Jewels of the Season shine in Balboa Park!

Some of the most amazing and beautiful Christmas ornaments are now on display in Balboa Park. Step through the entrance of the Timken Museum of Art and you can’t possibly miss them!

Jewels of the Season is a special exhibition of fine, hand-crafted Christmas tree ornaments. The elaborate jewel-like creations are the work of two artists: Florence Hord and Elizabeth Schlappi.

If the name of the first artist seems familiar, perhaps that’s because she was married to renowned sculptor Donal Hord. Florence began making these unique ornaments as a hobby in the 1930s. Each one is a small work of art.

Elizabeth Schlappi met Florence when her mother started taking sculpture lessons from Donal Hord. The two began to make ornaments together.

If you see ornaments in the museum that seem more contemporary (such as one celebrating the Padres), they’re probably the work of Elizabeth. She also included fabric patches in many of her designs. You can see an example in one upcoming photograph: a lunar landing patch!

In 1995 Florence passed away, but a unique craft that she originated lives on through a network of creative friends.

If you’re going to December Nights this year, make absolutely sure you wander into the Timken Museum of Art. You’re eyes will open wide with delight!

By the way, on Monday, December 5, at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm, the museum will host an ornament-making workshop! Learn more and register here!

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International Cottages prepare for December Nights!

December Nights is almost here! The huge holiday event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around San Diego, will take place this Friday and Saturday in Balboa Park.

During my walk through Balboa Park’s International Cottages today, I noticed preparation for the event is already underway. Several of the cottages have put up Christmas trees and holiday decorations, and most of the other cottages, I was assured, will be joining them shortly.

Please enjoy a few photos!

This will be the first in-person December Nights since the closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I bet the crowds will be huge.

The first two photographs (above and below) were taken in the House of Mexico’s cottage.

At the House of Finland, traditional paper woven baskets called sydänkori were being created. They are used to decorate Christmas trees. Small presents such as gift cards fit neatly inside them!

Over at the House of Germany, I spotted a nutcracker, and a poster concerning a fall and winter Children’s Choir program!

At the House of USA cottage, I saw these Christmas decorations, including a bright, festive tree…

Look at all the Santa Clauses inside the House of Sweden cottage! I learned they’ll be for sale during December Nights.

Lastly, I discovered another beautiful Christmas tree inside the House of Denmark’s cottage…

If you head to Balboa Park during December Nights, make sure to visit the International Cottages. As usual, a wide variety of holiday food from all around the world will be a highlight!

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!

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!

Saturday morning at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.

Look at all the activity today at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market!

Every Saturday morning, local fishermen bring their fresh catches to the pier between Seaport Village and Tuna Harbor, and lovers of seafood line up to buy fish and crabs and sea urchins and other edibles found in the ocean off San Diego.

I walked out on the pier this morning, marveling at how this outdoor fish market has grown. Can you believe it? Eight years have already passed since Tuna Harbor Dockside Market’s grand opening.

Anyone into photography would love strolling through this market with camera in hand.

There’s the whirl of life all around: diverse people from every walk of life rubbing elbows; families at tables devouring fish and chips; the picturesque commercial fishing boats; the human ebb and flow of commerce; circling gulls; playful sea lions barking down in the bay (I observed none today); and all those different species of fish, some of which can appear quite strange…

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post fresh 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!

USA battles England at the Rady Shell!

An epic battle was observed in San Diego today! A huge crowd gathered at the Rady Shell to watch USA battle England during the 2022 World Cup!

The free outdoor event, made possible by the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Loyal SC, was called Pride and Glory!

The soccer game (okay, football if you insist) had many exciting, nail-biting moments and near goals, but ended in a 0-0 draw. That didn’t keep the crowd from cheering, chanting USA USA and waving flags to the very end.

The family-friendly, festival-like event also included several of San Diego’s other professional sports teams, including the hockey Gulls, women’s soccer San Diego Wave FC and the rugby Legion. Kids were having a blast!

Enjoy these photographs that I took before and during the event.

Tomorrow Pride and Glory at the Rady Shell will continue as Mexico takes on Argentina at 11 am. Simply show up. It’s free!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post fresh 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!

Christmas decorations appear around San Diego!

Putting up the Christmas tree at 600 B Street in downtown San Diego.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As one might expect, Christmas decorations are now going up all around San Diego!

During my walks in the past few days, I’ve taken photographs of the Holiday Season getting underway….

A worker puts up a holiday wreath in Seaport Village.

Poinsettias encircle the Homecoming sculpture at the Greatest Generation Walk near the USS Midway.

A big Christmas tree at The Headquarters.

Santa Claus has arrived in Old Town!

One of several wreaths decorating the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town.

Gorgeous Christmas trees and decorations inside the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park.

Wreath on a fantastic car at the San Diego Automotive Museum.

Jingle and Mingle in the Gaslamp.

Santa is asked to stop at this shop.

Festive holiday decorations at the Gaslamp Museum.

A bright Christmas tree at downtown’s Donut Bar.

San Diego’s City Center is getting ready for Christmas and the Holiday Season!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you’d like, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

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!

Ringing the Japanese Friendship Bell!

The Japanese Friendship Bell on San Diego’s Shelter Island is rung perhaps twice a year: typically for the New Year and during special occasions.

Yesterday, the completion of the Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk was one such occasion!

Those who participated in this walk for peace were invited up in groups of four to ring the large bell, which was forged in Japan. The bell was given to San Diego in 1958 by the city of Yokohama, its Sister City, as a token of eternal friendship. The bell symbolizes the hope for everlasting peace.

The traditional bronze bell, six feet high and almost two and half tons, was cast by Masahiko Katori, who has been called a Living National Treasure by the government of Japan.

I was expecting a loud booming clang when the swinging wooden pole struck the bell, but the sound was surprisingly low and mellow. It was a dignified, subtle, spiritual sound. The bell spoke with a voice that was strangely sublime.

Before the ringing of the Japanese Friendship Bell commenced, the taiko drumming group Genbu Daiko performed nearby.

In groups of four, people approach the Japanese Friendship Bell on Shelter Island.

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San Diego’s Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk!

A very special event was held today on San Diego’s Shelter Island. The Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk brought together many people who desire a better world, where everyone everywhere lives in peace.

The Friendship Walk was created by the Ilan-Lael Foundation, which was established in 1982 by world-renowned local artists James Hubbell and his wife Anne.

As we walked along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park, led by the fun Chunky Hustle Brass Band, we saw several works of public art created by James Hubbell, and inspiring messages, and a sparkling view of San Diego Bay.

We started at Hubbell’s fanciful Pacific Portal, passed his female sculpture Pacific Spirit, and ended at the amazing Pearl of the Pacific. The Pearl of the Pacific is one of several Pacific Rim Parks uniting many nations, all inspired by Hubbell and built with many volunteer hands.

As you can see in the upcoming photos, we also passed the Shelter Island Pier and the Tunaman’s Memorial.

An awesome Japanese taiko drumming performance by Genbu Daiko was followed by many honorary speakers, including from a group that traveled to San Diego for the event from South Korea, and Drew, son of James Hubbell.

After checking out a couple of food trucks and an Ilan-Lael Pop-up Gift Shop, it was time to head over to Shelter Island’s historic Japanese Friendship Bell, to hear it ring. I’ll be blogging about that coming up!

I was told this was the first ever Friendship Walk. I hope there are many more to come!

Friendship begins with a smile.

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San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

A fun special event was held today at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park. It was the San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

Music, food and dance was provided by various hosts, who represented some of San Diego’s sixteen Sister Cities. San Diego’s oldest Sister City partnership is with Yokohama, Japan. That relationship was established 65 years ago!

At information tables visitors to the event could learn about the history of different Sister Cities, and see how mutual programs, such as student and cultural exchanges, help create peace and understanding between nations.

I stayed for a bit and watched several dances while eating very tasty West African Ghana sambusa. I also asked a few questions at the tables, and learned much!

(By the way, there are signs in downtown’s Civic Center Plaza pointing to San Diego’s Sister Cities. I took photos of the signs years ago and posted them here!)

Alcalá de Henares, Spain has been a San Diego Sister City since 1982. It is the birthplace of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote!

Tema, Ghana, has been Sister City to San Diego since 1976. The “Peace and Unity Wall” mosaic mural in Tema was made from supplies donated from San Diego.

Crafts and cultural artifacts from Ghana.

Jeonju, South Korea has been a San Diego Sister City since 1983. The San Diego-Jeonju Society introduces local students to Korean culture.

Did you know Carlsbad, California has two Sister Cities? Kalovy Vary (Karlsbad), Czech Republic’s famed mineral springs inspired the naming of Carlsbad, whose artesian mineral water is nearly identical. Futtsu, Japan is the other Sister City.

Images from the long history of San Diego and Yokohama, Japan’s deep Sister City ties. In the center is the Japanese Friendship Bell, which now stands on Shelter Island. See more about it here!

Where there is friendship, there is much hope.

A nice smile!

Flamenco dancing to guitar celebrates Spain’s culture.

Lunch! Yummy!

Dancers representing Panama take the stage!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

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You can 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!

Building the San Diego Community Christmas Center!

The holidays must be near in San Diego, with Balboa Park’s December Nights right around the corner. Because look what I saw today!

San Diego Community Christmas Center volunteers were at work in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion erecting their annual Nativity Display and Gingerbread House!

I was told Santa and his reindeer will be showing up soon, too! (With a little help from City of San Diego Parks and Recreation.)

It was a bit odd to see life-size Biblical figures wrapped up in plastic. A shepherd was lying down nearby, after having “surgery” on his hand. It had been broken last year when some member of the public tore away his staff. Whatever your beliefs might be, that’s pretty sad.

The San Diego Community Christmas Center is a non-profit committee that maintains an over half century old tradition. According to their website, the Chamber of Commerce first initiated the project after World War II. Horton Plaza was first to display the Biblical figures. The next home for the Nativity Scene was the Civic Center on Pacific Highway. Finally, in 1953, the location was moved to its present home in the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park

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From the deepest ocean dive . . . to San Diego!

Every so often, a very unusual, one-of-a-kind ship will dock on San Diego’s Embarcadero. Today I saw a unique ship with the peculiar name DSSV Pressure Drop, so I had to check it out!

It turns out DSSV (Deep Submersible Support Vessel) Pressure Drop, a privately owned ex-US Navy ship, is absolutely extraordinary! Last year its submersible, called Limiting Factor, made the deepest manned dive ever in Earth’s oceans–it descended 10,928 meters into the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench!

This historic dive and others have produced important scientific research, such as mapping of the ocean floor and retrieval of deep sea specimens–including completely new species of living organisms!

The numerous exploits of DSSV Pressure Drop and its adventurous owner Victor Vescovo make for great reading. Here’s a recent article that provides a lot of background and detail.

I was told DSSV Pressure Drop will be hanging around San Diego for a couple of months, so if you happen to walk along the Embarcadero just north of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, keep your eyes peeled!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can 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!