The Gingerbread Man runs in Chula Vista!

The Gingerbread Man emerged from a hot oven and arrived in Chula Vista today, thinking he could easily outrun families and kids attending Arts in the Park. But, alas, the famous little cookie met his fate.

The story of The Gingerbread Man was acted out, to the delight of the audience, in a very small wooden theater.

It was a fun demonstration of Kamishibai, a form of outdoor story telling that was popular in Japan during the first half of the 20th century.

The Kamishibai version of The Gingerbread Man was presented by Write Out Loud, who brought their live reading performances to the annual Arts in the Park event, held at Memorial Park in Chula Vista.

Run, run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me. I’m the Gingerbread Man!

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!

Comic-Con smiles and laughter!

Enjoy a fun collection of photographs taken during a walk outside Comic-Con this afternoon!

In addition to many cosplay photos, which I’ll post shortly, my camera captured lots of smiles and laughter.

I experienced many things.

I saw a vampire fly. I saw a flying shark. I listened to Karma sing. I saw five Sherlock Holmes. I saw a walking pickle. I got a smile and a free poster from local radio station 91X. I got a smile and some licorice from Wiley Wallaby. I saw Thor wield a huge hammer. I watched a crazy whack-a-mole.

I laughed, too!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

Two dummies caught climbing electrical poles!

Two dummies in El Cajon were caught climbing electrical power line poles today.

Caught by my camera, that is!

They were a pair of real dummies, because, well, they were in fact real dummies!

I was walking along West Main Street past the SDG&E Construction and Operations facility when the corner of my eye was taken by surprise. Through a gap in the surrounding fence, this is what I saw…

During today’s walk in El Cajon I captured more surprising and amusing photographs. The next blog post might really make you laugh.

Stay tuned!

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!

Wishing everyone a sweet New Year!

Yes, the older I get, the faster time flies. I still haven’t figured that out.

I remember thinking as a boy: Wow, I’m probably going to be around in the distant future . . . in the 21st century! There’s going to be a year 2000! The very notion I’d be living in a whole new millennium seemed inconceivable.

Now it’s 2022!

In the blink of an eye!

And here comes the metaverse!

Having made it this far, I guess we all deserve a virtual doughnut. (A yummy Donut Bar one, too!)

Wishing everyone a sweet New Year!

A special message from Santa Claus for San Diego!

I’ve just been contacted by Santa Claus. He has an important message for all of San Diego!

Merry Christmas, San Diego.

I hope you have a safe and dry Christmas Day with family and loved ones. Omicron is worse than getting coal in your stocking. Get vaccinated and wear a mask.

Santa hopes the pandemic will end and we all can return to “December Nights in the Park” next year.

Santa held his COVID-19 Vaccination Card during 2021 “Taste of December Nights.” (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
After “Taste of December Nights,” Santa went to visit the Nativity scenes at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
A week later, a well-dressed Chihuahua sporting a stylish Mohawk posed with Santa at Harry’s Coffee Shop in La Jolla. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
This cute little girl came to visit Santa while he was eating breakfast at Harry’s. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
… and this little guy was impressed with Santa’s baseball card. We want the Padres to win the World Series in 2022. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)

Be good to one another. Have fun. Laugh and be joyous, but also remember the meaning of the season.

Your friend,

Santa Claus

Santa Claus sightings around San Diego!

Santa Claus parachutes from a helicopter onto the deck of the USS Midway!

Two days until Christmas!

Over the years, Santa Claus has been sighted countless times around San Diego. And I’ve captured (or received) some fun photographs of jolly old Saint Nick!

I’ve seen Santa jumping from a helicopter, flying above San Diego Bay using a water jetpack, in holiday parades, and, of course, magically granting Christmas wishes to good boys and girls.

Please enjoy this happy collection of Santa photos!

Santa and Mrs. Claus read a joyful story during Christmas on the Prado in Balboa Park.
Santa and Mrs. Claus ride a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, during the Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon.
Jolly old Santa makes somebody laugh in front of Balboa Park’s Federal Building. Are those two guys naughty or nice?
Surfing Santa arrives at Seaport Village by flying a water jetpack.
Multiple bearded Santas at the Over-the-Line tournament on Fiesta Island. They encourage everyone to eat healthy! (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
Santa and Mrs. Claus smile for a photo during a Toys for Tots charity event on Navy Pier.
There’s Santa once again at Seaport Village! Looks like I took this photo during the summer of the MLB All-Star Game in San Diego.
Mrs. Claus poses with Santa during Christmas on the Prado. But he doesn’t appear like the real Santa to me.
Santa Claus waves from a fire truck during the North Park Toyland Parade.
Social Distance Santa waves at passing cars during Taste of December Nights in 2020. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
Santa in Balboa Park once again. Like everyone else in San Diego, he must love the place.
And there’s Santa again! He’s now at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A smiling Santa Claus helps warm an elf nose during Christmas on the Prado. (Photo courtesy Bill Swank.)
Santa Claus brings joy to the brightly lit Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Christmas magic during December Nights in Balboa Park!

I wish everyone Happy Holidays!

I plan to take a little time off from blogging this week and next, just to relax and enjoy the season. But I’ll continue to walk, weather permitting, and take photos!

When I return in the New Year, be ready for many more Cool San Diego Sights!

Take care!

Richard

A short story about life, death and laughter.

I’ve published another very short work of fiction. This piece is titled The Fight. It’s about living and dying . . . and laughter.

Perhaps you’ll enjoy this little story. It includes life experiences that are relatable.

Getting this simple story to work has been a struggle. I published The Fight prematurely a couple weeks ago, then pulled it down. A tale about life and death should be written carefully.

And laughter is a serious matter, too!

Now I hope I have things about right.

Read the story here!

Amusing sayings outside Rockin’ Baja!

Worrying works! 90% of the things I worry about never happen.

Here’s are a few photographs that might amuse you!

I was walking through the Gaslamp Quarter past Rockin’ Baja Lobster this morning when I noticed a number of funny sayings posted around their outdoor street dining area.

Some of these sayings almost seem wise. Others–not so much…

If it weren’t for the last minute nothing would get done.
Two wrongs…are only the beginning.
It’s bad luck to be superstitious.
I can resist everything but temptation.
Laws of gravity strictly enforced.
Friends may come and go but enemies accumulate.

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!

The most magical circus in the world!

Today I was wowed by amazing, dazzling, stupefying performances at the most magical circus in the world!

I know for a fact that I experienced the most powerful magic. I saw it, heard it, smelled it, got goosebumps. I felt magic in my sudden laughter and in my soaring heart. I saw magic in the joyful smiles of each circus performer.

The Zoppé Family Circus is performing this weekend at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. They are a circus whose history goes back to 1842, when, according to their website:

“. . . a young French street performer named Napoline Zoppé wandered into a plaza in Budapest, Hungary, looking for work. There, his eyes glanced upon a beautiful equestrian ballerina named Ermenegilda, who captured the hearts and minds of the crowd with her grace and showmanship. More important, this talented beauty captured Napoline’s heart.

Unfortunately, Napoline was a clown, and Ermenegilda’s father saw him as beneath her and disapproved of their relationship. The two ran away to Venice, Italy, and founded the circus that still bears their name . . .”

Today, the Zoppé Family Circus is filling our world with the time-tested magic of an Old World traditional circus. As Giovanni Zoppé explained when he welcomed the audience to the show, an authentic circus is all about family, tradition and struggle, and happiness and heartbreak.

I could see that the performers are also motivated by passion and a very deep love for what they do.

I spoke to Giovanni briefly, and he was such a nice person. I mean really nice.

After I got home, I did some reading and learned: “Giovanni Zoppé, the director of the circus and a sixth-generation performer, says the show aims higher than what passes for circuses these days. ‘We try to touch every emotion during the show,’ he says. ‘They’ll laugh, they’ll cry, and they’ll feel for the characters. It’s more of an event than a show.’

His performance as Nino the clown was hilarious, winning and utterly human. It was perfect. It was masterful.

The entire spectacle was fantastic.

Under the big top, in the spotlight at the center of the ring, the magic of the Zoppé Family Circus never ceased. There was magic in the acrobats, trapeze act, jugglers and tightwire act. There was magic in the trick horse riding and the lady who shot an arrow with perfect accuracy using her feet while doing a handstand. There was magic in the mustachioed fellow who flew through the air absurdly with a rope tied to his hair. He spun like a top, circled high above the ring, soared like a bird. There was magic in the glittering costumes, and the smell of sawdust and buttery popcorn, and the excited chatter and laughter of children. There was magic when Nino couldn’t find his hat, then couldn’t reach it when it dangled from the top of a broomstick that he held.

There was magic in every single moment.

My camera failed to take good photos in the subdued light under the big top. But I got some photos in front of the tent during a humorous pre-show performance.

In my photos you can see a little bit of that magic. And much of the 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!

Amusing photographs from Comic-Con!

He told me his name is Pickle Rick.
He told me his name is Pickle Rick.

Here’s a collection of amusing photos I took today while walking around San Diego Comic-Con.

At least, they are amusing to me.

I've heard of pitching with extra mustard on it, but this is ridiculous.
I’ve heard of pitching with extra mustard on it, but this is ridiculous.

A little girl who hates clowns couldn't wait to see Pennywise munched to pieces by Sharkzilla.
A little girl who hates clowns couldn’t wait to see Pennywise munched to pieces by Sharkzilla.

The black Symbiote Costume is making Spider-Man act a bit erratically.
The black Symbiote Costume is making Spider-Man act a bit erratically.

It's Bullwinkle!
It’s Bullwinkle!

An odd pair.
A rather odd pair.

Waiting for the next moon walk.
Waiting patiently for the next moon walk.

That cosplay photo won't fit in one frame.
That cosplay photo won’t fit in one frame.

Joker tells reporter this town needs an enema.
Joker tells reporter this town needs an enema.

Fortunately, this guy doesn't need any sunscreen.
Fortunately, this guy doesn’t need any sunscreen.

Spaceballs cosplay! I gotta watch that great movie again.
A great Spaceballs cosplay! Woohoo! I gotta watch that movie again.

Captain Marvel in a police lineup.
Captain Marvel somehow ended up in a police lineup.

Forgive me, but I laughed.
Forgive me, but I laughed.

Absurd. But that's the wonder of Comic-Con!
Completely absurd. But that’s one wonderful aspect Comic-Con!

I think that's Lumière. Or a guy who missed a payment on his electric bill.
I think that’s Lumière from Beauty and the Beast. Or a guy who missed a payment on his electric bill.

Try to be more gruesome next time.
I’m not convinced. Try to be more gruesome next time.

A smiling Ebenezer Scrooge can't be too far behind.
A smiling Ebenezer Scrooge can’t be too far behind.

It appears these stormtroopers just got back from a vacation in Hawaii.
Looks like these stormtroopers just got back from a vacation in Hawaii.

Six blog posts in one day is a record for me. I suppose I’m having too much fun.

Perhaps I should take a nap.

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!