Carved stone Chinese lions unveiled in San Diego!

Founder of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Alexander Chuang, prepares one of two stone lions for their unveiling ceremony.
Founder of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Alexander Chuang, prepares one of two stone lions for their unveiling ceremony.

This morning a ceremony was held in front of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Two large stone lions were unveiled at the intersection of J Street and Third Avenue. That’s in the very heart of downtown’s Asian Pacific Historic District.

I missed the unveiling, because I had a long-reserved ticket for another nearby event which took place at the exact same time. But I did get photos of the two amazing sculptures being prepared!

The founder of the Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Alexander Chuang, had the two beautiful lions made in China then brought to the City of San Diego. It was a generous gift and a wonderful addition to our diverse city. I was told Dr. Chuang spent 7 or 8 years on this project. The lions are carved from stone taken from Mount Tai, which is said to be the holiest mountain in China. Now I have yet another reason to look forward to walks through this fascinating part of downtown San Diego!

I briefly spoke to Dr. Alexander Chuang while he prepared the statues, and to other members of the museum. They were so very gracious! One day I’ll venture into the museum–it’s on my list of things to do. When I do, I’ll definitely share the experience.

Plaque describes pair of large stone lions made of granite from Mount Tai, considered the holiest mountain in China. They will be a landmark of the Asian Pacific Historic District of San Diego.
Plaque describes pair of large stone lions made of granite from Mount Tai, considered the holiest mountain in China. They will be a landmark of the Asian Pacific Historic District of San Diego.
Final preparations are made about an hour before the unveiling. I got a sneak peek just by walking around with my camera!
Final preparations are made about an hour before the unveiling. I got a sneak peek just by walking around with my camera!
Members of the Chinese Historical Museum drape one of the two stone lions. I got my early photos just in time!
Members of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum drape one of the two stone lions. I got my early photos just in time!
On the opposite side of the street, the second lion stands guard. Another very cool sight has been added to the city of San Diego!
On the opposite side of Third Avenue, the second lion stands guard. Another very cool sight has been added to the city of San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! 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 fun photos for you to enjoy!

Lion dances and fun in downtown San Diego!

Lion dancer meets small visitor to the 34th Annual 2016 San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.
Lion dancer meets small visitor to the 34th Annual 2016 San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, a special festival is being held this weekend in downtown San Diego, in the historic old Chinatown section, now known as the Asian Thematic District. The event is called the 34th Annual 2016 San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair, and it’s being put on by the San Diego Chinese Center (SDCC). You can find the fun on two blocks adjacent to the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. There are lion dances, drummers, temple dancers, story telling, a kung fu demonstration, and just lots and lots of cool sights.

I walked through the festival this morning around 10 o’clock and observed the opening ceremonies. Here are some colorful pics!

The CCBA Lucky Lion Dancers would soon be heading down the street through the crowd.
The CCBA Lucky Lion Dancers would soon be heading down the street through the crowd.
Tables in front of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum contained arts, crafts and many unique cultural objects.
Tables in front of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum contain arts, crafts and many unique cultural objects.
These funny faces were for sale in a vendor's booth. There was lots of Chinese food and a variety of colorful wares for visitors to purchase.
These funny faces were for sale in a vendor’s booth. There was a lot of Asian food and a variety of colorful wares for visitors to purchase.
Uniquely beautiful Asian art could be seen up and down the street during the San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.
Uniquely beautiful art could be seen up and down the street during the San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.
Anyone could have their name written in Chinese!
Anyone could have their name written in Chinese!
2016 is the Year of the Golden Monkey. Monkey is the ninth zodiac animal in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese calendar.
2016 is the Year of the Golden Monkey. Monkey is the ninth zodiac animal in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese calendar.
The opening ceremony included an elaborate lion dance, then the display of this banner by San Diego dignitaries.
The opening ceremony included an elaborate lion dance on stage, then the display of this banner by San Diego dignitaries.
The energetic, exciting lion dance resumed, and people fed the lions red envelopes full of money for good luck!
The energetic, exciting lion dance resumed, and people fed the lions red envelopes full of money for good luck!
An explosion of lettuce from the hungry lions during the dance was cleaned up on the stage afterward! Lettuce symbolizes a fresh start in a new year.
An explosion of lettuce from the hungry lions during the dance was cleaned up on the stage afterward! Lettuce symbolizes a fresh start in a new year.
A drummer helps spur the dancing lions, a Laughing Buddha and a monkey into action!
A drummer helps spur the dancing lions, a Laughing Buddha and a monkey into action!
A long Chinese dragon on display. I believe a dragon dance would take place later. One of many cool sights at the annual San Diego festival!
A long Chinese dragon on display. I believe a dragon dance would take place later. One of many cool sights at the annual San Diego festival!

If you enjoy my blog, you can follow Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook and Twitter!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Please click Short Stories by Richard.

Photos of Chinese New Year celebration in Balboa Park.

A special House of China lawn program at Balboa Park's International Cottages celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year with music and dance.
A special House of China lawn program at Balboa Park’s International Cottages celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year with food, music and dance.

Today I headed to Balboa Park hoping to catch part of the House of China’s lawn program at the International Cottages. The cultural event celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year, which occurs on February 8. It’s the Year of the Monkey!

I wasn’t the only one who thought of attending! An unusually big crowd turned out for the colorful festivities.

Here come a few cool pics!

Many displays were at the Chinese New Year event in Balboa Park. This gentleman wrote people's names using Mandarin characters.
Several fascinating displays were at the Chinese New Year event in Balboa Park. This gentleman wrote people’s names using Mandarin characters.
Lots of authentic Chinese food was being gobbled up, including these Green Onion Pancakes!
Lots of authentic Chinese food was being gobbled up, including these Green Onion Pancakes!
Many Balboa Park visitors were heading into the House of China cottage today.
Many Balboa Park visitors were heading into the House of China cottage today.
Fine exhibits inside the House of China include this interesting carp made of animal horn.
Fine exhibits inside the House of China include this interesting carp made of animal horn.
Kids look into a display case containing many porcelain dolls.
Kids look into a display case containing many porcelain dolls.
A colorful collection of beautiful porcelain dolls inside the House of China in San Diego's always wonderful Balboa Park!
A colorful collection of beautiful porcelain dolls inside the House of China in San Diego’s always wonderful Balboa Park!

Join me for more cool sights on Facebook and Twitter!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Please visit Short Stories by Richard.

Cool sights in San Diego’s historic Chinatown.

An amazing statue of China's unifying First Emperor stands at the front entrance of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
A statue of China’s unifying First Emperor. It stands at the front entrance of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.

From time to time I walk through San Diego’s historic Chinatown, which is located in what is officially called the Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District. The area is bounded by Market Street, 2nd Avenue, 6th Avenue and J Street. You’ll find it downtown right next to the Gaslamp Quarter.

Over the years, I’ve learned a bit about San Diego’s early history during these walks. And I’ve accumulated a few photographs. Here are some cool sights that you might enjoy. I’ve provided interesting information in the captions.

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum in the Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District. The Chinese Mission Building, built in 1927, was moved in 1996 to its present location at 404 3rd Avenue.
The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum in the Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District. The Chinese Mission Building, built in 1927, was moved in 1995 to its present location at 404 3rd Avenue.
The California Mission Revival-style Chinese Mission Building, dated 1927, was designed by Louis Gill, nephew and protege of renowned architect Irving Gill.
The California Mission Revival-style Chinese Mission Building, dated 1927, was designed by Louis Gill, nephew and protege of renowned architect Irving Gill.
Banners along side of downtown's San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Banners along side of downtown’s San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Looking through the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Gate on Third Avenue. Behind the museum is a small Asian garden.
Looking through the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Gate on Third Avenue. Behind the museum is a small Asian garden.
Ornate front of the San Diego Chinese Center, a community resource located in the Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District, San Diego's historic Chinatown.
Ornate front of the San Diego Chinese Center, a community resource located in the Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District.
A century ago, Quin Produce was located here on Third Avenue. Ah Quin ran a family produce business and was once considered the unofficial mayor of Chinatown.
A century ago, Quin Produce was located here on Third Avenue. Ah Quin ran a family produce business and was once considered the unofficial mayor of Chinatown.
The Chuang Archive and Learning Center of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
The Chuang Archive and Learning Center of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Display in window explains Feathered Beings Iconography. Feathered beings were frequently seen motifs in artifacts of the Han Dynasty.
Display in window explains Feathered Beings Iconography. Feathered beings were frequently seen motifs in artifacts of the Han Dynasty.
Three bay windows at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Extension display historical photographs and common artifacts from San Diego's old Chinatown.
Three bay windows at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Extension display historical photographs and common artifacts from San Diego’s old Chinatown.
Photographs in this outdoor exhibit show various aspects of Chinese culture.
Photographs in this outdoor exhibit show various aspects of Chinese culture.
A view of San Diego's Third Avenue a hundred years ago, and the family of influential businessman and civic leader Ah Quin.
A view of San Diego’s Third Avenue a hundred years ago, and the family of influential businessman and civic leader Ah Quin.
Items from daily life in old Chinatown include kerosene heater, iron, scale and soup spoon.
Items from daily life in old Chinatown include kerosene heater, iron, and a grocery scale.
Scale manufactured by National Store Specialty Company, circa early 1900s.
Scale manufactured by National Store Specialty Company, circa early 1900s.
Display includes various articles used for food preparation and cooking in San Diego's old Chinatown.
Display includes various articles used for food preparation and cooking in San Diego’s old Chinatown.
Beautiful, artistic and historically interesting objects from daily life long ago in Chinatown.
Beautiful, artistic and historically interesting objects from daily life long ago in Chinatown.
A walk through San Diego's Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District provides many cool sights.
A walk through San Diego’s Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District provides many cool sights!

Join me for more cool sights on Facebook and Twitter!

Do you like to read inspirational, thought-provoking fiction? Visit my Short Stories by Richard writing blog!