Nayarit celebrated at the House of Mexico!

The Mexican state of Nayarit was celebrated today at the International Cottages in Balboa Park!

Baile folklórico dancers performed outside the House of Mexico cottage, and various displays promoting tourism in Nayarit greeted surprised visitors wandering through the park.

As soon as I noticed all the costumes and smiles, I was drawn right in!

As I understand it, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism teamed up with the House of Mexico to promote Nayarit with this special cultural event.

The state of Nayarit is located on the west coast of Mexico and features popular beaches, fascinating history and beautiful scenery.

This is what my camera recorded…

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!

Trolley Dances returns to San Diego!

The Trolley Dances have returned to San Diego!

The San Diego Dance Theater’s 24th Annual Trolley Dances are being held this year near several trolley Blue Line stations, in and around UC San Diego.

Five dances are included in this extremely unique event. Mobile groups gather to watch a dance, then ride the trolley to view performances at other locations!

Several of the dances this year take place next to the UCSD Central Campus Station. I was lucky enough to watch one group of dancers rehearsing before the first spectators would arrive.

The contemporary dance I previewed is called Estudiantes. The choreographer is Minerva Tapia. The dance is dedicated to all students, whose efforts and studies help make the world a better place. The dance moves were hopeful, exuberant, triumphant. My camera captured some smiles, too!

If you want to learn more about the Trolley Dances, here’s their website. The dances can be enjoyed this weekend only. If they’re sold out, make sure to mark this cool event on your calendar for next year!

The extension of the trolley’s Blue Line through UC San Diego, which the mobile audience is riding, opened late last year. I rode this new Mid-Coast Trolley extension on its Opening Day and posted photos here. (As you’ll see, the San Diego Dance Theater performed on that historic day, too!)

By the way, the Estudiantes dance in these photos takes place near the entrance to the new, high tech UCSD Design and Innovation Building, which I toured earlier this year soon after it opened. Check out those photos 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!

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!

SD Art Prize 2022 Exhibition at the Central Library.

The four recipients of the 2022 San Diego Art Prize–Alida Cervantes, Angélica Escoto, Carlos Castro Arias and Cognate Collective–now have pieces of their visual artwork on display in the 9th floor Art Gallery at downtown’s Central Library.

The four artists explore aspects of our region’s history and culture. Of course, today’s border culture has been greatly cross-pollinated by thousands of residents flowing daily to and from the United States and Mexico.

As you might expect in a contemporary exhibition of this type, there is infusion of political bias. But it’s a variety of viewpoints what makes free expression in art interesting and provocative.

I was fascinated to see how art that condemns the history of colonization is displayed next to art that celebrates the fusion and evolution of cultures. On either side of the San Diego/Tijuana border crossing, many of today’s traditions have influences that can be traced back to old Spain.

Walk among the gallery pieces and perhaps you’ll see the world in new and complex ways.

The exhibition opened over the weekend. It will continue through the end of 2022.

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!

Fun at Chula Vista’s Arts in the Park!

A free, family-friendly event was held today at Chula Vista’s Memorial Park.

The annual Arts in the Park festival brought the community together to enjoy music, artists, dance, food and all sorts of cultural fun! The event was presented by Chula Vista’s own Onstage Playhouse and CARPA San Diego.

So many smiles! So much creativity!

Take a look!

A smiling stilt walker from Circus Joy!

Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe and Old Man puppets take to the stage!

Write Out Loud provided Kamishibai story box theatre performances. They also read poetry. (I enjoyed Robert Frost’s Mending Wall.)

Chula Vista Learning Community Charter Elementary School smiled while creating art!

The many colors of life.

The Rad Hatter was helping people create crazy cool hats with paper bags!

Artists and art organizations could be found under canopies all around the festival.

Many young performers took to the stage in Chula Vista’s Memorial Park and received great applause!

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!

A festive summer Sunday in Balboa Park!

Summertime? A sunny Sunday? San Diego’s always amazing Balboa Park?

Combine these three to discover lots of fun, festive stuff!

Come with me. Let’s walk around Balboa Park this afternoon, taking in various cool sights…

Performers on and off stage in Balboa Park at the 35th Philippine Cultural Arts Festival.

A big outdoor audience enjoys Filipino culture in Balboa Park.

Kids dance on outdoor stage at the SAMAHAN Filipino American Performing Arts and Education Center’s annual festival in Balboa Park.

Filipino food was plentiful at the 35th Philippine Cultural Arts Festival, in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Walking around Balboa Park at the Plaza de Panama.

Super cool guys promote the San Diego Loyal soccer team. They’ve got a home game coming up on August 24th versus Oakland. The team is currently in second place!

An amazing film about Balboa Park plays in the auditorium at the San Diego History Center.

A beautiful summer day near the Japanese Tea Pavilion.

Visitors walk toward the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden. There’s a new exhibition concerning Japanese dolls that I will blog about soon.

People sit in the shade of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade during the Sunday two o’clock concert.

Colorful rented umbrellas provide more shade for the pavilion benches.

Organist Amanda Mole plays a musical piece on the Spreckels Organ. It’s a preview of her Monday night performance for the 34th San Diego International Organ Festival.

A variety of lowriders were parked between the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and the Plaza de Panama.

Taking photos near flowers at one end of the Balboa Park Lily Pond.

A Spanish speaking church group sings joyfully along El Prado, hoping to attract passersby.

Dancers in folk costume perform for the House of Panama lawn program at the International Cottages.

Cultural lawn programs can be enjoyed almost every weekend in Balboa Park during summer months!

If you’d like to see more colorful photographs from today’s House of Panama lawn program, 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!

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!

House of Panama celebration in Balboa Park!

A big celebration brought many smiles and a joyful whirl of color to Balboa Park today! The House of Panama hosted a lawn program at the International Cottages!

A good crowd turned out to enjoy cultural entertainment, and to share excitement over the recent opening of the House of Panama’s new cottage.

Dance groups came down to San Diego all the way from Los Angeles and San Francisco. There were performances by Panamá Lindo; Panamá, Molas, Polleras y Tambores (the official House of Panama Dancers); Congo Istmeño; and Viva Panamá. Many local dignitaries also attended the event.

As I walked around Balboa Park, I swung by the International Cottages a few times to enjoy the lawn program. The next three photos were taken outside and inside the beautiful new House of Panama cottage…

On the lawn stage, there was a sea of colorful Panamanian folk dance costumes!

I caught the singing of National Anthems, then an emotional speech concerning the hard work done to open a new cottage in Balboa Park…

Then the dancing began!

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!

Sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga at UC San Diego.

Yucateca Sentada is a beautiful bronze sculpture slightly off the beaten path at UC San Diego. It can be discovered by observant students passing down the Ridge Walk through Thurgood Marshall College, by the Administration Building. A walkway leads west to a bench that faces the life-size sculpture. (It isn’t far from Sojourner Truth, another bronze sculpture beside the Ridge Walk.)

Yucateca Sentada (Seated Woman of the Yucatan) was created by renowned Costa Rican-born Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga in 1976. It was donated to UC San Diego in 1983 by Elsa Dekking and UCSD physics professor Keith Brueckner. That was back when Marshall College was called Third College.

Here’s a photo taken right after its installation, with Chancellor Richard C. Atkinson providing a few words. There’s also an article in the October 3, 1983 issue of The UCSD Guardian concerning the dedication. You can read that here on page 7.

When I first saw this beautiful piece, so radiant with elemental humanity and silent dignity, I thought it might be a work of famed San Diego artist Donal Hord. It’s similar to two works I’ve seen by Hord, Spring Stirring and Aztec.

Then I realized I’d seen another very fine sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga in San Diego. His Mother and Daughter Seated can be found near the front entrance of the San Diego Museum of Art.

I photographed Mother and Daughter Seated back in 2016, as it and various other sculptures were being installed in Balboa Park’s outdoor Plaza de Panama. You can enjoy those photos 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!

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 photo memories from August 2017.

History was made on Tuesday in San Diego. The Padres made what some are calling the most important trade in baseball history. But, of course, history is made every single day.

Let’s relive a few cool memories from five years ago!

Back in August 2017, events in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park recreated life in our city a century and a half ago; a fun community festival celebrated Logan Heights; and a couple of big Labor Day festivals–the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and the Festival of Sail–were almost ready to open!

If you’d like to experience a little bit of San Diego history, click the upcoming links!

Click the following links to enjoy many photographs…

Trades That Shaped the West demonstrated in Old Town!

History at the Los Peñasquitos adobe ranch house.

Days of the Vaqueros in Old Town San Diego!

Cool photos from Steampunk Day at the Library!

Cool photos of the Imperial Avenue Street Festival!

Three cool sand sculptures at the Broadway Pier!

Natural beauty at the West Coast Shell Show!

Festival of Sail tall ships at sunset!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A musician’s triumphant return to San Diego!

Many years ago I happened to attend a Spreckels Organ concert featuring an up-and-coming young organist who’d recently attended La Jolla High School. Her name was Chelsea Chen.

This evening, Chelsea Chen, now an internationally renowned organist, who has played in more famous venues and won more prizes than I can mention, returned triumphantly to San Diego, receiving loud and sustained applause for her performance during the 2022 International Summer Organ Festival.

Her fingers easily mastered Verdi, Bach, an Andrew Lloyd Webber medley, and many more–even a jazz piano piece based on the theme of The Flintstones. And, of course, she played her own stirring composition Taiwanese Suite, which incorporates beautiful folk music from Taiwan.

Her warm, graceful notes filled many ears.

As I listened I thought: That concert long ago feels like yesterday. How did the years fly by so quickly?

Enjoy the special moments.

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!

Street Legacy urban art exhibit in Escondido.

If you like excellent examples of urban art, you need to visit the museum exhibit now showing at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

Street Legacy: SoCal Style Masters features artwork representing diverse subcultures found in Southern California.

Artists have filled the museum galleries with paintings, murals, sculptures and other works inspired by graffiti, street art, skateboarding, surfing, tattoos, lowriders and more. In many works you’ll see the pride of heritage. Many pieces are bold and sensual.

If you travel around San Diego, you’ll probably recognize some of the local street artists. Each has a unique style. I’ve photographed much of their fine mural work during my walks through the city. I generally, however, do not photograph vandalism.

Visitors to the exhibition might be taken aback by images of guns and implied gang violence, and one piece depicting police officers as pigs. The artwork reflects the viewpoint of many on the streets. These images exist side-by-side with images promoting peace and love.

Together we live in a complex, often difficult world with differing personal experiences and perspectives.

Street Legacy: SoCal Style Masters runs through August 28, 2022.

Get Out the Kitchen, Carly Ealey and Chris Konecki, 2022. Aerosol.

Mighty Fine ’69, Vanessa Torrez, 2021. Oil on canvas.

City of 9 Lives, Mike Rios, 2022. Acrylic.

Are We There Yet?, Persue, 2021. Acrylic.

Mad Surfer, Robbie Conal, 2014. Mixed media.

La Mujer Dormida, Cisco Santiago. 100% custom motorcycle, garage-built from scratch.

Catrin y Siren, OG Abel, 2015. Acrylic.

Watching Time Fly, Mr B Baby, 2022. Acrylic and airbrush on wood.

Tribal Ahuevo Wobbles, Ricardo Islas, 2022. Acrylic on wood.

Dawning of a New Age, MEAR ONE, 2012. Oil on canvas.

Various works on display by Shepard Fairey.

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!