Photos of Las Posadas Celebration in Old Town.

The Dickens Carolers sing during the annual Las Posadas event in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
The Dickens Carolers sing during the annual Las Posadas event in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

This afternoon I headed to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to experience the annual Las Posadas Celebration. There were many families in the park enjoying all sorts of holiday activities, gazing at beautiful decorations, and preparing to witness the reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter before the birth of Jesus.

Las Posadas is a Christmas tradition cherished by many Latinos and Spaniards. A candlelight procession after nightfall by members of the community symbolizes the Nativity. Angels and shepherds join along the way. Mary rides a live donkey. There is much joyful singing.

My camera is inadequate after dark. To see (and hear) tonight’s procession in Old Town, you’ll have to use your imagination.

The 67th Annual Las Posadas Celebration in Old Town celebrates rich holiday traditions. A candlelight procession after dark reenacted the journey of Mary and Joseph before the birth of Jesus.
The 67th Annual Las Posadas Celebration in Old Town celebrated a rich holiday tradition. A candlelight procession after dark reenacted the journey of Mary and Joseph in search of shelter before the birth of Jesus.
As evening approaches, paper bag luminaries containing candles are placed around the central Plaza de Las Armas.
As evening approaches, paper bag luminaries containing candles are placed around the central Plaza de las Armas.
A big festive Christmas tree stands near the plaza's center, beside the tall flagpole.
A big festive Christmas tree stands near the plaza’s center, beside the tall flagpole.
Looking out the front door of the Casa de Estudillo at Old Town San Diego's big Christmas tree.
Looking out the front door of the Casa de Estudillo at Old Town San Diego’s big Christmas tree.
A shiny star-like pinata hangs in front of the Colorado House.
A shiny star-like pinata hangs in front of the Colorado House. This is where the holiday celebration would reach its joyful climax.
Santa wishes everyone a Merry little Christmas inside Toby's Candle and Soap Shop.
Santa wishes everyone a Merry little Christmas inside Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop.
A colorful holiday wagon containing red poinsettias is parked outside Toby's Candle and Soap Shop.
A colorful holiday wagon containing red poinsettias is parked outside Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop.
Kids activities during Las Posadas included making Christmas tree ornaments.
Kids activities during Las Posadas included making Christmas tree ornaments.
This holiday wreath is decorated with spools of thread! It hangs on a door at Threads of the Past.
This holiday wreath is decorated with spools of thread! It hangs on a door at Threads of the Past.
A big wreath adds holiday cheer to the sunlit Seeley Stable Museum barn.
A big wreath adds holiday cheer to the sunlit Seeley Stable Museum barn.
As daylight wanes, families congregate around a campfire and roast marshmallows for s'mores.
As daylight wanes, families congregate around a campfire and roast marshmallows for s’mores.
A special holiday display inside the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center talks about Louis Rose, the first Jewish person to settle in San Diego.
A special display inside the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center describes the life of Louis Rose, the first Jewish person to settle in San Diego.
Reenacting a Hanukkah Candle Lighting Blessing inside the historic Robinson-Rose Visitor Center.
Reenacting a Hanukkah Candle Lighting Blessing inside the historic Robinson-Rose Visitor Center.

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!

Mormon Battalion Commemoration coming in January!

The annual Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day is coming to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on January 27, 2018.

Anyone interested in the long march of the Mormon Battalion from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego and their important contributions to our city’s early history should put the event on their calendar!

I’ve been informed by the commemoration day organizer that entertainment will include a Native American dance group featuring drums and singers, some colorful ballet folklorico dancers, and an old time fiddler’s group!

To get a taste of the many interesting things you might see, view photos of past Mormon Battalion Commemoration Days here and here!

I recently finished writing a short story about generosity and the true spirit of Christmas. To read it, click here!

Tile mosaics show Hispanic life, culture and history.

Scenes of Hispanic life, culture and history decorate benches and seats at a San Diego Trolley station.
Mosaic scenes of Hispanic life, culture and history decorate benches and seats at a San Diego Trolley station.

In Logan Heights, the 25th and Commercial Street station of the San Diego Trolley’s Orange Line features public art at both it’s east and west platforms. A week or so ago, I enjoyed looking at colorful mosaics made of tiles on the base of various concrete seats and curving benches. The small mosaics depict Hispanic life, culture and history. There are abstract scenes of immigrants working in fields or in construction, of family at home, and of organized activism.

I took these photos at the eastbound platform. The mosaics are part of a project titled Achievement / Progress / Community: In the Spirit of Cesar E. Chavez that was completed in 2006. The mosaics were created by artist John Hiemstra. The trolley stop is dedicated to civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

Photo along length of 25th and Commercial Street trolley station of the Orange Line. This is the eastbound platform.
Photo along length of 25th and Commercial Street trolley station of the Orange Line. This is the eastbound platform.
This small tile mosaic scene features a red trolley in front of downtown's Santa Fe Depot.
A small tile mosaic scene features a red trolley in front of downtown’s Santa Fe Depot.
Hispanic family at home around a table laden with food.
A family at home around a table laden with food.
Migrant workers appear to be planting seeds in a field.
Migrant workers planting seeds in a field.
Mosaic shows a ranch in a Southern California landscape.
Mosaic shows what appears to be a ranch in a Southern California landscape.
Farm worker seems to be harvesting tomatoes or strawberries.
Farm worker is harvesting tomatoes or strawberries.
Saguaro cacti in a Southwestern scene.
Saguaro cacti in a Southwestern scene.
Beautiful abstract mosaic. Tiles of different colors, sizes and shapes.
Beautiful abstract mosaic. Tiles of different colors, sizes and shapes.
Hispanic workers build a wall.
Hispanic workers build a wall.
A laborer hard at work.
A laborer hard at work.
Two figures stand near automobiles on a highway.
Two figures stand near automobiles on a highway.
A diverse group appears to hold up signs in a protest.
A diverse group appears to hold up signs in a protest.
A priest and an activist.
A priest and an activist.
Hispanic youth together, perhaps students. Another scene of life, learning, hope, struggle.
Hispanic youth together, perhaps students. Another scene of life, learning, hope, struggle.

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 share and enjoy!

Tijuana Zine Fest at Museum of Contemporary Art.

My art is the way I reestablish the bonds that tie me to the universe.
My art is the way I reestablish the bonds that tie me to the universe.

This morning I saw a bunch of cool zines dangling in the windows of downtown’s Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. I was peering at the many imaginative covers and unexpected titles when I noticed this window display concerns the annual Tijuana Zine Fest, a regional festival that celebrates independent publishing and art.

I always love to bathe in individual, uninhibited creativity. Many of the zines appear to be subversive; others are humorous, or philosophical, or inspiring.

Best of luck to all the authors!

Keep on pushing to new horizons!

Keep on writing!

Tijuana Zine Fest is an annual festival that celebrates self-publishing and independent art in the culturally fertile Tijuana-San Diego border region.
Tijuana Zine Fest is an annual festival that celebrates self-publishing and independent art in the culturally fertile Tijuana-San Diego border region.
A bunch of creative zines hang inside the windows of the downtown Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, in their gallery at America Plaza.
A bunch of creative zines hang inside the windows of the downtown Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, in their gallery at America Plaza.
Why are you dumping me? Snap out of it.
Why are you dumping me? Snap out of it.
Tarantella Zine.
Tarantella Zine.
Pabdia - Cine Enmascarado.
Pabdia – Cine Enmascarado.
Tijuana. Deep Affection. Xicanita. Self Care - Self Love.
Tijuana. Deep Affection. Xicanita. Self Care – Self Love.
Fetish Witch. Beast County.
Fetish Witch. Beast County.
One Punk's Guide to African Politics. Accomplices Not Allies.
One Punk’s Guide to African Politics. Accomplices Not Allies.
Transitory Existence.
Transitory Existence.
Abandon everything again. Pobre Bebé. La Playa. A Manifesto for Discomfortable Writing.
Abandon everything again. Pobre Bebé. La Playa. A Manifesto for Discomfortable Writing.

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!

To read a variety of philosophical stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

La Jolla Playhouse enlivens Horton Plaza Park!

Someone in downtown San Diego peers through a spy hole into a tiny red house in Horton Plaza Park.
Someone in downtown San Diego’s Horton Plaza Park peers through a spy hole into a tiny Model Home.

The La Jolla Playhouse has invaded Horton Plaza Park! Several red houses have been placed inside the downtown San Diego park, and inside these tiny houses professional actors and actresses perform. A public audience can freely watch through spy holes!

Model Home is the name of this improvisational performance art concept, and anyone can check it out through Sunday. It’s a part of the La Jolla Playhouse’s annual Without Walls Festival which this year takes place in venues around downtown.

The genius behind Model Home is Mimi Lien, and I believe the idea is to inspire thought about what makes a home, and about those things in a home that individuals deem to be important.

A home is like an enclosed stage where humans act out much of their lives. As one nearby sign says, houses aren’t just structures, but contain human identity, memory and experience. Peering through the various spy holes in these Model Homes is like secretly peering into the mind of another person. It’s an inner life that the observer can never truly know.

I spoke to a couple of friendly La Jolla Playhouse folks and learned the actors and actresses inside the houses perform all day long, with periodic breaks. They are aware that eyeballs are staring in at them, but as trained acting professionals they aren’t fazed at all.

I also learned that at certain times the tiny house that is dangling from a crane is swung around through the air in a Crane Ballet! Perhaps I’ll “swing” by again this weekend and “crane” my neck at what must certainly be an unusual sight!

If you’re in downtown this weekend, you really should check it out!

Inside one tiny house I see an actor in a small kitchen baking bread!
Inside one tiny house I saw an actor in a small kitchen baking bread!
Model Home, in downtown San Diego's Horton Plaza Park, is part of the La Jolla Playhouse Without Walls WOW festival!
Model Home, in downtown San Diego’s Horton Plaza Park, is part of the La Jolla Playhouse Without Walls WOW festival! (Click image to enlarge.)
Several plain red houses stand in Horton Plaza Park--and one is dangling high in the sky from a crane!
Several tiny red houses stand in Horton Plaza Park–and one is dangling high in the sky from a crane!
People pause to read a sign that describes some very unique and thought-provoking performance art that can be enjoyed freely by anyone passing by.
People pause to read a sign that describes some very unique and thought-provoking performance art that can be enjoyed freely by anyone passing by.
Peering through one of the spy holes...
Peering through one of the spy holes…
Inside this very bare Model Home someone sleeps in apparent poverty. But every small set and performance is open for the viewer's own interpretation.
Inside this very bare Model Home an actor seemed to be sleeping in poverty. But every small “stage” and improvised performance invites the viewer’s personal interpretation.
Inside another Model Home are the remains of a birthday party. I'm guessing the kids went outside to play...
Inside another Model Home were the abandoned remnants of a birthday party. I didn’t see an actor. (Perhaps the kids ran outside to play…)
And inside this Model Home an actress is studying a feather, holding it up and turning it in the light. She seems to be quietly thinking.
And inside this Model Home an actress was studying a feather, holding it up and turning it about in the soft light. She seemed to be quietly thinking.

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!

Support the House of Puerto Rico disaster relief effort.

Donations were collected during the House of Puerto Rico's lawn program in Balboa Park to assist with disaster relief.
Donations were collected during the House of Puerto Rico’s lawn program in Balboa Park to assist with disaster relief.

Here’s an opportunity to help the people of Puerto Rico who’ve been thrown into a terrible crisis by Hurricane Maria. The devastation brought by this natural disaster is unprecedented. Every bit of help is vitally important.

By sheer coincidence, the House of Puerto Rico had their International Cottages lawn program today in Balboa Park. A collection jar was there for donations, and proceeds from food sales went to hurricane relief.

I also learned that there’s a donation button on the House of Puerto Rico website, which you’ll find here.

Please consider providing these good people with a bit of support.

Puerto Rican food at the special event included Arroz con Gandules, Pastel de Masa and Alcapurrias.
Puerto Rican food at the special event included arroz con gandules, pastel de masa and alcapurrias.
If you missed the event, click the link I've included to visit the Hurricane Maria donation page.
If you missed the event, click the link I’ve included to visit the House of Puerto Rico website. There you will see a Hurricane Maria donation button.
Among the many displays inside the House of Puerto Rico cottage are panderetas, cencerros and other musical instruments.
Among the many displays inside the House of Puerto Rico cottage are panderetas, cencerros and other musical instruments.
Students inside the Balboa Park cottage learn about the special economic challenges of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean.
Students inside the Balboa Park cottage learn about the special economic challenges of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean.
Many people have loved ones in Puerto Rico. Heroic efforts are underway to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.
Many people have loved ones in Puerto Rico. Heroic efforts are underway to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Festive culture and tradition at Fiestas Patrias!

Every year, Fiestas Patrias, which celebrates Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, includes traditional entertainment for the entire family.
Every year, Fiestas Patrias, which celebrates Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, includes traditional entertainment for the entire family.

This morning I missed a bus to Ocean Beach at the Old Town Transit Center, so to pass the time I walked the short distance over to the State Park to see if anything was going on. And I discovered that Fiestas Patrias was being celebrated today!

I lingered for a few minutes and took some photos, headed over to OB (as you will see), then returned to Old Town a couple hours later to really soak in the event. Fiestas Patrias is a yearly celebration of Mexican independence from Spain in 1821. San Diego, a small town founded near a Spanish presidio in Alta California, thereafter became a part of Mexico until 1848.

Many diverse traditions have intermingled during San Diego’s history to make our city what it is today. The rich and colorful culture of Mexico has remained an essential part of life in San Diego!

A mariachi welcomes visitors to the historic Casa de Estudillo in Old Town San Diego.
A mariachi welcomes visitors to the historic Casa de Estudillo in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
A friendly horse came for a visit as I took some photos outside the Casa de Estudillo during Fiestas Patrias.
A friendly horse came for a visit as I took some photos outside the Casa de Estudillo during Fiestas Patrias.
Traditional dances were being performed on the central plaza's main stage. Las damas y los caballeros took turns being el toro and el matador!
Traditional dances were being performed on the central plaza’s main stage. Las damas y los caballeros took turns being el toro and el matador!
The annual event features authentic costumes from a time when San Diego was a small Mexican town in Alta California.
The annual event features authentic costumes from a time when San Diego was a small Mexican town in Alta California.
Kids were decorating traditional cascarones eggshells.
Kids were decorating traditional cascarones eggshells.
A demonstration inside the Casa de Estudillo of yarn being spun. During the Spanish period, sheep were first introduced along with cattle and horses at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá.
A demonstration inside the Casa de Estudillo of yarn being spun. During the Spanish period, sheep were first introduced along with cattle and horses at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá.
Nearby, ladies were demonstrating Colcha Spanish Colonial embroidery, which was typical in San Diego in the early 1800s.
Nearby, ladies were demonstrating Colcha Spanish Colonial embroidery, which was typical in San Diego in the early 1800s.
At the same table, another lady was cutting out festive Mexican papel picado.
At the same table, another lady was cutting out festive Mexican papel picado.
The historically authentic musical group Los Californios wait for their turn on the stage at Fiestas Patrias in Old Town San Diego!
The historically authentic musical group Los Californios wait for their turn on the stage at Fiestas Patrias in Old Town 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!

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 share and enjoy!