The dance of Petanque in Balboa Park.

Today, as I walked through the Morley Field section of Balboa Park, I was excited to see a good crowd competing at the Petanque Courts, otherwise known as the Petanquedrome!

Turns out today was the San Diego Club de Petanque’s big San Diego Select Doubles Open Tournament!

I paused to watch the spectacle.

Hands lifted and released, spheres spun and collided. Calculating players orbited. I thought I was watching a celestial dance.

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!

Photos of 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament!

Around noon today I spent some time in Little Italy watching the action-packed 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament. This very cool annual event seems to grow larger every year, attracting top stickball teams from across the country.

In 2019 the Labor Day Stickball Tournament features 18 teams, including three teams from New York and two teams from Florida. Everyone is competing to have their team name engraved on The Jillie Championship Trophy. San Diego’s own Whompers are the current champions.

During Labor Day weekend, games are played on four fields in Little Italy. It’s fun to watch pedestrians walking down a sidewalk in the field of play suddenly see a ball smashed past them! The looks of surprise!

As I watched one game beside the outfield on Columbia Street, near the San Diego Firehouse Museum, Big Lou came up and introduced himself to me. He’s a retired player who has been inducted into the New York Emperors Stickball League Hall of Fame. It’s his first time in San Diego.

Big Lou told me all about the history of stickball, it’s popularity on the East Coast and in Puerto Rico, and how generations of players have enjoyed the game. His love for the game was in his voice and in his eyes.

Enjoy some photos of the action…

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 fun, easy walk outside 2019 Comic-Con!

Come with me on an easy walk outside San Diego Comic-Con! It’s Thursday, and I’ve selected a bunch of fun photos.

So take a seat, get comfortable and come along!

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!

Star Wars at future Comic-Con Museum!

Star Wars cosplay and a sign welcomes visitors to a special Comic-Con Museum event!
Star Wars cosplay and a sign welcomes visitors to a special Comic-Con Museum event!

Around noon today I headed to the Federal Building in Balboa Park for a bite to eat. And what did I see? A special event was being held inside the future home of the Comic-Con Museum!

I walked about and watched people playing Star Wars: Armada and other tabletop games published by Fantasy Flight Games.

Very cool!

Members of the Imperial Sands Garrison of the 501st Legion pose for a cool Star Wars pic at the future Comic-Con Museum!
Members of the Imperial Sands Garrison of the 501st Legion pose for a cool Star Wars pic at the future Comic-Con Museum!
Players try out Star Wars Destiny, a dueling dice and card game.
Players try out Star Wars: Destiny, a dueling dice and card game.
Guys play Star Wars Armada inside the Federal Building, future home of the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.
Guys play Star Wars: Armada inside the Federal Building, future home of the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.
There seem to be a lot of Imperial Star Destroyers in this region of space!
There seem to be a lot of Imperial Star Destroyers in this region of space!
Perhaps players with a high midi-chlorian count can use the Force when throwing these dice.
Perhaps players with a high midi-chlorian count can use the Force to their advantage when throwing these dice.
Cards are used to keep track of Rebel and Imperial fleet ship status during play.
Cards are used to keep track of Rebel and Imperial fleet ship status during play.
A cool game mat depicts the Star Wars ice planet Hoth.
A cool game mat depicts the Star Wars ice planet Hoth.
I see cool LEGO Star Wars figurines of Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar and Darth Vader.
I see LEGO Star Wars figurines of Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar and Darth Vader.
Star Wars Legion miniatures game set depicts the planet Tatooine. I see Darth Vader following those stormtroopers!
Star Wars: Legion miniatures game set depicts the planet Tatooine. I see a menacing Darth Vader following those stormtroopers!
The Comic-Con Museum is coming to the Federal Building in Balboa Park!
The Comic-Con Museum is coming to the Federal Building in Balboa Park!

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!

Future technology showcased at 2018 Comic-Con!

Visitors to the Future Tech Live! exhibition at 2018 San Diego Comic-Con have fun making a cool 3-D video courtesy of the Overwatch Payload Tour.
Visitors to the Future Tech Live! exhibition at 2018 San Diego Comic-Con have fun making a dynamic 3-D video courtesy of the Overwatch Payload Tour.

Anyone attending 2018 San Diego Comic-Con who loves gaming, augmented and virtual reality, and the very latest in cool technology should definitely head over to the Omni Hotel to check out Future Tech Live!

You’ll discover a wide variety of exhibitors demonstrating all sorts of innovations. There are augmented and virtual reality products, and visitors can experience the latest in eye-popping video game play. There are innovative robots, some amazing art, and several opportunities to learn about cryptocurrency and using the blockchain to buy and sell video games and make in-game purchases. There’s even a Bitcoin ATM!

You’ll also find a couple of friendly scientists who are ready to answer any sort of scientific question, plus some fascinating exhibits by UC San Diego. And if you work up an appetite, grab some free treats, courtesy of 7-Eleven!

These photos provide a sample of what you’ll find!

(Unlike last year, when the exhibition was called the Futurism & Tech Pavilion, in 2018 you’ll need a Comic-Con badge to gain entry.)

Future Tech Live! can be found in the Omni Hotel, across from the San Diego Convention Center during 2018 Comic-Con.
Future Tech Live! can be found in the Omni Hotel, across from the San Diego Convention Center during 2018 Comic-Con.
Multiple players enjoy a team gaming experience inside a Hologate virtual reality system.
Multiple players enjoy a team gaming experience inside an incredible Hologate virtual reality system.
Ozobot showcases Evo, a robot that is controlled with magic markers or stickers!
Ozobot showcases Evo, a robot that is controlled with magic markers or stickers!
Evo follows drawn lines and turns depending upon color sequences that it detects.
Evo follows drawn lines and turns depending upon color sequences that it detects. It’s a fun and visually creative way to teach coding concepts to kids.
Eric Ninaltowski shows some of the super cool pop culture art that he has created.
Eric Ninaltowski is showing some of the super cool pop culture art that he has created.
Someone engages in an augmented reality lightsaber battle courtesy of Star Wars Jedi Challenges by Lenovo.
A visitor to Future Tech Live! engages in an augmented reality lightsaber battle courtesy of Star Wars Jedi Challenges by Lenovo.
A friendly guy representing Stimuli VR demonstrates glasses that convert almost any smart phone into a virtual reality device!
A friendly guy representing Stimuli VR demonstrates amazing glasses that convert almost any smart phone into a virtual reality device!

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!

Strength and determination in wheelchair rugby.

Today I watched some of the world’s best athletes compete. I headed up to Balboa Park to experience the 28th Annual Best of the West Quad Rugby Tournament in the Municipal Gymnasium. Most people know the sport as wheelchair rugby, or murderball. That last name sounds rather tough, but it’s for a good reason.

The quad rugby players that participated in this tournament are among the best in the world. Some have competed in the Paralympic Games. There were teams from California, Arizona, Texas and Minnesota, and even from London and Australia. The amazing team from Australia was this year’s Best of the West champion.

At the very top level, wheelchair rugby players are unbelievable athletes. They are strong, fast, agile, and can turn and accelerate on a dime. To block opposing players, trap them defensively, or upset an unfolding strategy, players will literally smash their chairs into one another. As if in some sort of crazy demolition derby, the bashing wheelchairs sometimes tip sideways, even turn over. And the players don’t seem fazed in the least. Each is an irresistible force, determined to assist their teammates and find a way through the opposition to score, no matter how.

Here are a few photos that capture a bit of the action.

The composition of one photograph turned out to be exceptionally dynamic, but the image was completely unfocused, so I altered it to appear like a cool oil painting.

You really have to see quad rugby in person to appreciate the heart of these players.

Raw human determination can be unstoppable.

Watching quad rugby is inspirational.

For an explanation of quad rugby, click this photo and it will expand for easy reading.
For an explanation of quad rugby, click this photo and it will expand for easy reading.

The victorious Australian quad rugby team celebrates by joining hands.
The Australian quad rugby team celebrated their championship by forming a circle, joining hands and rocking the gymnasium with a spirited, victorious shout!

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!

Friday food trucks and fun in Balboa Park!

People stroll down El Prado, checking out a variety of gourmet food trucks on a late Friday afternoon.
People stroll down El Prado, checking out a huge variety of gourmet food trucks on a late Friday afternoon.

If you haven’t been to Food Truck Friday in Balboa Park, you’re missing out!

Not only is there all sorts of yummy food, but there is grass to picnic on and live music and juggling and hula hoops and checkers and crafts for the kids and colorful flowers and splashing fountains and amazing architecture and smiles and . . . I could go on and on! And the museums are open late, too!

Balboa Park’s special magic adds spice to an already tasty meal!

Balboa Park Food Truck Friday promises yummy eats and fun through September in the Plaza de Panama.
Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday promises yummy eats and fun through September in the Plaza de Panama and along the length of El Prado.
Feasting on the grass in sunny Balboa Park. Food Truck Fridays is the place to be for a fun and festive dinner.
Feasting on the grass in sunny Balboa Park. Food Truck Fridays is the place to be for a festive family-friendly dinner.
Kenny Shelton the friendly juggler was getting warmed up. He and other entertainers can be found throughout the park.
Kenny Shelton the awesome juggler was getting warmed up. He and other entertainers can be found throughout the park.
A beautiful photo of the Plaza de Panama, its fountain, flowers, and the House of Hospitality during Food Truck Friday.
A beautiful photo of the Plaza de Panama, its fountain, flowers, and the sunlit House of Hospitality during Food Truck Friday.
If you live in San Diego, this giant checkerboard and these hula hoops are waiting for you!
If you live in San Diego, this giant checkerboard and these hula hoops are waiting for you!
Musicians were playing under the Balboa Park Conservancy canopy near the Plaza de Panama fountain.
Musicians were playing under the Balboa Park Conservancy canopy near the Plaza de Panama fountain.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum had a table in the plaza where kids could paint pictures of trains!
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum had a table in the plaza where young kids could apply dots of paint to fun trains!
And nearby, Spanish Village Art Center had their own fun table where kids could be creative!
And nearby, Spanish Village Art Center had their own cool table where kids could be creative!
I spotted a Puppet Shows sign traveling through the plaza. So naturally I had to investigate...
I spotted a Puppet Shows sign traveling through the plaza. So naturally I had to investigate…
The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre in Balboa Park is now presenting The Little Mermaid! A pelican puppet says hello and invites you all to the show!
The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre in Balboa Park is now presenting The Little Mermaid! A pelican puppet says hello and invites you all to the show!
A truly Happy Friday in San Diego's always amazing Balboa Park.
A truly Happy Friday in San Diego’s always amazing Balboa Park.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!