Public musical instruments in North Park!

Want to make some music? Head to North Park’s newly opened mini park located south of University Avenue behind the Observatory Theater!

The North Park Mini Park had its grand opening last weekend. It was all over the San Diego news. I hadn’t walked around that neighborhood in a long while, so yesterday morning I decided to check things out.

Look what I found!

The North Park Mini Park is not only a fine new community gathering place, but it’s full of musical instruments that people can freely play!

I saw xylophones and chimes and drums and a sign explaining the many health benefits of playing percussion instruments. (Perhaps it’s just plain fun, too.)

Young and old alike can reach out their hands at any time to create music.

How cool is this?

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!

One more smile from a Spanish Village artist!

For some reason, I’ve always paused when passing Studio 13 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.

Perhaps it’s the word Ebullience above the front door. More likely it was the organic, seemingly infinite art that blossomed all around the place.

Over the years, I had spoken a few times to ceramic artist Sylvia Mejia, who worked in Studio 13. The first time she showed me the labyrinth she’d painted on the patio in front. The next time she showed me inside. What I found was indescribably powerful. If you’d like to see those photographs, click here.

Well, lately I’d noticed the door is shut, nobody home. And today I saw Studio 13 had been vacated. She’s moved on, I was told.

But I got one more smile. Because in the parking lot to the side of her old studio, next the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad’s fence, like an ancient living guard, one of her wonderful, whimsical sculptures still stands.

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!

Crazy new mural painted at Seaport Village!

Check out these photos of a crazy mural that was recently painted at Seaport Village in San Diego!

You can find this wacky “Horrible Monsters” artwork in a narrow passageway next to Tuk Tuk Eatery in the food court, not far from the carousel. It was created a couple months ago by @barfalamul and @_baby.brother.

The passageway is rather narrow, so it was difficult getting photos that show both colorful walls in their entirety.

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!

More cool street art in Mission Beach!

Enjoy some photos of cool street art I spotted in Mission Beach along Mission Boulevard!

I captured these images that same day I observed a Christmas tree out at the end of Crystal Pier.

It had been over four years since I documented street art along Mission Boulevard in Mission Beach. I noticed much of that old artwork on electrical boxes is still around, but very weathered and faded. The fun art you see here, including murals painted on buildings, was all new to me!

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!

Happy “early risers” before the parade!

The big Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade, billed as America’s Largest Balloon Parade, was held this morning along the Embarcadero.

My camera captured a few happy “early risers” before I jumped onto the trolley for work.

The annual parade features all sorts of popular characters, including Garfield, Mr. Potato Head and many, many others.

Several hours before the start of the parade, the balloons were being inflated one after another in a parking lot near the County Administration Building!

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 special message from Santa Claus for San Diego!

I’ve just been contacted by Santa Claus. He has an important message for all of San Diego!

Merry Christmas, San Diego.

I hope you have a safe and dry Christmas Day with family and loved ones. Omicron is worse than getting coal in your stocking. Get vaccinated and wear a mask.

Santa hopes the pandemic will end and we all can return to “December Nights in the Park” next year.

Santa held his COVID-19 Vaccination Card during 2021 “Taste of December Nights.” (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
After “Taste of December Nights,” Santa went to visit the Nativity scenes at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
A week later, a well-dressed Chihuahua sporting a stylish Mohawk posed with Santa at Harry’s Coffee Shop in La Jolla. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
This cute little girl came to visit Santa while he was eating breakfast at Harry’s. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
… and this little guy was impressed with Santa’s baseball card. We want the Padres to win the World Series in 2022. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)

Be good to one another. Have fun. Laugh and be joyous, but also remember the meaning of the season.

Your friend,

Santa Claus

Santa Claus sightings around San Diego!

Santa Claus parachutes from a helicopter onto the deck of the USS Midway!

Two days until Christmas!

Over the years, Santa Claus has been sighted countless times around San Diego. And I’ve captured (or received) some fun photographs of jolly old Saint Nick!

I’ve seen Santa jumping from a helicopter, flying above San Diego Bay using a water jetpack, in holiday parades, and, of course, magically granting Christmas wishes to good boys and girls.

Please enjoy this happy collection of Santa photos!

Santa and Mrs. Claus read a joyful story during Christmas on the Prado in Balboa Park.
Santa and Mrs. Claus ride a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, during the Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon.
Jolly old Santa makes somebody laugh in front of Balboa Park’s Federal Building. Are those two guys naughty or nice?
Surfing Santa arrives at Seaport Village by flying a water jetpack.
Multiple bearded Santas at the Over-the-Line tournament on Fiesta Island. They encourage everyone to eat healthy! (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
Santa and Mrs. Claus smile for a photo during a Toys for Tots charity event on Navy Pier.
There’s Santa once again at Seaport Village! Looks like I took this photo during the summer of the MLB All-Star Game in San Diego.
Mrs. Claus poses with Santa during Christmas on the Prado. But he doesn’t appear like the real Santa to me.
Santa Claus waves from a fire truck during the North Park Toyland Parade.
Social Distance Santa waves at passing cars during Taste of December Nights in 2020. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
Santa in Balboa Park once again. Like everyone else in San Diego, he must love the place.
And there’s Santa again! He’s now at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A smiling Santa Claus helps warm an elf nose during Christmas on the Prado. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
Santa Claus brings joy to the brightly lit Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Christmas magic during December Nights in Balboa Park!

I wish everyone Happy Holidays!

I plan to take a little time off from blogging this week and next, just to relax and enjoy the season. But I’ll continue to walk, weather permitting, and take photos!

When I return in the New Year, be ready for many more Cool San Diego Sights!

Take care!

Richard

Christmas tree and wreaths on Crystal Pier!

The holiday season in Pacific Beach is so overflowing with “good tidings” that decorations extend over the ocean!

Perhaps this post should be titled “Christmas tree, wreaths, and the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine on Crystal Pier” because that’s what I saw this afternoon!

(I learned The Mystery Machine golf cart, decked with tinsel and Christmas ornaments, is utilized by the operator of the Crystal Pier Bait and Tackle store. The vehicle has won awards in many parades!)

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!

More colorful faces in National City!

During my long walk through San Diego’s South Bay last weekend, I spotted street art in National City that I hadn’t previously photographed.

Three colorful faces on electrical boxes!

The first happy face, in the above photograph, was discovered near the corner of 8th Street and National City Boulevard. That box used to feature some fun Star Wars artwork. You can see those old photos here!

The next two faces were observed near the intersection of Plaza Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

Here they are!

(It appeared there were more painted boxes had I continued north on Highland. I’ll check those out on a future walk!)

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!

Jack in the Box clown head at History Center!

These photos might stir up some nostalgic San Diego memories.

How many of you used to pull through Jack in the Box half a century ago, when happy clown heads decorated the fast food restaurant’s roofs and served as the drive-thru speaker box? I remember it from my own childhood.

Last weekend, when I saw this Jack in the Box Clown Head (circa 1950’s to 1970’s) in a display case at the San Diego History Center, I had to smile.

What memories do you have?

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!