Andy Warhol played tennis in San Diego?

Did famous artist Andy Warhol play tennis? Decades ago, did he visit San Diego’s Morley Field Sports Complex?

Check out these colorfully painted lockers at the Balboa Tennis Club!

You mean to say there’s no historical record of Warhol standing here with paintbrush in hand?

Well. at the very least, this fun art was inspired by him!

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A secret, magic bench in Balboa Park!

There’s a secret bench in Balboa Park that works magic. Very few visitors to the park ever see it.

Sit on this bench, look down, and suddenly before your feet colorful stars, planets and creatures appear!

This magic bench is in an out-of-the-way corner of Balboa Park, just north of Spanish Village Art Center, at the east edge of the small parking lot. In the above photo you can see the green grass of the nearby Balboa Park Miniature Railroad.

Should you sit on this magic bench, what might you see?

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 big Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park!

Tomorrow is Lunar New Year! It will be the Year of the Rabbit. (Which signifies good luck!)

This weekend the 2023 Chinese New Year Festival is being held in Balboa Park at the International Cottages. The event is presented by the House of China.

The festival attracted an absolutely gigantic crowd today. We heard from the stage that attendance this year set a record. The lawn at the International Cottages was jammed with humanity.

There were vendors, Chinese food, and a calligraphy demonstration inside the cottage of the House of China. Lots of kids became super excited after two o’clock when speeches ended and the traditional Lion Dance began!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Rare butter-ball-fly-ball in Normal Heights!

During my walk in Normal Heights today, I spotted a very rare “butter-ball-fly-ball” butterfly. The strange insect was clinging to an electrical box next to the Adams Recreation Center!

This fun butterfly street art is just a few steps from the baseball field at Adams Community Park.

You mean it’s a make-believe species?

And I spotted other nearby butterflies! These boxes were painted in 2021, thanks to Normal Heights Urban Arts.

Several other electrical boxes along the sidewalk near the Adams Recreation Center were painted with butterflies back in 2020. I documented those during a past walk here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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A fun harbor tour on both land and sea!

Two tours in one! That’s what it felt like today when I explored San Diego’s harbor on a SEAL Tours boat with wheels!

It was my very first time experiencing one of these unique tours.

Passengers boarded the amphibious SEAL vehicle at Seaport Village and started down Harbor Drive along San Diego’s beautiful Embarcadero. We passed the airport and Spanish Landing and entered Point Loma. All the while, our tour guide (the boat’s first mate), provided a fun and spirited narration. My love of San Diego was renewed once again.

At the Shelter Island boat ramp we seamlessly entered San Diego Bay and headed out across the sparkling water!

Of course there were amazing views of downtown San Diego across the gentle water. And, of course, we had to swing by the bait dock near the entrance to the bay where sea lions entertained kids with their antics.

We saw several Navy facilities and were surprised to learn how super high-tech robot ships are autonomously interdicting drug smugglers. We also saw where the Navy trains sea lions and dolphins to detect underwater objects. And we saw the R/P FLIP, a very long, very strange Scripps research vessel that plunges 90 degrees into the ocean to become a sort of floating tower! There was so much cool stuff to see, I couldn’t begin to describe it all.

The tour was a lot of fun. Our guide, Bret, was a ham and everyone was always smiling and laughing. Personally, I learned quite a lot about my city that I hadn’t known before.

Are you a San Diego resident? This month–January–Old Town Trolley Tours is offering locals free rides. That includes the SEAL Tours, which they operate!

If you do partake of this harbor experience, make sure to bring a jacket. The wind out on the bay can be quite chilly!

Here’s a tiny taste of the experience…

Both the captain and first mate were really nice. As we got started visual aids helped to explain the coming attractions.

Two huge cruise ships were docked on the Embarcadero today.

Passing the beautiful, historic Star of India, world’s oldest active sailing ship.

We’ve arrived at Shelter Island, where we saw many boats moored in America’s Cup Harbor.

About to enter San Diego Bay! How cool is this?

The transition to water is so smooth you hardly notice it.

Another perfect San Diego day.

Hello!

The bait dock had everyone taking a million photos. Those sea lions are digesting their breakfast.

How cute!

A bunch of cormorants were hanging out on this section.

A view of downtown San Diego skyscrapers over the large naval air base on Coronado’s North Island.

That narrow ship on the right operates autonomously. If it detects a drug runner out on the Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard is notified.

Here’s where sea lions are trained by the U.S. Navy. We learned they are actually a bit more intelligent than dolphins.

Here comes another SEAL Tour! That’s Harbor Island behind it.

Back to land! Before heading again down city streets, our captain checked for seaweed caught in the wheels!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 fun pops up at downtown’s Children’s Park!

Oh my goodness! What’s that white tower-like thing? Looks like a tower of fun!

I walked up 1st Avenue beside Children’s Park this morning and peered over the construction fence. Substantial progress has been made in the downtown park’s big redesign and renovation!

Last May I posted photos from Front Street of the wooden play structure under construction. Now every aspect of the new and improved Children’s Park, including its vendor and restroom building, is taking form!

I can’t wait until the project is completed and the fountain is turned back on!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Fun art by Carlsbad Poinsettia train station!

If you’ve ever traveled by Amtrak or Coaster train through the Carlsbad Poinsettia station, you might’ve seen this fun artwork on the back of a fence!

I got off at the train station during my last Carlsbad adventure and took photographs!

At the south end of the station’s west platform, a pathway leads a short distance along the tracks before turning past residences toward the beach. From this path there’s a good view of the fence art.

I quickly asked the conductor of the Coaster, who was out on the platform making sure all passengers had boarded, if he knew anything about this folksy art. He told me it had been there for years and years–as long as he could remember.

The fence is painted blue, and it is populated by fish, a shark, birds and other ocean creatures. At the center of it all a small fishing boat, occupied by a mannequin, is suspended as if floating on water. At the left end of the scene, a surfer rides a three-dimensional tubular wave!

Do you know anything about this delightful fence? Leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 descent into La Jolla’s Sunny Jim Cave!

For over a hundred years, curious visitors have descended into Sunny Jim Cave in La Jolla. I recently ventured down into the sea cave for my very first time! And I’m glad I did!

What was this small adventure like?

North of La Jolla Cove is a series of sea caves, with entrances that can be approached by water. One of the openings is to Sunny Jim Cave.

Visitors to The Cave Store can descend via tunnel into famous Sunny Jim Cave.

Historical Landmark No. 380. Tunnel & Cave Store – 1902. The City of San Diego.

Artwork in the Cave Store depicts someone sitting on a rock inside Sunny Jim Cave.

History of the Cave. In 1902, a German entrepreneur named Prof. Gustav Schultz commissioned two Chinese workers to dig a tunnel into the sea cave through the cliffs of La Jolla with the idea of charging visitors a few cents to enter…During Prohibition, alcohol was smuggled through the tunnel and into San Diego…Its nickname, Sunny Jim, comes from the resemblance of (its) silhouette to that of an old cereal mascot named Sunny Jim.

Starting down narrow stairs into the steeply sloping tunnel.

145 steps…All persons entering this cave do so at their own risk.

Here we go!

I’ve been inside mines, and this experience feels similar.

The stairs descend around several turns. In places the ceiling is rather low, and I had to stoop while carefully holding onto the railing.

When people pass in the narrow tunnel, it’s a tight squeeze! The wooden steps become more wet and slippery the farther down we go…

Almost there. The rock above and around is very damp now.

Walking out onto the wooden deck just inside Sunny Jim Cave.

The profile of Sunny Jim becomes apparent.

Several people were already on the deck, gazing out at ocean waves surging into the cave.

Sea lions sometimes hang out in the cave, but there were none when I visited.

The cave’s name Sunny Jim was suggested by Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum. Sunny Jim was the prominent-nosed mascot for Force, the first commercially successful wheat flake breakfast cereal!

(Public domain image, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.)

Venturing down into Sunny Jim Cave makes for a fun little adventure. If you can manage the steep stairs and narrow tunnel, you might enjoy it, too!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

123 photos of the 2022 Holiday Bowl Parade!

The Holiday Bowl Parade in San Diego is one of the most fun parades anywhere!

I’ve got 123 photographs that prove it!

It rained downtown during the night, but it never seems to rain on this magical parade! Overcast skies in the morning were perfect for the 5K runners, who got started down Harbor Drive a few minutes before the Holiday Bowl Parade would commence.

And then the parade began!

Giant balloon characters floated by. Marching bands from near and far boomed and trumpeted past. There were dancers, baton twirlers, lowriders, cosplayers, and even a group with a humorous synchronized surfboard routine!

Of course, both the Oregon Ducks and the North Carolina Tar Heels had their large marching bands and enthusiastic cheerleaders waving from atop floats. Many in the crowd cheered when their favorite university competing in this year’s Holiday Bowl passed by.

You’ll see that I walked behind the convention center where the balloons were inflated before the parade, then found a good spot near the beginning of the parade route.

I’m sharing 123 photos–so many it would be a chore to caption them all. Simply enjoy!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Fun photos at the Snapdragon Bowl Bash!

The Holiday Bowl block party in the Gaslamp Quarter (called the Snapdragon Bowl Bash) is happening this evening even as I post these photographs!

I walked down to the Gaslamp before the event officially began at 5 o’clock, and took a couple of easy laps up and down Fifth Avenue. As you can see, there were already lots of families and Oregon and North Carolina college football fans out and about, enjoying all sorts of fun activities!

Enjoy a glimpse of the big party!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!