Beer, headhunters, and instruments of torture.

beer, headhunters, and instruments of torture

What’s that? Huh?

Check out these two banners! They’re hanging in the courtyard in front of the Museum of Man, at the west end of El Prado in Balboa Park.

The first advertises an exhibition about the history of beer. Beerology seems to include the study of imbibing pharaohs and thirsty headhunters. Drink up!

The second depicts a chair covered with sharp spikes. Presumably one of those can be found on display in the museum, along with other delightful instruments of torture. A quite memorable cultural experience!

People walk through plaza in front of the Museum of Man.
People walk through plaza in front of the Museum of Man.

Breaking the Chains on MLK Promenade.

breaking the chains on mlk promenade

This enormous steel sculpture, created by renowned artist Melvin Edwards, is called Breaking the Chains. It stands near the middle of the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, right next to the Convention Center trolley station.

The MLK Promenade is a pedestrian and bike path that stretches along Harbor Drive, from a point near Seaport Village down to the Gaslamp. It’s an excellent place to enjoy the sunshine and take in various sights, including the fun Children’s Museum, fountains, public art, and showy waterfront hotels. Along the walk are tributes to the famous civil rights leader and his cause of human equality. Many of his most inspirational quotes are engraved within and beside the walkway.

Every year, during Martin Luther King Day weekend, the promenade comes alive with the annual Multicultural Festival!

Huge chain links emerges from ground on the MLK Promenade in San Diego.
Huge chain links emerges from ground on the MLK Promenade in San Diego.
Someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate.
Someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate.
Breaking the Chains sculpture in San Diego.
Breaking the Chains sculpture in San Diego.

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Festa fun in San Diego’s Little Italy!

a crowd enjoys festa in little italy

Okay, here come some pics from my stroll through Festa today. This popular festival featured food, entertainment and lots of art. It took place in Little Italy, a neighborhood in the north part of downtown San Diego, once populated largely by Italian fisherman who worked in the local tuna fleet. But that was decades ago. The streets today are lined mostly with condos, restaurants and shops.

checking out some italian stuff at festa

Thousands of San Diegans turned out for the celebration. There were plenty of tents filled with crafts, clothing, toys, jewelry–just about anything you could imagine. Almost all of it was Italian-themed.

musicians perform at festa in san diego

Musical performers could be heard everywhere, entertaining the crowd from several stages. There was much romantic Italian music–and I even heard a bit of opera!

festa artist sets up some paintings

This lady is setting up some paintings behind a Little Italy fountain.

festa artwork around little italy fountain

I saw this really cool sculpture (and a number of others) beside the same fountain. All sorts of interesting elements are in this photograph!

italian food galore at little italy's festa

Italian food could be found (and smelled) wherever one turned! I enjoyed a slice of pizza!

musician plays accordion at italian festa

Smilin’ Jack performed with his accordion! That’s just a small taste of Festa!

A look inside new San Diego Central Library!

Front desk and spacious entrance of new downtown San Diego Central Library.
Front desk and spacious entrance of new downtown San Diego Central Library.

Here are some interior pics of San Diego’s brand new downtown public library! It’s been open for only one week!

The first photo is what you’ll likely see upon entering the new building. It’s the front desk and lobby area, containing escalators, a view of three floors, helpful librarians and lots of library patrons!

a look inside the new san diego central library shop

The beautiful library shop is just steps from the main entrance. It’s full of great library-related gifts!

votes for women exhibit at san diego central library

As I meandered about the first floor, I discovered this historical exhibit in the middle of rows of bookshelves. It explains how women, after a hard fight, earned the right to vote in California in 1911.

the cat in the hat on san diego central library wall

On the first floor you’ll find the children’s section of the library. The walls are painted with characters and scenes taken from Dr. Seuss’s popular picture books. Check out the Cat in the Hat! As many San Diego residents know, Dr. Seuss’s real name was Theodor Geisel, and he was a resident of La Jolla just up the coast.

reading room of san diego central library offers city views

Check out the reading room on the eighth floor of the new Central Library! It’s roomy, filled with light and lots of comfy chairs. The immense view toward South Bay is awesome!

looking upward in reading room of san diego central library

Here we’re looking upward toward the ceiling of the big reading room. That’s the interior of the Central Library’s iconic steel lattice dome!

display of baseball history in san diego central library

There’s a cool baseball history archive and exhibit right next to the reading room. Check out the silvery statue of a baseball player, and all the nostalgic photos on the wall! The exhibit is made possible by the San Diego Ted Williams chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research.

A couple more pics I took during a later visit…

Outside view of upper dome structure and nearby building from 9th floor of San Diego downtown library.
Outside view of upper dome structure and nearby building from 9th floor of San Diego downtown library.
Library patron in reading room creates cool graffiti art with the aid of research materials.
Library patron in reading room creates cool graffiti art with the aid of research materials.

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Cool street art in downtown San Diego.

cool street art in downtown san diego

This colorful street art dazzles the eye on a downtown parking lot wall. It contains elements from many different cultures. You can find the cool art on the west side of Ninth Avenue just south of C Street.

I took a closer, more complete pic about half a year later. The bold black graffiti has obliterated part of the old artwork.

Street mural has been altered months later with graffiti.
Street mural has been altered months later with graffiti.

Three more pics! The fence around the parking lot was open one morning, so I could walk up close to the mural!

Close look at very cool mural on 9th Avenue.
Close look at very cool mural on 9th Avenue.
Beautiful spray painted face behind some fencing.
Beautiful spray painted face behind some fencing.
A great face on a striking example of street art in San Diego.
A great face in a striking example of street art in San Diego.

San Diego’s new library has a grand opening!

people arrive for san diego library celebration

Check out these photos of the new San Diego Central Library’s grand opening! Located in East Village, one block from Petco Park, the new downtown library is a state-of-the-art multi-use facility containing a high school, job training center, auditorium, art gallery, sculpture courtyard, terraces with amazing city and bay views, roof gardens, and half a dozen community meeting rooms. Thirty years in the making, it’s enormous, beautiful and really amazing!

At the “Celebration and Sneak Peek” event, held late this morning, dignitaries, local politicians and benefactors gathered on an outdoor stage to dedicate the new library. A large crowd gathered to watch and applaud, showing great enthusiasm for San Diego’s new urban landmark.

The first photo, above, shows the festive arch through which many attendees arrived. On it are the words: THE STORY BEGINS. DISCOVER YOUR NEXT CHAPTER. The various colorful condos and office buildings you see are located in San Diego’s thriving East Village neighborhood.

navy band arrives for new library dedication

The second photo shows members of the regional Navy Band assembling by some tents not far from the stage. They would perform during the historic ceremony. The yellowish-orange building on the right is a tiny glimpse of Petco Park.

san diego gay men's chorus performs

The next photo shows the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus performing while dignitaries gather on the stage. The diverse crowd has become quite large and enthusiastic.

colorful people in crowd at library opening

A variety of costumed people could be spotted in the audience, and among the large crowds surrounding the library. They looked like roving characters from a Shakespeare Festival!

presentation of colors at library grand opening

Everyone here is watching the presentation of colors, just before the speeches begin. The kids in front of the stage are the San Diego Children’s Choir, who sang their hearts out. At the podium stands interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

big crowd at san diego library grand opening

Here’s a wider photograph of the ceremony, taken while the requisite speeches were underway. The unique open metal dome of the new San Diego Central Library shines brilliantly in the sun!

kids have fun at san diego library celebration

Lastly, here’s a pic taken on 11th Avenue beside our fantastic, functional new downtown library. Numerous booths were attracting a stream of curious people. Information concerning community services, activities, educational opportunities, and all sorts of interesting stuff was made available to the public. This booth encouraged young kids to sing and create their own art.

The new library opens to the public for its first full day this coming Monday!

Cowboys have gunfight on a San Diego street!

Cowboys have a gun battle in San Diego's Old Town.
Cowboys have a gun battle in San Diego’s Old Town.

Look at these larger-than-life cowboys! They’re shooting it out in Old Town!

This whimsical art can be found on San Diego Avenue, in a courtyard among shops and restaurants catering largely to tourists. I’m not sure whether it represents the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral or just an Old West scene from a typical Western movie.

Is one of the cowboys Wyatt Earp? After his famous gunfight, Wyatt moved to San Diego to participate in a land boom, running saloons, gambling halls and a brothel!

cowboys have gunfight on san diego street

Like the plant beside him, this guy might soon get planted.
Like the plant beside him, this guy might soon get planted.
Wyatt Earp was here.
Wyatt Earp was here.
Stern lawman patrols San Diego Avenue.
Stern lawman patrols San Diego Avenue.