The strange, wonderful beauty of nautical ropes.

Late this afternoon I discovered strange and wonderful beauty.

As I relaxed on a comfortable wooden bench on the poop deck of the Star of India, enjoying the sea breeze and sunlit bay, my eyes were drawn to the riot of ropes that were coiled, knotted, stretched and dangling all about the deck, in every direction. How strangely beautiful they appeared.

I took a few 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!

A short hike along Lake Poway Trail.

Bronze sculpture of a mountain lion and cub near the Lake Poway concession building. Pride of the Wilderness, Richard Becker, 2007.
Bronze sculpture of a mountain lion and cub near the Lake Poway concession building. Pride of the Wilderness, Richard Becker, 2007.

This morning, before checking out the new Tony Gwynn statue, I took a short hike up the Lake Poway Trail.

Here are some photographs…

Sign near beginning of Lake Poway Trail shows how to continue on to the summit of Mt. Woodson, location of the famous Potato Chip Rock.
Sign near beginning of Lake Poway Trail shows how to continue on to the summit of Mt. Woodson, location of the famous Potato Chip Rock.
On a Sunday morning some people along the shore are trying their hand at fishing.
On a Sunday morning some people along the shore are trying their hand at fishing.
Starting up the Lake Poway Trail. The natural scenery is beautiful.
Starting up the Lake Poway Trail. The natural scenery is beautiful.
A trail marker.
A trail marker.
I believe this is wild mustard. Various flowers could be seen along the trail.
I believe this is wild mustard. Various flowers could be seen along the trail.
Bright green foliage above silver water.
Bright green foliage above silver water.
Hikers climb the Lake Poway Trail on an overcast weekend morning.
Hikers climb the Lake Poway Trail on an overcast weekend morning.
Looking back at how far I've come so far.
Looking back at how far I’ve come so far.
Several boats containing fishermen were floating on the lake below.
Several boats containing fishermen were floating on the lake below.
More hikers climbing skyward.
More hikers climbing skyward.
This is as far as I came. I enjoy a breathtaking view as a ray of sun comes through and touches a hill.
This is as far as I came. I enjoy a breathtaking view as a ray of sunshine comes through and touches a hill across the lake.
As I head back down, my eyes feast on more beauty.
As I head back down, my eyes feast on more beauty.
A small bunny is out on the trail.
A small bunny is out on the trail.
Almost back to lake level.
Almost back to lake level.
Some kids were fishing.
Some kids were fishing.
These kids who are fishing huddle together to check out something on the lake's shore.
These kids who are fishing huddle together to check out something on the lake’s shore.
Someone caught a huge fish! One of the kids runs over to see!
Someone caught a huge fish! One of the kids runs over to see!
During my short hike I turned around at this bench. It's dedicated to John Finley McMinn, naval aviator who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.
During my short hike I turned around at this bench. It’s dedicated to John Finley McMinn, naval aviator who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.

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!

Become a volunteer friend of Tweet Street park!

These good Friends of Tweet Street Park sign up volunteers during the Jacaranda Spring Thing on Cortez Hill.
Some smiling Friends of Tweet Street Park sign up volunteers during the Jacaranda Spring Thing on Cortez Hill.

After a very long walk today, I ended up on Cortez Hill in downtown San Diego. The Jacaranda Spring Thing festival was taking place just outside my door, right next to Tweet Street Park, and I lingered to check things out.

And look what I discovered!

A community group called Friends of Tweet Street Park was organized about a year and a half ago, and they’ve been working on a volunteer basis to clean, improve and beautify our neighborhood park! If you live in or near Cortez Hill and love the Tweet Street bird-friendly park, please consider joining the group, or adding yourself to their email list, or at least following their Facebook page, which is here!

Recently I noticed some flowering succulents had been planted in a couple bare spots in the park. It turns out that was the work of these good folks!

Thank 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!

Elegant interior of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel.

The south side of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel, as seen from an upper level of Horton Plaza. The 1910 Broadway Fountain is visible in Horton Plaza Park.
The south side of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel, as seen from an upper level of Horton Plaza. The 1910 Broadway Fountain is visible in Horton Plaza Park.

During last weekend’s San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017, I ventured into one of the event’s featured downtown locations: the historic U.S. Grant Hotel. I was able to get some photos of the hotel’s elegant interior!

The U.S. Grant was built by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., the son of American President Ulysses S. Grant. The building was designed by architect Harrison Albright and built in the same spot where Alonzo Horton had his 1870 Horton House Hotel, which was demolished.

The U.S. Grant Hotel opened in 1910. It featured a steel and reinforced concrete framework to counter the threats of fire and California earthquakes. For over a hundred years the grand old hotel has stood prominently at the center of downtown San Diego. Notable guests have included 15 United States Presidents (there are 3 different presidential suites), Albert Einstein and Charles Lindbergh.

It’s also interesting to note the very first San Diego Comic-Con was held in the U.S. Grant, back in 1970.

The east side entrance of the elegant U.S. Grant Hotel on Fourth Avenue in downtown San Diego.
The east side entrance of the elegant U.S. Grant Hotel on Fourth Avenue in downtown San Diego.
I entered the hotel from the east entrance, where many guests arrive.
I entered the hotel from the east entrance, where many guests arrive.
The elegant interior just inside the east entrance.
The elegant interior just inside the east entrance.
Large glittering chandeliers add a glamorous touch throughout the posh hotel.
Large glittering chandeliers add a glamorous touch throughout the posh hotel.
Some beautiful artwork above stairs descending to the Crystal Ballroom.
Some beautiful artwork above stairs descending to the Crystal Ballroom.
Standing in the grand lobby, looking south toward the U.S. Grant Hotel's entrance on Broadway.
Standing in the grand lobby, looking south toward the U.S. Grant Hotel’s entrance on Broadway.
The U.S. Grant Hotel's front desk.
The U.S. Grant Hotel’s front desk.
The beautiful lobby, fit for royalty.
The beautiful lobby, fit for royalty.
A small sculpture near the Broadway entrance is titled Sweet Dreams, by artist David A. Montour.
A small sculpture near the Broadway entrance is titled Sweet Dreams, by artist David A. Montour.
Even the hotel elevators are beautiful.
Even the hotel elevators are beautiful.
A sitting area near the bank of elevators.
A sitting area near the bank of elevators.
Portraits along this wall include Native Americans. The U.S. Grant Hotel was bought by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in 2003. It is operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Portraits along this wall include Native Americans. The U.S. Grant Hotel was bought by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in 2003. It is operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
North of the elevators is this large Presidential Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant.
North of the elevators is this large Presidential Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant.
Old photo of the Horton House, which stood at this downtown San Diego location before its demolition.
Old photo of the Horton House, which stood at this downtown San Diego location before its demolition.
Headline of The Evening Tribune announces the opening of the U.S. Grant Hotel on October 15, 1910.
Headline of The Evening Tribune announces the opening of the U.S. Grant Hotel on October 15, 1910.
On display is a 1910 US Grant Hotel door knob.
On display is a 1910 US Grant Hotel door knob.
A look across the U.S. Grant Hotel lobby from the mezzanine level. Pure elegance.
A look across the U.S. Grant Hotel lobby from the mezzanine level. Pure elegance.

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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Japanese flower arrangement show in Balboa Park!

This weekend's annual show in Balboa Park by Ikebana International features beautiful Japanese flower arrangements.
This weekend’s annual flower show in Balboa Park by Ikebana International features beautiful Japanese floral arrangements.

I know almost nothing about ikebana, the ancient art of Japanese flower arrangement. But I do recognize stunning beauty and appreciate human creativity!

Check out these photos of amazing works of art at the annual Ikebana International flower show in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado. The show continues through the weekend!

Exquisite displays of ikebana--the art of Japanese flower arrangement--can be seen inside the Casa del Prado.
Exquisite displays of ikebana–the art of Japanese flower arrangement–can be seen inside the Casa del Prado.
One of many stunning works of floral art that one can see this weekend in Balboa Park.
One of many stunning works of floral art that one can see this weekend in Balboa Park.
Freestyle arrangement by Mitsuko Takeya. Materials include fig branch, protea, palm leaves and leather fern.
Freestyle arrangement by Mitsuko Takeya. Materials include fig branch, protea, palm leaves and leather fern.
Arrangement by Noriko McDaniel. The Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include magnolia, veronica, purple-crest aeonium, wisteria vine and philodendron.
Arrangement by Noriko McDaniel. The Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include magnolia, veronica, purple-crest aeonium, wisteria vine and philodendron.
Freestyle arrangement by Patricia Fuchs. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include anthurium, dogwood, pom pom mum, japanese rope.
Freestyle arrangement by Patricia Fuchs. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include anthurium, dogwood, pom pom mum, Japanese rope.
Landscape style arrangement by Cris Bugarin. Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia, camellia, parsley, iris leaves.
Landscape style arrangement by Cris Bugarin. Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia, camellia, parsley, iris leaves.
Freestyle arrangement by Judy Cliffton. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include red bud, white cherry, ranunculus.
Freestyle arrangement by Judy Cliffton. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include red bud, white cherry, ranunculus.
Freestyle arrangement by Sue Elsayeh. Ichiyo School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia and daffodils.
Freestyle arrangement by Sue Elsayeh. Ichiyo School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia and daffodils.
Freestyle tropical arrangement by Inge Johansen. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include heliconia, ginger, gladiolus, white orchid, variegated ti leaf.
Freestyle tropical arrangement by Inge Johansen. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include heliconia, ginger, gladiolus, white orchid, variegated ti leaf.
A beautiful, complex work of art composed entirely of horsetail by Hiroko Szechinski.
A beautiful, complex work of art composed entirely of horsetail by Hiroko Szechinski.
Exquisitely arranged beauty, made from elements of the natural world.
Exquisitely arranged beauty, made from elements of the natural world.
A delight to the eye.
A delight to the eye. Gorgeous symmetry.
A bouquet of delicate beauty.
A bouquet of delicate beauty.
A small garden of colorful bursts and delights.
A small garden of colorful bursts and delights.
Intertwining flowers and leaves like a small, magical arch.
Intertwining flowers and leaves like a small, magical arch.
Many eyes at the ikebana show took in the jewel-like creations.
Many eyes at the annual ikebana show took delight in the perfect jewel-like creations.
A pink arrangement that seems to have materialized from a fairy tale.
A pink arrangement that seems to have materialized from a fairy tale.
Stunning colors and contrasts.
Stunning colors and contrasts.
A fantastic arrangement by Rumi Rice. Human creativity and natural materials combine to bring one dream to life.
A fantastic arrangement by Rumi Rice. Human creativity and natural materials combine to bring a dream to life.
A spectacular arrangement by ikebana Grandmaster Akiko Bourland. Materials include loquat, rose, rush.
A spectacular arrangement by ikebana Grandmaster Akiko Bourland. Materials include loquat, rose, rush.
Beauty designed by Keiko Schneider, President of Ikebana International 119.
Lavish beauty designed by Keiko Schneider, President of Ikebana International #119.
A fine vase containing orchids, palm leaves and dry branch.
A fine vase containing orchids, palm leaves and dry branch.
A vertical style arrangement by Barbara Adams. Materials include Mediterranean fan palm and mums.
A vertical style arrangement by Barbara Adams. Materials include Mediterranean fan palm and mums.
Another work of great beauty, by ikebana instructor Debbie Garofalo.
Another work of great beauty, by ikebana instructor Debbie Garofalo.
Pat Schneider combined a simple orchid, peacock feather and palm leaf.
Pat Schneider combined a simple orchid, peacock feather and palm leaf.
Tulips, like colorful fireworks!
Tulips, like colorful fireworks!

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!

I’ve written a very short story about delicate cherry blossoms, and the passage of time. It’s titled A Short Bloom. Click to read it!

A sudden discovery of beautiful art!

An amazing drawing of a human eye. Window to the soul.
An amazing drawing of a human eye. Window to the soul.

A professional henna tattoo artist was set up near Seaport Village, and as I walked by I was struck by a drawing that she was patiently working on. You can see it in my second photograph.

Jaya Tulasi is a super nice person who let me see some of her artwork. Her drawings are so elegant and precise that they truly are stunning. It’s like looking at small pieces of perfection. She likes to draw while waiting for henna customers. All I can say is, keep on drawing! Wow!

Jaya is based out of San Diego and Los Angeles. Please check out her website!

This elegant drawing of a sunflower stopped me in my tracks. Patience combined with talent.
This elegant drawing of a sunflower stopped me in my tracks. Patience combined with great talent.

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!

Angel hovers above homeless person.

An angel hovers above a homeless person.
An angel hovers above a homeless person.

I usually don’t post only one photograph, but I captured a remarkable image this morning, and thought some of you might like to see it. I was walking into the Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park when I observed the standing figure titled “Religion” hovering like a heavenly angel above a homeless person sitting alone on a bench.