Public musical instruments in North Park!

Want to make some music? Head to North Park’s newly opened mini park located south of University Avenue behind the Observatory Theater!

The North Park Mini Park had its grand opening last weekend. It was all over the San Diego news. I hadn’t walked around that neighborhood in a long while, so yesterday morning I decided to check things out.

Look what I found!

The North Park Mini Park is not only a fine new community gathering place, but it’s full of musical instruments that people can freely play!

I saw xylophones and chimes and drums and a sign explaining the many health benefits of playing percussion instruments. (Perhaps it’s just plain fun, too.)

Young and old alike can reach out their hands at any time to create music.

How cool is this?

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Water is Life mosaic in National City!

At Kimball Park in National City, a beautiful mosaic above a drinking fountain affirms that Water is Life!

This colorful public art provides an interesting contrast to the mosaic in my previous post: the fiery Firewall in front of the Solana Beach Fire Department.

Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe these two fantastic Water is Life panels were the work of A Reason To Survive (ARTS) and local youth. Like other mosaics in and around Kimball Park, it was conceived as part of ARTS’ Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative.

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!

Mural at Escondido Boys and Girls Clubs building.

Does anybody know the history of this old mural in Escondido? It decorates the east side of the Conrad Prebys Escondido Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego.

During a walk through Escondido last weekend, I photographed this colorful mural from the distant sidewalk. It appears to be a mosaic made of small tiles. Youth are depicted reading, playing basketball, and engaged in other activity. The artwork is dated 1976. Tiles spell out two clear signatures: A. Dluhos and T. Pardue.

After some internet searching, I believe the first artist is Andre Dluhos, and the second is Terry Pardue. I’m pretty sure about the second name, because I read this article.

Andre Dluhos was born in 1940 in eastern Czechoslovakia and moved to the United States in 1969.

If anyone out there knows anything about this nearly half century old mural, please leave a comment.

It would be fascinating to learn more about it, and the artists, too!

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!

South Bay exhibit of youth creativity, optimism.

The 2021 Fall Exhibition at A Reason To Survive (ARTS) in National City opened yesterday!

I was walking around Kimball Park when I noticed this event, and I was graciously permitted to have a look at all the inspirational youth artwork a few minutes before the exhibit’s big open!

What I discovered were lots of great creative pieces by South Bay youth. There was art in comic and cartoon form, cool designs, sketches, paintings, sculptures, and even a few robots! There were many colors and diverse visions, all produced by hands that are destined to transform our world.

A Reason To Survive (ARTS) is a community organization that inspires young people in San Diego’s South County. Kids who create, learn, and proudly share their achievements become confident, compassionate and even more creative! Learn more about ARTS here!

You might recall ARTS has an exhibition at the newly opened Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park. You can see some of that great artwork 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!

World-famous author investigates mystery in San Diego!

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, legendary author and creator of Sherlock Holmes, is in San Diego this Halloween weekend attempting to solve an ages old mystery.

Today I saw him at the Maritime Museum of San Diego examining clues concerning the mysterious disappearance of the ship Mary Celeste. Nobody knows what happened to the Mary Celeste back in 1872, when it was discovered adrift in the Atlantic Ocean off the Azores Islands without a soul aboard. And with nothing touched. Not even its cargo of alcohol in barrels.

Did evaporated alcohol create a flash explosion that left no discernable trace, but caused the captain and crew to desert ship? Did their lifeboat somehow end up lost at sea?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was examining charts and considering a strange variety of clues as I and some other Maritime Museum visitors looked on with bewilderment. I suggested a kidnapping by denizens of Atlantis. No better explanation seems to exist.

The celebrated author and novelist affirmed that he will be at the Maritime Museum of San Diego tomorrow–Halloween Sunday. Perhaps you can help him solve this intractable mystery!

Learn how the actual Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is connected with this mystery here!

Kids who are 12 and under are invited to write down their own theories. Winner of this contest gets four free tickets to an adventure aboard the historic tall ship Californian!

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 huge Fandom Invasion in Escondido!

Dude Vader, Hawkeye and Captain America with actors from The Supernatural University, a television series now in development.

Fans of popular culture have converged today in Escondido for the first ever Fandom Invasion!

This big family-friendly event, which is being held at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, features lots of exhibitors, panelists, video gaming, storytelling, celebrities, cosplay, and even a play zone with Batman bounce houses for kids!

Fandom Invasion was conceived by the San Diego cosplay group Science Fiction Coalition, whose costumed members have become a common sight at events all around the city.

I arrived at Fandom Invasion as it opened, and I walked around the sizable exhibit hall where there were booths overflowing with awesome stuff. And awesome people, too!

For a while I listened to the Geek in the Streets Podcast panel, where there was a detailed discussion concerning cosplay.

Indeed, cosplay was everywhere I turned! As you can see from the upcoming photos.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Fandom Invasion was its focus on kids and their creativity. There were more than a few tables with young artists and makers and cosplayers!

Hopefully this is the beginning of a fun annual tradition.

Check it out!

Cosplayers wearing Mandalorian armor pose in front of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Conference Center.
Hulk welcomes visitors at the Science Fiction Coalition table. I think he just arrived from Planet Hulk.
Oh, man! Look at all this super cool nerdy stuff!
Many local Star Wars groups were present, including the 501st Legion.
R2-D2 and friend were created by Droid Builders.
Author Janet Racciato has written novels for different age groups. Her heroine Julie grew up in Oceanside and can teleport. She told me writing comes easily to her.
Dr. Artemus Peepers and Wonder Woman pose for a cosplay photo.
Look at all the cool pop culture patches at one vendor table. What’s Yoda doing over there on the right?
And check this out! All these awesome creations are from the Gears & Roebuck Rusty Junk Emporium.
Star Wars Corn Flakes and Godzilla!
And here’s an angry Lord Vader himself! No, I didn’t call you corny or a flake! That box contains cereal!
The happy Addams Family.
Future artist Gavin Richter. Future? More like present!
Young artist Zeke of Swirl Waffle at work.
Lots of comic books, naturally. But it’s hard not to look at a phone.
Whoa! Ultra-cool helmet by CostumeBiz!
Now it looks like I’m in trouble!
Ian and Arielle discuss cosplay in the Large Panel Room.
Miss Ellie Honeybee posed for a cool cosplay photograph!
David L. Drake and Katherine L. Morse, San Diego-based authors of The Adventures of Drake and McTrowell, read their book.
Gamora and Star Lord are outside by a face painter!
Cars from the animated movie Cars! They were brought to Fandom Invasion by Dr. Justin Wu, of the Healing Little Heroes Foundation.
Cosplay everywhere!
Even Hawkman showed up in Escondido, all the way from the planet Thanagar.
It seems Wolverine was a bit late, however.

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!

How kids in hospitals become superheroes!

Young patients in the hospital or an outpatient setting have the opportunity to become superheroes!

Kids can gain amazing superpowers (and smiles) with the help of the Healing Little Heroes Foundation!

The HLH Foundation brings encouragement, happiness and hope to sick and disabled children, especially those with cancer. How? By helping kids play the role of superhero!

I met Dr. Justin Wu today. He’s co-founder of the HLH Foundation. We met at the Fandom Invasion event today in Escondido. He brought three cool cars along which kids love, including Lightning McQueen from the animated movie Cars!

Justin is an unselfish, enthusiastic guy who is changing people’s lives–and the world–for the better.

Want to learn more? Click 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!

Murals at Archie Moore’s Any Body Can Youth Foundation.

Archie Moore will forever be a boxing legend. He is considered one of the top boxers of all time. After his retirement he helped to train Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and James Tillis. Perhaps more importantly, he helped youth in San Diego overcome difficult circumstances and lead positive lives. He showed young people how to become champions in life.

In his adopted hometown of San Diego, Archie Moore established the ABC (Any Body Can) Youth Foundation. He used boxing to “instill discipline, respect and other positive values into the lives of youth to prevent them from falling into dangerous lifestyles.”

The ABC Youth Foundation today is led by his son, Billy Moore. It’s located in San Diego’s Stockton neighborhood, at 3131 Market Street. Peer through the front door and you’ll see young people training, preparing for life.

I walked past the building several days ago and took these quick photos. (I didn’t linger or venture inside because I was in a hurry to attend a nearby event where I would preview amazing new public art that is being created for Balboa Park.)

You know what? Those faded murals look like they could use a touch up. I know there are good people reading this who could help!

I saw roses on the sidewalk nearby…

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!

Kids free at San Diego museums in October!

It’s October! You know what that means? It means kids get free admission to many museums and other family friendly attractions all around San Diego!

The month-long event is called Kids Free San Diego!

Want to learn more? Click here!

Oh, and by the way, see my photograph above? Yes! Nikigator has made its long-awaited return!

Nikigator stands once again outside the front entrance of the recently reopened, beautifully renovated Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. Wouldn’t it be fun to sit on that!

While I’m mentioning the Mingei, families should definitely head inside. The ground floor is now free to everyone, whatever your age. And one big display case holds all sorts of craft toys from around the world! Another contains carousel horses!

And one more thing. If your kids haven’t been to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park, they are missing out on some of the most incredible, spectacular toy train layouts anywhere in the world! And it’s free in October for kids, too!

Click here for all the museums and attractions that are participating this month in Kids Free 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!

Photos of Park de la Cruz Grand Opening Celebration!

A wonderful new park officially opened yesterday in the Cherokee Point neighborhood of City Heights. The City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department, community organizations and many neighbors and families came together for the Park de la Cruz Grand Opening Celebration!

I swung by the new park during my walk in the late morning to check out some of the fun. I missed the welcome by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria but was able to catch the City Heights Steppers and Mariachi Victoria performing on the event stage. I walked through the extensive Resource Fair and met many people who are helping to enhance the life of this very diverse community.

Kids were enjoying a big outdoor play area across Landis Street and a Day of Play at the new community center, and many other activities could be enjoyed freely by the public, including a softball clinic at the beautiful green ball field and skating demonstrations at the nearby skatepark. The Fern Street Circus would also perform!

The public was invited to tour inside the new Park de la Cruz Community Center. Services offered at the center include Therapeutic Recreation and AgeWell Services. If you’re a senior in San Diego, check out this web page for information on staying fit and meeting new friends! I blogged about the program a couple years ago here.

The Park de la Cruz Grand Opening Celebration was sponsored by the San Diego Parks Foundation.

Enjoy a few 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!