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.

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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!

Christmas Imaginarium Carriage visits Balboa Park!

The wonderful, eye-popping Christmas Imaginarium Carriage visited Balboa Park this morning! It arrived for the Deck the Cars event in the parking lot by the San Diego Automotive Museum.

People around San Diego might see this unmistakable vehicle driving about from time to time. I first saw it over 9 years ago.

During Deck the Cars, a crowd of car enthusiasts converged to admire the Christmas Imaginarium Carriage, which, like a mobile work of art, is decorated with angels, nutcrackers, Santas, small houses and buildings, Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, and painted winter holiday scenes.

Enjoy this look at one man’s fantastic dream made real!

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!

The brilliant Stellarium: 100 light-years across!

Do you know the friendly gentleman who plays the didgeridoo in Balboa Park? That’s Mitchell Walker.

He loves astronomy. He’s super creative. He never stops dreaming. That’s how he managed to shrink a volume of space 100 light-years across and fit it inside a plexiglass cube!

Mitchell’s one-of-a-kind, incredible Stellarium shows all of the stars within 50 light-years of the sun, placed in their correct spatial positions. That makes 166 stars in our stellar neighborhood. (Mitchell is now playfully calling his unique cube SITH–Stars in the ‘Hood!)

The colors of his tiny illuminated stars are based on spectral classification: the Morgan-Keenan system. Press a button and you hear a recording made by Mitchell describing his Stellarium.

I first blogged about The Great Stellarium Project over three years ago. You can see a smiling Mitchell and learn more about his brilliant creation here.

Since then modifications have been made to the Stellarium, including a visible ultraviolet light.

Today I heard that more improvements are coming!

During Stars in the Park this evening, Mitchell showed me his detailed plan to have each star light up individually with a touch of a button. That way the position of a particular star can be seen in relation to others and to our sun.

Mitchell starts with a dream. Then he makes it come true.

What are your dreams?

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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!

A story about desire that can’t be fulfilled.

The sky turns red and yellow just before sunrise on Mount Laguna. Photo taken at the Storm Canyon Overlook on the Sunrise Highway.

We all have deep-seated desires that can never be fulfilled. It’s an essential part of being human.

There are horizons that cannot be reached, dreams that cannot be realized. But we keep moving forward through life, in that place where we find ourselves, and we never stop hoping.

I’ve published a short story concerning this. It’s titled A Distant Place.

Writing the story was painful. Those who are thoughtful might enjoy reading it.

You can read this short work of fiction by clicking here.

Artists exhibit Explorations in Urban Sketching.

Are you intrigued by the process of human creativity?

Answer yes, and you need to check out an exhibition in Gallery 21 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.

Explorations in Urban Sketching brings together the work of the San Diego Urban Sketchers.

Quick renderings of scenes provide a sense of how very talented artists might glimpse this beautiful and complex world during a walk through life. Many of the images are of familiar San Diego locations.

Some of the works in different media appear like very brief sketches, while others works seem a bit more detailed.

Your eyes will move from piece to piece as if you are viewing ephemeral dreams– each canvas providing a unique moment of wonder.

Like a fast sketch this exhibition also ends soon–it runs through October 9th, 2022. So you better go check it out before, like a dream, Explorations in Urban Sketching vanishes.

Explorations in Urban Sketching is in memory of Dominique Eichi, an artist who shared a studio in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village.

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 dragon, a giant, Martian canals and a mummy.

I love this dragon street art. I had to add contrast to many of these photos, because much of the artwork has been faded by time and weather.

Do you daydream?

I suppose we all do.

What do you dream about?

I dreamed up a short story.

It’s titled The Weed.

It’s a fairy tale, and it isn’t.

It’s about life, growth, and forgetting.

The abrupt climax is sad, and perhaps not unexpected.

If you have an active imagination and a philosophical view of life, you might enjoy reading it here.

Have a great Sunday!

Richard

An idea for San Diego-Tijuana World Design Capital in 2024.

Last Saturday, at the conclusion of the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Open House tour of the Design and Innovation Building at UC San Diego, our group listened to a talk on the second floor concerning San Diego-Tijuana’s designation as World Design Capital in 2024. (Wow, that’s quite a sentence!)

Needless to say, it’s super exciting that our two-city cross-border metropolitan area has received such a distinguished award. Read more about the many efforts that were undertaken to achieve this recognition here.

As World Design Capital, San Diego-Tijuana will not only showcase our region’s optimistic culture of progress and innovation, but it will be a chance for people in the community to come together and catalyze positive change!

As I listened to the talk, full of high-sounding jargon, outlining future events for professionals, I wondered what would excite ordinary people (like me) and spur greater involvement from the public. And an idea popped: why not have a big, fun, family-friendly World Design Fair event in Balboa Park? Something akin to the parkwide, very popular Maker Faire?

Designers, inventors, educators, planners, makers, futurists, environmentalists, kids, scientists, students, museums, civic leaders, dreamers . . . all coming together to celebrate, share ideas, learn and have fun!

And on top of that, it’s our amazing, beloved 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!

It was all a dream in Little Italy!

If you’ve driven north up India Street at Kalmia Street, you might’ve seen three new, very unusual street signs.

Do they indicate motorists are about to leave the Little Italy neighborhood? No. Together in sequence they read: IT WAS ALL A DREAM.

On their other side, the signs declare: WORK IN PROGRESS – YOU ARE HERE – STAY PRESENT.

This raises a difficult question. If the past was all a dream, and people are urged to stay present, what should one do? Avoid a return to dreaming?

Does anyone know who installed this public art? And when? I’ve done some googling, but find nothing but an unhelpful Instagram post. If you have more info about these fun signs, please leave a comment.

By the way, the funky, kitschy zebra stripes-like mural on the side of the El Camino Mexican restaurant that you see in the background was recently painted by Delilah Strukel (@Wanderingdelilah).

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!

Learn to sail a world-famous tall ship!

Volunteers work on the Star of India, world-famous tall ship of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Do you live in San Diego? Do you love adventure, the outdoors, and exciting new challenges? If so, then listen up!

You now have the rare opportunity to learn to sail one of the world’s most famous tall ships, the Star of India! Not to mention other amazing sailing ships belonging to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, such as the replica Spanish galleon San Salvador, and the official tall ship of the State of California: Californian!

The classes are free but require an annual museum membership, which for most individuals is a mere fifty dollars. If I didn’t work full time, I’d seriously consider signing up!

I saw the following sign on the Embarcadero today. As it says, many people dream of this opportunity. The orientation is coming up this Wednesday, January 5, so quickly inform anyone you know who might be interested!

You can also learn more by visiting this page on the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s website!

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!

How to almost touch the stars.

Stars.

I just finished writing another short story. It’s titled The Highest Seat.

This very small work of fiction concerns stars and how one can almost touch them.

The unusual concept behind the story arose from something a friend mentioned. We were talking during my Sunday visit to Balboa Park.

The story is based a little on truth, and much on imagination. If you’re a dreamer, you might like it.

Read it here!