North American Tree Climbing Championship!

Today I watched part of the 2019 North American Tree Climbing Championship in Balboa Park!

Professional arborists–members of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)–came together this weekend from all around North America for this big event. Competitors swung about on ropes like nimble spiders in a bid to be crowned tree climbing champion!

I arrived just in time to watch the final climb, which took place in the intersecting branches of two tall eucalyptus trees on Balboa Park’s West Mesa.

The object, I learned, is for arborists to score the most points. Competitors are given a time limit to climb from red flag to red flag and perform various tasks. Points can be earned for things like the set up of the climbing line and entry into the tree, rope management, posture and balance, descent and landing. Judges could also reward bonus points for skill, style, presentation, innovative techniques and safe work practices.

Now when I walk about San Diego and see workers climbing in trees and cutting away branches, I’ll pause a bit longer to watch. I’ll have a greater appreciation of the skill and athleticism that is required!

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!

Old Town readies for Dia de los Muertos.

I had a half hour to do whatever I pleased before work yesterday, so I got off the trolley at Old Town and took a short stroll around the State Park.

I noticed some of the shops and restaurants are already getting ready for Dia de los Muertos. A few skeletons and skulls greeted me!

The very popular Day of the Dead event in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will be celebrated on November 1-3, 2019.

That will definitely be a fun weekend!

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!

Moved by music at the San Diego Symphony.

A new era of music has begun under the leadership of San Diego Symphony music director and conductor Rafael Payare.
A new era of music has begun at the San Diego Symphony.

Music was potent last evening. It swirled like a wind in Copley Symphony Hall.

As I sat in the mezzanine listening to the San Diego Symphony, I could see the music rising. More powerful than the waves of an ocean, music lifted the body of conductor Rafael Payare. It flowed through the arms and shoulders of the gathered musicians.

Music swayed the enraptured head of famed young pianist Vikingur Ólafsson as it danced through his fingers.

Where the music came from, I don’t know.

It moved the artists that sat upon the stage as if they were the instruments.

The music swelled inside me, too, then the concert ended and I had to walk up a steep hill to go home.

My legs worked in rhythm.

Perhaps the music is always within us. And when those who listen come together, it multiplies into a whirlwind.

City Clerk’s Archives Month: Hidden Treasures!

Original concrete figure from San Diego Museum of Art, 1915-1916.
Original concrete figure from San Diego Museum of Art, 1915-1916.

Today I walked to the City Administration Building in downtown San Diego to view a unique historical exhibit. During City Clerk’s Archives Month, from September 30th to October 31st, the public can step inside the lobby of City Hall and discover Hidden Treasures!

The San Diego City Clerk has partnered with the San Diego History Center to display a variety of documents and artifacts from our city’s past. In addition to this exhibit, Archives Month features many free educational events including lectures, movies and workshops.

(I attended one of the lectures today, and took a tour behind the scenes in the City Administration Building’s basement, where the City Archives are safely preserved. I’ll be blogging about that awesome experience shortly!)

2019 Archives Month Lecture and Tour Schedule. (Click image to enlarge.)
Sign shows 2019 Archives Month Lecture and Tour Schedule. (Click photo to enlarge for easy reading.)
City Clerk Archives Month in 2019 features an exhibit of Hidden Treasures in the lobby of the City Administration Building.
City Clerk Archives Month in 2019 features an exhibit of Hidden Treasures in the lobby of the City Administration Building.
Many historical documents in the exhibit provide fascinating glimpses into San Diego's past.
Many historical documents in the exhibit provide fascinating glimpses into San Diego’s past. (I was pleased to see a Dog Tax Receipt featuring San Diego’s famous town dog, Bum.)
Historical documents on display includes an announcement for the Presidio Hill Park dedication in 1929.
Documents on display include an announcement for the Presidio Hill Park dedication in 1929. Pictured is the Junípero Serra Museum, original home of the San Diego Historical Society.
A collection of old City Clerk seal embossers.
A collection of old City Clerk seal embossers.
Posters describe 18th century San Diego and Presidio Excavation Artifacts from 1965.
Posters describe life in 18th century San Diego. Nearby are Presidio Excavation Artifacts from 1965.
These fragments from an olive jar might date as far back as 1769.
These fragments from an olive jar might date as far back as 1769.
The exhibit includes fragments of bottles, jars, bowls and plates from early San Diego.
The exhibit includes fragments of bottles, jars, bowls and plates from early San Diego.
Roof Tile, Presidio, 1869.
Roof tile from the Presidio.
Presidio artifacts include cannon and musket balls.
Presidio artifacts include cannon and musket balls.
Artifacts on display include the New Town Excavation Collection from the 1980s.
Other artifacts on display include the New Town Excavation Collection from the 1980s.
New Town artifacts include pistol fragments, 1850-1870.
New Town artifacts include pistol fragments, 1850-1870.
Other early artifacts from New Town include a broken bottle, ceramic wire insulators and a clay effigy.
Other artifacts from 19th century New Town include a broken bottle, ceramic wire insulators and a clay effigy.

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The dance of Petanque in Balboa Park.

Today, as I walked through the Morley Field section of Balboa Park, I was excited to see a good crowd competing at the Petanque Courts, otherwise known as the Petanquedrome!

Turns out today was the San Diego Club de Petanque’s big San Diego Select Doubles Open Tournament!

I paused to watch the spectacle.

Hands lifted and released, spheres spun and collided. Calculating players orbited. I thought I was watching a celestial dance.

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 the annual Rendezvous in Poway!

Today I headed up to Old Poway Park to enjoy a very cool event. Scenes from the 19th century were being reenacted at the annual Rendezvous in Poway!

History enthusiasts had set up tents and tipis under large beautiful sycamore trees in the park’s grassy area. I learned that the rendezvous participants had been camping in Old Poway Park for several days already, and that local school students came by during the week to learn about life in the Old West during the 1800’s.

The Rendezvous in Poway, which continues this Sunday, features people in costume representing vaqueros, mountain men, cowboys, pioneers, and even members of the cavalry during the Civil War. For a few bucks kids can pan for real gold and families can ride the park’s fun Poway-Midland Railroad loop and watch a mock train robbery! Many of the attractions are free to the public, including a realistic cannon firing demonstration and Professor Tru Lee Bogus’ Traveling Medicine Show.

I also discovered that the Heritage Museum in Old Poway Park is open on weekends. There are many fascinating exhibits inside, and visitors can learn a good deal about the early history of Poway, back when people reached the once-tiny town by stagecoach.

On a pleasant early October afternoon I walked about the Rendezvous in Poway, enjoying many unique sights–and of course I took 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!

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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