Readers, writers gather for Festival of Books!

Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!
Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!

This morning I headed to Liberty Station in Point Loma to enjoy the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!

I was excited to see that a positively enormous crowd had gathered to celebrate reading and writing! I didn’t attend any of the panels, but I did walk around to check out fascinating displays by local authors, publishers, cultural institutions and organizations that promote literacy. I spoke to many of the writers and was inspired by their creative energy and optimism!

These days the written word might be read on phones more frequently than on paper, but those words are just as vital as ever.

What would life be without words?

Words connect people.

Words define the world to our minds.

Words are how we create meaning.

The big San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books was held at Liberty Station in Point Loma.
The big San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books was held at beautiful Liberty Station in Point Loma.
Many local and regional authors showcased their books at the festival.
Many local and regional authors showcased their books at the festival.
Readers could meet friendly authors, get a signed copy, and make new discoveries!
Readers could meet friendly authors, get a signed copy, and make new discoveries!
Looks like Frida Kahlo is into that book.
Looks like Frida Kahlo is into that book.
Books as decor??? READ THEM, you silly people!
Books as decor? READ THEM, you silly people!
Write Out Loud, who produces TwainFest and other cool literary events, smiled for my camera! PoeFest in Old Town's spooky-at-night Adobe Chapel is coming in October.
Write Out Loud, who produces TwainFest and other cool literary events, smiled for my camera! PoeFest in Old Town’s spooky-at-night Adobe Chapel is coming in October!
I read a few days ago that the La Jolla Playhouse's musical Diana is heading to Broadway. Thumbs up!
I read a few days ago that the La Jolla Playhouse’s musical Diana is heading to Broadway. Thumbs up!
These cool folks representing the San Diego Repertory Theatre told me their digs at Horton Plaza are getting an upgrade!
These cool folks representing the San Diego Repertory Theatre told me their digs at Horton Plaza are getting an upgrade!
An exciting new era is beginning at the San Diego Symphony. Their new conductor is internationally acclaimed Rafael Payare!
An exciting new era is beginning at the San Diego Symphony. Their new conductor is internationally acclaimed Rafael Payare!
I know why these folks are smiling. Comedian Steve Martin's funny farce, The Underpants, is now playing at the Old Globe Theatre!
I know why these folks are smiling. Comedian Steve Martin’s funny farce, The Underpants, is now playing at the Old Globe Theatre!
Letras Sin Fronteras had their bookmobile at the festival.
Letras Sin Fronteras had their cool bookmobile at the festival.
The state of Maine asked Coronado author Tamara Merrill to write a book about prejudice in that region's past. It's titled Shadows in Our Bones.
The state of Maine asked Coronado author Tamara Merrill to write a book about prejudice in that region’s past. It’s titled Shadows in Our Bones.
I remember seeing Sheri Fink with her fun Whimsical World children's books during my walks near Seaport Village!
I remember seeing Sheri Fink with her fun Whimsical World children’s books during my walks near Seaport Village!
I love the cover of The Happy Little Garbage Truck by author Josan Wright Callender!
I love the cover of The Happy Little Garbage Truck by author Josan Wright Callender!
I caught an energetic performance by San Diego Taiko at the festival stage.
I caught an energetic performance by San Diego Taiko at the festival stage.
I also enjoyed seeing some cool Star Wars cosplay!
I also enjoyed seeing some awesome Star Wars cosplay!
First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.
First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.
Some fun, easy books that a young kid would surely love!
Some fun, easy books that any young kid would surely love!
San Diego Writers, Ink had a table at the Festival of Books. They nurture local writers with classes, groups, workshops and readings!
San Diego Writers, Ink had a table at the Festival of Books. They nurture local writers with classes, groups, workshops and readings!
Author Jim Stevens said I couldn't read a few sentences from any page of his novel without laughing. I did . . . and I did!
Author Jim Stevens said I couldn’t read a few sentences from any page of this novel without laughing. I did . . . and I did!
San Diego Zoo Global Press has launched fun children's books about animals! I met author and illustrator of Periwinkle's Journey, Suzy Spafford, of Suzy's Zoo fame.
San Diego Zoo Global Press has launched fun children’s books about animals! I met author and illustrator of Periwinkle’s Journey, Suzy Spafford, of Suzy’s Zoo fame.
A penguin makes a journey...
A penguin makes a journey…
Anyone could piece together poems like mosaics at the Words To Go table.
Anyone could piece together poems like mosaics at the Words To Go table.
I learned UC San Diego Extension is building a new facility in downtown's East Village. Very cool!
I learned UC San Diego Extension is building a new facility in downtown’s East Village. Very cool!
Some fun kids art at their table!
Some colorful kids art at their table!
Local word lover Richard Lederer, the Wizard of Idiom, was showing his many books and silently correcting my grammar.
Local word lover Richard Lederer, the Wizard of Idiom, was showing his many books and silently correcting my grammar.
Mister is the true story of a chicken, inspired by a San Diego teacher!
Mister is the true story of a chicken, inspired by a San Diego teacher!
Eat. Sleep. Read.
Eat. Sleep. Read.
KPBS had a table display of this year's One Book, One San Diego titles.
KPBS had a table display of this year’s One Book, One San Diego titles.
Visitors to the festival could write the title of their favorite book on this big chalkboard.
Visitors to the festival could write the title of their favorite book on this big chalkboard.
The San Diego Public Library had a booth, plus a nearby bookstore at the festival.
The San Diego Public Library had a booth, plus a nearby bookstore at the festival.
Visitors could write suggestions for the San Diego Public Library. Ebooks appeared to be a popular desire.
Visitors could write suggestions for the San Diego Public Library. Ebooks appeared to be a popular desire.
The Union Tribune had a special exhibit concerning journalism. Truth is Always the Strongest Argument.
The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper had a special indoor exhibit concerning journalism. Truth is Always the Strongest Argument – Sophocles.
The Festival of Books is an amazing San Diego event where writers and readers meet and share a love for the written word!
The Festival of Books is an absolutely amazing San Diego event where writers and readers meet and share a love for the written word!

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!

World-class sand masters smile for fun photos!

Cool sand artists rest for a bit near the foot of Broadway Pier as they create a welcoming sculpture for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge! A couple faces look familiar from past competitions!
Cool sand artists rest for a bit near the foot of Broadway Pier as they create a welcoming sculpture for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge! A couple faces look familiar from past competitions!

Some of the world’s greatest sand artists smiled for my camera late this afternoon! They’re now carving sand sculptures on Broadway Pier that will greet people as they arrive for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.

During Labor Day weekend, these extraordinary artists will be working hard inside the Port Pavilion, where the public can watch them create spectacular pieces of fine art out of compacted sand!

If you’re in San Diego, it’s the big Labor Day weekend event you shouldn’t miss!

On the other side of the welcoming sand sculpture, a design is being carved that celebrates the 250th anniversary of the city of San Diego!
On the other side of the welcoming sand sculpture, a design is being carved that celebrates the 250th Anniversary of the City of San Diego!
One of the outdoor sand sculptures near the Port Pavilion is sponsored by MTS. It's a work still in progress.
One of the outdoor sand sculptures near the Port Pavilion is sponsored by San Diego’s public transit system, MTS. It’s a work still in progress.
Sand master and TV star Chris Guinto smiles for my camera! I met him briefly five years ago during this annual competition. This sculpture he's working on promotes Natural Light Seltzer.
Sand master and TV star Chris Guinto smiles for my camera! I met him briefly five years ago during the annual competition. This sculpture he’s working on for an event sponsor will promote Natural Light Seltzer.

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!

Architecture inspired by nature . . . and UFOs!

An exhibition of truly amazing architectural designs recently opened at the SDSU Downtown Gallery.

Radiant Architecture: The Visionary Work of Eugene Ray showcases the futuristic architectural concepts of an emeritus professor from San Diego State University, who taught Environmental Design from 1969 to 1996.

Those who have driven through La Jolla might have seen the fantastic house and studio he built at 1699 Nautilus Street. It’s commonly referred to as the Silver Ship. It was erected in 1978 with the help of Environmental Design students from SDSU.

It’s no surprise that many of Eugene Ray’s designs appear a bit like spaceships. His inspiration comes not only from simple, efficient, resilient forms found in nature, but from his life-changing sighting of a UFO in 1947 when he was a boy.

According to one sign I read, many of the innovative designs synthesized “Ray’s concepts of the synergy of color, light, and sound to create holistic, healing and energizing environments.” He also sought to create modular structures, which would be affordable and easily assembled.

I was told that his organic, biomorphic designs are so futuristic, unusual and brilliant that world-famous science fiction author Ray Bradbury at one time had plans to make a movie about Eugene Ray’s work.

Here are a few photos of the original drawings, prototypes, renderings and highly creative artwork currently on display. This very cool exhibition at the SDSU Downtown Gallery runs through October 6, 2019.

James A. Perry Residence - New Orleans, Louisiana, 1968.
James A. Perry Residence – New Orleans, Louisiana, 1968.
Aerodyne Sports House - 1984.
Aerodyne Sports House – 1984.
Nautilus Street Residence aka The Silver Ship - La Jolla, California, 1978.
Nautilus Street Residence aka The Silver Ship – La Jolla, California, 1978.
Blueprint of The Silver Ship, designed by Eugene Ray, located at 1699 Nautilus Street in La Jolla, California.
Blueprint of The Silver Ship, designed by Eugene Ray, located in La Jolla, California.
Pavilion for Holy Cross High School - New Orleans, Louisiana, 1967.
Pavilion for Holy Cross High School – New Orleans, Louisiana, 1967.
Untitled, Eugene Ray, 1969 (restored 2019). Acrylic and aluminum on canvas.
Untitled, Eugene Ray, 1969 (restored 2019). Acrylic and aluminum on canvas.

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!

Great writing, reading celebrated at TwainFest!

Giant puppets representing Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe roam Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2019 TwainFest!
Giant puppets representing Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe roam Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2019 TwainFest!

Today I enjoyed one of my very favorite San Diego events. I headed to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park for a celebration of great writing and reading at 2019 TwainFest!

Literature is the focus of this annual festival–the most famous 19th century literature and writers in particular. Produced by Write Out Loud, TwainFest features live readings, performances, period music and costumes, games, and a variety of fun activities for the entire family.

Kids not only develop an appreciation for classic books, but they experience the joy of creativity!

Here comes a tall Mark Twain puppet walking through Old Town San Diego!
Here comes a tall Mark Twain puppet walking through Old Town San Diego!
A noon parade circles the Old Town plaza during 2019 TwainFest, where great writers and reading are celebrated!
A noon parade circles the Old Town plaza during 2019 TwainFest, where great writers and reading are celebrated!
Many characters in 19th century period costume could be spotted at the annual event.
Many characters in 19th century period costume could be spotted at the annual event.
Musical entertainment on the main stage. Fiesta de Reyes presents TwainFest by Write Out Loud. Laughter, Levity and Literature.
Musical entertainment on the main stage. Fiesta de Reyes presents TwainFest by Write Out Loud. Laughter, Levity and Literature.
This sea captain might have been an acquaintance of Herman Melville. He has been joined by Lewis Carroll's Red Queen.
This salty Captain Swordfish might have been an acquaintance of Moby Dick author Herman Melville. He has been joined by Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen.
I met Walt Whitman, who told me this is his first time at TwainFest.
I met poet Walt Whitman, who told me this is his first time at TwainFest.
One of many fun games at TwainFest. Spinning the Wheel of Fiction, in order to solve a literary clue.
One of many fun games at TwainFest. Spinning the Wheel of Fiction, in order to solve a literary clue.
Characters and scenes from Mark Twain's stories could be colored, like The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
Characters and scenes from Mark Twain’s stories could be colored, like The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
Anyone could walk up, grab a marker, and help write several Never Ending Stories.
Anyone could walk up, grab a marker, and help write several Never Ending Stories.
A performance of a magical folk tale in the Japanese Kamishibai tradition.
A performance of a magical folk tale in the Japanese Kamishibai tradition.
Lively music from 19th century San Diego adds life to the cultural event.
Lively music from 19th century San Diego adds life to the cultural event.
Some fun musical accompaniment nearby.
Some fun musical accompaniment nearby.
Kids were learning how to play drums and the fife.
Kids were learning how to play drums and the fife.
The young and the young at heart could play Victorian era games on the grass, including wheelbarrow races, sack races, egg races and the game of graces.
The young and the young at heart could play Victorian era games on the grass, including wheelbarrow races, sack races, egg races and the game of graces.
A crazy wheelbarrow race is underway. It's hard not to fall out when you turn!
A crazy wheelbarrow race is underway. It’s hard not to fall out when your driver abruptly turns!
Visitors to TwainFest could learn how to make simple books by folding paper and applying fancy cover designs with a glue stick.
Visitors to TwainFest could learn how to make simple books by folding paper and applying fancy cover designs with a glue stick.
Of course, a literature themed event must include lots of classic books.
Of course, a literature themed event must include lots of classic books.
Shelves full of books!
Shelves full of books!
Some history reenactors had set up a Civil War era field encampment.
Some history reenactors had set up a Civil War era field encampment.
Union soldiers in uniform appear at attention.
Union soldiers in uniform appear at attention.
The nearby Headquarters Post Office contained more costumed participants.
The nearby Headquarters Post Office contained more costumed participants.
A working telegraph was on display.
A working telegraph was on display.
While walking about, I noticed many smiling volunteers handing out TwainFest programs.
While walking about, I noticed many smiling people handing out TwainFest programs. (I’m sure Write Out Loud always welcomes new volunteers.)
Stories were being told at the Casa de Estudillo about immigrants, the descendants of early California, and the road to women's suffrage.
Stories were being told at the Casa de Estudillo about immigrants, the descendants of early California, and the road to women’s suffrage.
At the Old Town Courthouse Museum, people could take a literacy test to see whether they could vote in the election of 1872.
At the Old Town Courthouse Museum, people could take a literacy test to see whether they could vote in the election of 1872.
Political illustrations and cartoons from print over a century ago.
Political illustrations and cartoons from print over a century ago.
Young people were enjoying a Mad Hatter tea party, with Alice and other Wonderland characters!
Young people were enjoying a Mad Hatter tea party, with Alice and other Wonderland characters!
It appeared that some people had already painted Tom Sawyer's fence with whitewash!
It appeared that some people had already painted Tom Sawyer’s fence with whitewash!
Is that the Red Queen or the Queen of Hearts? I get them confused.
Is that the Red Queen or the Queen of Hearts? I get them confused.
Don't be an idiom. (You probably don't want to be an oxymoron either.)
Don’t be an idiom. (You probably don’t want to be an oxymoron either.)
More dramatic words were being read inside Old Town's one room Mason Street Schoolhouse. I recognized funny passages from Tom Sawyer.
More dramatic words were being read inside Old Town’s one room Mason Street Schoolhouse. I recognized those funny wart-cure passages from Tom Sawyer.
A puppet show delights kids in Old Town's plaza.
A puppet show delights kids in Old Town’s plaza.
The smiles go on and on during TwainFest...
The smiles and good times live on and on during TwainFest…
...thanks in part to this amiable if somewhat satirical fellow.
…thanks in part to this amiable if somewhat satirical fellow.

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!

Student posters celebrate Freedom of Speech.

Free Speech, Press and Society.
Free Speech, Press and Society.

I was making my way through downtown this morning when I spotted something important that I’d like to blog.

As I walked past the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse, I noticed a new crop of student posters has appeared in the building’s windows. These posters were submitted by local kids for the San Diego County Bar Association’s 2019 Law Week Poster and Video Contest.

The theme this year is Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.

We the People...
We the People…
Natural Rights. First Amendment.
Natural Rights. First Amendment.
Free As a Bird. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Free As a Bird. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Freedom. Rights. Responsibility.
Freedom. Rights. Responsibility. May all our voices be heard!
Express your opinion. Peacefully protest or assemble.
Express your opinion. Peacefully protest or assemble.
Liberty requires freedom of expression for everybody.
Liberty requires freedom of expression for everybody.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is vitally important to me. I’m a writer.

If you value individual liberty and a free and open society, its protections are fundamental.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

A final decision to write.

The older I become, the more I understand that life is fleeting.

Because of that, I’ve come to a decision.

I will now dedicate my spare hours to writing fiction.

Why?

While I enjoy walking everywhere and taking photos of San Diego, I feel that my efforts in creative writing might be more important. Apparently some people think my works of fiction have merit.

It doesn’t seem possible, but my website Short Stories by Richard has received visitors from school classrooms in four different countries now. Most of the students are reading the story One Thousand Likes. Many people around the world have also begun to read An Unexpected Sunflower, which is my very first short story and still my favorite.

So now I’m really going to concentrate on writing. Which means Cool San Diego Sights and my other photography blogs will be put on pause.

I’m hoping a few more worthwhile stories will come to me!

If I’m lucky!

If you’d like to read and follow my writing, you can click here!

Thank you for sharing my journey!

Summer of Love’s Art Car in Balboa Park!

What’s did I see today in Balboa Park? There’s a car parked in the middle of Spanish Village Art Center’s patio and it’s decorated with all sorts of fun, colorful artwork!

According to a sign on the windshield, the Art Car was donated for this project by the San Diego Automotive Museum. It appears to be a cool work in progress during this Summer of Love!

Nobody was painting the car when I walked by, but I saw plenty of space for more creativity!

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!