.
Visitors to Balboa Park check out a couple of the murals temporarily on display in the Plaza de Panama.
Sign in front of the San Diego Museum of Art explains the outdoor Local Latin American Masters exhibition. Six murals were painted live in front of the museum.
Sign in front of the San Diego Museum of Art explains the outdoor Local Latin American Masters exhibition. Six murals were painted live in front of the museum.
Art by Victor Ochoa. His work has been widely published. He was one of the original muralists to work in Chicano Park.
Art by Victor Ochoa. His work has been widely published. He was one of the original muralists to work in Chicano Park.
Art by Carmen Kalo. She is a San Diego native who actively leads Chicano Park tours, builds social awareness, and works with at-risk youth and the homeless.
Art by Carmen Kalo. She is a San Diego native who actively leads Chicano Park tours, builds social awareness, and works with at-risk youth and the homeless.
Art by Hector Villegas. He is a teacher who has painted three murals at Chicano Park.
Art by Hector Villegas. He is a teacher who has painted three murals at Chicano Park.
Art by Cesar Castañeda. He owns the Chicano Art Gallery in Barrio Logan.
Art by Cesar Castañeda. He owns the Chicano Art Gallery in Barrio Logan.
Art by Stephanie Cecilia Cervantes. A painter first inspired by Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night, she was a muralist during Chicano Park's 2011 restoration project.
Art by Stephanie Cecilia Cervantes. A painter first inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, she was a muralist during Chicano Park’s 2011 restoration project.
Protecting Our Water and Earth by Mario Torero. He is an artivist and founding member of the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.
Protecting Our Water and Earth by Mario Torero. He is an artivist and founding member of the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.
Amazing artwork that the public can see close up and in natural sunlight, not unlike the fantastic murals of Chicano Park!
Amazing artwork that the public can see close up and in natural sunlight, just like the many fantastic murals of Chicano Park!

Today I published a new short story. It’s titled One Magic Bubble. I suppose the short piece is about life.

Curious? You can read it here!

Beautiful ferry mosaic on Coronado Walgreens.

Mosaic on Walgreens building in Coronado depicts an old ferry crossing San Diego Bay.
Mosaic on Walgreens building in Coronado depicts an old ferry crossing San Diego Bay.

Last weekend during my walk through Coronado I noticed a really beautiful work of art. A colorful mosaic, set into the travertine exterior of the Walgreens building on Orange Avenue, depicts a ferry crossing San Diego Bay crowned by a flock of seagulls.

According to my limited research, it appears that the mosaic was created in 1985 by Susan Hertel and Denis O’Connor, in collaboration with Millard Owen Sheets, who designed many Home Savings of America bank branches in California. The mosaic represents one of the historic ferryboats that once transported cars between Coronado and San Diego. Ferries for cars operated until 1969, the year the San Diego–Coronado Bridge opened.

When the artwork debuted, the building at 925 Orange Avenue was a Home Savings branch. Subsequently it became a Petco. As building occupants have come and gone, the extraordinary mosaic has been preserved.

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!