Smiles at Escondido’s Grand Avenue Festival!

Escondido’s big Fall Grand Avenue Festival was held today.

Around midday I headed up to Escondido to experience the popular event.

Along the main stretch of Escondido’s historic downtown I saw a community gathered to enjoy a sunny, carefree Sunday. I saw neighbors and friends and food and entertainment and lots of vendors and fun.

There were local high school students demonstrating their competitive robots, which launched balls into the air.

Very creative artists showed their “Art In The Garden” at the Heritage Garden.

Diners along the sidewalks enjoyed lunch at their favorite eateries while engaged in people watching.

And, of course, there were many 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!

Festive fun at House of Czech and Slovak Republics!

Accordion music, costumes, dance and tasty treats can be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park this weekend at the International Cottages. The House of Czech and Slovak Republics is presenting their festive lawn program!

I swung by to enjoy a bit of culture and ended up gobbling some yummy strudel. I also got a few colorful photos!

I stepped into the House of Czech and Slovak Republics cottage and discovered a beautiful painting on one wall of Prague. And artwork depicting folk costume and dance!

Then a smile and book titled FAVORITE RECIPES Czech & Slovak Cottage was promptly followed by sweet temptation!

The lawn program will be held tomorrow, Sunday, as well! The public is invited!

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!

Taste of the Philippines at Waterfront Park!

A huge, very colorful event was held today on San Diego’s Embarcadero at Waterfront Park. Taste of the Philippines, presented by the House of the Philippines, offered food, culture, entertainment and fun galore!

After walking through Balboa Park (incidentally passing the new House of the Philippines cottage), I headed down toward San Diego Bay to check out this event.

I was amazed by the huge crowd! I guess it shouldn’t have been surprising, given how San Diego is home to the second largest population of Filipinos outside of the Philippines.

I recognized various organizations that I’ve seen at past House of the Philippines lawn programs at the International Cottages. But at this epic event there was much, much more, including a big stage, beer garden, endless choices of food, and a kids play zone!

Enjoy some photos…

I learned that the PASACAT Philippine Performing Arts Company will be hosting a Parol Lantern Festival on December 13, 2021 at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. It’s now on my calendar!
A parol is a Christmas lantern in the Philippines. These star-shaped lanterns are hung along streets and outside homes. They are an expression of shared faith and hope.
All these poster displays concerning culture and history in the Philippines were created by students at Southwestern College.
A fascinating collection of old photos. Image of the Pilipino: 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
A San Diego Paré fan!
Photos of folk dance at the Samahan Philippine Dance Company table.
Traditional entertainment at the big stage during Taste of the Philippines.
Live mural painting at the festival.
Cecelia Linayao, local chalk artist, created this portrait of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, who is part Filipino! You’ve seen her art many times on my blog.
Dane’s a super cool guy who paints custom longboards! His page on Instagram is @Kinjo_arts.

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!

Signs around San Diego of Halloween’s approach!

During various San Diego adventures the past couple weeks I’ve encountered these fun and spooky signs of Halloween’s approach!


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!

Mysterious ghost ship drifts toward San Diego!

An abandoned ship of mysterious origin is presently drifting toward San Diego’s harbor. It has been calculated that the very old sailing ship, named the Mary Celeste, will make landfall at the Maritime Museum of San Diego on October 29, 2021.

Reliable sources have reported that celebrated author and detective Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the character Sherlock Holmes, is speeding his way to San Diego to solve the mystery of this ghost ship.

Why is a deserted ship drifting slowly across the vast ocean without a single crewmember?

Was there a bloody mutiny?

Did they all leap overboard in a fit of mass hysteria?

Is it possible the Mary Celeste is being driven toward San Diego by a crew of ghosts?

If you’d like to help solve this perplexing mystery, please read what is written in the following photograph:

In case you’re curious, that first photo is a public domain image from Wikimedia Commons. I blurred it to make the present day “sighting” just a little more plausible!

According to its Wikimedia page, the old painting shows: Brigantine Amazon entering Marseilles in November 1861. In 1868 she was renamed Mary Celeste. She was found drifting with nobody aboard in November 1872, and is the source of many maritime “ghost ship” legends.

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!

Oceanside festival celebrates Filipino culture!

The 20th Annual Filipino Cultural Celebration was held today at Oceanside’s Civic Center Plaza. I arrived at the popular festival as it opened and stayed for a bit to enjoy all sorts of colorful entertainment!

After National Anthems were sung and presentations were made by community leaders, costumed dancing and singing commenced. The audience was wowed by an incredible fire dance by Dane Kaneshiro. You might’ve enjoyed his energetic performances at SeaWorld. As you’ll see in the upcoming photographs, he also custom paints longboards with great Polynesian inspired art. See his Kinjo Arts Instagram page here.

I also enjoyed chatting with a representative of the House of the Philippines about their new cottage in Balboa Park and watching kids perform tricks with tiny fingerboards on a model miniature skatepark. Of course, there was lots of food, vendors and educational opportunities, too!

The family-friendly festival was presented by the Filipino-American Cultural Organization and the Oceanside Public Library.

I was surprised to learn the second largest population of Filipinos outside of the Philippines resides right here in San Diego!

Another big Filipino festival is coming up next weekend in downtown San Diego at Waterfront Park. I plan to be there!

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!

Food, fun and smiles at La Mesa Oktoberfest!

Today’s the final day of 2021 La Mesa Oktoberfest. I rode the trolley to the Village of La Mesa as the free street festival opened and quickly found lots of food, smiles and fun!

The Bratwurst was delectable. The garlic fries were yummy. The German oompah music was infectious. Vendors had all sorts of artsy and inventive wares. The Weiner Dog Races were hilarious. (So much fun, in fact, that a separate blog post concerning the races is coming up!) The three beer gardens and big Ferris wheel were attracting huge crowds. There was fun stuff to do and see in every direction.

My favorite part of Oktoberfest, however, is the smiles.

Of course I’m going to promote a fellow writer. Particularly one who has written an inspirational book full of daily positive messages that are like poetry, and who opened the pages to share words with me concerning October 3. John L. Wagner is the author of Daily Ripples and you can find his book 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!

Cool photo memories from October 2016.

Many cool events could be experienced in San Diego five years ago!

Looking back at photographs I took in October 2016, I see an amazing Maker Faire was held in Balboa Park, and a Festa with lots of chalk art was held in Little Italy.

Five year ago I also enjoyed two very unique museum exhibits, took a walk through beautiful Los Peñasquitos Canyon, and had my mind blown during a special tour aboard an oceanographic research vessel!

If you’d like to see lots of colorful photos, click the links that are coming up!

Click the following links to revisit fun old blog posts!

Cool photos of creativity at Maker Faire San Diego!

Beautiful chalk faces created on a Little Italy street!

Photos of chalk art at 2016 Festa in Little Italy!

Culture and history celebrated at Festa in San Diego!

History of firefighting at San Diego Firehouse Museum.

Joan Embery’s My Animal World at Bonita Museum.

Nature and history on a walk in Los Peñasquitos Canyon.

Photos aboard new Scripps research vessel Sally Ride!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

Kids free at San Diego museums in October!

It’s October! You know what that means? It means kids get free admission to many museums and other family friendly attractions all around San Diego!

The month-long event is called Kids Free San Diego!

Want to learn more? Click here!

Oh, and by the way, see my photograph above? Yes! Nikigator has made its long-awaited return!

Nikigator stands once again outside the front entrance of the recently reopened, beautifully renovated Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. Wouldn’t it be fun to sit on that!

While I’m mentioning the Mingei, families should definitely head inside. The ground floor is now free to everyone, whatever your age. And one big display case holds all sorts of craft toys from around the world! Another contains carousel horses!

And one more thing. If your kids haven’t been to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park, they are missing out on some of the most incredible, spectacular toy train layouts anywhere in the world! And it’s free in October for kids, too!

Click here for all the museums and attractions that are participating this month in Kids Free San Diego!

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!

Giant skeletons terrorize Mission Valley!

Giant, menacing skeletons have invaded the Target parking lot at Westfield Mission Valley!

This afternoon I noticed a pair of monstrous skeletons have leapt up onto the roof of a large truck in order to terrify motorists passing the shopping mall.

Careful they couldn’t see me, I circled the skeletons and was bewildered to observe a legion of other ghouls, ghosts and ghastly creatures lurking nearby. Some were even peering through windows!

Oh, wait. They’re not real?

Just scary props for this year’s outdoor Halloween attraction, The Haunted Hotel Disturbance?

The popular San Diego “haunted house” opens its doors to courageous souls this Friday, October 1st!

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!