Balboa Park’s ornamental pear trees in bloom!

It’s late January. Balboa Park’s ornamental pear trees are in full bloom!

Like a dream, or an Impressionist painting, clouds of white flowers now fill El Prado. The ornamental pears in both Plaza de Panama and Plaza de Balboa are putting on their winter show!

Delicate blossoms fluttering down from the trees appeared to me like gently falling snowflakes…

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Andy Warhol played tennis in San Diego?

Did famous artist Andy Warhol play tennis? Decades ago, did he visit San Diego’s Morley Field Sports Complex?

Check out these colorfully painted lockers at the Balboa Tennis Club!

You mean to say there’s no historical record of Warhol standing here with paintbrush in hand?

Well. at the very least, this fun art was inspired by him!

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 secret, magic bench in Balboa Park!

There’s a secret bench in Balboa Park that works magic. Very few visitors to the park ever see it.

Sit on this bench, look down, and suddenly before your feet colorful stars, planets and creatures appear!

This magic bench is in an out-of-the-way corner of Balboa Park, just north of Spanish Village Art Center, at the east edge of the small parking lot. In the above photo you can see the green grass of the nearby Balboa Park Miniature Railroad.

Should you sit on this magic bench, what might you see?

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

NASA Student Launch team in Balboa Park!

Participants in the NASA Student Launch rocket project were greeting visitors to Balboa Park today!

The NASA Student Launch Initiative is a competitive, experimental challenge where student teams design, build and launch rockets, then analyze the results.

The challenge for 2023 is to design a rocket that will reach 5000 feet. The rocket must autonomously receive NASA’s radio frequency transmissions, commanding a maneuverable camera.

The students also get to meet NASA engineers to present their findings!

Team Hydra, from MATHmania Robotics, with members from around Southern California, were in Balboa Park demonstrating how the rockets they’ve designed work. Why? Participants in NASA Student Launch are also tasked with STEM education.

Kids passing by were instantly drawn to the big rockets and were eager to learn all about them!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park!

Tomorrow is Lunar New Year! It will be the Year of the Rabbit. (Which signifies good luck!)

This weekend the 2023 Chinese New Year Festival is being held in Balboa Park at the International Cottages. The event is presented by the House of China.

The festival attracted an absolutely gigantic crowd today. We heard from the stage that attendance this year set a record. The lawn at the International Cottages was jammed with humanity.

There were vendors, Chinese food, and a calligraphy demonstration inside the cottage of the House of China. Lots of kids became super excited after two o’clock when speeches ended and the traditional Lion Dance began!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Concert in Balboa Park helps Save Starlight!

A cool pop-up concert was held today in Balboa Park. Live rock and roll music, played inside the entrance to the historic Starlight Bowl, attracted people like a magnet. The purpose of the concert was to help Save Starlight!

What is Save Starlight?

They’re the folks who’ve been working tirelessly for years to reactivate San Diego’s beloved old Starlight Bowl. Perhaps you have memories of performances in the outdoor amphitheater when it was active many years ago.

I’ve learned Save Starlight just needs a long-term lease from the city to get events at the venue started! They need you to raise your voice in support!

Help them by clicking here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Passion, stories, and love of life in art.

True art flows from an artist’s passion to create.

That passion is now being celebrated at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The exhibition is called This is Our Story.

The artists in this exhibition were not professionally trained. Their works used to be called folk art. Today’s experts call it vernacular art. It is art by ordinary people.

The art of This is Our Story has personality. It is unashamed, happy, in no way conceited. It comes from personal experience, imagination, and hands that love to be moving. It is art that loves to be alive.

You won’t find a Rembrandt in this exhibition. But you will enjoy glimpses of many unique stories.

This is Our Story concludes on February 26, 2023.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

New trees planted at Bennington Memorial Oak Grove!

Twenty five new oak trees were planted today in a very special place in Balboa Park!

Forever Balboa Park, trained Tree Stewards and dozens of volunteers gathered in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove to revitalize a historically important area of the park that’s a bit off the beaten path.

Perhaps you’ve driven down 26th Street from Golden Hill toward Naval Medical Center San Diego and seen many old oak trees off to your left. Those live oaks were planted in 1905 to memorialize 66 sailors who died in San Diego Bay when the boiler of the USS Bennington exploded.

As these coast live oaks have aged, some have died or approached the end of their life. Planting small new oak trees infuses new life and meaning into this truly special urban forest.

Walking along, camera in hand, I got “volunteered” to help plant three of the twenty five trees! Cool thing is, when I walk this way again, I’ll know that I and others have tangibly touched the future with these living trees. They will be growing more beautiful long after I’m gone.

If you’d like to become a volunteer Garden Steward or Tree Steward in beautiful Balboa Park, click here!

Before the planting of new trees, Kathleen Winchester tells everyone the history of the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

Some of the spots where new coast live oaks will be planted.

Everyone learned the proper way to plant a tree so that it thrives.

Here’s a tree my group planted.

Using the shovel to make sure the tree is planted at the correct depth.

The planting of these 25 live oak trees in Balboa Park was the final phase of the 26th Street Trail park improvement project.

Last year members of the California Conservation Corps greatly improved the trail that leads up 26th Street to Golden Hill Park. The path, badly eroded in many places, was replaced with decomposed granite, and three new footbridges were built!

I walked up the trail to take some photos…

Lastly, thanks again to the Boy Scouts and sailors of the USS Theodore Roosevelt who made their mark improving and beautifying the oak grove five years ago. If you’d like to see what they did, click here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Kimonos reimagined by Mesa College students!

Human creativity is limitless. That was apparent today when I stepped into the Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

An exhibition in the pavilion is titled The Kimono Reimagined. Reimagined, indeed! The extent to which the traditional Japanese kimono can be transformed by fashion students into something completely new might surprise you!

Students from the San Diego Mesa College Fashion Program teamed up with the Visions Museum of Textile Arts in Liberty Station to create this brilliant clothing. They used upcycled kimonos and accessory garments that had been donated to Mesa College.

I don’t claim to know much about fashion, but my eyes beheld all this rampant creativity with wonder!

You can admire these inspired works of art at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park through February 24, 2023.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Winter beauty, a new waterfall and future weddings!

The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park is always beautiful. Even between winter showers.

As I walked down into the Lower Garden today, I noticed great progress has been made on JFG’s big new waterfall.

I spied other construction, too! A special space is now being built where outdoor weddings can be held among all the natural beauty.

Expert, artistic pruning in the Upper Garden.

Naked branches during winter. Grays among greens.

Today is JFG’s “free entry for residents” third Tuesday. Several folks were setting up on the patio, including the garden’s long-time beekeeper! She showed me this wood home constructed for native bees.

Heading into the Lower Garden a few minutes after the Japanese Friendship Garden opened.

Looking across the canyon, I could see how the big new waterfall appears just about finished.

Walking down one of the garden’s special paths.

I was surprised to see a new area under construction. A worker told me this little plaza will be for outdoor weddings.

This path leading up to the new waterfall is still closed.

A structure near the new waterfall. I was told special events will be held up there.

I can’t wait for the new waterfall to be activated!

These stairs will allow visitors to climb toward the top of the waterfall.

Beauty is abundant down in the Lower Garden.

A rain chain at one corner of the Inamori Pavilion is dripping! After taking this photo, I hurriedly put my camera under my jacket.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!