San Diego Symphony’s beautiful Christmas tree!

The San Diego Symphony has put up their beautiful (and very unique) Christmas tree!

I saw it this evening as I walked home through downtown. It stands in a corner of the front lobby inside Symphony Towers.

Not only are the branches decked with traditional Christmas ornaments, but one can find bright musical notes and instruments!

If you’d like to help the San Diego Symphony out financially during the pandemic, you can make a donation to their Stabilization Fund. If you do, an anonymous donor will match it! Learn more 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 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!

A hopeful New Year in the Gaslamp.

It’s New Year’s Eve. This morning and afternoon I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter to see what’s in store for the midnight celebrations.

Up and down Fifth Avenue the restaurants, bars and hotels were getting ready. Workers were sweeping sidewalks, putting up balloons.

I see the Gaslamp Quarter has big plans for the future. According to some information you can read in one photo, Fifth Avenue is to become the Gaslamp Promenade–a sprawling urban plaza. I’m sure it will be opulent and amazing.

Apart from one photo in particular, in the morning I didn’t point my camera at the numerous homeless, who sleep on the sidewalk and in doorways before being ushered along.

The Gaslamp Quarter contains some very stark contrasts. There is material self-indulgence, and there is despair.

Hopefully, in the New Year, there’s more heart.

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!

Strangers come together to sing joyfully.

This afternoon, residents of San Diego and tourists from places around the world came together to sing joyfully.

Rising from the audience, perfect strangers gathered on the stage of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and sang Christmas carols.

Their voices touched the hearts of many who listened.

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 wreaths remember Greatest Generation.

Four wreaths of remembrance have been placed at the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial near the USS Midway Museum.
Four wreaths of remembrance have been placed at the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial, not far from the USS Midway Museum.

I was heading along the Greatest Generation Walk this morning when my eyes were surprised by bright color at the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial.

I discovered that four wreaths of remembrance had been recently placed on either side of the bust of Vice Admiral Clifton Sprague. Two were traditional holiday wreaths. It’s now less than two weeks before Christmas.

The image was so striking, and so thought-provoking, I thought I’d share a few photos.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf was a desperate naval battle in the Pacific Ocean theater during World War II. Few who fought there are still living.

Two of the wreaths say We Remember.

The other two offer hope.

We Remember Task Unit 77.4.3
We Remember Task Unit 77.4.3

The bust of Vice Admiral Clifton Sprague, and two holiday wreaths, on The Greatest Generation Walk in San Diego.
The bust of Vice Admiral Clifton Sprague and two colorful holiday wreaths on The Greatest Generation Walk in San Diego.

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!

Little Italy gets ready for Christmas!

Golden nutcracker stands guard at west end of Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy one early morning in December.
Golden nutcracker stands guard at west end of Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy.

Looks to me like Little Italy is just about ready for Christmas!

Enjoy a few photos from early this morning!

A silvery Christmas tree and white snowflakes near the piazza's many outdoor tables and chairs.
A silvery Christmas tree and white snowflakes near Piazza della Famiglia’s many outdoor tables and chairs.

Felice 2020! painted on a restaurant window.
Felice 2020! Festive words and wreaths painted on a restaurant window.

A colorful nutcracker on India Street near the Little Italy landmark sign.
A colorful nutcracker on India Street near the Little Italy landmark sign.

Green garlands and red ribbons, colors of Christmas.
Green garlands and red ribbons, colors of Christmas.

Buon Natale. Buon Capodanno.
Buon Natale. Buon Capodanno.

Santa's elves are painting a huge candy cane.
Santa’s elves are painting a huge candy cane on this window.

A shining crystalline Christmas tree at Piazza Basilone in Little Italy.
A shining crystalline Christmas tree at Piazza Basilone in Little Italy. Have I arrived at the North Pole?

It promises to be another beautiful holiday season in San Diego's Little Italy!
It promises to be another beautiful holiday season in San Diego’s Little Italy!

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!

The art of Horrorgasm at Comic-Con Museum!

Eggshell Jack Skellington, by artist Melody De Los Cobos. Inspired by the film The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Eggshell Jack Skellington, by artist Melody De Los Cobos. Inspired by the film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Check out all this great pop art by local San Diego artists! There’s a little bit of horror and a little bit of Christmas!

All of these pieces are by the artists of Horrorgasm and were on display at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park during 2019 December Nights.

Horrorgasm is a cool art event that is held annually in late October. According the Horrorgasm website, it’s a “one-night-only celebration of horror and all things creepy, spooky and macabre.” In 2019 Horrorgasm was held in North Park, and featured “an Art gallery, an artisan marketplace, live performances, live readings of chilling tales, and our version of an escape room, the Horrorgasm Survival Chamber.”

As I wandered about the exhibit, I was pleased to once again meet artist Melody De Los Cobos, one of the founders of Horrorgasm. Last month we spoke briefly during a Love City Heights mural painting event, where she was mentoring a young artist. I blogged about that here!

Some great popular movies are represented in this collection of original artwork. A few humorous pieces had me smiling!

To learn more about Horrorgasm, visit their website here.

Horrorgasm is an annual art event. In 2019 it celebrated Monsters, Maniacs, The Paranormal, and the Surreal.
Horrorgasm is an annual San Diego art event. In 2019 it celebrated Monsters, Maniacs, The Paranormal, and the Surreal.

They have a cool comic book. Tales of Horrorgasm!
They have an awesome comic book. Tales of Horrorgasm!

One half of The Ballbreaker Suite, by artist Autumn Sno, inspired by the movie Scrooged. Pictured is Carol Kane's the Ghost of Christmas Present.
The Ballbreaker Suite, by artist Autumn Sno, inspired by the movie Scrooged. Pictured is Carol Kane’s the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Creep in the Corner by artist Jennifer Cooksey. Mixed media sculpture and acrylic. A sinister Elf on the Shelf.
Creep in the Corner, by artist Jennifer Cooksey. Mixed media sculpture and acrylic. It’s a sinister Elf on the Shelf!

Stripe by artist Jennifer Cooksey. Mixed media sculpture. Based on the horror comedy film Gremlins.
Stripe, by artist Jennifer Cooksey. Mixed media sculpture. Based on the horror comedy film Gremlins.

Throne of Lies by artist Avaline Ai. Based on a memorable line from the holiday film Elf.
Throne of Lies, by artist Avaline Ai. A meme from a humorous quote in the holiday film Elf.

How Deadpool Stole Christmas, by artist Marc Vuletich. Acrylic paint on canvas. Deadpool enters Peter Parker's home in an homage to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
How Deadpool Stole Christmas, by artist Marc Vuletich. Acrylic paint on canvas. Deadpool enters Peter Parker’s home in an homage to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Kevin McCallister, Then, by artist Nyxie Von Rose. Based on the classic holiday film Home Alone.
Kevin McCallister, Then, by artist Nyxie Von Rose. A famous pose from the classic holiday film Home Alone.

Christmas Ale, by artist Tara Alvarado. Acrylic on wood. A beer label inspired by The Spirit of Christmas Past from A Christmas Carol.
Christmas Ale, by artist Tara Alvarado. Acrylic on wood. A beer label inspired by The Spirit of Christmas Past from A Christmas Carol.

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!

Photos from a rainy December Nights!

I headed into Balboa Park today around noon to get a taste of 2019 December Nights.

It was overcast and drizzly at the start of San Diego’s huge holiday event, but when I left in mid-afternoon the weather had slightly improved.

This evening as I type these words it’s already dark. Bright, colorful lights will have turned on throughout Balboa Park, and the crowds will be massive and growing. Our city’s annual holiday festival is one of the biggest in the United States.

During my early walk many vendors were still setting up and the entertainment was just beginning on several stages. Santa hats and Christmas trees and yummy treats and smiles were already abundant. My camera turned right and left as I took some photos. Please excuse me for not captioning the images this year. I just wanted to share a smidgen of the magic.

(I did go into the Comic-Con Museum when it opened in the early afternoon, and if my indoor photos came out okay, I should be blogging some more very cool stuff shortly!)

Happy Holidays to all!

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!