Balboa Park performer on So You Think You Can Dance!

Did you know a long-time street performer in Balboa Park has appeared on the popular television show So You Think You Can Dance?

If you’ve visited San Diego’s Balboa Park in the past few years, it’s quite likely you’ve seen Kareem “Anointed” Ali and his talented friends wowing huge crowds with their athletic dance routines, acrobatic leaps, physical contortions and fun bits of humor. All concluded with an inspirational message.

Well, a number of years ago, while speaking to Anointed Ali, I learned he’d appeared as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance. I then found a YouTube video of his routine here.

The judges were absolutely amazed. You will be too!

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!

Many hands raised at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon!

Hundreds of hands rose skyward in triumph at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon this morning!

At the downtown finish line, a huge crowd of spectators and supporters encouraged the runners as they approached the end of their successful race!

Arms waved, hands shot up victoriously, fists were raised, feet danced. Friends and family shouted, took photos, celebrated, hugged.

Watching the spectacle, one felt a rush of joy and elation. Before your very eyes, you could see limitless human possibility.

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 shaper of surfboards and lives in Oceanside.

An inspirational exhibit at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside remembers a surfing legend.

Donald Takayama: Shaping Boards and Lives highlights the accomplishments of a champion surfer and one of the world’s most recognized surfboard shapers.

Looking at the extensive exhibit last weekend, I learned how Donald Takayama at the age of twelve moved from Hawaii to Southern California, having been invited to work at a Venice Beach surf shop, shaping boards. He was paid to wear a company logo on his shirt while surfing. Wikipedia states he may have been the world’s first professional surfer.

Takayama would move to Encinitas and then Oceanside, and continue to gain international fame shaping boards. He also would win many surfing competitions, including three consecutive Masters titles in the US Surfing Championships.

More impressively, he would win the hearts of many in the community. He was beloved by friends and family and surfers all over; he mentored future champions; and he even taught his friend, San Diego Chargers legend Junior Seau–also an Oceanside resident–how to surf.

Surfer Magazine named Donald Takayama one of 25 surfers who changed the sport. He has been inducted into the International Surfboard Builder Hall of Fame.

Visitors to the California Surf Museum will observe how one person changed the world around him in so many positive ways. They will see the enduring achievements of a great man.

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!

House of Boxing mural in Paradise Hills.

Last year, an incredible mural debuted outside the House of Boxing Training Center in Paradise Hills. Ground Floor Murals painted legendary boxers Canelo Álvarez and Manny Pacquiao on the building’s north wall, by a small parking lot.

I took these photos a couple weekends ago when I walked through the neighborhood.

Parked cars and bright sun shining down directly above the roofline made photography difficult, so I captured the spray painted artwork up close. I’ve added contrast with my graphics editor.

Check it out!

Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez art by Ground Floor Murals at the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills, San Diego.
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao art by Ground Floor Murals at the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills, San Diego.

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!

Cool photo memories from February 2017.

It’s a brand new month! Time to look back five years!

In February 2017, Cool San Diego Sights featured a variety of interesting photographs. Looking back, I see that my first old (now retired) PowerShot camera was particularly busy at several sports related events.

There was the 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic, the big Celebrate San Diego event at Petco Park that promoted many of our city’s sports teams, and the Celebration of Champions at the Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista.

I’ve assembled the following blog posts from February 2017. Some of my photography wasn’t the greatest years ago, but you still might enjoy traveling back in time!

To enjoy photographs from five years ago, click the following links…

Photos of 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic!

Volunteers paint lampposts in downtown San Diego!

Fans celebrate local sports teams in San Diego!

Fun, artistic birdhouses restored at Tweet Street!

Fun fungus fair! A mushroom show in Balboa Park!

Celebration of Champions at Elite Athlete Training Center!

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!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Trevor Time at Hansen Surfboards in Encinitas!

Have you seen the cool Trevor Hoffman mural painted on the rear wall of Hansen Surfboards in Encinitas?

I finally did!

Ground Floor Murals painted this San Diego Padres mural last November.

So far, I’ve photographed their Tony Gwynn, Fernando Tatis, Jr., Manny Machado and Yu Darvish murals. Click the links to see the photos and learn more about these talented artists. Their awesome Padres baseball player murals are located all around San Diego!

For many years, Trevor Hoffman held the all-time pitching saves record in Major League Baseball. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.

Go Pads!

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 Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in downtown!

The 2021 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon is taking place today!

This morning I walked through downtown San Diego to check out the action as a seemingly endless stream of marathon runners approached the finish line.

Many lined the sidewalks cheering on family, friends and complete strangers. Signs filled with encouraging words could be seen everywhere. Bands played music at stations along the race course.

I looked at the faces of the runners and saw dedication, grit, determination. I saw many arms fly upward in triumph when the finish line was only a few strides away.

Enjoy these photos, which show what it’s like to run in and watch the always extremely popular Rock ‘n Roll Marathon!

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!

UEFA Euro 2020 champions celebrated in Little Italy.

The Italy national football team, winner of this summer’s UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, is being celebrated on the streets of Little Italy. Banners have been hung from lamp posts in the downtown San Diego neighborhood, depicting players on the victorious soccer team.

I walked through Little Italy this morning and took photographs of several banners along India Street.

In this world whose history includes much grief and violence, perhaps a friendly sporting competition that brings people from many different nations together is a good thing.

Bravi Azzurri. Well done, Italy!

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!

Completing the new Yu Darvish mural!

This morning I swung through Kearny Mesa again to see how the new Yu Darvish mural in the Convoy District is progressing.

I was excited to find it nearly completed, and I met the muralists, too!

Signe Ditona and Paul Jimenez, the artists of Ground Floor Murals, have painted several awesome Padres baseball murals around San Diego already. And both are super nice!

Check out these photos of their latest Padres mural featuring star pitcher Yu Darvish. It’s on Convoy Street, just south of Engineer Road.

(If you’d like to see an early stage of the mural, you can revisit my blog post from several days ago 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!

Painting a Yu Darvish mural in Kearny Mesa!

A new mural of San Diego Padres’ pitcher Yu Darvish is being painted this week in Kearny Mesa!

After work I headed to the wall just south of Convoy Street and Engineer Road to see what progress has been made.

Paul Jimenez and Signe Ditona of Ground Floor Murals weren’t present at the time, but it was cool to see how they planned the mural’s basic shape using fun little shapes, smileys, squiggles and whatnot. Only Yu’s head is materializing so far!

I’ll try to swing by again in the next few days, and if I do I’ll update this post with more photographs!

UPDATE!

I checked out the mural several day later and found it nearly finished. I posted those cool photographs 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!