Star of India’s magical holiday lights at night.

Star of India is lit brightly at night for the holidays in San Diego.
Star of India is lit brightly at night for the holiday season.

San Diego’s beautiful, historic tall ship Star of India is decorated for the holidays with hundreds of magical lights. They were strung along masts, yards and rigging a couple weekends ago.

Tonight I visited the Maritime Museum of San Diego and walked around their many amazing ships after nightfall. As I stood atop the museum’s Soviet B-39 submarine, I photographed Star of India’s holiday lights reflecting on the bay.

Photo of Maritime Museum of San Diego's famous Star of India, with magical holiday lights strung along masts, yards and rigging.
Photo of Maritime Museum of San Diego’s famous Star of India, with magical holiday lights strung along masts, yards and rigging.
The reflection of downtown windows and Star of India's holiday lights creates a fantastic sight after nightfall on San Diego Bay.
The reflection of downtown windows and Star of India’s holiday lights creates a fantastic sight after nightfall on San Diego Bay.

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!

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!

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Holiday lights shine brightly at December Nights.

A fun, illuminated snowman in Spanish Village. Festive lights dazzle at 2017 December Nights.
A fun, illuminated snowman in Spanish Village. Festive lights dazzle at December Nights.

Tonight I headed into Balboa Park to enjoy 2017 December Nights.

When its buildings, fountains and gardens are brightly lit after dark, Balboa Park is magically transformed. During the holidays the park seems like a storybook wonderland.

My camera managed to capture a small bit of that magic.

Strings of lights radiate from the center of Plaza de Panama during December Nights.
Colorful strings of lights radiate from the center of Plaza de Panama during December Nights.
The Bea Evenson fountain in the Plaza de Balboa is brightly lit for December Nights.
The Bea Evenson fountain in the Plaza de Balboa is brightly lit.
One of many beautiful Christmas trees on the Spanish Village Art Center outdoor patio.
One of many shining Christmas trees on the Spanish Village Art Center patio.
Dozens of vendors sell gifts throughout Balboa Park during the big annual holiday event.
Dozens of vendors sell gifts throughout Balboa Park during the delightful holiday event.
Roasted nuts are among the traditional holiday treats that visitors enjoy.
Roasted nuts are among the traditional holiday treats that visitors enjoy.
One of many youthful dance groups performing at the Casa del Prado.
One of many youthful dance groups performs at the Casa del Prado.
San Diego's Portuguese community contributed a Christmas tree and royal robe to the December Nights Festival of Trees inside the Casa del Prado.
San Diego’s Portuguese community contributed a Christmas tree and royal robe to the December Nights Festival of Trees inside the Casa del Prado.
The Old Globe Theatre created this very stylish Christmas tree.
The Old Globe Theatre created this very stylish Christmas tree.
The center of December Nights is the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, where joyful entertainment continues into the night.
The center of December Nights is the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, where joyful entertainment continues into the night.
A choir performs holiday songs for a large December Nights crowd.
A choir performs holiday songs for a large December Nights crowd. A scene of amazing beauty.
Getting something to eat or drink at the Gingerbread House.
Getting something to eat or drink at the colorful Gingerbread House.
Scene of Jesus with children in the Nativity along the rear of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Scene of Jesus with children in the Nativity along the rear of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Graceful dancers perform at the International Cottages.
Graceful dancers perform at the International Cottages.
The fun zone in the Palisades area of Balboa Park features brightly lit rides for the kids.
The fun zone in the Palisades area of Balboa Park features brightly lit rides for the kids.
Getting more treats ready.
Getting more treats ready.
The bright Christmas tree at the Old Globe draws the eyes of old and young alike.
The very merry Christmas tree at the Old Globe draws the eyes of old and young alike.
In the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Santa Claus brings a child joy.
In the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Santa Claus brings a child magic and joy.

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!

A day full of dreaming by the water.

Dreaming together by the sparkling water.
Dreaming together by the sparkling water.

A slow, lazy day. One last November day of unseasonably warm weather. Like many, I had the day off from work.

A quiet stroll along San Diego Bay.

A day for dreaming by the water.

Reflected light is all we see. A dream of light flows from the hand of painter Paul Strahm.
Sitting in sunshine above the water. A dream of light flows from the hand of the always friendly painter Paul Strahm.
The undefinable essence of dreams.
The undefinable essence of dreams.
A vision beyond the reach of a pier.
A vision beyond the reach of a pier.
Light on water invites meditation.
A firm foundation and quiet moment. Light on water invites meditation.
More quiet time by the water.
Time vanishes near the water.
Ripples in a strange reality.
Ripples in a strange reality.
Moving together past a burst of beauty.
Moving together in the walk of life, past a burst of beauty.
Almost like a dream within a dream.
Almost like a dream within a dream.
Enjoying this magic, wonderful life together.
Enjoying this magic, wonderful life together.
Reading words by the tranquil water. Sensing deeper truths.
Reading words by tranquil water. Perhaps sensing deeper truths.
Another day of dreaming by the water.
Another day of dreaming by the shining water.

Today two ideas for short stories came to me like a dream. As I sat on a bench by beautiful San Diego Bay, I penned a few passing words.

I believe the titles will be The Failed Heart and A Dangerous Noise. When these stories feel finished–if that feeling ever comes–I’ll publish them on my writing blog Short Stories by Richard.

A path of many colors leads to a magical place.

Follow this path of many colors and you will enter a magical place!
Follow this path of many colors and you will enter a magical place!

This morning during my walk I stumbled upon inexplicable wonder. A rainbow had mysteriously fallen to the ground. The shattered rainbow formed a twisting path.

I followed that path of many colors to a magical place.

Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park is a place of many wonders. Today there were exhibitors from the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society outside selling their beautiful lapidary work.
Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park is a place of many wonders. Today there were exhibitors from the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society outside selling their beautiful lapidary work.
I learned the yellow in this labyrinth was painted a couple weeks ago by an artist who works in Studio 10. Now the magical design really stands out. You'll find it in front of Studio 13. Many curious kids (and some adults) like to journey down this curving path!
I learned the yellow in this labyrinth was recently painted. Now the once elusive design really stands out. You’ll find it in front of Studio 13. Many curious kids (and some adults) like to journey down this curving path!
If this is a Road to Nowhere, I'll follow it happily!
If this is a Road to Nowhere, I’ll follow it happily!
Cool bits of art in front of funky Studio 13 in Spanish Village. The artist with whom I spoke was super nice. She once painted hopscotch patterns from different cultures around the world on the nearby patio.
Cool bits of art in front of funky Studio 13 in Spanish Village. The artist with whom I spoke was super nice. She once painted hopscotch patterns from different cultures around the world on the nearby patio.
Today there was also a big San Diego Potters' Guild sale on Spanish Village's main patio. My eyes were overwhelmed with so much to see. The potential for beauty is infinite.
Today there was also a big San Diego Potters’ Guild sale on Spanish Village’s main patio. My eyes were overwhelmed with so much to see. The potential for beauty is infinite.
Should you find yourself in Balboa Park, do not hesitate to follow this magical path of many colors!
Should you find yourself in Balboa Park, do not hesitate to follow this magical path of many colors! It was painted only a couple weeks ago by an artist who works in Studio 10!

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 fantastic, amazing Harper’s Topiary Garden!

People ride past what is possibly the most amazing, fantastic front yard in all of San Diego!
People ride past what is possibly the most amazing, fantastic front yard in all of San Diego!

I walked through Middletown yesterday on a mission. I wanted to pay a visit to the locally famous Harper’s Topiary Garden!

What a fantastic, amazing creation! This private front yard on a hillside has been transformed by the residents into a eye-popping landscape of weird animals and delightful designs. I felt as though I’d stepped into a small world touched by magic.

This is one super cool sight that is undeniably extraordinary!

Human imagination coupled with passion can actually turn wildest dreams into reality!

Mission Hill Garden Club asks How Does Your Garden Grow? I'll bet it's nothing like the Harper's Topiary Garden!
Mission Hill Garden Club asks How Does Your Garden Grow? I’ll bet it’s nothing like the Harper’s Topiary Garden!
Harper's Topiary Garden seems to be a combination of a vegetable Noah's Ark and an army of unearthly creatures paralyzed by magic.
Harper’s Topiary Garden seems to be a combination of a vegetable Noah’s Ark and an army of fantasy creatures paralyzed by magic.
A green guy in a sombrero takes a siesta. Perhaps this is his dream.
A green guy in a sombrero takes a siesta. Perhaps this is his dream.
A funny rabbit stands and points among many topiary creatures.
A funny rabbit stands and points among many topiary oddities.
It appears that Edna Scissorhands is kept quite busy.
It appears that Edna Scissorhands is kept quite busy.
Harper's Topiary Garden is a marvel of human creativity.
Harper’s Topiary Garden is a marvel of human creativity.
Those who drive up this street might be in for a great surprise!
Those who drive up this street might be in for a great surprise!
Cats and critters with long ears lounge in the sun near the top of the wonderfully weird garden. I think I also see a robot.
Cats and critters with long ears lounge in the sun near the top of the wonderfully weird garden. I think I also see a robot.
Perhaps the garden was inspired a bit by the fantastic worlds of Dr. Seuss, who lived in nearby La Jolla.
Perhaps the garden is inspired a bit by the fantastic worlds of Dr. Seuss, who lived in nearby La Jolla.
A most fantastic topiary garden. A treat for the eyes!
A most amazing topiary garden. A treat for the eyes!

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!

Optical magic at the Bay Overlook.

I took a few photos today at Tuna Harbor Park’s popular Bay Overlook. The sun had fallen low. Sunset colors were rising.

Glass, water, clouds and sunlight created optical 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!