Inspiration found in small scenes of beauty.

Whenever I forget to look closely at the world, I miss the hidden beauty. And the unexpected inspiration.

These photographs were all taken today at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

This special garden’s breathtaking beauty has inspired a several very short stories. I wrote A Short BloomThe Child and the Koi and Waterfall Tears while sitting quietly by the stream that bubbles through the canyon.

I hope these photos–these small scenes of beauty–inspire you, 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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Do you enjoy beautiful things? Visit my other photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

Downtown visions and the passage of time.

A few dead leaves cling to branches that frame a new skyscraper in downtown San Diego.
A few dead leaves cling to branches that frame a new skyscraper.

The days pass by.

Memories gather . . . slowly fade.

Whenever I walk downtown, I see visions right and left of what is old and what is new. It’s often hard to remember how and when those visions first appeared.

I suppose the passage of time makes every walk a completely new adventure. Always new surprises, new mysteries, new beauty to discover.

Here are a few photos of my walk through downtown San Diego this morning.

Every time I walk near Seaport Village, my eyes pass different buskers and an ever-changing vision of art.
Every time I walk near Seaport Village, my eyes pass different buskers and an ever-changing gallery of art.
A beautiful feather and I meet for a moment.
A beautiful windblown feather and I meet for a moment.
Removing what is discarded and unwanted.
Removing what is discarded and unwanted.
A fountain near the entrance of San Diego's Old Police Headquarters, now a destination for shopping and dining. I visited the building decades ago in the 1980s. I suppose the fountain is original, but I cannot remember.
A fountain near the entrance of San Diego’s Old Police Headquarters, now a destination for shopping and dining. I visited this building decades ago. I suppose the fountain is original, but I cannot remember.
A colorful bird painted on a utility box near Pantoja Park seems just as alive as it was when I first saw it years ago.
A colorful bird painted on a utility box near Pantoja Park seems just as alive as when I first saw it years ago.
Dying leaves turn to the same color as new paint.
Dying leaves turn to the same color as new paint.
A sculpture titled Flame Flower stands in front of the Westin Gaslamp. Years ago, an obelisk once rose here--5 or 6 or 7 years ago. I can't remember exactly.
A sculpture titled Flame Flower stands in front of the Westin Gaslamp. Years ago an obelisk rose here–5 or 6 or 7 years ago. I can’t remember.
Old bricks of a Gaslamp building have been patched.
These bricks of a Gaslamp building appear to have been patched long ago.
A once fashionable and new car turns to rust.
A once fashionable car turns to rust.
Every so often entrances to the Gaslamp's subterranean clubs are painted with intriguing new artwork.
Every so often entrances to the Gaslamp’s subterranean clubs are painted with intriguing new artwork.
The building on Broadway that was home to Superfly West Tattoos is being demolished to make room for a new downtown high-rise condo development.
The building on Broadway that was home to Superfly West Tattoos is being demolished to make room for a new downtown high-rise condo development.
The front of the YWCA building on C Street has remained unchanged since its design in 1926. The ornate Spanish Colonial Revival architecture was made popular by the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
The front of the YWCA building on C Street has remained unchanged since its design in 1926. The ornate Spanish Colonial Revival architecture was made popular by the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Shoveling weathered stones. Wheeling them about.
Shoveling weathered stones. Wheeling them about.
Another walk through the city as time moves forward.
Another walk through the city as time moves forward.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

More smiles and magic in Balboa Park!

Friendly SDSU students perform a magic trick in Balboa Park. They demonstrate how high tuitions make money disappear!
Friendly SDSU students perform a magic trick in Balboa Park. They demonstrate how high tuitions make money disappear!

In Balboa Park smiles are abundant, and magic awaits around every corner. I took some photos this afternoon.

Brandon Carpenter smiles from atop his cool, historic penny-farthing.
Brandon Carpenter smiles from atop his cool, historic penny-farthing.
Anointed Ali gets ready to head over to the Plaza de Panama for another amazing acrobatic performance.
Anointed Ali gets ready to head over to the Plaza de Panama for another amazing acrobatic performance.
Resting among shadows and light with a camera.
Resting among magical shadows and light with a camera.
A sunlit Christmas pooch and old man.
A sunlit Christmas pooch and an old man.
Youthful excitement inside the Museum of Photographic Arts.
Youthful excitement inside the Museum of Photographic Arts.
Will recites Shakespeare on El Prado.
Will recites Shakespeare on El Prado.
Taking elegant photos in a beautiful park.
Taking elegant photos in a beautiful park.
Approaching the Dragon Bridge in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Approaching the Dragon Bridge in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Scooters heading through the park.
Scooters heading through the park.
A helping hand while crossing the street.
A helping hand while crossing the street.
Walking near the Timken Museum of Art.
Walking near the Timken Museum of Art.
People enjoy relaxing in the Plaza de Panama, in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
People enjoy relaxing in the Plaza de Panama, in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Playing guitar in a nook in the Alcazar Garden.
Playing guitar in a nook in the Alcazar Garden.
A joyful dog jumps up to greet me as I walk from the Cabrillo Bridge past Nate's Point Dog Park.
A joyful dog jumps up to greet me as I walk from the Cabrillo Bridge past Nate’s Point Dog Park.
A picnic on green grass on the West Mesa.
A picnic on green grass on the West Mesa.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Seven blog memories that might touch your heart.

Here are seven posts from Cool San Diego Sights that might touch your heart. The following links contain powerful memories. You’ll find sadness, joy, hope, and much inspiration…

9/11 Firefighter’s legacy: Two Sons and Stickball.

A heartwarming Christmas tradition in San Diego.

Art by creative homeless provides purpose, hope.

Combat veterans create art to bring hope.

Quotes from the Tony Gwynn public memorial.

Students interview veterans for USS Midway exhibit.

Gratitude expressed by random people in a park.

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 look for Short Stories by Richard.

As you can see from the above snip, my blog Short Stories by Richard has a brand new look!

I’ve polished many of the stories (and now two poems) to such an extent that I feel comfortable launching a new domain and website.

Are you curious?

Many of these short stories might seem a bit different. Some are happy, some are sad . . . most are a shifting mixture. I try to arrive at essential truths in surprising and creative ways. Human life is illuminated using sudden revelations. All of these works of fiction are very quick reads.

The poem I just published, A Brief Note, sounds dire as you read it. But read to the final two lines.

Anyway, I truly appreciate all of you who follow my adventures in photography–and creative writing! Life is a continuing adventure . . .

Richard

Photos of real life in downtown San Diego.

Many poignant photos yesterday.

As I walked with my camera I tried to capture small scenes of real life. Some scenes evoked a sense of sadness, waiting, uncertainty; others contained glimmers of hope or subtle humor. In downtown San Diego thousands of lives mingle.

Mysteries around every corner.

Countless untold stories.

You might recognize that plaque.

Its exact origin was once was a mystery. But the plaque’s fascinating story was revealed here.

The Jessop’s clock fascinates many eyes.

After 125 years, Jessop’s jewelry store is closing. A chapter in San Diego’s history ends.

But the clock’s hands will will continue to mark time.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Searching for warmth by the water on a chilly day.

A chilly wind. And an umbrella--just in case.
A chilly wind. And an umbrella–just in case.

This afternoon I went on a long, chilly walk along San Diego Bay. The sky was mostly gray. I regretted not wearing a light jacket. But I pressed on.

You never know when the sun might burst through.

The winter ice rink is being set up in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Anticipating holiday cheer.
The winter ice rink is being set up in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Anticipating warm holiday cheer.
Few people are out walking under the gray clouds. But two can always hold hands.
Few people are out walking under the gray clouds. But two can always hold hands.
Pigeons swoop in endless searching circles, before settling somewhere far away.
Pigeons swoop in long searching circles, before settling somewhere far away.
The sun is up there. Somewhere.
The sun is up there. Somewhere.
This person moving forward refuses to retreat.
This person moving forward refuses to retreat.
Time takes a toll. The Marriott Marina is slowly being refurbished. Moving forward, looking ahead.
Time takes a toll. The Marriott Marina is slowly being refurbished. Pushing forward, looking ahead.
A worker defies gravity near the Marriott Marquis.
A worker defies gravity near the Marriott Marquis.
Surfing Santa is awaiting the perfect wave. It should arrive soon.
Surfing Santa is awaiting a perfect wave–it should arrive in Seaport Village before too long.
Who is that lifting his hat! It's Mitchell, the cool didgeridoo guy! I was reminded by Mitchell that Earth's sun is a G-type main-sequence star. Nuclear fusion is pretty warm!
Who is that lifting his hat? It’s Mitchell, the cool didgeridoo guy! I was reminded by Mitchell that Earth’s sun is a G-type main-sequence star. I had forgotten. Nuclear fusion is pretty warm!
A smile like a ray of sunshine.
A smile like a ray of sunshine.

(And here I must make an apology.

While I sat on a rail speaking to Mitchell about life, the cosmos, and whatever, two smiling ladies came on by pushing a cart full of Noosa yogurt samples. Mitchell earned his sample by summoning deep magic with his didgeridoo. For my sample, I promised to post a photo of the smiling ladies on my blog–right here–where there is no photo.

Sorry. My camera beeped as if a photo were taken. But alas. My battery went dead and it turns out I don’t have that smiling photo.

I will say, however, that my Noosa yogurt was super creamy, yummy, and scrumdiddlyumptious. I really liked the bits of chocolate. I’m a sucker for chocolate.

There. Now will you forgive me?

Thank you ladies for helping to lift my spirits–it fits this theme perfectly!)

A distant kiteboarder, harnessing the chilly wind, rises above San Diego Bay.
A distant kiteboarder, harnessing the wind, rises above San Diego Bay.
Who cares about the weather? One can always make bubbles.
Who cares about the weather? One can always make bubbles.
Even during a gloomy spell, life can be very good!
Even during a gloomy spell, life can be very good! Just smile!

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!