North Park, a yellow submarine, and bees!

Check out these three cool murals in North Park! They’re painted on the parking lot side of the Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center building, north of University Avenue off Ohio Street.

The three murals, from left to right, depict a graffiti-style North Park, The Beatles’ yellow submarine, and cosmic mandalas with music-loving bees!

Around the corner, at the entrance to Queen Bee’s, you’ll find more fun artwork…

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Concert in Balboa Park helps Save Starlight!

A cool pop-up concert was held today in Balboa Park. Live rock and roll music, played inside the entrance to the historic Starlight Bowl, attracted people like a magnet. The purpose of the concert was to help Save Starlight!

What is Save Starlight?

They’re the folks who’ve been working tirelessly for years to reactivate San Diego’s beloved old Starlight Bowl. Perhaps you have memories of performances in the outdoor amphitheater when it was active many years ago.

I’ve learned Save Starlight just needs a long-term lease from the city to get events at the venue started! They need you to raise your voice in support!

Help them by clicking here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 more day of Christmas in San Diego!

Christmas carols in early January? Christmas carols are what the audience heard and sang this afternoon at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park!

Accomplished guest organist Alison Luedke, who has performed with the San Diego Symphony, explained today’s concert. The celebration of Epiphany is traditionally the last day for the performance of Christmas carols, especially those concerning the Three Wise Men.

Accompanying her for the two o’clock free organ concert were the voices of three young people, members of the Nativity Children’s Choir.

I was amazed at the poise of the very young people. And by their confident voices.

You will be hearing their voices well into the future.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Christmas concert with San Diego Opera!

A wonderful San Diego holiday tradition filled hearts with gladness and joy this evening. Members of the San Diego Opera joined the mighty Spreckels Organ for a Christmas concert!

A large audience filled the benches of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, and many in the audience sang along when they heard familiar Christmas carols!

The San Diego Opera was represented by Kathryn Lillich (Soprano), Abigail Allwein (Alto), Cole Tornberg (Tenor), and Michael Sokol (Bass). The organist for the concert was Nicholas Halbert, Artist in Residence at San Diego’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.

As you might imagine, the music was of the very highest quality. The pure, soaring, melodious voices gave me frequent goosebumps. (No-they weren’t from the chilly night temperature!)

The loudest applause seemed to be for the original French version of O Holy Night (imagine it being sung by an operatic voice), and good old Jingle Bell Rock!

This is one holiday tradition that every family should enjoy.

Would you like to enjoy another fantastic San Diego holiday tradition?

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 2 pm you can participate in the Spreckels Organ’s annual Christmas carol sing-along. Join perfect strangers up on the pavilion stage and sing favorite carols while accompanied by the world’s largest outdoor musical instrument!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Ringing the Japanese Friendship Bell!

The Japanese Friendship Bell on San Diego’s Shelter Island is rung perhaps twice a year: typically for the New Year and during special occasions.

Yesterday, the completion of the Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk was one such occasion!

Those who participated in this walk for peace were invited up in groups of four to ring the large bell, which was forged in Japan. The bell was given to San Diego in 1958 by the city of Yokohama, its Sister City, as a token of eternal friendship. The bell symbolizes the hope for everlasting peace.

The traditional bronze bell, six feet high and almost two and half tons, was cast by Masahiko Katori, who has been called a Living National Treasure by the government of Japan.

I was expecting a loud booming clang when the swinging wooden pole struck the bell, but the sound was surprisingly low and mellow. It was a dignified, subtle, spiritual sound. The bell spoke with a voice that was strangely sublime.

Before the ringing of the Japanese Friendship Bell commenced, the taiko drumming group Genbu Daiko performed nearby.

In groups of four, people approach the Japanese Friendship Bell on Shelter Island.

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Sit close to a world famous musician–for free!

Where can you sit in an audience very close to one of the world’s top musicians, and do so for free?

You can in San Diego!

Today I happened to be walking by the San Diego Symphony’s outdoor Rady Shell at Embarcadero Marina Park South, when I noticed a crowd had gathered at tables right up close to the stage.

Smiling ladies at a San Diego Symphony table indicated a rehearsal was about to begin, and said I could sit in front! Because during open rehearsals at the Rady Shell, anybody can!

Once the other symphony musicians and conductor Rafael Payare settled in, world-renowned pianist Marc-André Hamelin began the incredible Second Piano Concerto by Liszt. And, wow! One can understand why the New York Times called him a performer of near-superhuman technical prowess.

Anyone who likes fine music would love attending on open rehearsal at The Shell. In addition to fantastic, world-class music, there is sunshine and spectacular views of downtown, San Diego Bay and Coronado.

Today, however, I was so entranced by the magic of a very famous, nearly superhuman pianist, I barely noticed the passing sailboats!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

This freeway bridge is a musical instrument!

Did you know there’s a bridge over a freeway in San Diego that is also a musical instrument?

Drivers passing over State Route 94 on the 25th Street bridge might not realize they are traveling beside an interactive chime rail that pedestrians with a good stick or (better yet) metal rod can play!

Called the Crab Carillon, this musical feature of a very unique bridge is part of the City of San Diego’s Civic Art Collection. The Crab Carillon, created by artist Roman de Salvo in 2003, features 488 individually tuned chimes spanning the full length of the bridge, which can be played by passersby.

De Salvo commissioned Joseph Waters to compose a short, sophisticated palindrome, which sounds the same played forward or backward. The title refers to the way that crabs scuttle from side to side, similar to the movement of those who interact with the artwork.

As I walked south down 25th Street from Golden Hill toward Sherman Heights, I happened to find a piece of broken wood on the sidewalk. Perfect! I thought. Up ahead is San Diego’s musical bridge! Now I’m ready to play the Crab Carillon!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

More gratitude the day after Veterans Day.

Yesterday was Veterans Day. Today, Saturday, the House of USA in Balboa Park held a special program remembering and thanking Veterans.

I lingered on the lawn of the International Cottages for a while and listened to the music of the San Diego City Guard Band. I also listened to short speeches concerning sacrifices made by Veterans.

A local chapter of the DAR had a display out on the grass, which I also looked at. California is home to many Medal of Honor recipients.

Sadly, Balboa Park’s lawn programs are often not well attended. The few who sat down to listen today heard important stories about fellow citizens who fought to protect our Freedom.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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 ready to welcome Elton John!

This evening a historic concert will be held at Petco Park in San Diego. Sir Elton John will be appearing for his long sold-out Farewell Yellow Brick Road – The Final Tour!

As I walked around Petco Park and the Gaslamp this afternoon, I saw colorful street banners, displays in shop windows and at the Hard Rock Hotel, people readying a tour merchandise truck, and even some very cool super fans of Elton John just hanging out, and smiling for the above photo! Is that dress awesome, or what?

I’ve loved the music of Elton John ever since I was a young man. It has been an important part of my life’s soundtrack. If by sheer chance you happen to read this, Sir Elton, thank you.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Island Mist and Friends in Balboa Park!

A slow day in Balboa Park. Summer’s over, it’s getting cooler, and the holidays are still a few weeks away!

As I walked through the International Cottages, I saw the House of Chamorros musicians who call themselves Island Mist and Friends up on the stage creating beautiful music. This musical group often fills in when there are no scheduled lawn programs. This year’s cultural lawn programs are soon coming to an end.

I sat on a nearby bench and listened. The buoyant, happy, laid-back island tunes had a couple of arrivals dancing on the grass. And more people came as the performance continued!

Make beautiful music, and people will come!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!