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!

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!

Photos of Tanabata Festival in Balboa Park!

Late this afternoon I stepped into the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park to enjoy their first ever Tanabata Festival!

I arrived half an hour before the festival officially opened, and as time progressed more and more people arrived for this joyful summer event. I lingered for a while to enjoy the sights, smells and tastes, and to learn about various aspects of Japanese culture and the Tanabata holiday.

According to the Japanese Friendship Garden website: “Originating from Chinese folklore, Tanabata is a holiday that celebrates the meeting of Orihime and Hikoboshi. Separated by the Milky Way, the stars Orihime and Hikoboshi are able to meet once per year on the seventh day of the seventh month. On Sunday, July 7th, JFG has partnered with the Minatomo Japanese Community to have their inaugural Tanabata Festival in San Diego!”

As I walked randomly about I learned about the Tanabata tradition of tanzaku: wishes are written on small pieces of paper which are then hung with other happy decorations on bamboo. I paused to admire some living moss art–kokedama. I then walked down into the Lower Garden.

Outside the Inamori Pavilion yummy Japanese food was being prepared. Inside the elegant pavilion there was artwork, including some bright, very colorful fluorescent paintings. I caught the first scheduled performance in the pavilion, which was an onigiri (rice ball) preparation demonstration. I was shown how to easily fold a paper flower.

I then headed back to the Upper Garden and listened as Write Out Loud presented a Japanese fairy tale. I paused to admire a bunch of origami artwork that was being created.

Every person I met was smiling.

I hope this is the first of many wonderful Tanabata Festivals at the Japanese Friendship Garden. That is my wish.

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!

Dance, food and fun at the Greek Festival!

My adventures today included a brief visit to the San Diego Greek Festival at the Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church. It’s their 50th Annual Greek Festival!

I was heading down Park Boulevard when I suddenly remembered the festival was this weekend. So I pulled the cord on the bus and jumped off to enjoy a little of the fun!

I saw Greek dancing, some folk costumes and people enjoying authentic Greek food. It’s a wonderful San Diego tradition that everyone should 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!

Beauty and heart in Balboa Park.

A busy Sunday afternoon in Balboa Park. There is much living to do.
People walk through Balboa Park. There is much living to do.

Another fine Sunday afternoon in Balboa Park.

More beauty.

More sunshine.

More smiles.

More heart.

I could take a million photographs during walks through Balboa Park, because there is always something new.

Dancers perform at the International Cottages during the House of Lebanon lawn program.
Dancers perform at the International Cottages during the House of Lebanon lawn program.
Lebanese food is devoured on a sunny San Diego day.
Yummy authentic Lebanese food is devoured on a sunny San Diego day.
Amazing artwork displayed inside the Casa del Prado for the 43rd Annual Sumi-e Ten Japanese Brush Painting Exhibition.
Exquisite artwork displayed inside the Casa del Prado for the 43rd Annual Sumi-e Ten Japanese Brush Painting Exhibition.
Taking up a brush, learning how to craft elegant beauty.
Young people take up a brush, learning to transform ink into elegant beauty.
Autumn seasonal display in the Botanical Building features pumpkins arranged among plants and flowers.
The seasonal display in the Botanical Building features pumpkins arranged among plants and flowers.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez, San Diego's Civic Organist, talks to the audience during the free Sunday concert at two o'clock.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez, San Diego’s Civic Organist, talks to the audience during the free Sunday concert at two o’clock.
Visitors to Balboa Park peer down into the Lower Garden of the Japanese Friendship Garden from the deck of the Tea Pavilion.
Peering down into the Lower Garden of the Japanese Friendship Garden from the deck of the Tea Pavilion.
Light filters through tall bamboo at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Light filters through bamboo at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A colorful painting of Mt. Fuji by Yutaka Murakami in the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A painting of Mt. Fuji by Yutaka Murakami. His fantastic artwork is now on display in the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Steel drums add flavor to the Plaza de Balboa near the Bea Evenson Fountain.
Steel drums add flavor to the Plaza de Balboa near the Bea Evenson Fountain.
People eat, talk, relax at tables in the Plaza de Panama.
People eat, talk, find comfort at tables in the Plaza de Panama.
Perusing photographs by a local artist at Art in the Park.
Browsing photographs by a local artist at the outdoor Art in the Park.
Gazing down upon the dreamy Alcazar Garden.
People filter through the dreamy Alcazar Garden.
Feeling the holiday spirit by The Old Globe Christmas Tree in Copley Plaza.
Feeling the holiday spirit by The Old Globe Christmas Tree in Copley Plaza.
Enjoying peace and warm sunlight on the grassy West Mesa of Balboa Park.
Enjoying peace and warm sunlight on the grassy West Mesa of Balboa Park.
Shining blooms in a tree.
Shining blooms in a tree.
A noisy flock of crows was perched in the eucalyptus trees near the San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
A noisy flock of crows was perched in the eucalyptus trees near the San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
A drum circle in Marston Point, like the joyful, beating heart of Balboa Park.
A drum circle in Marston Point. Like the joyful, beating heart of Balboa Park.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park, too? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

Fun photos of the new, friendly Quartyard!

The Quartyard in East Village moved half a year ago to this new location at the corner of Market Street and 13th Street.
The Quartyard in East Village has moved to this new location at the corner of Market Street and 13th Street.

During my walk around East Village yesterday I swung by the Quartyard, a cool container park where neighbors can gather to eat, drink, talk and enjoy live events.

About half a year ago the unique container park moved a couple blocks east from its old location, to the corner of Market Street and 13th Street. While the new space is a bit smaller, it’s a friendly, cozy nook just perfect for neighborhood gatherings.

A bit of colorful artwork can be seen inside Quartyard. I learned more art is planned for some of the surrounding containers.

In addition to Burgers and Bites by a small event stage, Quartyard features benches and this outdoor bar.
In addition to Burgers and Bites by the small live event stage, Quartyard features picnic tables and this outdoor bar.
Colorfully painted utility boxes just outside Quartyard.
Colorfully painted utility boxes just outside Quartyard.
This small area in one corner of the the container park Quartyard is perfect for pet lovers who live in the neighborhood.
This small fenced area in one corner of the container park Quartyard is perfect for dog lovers who live in the neighborhood.
A beautiful mural by local artist Gloria Muriel just inside the entrance to Quartyard in East Village.
A beautiful mural by local artist Gloria Muriel just inside the entrance to Quartyard in East Village.
A quick snack or drink can be had at the Seahorse Coffee shack out on the sidewalk.
A quick snack or drink can be purchased at the Seahorse Coffee shack out on the sidewalk.
Look at the super friendly people you'll meet!
Look at the super friendly people you’ll meet!

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!

Super yummy Mexican food downtown!

I’ve come to rely on The Taco Stand for a quick and super tasty dinner when my evening walks draw to a close in downtown San Diego. This popular eatery on B Street has some of the yummiest Mexican food to be found anywhere. And all the people there are super nice!

Even though I’m not a culinary expert, nor a food blogger, nor someone who even dines out much, I’d like to thank the folks at The Taco Stand.

When I walked past this evening, I noticed they had a table out on the sidewalk. I learned this was because they are a participating restaurant in the 26th Annual Taste of Downtown event.

I was drawn inside and found myself once again ordering a pescado burrito. The cool thing about ordering a fish burrito is that it takes longer to grill than most other items. So I can sit and watch all the mesmerizing action as the agile chefs prepare orders.

It’s a rapid paced, coordinated dance by the grill with arms flying every which way. They’re conductors of an orchestra. They’re magicians casting spells. It’s one of the many things that make living downtown so uniquely special!

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!

Lane Field Park Markets debuts in San Diego!

The baseball windglyphs of local artist Lisa Schirmer fly above diners under umbrellas at Lane Field Park.
The baseball windglyphs of local artist Lisa Schirmer fly above diners under umbrellas at Lane Field Park.

I was walking along the Embarcadero today when I saw a whole bunch of activity over at Lane Field Park. I soon discovered that today was the debut of a weekly “artisanal showcase of the creative food, drink, art and craft scene in San Diego”, otherwise known as Lane Field Park Markets.

Every Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, look for the tents and happy people inside Lane Field Park at the corner of Broadway and Harbor Drive!

Lane Field Park Markets debuted in downtown San Diego near the waterfront today.
Lane Field Park Markets debuted in downtown San Diego near the waterfront today.
Lots of people were enjoying the farmers market-like setting.
Lots of people were enjoying the sunny, grassy, outdoor farmers’ market-like setting.
I saw lots to eat and lots of crafts and other good stuff.
I saw tasty food to eat and lots of crafts and other good stuff.
Kids liked checking out the Dang Brother Pizza fire engine.
Kids liked checking out the Dang Brother Pizza fire engine.
Those look pretty yummy!
Those look pretty yummy!
A guitarist provided live music, too!
A guitarist provided live music, too!

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!