Downtown shrine grows for cancelled Comic-Con.

A shrine has appeared in downtown San Diego lamenting the cancellation of Comic-Con in 2020.

This is the week in July when over 100,000 enthusiastic pop culture fans would have converged upon the San Diego Convention Center. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has caused Comic-Con International to call off their world-famous event this year.

I was walking by the Gaslamp trolley station a couple hours ago when I noticed a shrine has been created in the plaza near the Tin Fish Restaurant. Fans know that this area, at the south end of the Gaslamp Quarter’s Fifth Avenue, tends to be center of all the crazy, wonderful outdoor Comic-Con activity. At least, it is during normal years.

The shine includes some posters, swag bags and flowers. But the best part of the shrine is the growing number of hand-written messages by fans.

Do not despair!

Because this year is far from ordinary, Comic-Con has done something extraordinary. Comic-Con for 2020 is now entirely online . . . and free! This week fans can visit the virtual Exhibit Hall, watch live panels, and even participate in the annual cosplay competition!

Learn all the details by visiting the Comic-Con@Home web page here!

There is also an awesome free Souvenir Book that you can download. It features 260 pages of articles and cool artwork, and pays tribute to one of the all-time greatest writers of fantasy and science fiction, Ray Bradbury. In my last blog post I wrote a little about that here.

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Oil painted walks in nature’s beauty.

It’s going to be hot this weekend. So I’m planning on taking it easy–do some reading by the water, perhaps write something.

Meanwhile, I thought it would be fun to create even more digital oil paintings!

My recent walk in San Clemente Canyon has inspired me to select a few past photos of nature’s beauty, and transform them into “paintings” with GIMP’s graphic Oilify filter.

If you think you recognize the ocean at Torrey Pines State Reserve, the San Diego River, Mount Laguna, snow at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and Mission Trails Regional Park–in no particular order–you’d be correct!

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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Nature and art at San Diego River Garden!

There’s a very special garden in San Diego that few people visit. It’s called the San Diego River Garden. It’s situated near the center of Mission Valley, a short distance south of the San Diego River.

Every so often I drive past this native plant garden, but I never see a place to park. The stretch of Camino del Rio North beside it is mostly used by people going to and from nearby office buildings, and no street parking is available.

The gate of the San Diego River Garden’s small dirt parking lot is usually shut. The only other way in is to walk along a dirt path beside the road and pass through an entrance in the fence. Which is what I did this morning!

All was quiet. The early morning summer breeze was pleasantly cool. The few picnic benches were empty. I saw no other people. But I did see many active birds. And bright flowers. And lots of flourishing native plants including some cacti. And modest planters holding more greenery. And many winding trails. And Bigfoot! Yes, you heard me correctly! And–to my additional delight–a whole lot of nature artwork created by young students, including painted tiles scattered here and there on the ground and a cool mural on a shipping container!

According to the San Diego River Park Foundation website: “This site used to be a vacant area reserved for future use by the City of San Diego. But thanks to the City and the many volunteers, sponsors, groups that have come out to garden, the River Park Foundation is caring for this 5 acre area to make it attractive for the community.”

If you or your group would like to volunteer and do a little gardening out in the warm San Diego sunshine, or if you simply want to visit this beautiful kid-friendly park or learn more about it, click 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!

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!

The San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden.

Dr. Jim Knott helps to tend the beautiful San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden.
Dr. Jim Knott helps to tend the beautiful San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden.

There’s a garden in Balboa Park that very few people know about. I happened upon the garden today, and was told it’s called the San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden. You can find it inside the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.

Some members of the Southern California Plumeria Society (known for their popular plant sales in Balboa Park) have created this garden and lovingly maintain it.

Dr. Jim Knott told me a little about the garden, and showed me three rows of plumerias bordering the outdoor horseshoe pits. I was told the first plumeria was planted in 2008. He’d like to see the garden flourish and assume greater prominence. It’s a wonderful project!

Next time you walk through the southwest corner of Balboa Park, and you pass the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club, look over the fence. You’ll see the San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden!

UPDATE!

I received a comment with additional information about the history of these plumerias:

“…My name is Robert Chubinsky, I put them there. I was President of Balboa Park Horseshoe Club for a while and planted them starting in 2012. I grew them on my patio in South Mission Beach. My patio was getting crowded, I had over 40 plants many too big for my patio and started planting them. It was my legacy to the park. All that was there before were weeds and dirt with no blocks. I had the outer bank built with the landscape blocks to give an outside border and filled it with dirt and planted the trees…”

Plumeria flowers are beloved by many.
Plumeria flowers are beloved by many.
Stones at the San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden remember loved ones.
Stones at the San Diego Memorial Plumeria Garden remember loved ones.
A small plumeria nursery at the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
A small plumeria nursery at the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
A labor of love.
A labor of love.

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!

The beauty of nature on the coastal strand.

The coastal strand lies just above the high tide line of a beach. While its appearance might be sandy, dry and scraggly, look closely and you’ll find plenty of nature’s endless beauty.

Last Saturday I walked around Silver Strand State Beach.

Entrance station at Silver Strand State Beach.
Entrance station at Silver Strand State Beach.
The blue Pacific Ocean stretches beyond the seemingly barren western shore of the Silver Strand. Point Loma and a cruise ship can be seen in the distance.
The blue Pacific Ocean stretches beyond the seemingly barren western shore of the Silver Strand. Point Loma and a cruise ship can be seen in the distance.
The flowers of beach suncup, or evening primrose, are like bright gems on the sand.
The flowers of beach suncup, or evening primrose, are like bright gems on the sand.
The Western Snowy Plover depends on kelp and seagrass washed ashore, feeding on insects. Their young are hatched in the sand. Fences keep the feet of people away.
The Western Snowy Plover depends on kelp and seagrass washed ashore, feeding on insects. Their young are hatched in the sand. Fences keep the feet of beachgoers away.
Walking along the San Diego Bay side of the State Park.
Walking along the San Diego Bay side of the State Park.
Coastal strand plants begin to grow past the tide line. Winds and waves sculpt the sands in this dynamic, yet fragile habitat.
Coastal strand plants begin to grow past the tide line. Winds and waves sculpt the sands in this dynamic, yet fragile habitat.

San Diego black-tailed jackrabbits are frequently seen in the dry coastal sage scrub of Silver Strand State Beach.
San Diego black-tailed jackrabbits are frequently seen in the dry coastal sage scrub of Silver Strand State Beach.
How many rabbits can you see? They are well adapted to this environment.
How many rabbits can you see? They are well adapted to this environment.

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 beautiful garden reopens!

The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park is reopening!

Today was the first day that members could enjoy the garden. Starting on Monday, June 22, this most beautiful garden will be open to the public!

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, face coverings and social distancing will be required.

I got off from work early today, so I headed into Balboa Park and found myself at the entrance to the Japanese Friendship Garden renewing my annual membership. Then I stepped into the garden. And I immediately lost myself in the tranquil beauty.

Sunlight touched green leaves. Water sparkled and splashed. Birds took flight as I moved from shadow to light. My mind calmed. I again understood the true beauty of life and this world.

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!

Balboa Park, just as beautiful as ever.

Balboa Park reopened today.

For almost three months the center of the park has been closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This afternoon I walked down El Prado into the heart of Balboa Park with my camera in hand.

I stopped at one end of the Lily Pond and slowly turned about.

Flowers were abundant. The sun was shining. People were happy.

Rest assured, Balboa Park is just as beautiful as ever.

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!

After the riot, the bright green of Spring.

This morning, during my walk to work, I witnessed a strange contrast.

I began by walking through downtown, heading down the length of the Gaslamp Quarter. I saw a few broken windows, many boarded up businesses, much graffiti.

After a crowd of thousands gathered downtown on Sunday, peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers, a few hundred rioters brought chaos to our city after dark. These people moved at random down streets and around corners, vandalizing businesses and looting. A peaceful and quite powerful protest had been hijacked by a relative few and made ugly.

Later this morning, as I neared work, I walked a short distance along the San Diego River. The sun was up, illuminating the bright green growths of Spring.

A thought-provoking morning experience.

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!

Wildlife arrives at San Diego River Discovery Center!

Native birds and wildlife arrived today at the San Diego River Discovery Center! Or, to be more precise, banners featuring images of river critters were hung today on a construction fence that surrounds the future nature center!

Did you know something cool is being built next to the San Diego River in Mission Valley?

The San Diego River Discovery Center at Grant Park is going to be where people of all ages gather to experience and learn about the natural environment along the San Diego River!

I blogged about this project in the past here. They’ve made progress since then, as you can see in one upcoming photo.

If you want to learn about the future nature center and how you might help make this dream a reality, visit the San Diego River Discovery Center website 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!

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!

Fun art along a stretch of Turquoise Street.

A large face greets those heading east on Turquoise Street in Pacific Beach.
A large face greets those heading east on Turquoise Street in Pacific Beach.

Turquoise Street in Pacific Beach, from Mission Boulevard to Cass Street, is the home of a lot of fun street art.

Check out some photos!

Mural on parking lot wall by Treelogy Cafe Restaurant.
Mural on parking lot wall by Treelogy Cafe Restaurant.
These colorful flowers are at the center of the mural.
These colorful flowers are at the center of the mural.
Old-fashioned advertising artwork on wall of Cafe Bar Europa.
Old-fashioned advertising artwork on wall of Cafe Bar Europa.
The happy exterior of Blossoms Design Florist.
The happy wood shack of Blossoms Design Florist.
Mural in a narrow alley celebrates 90 years of Crystal Pier.
Mural in a narrow alley celebrates 90 years of Crystal Pier.
Bottom of the alley mural, with an octopus tentacle wearing a beach sandal. #octopier by @artanystef.
Bottom of the alley mural, with an octopus tentacle wearing a beach sandal. #octopier by @artanystef
Mural on the side of P.B. Yoga and Healing Arts.
Mural on the side of P.B. Yoga and Healing Arts.
Enjoying a hot beverage with a dog. Mural by artist Gloria Muriel on the side of The French Gourmet.
Enjoying a hot beverage with a dog. Mural by artist Gloria Muriel on the side of The French Gourmet.
A fun blue character painted on another nearby wall by Gloria Muriel.
A fun blue character painted on another nearby wall by Gloria Muriel.

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!