Balboa Park’s fantastic Toy Train Gallery!

One of my favorite attractions in Balboa Park is the absolutely huge, incredible San Diego Model Railroad Museum. And my favorite room in the museum is the fantastic Toy Train Gallery!

Check out these quick photos of the gallery’s super fun toy train layout operated by the San Diego 3-Railers Club!

The colorful layout features O-Scale Lionel-type trains running through a world full of sound and movement. Signs and billboards light up. Cars pull in and out of driveways. People move back and forth. Ghostbusters contend with a rampaging Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

A Choo-Choo Cam lets visitors experience an engineer’s perspective as one model train passes through tunnels, over bridges, and past nostalgic, often humorous scenery. The view is sure to delight children . . . and the child that hopefully remains within each of us!

If you or your family would like to visit the very cool San Diego Model Railroad Museum and their fantastic Toy Train Gallery, you can learn more 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!

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!

Architecture inspired by nature . . . and UFOs!

An exhibition of truly amazing architectural designs recently opened at the SDSU Downtown Gallery.

Radiant Architecture: The Visionary Work of Eugene Ray showcases the futuristic architectural concepts of an emeritus professor from San Diego State University, who taught Environmental Design from 1969 to 1996.

Those who have driven through La Jolla might have seen the fantastic house and studio he built at 1699 Nautilus Street. It’s commonly referred to as the Silver Ship. It was erected in 1978 with the help of Environmental Design students from SDSU.

It’s no surprise that many of Eugene Ray’s designs appear a bit like spaceships. His inspiration comes not only from simple, efficient, resilient forms found in nature, but from his life-changing sighting of a UFO in 1947 when he was a boy.

According to one sign I read, many of the innovative designs synthesized “Ray’s concepts of the synergy of color, light, and sound to create holistic, healing and energizing environments.” He also sought to create modular structures, which would be affordable and easily assembled.

I was told that his organic, biomorphic designs are so futuristic, unusual and brilliant that world-famous science fiction author Ray Bradbury at one time had plans to make a movie about Eugene Ray’s work.

Here are a few photos of the original drawings, prototypes, renderings and highly creative artwork currently on display. This very cool exhibition at the SDSU Downtown Gallery runs through October 6, 2019.

James A. Perry Residence - New Orleans, Louisiana, 1968.
James A. Perry Residence – New Orleans, Louisiana, 1968.
Aerodyne Sports House - 1984.
Aerodyne Sports House – 1984.
Nautilus Street Residence aka The Silver Ship - La Jolla, California, 1978.
Nautilus Street Residence aka The Silver Ship – La Jolla, California, 1978.
Blueprint of The Silver Ship, designed by Eugene Ray, located at 1699 Nautilus Street in La Jolla, California.
Blueprint of The Silver Ship, designed by Eugene Ray, located in La Jolla, California.
Pavilion for Holy Cross High School - New Orleans, Louisiana, 1967.
Pavilion for Holy Cross High School – New Orleans, Louisiana, 1967.
Untitled, Eugene Ray, 1969 (restored 2019). Acrylic and aluminum on canvas.
Untitled, Eugene Ray, 1969 (restored 2019). Acrylic and aluminum on canvas.

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!

Radiant Spire proposed for Notre Dame.

Appearance of rebuilt Notre Dame Cathedral with Radiant Spire, designed by architect Eugene Ray.
Appearance of rebuilt Notre Dame Cathedral with Radiant Spire, designed by San Diego architect Eugene Ray.

I guess it’s too late now. Last month the French Parliament passed a law that states Notre Dame Cathedral must be restored to its exact condition before the recent, catastrophic fire.

But how might Paris have appeared if Notre Dame were crowned by a glowing spire?

The Radiant Spire is a fantastic concept created by architect Eugene Ray, who from 1969 to 1996 headed the Environmental Design program at San Diego State University. In 2019, with the help of architect Joe Cordelle, he designed a geodesic structure that unites a cone and sphere, and which radiates light.

I saw these images today while visiting the exhibition Radiant Architecture: The Visionary Work of Eugene Ray at the SDSU Downtown Gallery. As a proposal the Radiant Spire is inspiring and very beautiful.

But, alas, it will remain an idea.

Description of Radiant Spire for Notre Dame Cathedral. The elegant structure evokes an exuberant spirituality reaching skywards...
Description of Radiant Spire for rebuilt Notre Dame Cathedral. The elegant structure evokes an exuberant spirituality reaching skywards…
Elevation view of proposed spire for Notre Dame.
Elevation view of proposed spire for Notre Dame.

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!

Third grade students create self-portrait quilts!

Last Tuesday I headed to Liberty Station to check out a cool exhibition at IDW’s Comic Art Gallery before the start of Comic-Con. I arrived half an hour before the gallery opened, so I moseyed around Liberty Station’s beautiful park-like setting.

I walked by the Visions Art Museum and poked my nose inside.

There I discovered something inspiring! One of the museum’s walls featured a display of small quilts made by third grade students who attend Perkins Elementary School in Barrio Logan. (About a year ago I photographed part of this school’s outdoor mural.)

Their teacher, who was sitting at the Vision Art Museum’s front desk, briefly told me her students, some of whom are homeless, were super excited to create this artwork. They drew the design first, then cut out pieces of colorful fabric, which they assembled into expressive self-portraits!

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!

Snoopy soars with NASA on Moon Landing Anniversary!

Charlie Brown welcomes visitors to the Peanuts Pop-Up Shop in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con, on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.
Charlie Brown welcomes visitors to the Peanuts Pop-Up Shop in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con, on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon. Half a century ago, Neil Armstrong, one of three astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission, stepped down onto the lunar surface and proclaimed: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

That first step by a man might not have happened without the help of a beloved cartoon dog.

Visitors to the Peanuts Pop-Up shop in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con have the opportunity to see fun displays that recall how Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, one of the world’s most popular comic strips, helped NASA to safely complete their missions to the moon.

This very special Comic-Con exhibition is titled To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA. The exhibit, which includes humorous comic strips, is on loan from the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California.

If a couple of my photos appear unusual, that’s because I converted them into cartoons!

To read the signs, click those photos and they will enlarge.

Astronaut Snoopy graphic on the outside of Bubbles Boutique in the Gaslamp Quarter, where the Peanuts Pop-Up Shop is located during Comic-Con.
Astronaut Snoopy graphic on the outside of Bubbles Boutique in the Gaslamp Quarter, where the Peanuts Pop-Up Shop is located during Comic-Con.
A look inside the Peanuts Pop-Up Shop at two walls of the exhibit. (My photo was blurry so I changed it into a fun cartoon!)
A look inside the Peanuts Pop-Up Shop at two walls of the exhibit.
One of two Peanuts comic strips on display. Snoopy won't need dinner now that he's heading to the moon.
One of two Peanuts comic strips on display. Snoopy won’t need dinner now that he’s heading to the moon.

Peanuts, NASA, and the 21st Century. NASA and Peanuts Worldwide have partnered to inspire generations of students to learn about space exploration.
Peanuts, NASA, and the 21st Century. NASA and Peanuts Worldwide have partnered to inspire generations of students to learn about space exploration.
Snoopy to the Rescue. Snoopy became NASA's safety mascot after the fire that killed three Apollo 1 astronauts.
Snoopy to the Rescue. Snoopy became NASA’s safety mascot after the fire that killed three Apollo 1 astronauts.

50th Anniversary of Apollo 10. The Apollo 10 crew chose the call sign for the lunar module during their mission: Snoopy.
50th Anniversary of Apollo 10. The Apollo 10 crew chose the call sign for the lunar module during their mission: Snoopy.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center has the world's largest collection of original Peanuts comic strips.
The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center has the world’s largest collection of original Peanuts comic strips.
Charles M. Schulz, 1922-2000. Many of his popular characters were named after art instructors he met.
Charles M. Schulz, 1922-2000. Many of his popular characters were named after art instructors he met.

The second of two Peanuts comic strips on display. Snoopy beat the neighbor's cat to the moon.
The second of two Peanuts comic strips on display. Snoopy beat the neighbor’s cat to the moon.
Photos from the Apollo missions, and how Snoopy was an important part of that history.
Photos from the Apollo missions, and how Snoopy was an important part of that history.

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!

Starfleet Museum’s future Picard exhibit in San Diego!

One of many future Starfleet artifacts that can be seen in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con.
One of many future Starfleet artifacts that can now be seen in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con.

The Starfleet Museum has sent many interesting artifacts from the future back in time to be exhibited during 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.

This very special exhibition, titled Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty, traces the life and exploits of Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, whose exemplary service to Starfleet has made him a legend throughout the galaxy.

I took photographs of a few of these very rare museum pieces for the enjoyment of my readers. They will remain on loan from the future during the duration of San Diego Comic-Con. If you can, head down to the Gaslamp Quarter and enjoy a fascinating glimpse into future history!

Friendly smiles greeted a curious visitor to Star Trek's cool Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty exhibit.
Friendly smiles greeted a curious visitor to Star Trek’s cool Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty exhibit.
The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth...
The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth…
USS Stargazer NCC-2893, Constellation-class Starship. Picard served as Stargazer's captain for 22 years.
USS Stargazer NCC-2893, Constellation-class starship. Picard served as Stargazer’s captain for 22 years.
Cadet Jean-Luc Picard, 2326.
Cadet Jean-Luc Picard, 2326.
Ensign Jean-Luc Picard, 2330.
Ensign Jean-Luc Picard, 2330.
Starfleet Officer's Service Uniform, 2364.
Starfleet Officer’s Service Uniform, 2364.
Starfleet Communicator Badges.
Starfleet Communicator Badges.
A painting by Lieutenant Commander Data.
A painting by Lieutenant Commander Data.
A painting by Lieutenant Commander Data.
A painting by Lieutenant Commander Data.
Dixon Hill Novels. Picard enjoyed reading Shakespeare and these Dixon Hill detective novels from author Tracy Tormé.
Dixon Hill Novels. Picard enjoyed reading Shakespeare and these Dixon Hill detective novels from author Tracy Tormé.
SHADOWS OF KATAAN. An Evening of Music and Discourse with Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
SHADOWS OF KATAAN. An Evening of Music and Discourse with Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
Ressikan Flute.
Ressikan Flute.
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D, Galaxy-class starship. Picard commanded the Enterprise-D from 2364 to 2371.
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D, Galaxy-class starship. Picard commanded the Enterprise-D from 2364 to 2371.
Third Dynasty Kurlan Naiskos, a revered artifact of the ancient, extinct civilization of the planet Kurl.
Third Dynasty Kurlan Naiskos, a revered artifact of the ancient, extinct civilization of the planet Kurl.
Tamarian Knife, a gift to Picard in 2368, by Tamarian ship captain Dathon.
Tamarian Knife, a gift to Picard in 2368, by Tamarian ship captain Dathon.
Tea cups, one option when ordering hot beverages from the Enterprise's replicator system.
Tea cups, one option when ordering hot beverages from the Enterprise’s replicator system.
A wall with many plaques and trophies awarded to Admiral Picard during his long and illustrious career in Starfleet.
A wall with many plaques and trophies awarded to Admiral Picard during his long and illustrious career in Starfleet.
Admiral Picard Family Album.
Admiral Picard Family Album.
Photos of older brother Robert Picard and mother Yvette Gassard-Picard.
Photos of older brother Robert Picard and mother Yvette Gassard-Picard.
Borg Queen Skull. After her defeat, the Queen's cybernetic skull and other remaining components were retained by Starfleet for further study.
Borg Queen Skull. After her defeat, the Queen’s cybernetic skull and other remaining components were retained by Starfleet for further study.
Artifacts from the marriage of Commander William Riker and Commander Deanna Troi in 2379.
Artifacts from the marriage of Commander William Riker and Commander Deanna Troi in 2379.
Chateau Picard Wine. The Picard family vineyards near La Barre, France produce one of Earth's premiere red wines.
Chateau Picard Wine. The Picard family vineyards near La Barre, France produce one of Earth’s premiere red wines.
Jean-Luc Picard Civilian Attire, 2399.
Jean-Luc Picard Civilian Attire, 2399.
The special exhibition, Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty is on loan from the Starfleet Museum. It is on display in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con.
The special exhibition, Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty, is on loan from the Starfleet Museum. It is on display in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con.

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!

History of IDW at San Diego Comic Art Gallery.

The San Diego Comic Art Gallery at Liberty Station in Point Loma has a current exhibition that might interest those who are attending 2019 Comic-Con. The History of IDW Publishing is now on display in the museum-like gallery, which is located inside of IDW’s San Diego-based corporate headquarters.

The exhibit describes the evolution of IDW and their popular artwork, from the company’s 1999 local inception in Pacific Beach to its very successful present day.

Visitors to the San Diego Comic Art Gallery can enjoy artwork from many diverse IDW projects, including art books like that of Ashley Wood; comic books like 30 Days Of Night, CSI, The Transformers, Star Trek, Locke & Key and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; reprinted material from The Library of American Comics; art magazines like Swallow; and IDW Games.

In addition, one section of IDW’s art gallery contains some of the amazing work of Justin “J-Po” Ponsor, a comic book artist born and raised in San Diego. It’s a fine tribute to a talented colorist who worked on many major series including Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers and Star Wars. He passed away two months ago.

For more information about the San Diego Comic Art Gallery, visit their website here.

The following photos are from the gallery’s wall that pays tribute to Justin Ponsor.

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!