Marvin Gaye’s Silver Cloud at Automotive Museum!

Check this out!

At the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park, visitors can feast their eyes on all sorts of rare and gorgeous cars. Many of the cars are historically important.

I was wandering the floor of the museum today when a friendly docent pointed out an elegant 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon. It was originally owned, he explained, by music legend Marvin Gaye!

According to the San Diego Automotive Museum’s display, this car has chauffeured important musicians and Motown luminaries like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and Berry Gordy… Woah!

This super luxurious Silver Cloud has been restored and modernized by West Coast Customs, and its original blue exterior color is now ice pearl white.

Did you ever watch those television shows Pimp My Ride and Street Customs? Then you saw the work of West Coast Customs.

Would you like to drive this amazing, truly one-of-a-kind car?

According to the museum display, you might purchase this piece of history with all of its documentation and pictures by contacting the guys at West Coast Customs!

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San Diego’s Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk!

A very special event was held today on San Diego’s Shelter Island. The Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk brought together many people who desire a better world, where everyone everywhere lives in peace.

The Friendship Walk was created by the Ilan-Lael Foundation, which was established in 1982 by world-renowned local artists James Hubbell and his wife Anne.

As we walked along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park, led by the fun Chunky Hustle Brass Band, we saw several works of public art created by James Hubbell, and inspiring messages, and a sparkling view of San Diego Bay.

We started at Hubbell’s fanciful Pacific Portal, passed his female sculpture Pacific Spirit, and ended at the amazing Pearl of the Pacific. The Pearl of the Pacific is one of several Pacific Rim Parks uniting many nations, all inspired by Hubbell and built with many volunteer hands.

As you can see in the upcoming photos, we also passed the Shelter Island Pier and the Tunaman’s Memorial.

An awesome Japanese taiko drumming performance by Genbu Daiko was followed by many honorary speakers, including from a group that traveled to San Diego for the event from South Korea, and Drew, son of James Hubbell.

After checking out a couple of food trucks and an Ilan-Lael Pop-up Gift Shop, it was time to head over to Shelter Island’s historic Japanese Friendship Bell, to hear it ring. I’ll be blogging about that coming up!

I was told this was the first ever Friendship Walk. I hope there are many more to come!

Friendship begins with a smile.

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!

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!

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!

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!

A musician’s triumphant return to San Diego!

Many years ago I happened to attend a Spreckels Organ concert featuring an up-and-coming young organist who’d recently attended La Jolla High School. Her name was Chelsea Chen.

This evening, Chelsea Chen, now an internationally renowned organist, who has played in more famous venues and won more prizes than I can mention, returned triumphantly to San Diego, receiving loud and sustained applause for her performance during the 2022 International Summer Organ Festival.

Her fingers easily mastered Verdi, Bach, an Andrew Lloyd Webber medley, and many more–even a jazz piano piece based on the theme of The Flintstones. And, of course, she played her own stirring composition Taiwanese Suite, which incorporates beautiful folk music from Taiwan.

Her warm, graceful notes filled many ears.

As I listened I thought: That concert long ago feels like yesterday. How did the years fly by so quickly?

Enjoy the special moments.

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!

Chinese New Year returns to Balboa Park!

Chinese New Year has returned to Balboa Park!

Today I walked through the annual festival, which takes place at Balboa Park’s International Cottages. The celebration is hosted by the House of China.

Last year the House of China held this event online, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, many people on the lawn outside were wearing face masks just to be careful.

I didn’t stay too long, because I was headed over to the Comic-Con Museum for a screening of Black Panther. (A fun perk of being a Comic-Con Museum member. And I got a free high quality Black Panther movie poster, too!)

These are the images of the Chinese New Year festival that I captured. I saw a good crowd of visitors and lots of tempting food and talented musicians on the stage!

The popular free event continues on Sunday!

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!