Huge mural by Joram Roukes in Vista!

Have you seen the 60 foot tall mural at the new Found Lofts apartments in Vista’s Arts and Culture District? Joram Roukes, an internationally famous artist and muralist from The Netherlands, painted it a couple months ago!

The collage-like, multi-wall mural contains many elements, including a mountain climber, and images that represent the culture of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. The frog and the coyote in the mural come from a traditional animal story of The First People: How Coyote Killed Frog. The Luiseño people inhabited this area long before Spaniards established nearby Mission San Luis Rey in 1798.

The very cool mural is located at 516 S. Santa Fe Avenue. You can’t miss it!

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!

A Perfect Day (and other stories) in Oceanside!

What does a Perfect Day look like in Oceanside? To find out, you should visit the Oceanside Museum of Art!

In one museum gallery, the exhibited art of James E. Watts not only includes the above Perfect Day Blocks, but numerous other visual stories!

Here’s how the story of one Perfect Day begins…

…and how that Perfect Day ends.

Here’s the story of Frankenstein and his monster creation…

…and the story of Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and two small horses…

…and the story of a female Prometheus…

…and the story of Quasimodo, Esmeralda and a goat.

Do these stories appear familiar? Perhaps you’ve already seen them “written” in James Watts’ little-known downtown San Diego studio: here and here and here.

If that’s the case, you might also recognize a few of these storytelling pieces in the Oceanside Museum of Art’s gift shop…

Art enthusiasts, take note! James Watts is a creative genius and an absolute, 100% original. He’s also a cool guy!

You need to visit the Oceanside Museum of Art to jump into his rich stories firsthand. Do so by July 17, 2022, when JAMES E. WATTS: STORYTELLER turns its last page.

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!

Myth, wonder and WOW in San Diego!

Wonder, surprise, and plenty of WOW was experienced by those visiting Liberty Station today. That’s because La Jolla Playhouse was in their final day of the 2022 Without Walls Festival!

Among many outdoor performances free to the public was the colorful, kinetic procession TransMythical.

Strange, never-before-seen spirits, nature gods, high priests and mythological creatures appeared from the arches at the edge of Liberty Station’s North Promenade.

As they emerged, they seemed to step tentatively into an unfamiliar world–our world.

The mysterious creatures looked about with wonder. They wandered, gathered, formed a procession.

Appearing beautifully strange–and strangely familiar–the giant puppets and masked characters interacted with the crowd in a very human way. But then–all elemental myths are composed by us human types–right?

During the performance a baby deer was born.

The mythical creatures and we humans all looked on with wonder. The fawn was greeted with happiness.

The tiny deer looked about our shared world with newly opened eyes.

These strangely wonderful myths were brought to life by the San Diego-based Animal Cracker Conspiracy!

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!

Restoring a great San Diego treasure!

The historic ship Star of India is one of San Diego’s great treasures. Its figurehead, depicting the Greek Muse of music and lyric poetry Euterpe, is undergoing restoration at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Euterpe was the original name of Star of India when it was launched in 1863 at the Isle of Man.

Should you venture down into the hold of Star of India, you’ll see how the carved wooden figurehead has had many layers of paint removed, in order to remove rot and fill in cracks. The last time the figurehead was removed from the tall ship’s bow was back in 1988.

The figurehead was carved from a single piece of pine wood by a worker at a Glasgow boatyard named George Sutherland. By sheer coincidence, that is the exact name of the Maritime Museum crew member leading today’s restoration effort!

If you’re interested in seeing history close up, this is your chance! Head down to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, step aboard Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, and descend from the main deck down two levels into the hold, where you can view the renewal of beautiful Euterpe!

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 dragon, a giant, Martian canals and a mummy.

I love this dragon street art. I had to add contrast to many of these photos, because much of the artwork has been faded by time and weather.

Do you daydream?

I suppose we all do.

What do you dream about?

I dreamed up a short story.

It’s titled The Weed.

It’s a fairy tale, and it isn’t.

It’s about life, growth, and forgetting.

The abrupt climax is sad, and perhaps not unexpected.

If you have an active imagination and a philosophical view of life, you might enjoy reading it here.

Have a great Sunday!

Richard

The Triton Legend at UC San Diego.

The Triton Legend is made visible at UC San Diego in the form of a fountain sculpture. Triton with his trident and conch is located at the bottom of stairs on the south side of Price Center.

I passed the Triton Fountain during a recent walk and took these photographs.

The fine bronze sculpture of UCSD’s mascot was installed in 2008. It was created by artist Manuelita Brown, an alumna of the university.

I’ve photographed two other great sculptures by Manuelita Brown. One, titled Encinitas Child, you can see here. The second small sculpture titled I’ll Fly Away is here.

Triton in Greek mythology is a merman and demigod, the son of Poseidon.

A plaque near the fountain, which was off when I walked past, reads:

The Triton Legend

In Greek mythology, Triton is known as the trumpeter of the deep and son of Poseidon, god of the sea. He is represented as a merman having the upper body of a human and tail of a fish. Like Poseidon, he carries a three prong spear called a trident. However, Triton’s special attribute is the conch shell, which he blows like a trumpet to calm or raise the seas. When blown loudly, its sound is so fearsome, Triton’s rivals imagine it to be the roar of a mighty beast and take flight.

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!

Two fun sculptures at the Central Library!

Downtown San Diego’s Central Library is filled with all sorts of public artwork. Walk around the various floors with your eye on the walls and you’ll make frequent unexpected discoveries!

A couple weekends ago I was walking around the library’s 5th floor when I came upon two abstract sculptures by internationally renowned multimedia artist Italo Scanga. They are titled Music I and Music III. Both were created using oil paint, wood and found objects. And what appears to be symbolic imagery. Much of Scanga’s work incorporates elements of mythology.

Italo Scanga was born in Italy. He lived the later part of his life in San Diego. His pieces can be found in many museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Read a Wikipedia article about Italo Scanga here.

Both of these fun, very colorful sculptures, Music I and Music III, are in the City of San Diego Civic Art Collection.

Enjoy a few 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!

A very fun Tanabata Festival in San Diego!

The Tanabata Festival was held today at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park!

This always fun festival included traditional Japanese kimonos, art, crafts, kids games, yummy food, the making of kokedama (Japanese moss balls) and other family activities.

Most importantly, visitors to the festival had the opportunity to write their own special wish!

Tanabata has its origin in a story about the Japanese deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, who shine in the heavens as stars. The Milky Way separates the two lovers who can only meet once a year. Tanabata is that day.

According to the Japanese Friendship Garden’s website here, “A common practice during Tanabata is to decorate the nanatsu kazari, or seven decorations…” Different types of ornaments are hung from bamboo trees to bring luck, skill, health or success.

I noticed many messages had already been hung. The hands of many at the festival wished for happiness in life!

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 shining sculpture dances in Encinitas.

A fantastic kinetic sculpture was recently installed on the Coast Highway in Encinitas. You can see it shining among trees in the small park in front of the Self-Realization Fellowship building, at South Coast Hwy 101 and K Street.

The titanium and stainless steel sculpture is called Orpheus, named after the poet and musician of Greek mythology. Orpheus played his lyre so movingly that even the trees danced. And indeed, the trees near this metallic Orpheus seem to dance with it as the sculpture’s curving arms move quietly in the wind like living limbs.

Orpheus was created by Encinitas artist Jeffery Laudenslager. His peculiar geometric sculpture Fuji San was photographed six years ago here.

Orpheus has been acquired by the Encinitas Friends of the Arts and, according to this article, is the very first piece of public art in the City of Encinitas’ Sculpture Installation Program.

I took these photos last Saturday. By sheer coincidence, I read an article this morning that another similar kinetic sculpture by Jeffery Laudenslager was recently stolen from his driveway, and he is offering a reward to recover it.

Enjoy a few photos of Orpheus, playing its visual music in the sky above Encinitas…

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!

The unexpected Egyptian Garage in City Heights.

The Egyptian Garage building in City Heights is a fascinating example of Egyptian Revival architecture.

This building with a rather unexpected appearance is located at University Avenue and Euclid Avenue. It’s adjacent to two other unique, historical buildings–directly west of the prominent Euclid Tower, and south across the street from the Silverado Ballroom (both of which you can see in a few of the following photographs).

To learn about the history of the Egyptian Garage, I’ve had to sort out conflicting dates from several web pages. Apparently the building was constructed in 1923, at the end of the old East San Diego trolley line. It was one of three Egyptian Revival streetcar electrical substations that were built. It was sold only two years after beginning operation.

After a remodel in 1925 by David H. Ryan, the building served from 1926 to 1932 as the Egyptian Garage, complete with gas pumps in front. An addition was made on the south side in 1927. Since 1957 it has been the home of Big City Liquor.

Today you can see pharaoh heads atop pilasters on a couple sides of the building, horizontal vulture wings containing cobras and suns up by the rooftop, and an obelisk-like projection on the garage’s south end with a hieroglyphic design featuring ibis-headed Egyptian moon god Thoth.

To learn much more, you can read a detailed article about the Egyptian Garage building’s history and the phenomenon of Egyptian Revival architecture in the 1920’s here.

A few other examples of the Egyptian Revival architectural style can be found in San Diego, most notably in Hillcrest. Years ago I took some fun photos in Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter and posted them here.

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