Mingei’s museum gift shop at Liberty Station.

The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion. Once completed, this world-class folk art, craft and design museum will be more amazing than ever!

You might recall a blog post from last year that featured the Mingei’s planned transformation. To see architectural renderings of what the Mingei will eventually look like, click here!

While construction is underway, Mingei’s gift shop and cafe are temporarily located at Liberty Station, in the historic Dick Laub NTC Command Center building. Step through the front entrance and you can’t miss it.

Today I meandered about Liberty Station with no definite destination in mind. I was pleased to happen upon the Mingei’s shop and meet the smiling lady behind the counter. She told me that Niki de Saint Phalle’s fun, kid-friendly Nikigator sculpture, which used to stand in front of the museum in Balboa Park, might be moved out from storage and placed right in front of the Command Center. How cool would that be?

Here are a few photos. The lobby of the Command Center not only features Cafe Mingei, but a collection of great art created by Liberty Station artists!

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!

Colorful new street art in Barrio Logan!

Female face flows like sand through an hourglass. Beautiful street art on a utility box on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway in Barrio Logan.
Female face flows like sand through an hourglass. Beautiful street art on a utility box on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway in Barrio Logan.

Every so often I drive up Cesar E. Chavez Parkway through Barrio Logan. Recently I noticed that there’s a bunch of new street art decorating electrical boxes at intervals along both sidewalks. So last Sunday I took a walk through the neighborhood to check it out.

The photos of street art on walls, doors and windows you see were taken on Main Street just north of Cesar E. Chavez Parkway. The many electrical boxes were observed along the parkway between Main Street and National Avenue.

As I took those final two photos of the painted dogs Princess and Chato, I was startled by a nearby voice. A gentlemen at the nearby house greeted me from over his fence. I learned many of the boxes along the street were painted by various local artists about a month and a half ago. He was pleased that his neighborhood is getting “cleaned up” and graffiti has made way to all the colorful artwork.

I was also surprised to learn Princess and Chato were actual living dogs! As we spoke, a woman came out of the house proudly holding the two dogs! After I departed, I regretted not asking whether I could take photos of their pets. As you can see, Princess and Chato’s street art portraits are very true-to-life!

Street art fuses a human face with elements from the Mexican flag's coat of arms.
Street art fuses a human face with elements from the Mexican flag’s coat of arms.
A pink flamingo painted by a blue door on Main Street in Barrio Logan.
A pink flamingo painted by a blue door on Main Street in Barrio Logan.
Glashaus remains painted on a shipping container long after the nearby art studios were vacated.
Glashaus remains painted on a shipping container long after the nearby art studios were vacated.
Shark painted on wall by Ol' Fashioned Lumber.
Shark painted on wall by Ol’ Fashioned Lumber.
Happy sun painted on a long colorful wall at Perkins Elementary School.
Happy sun painted on a long colorful wall at Perkins Elementary School.
A very flowery Frida Kahlo, painted on a door at The iN Gallery.
A very flowery Frida Kahlo, painted on a door at The iN Gallery.
Tree-like art on a screen door at 1878 Main Street.
Tree-like art on a screen door at 1878 Main Street.
Cool art enlivens a nearby window.
Cool art enlivens a nearby window.
Cesar Chavez art in Barrio Logan on the street that bears his name. His words concerning courage and the non-violent struggle for justice live on.
Cesar Chavez art in Barrio Logan on the street that bears his name. His words concerning courage and the non-violent struggle for justice live on.
Huelga in Spanish means strike.
Huelga in Spanish means strike.
Symbols fill one side of an electrical box. You are in Chicano Park.
Symbols fill one side of an electrical box. You are in Chicano Park.
Fun street art on another side of the electrical box on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway includes a face.
Fun street art on another side of the electrical box on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway includes a face.
Another side. Two birds, a red flower, the moon and sun.
Another side. Two birds, a red flower, the moon and sun.
A poem. Flores para los Muertos - Flores de los Enamorados... Flowers for the Dead - Flowers of the Lovers...
A poem. Flores para los Muertos – Flores de los Enamorados… Flowers for the Dead – Flowers of the Lovers…
Stunning street art in Barrio Logan abundant with ancient symbolism.
Stunning street art in Barrio Logan abundant with ancient symbolism.
A painted calavera among flowers, topped with a hat-like gramophone.
A painted calavera among flowers, topped with a hat-like gramophone.
A Mexican ballet folklórico dancer, with a skirt made of a red rose.
A Mexican ballet folklórico dancer, with a skirt made of a red rose.
One box depicts the mythological Aztec story Quetzalcoatl escapes from Migtlan (a part of the underworld).
One box depicts the mythological Aztec story Quetzalcoatl escapes from Migtlan (a part of the underworld).
Mictlantecuhtli, god of the dead and the king of Mictlan, and his wife Mictecacihuatl seem upset that Quetzalcóatl escaped!
Mictlantecuhtli, god of the dead and the king of Mictlan, and his wife Mictecacihuatl seem upset that Quetzalcóatl escaped!
One box seems to be a work in progress, with a yellow skull and empty white oval.
One box seems to be a work in progress, with a yellow skull and empty white oval.
Colorful prickly pears decorate one utility box.
Colorful prickly pears decorate one utility box.
Another side.
Another side.
Among many symbols in the Barrio Logan street art, I spy the logo of the San Diego Padres!
Among many symbols and motifs in the Barrio Logan street art, I spy the logo of the San Diego Padres!
A corner of one otherwise bare box.
A corner of one otherwise bare box.
RAZA with colorful, dynamic imagery.
RAZA with colorful, dynamic imagery.
Chicano Rocks--looks sort of like an Aztec version of the rock band KISS.
Chicano Rocks–looks sort of like an Aztec version of the rock band KISS.
Legendary musician Santana has a third eye.
Legendary musician Santana has a third eye.
Amazing street art in Barrio Logan. Painting of a face decorated for Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Amazing street art in Barrio Logan. Painting of a face decorated for Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Boy carries earthen jug. Agua es vida. Water is life.
Boy carries earthen jug. Agua es vida. Water is life.
Happy dog street art, with tongue hanging out.
Happy dog street art, with tongue hanging out.
Another side of the same box--another happy dog.
Another side of the same box–another happy dog.
Aztec god of the night and conflict, jaguar Tezcatlipoca.
Aztec god of the night and conflict, jaguar Tezcatlipoca.
Scorpion street art in Barrio Logan.
Scorpion street art in Barrio Logan.
Dog's head street art.
Dog’s head street art.
Street art of Princess, an actual dog who lives at a nearby house!
Street art of Princess, an actual dog who lives at a nearby house!
And this is Chato, a second dog who lives at the same house!
And this is Chato, a second dog who lives at the same house!

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!

Colorful folklorico dancing at Fiesta de Reyes!

Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park features a stage with live folklorico dancing!
Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park features a stage with live folklorico dancing!

Whenever I visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, I poke my head into Fiesta de Reyes. The Mexican-themed shops and restaurants are always lively and cheerful, but what I really hope to see is the folklorico dancing!

The colorful dancing takes place daily. Take a look at these photos and smile!

The outdoor stage is located near the Mexican-themed shops and restaurants of Fiesta de Reyes. Daily dancing is a popular attraction.
The outdoor stage is located near the Mexican-themed shops and restaurants of Fiesta de Reyes. Daily dancing is a popular attraction.
Traditional Mexican dance includes colorful dresses and big smiles.
Traditional Mexican dance includes colorful dresses and big smiles.
Outdoor benches at Fiesta de Reyes allow visitors to relax and watch the free entertainment.
Outdoor benches at Fiesta de Reyes allow visitors to relax and watch the free entertainment.
Some performers in costume wait off to the side of the stage.
Some performers in costume wait off to the side of the stage.
Colorful banners behind the stage.
Colorful banners behind the stage.
A joyful scene of traditional Mexican folk dance.
A joyful scene of traditional Mexican folk dance.
Between the stage and nearby outdoor restaurant is this stunning dancer. Art made entirely of succulents.
Between the stage and nearby outdoor restaurant is this stunning dancer. Art made entirely of succulents.
Benches facing the stage include bits of cheerful folk art.
Benches facing the stage include bits of cheerful folk art.
An image of two smiling youth, holding hands.
An image of two smiling youth, holding hands.
Fun mariachi sculptures on a wagon just inside the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.
Fun mariachi sculptures on a wagon just inside the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.
Mexican culture on a sunny San Diego day.
Mexican culture on a sunny San Diego day.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

This musician will put a smile on your face!

Fast Heart Mart sings smart, memorable music on San Diego's Embarcadero.
Fast Heart Mart sings smart, memorable music on San Diego’s Embarcadero.

For a few minutes this afternoon, during my walk along the Embarcadero, I relaxed on a bench with a smile on my face. I was tapping my toes listening to some really smart, folksy, bluesy, heartfelt singing accompanied by banjo and harmonica. I was enjoying a performance by Fast Heart Mart!

Please check out Martin’s website. He’s toured all over the world and has opened concerts for a wide variety of musical acts. He has ten albums!

I listened to his original composition titled “Good Lordy, I’m Forty” and laughed out loud. The lyrics are intelligent, humorous and strike a chord! And his voice has a distinctive, edgy but pleasingly authentic sound that I could listen to all day.

You can find many samples of his music on his website. I urge you to pay a visit!

Fast Heart Mart strikes a chord and produces smiles!
Fast Heart Mart strikes a chord and produces smiles!

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!

Adventure is out there! It’s a breeze!

Adventure is out there! Just attach a bunch of balloons!
Adventure is out there! Just attach a bunch of balloons!

Okay, here’s a quick pic of some rather simple street art. I saw this colorfully painted utility box while walking up Bankers Hill a few days ago.

I love the symbolism in the image. A riot of small uplifting balloons whisking one’s home and carefully controlled life away on a carefree, restoring breeze was a theme that I really enjoyed in the Pixar movie Up!

Tomorrow I’m planning on a long walk. No telling where my legs will take me!

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Cinco de Mayo fun in San Diego’s Old Town.

Lots of folks enjoying Cinco de Mayo in Old Town.
Lots of folks enjoying Cinco de Mayo weekend in Old Town.

Late this morning I took a long leisurely walk through San Diego’s Old Town, just to check out this weekend’s Cinco de Mayo festivities. Thousands of people had arrived already, and the crowd was rapidly growing!

People were excited to watch dancers and musicians performing on several stages. They enjoyed gobs of Mexican food, the Cantina Garden, a fun petting zoo, lots of very cool lowriders, and endless booths selling Mexican crafts and wares.

Mariachis play for huge crowd in Old Town's plaza.
Mariachis play for huge crowd in Old Town’s central plaza.
Posing in traditional Mexican garb at Cinco de Mayo.
Posing  for a fun Cinco de Mayo photo.
Colorful Mexican ornaments and gifts seemed to be everywhere.
Colorful Mexican ornaments and gifts seemed to be everywhere.
This barbeque smelled really good to the passing crowd.
This barbeque smelled really good to the passing crowd.
Curled mustache and prickly pear lemonade!
Curled mustache and old-fashioned prickly pear lemonade!
Fiesta de Reyes even more festive for Cinco de Mayo.
Fiesta de Reyes was more festive than usual for Cinco de Mayo.
One Mexican folk dancer watches another on stage.
One Mexican folk dancer watches another perform on stage.
Bright dress worn by lady walking behind Seeley Stable.
Bright yellow festival dress worn by lady walking behind Seeley Stable.
A petting zoo was set up in Old Town for the kids.
A petting zoo was set up in Old Town for the kids.
Dramatic end of long line of hydraulic lowriders.
There were dozens of amazing hydraulic lowriders.

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Crafts, curios and small clutters of color.

Corn husk roses, crosses, scepters and dragonflies.
Corn husk roses, crosses, scepters and dragonflies.

A carefree walk with open eyes is a feast.  One meanders into endless discoveries.  Even cheap wares on the sidewalk or cart are worth a moment’s attention.

These photos of crafts, curios and colorful clutter were taken during an ordinary walk along San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Dazzled by sunglasses shining in the sun.
Dazzled by sunglasses shining in the sun.
Painted skulls, beads and assorted Mexican trinkets.
Painted skulls, beads and assorted Mexican trinkets.
Beads are a common product on sidewalks along the Embarcadero.
Beads are a common product on sidewalks along the Embarcadero.
Shells and dangling ornaments for sale on small vendor's cart near the Midway.
Shells and dangling ornaments for sale on small vendor’s cart near the Midway.
A rainbow of colors! Name bracelets alphabetically ordered.
A rainbow of colors! Name bracelets alphabetically ordered.
Layered dreamcatchers might catch really big dreams.
Layered dreamcatchers might catch really big dreams.
Combination of football helmets and skulls on display for passing tourists.
Combination of football helmets and skulls on display for passing tourists.
Bright piles of tie-dye shirts for sale on Embarcadero sidewalk.
Bright piles of tie-dye shirts for sale on Embarcadero sidewalk.
Whiskery, crazy, colorful faces painted on palm fronds.
Whiskery, crazy, colorful faces painted on palm fronds.