Dancers portray the homeless in San Diego.

Audience looks down with expectation as a dancer portrays a homeless person during the first stage of 2018 Trolley Dances at Hazard Center.
Audience looks down as a dancer portrays a homeless person during the first stage of 2018 Trolley Dances at Hazard Center.

This morning I watched the first dance of the 2018 Trolley Dances at Hazard Center shopping mall. This unique annual event is a production of the San Diego Dance Theater.

Arriving early, I stood a couple of floors above the outdoor performance, and let my eyes wander about as I took in the entire scene.

The first dance portrayed the homeless. As the invisible curtain rose, dancers, who sat alone among their scant possessions, rose and converged in a dizzy, tragic performance.

Two male dancers tussled over a shopping cart, but that seemed to be the extent of their malice. The twisting dance showed troubled souls coming together, having a moment of hope and happiness, raising each other up before departing to go their separate ways.

After the first dance ended, I followed the mobile audience as they were led west down the nearby San Diego River Trail to the next outdoor stage. Chairs were set up short of the place where Highway 163 crosses Mission Valley.

I continued walking. What I saw thereafter wasn’t part of the program.

As the audience gathers on the south side of the Hazard Center shopping mall, one performer appears be homeless, sitting alone.
As the audience gathers on the south side of the Hazard Center shopping mall, one performer appears be homeless, sitting alone.
The gathered audience awaits the first outdoor dance of 2018 Trolley Dances.
The gathered audience awaits the first outdoor dance of 2018 Trolley Dances.
The performance begins, and another dancer rushes on to the stage.
The performance begins, and another dancer rushes onto the stage.
Dancers converge in front of the audience. The dance portrays different people who are homeless.
Dancers converge in front of the audience. The raw, disturbing dance portrays the lives of different people who are homeless.
Dancers move about fluidly, showing a variety of emotions, including pain, loss, uncertainty, anger, hopelessness.
Dancers move about fluidly, showing a variety of emotions, including pain, loss, uncertainty, anger, hopelessness.
A shopping cart is a focal prop. Seen from above, it is actually empty.
A shopping cart is a focal prop. Seen from above, it is empty.
Performers tussle over the shopping cart, while a nearby couple dances.
Performers tussle briefly over the shopping cart, while a nearby couple dances.
The dancers spread out and face the audience.
The dancers spread out and face the audience.
The dancers move together, as if suddenly animated by a unifying energy.
The dancers move together, as if suddenly animated by a unifying energy.
One dancer is raised up by the others.
One dancer is raised up by the others.

The dancers exit the stage by struggling up two sets of stairs at Hazard Center.
The dancers finally exit the stage, struggling up sets of stairs at Hazard Center.
They return to take their bow. There is great applause.
They return to take their bow. There is great applause.
The dancers collapse and lie on the concrete.
The dancers collapse and lie on the concrete.
This performance is over.
This performance is over.
The audience will be led across the street and on to the next nearby dance location, on the path by the San Diego River.
The audience will be led across the street and on to the next nearby dance location, on the path by the San Diego River.
What the audience did not see. An empty drug baggie as the bottom of some stairs behind Hazard Center. Very few people use these particular stairs.
What the audience did not see. An empty drug baggie at the bottom of some stairs behind Hazard Center. Very few people use these particular stairs.
The audience heads west along the San Diego Trolley tracks.
The audience heads west along the San Diego Trolley tracks.
The mobile Trolley Dances audience is guided through a short stretch of Mission Valley along the San Diego River toward the next unique stage.
The mobile Trolley Dances audience is guided through a short stretch of Mission Valley along the San Diego River toward the next unique stage.
Empty chairs and graffiti on a construction wall await at the next Trolley Dance stage.
Empty chairs and graffiti on a construction wall await at the next Trolley Dances stage.
This is as far down the path the audience would venture.
That is as far down the path the audience would venture.
Had they proceeded farther, they would have reached a place where many homeless gather--in shadowy places beneath Highway 163.
Had they proceeded farther, they would have reached a place where many homeless gather and take shelter–in shadowy places beneath Highway 163.

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!

Art, Color and Fiesta in Balboa Park!

The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.
The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

This evening I enjoyed a special event at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The House of Mexico presented Arte, Color y Fiesta, a cultural program rich with dance, music and patriotism celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

I successfully photographed the first few groups that provided entertainment before daylight waned. Many smiles shined into the evening.

To learn more about the House of Mexico, and perhaps become a member, or provide a donation as they prepare to build their new cottage among the existing House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, visit their website here!

The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico's cottage in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico’s new cottage in Balboa Park.
Los Chinelos De Morelos dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes Carnival-like costumes and masks.
Los Chinelos Unidos por Siempre de San Diego dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes fantastic Carnival-like costumes and masks.
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego perform during an event that celebrates Mexico's independence from Spain.
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, a musical group composed of local high school students, perform during an event that celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spain.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park's Food Truck Friday.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego at Balboa Park's Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego’s amazing Balboa Park.

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!

Photos from 2018 San Diego Shaka Fest.

Canoes head out into Mission Bay during the 5th Annual San Diego Shaka Fest, a celebration of Hawaiian culture, arts, and athletics.
Canoes head out into Mission Bay during the 5th Annual San Diego Shaka Fest, a celebration of Hawaiian culture, arts, and athletics.

Yesterday I walked along the east side of Mission Bay. For a few minutes I lingered at De Anza Cove to take in the rich color and Hawaiian vibe at San Diego Shaka Fest.

Many youth were racing outrigger canoes out on the water, and entertainment on the grass included dance and music.

Here are some photos. Read the captions to learn more!

The San Diego Shaka Fest at De Anza Cove is hosted by the Na Koa Kai Canoe Club. There was a outrigger canoe regatta, stand up paddle race and Polynesian entertainment!
The San Diego Shaka Fest at De Anza Cove is hosted by the Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club. There was a outrigger canoe regatta, stand up paddle race and Polynesian entertainment!
Many youth would participate out on the water.
Many youth would participate out on the water.
Some stand up paddle boards are ready on the sand.
Some stand up paddle boards are ready on the sand.
A team walks their outrigger canoe out into Mission Bay.
A team walks their outrigger canoe out into beautiful Mission Bay.
The SUP Race Course in Mission Bay heads down to Fiesta Island.
The SUP Race Course in Mission Bay heads down to Fiesta Island.
Hundreds of visitors to the event enjoyed entertainment and an assortment of vendors.
Hundreds of visitors to the event enjoyed entertainment and an assortment of vendors.
Lots of crafts and colorful clothing could be found at Shaka Fest.
Lots of crafts and colorful clothing could be found at Shaka Fest.
Hawaiian music and dance in sunny San Diego!
Hawaiian music and dance in sunny San Diego!
Whether family by blood or friends by choice, we are ohana.
Whether family by blood or friends by choice, we are ohana.

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!

Dance on Sunday afternoons in Balboa Park!

On Sunday afternoons I seem to be spending more and more time in the grand Ballroom of the Balboa Park Club. Cushioned chairs line the walls, and I can sit peacefully as I read or write, listening to gentle, sprightly folk music, occasionally looking up at happy people dancing.

I don’t do much in the way of dancing–not with my feet. But I’m sure some of you do! And I bet some of you’d like to learn all sorts of different folk dances!

I spoke to a nice lady who is a member of one of Balboa Park’s dance clubs, and she told me they are looking to grow their membership. There’s an opportunity for ordinary people with varying levels of experience to learn folk dances from many different cultures. And each lesson costs only a couple bucks!

As you can see from one of my photos, kids and parents can also learn how to dance the third Sunday of every month, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. Sounds like fun!

Interested? Visit the International Dance Association of San Diego County website by clicking here!

If you can walk, you can dance!

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!

Trolley Dances at the downtown Central Library!

This year, Trolley Dances includes several performances inside the San Diego Central Library!
This year, Trolley Dances includes several performances at San Diego’s downtown Central Library!

Trolley Dances in 2017 is as cool as ever!

Trolley Dances is an annual event in San Diego that uses unusual public spaces as settings for dance. The inspired, provocative performances are produced and choreographed by the San Diego Dance Theater.

Buy a ticket for this year’s event and you’ll be led on an adventure for mind, body and spirit. Mobile audiences, following Trolley Dances group leaders, disembark the San Diego Trolley’s Blue Line at various stops to view performances from Chula Vista to downtown San Diego.

Trolley Dances runs for only two weekends. It’s a brilliant concept that’s a lot of fun and full of surprises.

A few of the performances this year take place at San Diego’s downtown Central Library. I took some quick photos so that you can get a taste of what you will experience!

A mobile audience has arrived on foot from a nearby trolley station. They are led into downtown San Diego's dynamic public library to enjoy fantastic dance performances!
A mobile audience has arrived on foot from a nearby trolley station. They are led into downtown San Diego’s dynamic public library to enjoy fantastic dance performances!
The dances all contain raw organic energy and beautifully expressed emotion.
The dances all contain raw organic energy and beautifully expressed emotion.
The dancers use the Central Library's public entrance as an unusual stage during Trolley Dances. In another very dramatic dance, which I didn't photograph, the escalators were used to great effect.
The dancers use the Central Library’s public entrance as an unusual stage during Trolley Dances. In another superb dance, which I didn’t photograph, the nearby escalators were used to produce an outstanding dramatic effect.
Outside the library, in the courtyard, the audience now watches dancers framed in glass windows!
Outside the library, in the courtyard, the audience now watches dancers framed in glass windows!
The dancers come outside and engage the audience.
The dancers come outside and engage the audience.
Grace and power.
Grace and power.
A day enjoying the Trolley Dances is a great adventure for mind, body and spirit!
A day enjoying the Trolley Dances makes for a great adventure!

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!

Royal Marines, an admiral, pirates, dancers!

British Royal Marines pose for my camera on HMS Surprise during the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.
British Royal Marines pose for my camera on HMS Surprise during the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.

Today I magically traveled back in time to the early 1800s!

While visiting two Maritime Museum of San Diego tall ships at the Festival of Sail, I encountered uniformed Royal Marines, sailors in more common clothing (which was typical in the early 19th century), a distinguished British admiral, dangerous pirates, and graceful English dancers–all in period costumes!

Special thanks to the Maritime Museum Dancers, who were so very nice! Come along and let’s travel back two centuries!

An admiral boards HMS Surprise. Many colorful costumes and period attire can be seen every year at the Festival of Sail.
An admiral boards HMS Surprise. Colorful costumes and historical dress can be seen every year at the Festival of Sail.
The three Royal Marines stand at attention on the main deck of HMS Surprise.
The three Royal Marines stand at attention on the main deck of HMS Surprise.
This lady is dressed as a warrant officer's wife. I learned wives of officers often lived aboard British Royal Navy ships in the early 19th century.
This lady is dressed as a warrant officer’s wife. I learned wives of officers often lived aboard British Royal Navy ships in the early 19th century.
These guys are dressed as common sailors aboard the frigate HMS Surprise. Sailors in the Royal Navy, I was told, weren't issued standard uniforms until the 1840s.
These guys are dressed as common sailors aboard the frigate HMS Surprise. Sailors in the Royal Navy, I was told, weren’t issued standard uniforms until the 1840s.
Some pirates pose for a fun photo at the 2017 Festival of Sail.
Some pirates pose for a fun photo at the 2017 Festival of Sail. I’m not sure how authentic these costumes are!
Performers on the Star of India demonstrate dancing that would have been common in 1805, when the Royal Navy beat France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Performers on the Star of India demonstrate dancing that would have been common in 1805, when the Royal Navy beat France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar.
19th century hats lie at the ready near a CD player!
19th century hats lie at the ready near a CD player!
English country dances are demonstrated with grace and aplomb by the Maritime Museum dancers!
English country dances are demonstrated with grace and aplomb by the Maritime Museum Dancers!
A polite kiss of a lady's hand by an English gentleman.
A polite kiss of a lady’s hand by an English gentleman.
Dignified dancing on the beautiful new main deck of the Star of India.
Dignified dancing on the beautiful, shiny new main deck of the Star of India.
The admiral and three others in a dance typical of the period.
The admiral and three others in a dance typical of the period.
The gentlemen bow.
The gentlemen bow to the ladies.

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!

Cool photos of the Imperial Avenue Street Festival!

Anyone could add their own creative touch to this cool Imperial Street Festival spray paint mural!
Anyone could add their own creative touch to this cool Imperial Street Festival spray paint mural!

This afternoon I checked out a cool neighborhood event. I headed into Logan Heights to experience the Third Annual Imperial Avenue Street Festival!

I had never been to this festival before. What did I discover? Lots of culture, live music, tasty food, dance, art . . . and smiles!

Here are some photos!

Lots of live music could be enjoyed at multiple stages.
Live music could be enjoyed at multiple stages.
Cool graffiti art at the Logan Heights neighborhood festival by Dehvzer Artworks.
Cool graffiti art at the Logan Heights neighborhood festival by Dehvzer Artworks.
A fun dance to the music by folks from the Logan Heights community VivaLife Health Hub!
The VivaLife Health Hub had energetic dancers and upbeat music!

The VivaLife Health Hub at 2754 Imperial Avenue is a project of BAME Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that strengthens the residents and businesses in Greater Logan Heights.

BAME puts on this awesome festival. And they are looking for neighborhood volunteers! Click the above link to learn more!

Here are two of many smiles that I saw!
Here are two of many smiles that I saw!
Guys eating at Dulceria Coty on Imperial Avenue have good seats to watch the event.
Guys eating at Dulceria Coty on Imperial Avenue had good seats to watch the event.
Now that looks yummy.
Now that looks yummy.
Calamity!
Calamity!
Lots of vendors and some prize wheels.
Lots of vendors and some prize wheels.
Poster shows student achievers from the local King-Chavez Primary Academy sports and athletics programs!
Poster shows student achievers from the local King-Chavez Primary Academy sports and athletics programs!
The local Turf Klub had some custom cars out for the public to admire.
The local Turf Klub had some custom cars out for the public to admire.
At the East Stage a San Diego youth band called the Main Stage Maniacs rocked the house!
At the East Stage a San Diego youth band called the Main Stage Maniacs rocked the house!

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!