DC Comics bringing Batmobile to Hilton Gaslamp!

This morning I observed that DC Comics is beginning to set up an offsite for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con.

A big crane had begun lifting stuff up onto the terrace of the Hilton Gaslamp. Crates on a truck were marked Chaos Room, Swamp Thing and Chief’s Lab.

I was told by one guy working on the project that the offsite would include a Batmobile! Perhaps that explains the heavy duty crane. It appears this DC Universe project is being built by Giant Spoon.

I’ve also included a quick photo of the WB superheroes Rabbitville sculpture which is just inside the lobby of the Hilton Gaslamp.

As I see more, I’ll post updates here!

UPDATE!

Late today–Tuesday–I walked around the DC Comics offsite again. Looking high and low, I didn’t locate the Batmobile, but I did see a big DC Comics building wrap being placed on the exterior of the Hilton Gaslamp. The graphic includes lots of cool comic book covers, featuring a variety of different DC Universe characters!

The beginnings of a DC Comics building wrap on the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, site of their 2018 Comic-Con offsite!
The beginnings of a DC Comics building wrap on the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, site of their 2018 Comic-Con offsite!

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UPDATE! SPOILERS!

I saw it early Wednesday morning! The Batmobile has arrived for the DC Universe offsite at the Hilton Gaslamp! It’s the one from Batman Returns!

I’ve also learned Penguin’s big duck vehicle from that same movie will also be present!

Batmobile from Batman Returns arrives in San Diego for the DC Universe offsite during 2018 Comic-Con!
Batmobile from Batman Returns arrives in San Diego for the DC Universe offsite during 2018 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!

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LAIKA LIVE San Diego–UPDATE!

LAIKA LIVE San Diego is coming to 2018 Comic-Con...bigger and better than ever!
LAIKA LIVE San Diego is coming to 2018 Comic-Con . . . bigger and better than last year!

In my previous blog post, I discovered Laika is returning to San Diego Comic-Con. This morning I walked down to check things out again and learned that Laika’s presence in the Gaslamp this year will be substantially larger and more interesting!

The Laika Experience in 2017 was so amazingly successful, with lines that were so long, they’ve decided to enlarge the space and include even more stuff. I learned that for LAIKA LIVE San Diego this year, there will be life-size movie sets that the public can enter, including Coraline’s bedroom! (I went on the tour since I wrote this. Turns out I misinterpreted what I heard. It’s a life-size replica of Coraline’s Other World Living Room. Still very cool!)

UPDATE!

Here’s some great info I received from Laika!

Oscar®-winning animation studio LAIKA, creators of Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings, returns to the heart of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter with an all new, bigger-than-ever LAIKA LIVE exhibit from Friday, July 13 – Sunday, July 22, 2018 coinciding with the city’s PRIDE and Comic-Con festivities. With a new location (350 Fifth Avenue) providing three times the space as last year’s fantastically successful LAIKA installation, the free and all new exhibit will feature a huge cache of props, puppets, and sets from LAIKA’s critically acclaimed and award-winning films. Highlights include fan art, technology demonstrations, drawings for a pair of coveted Coraline Dunks from Nike, social media activations, LAIKA merchandise offered for sale (including brand new items and limited edition Coraline items), multiple giveaways, and more.  LAIKA President & CEO Travis Knight will lead a Facebook Live tour of the exhibit and do an autograph signing with a soon-to-be-announced special guest on Saturday, July 21.

Curators will explain the magical process of LAIKA’s filmmaking as guests peek behind the curtain at one of the most imaginative film studios in the world. LAIKA’s roster of costume characters (appearing both at the exhibit and throughout the Gaslamp Quarter) will pose for photos and for the first time ever will include Coraline and Other Mother, in a nod to the iconic film’s 10th anniversary (release date was February 9, 2009). In addition, fans will meet the costume character Mr. Link and see a set and Mr. Link puppet from LAIKA’s latest film Missing Link (set for release April 19, 2019).

WHERE:

350 Fifth Avenue (between J & K Streets)

WHEN:

Friday, July 13 to Sunday, July 22, 2018

Hours of Operation:

Friday, 7/13:  2-10pm
Saturday, 7/14: 2-10pm
Sunday, 7/15:  11am-5pm
Monday, 7/16:  12-5pm
Tuesday, 7/17: 12-5pm
Wednesday, 7/18: 12-5pm
Thursday, 7/19:  10am-10pm
Friday, 7/20:  10am-11pm
Saturday, 7/21: LAIKA store opens at 10am; exhibit: 2:00pm-11pm
Sunday, 7/22: 10am-6pm

HIGHLIGHTS:

Saturday, July 21 (with soon-to-be announced special guest)

11am: LAIKA President & CEO Travis Knight (director of Kubo and the Two Strings) will take Facebook Live guests on a tour of the exhibit. (Details tba)

12:30 to 2:00pm: Autograph signing session with Travis Knight. Autographs of merchandise (available at the store at LAIKA LIVE) will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, time permitting.

WHAT TO SEE at LAIKA LIVE:

●  Sets, puppets, props and technology demonstrations from all four LAIKA films as well as our hero puppet and a set from the studio’s upcoming Missing Link.
●  LAIKA merchandise available for purchase.
●  Daily drawing for one pair of collectible Coraline Dunks from Nike.
●  Photo ops with LAIKA costume characters, including:

◦ Coraline and Other Mother from Coraline
◦ Norman and Zombie Judge from ParaNorman
◦ Boxtrolls Fish and Sparky from The Boxtrolls
◦ Kubo, Monkey and Beetle from Kubo and the Two Strings
◦ Mister Link from Missing Link

Smiles and good vibes at Festival of Yoga!

Hundreds turn out for the Festival of Yoga in Waterfront Park by the County Administration Building.
Hundreds turn out for the Festival of Yoga in Waterfront Park by the County Administration Building.

I saw on the television news this morning that Pilgrimage of the Heart was hosting a free Festival of Yoga at Waterfront Park.

I happen to know a few of the people who work at Pilgrimage of the Heart. They are all super friendly, always smiling. Sending out good vibes.

Naturally, I had to begin my walk along the Embarcadero today at Waterfront Park, to see the big yoga festival.

Today is the United Nations International Day of Yoga. Look at all the people!

Pilgrimage of the Heart is the place to go if you want to learn or practice yoga in San Diego!
Pilgrimage of the Heart is the place to go if you want to learn or practice yoga in San Diego!
Lots of booths were around the central grassy area. Colorful yoga mats were everywhere.
Lots of booths were around the central grassy area. Colorful yoga mats were everywhere.
An energetic instructor poses on a platform, helping to lead the many yogis.
An energetic instructor poses on a platform, helping to lead the many yogis.
Sujantra is always smiling and super positive.
Sujantra is always smiling and super positive.
I prefer walking to yoga, but it sure looks like fun!
I prefer walking to stuff like yoga, but I confess it does look like fun!
Speaking of fun, I took this photo of the Festival of Yoga from the deck of the historic ship Star of India!
Speaking of fun, I took this photo of the Festival of Yoga from the deck of the historic ship Star of India!
Arms stretching skyward. Spirits in flight.
Arms stretching skyward. Spirits in 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!

Comic-Con banners in Balboa Park’s Federal Building!

Comic-Con banners have been hung inside the Federal Building in Balboa Park, former home to the Hall of Champions, and future home to the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture!
Comic-Con banners have been hung inside the Federal Building in Balboa Park, former home to the Hall of Champions, and future home to the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture!

Look what I spied today!

Just before noon I entered the Federal Building in Balboa Park–former home to the Hall of Champions, and future home of the museum-like Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture. My stomach was grumbling, demanding a cheeseburger from the Home Plate Cafe, where I often eat lunch on Sundays. (While most of the Federal Building is now vacant, the cafe remains open just inside the historic building’s entrance.)

Being tall, I peered over a partition that runs along the perimeter of the old Hall of Champions lobby, and look what I saw!

Several Comic-Con banners have recently been hung inside the building!

According to what I’ve read, the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture will open in 2019, but funds still need to be raised. It’s my understanding that sales of the exclusive Comic-Con 2018 Mondo print will be part of the fundraising effort.

I don’t know if an event of some kind will be held in the Federal Building during 2018 Comic-Con. Whatever the reason for the recent appearance of Comic-Con banners–it’s definitely a cool sight that got me excited!

If you’d like to see what the Hall of Champions looked like just before it closed, click 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!

Rex the Lion sculpture debuts at San Diego Zoo!

An amazing Rex the Lion sculpture has debuted in front of the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park!
An amazing Rex the Lion sculpture has debuted in front of the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park!

Wow! Look what debuted this morning in the recently renovated plaza in front of the San Diego Zoo! A gigantic sculpture of Rex the Lion, whose roar during Balboa Park’s 1915 Panama-California Exposition inspired Dr. Harry Wegeforth to establish a city zoo!

The amazing, mind-boggling 27-foot sculpture is made of 10 tons of stainless steel and bronze. It was created by the obviously talented people of Blue Rhino Studio. This landmark public artwork is sure to become an iconic sight known by people all around the world!

When I saw a mysterious construction fence here weeks ago, I originally surmised the historic Jessop’s Street Clock presently in Horton Plaza would be installed near the zoo’s entrance. Boy, was I wrong!

During the ceremony this morning, colorful puppeteers and costumed stilt walkers entertained the crowd right next to the sculpture, while a couple brief speeches were made. I noticed lots of huge smiles lit up faces–including my own!

Super cool!

The 27-foot 10 ton sculpture of a lion that inspired the San Diego Zoo's founding stands in a newly renovated plaza by the zoo's entrance.
A 27-foot 10 ton sculpture of a lion that inspired the San Diego Zoo’s founding now stands in a newly renovated plaza by the zoo’s entrance.
Reporters and lovers of the zoo have gathered for a special dedication ceremony on Sunday morning.
Reporters and lovers of the zoo have gathered for a special dedication ceremony on Sunday morning.
People wait for the historic event to begin.
People wait for the historic event to begin.
I learned this cool It Began With a Roar t-shirt logo was designed by a lady in the zoo's marketing department. Very nice!
I learned this cool It Began With a Roar t-shirt logo was designed by a lady in the zoo’s marketing department. Very nice!
The ceremony is starting! Looks what's entering the area near Rex the Lion!
The ceremony is starting! Looks what’s entering the area near Rex the Lion!
A fun blue rhino circles around the sculpture to the delight of young and old alike!
A fun blue rhino circles around the sculpture to the delight of young and old alike!
These cool costumed stilt-walkers circled around from the other side!
These cool costumed stilt-walkers circled around from the other side!
Oh, man! What fun!
Giraffes, too! Oh, man! What fun!
Councilmember Chris Ward makes a short speech.
Councilmember Chris Ward makes a short speech. Who knew sparsely populated San Diego a century ago would originate one of the world’s most famous zoos?
In the plaza around the base of the Rex lion sculpture are a bunch of fun inlaid animals.
In the plaza around the base of the Rex lion sculpture are a bunch of fun inlaid animals.
Inlaid near the public art's base is the shiny inscription Rex's Roar. One Man - One Lion - One Encounter. 1916-2016. Celebrating 100 Years.
Inlaid near the public art’s base is the shiny inscription Rex’s Roar. One Man – One Lion – One Encounter. 1916-2016. Celebrating 100 Years.
I've spotted some flamingos nearby!
I’ve spotted some flamingos nearby!
Kids rush up to touch the golden sculpture!
Kids rush up to touch the golden sculpture!
Another nearby sign indicates Rex's Roar was made possible by a generous gift from Craig and Mark Grosvenor and their families.
Another nearby sign indicates Rex’s Roar was made possible by a generous gift from Craig and Mark Grosvenor and their families.
Everybody wants a close look!
Everybody wants a close look!
A gigantic golden lion now guards the entrance to the San Diego Zoo. It's Rex!
A gigantic golden lion now guards the entrance to the San Diego Zoo. It’s Rex, truly King of Beasts!
An historic day at the much-beloved San Diego Zoo.
An historic day at the much-beloved San Diego Zoo.
Parrots take flight underfoot.
Parrots take flight underfoot.
Rex the Lion, inspiration for the San Diego Zoo's creation, now lives eternally in Balboa Park!
Rex the Lion, inspiration for the San Diego Zoo’s creation, now lives eternally in Balboa Park!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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LimeBike smart bicycles arrive in San Diego!

Rows of bright new LimeBike smart bicycles have appeared in downtown San Diego.
Bright new LimeBike smart bicycles have suddenly appeared in downtown San Diego!

Look what I discovered as I walked down Cedar Street to the Little Italy trolley station this morning. A bunch of identical lime green bicycles were waiting in a row on the sidewalk!

Upon closer inspection, I saw these bikes can be rented simply by unlocking them with a smartphone. And riders pay only one dollar per half hour! Very affordable!

LimeBike has just announced the introduction of their smart pedal bikes into downtown San Diego. That must explain why I’ve never them before.

In the future, I’ve learned they intend to introduce a fleet of Lime-E electric assist bikes and Lime-S scooters. Sounds like a great idea to me!

The 1st ride of a LimeBike is free! They cost is only one dollar per half hour!
The 1st ride of a LimeBike is free! Renting one of these smart bikes costs only $1 per half hour.
Instructions on a LimeBike show how to scan the QR code to unlock the bicycle.
Instructions on a LimeBike show how to scan the QR code to unlock the bicycle.
I found more LimeBikes parked on the sidewalk near some colorful public art at the Little Italy trolley station!
I found more LimeBikes parked on the sidewalk at the Little Italy trolley station!

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!

Getting the Starlight Bowl ready for action!

Guys work on an interactive kiosk that will be at the entrance to the renovated Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park!
Guys work on an interactive kiosk that will be at the entrance to the renovated Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park!

I was pleasantly surprised during my walk through Balboa Park today to see progress is being made in renovating the Starlight Bowl!

A couple of super cool guys from Save Starlight were installing an interactive kiosk at the outdoor amphitheater’s entrance. I learned that some events for the outdoor venue are already planned for early this year! How awesome is that?

If you are like me, you might have watched musicals performed in the Starlight Bowl under twinkling stars, before the San Diego Civic Light Opera went bankrupt in 2011. My memories from years ago are still vivid in my mind’s eye. I remember laughing as a young man at the humor of Kiss Me, Kate and The Pirates of Penzance.

I’ve blogged about the effort to save the Starlight Bowl on several occasions, and took a couple of photographs after a new paint job and clean up early last year. I posted those photos on my Beautiful Balboa Park blog here.

If you want to learn more about the Starlight Bowl’s history, challenges, rehabilitation and eventual reopening, visit this website. You can make a donation to help with the effort, or perhaps volunteer!

A performance in the Ford Bowl (now the Starlight Bowl) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. No known copyright restrictions image from Flickr.
A performance in the Ford Bowl–now the Starlight Bowl–during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. (This no known copyright restrictions image is from Flickr.)
Save Starlight is making great progress bringing the famous and beloved Starlight Bowl back to life!
Save Starlight is making great progress bringing the famous and beloved Starlight Bowl back to 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!

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!