New beauty inside historic Santa Fe Depot.

I believe that efforts to revive the life and beauty of historically important buildings should be celebrated. So today let me celebrate a project underway inside San Diego’s historic 1915 Santa Fe Depot.

Earlier this week, as I was waiting for Jimmy at the Santa Fe Depot concession stand to microwave a burrito, I noticed some yellow tape. The enormous Waiting Room’s wooden benches were being sanded down and newly varnished!

When I walked through the depot this morning, the work had progressed. More of the benches were richly shining! Jimmy had informed me it took about one day to complete each bench.

The interior of an amazing space in downtown San Diego is becoming even more beautiful.

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!

Japanese spiritual dolls exhibit in Balboa Park.

I’d never heard of the expression “spiritual dolls” until I visited Balboa Park last weekend.

KOKORO NO KATACHI | Image of the Heart is an exhibition of spiritual dolls at the Japanese Friendship Garden. It features the work of Kimiko Koyanagi and Michiko Stone, artists who combine traditional Japanese doll-making with contemporary art.

The two sisters are third-generation ningyo doll-makers, descendants of the Japanese Doll-Making Muraoka Family of Tokyo. Their work has been exhibited internationally.

The dolls on display are beautiful in their simplicity. The sculptural figures appear serene, pure of spirit, almost angelic.

According to the JFG website’s description, these dolls are meant to be poetic. They convey deep emotion and philosophical meaning.

Many of the spiritual dolls are thin and elongated. To me their soft forms seem to have emerged from inside growing wood, or bone, or from living beams of light.

One fascinating display shows the many steps taken to make these unique dolls. If you’re a crafty person, you certainly want to see this!

Image of the Heart can be experienced in person inside the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden through October 30, 2022.

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!

Wildlife mural at SDG&E Park in Chula Vista.

An amazing mural depicting wildlife was created earlier this year at SDG&E Park in Chula Vista. The artists of Ground Floor Murals, assisted by students from nearby Castle Park High School, painted a sunset scene filled with beautiful wildlife!

You might recall that several incredible Padres baseball murals visible in communities around San Diego were also painted by Ground Floor Murals.

This very colorful work of art can be found on the side of a building in San Diego Gas and Electric Park near Hilltop Drive.

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!

Sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga at UC San Diego.

Yucateca Sentada is a beautiful bronze sculpture slightly off the beaten path at UC San Diego. It can be discovered by observant students passing down the Ridge Walk through Thurgood Marshall College, by the Administration Building. A walkway leads west to a bench that faces the life-size sculpture. (It isn’t far from Sojourner Truth, another bronze sculpture beside the Ridge Walk.)

Yucateca Sentada (Seated Woman of the Yucatan) was created by renowned Costa Rican-born Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga in 1976. It was donated to UC San Diego in 1983 by Elsa Dekking and UCSD physics professor Keith Brueckner. That was back when Marshall College was called Third College.

Here’s a photo taken right after its installation, with Chancellor Richard C. Atkinson providing a few words. There’s also an article in the October 3, 1983 issue of The UCSD Guardian concerning the dedication. You can read that here on page 7.

When I first saw this beautiful piece, so radiant with elemental humanity and silent dignity, I thought it might be a work of famed San Diego artist Donal Hord. It’s similar to two works I’ve seen by Hord, Spring Stirring and Aztec.

Then I realized I’d seen another very fine sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga in San Diego. His Mother and Daughter Seated can be found near the front entrance of the San Diego Museum of Art.

I photographed Mother and Daughter Seated back in 2016, as it and various other sculptures were being installed in Balboa Park’s outdoor Plaza de Panama. You can enjoy those photos 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!

COVID-19, isolation, and bright butterflies.

I tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. It’s relatively mild. I’ve been home self-isolating all week.

Unfortunately, I can’t go out on my walks. It’s a bit depressing.

One thing I can do–when not sleeping or listening to the Padres or reading a book–is scroll through my blog. To me, Cool San Diego Sights is almost like a journal. (A good reason for you to start your own blog!) The thousands of photographs and written descriptions help me to remember all the things I’ve experienced during past walks. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been doing this blogging thing for almost nine years.

So here I am, wondering this Friday morning if there are some old images I could easily repost. Then thinking: there are so many butterfly pics!

How appropriate. Butterflies are symbols of hope, transformation and healing.

These bright butterflies were spotted all over San Diego, from Escondido to Imperial Beach, from Mission Bay to El Cajon, and everywhere in between. How many do you recognize?

Fortunately, I still have many unused photos in my computer. So this weekend don’t be surprised if you see blog posts concerning past walks in La Jolla, Carlsbad, Old Town, Balboa Park, and perhaps elsewhere!

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.

Orchids in the Park returns to San Diego!

The San Diego County Orchid Society is hosting their summer Orchids in the Park show and sale in Balboa Park this weekend!

I was drawn to Room 101 in the Casa del Prado once I saw a sign pointing to the popular free event.

The show’s many tables were overflowing with orchids in many shapes, sizes and colors. Every flower was like a perfect jewel.

I found so many examples of nature’s beauty (tended by the caring hands of society members), that I had to capture a little bit of it with my camera…

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!

Mystic Whaler returns to San Diego!

A very beautiful tall ship has returned to San Diego. The Mystic Whaler is visiting the Maritime Museum of San Diego prior to a little shipyard work down in the South Bay.

I snapped photos of Mystic Whaler in January, as it was making its way up to the Channel Islands, where it now takes students on educational sailing excursions.

The 110-foot, 97-ton schooner was built in Florida in 1967, and once hosted cruises at its previous base in Connecticut. That explains the Mystic name.

I was excited to see this amazing tall ship again, and my camera promptly came out, of course!

Enjoy a few new 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!

Audible’s amazing Comic-Con sand sculptures near completion!

The three Audible sand sculptures that are being carved along MLK Promenade for 2022 Comic-Con are nearly complete. And they are beyond amazing!

Check them out!

The artistry is right up there with that of world-class Sand Masters. You know, those internationally famous sand sculptors who’ve come to San Diego to compete many past summers, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

The extraordinary Comic-Con sculptures promote three of Audible’s original spoken word shows…

My favorite sand sculpture of the three promotes the Audible original Impact Winter.

A second amazing sculpture promotes The Sandman. (Those figures are definitely sand!)

And lastly, an intricate sand sculpture that promotes the Audible original Moriarty: The Devil’s Game. Looks to me like more sand carving will be done on this one before Comic-Con officially opens tomorrow!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

New murals at California Center for the Arts, Escondido!

In the past few weeks, three amazing new murals have been painted at California Center for the Arts, Escondido!

The colorful artwork was created in conjunction with the center’s new museum exhibit Street Legacy: SoCal Style Masters. I’ve already blogged about the exhibit here.

A large new mural covers the south wall of the museum. I was told it was painted last weekend. It’s by Kenny Scharf. The book In Absence of Myth concerning the artist’s life is available in the museum’s gift shop.

Two walls along the walkway that lead to the parking lot north of the museum have bold new murals, too!

I noticed the signatures of San Diego artists Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki on the first mural, which depicts a mountain lion and the word UNTAMED…

On the opposite wall, a beautiful bird and flowers have been painted…

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!

A beautiful mural full of hope in City Heights!

A beautiful mural was painted last month in City Heights that is full of hope. You can find it on the side of Corey’s Market Liquor at the corner of University Avenue and 36th Street.

Created by artists Melody Del Los Cobos (@chicanalilly) and Armand Montiel (@artbyarmand), this is the 30th mural of the ever-growing #theavenuemuralproject drive-through art gallery, which stretches along University Avenue between Interstates 805 and 15.

A whale in the vast lonely ocean gives life to a tree, and has its own lighthouse for direction. It is swimming into butterflies, a symbol of transformation. There is always hope and new life lurking there within one’s own self.

To the left of the whale mural is a small tree painted red, white and blue. It is the work of Skyler Montiel.

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!