International Organ Festival begins with a Thank You!

The 34th San Diego International Organ Festival began this evening in Balboa Park.

It was the first festival concert of many to come this summer. They are free to the public on Monday evenings, beginning at 7:30 pm. See the full program here. Some of the world’s top organists will fill thousands of ears with dazzling sound from the incomparable Spreckels Organ.

But tonight, before San Diego Civic Organist Raul Prieto Ramírez began his magic, two people were brought to the pavilion stage for a special Thank You.

Past Spreckels Organ Society President Arlene Way and Civic Organist Emeritus Robert Plimpton spoke a few words–including doing good for the community and bringing happiness to people–then received applause.

I want to personally thank Robert Plimpton. He’s the one who “introduced” me to the Spreckels Organ. One day, I forget when, as a young man in Balboa Park, I sat down on one of those metal benches and listened. I hadn’t realized an organ could play so movingly, so exquisitely. Like poetry.

His energetic, elegant, precise play of the mighty Spreckels Organ made me a fan of the King of Instruments for life. Sitting on that bench, amazed, it might have been the first time I realized Balboa Park has a living heartbeat.

So, thank you to all who keep that heartbeat going.

And thank you Robert Plimpton.

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 missed Red Shoe Day? Donate online!

It’s Red Shoe Day in San Diego!

Volunteers hanging out at busy intersections this morning were collecting donations for the Ronald McDonald House, which helps sick kids who are being treated at local hospitals, providing a nearby place for their families to stay!

Did you miss an opportunity to place some money in a red shoe this morning? Well, you can donate online. Do it here!

Thank you!

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 new Unity mural in Normal Heights!

There’s a cool new mural in Normal Heights, near the northeast corner of Adams Avenue and 32nd Street, that I believe was painted a couple months ago. It’s by San Diego artist Jonathan Wenner aka Unity (@unity1980).

I really like Unity’s style. It’s very unique, fresh and engaging. One can gaze at his artwork for a long while, and see more and more little details.

Does his style seem familiar? Unity also painted that cool Humphrey Appliance mural on Adams Avenue a few blocks to the east. You can see photos of that mural by clicking 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!

A hamburger and Vista’s old Wishing Well.

In Vista, California there’s a Wishing Well that is several generations old. It has gathered pennies in one spot for almost three quarters of a century.

Curious eyes can discover this small Wishing Well across the driveway of Pepper Tree Frosty, right next to their outdoor eating area.

I happened to see it today while waiting for my order of a hamburger at the walk-up window. I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a wishing well. When’s the last time you’ve seen one?

I learned from Dan, the friendly owner of Pepper Tree Frosty, that the well was created in the 1950’s by the Lions Club.

Pepper Tree Frosty, a popular ice cream and fast food destination at 270 South Santa Fe Avenue, was originally a Tastee-Freez, built in 1953. When acquired by Dan’s family years later, it was renamed for the pepper trees lining the nearby creek.

Dan said that coins dropped into the shallow, ornamental Wishing Well go to the Boys and Girls Clubs, although donations came to a long pause during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By the way, my hamburger and fries were super good!

(There’s an image of Pepper Tree Frosty in a cool mural in downtown Vista! I’ll be posting those photos soon! As “well” as more interesting stuff I saw today in Vista!)

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!

Beautiful mural in a Paradise Hills alley!

While walking down Reo Drive in Paradise Hills yesterday, I was surprised to discover this extraordinary mural in a nearby alley. It’s painted on a wall half a block to the east, at Albemarle Street.

The street art is filled with spiritual imagery. There’s a ruby heart aflame, nature’s starlit beauty, and a Frida Kahlo among tropical green leaves. That might be her monkey in a palm tree, too!

According to the signature, the mural was created by Shirish Villaseñor and Isabel Garcia of Arte Atolondrada, whose work I’ve enjoyed over the years. I met Shirish a couple years ago. She was part of a team working with Mario Torero to restore the Civil Rights mural in Logan Heights. You can see those photographs here!

I found more of their beautiful work a couple blocks away, but I’ll be posting those pics later.

Meanwhile, look…

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!

Signs of Valentine’s Day in San Diego!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!

During the past week or two, I’ve noticed signs around San Diego that the big day for lovers is almost here.

I took these photographs while walking in several San Diego neighborhoods.

(By the way, if you’re visiting Balboa Park today and would like to order a custom card created by a local artist, the next photo was taken in front of Gallery 23 in Spanish Village Art Center.)

Enjoy!

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!

Connecting with beautiful Humanity in Encinitas.

There’s an extraordinary bronze sculpture in Encinitas at a place that overlooks the wide blue Pacific Ocean. It’s titled Humanity.

Head west on J Street until you can go no farther, then up the steps to the J Street Viewpoint. Keep your eyes open.

The beautiful sculpture was created in 2013 by Del Mar artist Maidy Morhous. It was installed in the park in 2018. The sculpture was commissioned by local filmmaker Sue Vicory of Heartland Films, whose film “One” explores human connectivity.

You can read more about this artwork’s inspiration here.

Humanity is part of the Encinitas Public Art Collection.

Look at these photos. Touch them with your eyes.

One touch forever connects us with Humanity.

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 colorful faces in National City!

During my long walk through San Diego’s South Bay last weekend, I spotted street art in National City that I hadn’t previously photographed.

Three colorful faces on electrical boxes!

The first happy face, in the above photograph, was discovered near the corner of 8th Street and National City Boulevard. That box used to feature some fun Star Wars artwork. You can see those old photos here!

The next two faces were observed near the intersection of Plaza Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

Here they are!

(It appeared there were more painted boxes had I continued north on Highland. I’ll check those out on a future walk!)

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!

An electric heart mural in Imperial Beach.

A couple months ago a beautiful new mural was painted on a large wall in Imperial Beach. The artist is Carly Ealey. Her brilliant art can be found all over San Diego.

The title of this amazing mural is Grounding Frequency. It appears to me its message concerns an “electrical” connection between people–the connection of love and kindness. The artwork is part of the nationwide City of Kindness movement.

If you’d like to see it for yourself, this spray painted mural with heart is near the corner of Palm Avenue and Florence Street. You can’t miss it!

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 holiday Homecoming in San Diego.

The holidays have arrived at San Diego’s Greatest Generation Walk. Beautiful poinsettias now encircle the Homecoming sculpture.

Homecoming, which depicts a sailor embracing his wife and child, was created by renowned American sculptor Stanley Bleifeld. It is one of many military monuments on San Diego’s Embarcadero just south of the USS Midway Museum.

I took these photographs early this morning, two weeks before Christmas.

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!