Giant seashell sculpture is a Growing Home!

A child of San Diego sits in an enormous sculpture of a living seashell, a Growing Home.
A child of San Diego sits in an enormous sculpture of a living seashell, a Growing Home.

Some amazing public art was installed in East Village about a week ago!

Growing Home is an enormous stainless steel sculpture of a sea snail’s living shell. Laser-cut into the upward coiling shell are notable events from San Diego’s history. The sculpture can be found on the east side of Park Boulevard near Petco Park and the downtown Central Library. It stands at the new Park 12 – The Collection luxury apartments.

Growing Home was created by Joe O’Connell and Creative Machines and is made of stainless steel with LED lighting. Creative Machines produces interactive and monumental art for clients around the world. They are based in Tucson, Arizona.

The shell represents the ever-growing city in which we live. As history has progressed, the shell has grown and grown.

I took these photos after a rain shower, so the large wet stones arranged next to the seashell seem to lie glistening on a beach!

Growing Home rises as public art at Park 12 - The Collection, new luxury apartments in San Diego's East Village.
Growing Home rises as public art at Park 12 – The Collection, new luxury apartments in San Diego’s East Village.
Growing Home, 2018, Joe O'Connell and Creative Machines, stainless steel and LED lighting. A city's history grows like the shell of a marine mollusk.
Growing Home, 2018, Joe O’Connell and Creative Machines, stainless steel and LED lighting. A city’s history grows like the shell of a marine mollusk.
History becomes an essential part of an ever-growing city--a city that is home to many.
History becomes an essential part of an ever-growing city–a city that is home to many.
Growing Home features headlines of events that have shaped San Diego history.
Growing Home features headlines of events that have shaped San Diego history.
The lattice dome of the San Diego Central Library rises beyond Park Boulevard.
The lattice dome of the San Diego Central Library rises beyond Park Boulevard.
Moments in history are preserved as words written in the growing shell.
Moments in history are preserved as words written in the growing shell.
Moments in San Diego history become part of our lives. The city is our home.
San Diego history become part of our lives. The city is our home.
The coiled, elongated shell of a sea snail is a Growing Home. Sit inside on a small bench for a fun photo!
The coiled, elongated shell of a sea snail. Sit inside on a small bench for a fun photo!
Growing Home rises at Park 12 - The Collection, in San Diego's East Village near Petco Park.
Growing Home rises at Park 12 – The Collection, in San Diego’s East Village.

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!

Late sunlight creates magic in Balboa Park.

Balboa Park is magical at any time, but as nightfall approaches, and the last rays of golden sunlight touch buildings and trees, the magic flames, becomes even more powerful.

I got off work early today and used the extra bit of daylight to walk about the park and take photographs.

These are the best…

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!

A 180 ton teddy bear made of boulders!

Here come a few astonishing photos!

Eight enormous boulders form a jaw-dropping 180 ton teddy bear in the Academic Courtyard at UC San Diego. It might look cute and cuddly, but try wrapping your arms around this public art!

Bear, part of UCSD’s fantastic Stuart Collection of art, was created by Tim Hawkinson in 2005. The immense stone sculpture seems to defy gravity as it sits limply on a patch of green grass between three buildings where engineering and technology are taught.

What is the good of science without imagination?

Perhaps an infant troll one day will stride onto campus to retrieve their lost toy. Or perhaps in the distant future, among the ruins of ancient buildings, perplexed scientists will discover Bear and conclude that a race of giants once inhabited our planet.

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!

Christmas trees appear in downtown San Diego!

A bright, happy Christmas tree has appeared inside the Donut Bar.
A bright, happy Christmas tree has appeared inside the Donut Bar.

Many colorful Christmas trees have suddenly popped up all around downtown San Diego!

Step into the lobby of any elegant hotel or large office tower and you’re sure to be dazzled!

This morning and evening I walked through downtown searching for Christmas trees to photograph. A couple of my photos turned out a bit grainy due to dim lighting, but hopefully you get the sense of how amazingly beautiful many of these trees are!

I also got pics of some fun ornaments in shop windows!

One of the slender Christmas trees adding holiday cheer to the north entrance to the 701 B Street office building.
One of the slender Christmas trees adding holiday cheer to the north entrance to the 701 B Street office building.
A large Christmas tree has appeared in the lobby of the Wells Fargo building. When I dropped by in the morning it hadn't been decorated yet.
A large Christmas tree has appeared in the lobby of the Wells Fargo building. When I dropped by in the morning it hadn’t been decorated yet.
A beautiful, shining Christmas tree in the grand lobby of One America Plaza.
A beautiful, shining Christmas tree in the grand lobby of One America Plaza.
One of several creative, elegant Christmas trees in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.
One of several creative, very elegant Christmas trees in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.
San Diego sand dollar and disco ball ornaments inside the window of Best of Gaslamp.
San Diego sand dollar and disco ball ornaments inside the window of Best of Gaslamp.
One of the dazzling Christmas trees in the posh lobby of the historic US Grant Hotel
One of the dazzling Christmas trees in the posh lobby of the historic US Grant Hotel.
A simply magnificent Christmas tree in the lobby of Symphony Towers.
A simply magnificent Christmas tree in the lobby of Symphony Towers.
A gorgeous Christmas tree inside the luxurious Westgate Hotel.
A gorgeous Christmas tree inside the luxurious Westgate Hotel.
A snowy Christmas tree inside the west entrance of the 101 W. Broadway office building.A snowy Christmas tree inside the west entrance of the 101 W. Broadway office building.
A snowy Christmas tree inside the west entrance of the 101 W. Broadway office building.
A funny surfing Santa ornament in the window of San Diego Trading Company!
A funny surfing Santa ornament in the window of San Diego Trading Company!

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!

Photos of Star of India heading out to sea.

Star of India and Californian head south along the channel out of San Diego Bay, out into the Pacific Ocean.
Star of India and Californian navigate south down the channel of San Diego Bay, heading out into the Pacific Ocean.

I will remember this amazing morning for the rest of my life.

Standing on the Bayside Trail of Cabrillo National Monument, near the end of the Point Loma peninsula, I watched as Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, headed out of San Diego Bay into the wide blue Pacific Ocean.

It was a truly historic moment, and magical.

The Star of India, now 155 years old, is sailing this weekend for the first time in five years.

Tall ships Californian and San Salvador, which also belong to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, accompanied the Star of India, as did two other tall ships based in San Diego: America and Cloudia. I saw Bill of Rights, a tall ship that makes its home in Chula Vista, heading out of the channel a bit later in the morning.

Please enjoy these photos.

People walk down Cabrillo National Monument's Bayside Trail in order to watch a bit of sailing history.
People walk down Cabrillo National Monument’s Bayside Trail in order to watch a bit of sailing history.
The north part of San Diego Bay, visible from the Bayside Trail. In the distance, with other historic ships, Star of India makes its way around North Island.
The north part of San Diego Bay is visible from the Bayside Trail. In the distance, with other tall ships, Star of India makes its way around Coronado.
Star of India is towed past Naval Base Point Loma as it heads out of San Diego's harbor toward the open ocean.
Star of India is towed past Naval Base Point Loma as it heads out of San Diego’s harbor toward the open ocean.
Star of India is accompanied during its historic sail by Californian, San Salvador, America and Cloudia. Bill of Rights would leave the channel a bit later in the morning.
Star of India is accompanied during its historic sail by Californian, San Salvador, America and Cloudia. Bill of Rights would leave the channel a bit later in the morning.
Californian and Star of India pass Naval Air Station North Island.
Californian and Star of India pass Naval Air Station North Island.
The downtown San Diego skyline behind Star of India and Californian.
The downtown San Diego skyline behind Star of India and Californian.
Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.
Two beautiful tall ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Star of India and Californian, head out into the Pacific Ocean.
The amazing group of tall ships is almost out of the channel and into the wide open ocean.
The amazing group of tall ships is almost out of the channel and into the wide open ocean.
Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, and Californian enter the Pacific Ocean together.
Star of India, oldest active sailing ship in the world, and Californian enter the Pacific Ocean together.
Behind come America, Cloudia and galleon San Salvador.
Behind come America, Cloudia and the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
Pure magic. Like a dream.
Pure magic. Like a dream.
The beautiful tall ships continue past Point Loma, making their way south.
The beautiful tall ships continue past Point Loma, making their way south.
A view of the beautiful tall ships from Cabrillo National Monument's Bayside Trail.
A view of the tall ships from Cabrillo National Monument’s sunny Bayside Trail.
155 year old Star of India and its companion tall ships sail across the water on an historic weekend in November, 2018.
155 year old Star of India and its companion tall ships sail across the water on an historic weekend in November, 2018.
I and a few other photographers head back up the Bayside Trail to get more photos as the ships head out to sea.
I and a few other photographers head back up the Bayside Trail to get more photos as the ships head out to sea.
Californian and America on the distant water. Mexico lies on the horizon.
Californian and America on the distant water. Mexico lies on the horizon.
Five amazing tall ships together on the peaceful Pacific Ocean.
Five fantastic tall ships together on the peaceful, blue Pacific Ocean.
A magical vision of historic tall ships seen from the end of Point Loma. Time's curtain seems to open, and we peer into the past.
A magical vision of historic tall ships seen from the end of Point Loma. Time’s curtain seems to open for a moment, and we peer into the past.
People enjoy the magic near a bench on the Bayside Trail.
People enjoy the magic near a bench on the Bayside Trail.
Star of India crew members can barely be seen upon its yards. The sails will soon billow in the wind.
Star of India crew members can be seen upon its yards. The sails will soon billow in the wind.
The ships sail past the end of Point Loma. My old camera can barely photograph them at this distance.
The ships sail past the end of Point Loma. My old camera can barely photograph them at this distance.
Out into the wide, hazy Pacific Ocean.
Out into the wide, hazy Pacific Ocean.
People just below the whale watching overlook of Cabrillo National Monument watch the ships. They gaze past the New Point Loma Lighthouse down by the water's edge.
People just below the whale watching overlook of Cabrillo National Monument watch the ships. They gaze past the New Point Loma Lighthouse, which is down by the water’s edge.
Ships melt into the hazy distance.
Among smaller boats, the tall ships are just visible in the hazy distance.
Photographers try their best to get good photos of the tall ships that are now far away.
Photographers with powerful cameras do their best to get good photos of the tall ships that are now very far away.
Light reflects from a passing plane. The Coronado Islands poke out of the haze. And the Star of India sails proudly on the open Pacific Ocean.
Light reflects from a passing plane. The distant Coronado Islands poke out of the haze. And the Star of India sails proudly upon the Pacific Ocean.
A vision I will remember for the rest of my life.
A vision I will remember for the rest of my life.

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!

An amazing Wyland mural cruises into San Diego!

An amazing, gigantic mural by the renowned artist Wyland cruised into San Diego this morning! The mural, titled Cruising with the Whales, is painted on the bow of the positively enormous cruise ship Norwegian Bliss, which was diverted into San Diego due to Hurricane Willa off Mexico.

Robert Wyland, who is based in Laguna Beach and Hawaii, has several works of marine art on display around San Diego. I’ve photographed a few of them, which can be spotted here, here and here.

A virtual reality tour around San Diego!

Visitors to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park prepare to enjoy a short virtual reality tour around San Diego.
Visitors to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park prepare to enjoy a short virtual reality tour around San Diego.

During my random walk through Balboa Park today, I stumbled upon something that is unique and really fun! I wandered into the San Diego History Center and was immediately drawn to a sign at the entrance to one gallery that read: Experience San Diego, The Virtual Reality Adventure.

I wasn’t looking to blog anything after my walk today, but this short VR tour around San Diego is so cool, I definitely want to share it!

After having my VR headset strapped on, I suddenly found myself transported to a wide variety of places and events around San Diego. I was standing atop the California Tower in Balboa Park, turning my head to gaze in every direction . . .

Then suddenly I was floating over Oceanside in a hot air balloon . . . standing among hockey players during a San Diego Gulls game . . . riding a helicopter along our beautiful coast . . . right up close among the dolphins at SeaWorld . . . riding the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster at Belmont Park in Mission Beach . . . flying above the desert in Anza Borrego State Park . . . floating on a boat among sea lions on San Diego Bay . . . and much more–all in virtual reality!

The whole experience is made possible by 4DSCI. A ticket costs just five dollars and the virtual reality tour lasts for perhaps ten minutes. If you want to experience San Diego in a whole new way, head down to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park and check it out!

Experience San Diego, The Virtual Reality Adventure. You will see many cool sights as if you were there in person!
Experience San Diego, The Virtual Reality Adventure. You will see many cool sights as if you were there in person!
Around the corner is the VR Theater...
Around the corner is the VR Theater…
The fun kid-friendly room where the experience is enjoyed. Chairs swivel so visitors can experience the virtual reality in every direction.
The fun, kid-friendly room where the experience is enjoyed. Chairs swivel so visitors can easily turn and experience the virtual reality in every direction.
Cabrillo National Monument is one of the places that will surround you--as if you are there!
Cabrillo National Monument is one of the beautiful places that will surround you–as if you are there!

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!