A beautiful hidden mural in San Ysidro!

A beautiful mural painted on a long wooden fence can be found in a “hidden” spot in San Ysidro. It’s off the beaten track, near the intersection of Cypress Drive and Hall Avenue. I’ve documented several other murals along alley-like Cypress Drive, near Casa Familiar, during past walks. But this artwork appears to be relatively new.

The spray painted mural contains much colorful imagery, from an octopus and ocean waves to a hummingbird and prickly pear and the moon and brilliant jewels and a human figure among clouds and a rainbow. I looked for an artist’s signature but didn’t see one.

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!

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Inspiring murals celebrate human resilience.

Resilience, by Lydia Puentes Phillips.

A couple of murals that celebrate human resilience are presently on display at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

The two murals are an offshoot of the 1000 Cranes Project, that sought to bring strength and comfort to those isolated during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This modest exhibition concerning one very important topic was originally part of a pop up museum at the Beardsley Event Center in Barrio Logan. Now those who visit the Japanese Friendship Garden can enjoy the inspiring artwork.

Resilience, by David Lee.

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!

The beautiful Torrey pines of Cabrillo.

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument is picturesque by itself. But the historic 1855 lighthouse, rising into the sky near the end of Point Loma, seems to belong in a painting when several rare Torrey pines that grow nearby are framed with it.

The lighthouse and tall windswept trees seem to belong together.

I did my best to capture the extraordinary beauty with my small camera during a visit today.

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!

Kindness and Love Mural in Imperial Beach.

I spotted this big, colorful mural during my walk in Imperial Beach today. I see it’s titled the Kindness & Love Mural. It’s by local artist Michelle D. Lubin aka MDFerrera. Visit her website here.

She painted the mural earlier this year outside the Imperial Palms Apartments on Seacoast Drive. It’s part of an ongoing Imperial Beach beautification project.

Hands offer flowers, which attract butterflies and a hummingbird.

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!

The extraordinary reopening of the Mingei Museum!

Three years of construction at Balboa Park’s House of Charm is completed. The reimagined, redesigned, greatly enlarged Mingei International Museum, which occupies most of the historic building, has finally reopened!

The multicultural Mingei Museum, whose focus is crafts and design, opened its doors to the public yesterday. To celebrate, admission to the upstairs galleries will be free during Labor Day weekend through Monday, September 6.

I slowly walked through the new spacious indoor pavilion that occupies the ground level. The ground floor will always be free to the public.

A big seating area invites visitors to relax. Several large glass cases display colorful museum pieces. There’s a nearby gift shop and café, too. Through one door anybody can go outside to sit in a beautiful courtyard at tables under shady umbrellas. (That might become a favorite place to read and write!)

The second floor’s main galleries are approached up stairs through the House of Charm’s tower. As you head up the steps, look up. You’ll be wowed by renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture chandelier! (Lights in the stairwell walls cast intricate shadows, which one guide at the museum said he really likes!)

I walked about the upstairs galleries and admired the many exhibits. I particularly like folk art. I laughed at some pieces, stood in wonder before others.

Artwork handcrafted by “ordinary” folk from all around the world often feels more powerful and authentic than so-called fine art. Because its creation typically flows from human experiences that are unique but universal. Folk art represents what day-to-day people consider desirous or meaningful in life.

By the way, if you’re an artist in San Diego seeking inspiration, or if you want to do some art research, there’s a huge library on the second floor! The Frances Hamilton White Art Reference Library features a specialized collection of over 12,000 books!

I took some photos to provide a taste of the new, more-extraordinary-than-ever Mingei International Museum.

Next time you’re in Balboa Park, you definitely need to check it out! And make sure to venture outside on the second floor, to enjoy amazing views of the Plaza de Panama!

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!

San Diego International Organ Festival returns!

Every time a world-class organist performs in Balboa Park, the Spreckels Organ shines.

Tonight the Spreckels Organ, largest outdoor instrument in the world, one of San Diego’s most unique and precious treasures, absolutely sparkled.

Concert organist Hector Olivera filled Balboa Park with magic during the first performance of the two-month-long San Diego International Organ Festival.

Hector Olivera, considered one of the greatest organists alive, took the stage with his humor and deft touch and created something extraordinary. I sat mesmerized throughout the concert. The music he summoned from the Spreckels Organ was subtle, luminous, alive.

Hector Olivera was a child prodigy. As a five-year-old he played for Eva Perón. Before he’d left his teens he’d performed for heads of state. He has since played in many of the world’s most prestigious venues.

Tonight he started the 2021 San Diego International Organ Festival with an act that will be hard to top. But more top organists are coming, including San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez!

If you love listening to world-class musicians you must go to this free weekly event. The Spreckels Organ shines in Balboa Park every Monday at 7:30 pm through October 25, 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!

An amazing walk along Sunset Cliffs!

One of San Diego’s most amazing, scenic walks is along Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma.

Yesterday I walked along the length of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, which stretches for about 1.5 miles beside the Pacific Ocean. I started near the intersection of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Adair Street and headed south to Ladera Street, where there’s a popular beach, nature trails and stairs down to a small cave and rocky tide pools.

The August summer day was perfect for a long walk. The sun didn’t break through the coastal marine layer until the very end of my adventure, and the sea breeze was pleasantly cool.

Views of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the steep, rugged cliffs seemed endless. The mostly dirt Coastal Trail I followed wound above the high eroded bluffs, past a few pocket beaches and past sea caves and picturesque sandstone arches.

In places the cliffs have collapsed from the constant powerful action of tides and incoming waves. Many signs warn people away from the edge of the unstable cliffs.

I met a painter. I met friendly lifeguards training for cliff rescues. I saw benches along the path dedicated to lost loved ones and sunsets. Many were standing and sitting at the ocean’s edge, peering at eternity with silent wonder.

As you can see from my photographs, nature’s hand creates beauty everywhere it moves.

If you like to stretch your legs and spirit, and you happen to be in San Diego, it’s likely you’ll love this walk, too.

Looking north for a moment. You can see the Ocean Beach pier in the distance.

As I walked along, I met Scotty Painta. He paints beautiful small scenes from Sunset Cliffs. We had a friendly chat and my day was enriched.

I met three lifeguards. They had slender ropes dangling down an almost vertical bluff. They were practicing cliff rescues. Jake told me a little about what they do. Thank you.

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The historic William Clayton House in Bankers Hill.

Those entering Balboa Park from Bankers Hill might notice this beautiful old house at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street. During my walks I’ve often wondered about it.

After doing a little research, I discovered it’s called the William Clayton House. It was designed in 1907 by San Diego’s first female architect, Hazel Wood Waterman.

Hazel Wood Waterman got her start as one of renowned architect Irving J. Gill’s two chief draftspeople. With a particular love for the Arts and Crafts style, she would eventually design a number of houses and buildings around San Diego. Her most famous work was the 1910 restoration of the Casa de Estudillo in Old Town, a commission that came from John D. Spreckels.

You can learn more about Hazel Wood Waterman here.

The William Clayton House barely avoided demolition almost thirty years ago. You can read about that here. Today it is San Diego Historic Landmark #270 and location of the Vista Balboa Crisis Center.

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!

Joy on a Mission Bay bench.

There’s a bench on Mission Bay where one can find joy. It’s located on the mostly quiet pathway of South Shores Park, by a small beach directly south of Fiesta Island.

There is water and sky, sunshine, a pleasant breeze. And a plaque…

IN JOY WITH

JOAN E. HELLER

MAY 29,1936 – SHE’S STILL HERE

SIT DOWN, RELAX & LOOK AT THE VIEW

ENJOY YOURSELF

Sit a while on this bench, resume your journey down the path, and you will still be here.

That joy will remain with you.

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!

Wings of Inspiration at the Ramona Library.

A very beautiful metal sculpture stands in front of the Ramona Library on Main Street. It’s called Wings of Inspiration.

The sculpture is dedicated to M. Elyse Kuhn, President of the Friends of Ramona Library, who passed away in 2015.

Literacy gives everyone the means to soar. That was the idea expressed by the local artist, Leslie Souza. You can read more about Wings of Inspiration, and the efforts of Marion Elyse Kuhn to see the Ramona Library built 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!