Medieval knights mock fight in Balboa Park!

Look what I watched today!

Every Sunday afternoon, on a large area of grass in Balboa Park’s Morley Field Sports Complex, medieval knights come together and engage in mock combat! These brave knights hail from the Realm of Andor. They are a part of the international Belegarth Medieval Combat Society.

Wielding foam weapons like swords, maces and battle axes, these guys get a super fun athletic workout. I was told by a friendly member of the Realm of Andor that the sport is like a mixture of fencing and rugby, with fairly simple rules. When a combatant receives a strike to a critical area, they fall down as if dead. A hit on a limb results in a loss of its use. Two limbs gone, you’re a goner. The last one standing wins!

I watched as the combatants veered all over the place, swinging a variety of formidable ancient weapons. Two or three knights would gang up on another; others would be struck by a sneaky knight from behind. Some of the members, in their cool costumes and bearing shields, appeared to be rampaging extras in the filming of Lord of the Rings. Many make their own weapons. It’s all about fantasy and high energy fun!

If you’d like to learn more, or perhaps join, check out their website!

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!

Comic-Con banners in Balboa Park’s Federal Building!

Comic-Con banners have been hung inside the Federal Building in Balboa Park, former home to the Hall of Champions, and future home to the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture!
Comic-Con banners have been hung inside the Federal Building in Balboa Park, former home to the Hall of Champions, and future home to the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture!

Look what I spied today!

Just before noon I entered the Federal Building in Balboa Park–former home to the Hall of Champions, and future home of the museum-like Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture. My stomach was grumbling, demanding a cheeseburger from the Home Plate Cafe, where I often eat lunch on Sundays. (While most of the Federal Building is now vacant, the cafe remains open just inside the historic building’s entrance.)

Being tall, I peered over a partition that runs along the perimeter of the old Hall of Champions lobby, and look what I saw!

Several Comic-Con banners have recently been hung inside the building!

According to what I’ve read, the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture will open in 2019, but funds still need to be raised. It’s my understanding that sales of the exclusive Comic-Con 2018 Mondo print will be part of the fundraising effort.

I don’t know if an event of some kind will be held in the Federal Building during 2018 Comic-Con. Whatever the reason for the recent appearance of Comic-Con banners–it’s definitely a cool sight that got me excited!

If you’d like to see what the Hall of Champions looked like just before it closed, click 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!

Simple sunshine and happiness in Balboa Park.

What a crazy week. I was so busy tracking down Comic-Con trolley wraps, I didn’t have time to sort through photographs I took in Balboa Park last Sunday.

When I finally reviewed the photos this morning, I noticed they all had a wonderful something in common: simple sunshine and happiness.

Balboa Park never grows old.

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!

Steampunk vehicles exhibited in Balboa Park!

One of many cool vehicles you'll see at the San Diego Automotive Museum during their show Steampunk: The Exhibit.
One of many cool vehicles you’ll see at the San Diego Automotive Museum during their show Steampunk: The Exhibit.

There’s an amazing show that just opened yesterday at the San Diego Automotive Museum. It’s called Steampunk: The Exhibit. About half of the museum’s large floor is now occupied by mind-blowing steampunk vehicles and fantastic works of art!

Before I show you some cool photographs, let me introduce you to a friendly artist who I happened to meet as I walked about the museum. His name is Jeff Steorts. He creates all sort of Medieval-like artwork using wood, metal and a variety of found objects. As a young man, he attempted to create a suit of armor out of aluminum. Today he writes poetry and produces sculptural objects that take one back to the Age of Chivalry. He showed me his many gleaming works that are on display. Most of his pieces are symbolic. Some have keys that unlock a deeper meaning. Each piece contains a bit of himself.

Jeff has had his fantastic creations displayed in many places–even at San Diego International Airport! Check out his Facebook page here!

Now on to the exhibition! Once you see these photos, I think you’ll want to head over to the San Diego Automotive Museum in beautiful Balboa Park. Do so before September 30th when Steampunk: The Exhibit comes to an end!

The museum floor is filled with every sort of cool steampunk and unusual, retro-looking vehicle you might imagine!
The museum floor is filled with every sort of cool steampunk and unusual, retro-looking vehicle you might imagine!
The Cyclops, a steampunk trike with a 3-cylinder Triumph Daytona engine, by artists Baron Margo and Jaime Martinez.
The Cyclops, a steampunk trike with a 3-cylinder Triumph Daytona engine, by artists Baron Margo and Jaime Martinez.
Time Machine, by artist Richard P. Ingalls. This was commissioned in 2014 by the Salk Institute of Biological Studies for its annual staff service awards program!
Time Machine, by artist Richard P. Ingalls. This was commissioned in 2014 by the Salk Institute of Biological Studies for its annual staff service awards program!
Assemblage artist Dan Jones created this cool little robot sculpture. He exhibits his work at San Diego Comic-Con, as well as many galleries, steampunk and sci-fi conventions.
Assemblage artist Dan Jones created this cool little robot sculpture. He exhibits his work at San Diego Comic-Con, as well as many galleries, steampunk and sci-fi conventions.
Another cool work of art by Dan Jones.
Another cool work of art by Dan Jones.
Artist Ken Whitney created these body-like Hardware Sculptures out of metal washers, gears and other stuff.
Artist Ken Whitney created these body-like Hardware Sculptures out of metal washers, gears and other similar material.
Jeff Steorts poses for a photo. Some of his created objects are clocks or resemble them. He explores many themes including Time and Space.
Jeff Steorts poses for a photo. Some of his symbolic objects are clocks or resemble them. He explores many themes, including Time and Space.
Jeff shows me some of his fantastic art.
Jeff shows me some of his fantastic art.
Many of Jeff's creations resemble lockets, or golden hearts with keys. Others resemble shining religious relics.
Many of Jeff’s creations resemble lockets, or golden hearts with keys. Others resemble shining boxes or religious relics.
One of many super cool vehicles you'll see when you visit the San Diego Automotive Museum during Steampunk: The Exhibit.
One of the many super cool vehicles you’ll see when you visit the San Diego Automotive Museum during Steampunk: The Exhibit.
I apologize for failing to note what this is. But it's definitely awesome!
I failed to note what this is exactly. But it’s definitely awesome!
Loki, a custom 1981 Harley Davidson Ironhead Sportster, by metal artisan Marko Djoric.
Loki, a custom 1981 Harley Davidson Ironhead Sportster, by metal artisan Marko Djoric.
1929 Dodge Brothers Copper Rat, by Jeff Jones. The car has been on the cover of Ol' Skool Rods.
1929 Dodge Brothers Copper Rat, by Jeff Jones. This amazing car has been on the cover of Ol’ Skool Rods.
The car's interior is all hand-built copper and aluminum. 10,000 rivets were hammered into place.
The car’s interior is all hand-built copper and aluminum. 10,000 rivets were hammered into place!
The Rocket Roadster, a driveway build by Baron Margo.
The Rocket Roadster, a driveway build by Baron Margo.
The Metamorphosis, a Moderne Nautilus co-created by Baron Margo and Jaime Martinez. A Jules Verne inspired cross between an airplane and submarine!
The Metamorphosis, a Moderne Nautilus co-created by Baron Margo and Jaime Martinez. A Jules Verne inspired cross between an airplane and submarine!

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!

That moment you see inexplicable magic.

There are moments when this world seems suddenly, inexplicably transformed.

New light.

New perception.

New understanding.

A short story came to me yesterday while I sat in Balboa Park across from a splashing fountain. My eyes were resting on the broad scene.

So many people, engaged in every sort of activity. So much humanity. And at the center of it all, that everlasting fountain.

Shimmering and shining like magic.

I took out my pen and wrote down a few inspired words.

They might form a short story, or they might form a poem–I’ll let you decide. Read it here.

A favorite garden, so close to perfection.

Today I enjoyed one of my favorite places. I took a slow walk through the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

Beauty is cultivated and revered in this very special garden.

It’s almost like heaven–so close to perfection.

After strolling along the clear stream in the Lower Garden, I headed up out of the canyon and paused for a few moments in the Exhibit Hall. I sat on a bench, near a window overlooking the Dry Stone Garden. Several participants in an afternoon Japanese Tea Ceremony were quietly practicing.

Refinement and elegance.

Deeper meaning.

A joy for life.

So close to perfection.

This afternoon I also enjoyed a visit to Balboa Park’s lush Botanical Building. When I got home, I used my computer to convert photographs of plants and flowers into colorful oil paintings!

You’ll find those images on my other website Beautiful Balboa Park. To see those unique “oil paintings” you can click here!

Images from a Memorial Day weekend.

Late light reflects from the Marriott Marquis onto San Diego Bay near Seaport Village.
Late light reflects from the Marriott Marquis onto San Diego Bay near Seaport Village.

So far this Memorial Day weekend I’ve enjoyed short walks through several favorite places. I’ve done a lot of sitting, reading, writing, eating ice cream, enjoying sunshine. And I’ve taken photos, of course. I always carry my little camera in hand. So why not?

Here are some random images. The first eight photos are from Friday evening along the Embarcadero. They are followed by photos from Saturday and Sunday.

Another beautiful day at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Another beautiful day at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Kites fly above Donal Hord's sculpture Morning.
Evening kites fly in the remaining daylight above Donal Hord’s sculpture Morning.
Sunset clouds reflected in the still water of Marriott Marina.
Sunset clouds reflected in the still water of Marriott Marina.
Many downtown buildings reflect light magically.
Many downtown buildings reflect light magically.
A fine Friday walk by the water to begin the long Memorial Day weekend.
A fine late Friday walk by the water to begin the long Memorial Day weekend.
A bright moon above tinted clouds.
A bright moon above tinted clouds.
Leonardo Nierman's sculpture Flame of Friendship catches the sun's last rays as the lights come on at the San Diego Convention Center.
Leonardo Nierman’s sculpture Flame of Friendship catches the sun’s last rays as the lights come on at the San Diego Convention Center.
Artist Pete Tillack creates stunning new artwork in front of Michael J Wolf Fine Arts in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Artist Pete Tillack creates stunning new artwork in front of Michael J Wolf Fine Arts in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Three sailboats pass the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) aircraft carrier docked at Naval Air Station North Island.
Three sailboats pass the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) aircraft carrier docked at Naval Air Station North Island.
A bunch of happy people on the ferry to Coronado waved at me from beneath the ship's American flag.
A bunch of happy people on the ferry to Coronado wave at me from beneath the ship’s American flag.
Looks like some folks enjoyed a tour of the USS Midway Museum during the Memorial Day weekend.
Looks like a family enjoyed a tour of the USS Midway Museum during the Memorial Day weekend.
Many people were out on Sunday enjoying the San Diego sunshine.
Many people were out on enjoying the San Diego sunshine.
A restored PCC streetcar of the San Diego Trolley's Silver Line passes near Kansas City Barbeque. A huge inflatable Uncle Sam is out for the Memorial Day weekend.
A restored PCC streetcar of the San Diego Trolley’s Silver Line passes near Kansas City Barbeque. A huge inflatable Uncle Sam is out for the Memorial Day weekend.
In Balboa Park, at the International Cottages, a big food festival was underway on Sunday. Yummy smells filled the air.
In Balboa Park, at the International Cottages, a big food festival was underway on Sunday. Yummy smells filled the air.
Colorful dancers grace the outdoor stage at the International Cottages.
Colorful dancers grace the outdoor stage at the International Cottages.
San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez greets people up on the stage at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion after the Sunday concert.
San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez greets people up on the stage at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion after the Sunday concert.
A dapper Marine and his new bride head for a stretch limousine in Balboa Park.
Marine and a new bride head for their stretch limousine in Balboa Park.
Street entertainment delights a crowd in Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama.
Street entertainment delights a crowd in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama.
The WorldBeat Cultural Center had lots of colorful flowers out on the sidewalk beside Park Boulevard.
The WorldBeat Cultural Center had lots of colorful flowers out on the sidewalk beside Park Boulevard.
Many flags fly proudly on the Memorial Day weekend near the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center. Including the POW/MIA flag. You Are Not Forgotten.
Many flags fly proudly on the Memorial Day weekend near the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center. Including the POW/MIA flag. You Are Not Forgotten.

Today I published two new stories on my website Short Stories by Richard. They’re both very quick reads.

Handling a Harpoon and White Marble touch upon some of life’s deepest mysteries.

Everyone out there have a great Memorial Day!

Richard