Dancing children on a marble bench in La Jolla.

Perhaps you remember a blog post from years ago, when I shared photographs of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial in La Jolla, with its beautiful sculpture of a young girl dipping her finger into a pool of water. For photos of the sculpture, and to learn more, click here.

On Saturday I headed to La Jolla again to photograph playful images carved on the back of the nearby marble bench. I added contrast to my photos, so you can see the fine, fluid carvings of children making music and dancing, and the lines from Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved A Child’s Garden of Verses.

Like the original sculpture, which was commissioned by the City of San Diego (and which went missing in 1996, to be replaced by a different sculpture) this curved marble bench was created by James Tank Porter in 1926. Inscribed in the front of the bench are the words: “Presented to the people of La Jolla by the people of San Diego, in honor and appreciation of Ellen Browning Scripps.”

The happy, carefree carvings make me wish I were a child again.

The world is so full of a number of things…
…I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

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!

Small anonymous stones spread love!

As one grows older, it can be easy to turn cynical. Experience shows us how the world really operates. How people often behave.

Some of it is depressing.

But should we shrug aside acts born of love when those acts might seem microscopic or hopelessly naïve?

It appears a child or children used paint or magic markers to decorate a few small stones. The stones relate simple, positive messages. The stones were placed beside a sidewalk along Governor Drive, east of Genesee Avenue.

Not many people walk down this sidewalk. Realistically, chances were few eyes would ever see these stones.

But even the tiniest stones dropped in water create ripples.

And somebody walking along the sidewalk by sheer chance happened to notice.

And love is now spreading through your eyes.

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!

Balboa Park’s magical winter garden.

If there’s one garden in Balboa Park that’s truly magical during the winter season, it’s the Japanese Friendship Garden. Beauty thrives all year long in this very special place.

I visited today. I believe right now it’s the only attraction open in Balboa Park. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced museums to close. Even the San Diego Zoo is now closed.

If you’re feeling a bit down this winter, take a slow stroll through the Japanese Friendship Garden.

You’ll feel alive again.

(Artists take note! The Japanese Friendship Garden is now looking for artists to be a part of their next project, which concerns healing through creativity during the coronavirus pandemic. It appears the deadline for submissions is today! Any and all artists are welcome! Click here to learn more!)

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 mural to Spread Love in Valencia Park!

Check out this very colorful mural!

It’s painted on a wall near the corner of Harbison Avenue and Division Street in Valencia Park, a neighborhood in southeast San Diego.

A painted sign amid scenes of natural beauty urges the viewer to Spread Love! I see all sorts of wildlife depicted. I believe I recognize deer, a snake, a swan, a raccoon, a bear, an owl, a rabbit and even a monkey!

This happy mural was painted by a duo of artists who go by the name of Arte Atolondrada. Shirish Villaseñor and Isabel Garcia have previously volunteered painting with the Southeast Art Team. I’ve documented some of their work already–here and here and here!

If you like their style and need to have a mural painted, check out the Arte Atolondrada website here!

UPDATE!

I received a photo of the artists in front of a Welcome to/Bienvenidos a Valencia Park sign they painted off Logan Avenue!

And I learned that monkey is actually a Bigfoot sighting!

Photo courtesy Arte Atolondrada.

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!

Christmas donuts: Santa, Rudolph and the Grinch!

I swung by the world-famous Donut Bar in downtown San Diego this morning to grab some fun Christmas-themed donuts!

I found Santa Claus, Gingerbread Woman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Grinch!

They all were very sweet–the Donut Bar people I mean!

Wishing all my readers Happy Holidays!

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!

Christmas lights brighten historic house in Bankers Hill!

The historic Forward House in Bankers Hill is brightly lit with Christmas decorations once again! This amazing holiday display has become a tradition in San Diego!

The Forward House, located at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Ivy Street, was built in 1905 for John F. Forward Sr., who would become San Diego’s mayor from 1907 to 1909. The historic house is now home to American Security Mortgage.

I walked through Bankers Hill as night fell to see these fantastic Christmas lights. I wasn’t the only one snapping photos!

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 December 2015.

An entire month full of fun events could be enjoyed in San Diego five years ago. (No COVID-19 pandemic back then to put a damper on the holiday season.)

It’s time to travel back in time and revisit some past blog posts from December 2015!

Cool San Diego Sights paid a visit to December Nights in Balboa Park, met Santa Claus and learned about the history of Christmas in San Diego, enjoyed a special tour at the San Diego Museum of Art, watched tiny sailboats on the model boat pond in Mission Bay, sang Christmas carols in Old Town and at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, discovered a cool mural in North Park, boarded a famous tall ship, walked through the Egyptian Quarter of Hillcrest, and watched preparations for the Holiday Bowl Parade!

Let’s live those experiences once again!

To go back five years and see lots of fun photos, click the following links:

Fun photos of 2015 December Nights in Balboa Park!

Read the joyful history of Christmas in San Diego!

The Art of Music lives in San Diego!

Fun sailing on Mission Bay’s model boat pond.

Singing Christmas carols in San Diego’s Old Town!

Super cool mural in North Park at 30th and Gunn!

Public sings Christmas carols at Spreckels Organ!

Photos aboard Master and Commander’s HMS Surprise.

Photos of a walk through Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter.

Inflating balloons for the Holiday Bowl parade!

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Colorful kites above Coronado Cays!

Colorful kites were filling the blue sky today above Coronado Cays Park!

I almost got a kink in my neck staring up at them!

They seemed like a flock of tropical birds taking flight above the palm trees. I walked along a winding pathway then over the grass, circling around the many kites and passing underneath them.

They were alive up there in the sunlight.

Many others had gathered in the park to observe the magic. And to fly their own kite.

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 bit of holiday magic in Balboa Park!

A bit of familiar holiday magic has returned to Balboa Park!

On Sunday the Old Globe had a virtual online event for the annual lighting of their Christmas Tree. Tonight, shortly after sunset, I walked from Bankers Hill into Balboa Park to see if the “Grinchmas Tree” was lit.

It was!

Fewer people than usual were walking about the park in the early evening. It’s the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Later in the night the recently enacted curfew would begin.

As I continued walking down El Prado I saw no other holiday lights in the park, but I’m sure that will change during this year’s “drive-through” December Nights event.

Balboa Park might seem strangely quiet this holiday season, but in front of the Old Globe bright magic has reappeared!

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!

Holiday decorations appear early downtown!

It’s not even Thanksgiving, and holiday decorations are springing up all over downtown San Diego!

Yes, many of us express dismay when wreaths, ribbons and Christmas trees appear in shops, windows and everywhere you turn well before December. It happens every year.

But 2020 has been more chaotic and stressful than usual. Perhaps starting early with holiday cheerfulness and a message of hope is a good thing.

I took these photos in both the morning and the evening after dark. I’m sure many more holiday decorations will be materializing throughout the city in the days ahead!

The following three photos were taken at The Westgate Hotel, one of the city’s most elegant hotels.

I was walking down the sidewalk, taking photos of the hotel’s bright new outdoor holiday decorations, when a friendly lady who works there offered to show me the grand Christmas tree inside their lobby.

If you love French elegance, The Westgate Hotel is where you want to be!

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!