Oceanside festival celebrates Filipino culture!

The 20th Annual Filipino Cultural Celebration was held today at Oceanside’s Civic Center Plaza. I arrived at the popular festival as it opened and stayed for a bit to enjoy all sorts of colorful entertainment!

After National Anthems were sung and presentations were made by community leaders, costumed dancing and singing commenced. The audience was wowed by an incredible fire dance by Dane Kaneshiro. You might’ve enjoyed his energetic performances at SeaWorld. As you’ll see in the upcoming photographs, he also custom paints longboards with great Polynesian inspired art. See his Kinjo Arts Instagram page here.

I also enjoyed chatting with a representative of the House of the Philippines about their new cottage in Balboa Park and watching kids perform tricks with tiny fingerboards on a model miniature skatepark. Of course, there was lots of food, vendors and educational opportunities, too!

The family-friendly festival was presented by the Filipino-American Cultural Organization and the Oceanside Public Library.

I was surprised to learn the second largest population of Filipinos outside of the Philippines resides right here in San Diego!

Another big Filipino festival is coming up next weekend in downtown San Diego at Waterfront Park. I plan to be there!

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!

Inter-Tribal dancing at 2021 Balboa Park Pow Wow.

When I arrived at the 2021 Balboa Park Pow Wow this afternoon, the Inter-Tribal Dancing was just beginning.

According to the event’s flyer, the Balboa Park Pow Wow, a project of the San Diego American Indian Health Center, is about dancing for healing and honoring heritage. It’s taking place this weekend (both Saturday and Sunday) at the corner of Park Boulevard and Presidents Way.

I missed the earlier Aztec Dancers and Bird Singing, but I did experience what you’ll see in the following photographs.

The rhythmic beat of the drums was like a steady heartbeat. As I watched the different dancers, young and old, I saw eyes filled with dedication and pride. And I saw smiles like sunshine, too.

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 of Park de la Cruz Grand Opening Celebration!

A wonderful new park officially opened yesterday in the Cherokee Point neighborhood of City Heights. The City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department, community organizations and many neighbors and families came together for the Park de la Cruz Grand Opening Celebration!

I swung by the new park during my walk in the late morning to check out some of the fun. I missed the welcome by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria but was able to catch the City Heights Steppers and Mariachi Victoria performing on the event stage. I walked through the extensive Resource Fair and met many people who are helping to enhance the life of this very diverse community.

Kids were enjoying a big outdoor play area across Landis Street and a Day of Play at the new community center, and many other activities could be enjoyed freely by the public, including a softball clinic at the beautiful green ball field and skating demonstrations at the nearby skatepark. The Fern Street Circus would also perform!

The public was invited to tour inside the new Park de la Cruz Community Center. Services offered at the center include Therapeutic Recreation and AgeWell Services. If you’re a senior in San Diego, check out this web page for information on staying fit and meeting new friends! I blogged about the program a couple years ago here.

The Park de la Cruz Grand Opening Celebration was sponsored by the San Diego Parks Foundation.

Enjoy a few photos!

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!

Sake paints life into new Teralta Park mural!

San Diego graffiti artist Sake was busy painting life into the new multicultural mural at the south end of Teralta Neighborhood Park today. He and a helper were adding bold brushstrokes of color among the many faces that will fill the 263-foot City Heights mural, which is titled Unity in the Community.

I spoke to Sake briefly and enjoyed another look at the monumental work in progress. Once completed, Unity in the Community will be one of the most awesome murals in all of San Diego!

Learn more about the multiple EMMY award winning artist at his website here!

My feet took me through Teralta Neighborhood Park as I walked to an historic event in City Heights, which I’ll blog about shortly!

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, wisdom and unity at the City Heights Library.

A man called King once had a dream. A dream of man caring for fellowman, limited only by the boundaries of time and space, echoed by men and women through time. A love without limits. Art and Poetry – Jihmye Collins, 1998.

At the City Heights/Weingart Library, in the City Heights Urban Village, colorful art and wise words greet patrons as they approach the front door.

The artwork and poetry were created by Jihmye Collins in 1998.

Learn more about Jihmye, his life and work, here.

Approaching the City Heights Library on Fairmount Avenue.
Vivir! To live!
Celestial fragrance consumes universal air…
Patterned tile mosaics and faces.
Sometimes I dream a dream of totally finding myself multiplied by the peoples and kindreds of the earth…
World Unity.
I dance on the brink of the world. I hear your drum…
A circle containing diverse symbols.
…your creativity, your mind and compassion…
Many children at play together.
A wall full of life and wisdom.
Reading colors your world!

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 Poetic of Living in San Ysidro.

I was walking through San Ysidro today when I noticed The FRONT Arte Cultura gallery was open. So I walked in!

Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT Arte Cultura, showed me the above artwork, which remains from the recently closed And We Will Sing in the Tall Grass Again exhibition. The powerful piece is titled A Poetic of Living and was created by artist Larissa Rogers.

As I gazed down at human forms made of crumbling soil, with flowers cropping up, I could see the theme had something to do with decay and regeneration. Death and birth.

The artwork, according to a long description I read, also concerns human trauma, amnesia, confrontation and persistence. “Soil holds trauma, displacement, memory, and history but is also a place of regeneration, possibility…The viewer is prompted to walk over the soil. In this action, they no longer become a spectator without agency, but rather, have to confront the soil to continue…”

It seems to me this art reminds us of one unifying truth. A truth many would rather forget or deny. That we are all made of the same earth…and that we are mortal.

It also shows that seeds planted in life continue.

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!

The extraordinary reopening of the Mingei Museum!

Three years of construction at Balboa Park’s House of Charm is completed. The reimagined, redesigned, greatly enlarged Mingei International Museum, which occupies most of the historic building, has finally reopened!

The multicultural Mingei Museum, whose focus is crafts and design, opened its doors to the public yesterday. To celebrate, admission to the upstairs galleries will be free during Labor Day weekend through Monday, September 6.

I slowly walked through the new spacious indoor pavilion that occupies the ground level. The ground floor will always be free to the public.

A big seating area invites visitors to relax. Several large glass cases display colorful museum pieces. There’s a nearby gift shop and café, too. Through one door anybody can go outside to sit in a beautiful courtyard at tables under shady umbrellas. (That might become a favorite place to read and write!)

The second floor’s main galleries are approached up stairs through the House of Charm’s tower. As you head up the steps, look up. You’ll be wowed by renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture chandelier! (Lights in the stairwell walls cast intricate shadows, which one guide at the museum said he really likes!)

I walked about the upstairs galleries and admired the many exhibits. I particularly like folk art. I laughed at some pieces, stood in wonder before others.

Artwork handcrafted by “ordinary” folk from all around the world often feels more powerful and authentic than so-called fine art. Because its creation typically flows from human experiences that are unique but universal. Folk art represents what day-to-day people consider desirous or meaningful in life.

By the way, if you’re an artist in San Diego seeking inspiration, or if you want to do some art research, there’s a huge library on the second floor! The Frances Hamilton White Art Reference Library features a specialized collection of over 12,000 books!

I took some photos to provide a taste of the new, more-extraordinary-than-ever Mingei International Museum.

Next time you’re in Balboa Park, you definitely need to check it out! And make sure to venture outside on the second floor, to enjoy amazing views of the Plaza de Panama!

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!

Mural of diverse women in a canoe.

A beautiful, thought-provoking mural was painted earlier this year on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. I saw it last weekend on the parking lot wall of Little Lion Cafe. The mural, I learned, was painted by Aaron Glasson, an artist who lives in Ocean Beach just a few blocks away.

Next to the mural I found an article printed in the Point Loma-OB Monthly concerning the artwork and its creation. You can read the article online here. The four women in the canoe form a racially diverse group. If there’s a basic message in the mural it’s that Ocean Beach is a diverse and welcoming community.

The mural is located just north of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Should you visit this scenic coastal stretch of Point Loma, keep your eyes peeled for the Little Lion Cafe!

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!

Historic opening of new cottages in Balboa Park!

History was made today in San Diego’s always amazing Balboa Park. Nine beautiful new International Cottages finally opened to the public!

A ribbon cutting ceremony late in the morning was followed by a procession of flags and youthful House of Pacific Relations Queens. Inspirational and congratulatory speeches were then made, including words from San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

After various dignitaries and consulate representatives spoke, a happy crowd watched cultural performances by each of the nations with new cottages!

Those nations or cultural units are: Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, Korea, India, Peru, Palestine, Chamorro and Turkey.

Everyone received great applause. Smiles like sunshine radiated from every face. The audience and participants formed one big very colorful family. History was made.

If only this troubled world could take notice.

I took photographs before, during, and after the ceremony…

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!

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Street art spotted walking the Convoy District.

Yesterday I walked along many blocks of Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa. I was on a mission to check out the new Yu Darvish mural that is being painted this week. See those photos here!

As I walked through the heart of the Convoy District, I saw a few bits of “street art” that I photographed.

The Convoy District describes itself “as the commercial and cultural heart for San Diego’s 450,000+ member Asian & Pacific Islander communities.” It is one of several areas in San Diego that has attracted a sizable Asian population.

There are numerous eateries in the strip malls that line Convoy Street. Restaurants offer Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai food, not to mention Hawaiian, Italian and lots of Mexican.

I remember frequenting an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet back in the 80’s when I was quite a bit younger and could devour multiple platefuls!

It was wonderful to see bits of art along Convoy, but there is definitely room for much more!

Welcome to Convoy
A very colorful rooster with a beer on the side of Cross Street Chicken and Beer. At this restaurant Korean Fried Chicken meets Classic Southern Cooking. Mural by @espanagarcia_art.
A newly painted electrical box on Convoy Street. I believe this might be the result of a recent Utility Box Mural Program that partners the Asian Business Association San Diego, Convoy District, SDG&E, and Cox. It was the only decorated box I happened to see.
I passed these two lions that stand on the grass in front of Jasmine Express. It appears they used to be located elsewhere. If you know anything about them, 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!