That big bronze pelican in Pacific Beach!

That big bronze pelican standing by the Pacific Beach Lifeguard Station is one cool bird! His name is Pelican Brown.

Legend has it Pelican Brown was observed dancing at the ballroom that used to be located at the end of Crystal Pier. Dressed up in his best velvet vest, he danced the PB Tango!

This fun public art was created in 2004 for the City of San Diego by artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson. A nearby plaque on the lifeguard station contains the poem The Ballad of P.B., which was written by Jan Phillips.

The amusing poem begins:

Pelican Brown was in search of a home
where he could have fun and relax.
He looked for a beach that was pretty
and a sea that was swimming with snacks.

He flew up and down the long coastline
looking both far and quite near.
Then, one day he knew he had found it
when his eyes saw the great Crystal Pier.

What happens next? Does the story have a happy ending?

Read the entire poem and learn more about the artists at the Project Pelican Brown web page, which you can visit by clicking here!

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300 year old Kannon statue in Balboa Park!

Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden gaze at Kannon Bosatsu, a nearly three century old 5750 pound bronze statue recently installed in the Lower Garden by crane!
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden gaze at Kannon Bosatsu, a nearly three century old 5750 pound bronze statue recently installed in the Lower Garden!

Several days ago an astonishing 5750 pound bronze statue, created in 1735 by Takumi Obata, was installed by crane at the Japanese Friendship Garden!

I must apologize, because up until now I have been referring to the new statue as a Great Buddha. After seeing the magnificent sculpture firsthand today, and reading more about it, I’ve learned that it’s actually a kannon statue, representing Kannon Bosatsu, a Buddhist goddess of mercy that is popular in Japan. The deity is called Guanyin in other parts of Asia, and has its origin in India in the 1st or 2nd century.

The amazing, nearly 300 year old cast bronze statue sits beside the Japanese Friendship Garden’s new stream in the Lower Garden, among peaceful trees that invite meditation.

Originally this Kannon Bosatsu was located at the Middlegate Japanese Garden in Pass Christian, Mississippi. When Hurricane Katrina destroyed that garden, the damaged statue was acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Gabrych, who later donated it to San Diego’s Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

A second statue that was donated to JFG also was installed several days ago. The large guardian deity stands in the Upper Garden, opposite the bonsai collection. I’m told that less is known about the exact history of this particular sculpture. I believe it represents Kongorikishi, one of the two Nio guardians of Buddha who stand at the entrance of many Buddhist temples.

Enjoy these photos, then head over to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park for the full experience!

Kannon Bosatsu sits tranquilly in a beautiful corner of the Japanese Friendship Garden near the source of a new stream.
Kannon Bosatsu sits tranquilly in a beautiful corner of the Japanese Friendship Garden near the source of a new stream.
Nearby sign describes Kannon Bosatsu, created in 1735 by Japanese sculptor Takumi Obata, an accomplished iron smith during to Tokugawa period. (Click photo to enlarge image.)
Nearby sign describes Kannon Bosatsu, created in 1735 by Japanese sculptor Takumi Obata, an accomplished iron smith during to Tokugawa period. (Click photo to enlarge image.)
The large bronze Kannon Bosatsu represents the Japanese goddess of mercy.
The large bronze Kannon Bosatsu represents the Japanese goddess of mercy.
A closer photo of the serene Kannon Bosatsu.
A closer photo of the serene Kannon Bosatsu.
A leaf has turned and fallen into the lap of a merciful deity
A leaf has turned and fallen into the lap of a merciful deity.
Gazing from the statue down the new stream toward a new bare wood observation platform.
Gazing from the statue down the new stream toward a new bare wood observation platform.
A simple, elegant wooden platform straddles the new stream in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A simple, elegant wooden platform straddles the new stream in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Nature's elements will make this structure more beautiful over time.
Nature’s elements will make this structure more beautiful over time.
Gazing down at the second half of the new stream to where it joins the Lower Garden's main river.
Gazing from the platform down at the second half of the new stream, to where it joins the Lower Garden’s main river.
The new stream is already very beautiful.
The new stream is already very beautiful.
It's now winter in the Japanese Friendship Garden, and great beauty is everywhere.
It’s now winter in the Japanese Friendship Garden, and great beauty is everywhere.
The guardian deity statue that now stands opposite the bonsai collection in the Upper Garden.
The guardian deity statue that now stands opposite the bonsai collection in the Upper Garden.
I believe this statue represents Kongorikishi, one of the guardians of Buddha who stand at the entrance of many Buddhist temples.
I believe this statue represents Kongorikishi, one of the guardians of Buddha who stand at the entrance of many Buddhist temples.
The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park is a place to find peace, wisdom and healing.
The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park is a place to find peace, wisdom and healing.
An historic addition to an already very special place.
An historic addition to an already very special place.

To see photos that I took as the stream and observation platform were under construction, 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!

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Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat sculpture at UCSD.

Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat are cast in bronze at UC San Diego in La Jolla, not far from the place where the famous children's author resided much of his life.
Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat are cast in bronze at UC San Diego in La Jolla, not far from the place where the famous children’s author resided much of his life.

In 2004, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Seuss, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Memorial made its debut outside the Geisel Library at UC San Diego. The famous children’s book author and illustrator spent the second half of his life living in La Jolla, in a home not far from the university. The University of California San Diego’s main library, the Geisel Library, is now home of the Dr. Seuss Collection.

The inspiring sculpture on the plaza outside the library is by Lark Grey Dimond-Cates. The Cat in the Hat stands at Dr. Seuss’ shoulder holding an umbrella.

The original casting of this whimsical sculpture and many others like it can also be found at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden at the Springfield Museums’ Quadrangle in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of Theodor Seuss Geisel.

Plaque describes the Theodor Seuss Geisel Memorial at UC San Diego, home of the Dr. Seuss Collection. The memorial, by sculptor Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, was dedicated on 2 March 2004.
Plaque describes the Theodor Seuss Geisel Memorial at UC San Diego, home of the Dr. Seuss Collection. The memorial, by sculptor Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, was dedicated on 2 March 2004.
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Memorial stands on the outdoor Forum Level of the Geisel Library at UCSD.
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Memorial stands on the outdoor Forum Level of the Geisel Library at UCSD.
A bronze Cat in the Hat stands at the shoulder of Dr. Seuss.
A tall bronze The Cat in the Hat stands with an umbrella at the shoulder of Dr. Seuss.
Dr. Seuss relaxes for a bit with a foot up on his work table.
Dr. Seuss relaxes and reflects for a moment with a foot up on his work table.
A thoughtful, pleasant moment as a famous children's book author and illustrator takes a break to dream.
A thoughtful, pleasant moment as a famous children’s book author and illustrator takes a break to dream.
Looking over the bronze shoulder of Dr. Seuss on a sunny day in La Jolla.
Looking over the bronze shoulder of Dr. Seuss on a sunny day in La Jolla.
The iconic children's character Cat in the Hat cast in bronze.
An immortal children’s character from The Cat in the Hat cast in bronze.
The friendly, wise face of Theodor Seuss Geisel.
The friendly, wise face of beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel.
The work table of a world-famous children's author and artist.
The work table of a world-famous children’s author and artist.
The inspiring bronze Theodor Seuss Geisel Memorial can be found outside the southwest corner of the Geisel Library at UC San Diego.
The inspiring bronze Theodor Seuss Geisel Memorial can be found outside the southwest corner of the Geisel Library at UC 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!

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Photos of Little Italy’s new Piazza Giannini.

The new Piazza Giannini, at the corner of India and Cedar Street in downtown San Diego.
The new Piazza Giannini, at the corner of India and Cedar Street in downtown San Diego.

A new public space opened last month in downtown’s Little Italy neighborhood. Piazza Giannini, located at the corner of India Street and West Cedar Street, is a community gathering place that pays tribute to a famous Italian American who invented many of the conveniences of modern banking.

Born in San Jose, A.P. Giannini was a big believer in California. He started the Bank of Italy in San Francisco, and dedicated it to ordinary middle class Americans and hardworking immigrants that other banks wouldn’t serve. Believing in equal access to all, the Bank of Italy opened hundreds of branches throughout the state. Eventually it became Bank of America.

A sign at Piazza Giannini explains how donors can purchase plaques in this new public space.
A sign at Piazza Giannini explains how donors can purchase plaques in this new public space.
Amadeo P. Giannini was born in San Jose to Italian immigrants. He believed California and its citizens could lead the country to prosperity.
Amadeo P. Giannini was born in San Jose to Italian immigrants. He believed California and its citizens could lead the country to prosperity.
. . . we should bend increasing efforts to demonstrate the equality that underlies the American philosophy.
. . . we should bend increasing efforts to demonstrate the equality that underlies the American philosophy.
. . . No man actually ever owns fortune--it owns him.
. . . No man actually ever owns fortune–it owns him.
Serving the needs of others is the only legitimate business today.
Serving the needs of others is the only legitimate business today.
A streetlamp banner in San Diego's Little Italy pays tribute to Amadeo Giannini, father of modern banking.
A streetlamp banner in San Diego’s Little Italy pays tribute to Amadeo Giannini, father of modern banking.
A banker should consider himself a servant of the people, a servant of the community.
A banker should consider himself a servant of the people, a servant of the community.
The bronze bust of Amadeo Pietro Giannini at Piazza Giannini in Little Italy.
The bronze bust of Amadeo Pietro Giannini at Piazza Giannini in Little Italy.

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“There is no shortcut to true success.”

Statue of National Baseball Hall of Fame relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.
Statue of Hall of Fame relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.

“There is no shortcut to true success.” Those are the words of Trevor Hoffman, 2018 inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He is remembered as one of the greatest players in the history of baseball.

The wise quote adorns the base of his bronze statue, which was unveiled this summer at Petco Park.

Great achievements require hard work and persistence. Achievements that endure the test of time must be built game by game, inning by inning, pitch by pitch.

The San Diego Padres have honored two of their Hall of Fame players with magnificent statues at Petco Park. Both Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman are now immortalized in bronze. Both sculptures were created by artist William Behrends, who has been referred to as the Sculptor of Sporting History.

I posted a few photos of the Tony Gwynn statue five years ago here.

Neither Trevor Hoffman nor Tony Gwynn chose the easy path. Both worked constantly, studied the game, and never stopped honing their skills.

“There is no shortcut to true success.” To those who have high aspirations, important words to remember.

A sculpture of Trevor Hoffman overlooks the Padres bullpen, just beyond left field at Petco Park.
A sculpture of Trevor Hoffman overlooks the Padres bullpen, just beyond left field at Petco Park.
There is no shortcut to true success. Trevor Hoffman.
There is no shortcut to true success. Trevor Hoffman.
The high leg kick of Hall of Fame relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman immortalized in bronze.
The high leg kick of Hall of Fame relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman immortalized in bronze.
Two legends of baseball intersect at Tony Gwynn Drive and Trevor Hoffman Way, just outside Petco Park.
Two legends of baseball now intersect at Tony Gwynn Drive and Trevor Hoffman Way, just outside Petco Park.
Bronze sculpture of Trevor Hoffman, by artist William Behrends.
The bronze sculpture of legendary pitcher Trevor Hoffman, by artist William Behrends.

Tuna fishermen remembered at Piazza Pescatore.

Piazza Pescatore is a beautiful place to relax and linger at the corner of Kettner Boulevard and Fir Street.
Piazza Pescatore is a beautiful place where neighbors can relax and mingle at the corner of Kettner Boulevard and Fir Street.

In Little Italy, at the corner of and Kettner Boulevard and Fir Street, you’ll find Piazza Pescatore. The small community gathering place features a bronze sculpture and beautiful fountain, and plaques that remember the history of the many hard-working tuna fishermen that inhabited this San Diego neighborhood decades ago.

The artists who created this cool public artwork are sculptor Gregory Reade and mosaic artist Kim Emerson.

A bronze sculpture of a tuna fishermen holding his catch. Piazza Pescatore was donated by Bumble Bee Seafoods, which is headquartered in San Diego.
A bronze sculpture of a tuna fishermen holding his catch. Piazza Pescatore was donated by Bumble Bee Seafoods, which is headquartered in San Diego.
A plaque honors the men and women of the tuna industry who helped build San Diego's Little Italy.
A plaque honors the men and women of the tuna industry who helped build San Diego’s Little Italy.
More plaques at Piazza Pescatore honor those who helped to make San Diego the tuna capital of the world during much of the 20th century.
More plaques at Piazza Pescatore honor those who made San Diego the tuna capital of the world during much of the 20th century.
A colorful circle of artwork on the nearby sidewalk shows women with baskets and bountiful fresh fish.
A colorful circle of artwork on the nearby sidewalk shows women with baskets and bountiful fresh fish.

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Photos of The Padre sculpture in Presidio Park.

The Padre, by Arthur Putnam, 1908. The public artwork stands on a patch of grass among trees on Presidio Hill.
The Padre, by Arthur Putnam, 1908. The public artwork stands on a patch of grass among trees on Presidio Hill.

Walk up to the top of Presidio Park from Old Town and you’ll discover a variety of fascinating, historical sights. Possibly the most amazing, apart from the impressive Serra Museum building, are two extraordinary bronze sculptures, The Indian and The Padre, by renowned sculptor Arthur Putnam.

The Padre was cast in 1908. The figure of a Spanish friar stands in a small, quiet space among trees, not far from the spot where Junípero Serra founded Mission San Diego de Alcalá in 1769, which began as a temporary church at the Spanish presidio. Five years later the mission would be moved a few miles east up the San Diego River to its present location.

Here are photos of The Padre which show the sculpture’s quiet beauty.

The Padre stands alone in a green, gentle place.
The Padre stands alone in a green, gentle place.
A Spanish friar seems to walk out of San Diego's very early history.
A Spanish friar seems to walk out of San Diego’s very early history.
The Padre by Arthur Putnam. Given to San Diego Historical Society by the descendants of E.W. Scripps.
The Padre by Arthur Putnam. Given to San Diego Historical Society by the descendants of E.W. Scripps.
Markings at the sculpture's base indicated it was cast by Louis de Rome's bronze foundry in San Francisco, the city where Arthur Putnam lived for many years.
Markings at the sculpture’s base indicated it was cast by Louis de Rome’s bronze foundry in San Francisco, the city where Arthur Putnam lived for many years.
A quiet bronze statue among trees near San Diego's now ruined and vanished Presidio.
A quiet bronze statue among trees near San Diego’s now ruined and vanished Presidio.
A spider's web and small fallen leaves above folded hands.
A spider’s web and small fallen leaves above folded hands.
The Padre seems to be lost in prayer or silent contemplation.
The Padre seems to be lost in prayer or silent contemplation.
Close photo of bowed head of The Padre on Presidio Hill.
Close photo of bowed head of The Padre on Presidio Hill.

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!