Inspiration found in small scenes of beauty.

Whenever I forget to look closely at the world, I miss the hidden beauty. And the unexpected inspiration.

These photographs were all taken today at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

This special garden’s breathtaking beauty has inspired several very short stories. I wrote A Short BloomThe Child and the Koi and Waterfall Tears while sitting quietly by the stream that bubbles through the canyon.

I hope these photos–these small scenes of beauty–inspire you, too.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Do you enjoy beautiful things? Visit my other photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

Downtown visions and the passage of time.

A few dead leaves cling to branches that frame a new skyscraper in downtown San Diego.
A few dead leaves cling to branches that frame a new skyscraper.

The days pass by.

Memories gather . . . slowly fade.

Whenever I walk downtown, I see visions right and left of what is old and what is new. It’s often hard to remember how and when those visions first appeared.

I suppose the passage of time makes every walk a completely new adventure. Always new surprises, new mysteries, new beauty to discover.

Here are a few photos of my walk through downtown San Diego this morning.

Every time I walk near Seaport Village, my eyes pass different buskers and an ever-changing vision of art.
Every time I walk near Seaport Village, my eyes pass different buskers and an ever-changing gallery of art.
A beautiful feather and I meet for a moment.
A beautiful windblown feather and I meet for a moment.
Removing what is discarded and unwanted.
Removing what is discarded and unwanted.
A fountain near the entrance of San Diego's Old Police Headquarters, now a destination for shopping and dining. I visited the building decades ago in the 1980s. I suppose the fountain is original, but I cannot remember.
A fountain near the entrance of San Diego’s Old Police Headquarters, now a destination for shopping and dining. I visited this building decades ago. I suppose the fountain is original, but I cannot remember.
A colorful bird painted on a utility box near Pantoja Park seems just as alive as it was when I first saw it years ago.
A colorful bird painted on a utility box near Pantoja Park seems just as alive as when I first saw it years ago.
Dying leaves turn to the same color as new paint.
Dying leaves turn to the same color as new paint.
A sculpture titled Flame Flower stands in front of the Westin Gaslamp. Years ago, an obelisk once rose here--5 or 6 or 7 years ago. I can't remember exactly.
A sculpture titled Flame Flower stands in front of the Westin Gaslamp. Years ago an obelisk rose here–5 or 6 or 7 years ago. I can’t remember.
Old bricks of a Gaslamp building have been patched.
These bricks of a Gaslamp building appear to have been patched long ago.
A once fashionable and new car turns to rust.
A once fashionable car turns to rust.
Every so often entrances to the Gaslamp's subterranean clubs are painted with intriguing new artwork.
Every so often entrances to the Gaslamp’s subterranean clubs are painted with intriguing new artwork.
The building on Broadway that was home to Superfly West Tattoos is being demolished to make room for a new downtown high-rise condo development.
The building on Broadway that was home to Superfly West Tattoos is being demolished to make room for a new downtown high-rise condo development.
The front of the YWCA building on C Street has remained unchanged since its design in 1926. The ornate Spanish Colonial Revival architecture was made popular by the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
The front of the YWCA building on C Street has remained unchanged since its design in 1926. The ornate Spanish Colonial Revival architecture was made popular by the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Shoveling weathered stones. Wheeling them about.
Shoveling weathered stones. Wheeling them about.
Another walk through the city as time moves forward.
Another walk through the city as time moves forward.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

A mysterious, castle-like downtown building.

In downtown San Diego at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Ash Street you’ll find a very mysterious building. At first glance it appears to be a Gothic manor, or the corner of an impenetrable stone castle. Stranger still, a small shield on the building’s exterior includes the word GAS. Is this the castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, from which gas is expelled in your general direction? No–it’s a power substation of San Diego Gas and Electric!

The secure little building was designed by prominent architect Richard Requa in 1922, who would go on to become Master Architect for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.

My imagination is always electrified when I walk past this unusual sight. Is a Frankenstein monster being assembled behind those dark walls?

Here are some photos!

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!

Photos of real life in downtown San Diego.

Many poignant photos yesterday.

As I walked with my camera I tried to capture small scenes of real life. Some scenes evoked a sense of sadness, waiting, uncertainty; others contained glimmers of hope or subtle humor. In downtown San Diego thousands of lives mingle.

Mysteries around every corner.

Countless untold stories.

You might recognize that plaque.

Its exact origin was once was a mystery. But the plaque’s fascinating story was revealed here.

The Jessop’s clock fascinates many eyes.

After 125 years, Jessop’s jewelry store is closing. A chapter in San Diego’s history ends.

But the clock’s hands will will continue to mark time.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Three short stories about creativity and freedom.

I’ve recently written three short stories that touch upon human creativity and freedom. And the unending struggle . . . and the infinite mystery . . . and slow, bitter anguish . . . and sudden inspiration . . . and that joy a creator experiences when they’ve assembled a thing that seems powerful and true. In other words, that wonderful but turbulent journey undertaken by every passionate artist.

These three new works of fiction can be found on my writing blog Short Stories by Richard. How it has grown! Please enjoy the following links:

A Secret Junkyard is an odd, funny story that concerns black despair and creative rebirth.

A Long, Deep Drink suggests that satisfaction can be found by turning to gaze in a different direction.

The Pistachio Rocket is about launching upward, ignoring rules.

I hope you enjoy reading these! You might be surprised!

Mysterious night photos aboard Star of India.

Night watch aboard the tall ship Star of India. I walked the deck alone…

A murmur of unseen water.

A web of mysterious shadows on every side.

The gentle flap of a sail.

The call of a night bird.

Solitude.

A halo of light from the saloon, illuminating classic beauty.

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!

Write down your secret, share it anonymously!

PostSecret is coming to the Museum of Man in Balboa Park on April 14, 2018.
PostSecret is coming to the Museum of Man in Balboa Park on April 14, 2018.

How cool is this?

I was walking through the Fall Back Festival in the Gaslamp before it opened this morning and stumbled upon an amazing community art project!

The project is called PostSecret, and it was begun in 2004 by an inspired gentleman named Frank Warren. People write down one of their emotional secrets anonymously on a postcard and mail it in. The postcards are then displayed as public art! The project has already received over a million submissions!

The folks I met at the Fall Back Festival were representing the Museum of Man in Balboa Park. I learned the traveling PostSecret exhibition is coming to San Diego and will open at the museum on April 14, 2018! Residents of San Diego are encouraged to share their secrets!

How? Simply mail a creative postcard containing one of your written secrets–it can be anything, as long as it is true–to the Museum of Man address you see in one of my photos! You can make your postcard into a work of art, or just write down a few brief words.

I’m mailing my postcard tomorrow.

You also have secrets to share, don’t you?

These friendly folks would like you to mail in one of your secrets anonymously!
These friendly folks would like you to mail in one of your secrets anonymously!
PostSecret is a project that was begun in 2004 by Frank Warren. Over a million secrets have been shared.
PostSecret is a project that was begun in 2004 by Frank Warren. Over a million secrets have been shared.
That address on the right is where you need to mail your postcard! Mail as many secrets as you'd like!
That address on the right is where you need to mail your postcard! Mail as many secrets as you’d like!
Perhaps by mailing your secret, you'll help us humans better understand our inner selves. Or gain a personal sense of relief. Or merely have a good laugh!
Perhaps by mailing your secret, you’ll help us humans better understand our inner selves. Or gain a personal sense of relief. Or simply enjoy a healthy laugh!

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!