Faces of Excellence appear at City College.

A new mural has been painted downtown at San Diego City College. The artwork celebrates Excellence at Dr. Constance M. Carroll Plaza.

Dr. Constance M. Carroll has served as San Diego Community College District’s chancellor from 2004 to 2021.

Photographs from stages of the inspirational mural’s creation show how faces of excellence emerged after careful design.

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!

Historical uniforms inspire a Fashion Redux!

Anyone in San Diego who is interested in history, fashion, or the evolution of fashion should visit the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.

A new exhibit opened on Sunday titled Fashion Redux 2021. Collaborating with the History Center, inspired by four plain-looking late 19th to mid 20th century woman’s uniforms, students from Mesa College’s Fashion Program have designed similar but more contemporary clothing!

The four articles of clothing in the museum’s collection that were considered by the students are: a WWII Uniform, Navy Nurse Corps, c. 1940s; a ZLAC Rowing Uniform, c. 1895; a Girl Scout Uniform, c. 1919; and a Knights of Columbus Uniform, c. late 19th or early 20th century.

Just seeing those old uniforms in the San Diego History Center is interesting in itself, but to see how fashion design students have chosen to alter century-old styles provides a glimpse into the creative human mind, and perhaps a sense of our culture’s present day aesthetic tastes.

The exhibit allows visitors to compare the different clothing in detail, and learn about the talented students who are participating in this Fashion Redux.

Here is some of what you’ll see…

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!

Tape Art at the Japanese Friendship Garden!

I didn’t know tape art was a “thing” until I happened to walk into the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden this weekend. And what I discovered blew me away!

This unique exhibition, simply titled Tape Art, has been on display for some time now, so shame on me, as a JFG member, for not knowing about it!

The artist is Chiho Harazaki. She utilizes adhesive tape that is cut into fine shapes to create artwork that is detailed and quite amazing. I photographed a few of her pieces so you can get an idea of what you’ll see when you pay a visit.

Some of the works on display depict daily life in Japan. Some appear like colorful Hanafuda, a style of Japanese playing cards. A few of her works, including a piece that is quite large and striking, concern the horror of Hiroshima at the end of World War II, and make an appeal to the viewer for peace.

Should you visit Balboa Park before July 25, 2021, step into the Japanese Friendship Garden. That’s when the exhibition Tape Art concludes.

Then, after viewing this art, be sure to walk down into the Lower Garden. It’s one of the most beautiful places in 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!

Surf history at Imperial Beach’s Outdoor Surfboard Museum.

One of San Diego’s most unique museums can be visited by strolling down Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. The Imperial Beach Outdoor Surfboard Museum is open 24/7, and all visitors need to do is freely walk down the sidewalk!

A short distance from the beach, on either side of Palm Avenue from 3rd Street to Seacoast Drive, 25 different historic surfboard designs are displayed as life-size red metal sculptures, whose shapes cast sandblasted “shadows” across the sidewalk.

The date, material and shaper of each unique surfboard is detailed on circular plaques. Boards that are displayed date from the early days of Hawaiian surfing up to 1985. You can see how influential local surfers have been in surf history, as nine of the shapers hail from Imperial Beach and the San Diego region!

The Outdoor Surfboard Museum debuted in 2006 and is a fitting tribute to IB’s very cool surf culture. Walking along, you’ll see curvy little boards and you’ll see massive long boards–standing up to 16 feet tall! You’ll see how surfboard design has evolved over the years, as surfers have sought speed, control and a long, smooth, perfect ride.

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

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Mind-boggling optical illusion at Town and Country!

How many buildings greet you with a mind-boggling optical illusion? The Town and Country Resort’s convention center in Mission Valley does!

Stand by Fashion Valley Road in front of the convention center’s west entrance and stare at the seemingly 3-dimensional pattern between the doors. Or stare via your computer or phone at my final photograph.

What’s in?

What’s out?

What is a brain to do?

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.

Restoring history at the Gymnasium in Balboa Park!

The Municipal Gymnasium in San Diego’s Balboa Park is a popular destination for local athletes playing basketball. I like to venture inside during a weekend to watch part of a game.

I often wonder if those playing hoops in the old gym know they’re inside a historically important building that was constructed for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.

The Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries building–today’s gymnasium–still retains an indication of its unique origin. Look down as you approach the front door and you’ll see this artwork in the entry…

I learned yesterday from local architect Robert Thiele (whose many accomplishments include designing the beautiful rotunda fountain inside the San Diego Museum of Art) that big changes are coming to this historic building. Decorative elements of the 1935 Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries are being restored!

Later this summer a fantastic 12′ x 20′ cold cast bronze panel will be hung above the entrance with bands of ornament above and below. You can see the bronze panel in that very first photograph.

Several architectural visualizations show how Balboa Park’s Municipal Gymnasium will appear once the panel is installed. Grand ornamental flourishes will crown both the building’s entrance and panel. Compare the following images.

Quite an amazing difference!

I’ve asked people who might be knowledgeable if this historic building, located next to three important San Diego museums, will continue to be used as a gym in the future, but that seems uncertain at this point. If anyone has more information concerning the Municipal Gymnasium’s fate, please leave a comment!

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!

Beautiful mural in the Arcade Building in La Jolla.

I met the creator of beautiful murals today!

I was walking through La Jolla’s scenic Ellen Browning Scripps Park, gazing at the ocean, when I came upon a friendly artist selling some prints and a decorative surfboard. I soon learned that she is also a muralist, and that she has painted a very colorful mural in La Jolla’s Arcade Building!

So afterward I guided my feet in that direction!

Melanie Sojourner-Truth Atesalp is the artist’s name. Now that I’ve read her bio, I can see why her smile is so deep.

Her unique background and life experiences can be read at her website here. She’s all about imagination and laughter, healing and wisdom. She designed the large mural at the new SDSU Healing Garden and Meditation Space. Right now she’s concentrating on creating graphic novels and writing children’s literature.

If you like the mural you’re about to see, check out her website where there is art you can purchase!

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!

Frida Kahlo and colored patterns on a fence!

Check out this cool, unexpected art I discovered during a walk last weekend!

I was heading down Main Street in Barrio Logan when I looked up 30th Street and glimpsed this artwork on a fence!

Colorful plastic squares had been applied to a chain link fence along Boston Avenue near Interstate 5. This artwork continues for several blocks! In addition to dozens of varied diamond patterns, I spied the above “portrait” of Frida Kahlo!

I’m not sure when this art was created or by whom. It appeared to me as if it had been on that fence for years.

If I hadn’t casually glanced up an ordinary street that I was walking past, I would never have seen this.

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!

More fascinating doors around San Diego!

Here’s another batch of fascinating door photographs!

I have a little extra time indoors this wintry morning, so I’m going through some old photos in my computer. These images were collected in the past month or so during walks all around San Diego.

You might notice many of the ornate wooden doors are in a Mexican style that is popular in Southern California.

The unmistakable front doors of the iconic California Building in Balboa Park, home of the Museum of Us.
Huge door to the downtown power substation that was designed by famed architect Richard Requa.

If you want to learn more about the above building, which sort of resembles a castle, click here.

Strange service door on curved side of the Portside Pier restaurants on the Embarcadero.
Unique door to El Chingon in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Unusual door I spotted during a walk somewhere.

The next four doors were all observed on Congress Street in Old Town. I really like these…

Finally, the last two doors can be found among the International Cottages in 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!

Firefighters Sculpture at San Ysidro fire station.

Over the years I’ve photographed several works of public art located in front of San Diego fire stations. This weekend I saw another example. A very cool sculpture stands near the entrance of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Station 29 in San Ysidro!

Firefighters Sculpture is the title of this piece, which was created by Jeri Deneen in 2005. The artist is part of Deneen Powell Atelier, a nationally recognized, award-winning San Diego landscape design firm that has undertaken major projects locally and across the nation. Their work can be enjoyed at the United States Botanic Garden and United States National Arboretum, not to mention inside the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park.

According to the San Diego Civic Art Collection web page here, Firefighters Sculpture is “formed from a two-dimensional, trapezoidal panel of weathered, Cor-ten steel perforated with laser-cut figures rendered in a graphic “stencil” style. The sculpture depicts three firemen kneeling in profile as they work together to hold a fire hose. The nozzle of the hose spouts “water” which is represented by a vertical glass shard, translucent during the day and illuminated from within at night…

To see more public art at San Diego fire stations, click here and here and 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!