Korean Heritage Celebration at San Diego Library!

A super fun event was held today at San Diego’s downtown Central Library. Lunar New Year was kicked off with the Korean American Heritage Celebration!

The library’s Neil Morgan Auditorium was filled with a large audience as several organizations provided the free cultural entertainment.

It’s the Year of the Rabbit, and energetic, traditional Korean dancing and drumming had everyone hopping with happiness! Loads of kids were in attendance, and they got to come up on the stage and drum, too!

Beautiful, colorful fan dances brought oohs and aahs, and the drumming was like an exuberant heartbeat beating with the joy of living. A crazy cool drum performance that received loud applause was to the tune of Gangnam Style!

Performers included the San Diego Korean American Folk Dance Association and the San Diego Korean Pungmul Institute. The program was organized by the San Diego Library and the Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles.

I just happened to be walking through the library before the program began, and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 colorful Lunar New Year in City Heights!

City Heights is possibly San Diego’s most diverse neighborhood. So it isn’t surprising that people from many walks of life have converged in City Heights for the 2023 SD Lunar New Year Festival!

Today I headed to east San Diego to experience the weekend event. This celebration of Tết is presented by Little Saigon San Diego. It’s free to the public at Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park.

I wandered about looking at traditional displays. I sat down to watch several excellent cultural performances on the big stage. The audience applauded energetically and often.

I read that this popular event is helping to raise funds for the creation of a Boat People Garden mini park, to be built somewhere near the festival site. I attempted to gather information about the coming mini park, but all I could ascertain is a groundbreaking ceremony will take place this Wednesday.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 big Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park!

Tomorrow is Lunar New Year! It will be the Year of the Rabbit. (Which signifies good luck!)

This weekend the 2023 Chinese New Year Festival is being held in Balboa Park at the International Cottages. The event is presented by the House of China.

The festival attracted an absolutely gigantic crowd today. We heard from the stage that attendance this year set a record. The lawn at the International Cottages was jammed with humanity.

There were vendors, Chinese food, and a calligraphy demonstration inside the cottage of the House of China. Lots of kids became super excited after two o’clock when speeches ended and the traditional Lion Dance began!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Filipinos of South Bay Exhibit in Chula Vista.

The current exhibition at the Chula Vista Heritage Museum celebrates the life and history of Filipinos in the South Bay.

Display cases are positively overflowing with photographs and ephemera. Moments large and small are collectively remembered. You see the hopes, struggles, victories, family life. There are memories of community gatherings and festivals.

Words and images tell what it was like as a Filipino to go to school or church, run a business, serve in the military, or work to improve the life of the community. Perhaps you share these experiences.

I peered into the display cases and found so much life.

You can see that life, too, throughout 2023. Visit the Chula Vista Heritage Museum, which is located inside the Chula Vista Public Library Civic Center Branch.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Sony World Photography Awards at MOPA!

Some of the world’s most amazing photography is now being exhibited in San Diego. The Sony World Photography Awards has come to the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, with award-winning photographs that can be viewed nowhere else in the United States!

I ventured into MOPA yesterday with a combined sense of excitement and dread. Excitement to see a collection of absolutely stunning photography. Dread that my blog’s amateurish efforts pale by comparison.

As I stood staring at these great works of art, I felt drawn into worlds that were almost like dreams, but somehow more than alive. Lenses had magnified small details and emotions. Shutters had caught ephemeral moments that are otherwise lost in time.

The annual Sony World Photography Awards consists of four different competitions: Professional, Open, Youth and Student. And there are many categories in which photographs are judged. It all results in an impressive diversity of images and artistic viewpoints.

My photographs of photographs don’t do the originals justice, so I’ve included just a few to provide a tiny idea of what you might see. And you have to really see it all in person!

The traveling exhibition departs San Diego on April 16, 2023.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Kumeyaay history by the Sweetwater River.

The Marina Gateway in National City contains a small cluster of buildings located at the intersection of Bay Marina Drive and Marina Way. On the south side of the Marina Gateway parking lot, a walkway and outdoor plaza overlook Paradise Creek. The creek flows through a marsh into nearby Sweetwater River. Two signs at the edge of Paradise Marsh concern the history of the Native American Kumeyaay.

The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation owns property at the Marina Gateway, and I believe this plaza was built since my last visit almost seven years ago. The same plant and wildlife information signs remain, but, if I recall correctly, back then there was no plaza and the overlook was less developed.

One sign I didn’t spot years ago features a topographical map showing Kumeyaay ancestral village sites within 1000 feet of the Sweetwater River. It also describes how the Kumeyaay would move up and down the river as they traveled between desert, mountain, and coast.

The Kumeyaay people lived here for thousands of years, long before European explorers and settlers arrived. It is their ancestral homeland–a place of comfort, beauty, and enjoyment, a place that honors our past and that will be enjoyed by future generations.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Fine exhibition by the La Jolla Art Association!

Old Town Candle Shop, by Ernest Alvarez.

As we step into another year, a free exhibition of fine art can be enjoyed by those who step into the La Jolla Community Center.

Celebrate the Old Year, Welcome in the New Year features the work of La Jolla Art Association members.

I had never visited the La Jolla Community Center before, and I was glad that I finally did! Wall after wall of really great art attracted my eyes.

I saw a variety of styles and subject matter. Many of the pieces made me pause for a long moment, just to drink in the artistry. I also noticed the pieces are for sale, in case you’re looking for some ready-to-hang art.

I was told the La Jolla Community Center regularly hosts new exhibitions. I guess I’ll have to visit again! Meanwhile, Celebrate the Old Year, Welcome in the New Year will continue through January 27, 2023.

Just a few examples…

Sandpiper Bold, Psalm 139, by Julie A. Sanderson.
Clear Waters, by Hooshang Yashar.
The Farm House, by Victoria Gist-Towner.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Super creative piñatas fill the Mingei!

Would you like to see a jaw-dropping exhibition of super creative piñatas?

Would you like to see fantastic works of art that have been inspired by the traditional Mexican piñata?

Piñatas: The High Art of Celebration is now on display at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park!

I’ve never seen so many unique piñatas all in one place. And so many unusual ones!

In addition to more familiar traditional piñatas, visitors to the exhibition will see unusual piñata costumes, creative piñata wall art, piñatas with political messages, humorous piñatas, pop culture piñatas . . . even a life-size car piñata! (That car piñata would hold a lot of candy!)

According to the Mingei’s website, this is one of the first-ever exhibitions to spotlight piñatas as a traditional craft and vibrant contemporary art form.

I was excited to see so many unexpected creations. It never occurred to me that piñatas might be crafted as small hummingbirds or butterflies, or a bag of Cheetos, or a bottle of COVID-19 vaccine!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

International Cottages prepare for December Nights!

December Nights is almost here! The huge holiday event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around San Diego, will take place this Friday and Saturday in Balboa Park.

During my walk through Balboa Park’s International Cottages today, I noticed preparation for the event is already underway. Several of the cottages have put up Christmas trees and holiday decorations, and most of the other cottages, I was assured, will be joining them shortly.

Please enjoy a few photos!

This will be the first in-person December Nights since the closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I bet the crowds will be huge.

The first two photographs (above and below) were taken in the House of Mexico’s cottage.

At the House of Finland, traditional paper woven baskets called sydänkori were being created. They are used to decorate Christmas trees. Small presents such as gift cards fit neatly inside them!

Over at the House of Germany, I spotted a nutcracker, and a poster concerning a fall and winter Children’s Choir program!

At the House of USA cottage, I saw these Christmas decorations, including a bright, festive tree…

Look at all the Santa Clauses inside the House of Sweden cottage! I learned they’ll be for sale during December Nights.

Lastly, I discovered another beautiful Christmas tree inside the House of Denmark’s cottage…

If you head to Balboa Park during December Nights, make sure to visit the International Cottages. As usual, a wide variety of holiday food from all around the world will be a highlight!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

A fun special event was held today at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park. It was the San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

Music, food and dance was provided by various hosts, who represented some of San Diego’s sixteen Sister Cities. San Diego’s oldest Sister City partnership is with Yokohama, Japan. That relationship was established 65 years ago!

At information tables visitors to the event could learn about the history of different Sister Cities, and see how mutual programs, such as student and cultural exchanges, help create peace and understanding between nations.

I stayed for a bit and watched several dances while eating very tasty West African Ghana sambusa. I also asked a few questions at the tables, and learned much!

(By the way, there are signs in downtown’s Civic Center Plaza pointing to San Diego’s Sister Cities. I took photos of the signs years ago and posted them here!)

Alcalá de Henares, Spain has been a San Diego Sister City since 1982. It is the birthplace of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote!

Tema, Ghana, has been Sister City to San Diego since 1976. The “Peace and Unity Wall” mosaic mural in Tema was made from supplies donated from San Diego.

Crafts and cultural artifacts from Ghana.

Jeonju, South Korea has been a San Diego Sister City since 1983. The San Diego-Jeonju Society introduces local students to Korean culture.

Did you know Carlsbad, California has two Sister Cities? Kalovy Vary (Karlsbad), Czech Republic’s famed mineral springs inspired the naming of Carlsbad, whose artesian mineral water is nearly identical. Futtsu, Japan is the other Sister City.

Images from the long history of San Diego and Yokohama, Japan’s deep Sister City ties. In the center is the Japanese Friendship Bell, which now stands on Shelter Island. See more about it here!

Where there is friendship, there is much hope.

A nice smile!

Flamenco dancing to guitar celebrates Spain’s culture.

Lunch! Yummy!

Dancers representing Panama take the stage!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!