How the most wonderful dreams are made real.

Your most wonderful dreams can turn into reality . . . with effort, optimism and dogged persistence. And patience. And unwavering vision.

Over the years I’ve recorded many instances of extraordinary–even improbable–dreams coming true. I’ve learned about or have met people who raise their eyes toward a distant, shimmering dream, then reach up to grab it.

All of these individuals are motivated by an undying passion.

Here are a few instances that I happen to remember. I’ve blogged about athletes who achieve the pinnacle of success; artists, inventors and visionaries who create astonishing new wonders; students who step confidently into the future…

Click the following links:

Celebration of Champions at Elite Athlete Training Center!

“There is no shortcut to true success.”

More photos of amazing, experimental holographic art!

An amazing cube, like real Space: full of stars!

The fantastic, amazing Harper’s Topiary Garden!

Aviation history at Waldo Dean Waterman Park.

World’s most amazing car, displayed in San Diego!

Cool photos of creativity at Maker Faire San Diego!

Salk Institute architect Louis Kahn: an amazing exhibit!

Founders of Balboa Park linger in Sefton Plaza.

Kid entrepreneurs showcase their creativity!

San Diego school students do amazing things!

What amazing things will you do?

An amazing cube, like real Space: full of stars!

One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen made its very first appearance this evening in San Diego. Mitchell Walker, who plays didgeridoo in Balboa Park and Seaport Village, has completed an epic project that began as a dream almost 40 years ago. He has officially completed The Great Stellarium Project!

Mitchell’s 30-inch Plexiglas cube which contains a three-dimensional star map–his amazing Stellarium–made its debut in Balboa Park near the Fleet Science Center. The Stellarium was admired by curious passersby, and by astronomy lovers who’d gathered for the monthly stargazing “Stars In The Park” event of the San Diego Astronomy Association.

Mitchell has an irrepressible smile and a great sense of humor. One of his biggest passions is science fiction–Star Trek in particular. For much of his life he’s had a strong fascination with astronomy.

Years ago, Mitchell’s dream to recreate a part of our galaxy was inspired by the star map that figures in the film The UFO Incident. His idea was to design a transparent cube that holds an accurate portrayal of the stars nearest to our sun. His first attempt to invent such a marvel resulted in a cube that was 15 inches square. He still uses that smaller cube as a night light.

The impressive 30-inch Stellarium that debuted today displays our “stellar neighborhood” within 50 light years of Sol, the sun. Our tiny corner of the galaxy took Mitchell a little over a year to build. The 166 stars are obviously not to scale, but the distances between them and their relative positions around Sol are accurate. Each tiny star, attached to a filament that is almost invisible, shines with fluorescent paint in the color that matches its spectral classification. In darkness, under the cube’s black light, the effect is extraordinary.

After the sun set this evening, I sat on a nearby park bench and watched as people stopped to peer into the dreamlike Stellarium. Some pressed a button at the cube’s base to listen to Mitchell’s recorded audio narration.

Clouds unfortunately concealed the night sky. For a magical moment or two, members of the San Diego Astronomy Association abandoned their nearby telescopes and joined their friend Mitchell Walker, to gaze into a wondrous cube full of stars.

Please visit Mitchell’s web page that describes his Stellarium 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!

Oil paintings created on San Diego train ride!

Travelling by a train is like moving through a dream. The window beside your seat produces ever-changing visions. Glimpses of the world blink past, one after another. Your eyes are subject to a series of momentary impressions.

It can be hard to capture good photographs when riding the train up the coast from San Diego. You’re moving, there’s a dusty window and reflections to deal with, and of course there’s the critical matter of timing. When I snapped photos yesterday during my Coaster train ride from San Diego to Encinitas, most of the images turned out badly blurred and poorly framed.

So I decided to use the Oilify filter of GIMP’s graphics software to transform the photos of my journey into a series of dreamlike oil paintings!

All aboard! We’re about to leave downtown’s Santa Fe Depot . . .

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!

Surprising contrasts on a quiet walk.

Sunday afternoon I took the trolley to East County to enjoy a quiet walk near Gillespie Field. I knew that along Marshall Avenue there’d be no traffic.

As I walked down the long, empty sidewalk I turned my eyes toward sleepy hangars across the street, burgeoning spring flowers at my feet and a large construction site abandoned for the day. All I heard was the whisper of the breeze, birds flitting here or there and small planes rising into the sky.

The time and place was perfect for a stretch of thinking. I’m struggling with a short story that is particularly difficult. It’s a story about the complexity of people and the small actions that help to define a life. I keep changing the words.

As I walked along in a state of abstraction I slowly became aware of surprising shapes and contrasts in the world all around me. Exactly like the complexity we find in ourselves.

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!

Across the gray water into a dream…

Taking the ferry from downtown San Diego to Coronado is like crossing into a dream. It’s a journey to a magical place. The island is like a small, carefree paradise.

I had a variety of photos from my ferry ride and walk yesterday, so I thought I’d try converting a few into oil paintings! I cropped selected images then used the Oilify artistic filter that comes with the GIMP graphics editor.

It was a beautiful misty winter day.

Those are sea lions lying on a buoy in the bay!

The words etched in the sand near the Coronado Ferry Landing? I’ll let you decide.

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!

Two colorful, fun benches in Tidelands Park!

A couple days ago I posted photos of two super fun benches in National City’s Pepper Park. Today, during my walk in Coronado, I visited Tidelands Park in order to photograph two additional benches that were created by the same San Diego artist, Doug Snider.

These colorful benches are located at the playground in Coronado Tidelands Park. They also debuted in 2006 and are made of painted concrete.

Doug Snider is a member of the San Diego Potters’ Guild and operates out of Studio 15 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.

These benches appear to have emerged from a strangely wonderful dream. Wouldn’t you like to sit in one?

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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Walking through a maze of shining dreams.

Walking through downtown San Diego on a bright, sunny day is like navigating through a maze of shining dreams.

Eyes are dazzled by the city’s magic.

Visions rise at every turn.

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!