Signs of autumn’s arrival in Balboa Park.

It's late September. Flower petals in the Alcazar Garden are dropping off.
It’s late September. Many petals in the Alcazar Garden have dried up and dropped off.

Autumn arrived about a week ago. You can see signs of it throughout Balboa Park.

As I walked around the park today, I aimed my camera here and there taking fun seasonal photographs.

Prado Perk is now serving
Prado Perk is now serving “Pumkin” Maple Latte.
I stepped inside the Municipal Gymnasium and saw autumn decorations on their bulletin board.
I stepped inside the Municipal Gymnasium and saw autumn decorations on their bulletin board.
And I found these creepy Halloween pumpkins on their Gatorade vending machine!
And I found these creepy Halloween pumpkins on their Gatorade vending machine!
Many leaves have fallen and turned brown at the edge of Palm Canyon.
Many leaves have fallen and turned brown at the edge of Palm Canyon.
A bright yellow leaf has landed upon the bridge over Palm Canyon.
A bright yellow leaf has landed upon the bridge over Palm Canyon.
Fall means it's time for the big Japanese Art Sale!
Fall means it’s time for the big Japanese Art Sale!
Among other beautiful works of art, I found a Japanese brush painting of a pumpkin!
Among other beautiful works of art, I found a Japanese brush painting of a pumpkin!
While a cute bunny might symbolize spring, Bunnyfest in Balboa Park is held during the autumn. I believe this is one of the participants.
While a cute bunny might symbolize spring, BunnyFest in Balboa Park is held during the autumn. I believe this is one of the participants.
Summer is over and crowds have thinned, but it's still pretty warm out in the sun at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Summer is over and crowds have thinned, but it’s still pretty warm out in the sun at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Mr. Cat and The King of Autumn is showing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre. That's the goofiest looking chicken I ever saw.
Mr. Cat and The King of Autumn is now playing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre. That’s the wackiest looking chicken I ever saw.
A late bloom at the International Cottages.
A late bloom at the International Cottages.
A fancy Harvest Dinner Party is planned at the House of Hungary.
A fancy Harvest Dinner Party is planned at the House of Hungary.
I don't know whether this scarecrow on a nearby wall is invited...
I don’t know whether this scarecrow on a nearby wall is invited…

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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The Art of Shag at the Comic-Con Museum!

Today I enjoyed a really great exhibition at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum. The popular artist Josh Agle, who goes by the name Shag, has a big gallery of super cool artwork on display free to the public through this weekend!

I must admit I was unfamiliar with the name Shag, but once I saw the artwork I recognized his distinctive style. And now I’m a big fan! His snappy colorful images have a 1960’s commercial art feel, and many of the pieces celebrate popular entertainment and scenes from that era. His sly, often subversive “Mid-Century Modern aesthetic” is all in good fun.

Shag’s art often depicts Hollywood stars raising glasses at decadent cocktail parties. Many of his images include exotic Tikis. He creates vivid, snazzy scenes that invoke a sense of what is referred to as retro decadence.

Some of his pieces pay tribute to classic cartoons and Disney. As you can see in my photos, he also re-imagines popular movies like Planet of the Apes, Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy, comic books like Spider-Man, and television shows like the Twilight Zone and Batman.

If you’d like to see some really cool art, definitely head over to Balboa Park tomorrow and check out the Art of Shag! The free exhibition will be open 10 am to 4 pm in the Federal Building, which used to house the Hall of Champions, and which is destined to become the Comic-Con Museum in 2021.

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!

Black life and civil rights in Southern California.

Barbershop, Los Angeles, 1956, Harry Adams. Photographer Harry Adams stands with a young woman in front of his barbershop.
Barbershop, Los Angeles, 1956, Harry Adams. Photographer Harry Adams stands with a young woman in front of his barbershop.

A powerful exhibition recently opened at the San Diego Museum of Art. Black Life: Images of Resistance and Resilience in Southern California features photographs of politicians, activists, athletes and entertainers from the African American community during the second half of the 20th century, a period of struggle to advance civil rights.

Photographers Harry Adams, Guy Crowder and Charles Williams, who worked primarily as freelancers for publications like the Los Angeles Sentinel, California Eagle and Los Angeles Times, recorded people and moments in a community that was rarely covered by the American media. Their photography is natural, emotional and absolutely authentic. As you will see, many of their images are iconic.

Black Life: Images of Resistance and Resilience in Southern California documents important history in the life of our region. The exhibition can be viewed in the San Diego Museum of Art’s free Gallery 14/15, which is located through an unlocked door beside the outdoor sculpture court and Panama 66.

What you see here is just a small fraction of the many photographs on display.

Child Holding Book, Los Angeles, 1983, Guy Crowder.
Child Holding Book, Los Angeles, 1983, Guy Crowder.
Muhammad Ali and Stokely Carmichael, Los Angeles, 1974, Guy Crowder. Carmichael is known for coining the term Black Power in 1966.
Muhammad Ali and Stokely Carmichael, Los Angeles, 1974, Guy Crowder. Carmichael is known for coining the term Black Power in 1966.
Marrie Burnett, Los Angeles, 1982, Guy Crowder.
Marrie Burnett, Los Angeles, 1982, Guy Crowder.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles, 1958, Harry Adams.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles, 1958, Harry Adams.
Baldwin School Integration, Los Angeles, 1962, Charles Williams. The NAACP campaigned to promote school integration.
Baldwin School Integration, Los Angeles, 1962, Charles Williams. The NAACP campaigned to promote school integration.
Protest Car, Los Angeles, 1962, Harry Adams.
Protest Car, Los Angeles, 1962, Harry Adams.
Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, stars of Carmen Jones, 1954, Charles Williams.
Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, stars of Carmen Jones, 1954, Charles Williams.
Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, Los Angeles, 1969, Guy Crowder.
Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, Los Angeles, 1969, Guy Crowder.
Dream Girls Cast, Los Angeles, 1983, Guy Crowder.
Dream Girls Cast, Los Angeles, 1983, Guy Crowder.

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!

Folk dance and smiles at House of Ukraine!

Balboa Park’s House of Ukraine had their lawn program today at the International Cottages.

I don’t know a whole lot about the culture and history of Ukraine, but I could see one thing very clearly. The Ukrainian love for food, uplifting song, bright colorful costumes and folk dance shows an enduring, passionate love of life.

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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Photo memories of summers in San Diego.

Another summer is flying by. It’s almost Labor Day weekend.

I thought it might be fun to revisit photos from past summers in sunny San Diego.

Click the following links!

2014

2014 Over The Line (OTL) World Championship!

More tall ships and fun at 2014 Festival of Sail!

Dog athletes surf big waves at Imperial Beach!

2015

Photos of art come to life at CityFest in Hillcrest.

Photos of cool sand sculptures at Sun and Sea Festival!

Cool photos of fun, funky Ocean Beach Street Fair!

Lots of photos from Coronado’s Fourth of July parade!

Celebrating San Diego history at Festival of the Bells.

Photos of good times at Chula Vista’s HarborFest!

2016

Cool photos: OB Pier celebrates 50th anniversary!

Fun photos: Old Town San Diego’s Fourth of July!

Taking flight at the Torrey Pines Gliderport!

2018

A taste of the Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

Trevor Time returns to Petco Park!

Action photos from Labor Day weekend stickball!

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The promise of musical power.

Tomorrow evening’s San Diego International Organ Festival’s concert is going to be awesome. I heard part of the rehearsal today.

The majestic Spreckels Organ accompanied by beautifully played string instruments is too emotionally powerful for words.

Starting at 7:30 pm on Monday, August 26, at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez will be joined by four accomplished chamber musicians, including members of the San Diego Symphony.

You can sense the musical power a little bit in a few of these 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!

A most extraordinary organ concert.

Over the years, during the course of many International Summer Organ Festivals in Balboa Park, I’ve been fortunate to hear concerts by some of the greatest organists in the world.

But this evening’s concert was extraordinary.

I’m at a loss for words to describe how much I was moved by the masterful, absolutely astonishing performance by Gunnar Idenstam.

Gunner Idenstam, from Sweden, has distinguished himself by winning some of the highest prizes and honors in the organ world. In 1984 he won the very prestigious international competition in improvisation, the Grand Prix de Chartres.

His concert tonight, to my ear, was perfect. He made the Spreckels Organ sound like a sparkling heart.

From his fingertips, through the pipes, came waves and droplets and streams of emotion from the deepest wells. The organ’s voice was complex, subtle, dancing, regal, triumphant, exuberant, sometimes manic, and it soared and soared, and stirred, and soared again, lifting me to a place of pure, exalted emotion.

I don’t know how to describe it.

Parts of his composition Metal Angel were so exultant I almost felt myself flying.

Listening with my eyes closed, I could feel my spirit whirling forward through an epic story. With victory in reach.