Endless scenes of beauty in Balboa Park.

Children gaze at the beautiful fountain and sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec by Donal Hord, in the courtyard of Balboa Park's House of Hospitality.
Children gaze at the beautiful fountain and sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec by Donal Hord, in the courtyard of Balboa Park’s House of Hospitality.

It’s difficult to find words that adequately describe Balboa Park. Endless scenes of beauty open up everywhere. Every walk is a different voyage through wonder.

Many of these photos were taken recently. A few have been residing in my computer waiting for the perfect moment.

There Are Places I'll Remember All My Life. A colorful banner near door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
There Are Places I’ll Remember All My Life. A colorful banner near door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
Gigantic bubbles form like magic in the Plaza de Balboa.
Gigantic bubbles form like magic in the Plaza de Balboa.
The House of Charm's tower rises above the Alcazar Garden.
The House of Charm’s tower rises above the Alcazar Garden.
A twisted, wonderful Australian tea tree on Balboa Park's West Mesa.
A twisted, wonderful Australian tea tree on Balboa Park’s West Mesa.
Walking through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Walking through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Wedding photos are taken at one end of the beautiful Lily Pond, or reflecting pool.
Wedding photos are taken at one end of the beautiful Lily Pond, or reflecting pool.
Sunlight reveals natural beauty at the House of Hospitality.
Sunlight reveals natural beauty at the House of Hospitality.
People head up toward the Casa del Prado's outdoor courtyard to enjoy another special event in Balboa Park.
People head up toward the Casa del Prado’s outdoor courtyard to enjoy another special event in Balboa Park.
I took this striking photo yesterday at the San Diego Fern Society Show inside the Casa del Prado.
I took this striking photo yesterday at the San Diego Fern Society Show inside the Casa del Prado.
People relax and picnic on the lawn near the Botanical Building.
People relax and picnic on the lawn near the Botanical Building.
A scene of great beauty in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A scene of great natural beauty in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Visitors to Balboa Park walk toward the Plaza de Panama.
Visitors to Balboa Park head toward the Plaza de Panama.
Walking along. More things to see.
Walking along. More things to see.
Gazing toward Balboa Park's Pepper Grove from the pathway inside the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Gazing toward Balboa Park’s Pepper Grove from a pathway inside the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Abundant beauty at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Abundant beauty at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Resting at tables in the Plaza de Panama near the front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Resting at tables in the Plaza de Panama near the front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
San Diego sunshine highlights arches at the Casa del Prado.
San Diego sunshine highlights arches inside the Casa del Prado.
Sitting along the colonnade at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Sitting along the colonnade at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during an outdoor concert.
Walking past the magnificent facade of the Casa del Prado Theater.
Walking past the magnificent facade of the Casa del Prado Theater.
Bright flowers near a window at the International Cottages.
Flowers brighten a window at the International Cottages.
A leisurely walk through Spanish Village.
A leisurely stroll through Spanish Village.
The amazing tile dome of the California Building, home of the Museum of Man.
The amazing tile dome of the California Building, home of the Museum of Man.
The Bea Evenson Fountain lit at night.
The Bea Evenson Fountain lit at night.
Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.
Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park, too? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

More color and creativity in Spanish Village!

Visitors to the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park walk through a sunlit paradise of color and creativity.
Visitors to the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park walk through a sunlit paradise of color and creativity.

Over the past five years, I’ve blogged about Spanish Village Art Center many times, on Cool San Diego Sights and on my other website Beautiful Balboa Park. Spanish Village one of my go-to places when I need to feel optimistic, free and alive.

Whenever I stroll around the many art studios, I feel like I’ve entered a kaleidoscope of living color and creativity. It’s a wonderful place to visit if you want to feel inspired.

Lovers of art in San Diego need to swing on by. You’ll find yourself lingering. And smiling.

Sign lists 2018 events, including special shows and sales, in Spanish Village Art Studios in Balboa Park.
Sign lists 2018 events, including special shows and sales, in Spanish Village Art Studios in Balboa Park.
Patio tiles leading visitors to the front door of Studio 26 seem like a Yellow Brick Road of many colors.
Patio tiles leading visitors to the front door of Studio 26 seem like a Yellow Brick Road of many colors.
Surprising color fills four pots.
Surprising colors grow in four pots.
The rear of the Uni-two-corn by sculptor Kim Ogburn, which functions as a seat for two.
The rear of the Uni-two-corn by sculptor Kim Ogburn, which functions as a seat for two.
A dreamlike canvas in front of Studio 31 in Spanish Village.
A dreamlike canvas in front of Studio 31 in Spanish Village.
Someone admires a glass vase created by the friendly glassblowers in Studio 19.
Someone admires a glass vase created by the friendly glassblowers in Studio 19.
Beautiful cacti in a planter near the front door of Studio 18.
Beautiful cacti in a planter near the front door of Studio 18.
An amazing flower outside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building in Spanish Village.
An amazing flower outside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building in Spanish Village.
Colorful cats have gathered on the patio in front of Studio 16 in Spanish Village.
Colorful cats have gathered on the patio in front of Studio 16 in Spanish Village.
The local artists in Studio 14 specialize in Kaleidoscopes, Egg Art and Handmade Art.
The local artists in Studio 14 specialize in Kaleidoscopes, Egg Art and Handmade Art.
A painter creates new artwork outside the window of the Southwestern Artists' Association Gallery in Studio 23.
A painter creates new artwork outside the window of the Southwestern Artists’ Association Gallery in Studio 23.
Mary-Ella Bowles in Studio 6 created this fun Fairy House out of a gigantic gourd!
Mary-Ella Bowles in Studio 6 created this fun Fairy House out of a gigantic hollow gourd!
A colorful frog is standing on a leaf outside Studio 10.
A colorful frog is standing on a big leaf outside Studio 10.

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!

Colorful new street art in Barrio Logan!

Female face flows like sand through an hourglass. Beautiful street art on a utility box on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway in Barrio Logan.
Female face flows like sand through an hourglass. Beautiful street art on a utility box on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway in Barrio Logan.

Every so often I drive up Cesar E. Chavez Parkway through Barrio Logan. Recently I noticed that there’s a bunch of new street art decorating electrical boxes at intervals along both sidewalks. So last Sunday I took a walk through the neighborhood to check it out.

The photos of street art on walls, doors and windows you see were taken on Main Street just north of Cesar E. Chavez Parkway. The many electrical boxes were observed along the parkway between Main Street and National Avenue.

As I took those final two photos of the painted dogs Princess and Chato, I was startled by a nearby voice. A gentlemen at the nearby house greeted me from over his fence. I learned many of the boxes along the street were painted by various local artists about a month and a half ago. He was pleased that his neighborhood is getting “cleaned up” and graffiti has made way to all the colorful artwork.

I was also surprised to learn Princess and Chato were actual living dogs! As we spoke, a woman came out of the house proudly holding the two dogs! After I departed, I regretted not asking whether I could take photos of their pets. As you can see, Princess and Chato’s street art portraits are very true-to-life!

Street art fuses a human face with elements from the Mexican flag's coat of arms.
Street art fuses a human face with elements from the Mexican flag’s coat of arms.
A pink flamingo painted by a blue door on Main Street in Barrio Logan.
A pink flamingo painted by a blue door on Main Street in Barrio Logan.
Glashaus remains painted on a shipping container long after the nearby art studios were vacated.
Glashaus remains painted on a shipping container long after the nearby art studios were vacated.
Shark painted on wall by Ol' Fashioned Lumber.
Shark painted on wall by Ol’ Fashioned Lumber.
Happy sun painted on a long colorful wall at Perkins Elementary School.
Happy sun painted on a long colorful wall at Perkins Elementary School.
A very flowery Frida Kahlo, painted on a door at The iN Gallery.
A very flowery Frida Kahlo, painted on a door at The iN Gallery.
Tree-like art on a screen door at 1878 Main Street.
Tree-like art on a screen door at 1878 Main Street.
Cool art enlivens a nearby window.
Cool art enlivens a nearby window.
Cesar Chavez art in Barrio Logan on the street that bears his name. His words concerning courage and the non-violent struggle for justice live on.
Cesar Chavez art in Barrio Logan on the street that bears his name. His words concerning courage and the non-violent struggle for justice live on.
Huelga in Spanish means strike.
Huelga in Spanish means strike.
Symbols fill one side of an electrical box. You are in Chicano Park.
Symbols fill one side of an electrical box. You are in Chicano Park.
Fun street art on another side of the electrical box on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway includes a face.
Fun street art on another side of the electrical box on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway includes a face.
Another side. Two birds, a red flower, the moon and sun.
Another side. Two birds, a red flower, the moon and sun.
A poem. Flores para los Muertos - Flores de los Enamorados... Flowers for the Dead - Flowers of the Lovers...
A poem. Flores para los Muertos – Flores de los Enamorados… Flowers for the Dead – Flowers of the Lovers…
Stunning street art in Barrio Logan abundant with ancient symbolism.
Stunning street art in Barrio Logan abundant with ancient symbolism.
A painted calavera among flowers, topped with a hat-like gramophone.
A painted calavera among flowers, topped with a hat-like gramophone.
A Mexican ballet folklórico dancer, with a skirt made of a red rose.
A Mexican ballet folklórico dancer, with a skirt made of a red rose.
One box depicts the mythological Aztec story Quetzalcoatl escapes from Migtlan (a part of the underworld).
One box depicts the mythological Aztec story Quetzalcoatl escapes from Migtlan (a part of the underworld).
Mictlantecuhtli, god of the dead and the king of Mictlan, and his wife Mictecacihuatl seem upset that Quetzalcóatl escaped!
Mictlantecuhtli, god of the dead and the king of Mictlan, and his wife Mictecacihuatl seem upset that Quetzalcóatl escaped!
One box seems to be a work in progress, with a yellow skull and empty white oval.
One box seems to be a work in progress, with a yellow skull and empty white oval.
Colorful prickly pears decorate one utility box.
Colorful prickly pears decorate one utility box.
Another side.
Another side.
Among many symbols in the Barrio Logan street art, I spy the logo of the San Diego Padres!
Among many symbols and motifs in the Barrio Logan street art, I spy the logo of the San Diego Padres!
A corner of one otherwise bare box.
A corner of one otherwise bare box.
RAZA with colorful, dynamic imagery.
RAZA with colorful, dynamic imagery.
Chicano Rocks--looks sort of like an Aztec version of the rock band KISS.
Chicano Rocks–looks sort of like an Aztec version of the rock band KISS.
Legendary musician Santana has a third eye.
Legendary musician Santana has a third eye.
Amazing street art in Barrio Logan. Painting of a face decorated for Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Amazing street art in Barrio Logan. Painting of a face decorated for Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Boy carries earthen jug. Agua es vida. Water is life.
Boy carries earthen jug. Agua es vida. Water is life.
Happy dog street art, with tongue hanging out.
Happy dog street art, with tongue hanging out.
Another side of the same box--another happy dog.
Another side of the same box–another happy dog.
Aztec god of the night and conflict, jaguar Tezcatlipoca.
Aztec god of the night and conflict, jaguar Tezcatlipoca.
Scorpion street art in Barrio Logan.
Scorpion street art in Barrio Logan.
Dog's head street art.
Dog’s head street art.
Street art of Princess, an actual dog who lives at a nearby house!
Street art of Princess, an actual dog who lives at a nearby house!
And this is Chato, a second dog who lives at the same house!
And this is Chato, a second dog who lives at the same house!

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!

Cool art along Third Avenue in Chula Vista!

Mural in Chula Vista titled Lemon Capitol of the World, 1900-1945. By local artist Bob Teague, 2003.
People walk past mural in Chula Vista titled Lemon Capitol of the World, 1900-1945. By local artist Bob Teague, 2003.

As I walked about Chula Vista’s Lemon Festival yesterday, I was excited to discover some cool public art!

There are probably more examples of art to be found along the Third Avenue business district between E Street and G Street, but I photographed what I happened to stumble upon.

(Note: you will see two different sculptures. One represents sunrise, the other sunset.)

Enjoy!

Plaque by mural explains the role of lemons in the history of Chula Vista. Many grand old orchard houses can still be seen around the city.
Plaque by mural explains the role of lemons in the history of Chula Vista. Many grand old orchard houses can still be seen around the city.
Section of Lemon Capitol of the World mural that shows the historic orchard house that still stands at 210 Davidson Street.
Section of Lemon Capitol of the World mural that shows the historic orchard house that still stands at 210 Davidson Street.
ChromaSol (sunrise), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun's colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
ChromaSol (sunrise), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun’s colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
A photo of the "sunrise" sculpture from a different angle.
A photo of the translucent “sunrise” sculpture from a different angle.
ChromaSol (sunset), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun's colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
ChromaSol (sunset), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun’s colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
Sunlight shines through the "sunset" sculpture. I see the green flash!
Sunlight shines through the “sunset” sculpture. I see the green flash!
Mural on wall of Mangia Italiano on Third, by Danos Designs.
Mural on wall of Mangia Italiano on Third, by Danos Designs.
Lovers stand on a balcony, and eat Italian food by the ocean.
Lovers embrace on a balcony by the ocean; another couple holds hands over Italian food.
The Vogue Theater, an historic 1945 Chula Vista movie theater designed by architect Frank Hope Jr., awaits renovation.
The Vogue Theater, an historic 1945 Chula Vista movie theater designed by architect Frank Hope Jr., awaits renovation.
Street art on the front of The Vogue Theater in Chula Vista depicts a night out at the movies.
Artwork on the front of The Vogue Theater in Chula Vista appears to depict a night out at the movies.

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!

A taste of the Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

A giant smiling lemon greets me at the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!
A giant smiling lemon greets me at the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

I’ve never been to Chula Vista’s Lemon Festival before. So this year I thought I’d take the trolley down to the South Bay to experience this big annual event!

Not only is the Lemon Festival, which takes place along a stretch of Third Avenue, a whole lot of fun, but visitors have the opportunity to learn about the history of Chula Vista and how it once was a major center of the Southern California citrus industry.

With construction of the Sweetwater Dam completed in 1888, and the arrival of the railroad in the South Bay, Chula Vista became the perfect place to grow sun-loving lemons. At one point in the early 20th century there were nearly two thousand acres of lemon groves in the area. Chula Vista even called itself the Lemon Capital of the World.

Today lemon trees are chiefly found in backyards. After World War II, the large groves began to make way for houses. Some of the developers would leave one lemon tree in the backyard of new homes.

I did see loads of lemons during the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival: lemon art, lemon costumes, lemons in treats, lemonade . . . Lemon yellow everywhere!

See for yourself!

About 50,000 people would turn out for the yearly lemon-themed event.
About 50,000 people would turn out for the yearly lemon-themed event.
These ladies had all sorts of sweet lemon treats for sale.
These ladies had all sorts of sweet lemon treats for sale.
Some friendly people from the Restored Church posed so that a blogger could take a funny photo at their booth.
Some friendly people from the Restored Church posed so that a blogger could take a funny photo at their Lemon Festival booth.
Artists at the Lemon Festival had all sorts of colorful artwork for sale that contained bright yellow.
Artists at the Lemon Festival had all sorts of colorful artwork for sale that contained bright yellow.
This lady registering people to vote had a cool lemon slice umbrella hat and smile.
This lady registering people to vote had a cool lemon slice umbrella hat and smile.
More ice cold lemonade! Sounds good on a hot summer day in San Diego's South Bay.
More ice cold lemonade! Sounds good on a hot summer day in San Diego’s South Bay.
Even this funny pooch in a wagon was selling lemonade!
Even this funny pooch in a wagon was selling lemonade!
The Chula Vista Historical Society had a booth with books and fascinating information.
The Chula Vista Historical Society had a booth with books and fascinating information.
Their display showed Chula Vista's agricultural past. Many packing companies once exported lemons around the world.
Their display showed Chula Vista’s agricultural past. Many growers and packing companies once exported lemons around the world. Some of the beautiful old crate labels have become valuable collectibles.
The display explains different grades of lemons, including culls, which were blemished, and used to make juice, furniture polish, and other by-products.
The display explains different grades of lemons, including culls, which were blemished, and used to make juice, furniture polish, and other lemon by-products.
The festival had just started and these ladies with the Third Avenue Village Association, that puts on the popular event, were putting the finishing touches on their booth.
The festival had just started and these ladies with the Third Avenue Village Association, that puts on the popular event, were almost done decorating their booth.
Another booth at the Lemon Festival had lots of old historical photographs.
Another booth at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival featured lots of interesting historical photographs.
Someone points to a photo of workers in a lemon grove at the Higgins Ranch in Keen Valley, 1901.
Someone points to a photo of workers in a lemon grove at the Higgins Ranch in Keen Valley, 1901.
Aerial photo of the Boltz lemon ranch in the mid 1920's.
Aerial photo of the Boltz lemon ranch in the mid 1920’s.
Typical Chula Vista lemon packing plant, circa 1920's.
Typical Chula Vista lemon packing plant, circa 1920’s.
Old photos of Chula Vista streetcar and train at Third Avenue.
Old photos of Chula Vista streetcar and train at Third Avenue.
Bonita lemon pickers, 1913.
Bonita lemon pickers, 1913.
Meanwhile, people spin a lemon-themed prize wheel at the festival.
Meanwhile, people spin a lemon-themed prize wheel at the festival.
At the Lemonade Bandstand, entertainment included live music, a largest lemon and lemon peel contest, a lemon costume contest, and lemon pie eating contest.
At the Lemonade Bandstand, entertainment included live music, a largest lemon and lemon peel contest, a lemon costume contest, and lemon pie eating contest.
People watch the Lemon Squeezers play rock and roll music with a twist!
People watch the Lemon Squeezers play rock and roll music with a twist!
Cool local band, the Lemon Squeezers, at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival.
Cool local band, the Lemon Squeezers, at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival.
That great music has people dancing!
That great music has people smiling and dancing!
Batman and Wonder Woman dropped on by and posed for a photo by the Lemon Bar sign.
Batman and Wonder Woman dropped on by and posed for a photo by the Lemon Bar sign.
All that fun made me thirsty for some lemonade!
All that fun has made me thirsty for some lemonade!

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Sails dance in bright light at day’s end.

I love to watch sailboats out on San Diego Bay before sunset.

Sails stretch in the wind and capture the late sun.

Turning, fluttering, then swelling again, the dreamlike sails glide through their radiant dance. A ballet of light between the water and sky. And then the curtain closes.

Here I go again posting more photographs of sailboats.

I took these today from the end of Broadway Pier.

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!

Alfred Mitchell’s fine paintings of San Diego.

La Jolla Cove, Alfred Mitchell, oil on canvas, circa 1950.
La Jolla Cove, Alfred Mitchell, oil on canvas, circa 1950.

Today, with great thanks to my docent friend, I enjoyed several exhibits at the San Diego Museum of Art. The first exhibit, and perhaps my personal favorite, was a small collection of landscape paintings by Alfred R. Mitchell.

Silent Light: Alfred Mitchell features deeply beautiful work by an artist who spent most of his life in San Diego. Along with several other local artists who obtained national stature, including Maurice Braun, Arthur Fries, Charles Reiffel and Donal Hord, he was a founding member of the Contemporary Artists of San Diego. He also helped to create the La Jolla Art Association in 1918 and the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego in 1925. The latter institution is known today as the San Diego Museum of Art!

Here are photos of four pieces that I particularly like. My poor old camera doesn’t do them justice. Each painting is infused with light and indescribably rich color. Each seems a perfect memory–a brief moment in the life of this world made timeless.

You might recognize these particular four locations. They are all by the ocean in La Jolla. It’s a place of great natural beauty where I love to walk.

Silent Light: Alfred Mitchell can be enjoyed through August 19, 2018. If you’ve fallen in love with the landscapes of San Diego, you’ll be awed by these extraordinary paintings.

Cliffs South of La Jolla Shores, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, circa 1930.
Cliffs South of La Jolla Shores, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, circa 1930.
Bathing, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, undated.
Bathing, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, undated.
La Jolla Coast Walk, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, undated.
La Jolla Coast Walk, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, undated.

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!