Mark Twain and friends visit San Diego!

Famous author Mark Twain and several literary friends visited San Diego today. They arrived at Heritage County Park for a very special event.

TwainFest 2022 welcomed some of the world’s most celebrated writers, delighting everyone who attended the outdoor festival. The free, family-friendly event is put on every year by Write Out Loud.

Mark Twain himself greeted visitors who wandered about…

I don’t know whether Twain realized he was standing only a block away from the house where humorist Squibob lived while in San Diego.

When I asked him, Mark Twain wouldn’t clearly acknowledge that he was inspired by Squibob. Historians say he probably was.

But we can all agree Twain’s novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a classic of American Literature. The esteemed author must’ve been pleased when TwainFest visitors cheerfully whitewashed a fence, much to the consternation of Aunt Polly.

Soon Twain was joined by three other notable writers. Edgar Allan Poe, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Emily Dickinson.

Yes, a fine summer day filled with imagination–another chapter in our own never-ending stories…

Out of the blue, a friendly Charles Dickens came strolling along through Heritage Park. The author confessed that one of his favorite works was A Christmas Carol.

In another area of the park, the Red Queen of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was playing croquet. I didn’t see Lewis Carroll, but he must’ve been nearby.

In the sunny Author’s Salon, Edgar Allan Poe was talking about his life–what he remembered of it.

Then Poe began his emotional recital of The Raven.

A few steps away, what were these smiling TwainFest visitors observing?

Tinker Bell and Peter Pan!

And that scoundrel, Captain Hook!

And what was going on over here?

Alice, the White Rabbit, the (Mad) Hatter and smiling guests had assembled for a quite unique tea party!

The Dormouse made a surprise appearance at the Mad Tea-Party as well!

And who is this fine fellow over here reading a story about gallant knights and noble acts of chivalry?

Don Quixote! (And his squire Sancho Panza.)

For his first big adventure, Don Quixote encountered a terrifying number of large fearsome giants who looked strangely like windmills…

Thank you, Mr. Twain, for the twinkle in your eye and your timeless humor.

And for bringing so many literary friends to San Diego!

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!

Harry Potter witches and wizards invade Comic-Con!

Powerful witches and wizards have travelled from the world of Harry Potter to San Diego for Comic-Con 2022!

I saw the magical procession this morning and was astonished to discover so many J. K. Rowling characters present.

This awesome cosplay group has had their Comic-Con procession across from the San Diego Convention Center numerous times in the past. This year it appeared bigger and more amazing than ever!

How many characters do you recognize?

I see Snape and Dumbledore (two of them!) and McGonagall and Hagrid and Trelawney and Sprout and Tonks and Lupin and Fleur Delacour and Newt Scamander and Grindelwald and even a nascent Voldemort in the arms of that ratty Peter Pettigrew!

And Hermione! And Harry Potter himself!

And many others!

Enjoy some photos of this really great cosplay!

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!

Comic-Con exhibit at San Diego Library.

An exhibit at San Diego’s Central Library, on display during 2022 Comic-Con, traces the history of dime novels, pulp fiction, comics and graphic novels.

The fascinating display can be enjoyed on the Central Library’s 9th floor, in the Rare Books room containing their Special Collections.

Some important and rare works are on view, and descriptions provide insight into the history of each popular medium.

If you happen to be passing by the Central Library with its lattice metal dome during Comic-Con, head up the elevator to the rooftop! And go through the door you see in the next photograph!

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!

Books rise into the Escondido sky!

How could I not share these photos?

I was walking near the Escondido Public Library, after checking out the library’s huge new mural, when I glimpsed distant books flying into the sky!

I’d discovered a mural painted in the alley behind Helen’s Book Mark, a used book store on Grand Avenue.

I headed directly to the artwork to see the rising books. (Or are they descending from a lofty place?)

The mural has two signatures. RWBrown, 2000, and Hanna’s Murals, 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!

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!

Huge, amazing mural at Escondido Library!

Wow! Have you seen the huge mural that was recently painted on the side of the Escondido Public Library, facing the new mini park?

I heard about it and had to go see for myself!

The amazing mural, presented by the Escondido Library Foundation and the City of Escondido, is titled Escondido’s Vision. It was painted by Julia Anthony in late 2021, and officially dedicated, along with the new park, last month.

The bright, super colorful artwork depicts a beautiful day in Escondido, through the prism of imagination. It’s a broad landscape where the sun shines, reading is fun, the future is hopeful, and life is good!

I took a variety of photographs at different distances…

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!

Kicking off the 2022 Coronado Community READ!

An awesome month-long event kicked off today in the grassy park beside the Coronado Public Library. The 2022 Coronado Community READ is underway!

The event, in its sixth year, encourages residents of Coronado to read one particular book, which is selected by vote-casting members of the community. After two years of isolation and strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be more important and satisfying than ever for neighbors to come together with a shared experience.

For 2022 the Coronado Community READ book is West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. West with Giraffes, according to its description, is about “two giraffes who made headlines and won the hearts of Depression-era America as they traveled across the country to our very own San Diego Zoo.” (Wow! I think I need to read it, too, even though I don’t live in Coronado!)

You can learn more about the book here!

There are two additional books for Coronado’s young readers to enjoy together: Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm, and Ty the Quiet Giraffe by Carrie Hasler.

When I heard about this unique “community read” I had to go check out its kick-off today at Coronado Library Park. Following a small speech, the gathered audience listened to the great jazzy music of the Coronado Big Band!

There are various special happenings coming up in April that are part of the big reading event. This coming Thursday, April 7, the author of West with Giraffes will be speaking and autographing her book!

You can find all the dates, times and details 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!

Dr. Seuss’s fun Boids and Beasties exhibit!

There’s a fun exhibit just inside the entrance of the Geisel Library at UC San Diego. It’s titled Dr. Seuss’s Boids & Beasties!

I stumbled upon these displays of original Dr. Seuss drawings, sketches and writings during my visit to UCSD in La Jolla today. The artwork and documents come from the university’s large Seuss collection. La Jolla is where Theodor Seuss Geisel, the legendary children’s book author, lived for much of his life.

I asked about the exhibition at the library’s nearby front desk, and was told it’s semi-permanent. So next time you’re on or near the campus, you might want to check out these fantastical Boids and Beasties!

Just a sample…

Dr. Seuss is known and beloved worldwide. The exhibit includes some of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s early work as an advertising and commercial artist.
Dragon sketch, circa 1915, one of the earlies known Geisel drawings.
Geisel artwork used for advertising Flit bug spray.
Letter by Dr. Seuss describes how listening to a ship’s engine inspired the rhymes in his first published children’s book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
Pencil sketch for You’re Only Old Once!
Rough sketch for two pages of The Sneetches.

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!

Another Whomping Willow at City College?

It appears Hogwarts isn’t the only school with a dangerous Whomping Willow. Because our own San Diego City College seems to have one of its own!

I was walking up Park Boulevard this morning, on my way from downtown San Diego to the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park, when I spied the fantastically twisted tree. A few of its gnarled. outstretched limbs had slammed against the nearby grass, sadly crushing goodness knows what.

I avoided the walking path that passes directly next to it, just to be safe.

That is a Whomping Willow, isn’t 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!

Souvenir programs from San Diego’s old Star-Light Opera.

Surprising discoveries are often made by those who visit the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.

A display case in the museum now includes colorful old souvenir programs. They are for plays performed in the Balboa Bowl (later renamed Starlight Bowl) by the San Diego Civic Light Opera Association’s once popular Star-Light Opera. The half dozen productions represented were from 1949 to 1964.

I recall seeing Kiss Me, Kate and The Pirates of Penzance with my family at the Starlight Bowl. When noisy airplanes landing at Lindbergh Field (now San Diego International Airport) approached overhead, a light came on by the stage and the actors would all freeze. Once the plane had passed, the play would resume.

Alas, the planes became more and more frequent, and the Star-Light Opera’s last performance was in 2011.

Efforts are now underway to revive the Starlight Bowl. Read about the ambitious plan here!

The Wizard of Oz.
Oklahoma.
Guys and Dolls.
Show Boat.
The Three Musketeers.
The Chocolate Soldier.

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!

Books celebrated at Local Author Showcase!

The 56th Annual Local Author Showcase is presently on display at the San Diego Central Library!

Local writers whose work was published last year are being honored for their hard work and success. Every sort of book is included in the showcase: fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, children’s picture books, poetry, music, history, religion, politics, travel guides, self-improvement . . . you name it! And eBooks, too! The authors, young and old, come from every walk of life, and their words all combine to enrich our shared culture and understanding.

I see that in 2021 books came out about Balboa Park, Ted Leitner, Father Joe, and the Padres. And I see a fun book about a visit to the San Diego Library, too!

If you want to learn more about the City of San Diego’s Local Author Program, check out the web page concerning it here.

The Local Author Showcase can be viewed on the ground floor of the downtown Central Library through the end of February.

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!