Giant-sized Pinocchio sits on tile roof.

giant pinocchio sits on tile roof

This giant, mischievous Pinocchio dangles a yo-yo and winks while sitting atop a red tile roof. This fun sight can be found at the Geppetto’s toy store in the Fashion Valley shopping mall, in Mission Valley.

Lawn bowlers enjoy Sunday in Balboa Park.

san diego lawn bowling club in balboa park

Every weekend, folks dressed in white are out on the bowling green near the west end of Balboa Park. The San Diego Lawn Bowling Club must have a pretty good membership, because I’ve seen scores of players all out enjoying the sport at the same time.

I usually linger for a couple minutes to watch a game unfold. Excellent accuracy is required to win.

A game has ended and the scattered balls are collected.
A game has ended and the scattered balls are collected.
Keeping score on a lazy, sunny weekend day.
Keeping score on a lazy, sunny weekend day.
Sign provides info about free lawn bowl lessons.
Sign provides info about free lawn bowl lessons.

A crabby waiter serves a surf monkey!

surf monkey in hillcrest is served by a crab

A boring old utility box in Hillcrest was transformed by an inspired artist into a colorful canvas. This fun example of urban art depicts a meditating monkey sitting by the surf, with white clouds and a volcano in the background. He’s being served a beverage by a crab!

Stickball tournament players in Little Italy.

stickball player prepares while lineup is written

A stickball tournament was held Sunday in San Diego’s Little Italy, one block from the Festa event! The playing field was a city street in front of the Firehouse Museum. Lots of people watched from the sidewalk, sitting on lawn chairs and the curb.

Here’s a team wearing spiffy uniforms, getting ready to begin a game. A player practices his swing while the lineup is written with chalk on the street.

stickball batter swings away in little italy

Here’s a player from the opposing team swinging. If I recall correctly, he hit the rubber ball into a treetop, and it dropped for a single. Another player hit the ball onto the porch of a condo down the street. That guy was called out.

When I departed, the team in the spiffy uniforms was losing badly.

UPDATE!

Here are a couple more photos from a different Saturday morning in late summer…

A player misses and is called out to the dismay of his team.
A player misses and is called out to the dismay of his team.
Lady swings and crushes the ball a long distance down Columbia Street!
Lady swings and crushes the ball a long distance down Columbia Street!

Festa fun in San Diego’s Little Italy!

a crowd enjoys festa in little italy

Okay, here come some pics from my stroll through Festa today. This popular festival featured food, entertainment and lots of art. It took place in Little Italy, a neighborhood in the north part of downtown San Diego, once populated largely by Italian fisherman who worked in the local tuna fleet. But that was decades ago. The streets today are lined mostly with condos, restaurants and shops.

checking out some italian stuff at festa

Thousands of San Diegans turned out for the celebration. There were plenty of tents filled with crafts, clothing, toys, jewelry–just about anything you could imagine. Almost all of it was Italian-themed.

musicians perform at festa in san diego

Musical performers could be heard everywhere, entertaining the crowd from several stages. There was much romantic Italian music–and I even heard a bit of opera!

festa artist sets up some paintings

This lady is setting up some paintings behind a Little Italy fountain.

festa artwork around little italy fountain

I saw this really cool sculpture (and a number of others) beside the same fountain. All sorts of interesting elements are in this photograph!

italian food galore at little italy's festa

Italian food could be found (and smelled) wherever one turned! I enjoyed a slice of pizza!

musician plays accordion at italian festa

Smilin’ Jack performed with his accordion! That’s just a small taste of Festa!

Ray Bradbury and crazy Horton Plaza.

This escalator goes up one level, but no escalator goes down right here!
This escalator goes up one level, but there’s no immediate way back down!

Horton Plaza, San Diego’s colorful downtown shopping mall, was inspired by a concept put forth by famous science fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury. The crazy, jumbled design was based on Ray Bradbury’s essay “The Aesthetics of Lostness” which took joy in the notion of becoming safely lost on the side streets of Paris, London or New York.

While walking about Horton Plaza, you’ll see ramps, escalators, bridges and stairs that go every which way–up, down, across–leading you to new unexpected vistas. One mysterious escalator will take you up one level, but there’s no immediate way to return from where you came. You must let your eyes rove to discover another route. It’s really a fun idea!

I believe I took these pics on a Sunday morning, and few people had yet arrived.

Random ramps and bridges all over the shopping mall.
Random ramps and bridges all over the shopping mall.
Crazy, colorful Horton Plaza.
Crazy, colorful Horton Plaza.

Colorful samples of fun Horton Plaza.

Horton Plaza is a feast for the eyes everywhere you turn.
Horton Plaza is a feast for the eyes everywhere you turn.

Horton Plaza, located in downtown San Diego, is a fun and interesting place for shoppers to visit. The unique mall’s crazy, whimsical design makes an interesting contrast to the restored old buildings in the adjacent Gaslamp Quarter. Many bright colors and types of architecture have been cleverly integrated into a visual feast. Horton Plaza was designed so that people intentionally get a bit lost, to provide a feeling of adventure and the unexpected.

Here are some random pics for you to enjoy…

Elegant Jessop's clock in the midst of colorful whimsy.
Elegant Jessop’s clock in the midst of colorful whimsy.
Many bridges and walkways connect different areas.
Many bridges and walkways connect different areas.
Looking north along several shopping mall levels.
Looking north along several shopping mall levels.
Looks like someone yarn bombed this stair railing.
Looks like someone yarn bombed this stair railing.
Downtown buildings can be seen projecting into the sky.
Downtown buildings can be seen projecting into the sky.
Cool places to eat overlook the layered central area.
Cool places to eat overlook the layered central area.
Just another place to explore on an upper level.
Just another place to explore on an upper level.
Lots of great vistas near Horton Plaza's food court.
Lots of great vistas near Horton Plaza’s food court.
A small decorative touch adds fun flavor to the scene.
A small decorative touch adds fun flavor to the scene.
Many arches that shoppers can pass over or through.
Many arches that shoppers can pass over or through.
Go up or down in unexpected places.
Go up or down in unexpected places.
Banner welcomes visitors in many languages.
Banner welcomes San Diego visitors in many languages.
Just walking along and enjoying the many sights.
Just walking along and enjoying the many sights.