Lightning and thunder at magical Spreckels concert!

Tonight an unusual, truly magical concert was held in Balboa Park at the outdoor Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

As lightning flashed and thunder rumbled, internationally renowned organist Ahreum Han answered with her own own thunder for a small audience sheltered against the storm up on the pavilion stage.

Those of us who experienced this extraordinary concert, part of the 33rd San Diego International Organ Festival, sat almost directly under the majestic Spreckels Organ pipes and mere feet away from Ahreum Han as she played elegantly, easily, masterfully.

As you can imagine, the unusual circumstances provided a once-in-lifetime opportunity for music lovers. My goosebumps were on overdrive.

The music flowed like bright lightning from the fingers of Ahreum, and at times it seemed she was playing a duet with mighty nature. When she concluded each piece, thunder joined the applause.

You had to be there.

It was an experience an adventurous few, who refused to be deterred by a threat of lightning and rain, will never ever forget.

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 International Organ Festival returns!

Every time a world-class organist performs in Balboa Park, the Spreckels Organ shines.

Tonight the Spreckels Organ, largest outdoor instrument in the world, one of San Diego’s most unique and precious treasures, absolutely sparkled.

Concert organist Hector Olivera filled Balboa Park with magic during the first performance of the two-month-long San Diego International Organ Festival.

Hector Olivera, considered one of the greatest organists alive, took the stage with his humor and deft touch and created something extraordinary. I sat mesmerized throughout the concert. The music he summoned from the Spreckels Organ was subtle, luminous, alive.

Hector Olivera was a child prodigy. As a five-year-old he played for Eva Perón. Before he’d left his teens he’d performed for heads of state. He has since played in many of the world’s most prestigious venues.

Tonight he started the 2021 San Diego International Organ Festival with an act that will be hard to top. But more top organists are coming, including San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez!

If you love listening to world-class musicians you must go to this free weekly event. The Spreckels Organ shines in Balboa Park every Monday at 7:30 pm through October 25, 2021!

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 magical little garden in Coronado!

In Coronado, a few steps from Orange Avenue, there’s a magical little garden.

If you’ve ever visited Spreckels Park, you might have seen the June Miller Garden surrounding the trunk of a tall palm tree. I took a good look at it yesterday as I wandered down the sidewalk, waiting for the big 4th of July Parade to begin.

Not only did I discover several interesting plaques, but I spied a young boy who was retrieving a baseball kneeling with wonder above a small turtle.

The sculpture represents a magical moment of discovery.

To learn more about the history of Spreckels Park, you can visit this Coronado Historical Association web page.

JUNE MILLER GARDEN

Maintained by

CROWN GARDEN CLUB OF CORONADO

CDR. PHILIP HENRY DENNLER, JR.

WHOSE LOYALTY TO THE CORONADO FLOWER SHOW INSPIRED US ALL.

CORONADO FLORAL ASSOCIATION

APRIL 1975

Happy Birthday Coronado

1890-2015

The Crown Garden Club of Coronado

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Morning light and rainbow from Cortez Hill!

As I started my day at the top of Cortez Hill, I was greeted by magical morning light reflected from downtown buildings to the west and south.

Then I saw the rainbow!

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!

Magical light shines again downtown!

Call me crazy, but I never tire of taking photographs of downtown San Diego right after sunrise. The early light and the reflections are truly magical!

These shining images were captured during my walk to catch the trolley yesterday morning.

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!

Beautiful morning magic on Broadway!

I captured these photographs this morning as the sun was rising. I stood in downtown San Diego, at one magical spot on Broadway.

As I walked past the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse, I had to freeze in my tracks. Because my eyes were spellbound.

The first photos below are of the San Diego Central Courthouse, whose fascinating architecture rises nearby. Light, shadow, beautiful glass windows and soaring gulls combined to cast their spell…

Then I turned my camera east to capture the magical early morning light along Broadway…

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 story about a strange, bright world.

You might remember a few photographs I took of buildings reflected in puddles. I posted those last month, after downtown San Diego had experienced a night of rain.

Looking into those silver puddles was almost like peering into a strange, bright world just beyond our own. To see those photos again, you can click here.

Well, during my walk among those magic puddles a seed was planted.

That seed germinated, grew, broke through, has blossomed.

If you’d like to read my newly completed short story, which I titled The Shining World, click here.

Small anonymous stones spread love!

As one grows older, it can be easy to turn cynical. Experience shows us how the world really operates. How people often behave.

Some of it is depressing.

But should we shrug aside acts born of love when those acts might seem microscopic or hopelessly naïve?

It appears a child or children used paint or magic markers to decorate a few small stones. The stones relate simple, positive messages. The stones were placed beside a sidewalk along Governor Drive, east of Genesee Avenue.

Not many people walk down this sidewalk. Realistically, chances were few eyes would ever see these stones.

But even the tiniest stones dropped in water create ripples.

And somebody walking along the sidewalk by sheer chance happened to notice.

And love is now spreading through your 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!

Balboa Park’s magical winter garden.

If there’s one garden in Balboa Park that’s truly magical during the winter season, it’s the Japanese Friendship Garden. Beauty thrives all year long in this very special place.

I visited today. I believe right now it’s the only attraction open in Balboa Park. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced museums to close. Even the San Diego Zoo is now closed.

If you’re feeling a bit down this winter, take a slow stroll through the Japanese Friendship Garden.

You’ll feel alive again.

(Artists take note! The Japanese Friendship Garden is now looking for artists to be a part of their next project, which concerns healing through creativity during the coronavirus pandemic. It appears the deadline for submissions is today! Any and all artists are welcome! Click here to learn more!)

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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A city reflected from puddles.

Last night it rained. This afternoon the winter storm arrives in earnest. It will be raining on and off in San Diego for most of the week.

This morning I walked from Cortez Hill to Golden Hill and back. As I moved through downtown, I noticed interesting reflections in the sidewalk puddles.

Whenever I found a good rain puddle, I peered through the shining, magical portal and glimpsed fragments of a mysterious city…

I have lots of cool (and unusual) photos from my Golden Hill walk coming up, so 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!