Walking down a dark, spooky Haunted Trail!

Today I felt brave enough to walk through a very dark, very spooky corner of Balboa Park.

Night had fallen, the crooked branches of black trees surrounded me, and my eyes were on a swivel as I approached The Haunted Trail!

Did I manage to photograph anything that was remotely scary?

You be the judge!

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!

North American Tree Climbing Championship!

Today I watched part of the 2019 North American Tree Climbing Championship in Balboa Park!

Professional arborists–members of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)–came together this weekend from all around North America for this big event. Competitors swung about on ropes like nimble spiders in a bid to be crowned tree climbing champion!

I arrived just in time to watch the final climb, which took place in the intersecting branches of two tall eucalyptus trees on Balboa Park’s West Mesa.

The object, I learned, is for arborists to score the most points. Competitors are given a time limit to climb from red flag to red flag and perform various tasks. Points can be earned for things like the set up of the climbing line and entry into the tree, rope management, posture and balance, descent and landing. Judges could also reward bonus points for skill, style, presentation, innovative techniques and safe work practices.

Now when I walk about San Diego and see workers climbing in trees and cutting away branches, I’ll pause a bit longer to watch. I’ll have a greater appreciation of the skill and athleticism that is required!

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 very colorful walk through Balboa Park!

Artist paints a face at the Spanish Village Art Center.
Artist paints a face at the Spanish Village Art Center.

This afternoon I took a long walk through Balboa Park.

Look at all the colorful things I saw!

Painting the colored tile patio of Spanish Village.
Painting the colored tile patio of Spanish Village.
A squirrel in a colorful place!
A squirrel in a colorful place!
Even the planters in Spanish Village are bright with color!
Even the planters in Spanish Village are bright with color!
Brilliant colors of the Earth inside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Societies' museum.
Brilliant colors from inside the Earth at the San Diego Mineral and Gem Societies’ museum.
Many colors await visitors to the Botanical Building.
Many colors await visitors inside the Botanical Building.
Any walk through Balboa Park is wonderful.
Any walk through Balboa Park is wonderful.
Ninja Nattan smiles after demonstrating her awesome ninja skills.
Ninja Nattan smiles after demonstrating her awesome ninja skills.

Check out Ninja Nattan’s colorful Twitter feed here! She’s a super nice ninja comedian!

A beautiful work of art by Yoichi Nakama now on display at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A beautiful work of colorful art by Yoichi Nakama, now on display at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A great She-Ra cosplay on El Prado!
A great She-Ra cosplay on El Prado!
Storytelling Across Media is coming up at the Comic-Con Museum. Sign up for the panels before they are full!
SAM: Storytelling Across Media is coming up at the Comic-Con Museum. Sign up for the panels before they are full!
Juggling on a unicycle on a slackline! Wow!
Juggling on a unicycle on a slackline! Wow!
Another very colorful walk through Balboa Park!
A small moment from another very colorful walk through Balboa Park!

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!

The dance of Petanque in Balboa Park.

Today, as I walked through the Morley Field section of Balboa Park, I was excited to see a good crowd competing at the Petanque Courts, otherwise known as the Petanquedrome!

Turns out today was the San Diego Club de Petanque’s big San Diego Select Doubles Open Tournament!

I paused to watch the spectacle.

Hands lifted and released, spheres spun and collided. Calculating players orbited. I thought I was watching a celestial dance.

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!

Signs of autumn’s arrival in Balboa Park.

It's late September. Flower petals in the Alcazar Garden are dropping off.
It’s late September. Many petals in the Alcazar Garden have dried up and dropped off.

Autumn arrived about a week ago. You can see signs of it throughout Balboa Park.

As I walked around the park today, I aimed my camera here and there taking fun seasonal photographs.

Prado Perk is now serving
Prado Perk is now serving “Pumkin” Maple Latte.
I stepped inside the Municipal Gymnasium and saw autumn decorations on their bulletin board.
I stepped inside the Municipal Gymnasium and saw autumn decorations on their bulletin board.
And I found these creepy Halloween pumpkins on their Gatorade vending machine!
And I found these creepy Halloween pumpkins on their Gatorade vending machine!
Many leaves have fallen and turned brown at the edge of Palm Canyon.
Many leaves have fallen and turned brown at the edge of Palm Canyon.
A bright yellow leaf has landed upon the bridge over Palm Canyon.
A bright yellow leaf has landed upon the bridge over Palm Canyon.
Fall means it's time for the big Japanese Art Sale!
Fall means it’s time for the big Japanese Art Sale!
Among other beautiful works of art, I found a Japanese brush painting of a pumpkin!
Among other beautiful works of art, I found a Japanese brush painting of a pumpkin!
While a cute bunny might symbolize spring, Bunnyfest in Balboa Park is held during the autumn. I believe this is one of the participants.
While a cute bunny might symbolize spring, BunnyFest in Balboa Park is held during the autumn. I believe this is one of the participants.
Summer is over and crowds have thinned, but it's still pretty warm out in the sun at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Summer is over and crowds have thinned, but it’s still pretty warm out in the sun at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Mr. Cat and The King of Autumn is showing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre. That's the goofiest looking chicken I ever saw.
Mr. Cat and The King of Autumn is now playing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre. That’s the wackiest looking chicken I ever saw.
A late bloom at the International Cottages.
A late bloom at the International Cottages.
A fancy Harvest Dinner Party is planned at the House of Hungary.
A fancy Harvest Dinner Party is planned at the House of Hungary.
I don't know whether this scarecrow on a nearby wall is invited...
I don’t know whether this scarecrow on a nearby wall is invited…

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? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

Art inside the Balboa Park Activity Center.

The Balboa Park Activity Center is a popular destination for San Diego residents who enjoy indoor sports. During a walk last weekend I poked my nose inside to see if anything interesting was going on. What I discovered was a whole lot of art!

A variety of beautiful artwork can be observed both inside and outside the Activity Center. Four years ago I posted photographs of the outdoor installation titled The Circle and the Self: A Picture Story, which is located in the south plaza. To see those photos, click here.

The photos I’m posting today are of the artwork inside the building.

Detailed information from the artist is displayed near the Activity Center’s front door:

Joyce Cutler-Shaw

In 1996, I was invited to be part of the design team for the Balboa Park Activity Center with architects Rob Wellington Quigley, Richard Blackman, landscape architect Martin Poirier and artist Raul Guerrero. It was a most rewarding collaboration. In April 1999, I completed five installations of my work, which are integral to the building. There are twenty-five drawings in terrazzo squares (@ 16″ x 16″), titled The Circle and the Self: A Picture Story in the south plaza (1); leaf “paintings” with shadows etched into the double glass panes of the sliding front doors (2); two terrazzo floor “paintings” in the entrance lobby at the reception desk and window wall (3′ x 20′ and 5′ x 11′) of, respectively, 26 colors and 68 color/chip combinations (3); and seventy-two metal plates at the corner connections of the gymnasium – these are another translation, by flame-cut drawing in steel, of The Circle and the Self: A Picture Story (4).

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!

The Art of Shag at the Comic-Con Museum!

Today I enjoyed a really great exhibition at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum. The popular artist Josh Agle, who goes by the name Shag, has a big gallery of super cool artwork on display free to the public through this weekend!

I must admit I was unfamiliar with the name Shag, but once I saw the artwork I recognized his distinctive style. And now I’m a big fan! His snappy colorful images have a 1960’s commercial art feel, and many of the pieces celebrate popular entertainment and scenes from that era. His sly, often subversive “Mid-Century Modern aesthetic” is all in good fun.

Shag’s art often depicts Hollywood stars raising glasses at decadent cocktail parties. Many of his images include exotic Tikis. He creates vivid, snazzy scenes that invoke a sense of what is referred to as retro decadence.

Some of his pieces pay tribute to classic cartoons and Disney. As you can see in my photos, he also re-imagines popular movies like Planet of the Apes, Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy, comic books like Spider-Man, and television shows like the Twilight Zone and Batman.

If you’d like to see some really cool art, definitely head over to Balboa Park tomorrow and check out the Art of Shag! The free exhibition will be open 10 am to 4 pm in the Federal Building, which used to house the Hall of Champions, and which is destined to become the Comic-Con Museum in 2021.

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!