Cool photos of San Diego’s 2019 Busker Fest!

San Diego's own world-famous Murrugun the Mystic exhales a huge fireball during Seaport Village's 2019 Busker Fest!
San Diego’s own world-famous Murrugun the Mystic exhales a huge fireball during Seaport Village’s 2019 Busker Fest!

This is my fifth year blogging about Seaport Village’s annual busker festival. It’s so much fun, I try not to miss it!

This afternoon I randomly walked about Seaport Village, checking out the acts of great street performers from all around the United States and the world. I protected my camera from the wind and showers and took a whole bunch of photographs. Unfortunately, today’s attendance seemed reduced by the weather.

Tomorrow the sun is supposed to come out. Hopefully more people will then head to Seaport Village for this free weekend event!

The highlight for me was the two-act performance of San Diego’s own world-famous danger act and carnival sideshow performer Murrugun the Mystic! As I watched, I could plainly see he was enjoying himself!

Since I last blogged about Murrugun, he has appeared on even more TV shows. He has now been featured on AMC’s Freakshow, Cougar Town, CSI: New York, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! He also holds multiple Guinness World Records for sword swallowing!

I spoke to him briefly after his show, and I learned he’s devising a hollow tube contraption that he will insert into his throat. From that tube he will explosively shoot flaming arrows! Wow! I can’t wait to see that!

Here come fun photos! Enjoy!

Even with the drizzly, breezy winter weather, people came out to Seaport Village on Saturday to watch some of the best street performers from around the world.
Even with the drizzly, breezy winter weather, people came out to Seaport Village on Saturday to watch some of the best street performers in the world.
Daniel Israel juggles while high atop a unicycle!
Daniel Israel juggles while high atop a unicycle!
Cate Flaherty is a professional circus acrobat. Her juggling and balancing performance was great!
Cate Flaherty is a professional circus acrobat with a big smile. Her juggling and balancing performance was great!
George Gilbert entertains people by the water. For a grand finale, he magically made a pineapple appear under his hat!
George Gilbert entertains people by the water. For a grand finale, he magically made a pineapple appear under his hat!
Nolan Webster included a lot of humor in his parlor magic show. That ball was actually attached to his nose! Cheater!
Nolan Webster included a lot of humor in his parlor magic show. That ball was actually attached to his nose! Cheater!
The audiences at the Busker Fest were all smiles.
The audiences at the Busker Fest were all smiles.
Kids seemed to have the best time while the buskers performed. Many adults were very shy.
Kids seemed to have the best time while the buskers performed. Many adults were very shy.
Murrugan the Mystic calls an audience together near Seaport Village's central fountain before beginning his amazing two part act!
Murrugun the Mystic calls an audience together near Seaport Village’s central fountain before beginning his amazing two-part act!
Murrugan's first act is a series of fantastic fire breathing and eating tricks, including shooting flames out of his mouth!
Murrugun’s first act is a series of fantastic fire breathing and eating tricks, including shooting flames out of his mouth! He performed to one side, out of the wind.
The second act was sword swallowing. Murrugan the Mystic is one of the very few true sword swallowers in the world.
The second act was sword swallowing. Murrugun the Mystic is one of very few true sword swallowers in the world.
That's a genuine, long and very sharp sword poised on Murrugun's tongue.
That’s a genuine, long and very sharp sword poised on Murrugun’s tongue.
Here we go!
Here we go!
When all the way in, the sword has penetrated between his heart and lungs and ends at the bottom of his stomach, just below the belly button!
When all the way in, the sword has penetrated between his heart and lungs and ends at the bottom of his stomach, just below the belly button!
Next comes a sword sandwich--six swords carefully aligned together. Over the decades, a scary number of performers have died doing this dangerous sword swallowing trick.
Next comes a sword sandwich–six swords carefully aligned together. Over the decades, a scary number of performers have died doing this dangerous sword swallowing trick. Murrugun himself was once seriously injured.
That's a lot of sharp steel to swallow!
That’s a lot of sharp steel to swallow!
In go six genuine swords!
In go six genuine swords!
One of the most amazing human spectacles you're likely to ever witness!
One of the most amazing human spectacles you’re likely to ever witness!
Back near the water, Jonathan Strange was doing ring linking magic with an assistant from the audience.
Back near the water, Jonathan Strange was doing some mystifying ring linking magic with an assistant chosen from the audience.
Molly Keczan includes lasso rope tricks in her fun The Farmer's Daughter Show.
Molly Keczan includes lasso rope tricks in her fun The Farmer’s Daughter Show.
The Farmer's Daughter keeps balance as she walks along the top of glass milk bottles--with one good eye! A wildly successful show, in spite of her contact lens difficulty!
The Farmer’s Daughter keeps balance as she walks along the top of glass milk bottles–with one good eye! A wildly successful show, in spite of her contact lens difficulty!
While walking around I spotted Martika Daniels setting up for her act with a big smile.
While walking around I spotted Martika Daniels setting up for her act with a big smile.
Martika's cool show included being stood upon while lying on a bed of nails!
Martika’s amazing show included being stood upon while lying on a bed of nails!
Ouch! Martika explained that stunts like this make some of life's difficulties seem small by comparison. Her show was super positive and inspirational!
Ouch! Martika explained that stunts like this make some of life’s difficulties seem small by comparison. Her show was super positive and inspirational!
Another awesome sword swallowing act!
Another awesome sword swallowing act!
Buskers and audience members all seemed to have a good time, even if the San Diego weather didn't cooperate today!
Buskers and audience members all seemed to have a great time, even if the San Diego weather didn’t cooperate today!

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!

A visit to the Air and Space Museum Annex!

Lots of cool sights await visitors to the free San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex!
Lots of cool sights await visitors to the free San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex!

One of the coolest free attractions in San Diego is located in East County at Gillespie Field. That’s where you’ll find the annex of Balboa Park’s famous Air and Space Museum!

Yesterday morning I ventured east to El Cajon to visit the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex for the very first time. I’d read that they have a collection of old aircraft, but I really didn’t know what to expect.

I was absolutely blown away!

The annex is a treasure trove of restored and unrestored aircraft, plus old exhibits once housed by the museum in Balboa Park. Volunteers at the Gillespie Field Annex are happy to show families around. Excited kids can sit inside commercial airline cockpits, and adults can marvel at the development of aviation technology over the years.

There are so many amazing displays in the hangar and outside, it’s hard to describe. So I offer you these photos with informative captions!

If you happen to be in San Diego, go check it out for yourself! While admission to the annex is free, they’d appreciate a few bucks in their donation box!

An imposing Atlas missile stands in one corner of the annex's parking lot!
An imposing Atlas missile stands in one corner of the annex’s parking lot!
Cockpit exhibits and aircraft in various stages of restoration stand outside the museum annex hangar.
Cockpit exhibits and aircraft in various stages of restoration stand outside the museum annex hangar.
Inside the hangar there's a ton of cool stuff, including many old exhibits from the main San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park.
Inside the hangar there’s a ton of cool stuff, including many old exhibits from the main San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park.
Replica of the Smithsonian's original Vin Fiz Flyer dangles from the ceiling. This one-of-a-kind Wright Brothers airplane was the first aircraft to fly coast-to-coast. The journey took almost three months!
Replica of the Smithsonian’s original Vin Fiz Flyer dangles from the ceiling. This one-of-a-kind Wright Brothers airplane was the first aircraft to fly coast-to-coast. The journey took almost three months!
Ryan X-13 experimental vertical take-off jet (VTOL) created by the Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego. This aircraft was test flown in 1955 at Edwards Air Force Base.
Ryan X-13 experimental vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet created by the Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego. This particular aircraft was test flown in 1955 at Edwards Air Force Base.
Looking past the Ryan X-13 Vertijet at other exhibits in the annex hangar, including a yellow Ryan Recruit military trainer.
Looking past the Ryan X-13 Vertijet at other exhibits in the annex hangar, including a yellow Ryan Recruit military trainer.
This particular Ryan X-13 was the result of a contract with the U.S. Air Force.
This particular Ryan X-13 was the result of a contract with the U.S. Air Force, as you can see by the markings.
Ryan ST-3KR (PT-22) Recruit, an aircraft used to train thousands of pilots during World War II.
Ryan ST-3KR (PT-22) Recruit, an aircraft used to train thousands of pilots during World War II.
In a glass display case nearby is a small model of a Ryan B-5 Brougham.
In a glass display case nearby is a small model of a Ryan B-5 Brougham. (You might recall that Charles Lindbergh’s famous Spirit of St. Louis, first plane to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo nonstop, was built in San Diego by Ryan.)
Numerous aircraft engines on display at the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex.
Numerous aircraft engines on display at the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex.
Wright R-3350-B Duplex-Cyclone 1939 aircraft power plant, at the time the most powerful radial engine in the world at 2000 HP.
Wright R-3350-B Duplex-Cyclone 1939 aircraft power plant, at the time the most powerful radial engine in the world at 2000 HP.
Pratt and Whitney 1830-17 Twin Wasp, used in several World War II aircraft.
Pratt and Whitney 1830-17 Twin Wasp, used in several World War II aircraft.
Wright J65 turbojet engine, 1954. This engine powered many military aircraft in the mid 20th century, including the very successful A-4 Skyhawk.
Wright J65 turbojet engine, 1954. This engine powered many military aircraft in the mid 20th century, including the very successful A-4 Skyhawk.
Marquardt RJ43-MA-9 ramjet engine used on Boeing CIM-10 Bomarc interceptor missiles during the 1960s. The ramjet produced speeds up to Mach 2.7, or about 1780 miles per hour.
Marquardt RJ43-MA-9 ramjet engine used on Boeing CIM-10 Bomarc interceptor missiles during the 1960s. The ramjet produced speeds up to Mach 2.7, or about 1780 miles per hour.
Rolls Royce Pegasus F402-RR-401 vectoring turbofan that powers the AV-8A Harrier short take-off and vertical landing aircraft.
Rolls Royce Pegasus F402-RR-401 vectoring turbofan that powers the AV-8A Harrier short take-off and vertical landing aircraft.
A long mural in the annex's hangar shows a variety of modern aircraft.
A long mural in the annex’s hangar shows a variety of modern aircraft.
Bleriot XI dangles from the ceiling. The revolutionary 1908 aircraft had a new Anzani engine that could run for one whole hour, allowing it to fly across the English Channel.
Bleriot XI dangles from the ceiling. The revolutionary 1908 aircraft had a new Anzani engine that could run for one whole hour, allowing it to fly across the English Channel.
Sopwith Pup Craftsmen of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, a volunteer aircraft building project back in 2000-2003.
Sopwith Pup Craftsmen of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, a volunteer aircraft building project back in 2000-2003.
Rearwin Cloudster 8135, once displayed on the museum floor in Balboa Park.
Rearwin Cloudster 8135, once displayed on the museum floor in Balboa Park.
One more look inside the hangar before I head outside to see lots more cool stuff.
One more look inside the hangar before I head outside to see lots more cool stuff.
The aircraft in the foreground is a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15. Mounted beyond it is a Ryan Model 147 Lightning Bug jet-powered reconnaissance drone.
The aircraft in the foreground is a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15. Mounted beyond it is a Ryan Model 147 Lightning Bug jet-powered reconnaissance drone.
Outside the hangar doors is the nose of an old Northwest Stratocruiser that once flew to Honolulu.
Outside the hangar doors is the nose of an old Northwest Stratocruiser that once flew to Honolulu.
Hundreds of switches and gauges inside the amazing cockpit of a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. One can sit in the pilot's seat and pretend to fly across the Pacific Ocean!
Hundreds of switches, dials and gauges inside the amazing cockpit of a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. One can sit in the pilot’s seat and pretend to fly across the Pacific Ocean!
Someone created this silly flying car named the Spirit of San Diego!
Someone created this silly flying car named the Spirit of San Diego! I kind of doubt they ever got this contraption off the ground.
Looking beyond a General Dynamics F-16N at a line of military aircraft displayed outside.
Looking beyond a General Dynamics F-16N at a line of military aircraft displayed outside.
North American F-86F Sabre from the Korean War period.
North American F-86F Sabre from the Korean War period.
Convair F-102A Delta Dagger built in San Diego 1956-1957.
Convair F-102A Delta Dagger built in San Diego 1956-1957.
An old Neptune Aviation Services P2V-7 aerial firefighting plane--Tanker 43.
An old Neptune Aviation Services P2V-7 aerial firefighting plane–Tanker 43.
I learned there are several restoration projects now underway at the museum annex at Gillespie Field. I believe this is an old Piasecki H-21 helicopter.
I learned there are several restoration projects now underway at the museum annex at Gillespie Field. I believe this is an old Piasecki H-21 helicopter. Looks like it needs some work.
Next to the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex parking lot stands a tall Atlas Missile 2-E! This missile was used for a static firing at Sycamore Test Facility.
Next to the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex parking lot stands a tall Atlas Missile 2-E! This missile was used for a static firing at Sycamore Canyon Test Facility east of MCAS Miramar. It used to stand at the entrance to Missile Park, beside the old General Dynamics complex in Kearny Mesa.
National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark Atlas Space Booster Family - San Diego, California - 1957. Developed by General Dynamics Convair and the U.S. Air Force.
National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark Atlas Space Booster Family – San Diego, California – 1957. Developed by General Dynamics Convair and the U.S. Air Force.
Visit the free San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex and you'll learn much about aviation history!
Visit the free San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex and you’ll learn a whole lot about aviation history!

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!

100th Anniversary of Armistice Day in Balboa Park.

Marines march west down El Prado toward the California Tower during the 2015 Garden Party of the Century in Balboa Park.
Marines march west down El Prado toward the California Tower during the 2015 Garden Party of the Century in Balboa Park.

This Sunday will be the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day.

Armistice Day marks the end of World War One. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 the horrifying “war to end all wars” finally ended. (In 1954, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in the United States.)

On Sunday in Balboa Park something special will take place to honor the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day.

The carillon inside the California Tower will chime at 11:00 am not the usual 11 times, but 21 times. After it chimes 21 times, Taps will be played. An hour later, at noon, the carillon bells will play a medley of WWI songs.

A variety of events in Balboa Park are also planned for Veterans Day weekend.

Several I’ve noted are:

Friday, beginning at 5 pm, at the San Diego Museum of Art. Free admission to the museum, where visitors can see the fantastic Artists at War: American Posters of World War I exhibition. Enjoy artwork and presentations by local veterans groups, the Air and Space Museum, a performance by Westwind Brass, and a screening of the 1938 classic The Dawn Patrol.

Saturday, 3 pm – 4 pm, at the Veterans Museum. A free preview by the San Diego Opera of their upcoming production of All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, which concerns a brief, miraculous “unofficial armistice” that occurred in the trenches during World War One.

Sunday, 11 am – 5:30 pm, at the Balboa Park Carousel. A free ride will be provided to all veterans, active military and their families, courtesy of the Friends of Balboa Park. In addition, the Historical Unit of Southern California will have a special WWI commemoration at eleven o’clock.

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!

Free lectures explain opera in San Diego!

19th Century engraving depicting Count Almaviva and Susanna in Act 3 of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
19th century engraving depicting Count Almaviva and Susanna in Act 3 of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

By sheer chance I stumbled upon a very cool event this afternoon. I was walking through the San Diego Central Library’s courtyard when I noticed a sign posted by the entrance to the Neil Morgan Auditorium. It announced that a free lecture was about to begin!

I hurried in, took a seat, and found myself quickly mesmerized by a talk about the San Diego Opera’s upcoming performance of The Marriage of Figaro!

Dr. Ron Shaheen, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Music Department at the University of San Diego, made the fascinating presentation. With the help of photographs, video clips and audio samples, he provided a wide range of information concerning Mozart’s famous opera. Even a complete opera novice like myself could appreciate the beautiful, timeless and amusing qualities of The Marriage of Figaro.

Many in the audience chuckled at the antics of its characters. The story, imbued by Mozart with deep emotional richness, turns upon all-too-common human weaknesses. The Marriage of Figaro is a mixture of crazy schemes, sudden surprises, human desire, selfishness, misunderstanding, love, jealousy, even more silliness . . . and concludes with a poignant scene of forgiveness.

Intrigued? Visit the San Diego Opera website here. The Marriage of Figaro will be performed in the next couple of weeks.

More free lectures in the Opera Insights Series will be coming to the Central Library. You can learn when and where by clicking here.

Dr. Ron Shaheen provides an entertaining lecture concerning The Marriage of Figaro during the San Diego Central Library 2018-2019 Opera Insights Series.
Dr. Ron Shaheen provides an entertaining lecture concerning The Marriage of Figaro during the San Diego Central Library 2018-2019 Opera Insights Series.
Information concerning music prodigy Mozart, his opera The Marriage of Figaro, and the San Diego Opera's upcoming performances.
Information concerning Mozart, his opera The Marriage of Figaro, and the San Diego Opera’s upcoming performances. (Click the image to enlarge it for easy reading.)
Mozart c. 1780, detail from portrait by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Detail from a portrait of Mozart, by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Big smiles for Free Ride Day!

Today is Free Ride Day in San Diego! San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District are providing a fun, free ride to anyone riding the trolley, bus, Coaster or Sprinter!

And as an extra added bonus, lots of smiles are included!

Thank you!

Javier Marín and the human search for identity.

Visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art enter Gallery 15, where many human figures sculpted by Mexican artist Javier Marín stand horizontally upon a large wall.
Visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art enter Gallery 15, where many human figures sculpted by Mexican artist Javier Marín stand horizontally upon a large wall.

Yesterday, during my walk through Balboa Park, I stepped from the Panama 66 outdoor cafe into Gallery 15 of the San Diego Museum of Art . . . and look what I saw!

Upon one large wall stand numerous small sculptures of the human body, created by Victor Javier Marín Gutiérrez, a Mexican artist whose celebrated work has been exhibited internationally.

The organic sculptures stand on the wall in poses of naked expression, casting dynamic shadows that crisscross in every direction. There is anguish and joy and perplexity and care and simple, wonderful being. There is flesh and there is soul. There is that ongoing internal search for human identity.

According to the San Diego Museum of Art’s website: “Javier Marín’s work, above all, is about beauty, a particularly human beauty that reflects what the poet José Emilio Pacheco described as ‘the terrible miracle of being alive.’”

Looking across at the wall containing many small sculpted human forms is like gazing down from above upon the mass of naked humanity. It’s like a Creator gazing down upon his living, breathing, dancing Creation.

This astonishing wall is an example of the Javier Marín sculpted work now on display in the San Diego Museum of Art’s free Galleries 14 and 15.

The exhibition will be officially kicked off with a special event on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Culture & Cocktails: Art of the Body includes a VIP pre-tour with the artist himself.

The exhibition will continue through March 3, 2019.

Javier Marín's fleshy sculpted forms include every sort of human expression.
Javier Marín’s fleshy sculpted forms depict every sort of human expression.
Gazing at representations of our mysterious selves.
Gazing at many representations of our mysterious selves.

UPDATE!

I saw even more amazing Javier Marín art during a later visit to the museum, and here are some photographs!

The first photo showing sculpted elements of the human body intermixed, is of a piece that can be viewed in Gallery 14.

IMG_4362z

The next two photos, taken in the San Diego Museum of Art’s first floor rotunda, are of several large, truly stunning sculptures that are described: Untitled I, II, VI. Polyester resin and iron wire, 2004.

IMG_4449z

IMG_4455z

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!

Art from different colleges across San Diego.

Visitors to the gallery on the 9th floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library look at some fascinating artwork.
Visitors to the gallery on the 9th floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library look at some fascinating artwork.

A fantastic exhibition is now open free to the public in the 9th floor gallery at San Diego’s Central Library. You Are Here features work from art students and professors at 13 different institutions of higher education around San Diego County.

Not only is this exhibition an opportunity for talented artists to show their creative work in public, but visitors to the Central Library can learn a little about each school’s unique art program.

I took photos of some of the artwork. Please swing on by–you’ll be impressed by the quality of these imaginative, evocative pieces. You Are Here runs through May 6, 2018.

You Are Here, a special exhibition in the Central Library's gallery, collects the work of 26 artists from 13 different higher education art departments across San Diego.
You Are Here, a special exhibition in the Central Library’s gallery, collects the work of 26 artists from 13 different higher education art departments across San Diego.
Diverse examples of thought-inducing visual art attract curious eyes.
Diverse examples of thought-inducing visual art attract curious eyes.
Space Ships, Wendell M. Kling, Professor of Art, San Diego Mesa College, 2013-present.
Space Ships, Wendell M. Kling, Professor of Art, San Diego Mesa College, 2013-present.
Hubcap Milagro for Chunky, David Avalos, Professor of Visual Arts, California State University San Marcos, 2011.
Hubcap Milagro for Chunky, David Avalos, Professor of Visual Arts, California State University San Marcos, 2011.
Untitled, Monique Van Genderen, Associate Professor of Art, UC San Diego, 2017.
Untitled, Monique Van Genderen, Associate Professor of Art, UC San Diego, 2017.
Pink Cactus Moon Rock, Corina Bilandzija, Student, Palomar College, 2017.
Pink Cactus Moon Rock, Corina Bilandzija, Student, Palomar College, 2017.
Warm Lights, Niki Ito, International Student, San Diego City College, 2017.
Warm Lights, Niki Ito, International Student, San Diego City College, 2017.
Hair, Larissa Lopez, Past Student, Cuyamaca Community College, 2017.
Hair, Larissa Lopez, Past Student, Cuyamaca Community College, 2017.
Ophelia, Hanna Hunter, Student, San Diego Miramar College, 2016.
Ophelia, Hanna Hunter, Student, San Diego Miramar College, 2016.

Do you enjoy discovering new things? I do! My camera is always ready during my long walks around San Diego!

Please join me on Facebook or Twitter!