Local students engineer amazing robots!

Possibly my favorite part of today’s Grand Avenue Festival in Escondido was the robotics demonstration.

Students from several local high schools were showing their sophisticated robots, which can operate both autonomously and by manual control. These amazing robots are built every year to compete in the international FIRST Robotics Competition!

I saw one particular robot shooting balls into the air. One crazy looking robot with pipes sticking out of it was built to launch t-shirts!

All of the students I met were friendly and clearly smarter than me. Several provided technical explanations, which promptly went over my head.

I saw teams from Rancho Bernardo High School (Team E-Motion), Poway High School (Team Spyder), San Pasqual High School (Team SuperNURDS), and Escondido Charter High School (Team Daedalus).

Over the years, these local teams have had great success competing in the prestigious FIRST Robotics Competition. The acronym FIRST means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

The games that challenge the competing robots are changed each year, so students must utilize creativity, logic, engineering skills and sheer ingenuity. Robotics is one fun way to implement STEM education in schools!

Check it out!

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!

Variations on a Gold Theme installed in Mingei courtyard!

A couple weeks ago I noticed a large mural was being installed on a wall of the courtyard at the newly transformed Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

Today I saw the work has been completed!

For many years, Variations on a Gold Theme, created by artists Ellamarie and Jackson Woolley in 1966, could be viewed in Escondido outside the museum’s satellite branch on Maple Street.

Originally this fantastic 12-by-36-foot enamel-on-copper mural made its home in downtown San Diego, at the First National Bank Building.

Now, as you can see in my photographs, the radiant, quite beautiful Variations on a Gold Theme inspires those who sit outside in the sunshine at the Mingei Museum’s new Lucille and Ron Neeley Courtyard!

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!

Balboa Park’s amazing, old Federal Building–like new!

Check out these amazing photographs!

For too many years, the exterior of Balboa Park’s historic Federal Building had languished neglected in a state of decay.

Not any more!

This is what I saw yesterday as I walked through the Palisades area of Balboa Park.

The Federal Building, built for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, has suddenly returned to life. What visitors to Balboa Park will now see is something more like the building’s original appearance.

This uniquely beautiful building will be the home of the Comic-Con Museum, which is scheduled to open this coming Thanksgiving weekend.

The repair and painting of the Federal Building’s exterior was made possible in large part by the Balboa Park Committee of 100.

You can see photos of the historic restoration getting underway a few weeks ago and learn a little more by clicking here.

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!

New public art coming to Balboa Park previewed!

Monumental public art is now being created for the Palisades area of Balboa Park!

Once completed, a pair of life-size grizzly bear sculptures will be placed on the roof of the 1935 California State Building, home of the San Diego Automotive Museum. In addition, a large 12′ x 20′ cold cast bronze panel is destined to greet visitors approaching the front entrance of the 1935 Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries, which today serves as the Municipal Gymnasium.

The two buildings were constructed for the 1935-1936 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.

In 2021, almost a century later, both building exteriors, with the help of local architect Robert Thiele, are undergoing a historic restoration.

Today I was privileged to have an amazing preview!

Take a look at these photographs of a model grizzly bear standing in an indoor work area at Bellagio Precast. The bear, symbol of California, was created by San Diego sculptor Michael Matson and his son Kevin.

As you can see, the huge golden grizzly is ready to be completely cast.

A rendering shows how completed bear sculptures will be positioned atop the two front corners of the San Diego Automotive Museum, overlooking Pan American Plaza, with its proposed Singing Color Fountains.

The large bronze panel to be placed above the front entrance of the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries building will soon be created out in the yard of Bellagio Precast. Some blocks of ornamentation meant to surround the panel are already finished.

The panel’s design is based on the original 1935 bas-relief designed by Arturo Eneim that was carved out of layers of fragile wallboard.

Imagery in the panel includes an electrical power plant and the gears of industrial machinery. During the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, crowds marveled at the latest technological inventions. Inside the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries was the House of Magic, which showcased a “talking kitchen” and television!

The following images show how the building and its panel will appear when all is completed.

A wood framework for working on the very large cold cast bronze panel is ready outside.

I took a photograph of finished blocks of ornamentation that will be installed beneath the panel, along the edge of the building’s marquee.

It will be interesting to follow the progress of these projects, which are made possible by the Balboa Park Committee of 100. It will be really exciting to see the final result!

Is it possible for beautiful Balboa Park to become even more amazing?

Yes!

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!

Amazing wave and surfing art in Balboa Park!

Whenever I walk through Balboa Park, I almost always spend some time at the Japanese Friendship Garden, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Today I noticed there’s new artwork on display in the Exhibit Hall. It concerns breaking ocean waves, and includes many images of surfers on surfboards. The art is so vivid and unique, it’s hard to describe.

The exhibition is titled Hokusai Waves. It showcases the work of San Diego photographer Kotaro Moromura, whose images are inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-e painter and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai.

Powerfully curling water and flying droplets, captured with a high camera shutter speed, seem to leap right out of the display cases. The images are not unlike the impressively crashing waves created by artist Katsushika Hokusai.

As you can see from a couple of my photos, the wave images that include surfers are dynamic and definitely very cool!

Anyone visiting San Diego for the next several days for the international World Surf League Championship event up at Trestles might enjoy a peek at these!

Learn more about Hokusai Waves here!

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 mural at San Diego Urban Timber!

Perhaps you’ve seen it already. The huge, amazing, recently completed mural on a building by Interstate 5, just south of H Street in Chula Vista. When you’re driving south down the freeway it’s hard to miss!

The large building has become home to San Diego Urban Timber, and the muralist is local artist Carly Ealey.

I took these photos today during a super long walk (with occasional bus and trolley rides) around San Diego’s South Bay. It’s my week off from work, so I’ll be collecting many more images all around the city in the days ahead!

What a sensational work of art.

Life, represented by brilliant images of nature, emerges from two strong females.

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!

Murals fill Escondido alley with art!

Numerous amazing murals now fill an alley in downtown Escondido. The multi-phase project is called Esco Alley Art, and I had to check it out last weekend!

Artists have painted all sorts of colorful images, which are displayed in an alley just south of Grand Avenue and east of Maple Street. Some of the murals depict Escondido attractions, such as Cruisin’ Grand and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This expanding outdoor gallery is presented by the Escondido Art Association and the Escondido Downtown Business Association.

Phase II of the project was unveiled a little over a week ago. The vision is to keep adding more art, eventually expanding the outdoor gallery into other alleys!

Learn all about Esco Alley Art on its website here. You can see each mural and read about the artists, many of whom live in Escondido.

I walked along the alley admiring the diverse artwork while snapping these 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!

A big sandcastle, new mural, and angelic doors!

I’ve recently updated three old blog posts with new photographs!

Today I headed back down to Imperial Beach. I had to check out the gigantic sandcastle that was completed by the pier for the 2021 Sun and Sea Festival. See lots of incredible new photos in an update here!

I also swung by City Heights, to check out the long, amazing mural that’s slowly coming to life in Teralta Park. Click here to see those new photos!

Finally, a few weeks ago I took a walk through Sherman Heights, and directed my feet toward Our Lady of Angels. I wanted better, closer photographs of the church’s fantastic doors. See those here!

I’ve got many more colorful blog posts coming in the near future!

Stay tuned for tons of art in Escondido, interesting activity in Old Town, and more cool sights in North Park, Chula Vista, City Heights and downtown! Not to mention potential surprises!

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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A gigantic sandcastle in Imperial Beach!

An absolutely gigantic sandcastle is now being built at the foot of the Imperial Beach Pier!

The huge two-stories high sand sculpture, which is being referred to as the Monument Castle, is the centerpiece of this year’s week-long Sun and Sea Festival. Imperial Beach has become Sandcastle City!

The I.B. Posse, a team of local sand artists, began to build the castle a couple days ago. The sand carving will continue through this week.

I intend to swing by again next weekend to check out the finished sandcastle! I’ll post those pics in an update here!

UPDATE!

I swung by the following weekend after the huge sandcastle was completed. I see the I.B. Posse was assisted by the Sand Squirrels, Dan Belcher, Bruce Phillips and Sculpting San Diego.

Wow! Check it out!

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!

Ramona’s amazing H.E.A.R.T. murals on Main Street!

Please enjoy these photos of many H.E.A.R.T. murals that can be found in Ramona along the length of Main Street. I happened to see these particular murals during my most recent walk through town.

The Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project promotes community pride, and entices those driving through this East County town, often on the way to Julian or Anza Borrego, to stop and explore.

According to the Ramona Murals website, the letters in the acronym H.E.A.R.T. stand for Historic and Hiking; Equine; Arts, Antiques and Agriculture; Rural vistas and drives; and Tasting of fine wines. Or perhaps it simply means heart. I prefer the latter.

Photos that I already shared of one multi-panel mural concerning the historical Verlaque Pioneer Store can be found by clicking here.

There are additional murals that I didn’t see, particularly those near the west end of Main Street. You can view those and find a map of all the murals here.

Hiking Mt. Woodson, 2018, artist Rik Erickson.
Ramona Reflections, 2020, artist Gretchen Weidner.
Bandy Blacksmith, 2019, artist Beata Wojcik.
Music Mural, 2014, artist Jason Luper.
Casey Tibbs, 2012, artists John and Jeanne Whalen. Casey Duane Tibbs was a Ramona resident, rodeo performer, stunt man and actor. In 1979 he was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
Country Lifestyles, 2017, artist Robert K. Teague.
Lucky Spirit–Charles Lindbergh, 2016, artists John and Jeanne Whalen. Seems familiar? This mural was originally on the commuter building at Lindbergh Field–now called San Diego International Airport.
Old Firehouse, 2017, artist Rik Erickson.
Fire Engine #2 served Ramona as a front-line truck for brush and structure fires…It served for 39 years…
Pioneer Cabin, 2019, artist Rik Erickson.
Grand Kenilworth Inn, 2020, artist Beata Wojcik.
The old Kenilworth Inn opened in Ramona (then called Nuevo) at this location in 1887 as the Ramona Hotel.
Tending the Vineyard, 2017, artist Miguel Angel Godoy.
July 4th 1914 Main Street, 2016, artist Anna Parker.
Historic Commerce, 2014, artists Bob Teague and Mark Martensen.
Ramona Mural, 2020, artists Loretta Alfonsi, Shirley Jones, Sunny Peterson.
Ramona Body & Fender Shop, 2020, artist Daniel Hernandez.

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!