Free ice cream and concert in Balboa Park!

What’s better than free ice cream and a free concert?

Free ice cream and a fantastic free concert in beautiful Balboa Park!

A huge crowd came out to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion this evening to smile, laugh, sing, and dance to the music of San Diego’s own The Moonlight Serenade Orchestra. And, of course, to devour ice cream!

The annual Ice Cream Social concert, one of many free summer Twilight in the Park concerts, was made possible by the awesome folks of Forever Balboa Park!

The music was infectious. The vibe was energetic. The audience was often clapping, and couples were swaying and spinning on the outdoor dance floor. Tunes included Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Dancing Queen, Old Time Rock and Roll, Respect, In the Mood, Over the Rainbow, and a variety of others, including many big band classics.

The highlight for me–and it appeared to be for many–was the solo drumming performance by D. J. Jackson in the encore song Sing, Sing, Sing. He was a magician whose magic seemed limitless. I didn’t want his inspired wizardry to end.

A long standing ovation resulted!

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!

One last walk during Comic-Con 2022.

A pretty good crowd was walking around outside Comic-Con this Sunday mid-afternoon. The more popular offsite activations still had long lines–two hours in many cases! But some of the lesser offsites were already coming down, being dismantled, loaded back into trucks.

Comic-Con 2022 went by all too fast!

I had the energy for one more walk. Back to work tomorrow.

I hope many of you enjoyed looking at some of my photos this past week. Now I think I’ll take a few days off from blogging, to catch my breath.

But I’m sure there will be many more cool San Diego sights to come!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con, 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!

Harry Potter witches and wizards invade Comic-Con!

Powerful witches and wizards have travelled from the world of Harry Potter to San Diego for Comic-Con 2022!

I saw the magical procession this morning and was astonished to discover so many J. K. Rowling characters present.

This awesome cosplay group has had their Comic-Con procession across from the San Diego Convention Center numerous times in the past. This year it appeared bigger and more amazing than ever!

How many characters do you recognize?

I see Snape and Dumbledore (two of them!) and McGonagall and Hagrid and Trelawney and Sprout and Tonks and Lupin and Fleur Delacour and Newt Scamander and Grindelwald and even a nascent Voldemort in the arms of that ratty Peter Pettigrew!

And Hermione! And Harry Potter himself!

And many others!

Enjoy some photos of this really great cosplay!

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!

Induction Dance at the San Diego Fringe Festival!

Would it be silly? Serious? Amateurish? Professional?

I really didn’t know what to expect when I purchased a ticket today for the Induction Dance performance during the 2022 San Diego Fringe Festival.

I took my seat inside the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park and waited for the dance to begin. And what we got was a guy in a gorilla suit playing guitar! Then a clown on a tricycle!

Okay, I thought to myself. It’s the Fringe Festival. Only 10 bucks.

But then the performance changed dramatically.

And some good ballet dancing began. Really good!

I was blown away by the fluidity, sensuousness, and gorgeous moves by two dancers who obviously knew what they were doing!

Philip Amer, the Artistic Director of Induction Dance, danced with Saori Maeda. When each of several dances were completed, the audience applauded loudly. It was deserved.

Philip Amer hails from Escondido. Over the years he has performed with numerous ballet companies across the country. He also teaches dance.

Saori Maeda is 23 years old. She’s from Japan, now studying ballet and training in Southern California. Her moves were graceful and flawless. She is destined to be a star!

The performance today included several humorous skits that worked quite well, including a dance with a cloth dummy, and a mime-like ballerina trying to communicate words with particular movements.

Philip Amer stated his object is to make ballet entertaining and accessible for ordinary folk. I don’t know about the guitar playing gorilla and clown on a tricycle, but the rest of the act was original, witty, magical!

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!

San Diego Symphony musicians perform magic!

The musicians of the San Diego Symphony performed magic this evening.

Together, using enchanted instruments, the magicians summoned beautiful, ephemeral music back into our world.

With quick, subtle fingers, visiting artist Gabriela Martinez cast potent spells through a grand piano. Her dancing fingers mysteriously conjured the eternal notes of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16. Strong magic sprinkled the audience with soft, crystalline raindrops. And aural whirlwinds.

The concert also included Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Op. 35. Its timeless splendor was inspired by the stories of the Arabian Nights.

No wonder those fairy-tale notes were summoned by magicians!

If you’ve never listened to the San Diego Symphony at their outdoor Rady Shell, on San Diego Bay, you’re missing pure magic.

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!

Myth, wonder and WOW in San Diego!

Wonder, surprise, and plenty of WOW was experienced by those visiting Liberty Station today. That’s because La Jolla Playhouse was in their final day of the 2022 Without Walls Festival!

Among many outdoor performances free to the public was the colorful, kinetic procession TransMythical.

Strange, never-before-seen spirits, nature gods, high priests and mythological creatures appeared from the arches at the edge of Liberty Station’s North Promenade.

As they emerged, they seemed to step tentatively into an unfamiliar world–our world.

The mysterious creatures looked about with wonder. They wandered, gathered, formed a procession.

Appearing beautifully strange–and strangely familiar–the giant puppets and masked characters interacted with the crowd in a very human way. But then–all elemental myths are composed by us human types–right?

During the performance a baby deer was born.

The mythical creatures and we humans all looked on with wonder. The fawn was greeted with happiness.

The tiny deer looked about our shared world with newly opened eyes.

These strangely wonderful myths were brought to life by the San Diego-based Animal Cracker Conspiracy!

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!

Unexpected magic inside Space 4 Art!

Unexpected magic can be discovered inside an old East Village warehouse.

The apparently unremarkable brick building is the surprising home of Space 4 Art’s artist studios!

I’ve walked near the old warehouse several times in the past, taking photos of murals on the building’s exterior, but I had no idea that rampant creativity could be found behind those walls!

Thanks to Space 4 Art’s “Open Studio” event this evening, which was combined with the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s annual Open House San Diego, I and other curious folk could look into the studios and meet friendly artists.

I learned that Space 4 Art provides affordable creative space for local artists, and acts as a neighborhood cultural center, engaging in educational outreach, particularly for youth from underserved communities.

The dream is big. They want to build a large-scale multidisciplinary Arts Center in San Diego. Want to help out? Read more about the Space 4 Art mission here! Read about their history here!

Now, do you want to see what lies behind those murals painted on the old warehouse at 340 16th Street? (A few of which can be seen on a black brick wall here.)

Take a look!

Inside the cool old warehouse. Magic awaits around every corner.
Richard is a friendly artist who creates beautiful custom ceramic pieces. Learn more about his amazing artwork here!
A peek inside another one of the studios.
One hallway wall is covered with these surprising antique clocks. In many cases, small scenes such as the one above can be found inside the clockwork.
This awesome cathedral-like creation made of crutches stands at one end of a studio work area. I learned the sculpture is for sale. Any hospitals out there need some unique artwork?
Everywhere you turn at Space 4 Art, magic produced by local artists appears.
Feeling creative?

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!

Walking down from Cortez Hill on a shining morning.

The light early this morning was magical.

A few minutes after sunrise, I walked from the top of Cortez Hill south into the heart of downtown San Diego.

Many of these photographs were taken as I turned my camera west. Look at all the golden reflections!

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!

Another Whomping Willow at City College?

It appears Hogwarts isn’t the only school with a dangerous Whomping Willow. Because our own San Diego City College seems to have one of its own!

I was walking up Park Boulevard this morning, on my way from downtown San Diego to the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park, when I spied the fantastically twisted tree. A few of its gnarled. outstretched limbs had slammed against the nearby grass, sadly crushing goodness knows what.

I avoided the walking path that passes directly next to it, just to be safe.

That is a Whomping Willow, isn’t 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!

Winter beauty by the San Diego River.

Please enjoy these photographs of winter beauty by the San Diego River in Mission Valley.

I framed this natural beauty during several January morning walks. Some photos were taken from the pedestrian bridge that spans the river by the Fashion Valley Transit Center; others near Mission Center Road.

Reflections created magic. White clouds in the sky floated on water. Trees were turned upside down.

Branches, leaves, river and sky danced together mysteriously.

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!