Balboa Park views from Mingei’s “secret” terrace!

The Mingei International Museum’s second floor outdoor terrace isn’t actually secret, but it sure seems that way!

The Conrad Prebys Terrace was empty today as I walked out into the sunshine and enjoyed amazing views of the California Tower, San Diego Museum of Art, House of Hospitality, and Plaza de Panama with its fountain, El Cid statue, and Nikigator below!

The spectacular new terrace is part of the recent House of Charm building redesign and renovation. The project was undertaken by the Mingei International Museum, which calls the historic building home.

I recall posting a photo of an architectural rendering showing the terrace might be used for outdoor dining with a view. I learned today that particular plan hasn’t materialized.

But what a perfect place to sit, take in the scenery and perhaps read a book or write! It’s a magnificent spot for photography, too, as you can see! You do have to purchase a museum ticket, as the two terrace doors are accessible from the second floor gallery space.

I have many more San Diego photographs coming up!

In the next few days I’ll be blogging even more about the Mingei International Museum, plus the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and some cool Top Gun stuff at the USS Midway Museum!

Meanwhile, have a great week!

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!

Legacy of Traditional Calligraphy in Balboa Park.

A new exhibition opened a week ago at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. It’s titled The Legacy of Traditional Calligraphy.

The works on display are curated by Befu Osawa, a Master Calligrapher based in San Diego. The history of Chinese and Japanese scripts is shown, along with Kanji letters that are very seldom seen.

The exquisite art of calligraphy has always fascinated me. Particularly when it’s applied to logograms that visually represent words. With careful applications of ink, the meanings of words and written stories are made visible, and imbued with additional dimension.

As a writer whose alphabetical pen strokes are careless scratches, that skillfully added depth makes me jealous!

If you love calligraphy, head over to the Exhibit Hall at the beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden. This exhibition continues through July 23, 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!

Let’s Grow Together in Pacific Beach!

A very large floral mural was painted last year in Pacific Beach. You can view it on the outdoor wall of Pastiamo, a pasta restaurant on Turquoise Street just east of Mission Boulevard. A bee flying over colorful flowers has written let’s grow together.

The artists are from Mindful Murals.

Mindful Murals must be going strong, because I see more and more of their work all over San Diego. They often paint positive, encouraging graphics at schools.

A friendly lady I spoke to who works at Pastiamo says they plan to serve pizzas at those shady tables!

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!

San Diego Symphony musicians perform magic!

The musicians of the San Diego Symphony performed magic this evening.

Together, using enchanted instruments, the magicians summoned beautiful, ephemeral music back into our world.

With quick, subtle fingers, visiting artist Gabriela Martinez cast potent spells through a grand piano. Her dancing fingers mysteriously conjured the eternal notes of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16. Strong magic sprinkled the audience with soft, crystalline raindrops. And aural whirlwinds.

The concert also included Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Op. 35. Its timeless splendor was inspired by the stories of the Arabian Nights.

No wonder those fairy-tale notes were summoned by magicians!

If you’ve never listened to the San Diego Symphony at their outdoor Rady Shell, on San Diego Bay, you’re missing pure magic.

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!

Amazing art glass show in Balboa Park!

If you love art–glass art in particular–you must absolutely head over to Balboa Park this weekend to check out a spectacular show and sale in Spanish Village Art Center!

The big Art Glass Guild’s Spring Patio Show features numerous skilled glass artists and their amazingly creative and beautiful pieces. Some of the glass is functional, other works are purely decorative. All are for sale!

You can see in my photos how extraordinary this annual show is. Even if you have no plans to purchase art, you’ll pause repeatedly to admire all the glasswork, and wonder how some of the more unusual or exquisite pieces were made!

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 stunning Ocean Nomads mural in Barrio Logan!

If you haven’t yet seen the Ocean Nomads mural in Barrio Logan, you’ll be surprised at the stunning beauty of this public artwork!

The three dimensional mosaic was created in 2013 by the Rainforest Art Project, with the help of young students from nearby Perkins Elementary School and Our Lady’s School. Hand-cut stained glass pieces glisten in sunlight, depicting a school of tuna swimming in the blue ocean off our coast.

The Rainforest Art Project, based in San Diego, works with schools in our region to create amazing works of art. Such as this!

Ocean Nomads can be found a few steps south of the outdoor fountain at Mercado del Barrio. Walk around a bit and you’ll find it!

If you want to see more great artwork by the Rainforest Art Project, check out their patriotic mosaic in La Mesa here. Or see the gorgeous art decorating their headquarters on National Avenue here. (In that old blog post I had labeled their building Farallon Design, which I believe might have been a previous occupant.)

It’s quite possible I’ve photographed more of their work around San Diego without realizing it!

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!

Restoring a great San Diego treasure!

The historic ship Star of India is one of San Diego’s great treasures. Its figurehead, depicting the Greek Muse of music and lyric poetry Euterpe, is undergoing restoration at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Euterpe was the original name of Star of India when it was launched in 1863 at the Isle of Man.

Should you venture down into the hold of Star of India, you’ll see how the carved wooden figurehead has had many layers of paint removed, in order to remove rot and fill in cracks. The last time the figurehead was removed from the tall ship’s bow was back in 1988.

The figurehead was carved from a single piece of pine wood by a worker at a Glasgow boatyard named George Sutherland. By sheer coincidence, that is the exact name of the Maritime Museum crew member leading today’s restoration effort!

If you’re interested in seeing history close up, this is your chance! Head down to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, step aboard Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, and descend from the main deck down two levels into the hold, where you can view the renewal of beautiful Euterpe!

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!

Downtown’s Jacarandas begin their Spring bloom!

Do you know why there are so many Jacaranda trees in San Diego? A century ago, horticulturist Kate Sessions, the Mother of Balboa Park, planted hundreds of these colorful trees in the heart of our city. They are native to South America.

Twice a year–in Spring and Autumn–the striking lilac-blue blooms appear along city streets, adding their unique hue to sunny San Diego. Of course, they’re very messy trees, and you don’t want to park under them when the sticky flowers are dropping!

In 2000, Jacaranda mimosifolia was designated the official non-native tree of San Diego.

I walked from Cortez Hill to Little Italy this morning, and these photos represent a little of what I saw!

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!

Get a Free Tree in front of your home or building!

Looking back west toward downtown. Many jacaranda trees line San Diego's streets. A man waits at a bus stop.

Would you like to have a beautiful, shady “street tree” planted in front of your home or building in San Diego?

There’s a city program called Free Tree SD that will plant a tree in the public right-of-way between your sidewalk and street, if arborists determine its a good spot with plenty of soil, and you promise to water the new tree for several years.

I just learned about this green program and thought some of you might be interested. Learn all the details on the City of San Diego website by clicking 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!

A sunny Easter walk in San Diego!

It’s Easter Sunday! The sun is shining in San Diego and it feels like Spring!

How perfect for a long, leisurely walk around downtown San Diego.

Enjoy these photographs!

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!