Smiles at Escondido’s Grand Avenue Festival!

Escondido’s big Fall Grand Avenue Festival was held today.

Around midday I headed up to Escondido to experience the popular event.

Along the main stretch of Escondido’s historic downtown I saw a community gathered to enjoy a sunny, carefree Sunday. I saw neighbors and friends and food and entertainment and lots of vendors and fun.

There were local high school students demonstrating their competitive robots, which launched balls into the air.

Very creative artists showed their “Art In The Garden” at the Heritage Garden.

Diners along the sidewalks enjoyed lunch at their favorite eateries while engaged in people watching.

And, of course, there were many smiles.

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!

Variations on a Gold Theme installed in Mingei courtyard!

A couple weeks ago I noticed a large mural was being installed on a wall of the courtyard at the newly transformed Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

Today I saw the work has been completed!

For many years, Variations on a Gold Theme, created by artists Ellamarie and Jackson Woolley in 1966, could be viewed in Escondido outside the museum’s satellite branch on Maple Street.

Originally this fantastic 12-by-36-foot enamel-on-copper mural made its home in downtown San Diego, at the First National Bank Building.

Now, as you can see in my photographs, the radiant, quite beautiful Variations on a Gold Theme inspires those who sit outside in the sunshine at the Mingei Museum’s new Lucille and Ron Neeley Courtyard!

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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Balboa Park’s amazing, old Federal Building–like new!

Check out these amazing photographs!

For too many years, the exterior of Balboa Park’s historic Federal Building had languished neglected in a state of decay.

Not any more!

This is what I saw yesterday as I walked through the Palisades area of Balboa Park.

The Federal Building, built for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, has suddenly returned to life. What visitors to Balboa Park will now see is something more like the building’s original appearance.

This uniquely beautiful building will be the home of the Comic-Con Museum, which is scheduled to open this coming Thanksgiving weekend.

The repair and painting of the Federal Building’s exterior was made possible in large part by the Balboa Park Committee of 100.

You can see photos of the historic restoration getting underway a few weeks ago and learn a little more by clicking 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!

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!

Festive fun at House of Czech and Slovak Republics!

Accordion music, costumes, dance and tasty treats can be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park this weekend at the International Cottages. The House of Czech and Slovak Republics is presenting their festive lawn program!

I swung by to enjoy a bit of culture and ended up gobbling some yummy strudel. I also got a few colorful photos!

I stepped into the House of Czech and Slovak Republics cottage and discovered a beautiful painting on one wall of Prague. And artwork depicting folk costume and dance!

Then a smile and book titled FAVORITE RECIPES Czech & Slovak Cottage was promptly followed by sweet temptation!

The lawn program will be held tomorrow, Sunday, as well! The public is invited!

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!

Taste of the Philippines at Waterfront Park!

A huge, very colorful event was held today on San Diego’s Embarcadero at Waterfront Park. Taste of the Philippines, presented by the House of the Philippines, offered food, culture, entertainment and fun galore!

After walking through Balboa Park (incidentally passing the new House of the Philippines cottage), I headed down toward San Diego Bay to check out this event.

I was amazed by the huge crowd! I guess it shouldn’t have been surprising, given how San Diego is home to the second largest population of Filipinos outside of the Philippines.

I recognized various organizations that I’ve seen at past House of the Philippines lawn programs at the International Cottages. But at this epic event there was much, much more, including a big stage, beer garden, endless choices of food, and a kids play zone!

Enjoy some photos…

I learned that the PASACAT Philippine Performing Arts Company will be hosting a Parol Lantern Festival on December 13, 2021 at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. It’s now on my calendar!
A parol is a Christmas lantern in the Philippines. These star-shaped lanterns are hung along streets and outside homes. They are an expression of shared faith and hope.
All these poster displays concerning culture and history in the Philippines were created by students at Southwestern College.
A fascinating collection of old photos. Image of the Pilipino: 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
A San Diego Paré fan!
Photos of folk dance at the Samahan Philippine Dance Company table.
Traditional entertainment at the big stage during Taste of the Philippines.
Live mural painting at the festival.
Cecelia Linayao, local chalk artist, created this portrait of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, who is part Filipino! You’ve seen her art many times on my blog.
Dane’s a super cool guy who paints custom longboards! His page on Instagram is @Kinjo_arts.

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 fun Harvest Fair in Balboa Park!

A very fun Harvest Fair and Marketplace could be enjoyed today in Balboa Park!

The San Diego Floral Association hosted this annual event–which they call Birds, Bees, Flowers and Trees–at the Casa del Prado’s outdoor courtyards.

During my walk through Balboa Park, I lingered at this autumn festival to look about and meet some cool people.

This is what I discovered…

The family friendly event provided many educational opportunities.
Vendors had all sorts of unique crafts and art for sale.
Representatives from the organization Senior Gleaners pose for a photo. They’ll pick your fruit and donate to local agencies that feed the hungry. Or you can volunteer and help pick fruit!
Ikebana International had a table with some beautiful flower arrangements.
The San Diego Audubon Society was present. We talked about local estuaries, lagoons and feral parrots in my Cortez Hill neighborhood!
I learned there’s a College Area Community Garden in a canyon near San Diego State University.
These cool folks in costume were representing the San Diego Costume Guild!
The San Diego Beekeeping Society was showing this hive of bees. Hundreds of people around San Diego County keep bees. Many are hobbyists.
If you happen to come upon an injured parrot, call these friendly ladies at SoCalParrot.org. They perform urban wild parrot rescues.
The San Diego Floral Association had lots of helpful and interesting information on display.
The colorful Harvest Fair included a “Flower Power” floral design competition!

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!

Working on the trolley tracks at America Plaza.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve noticed that MTS is working on the trolley tracks in and near the America Plaza station. As you can see in the above photo, old wooden railroad ties are being replaced with new concrete ones.

I’ve always loved trains. I did as a kid. I still do today. That’s one reason I like riding the San Diego Trolley.

So it has been fascinating to watch this work whenever I walk through downtown past America Plaza.

It will also be interesting to watch another upcoming project by the Metropolitan Transit System: the America Plaza and Santa Fe Depot Pedestrian Enhancement Project. Navigating between these two adjacent stations will be made easier and more welcoming. I use both stations a lot, so I’m excited!

I took these photos over the last couple weeks. You can see progress is being made as the aging trolley tracks are improved…

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!

New public art coming to Balboa Park previewed!

Monumental public art is now being created for the Palisades area of Balboa Park!

Once completed, a pair of life-size grizzly bear sculptures will be placed on the roof of the 1935 California State Building, home of the San Diego Automotive Museum. In addition, a large 12′ x 20′ cold cast bronze panel is destined to greet visitors approaching the front entrance of the 1935 Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries, which today serves as the Municipal Gymnasium.

The two buildings were constructed for the 1935-1936 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.

In 2021, almost a century later, both building exteriors, with the help of local architect Robert Thiele, are undergoing a historic restoration.

Today I was privileged to have an amazing preview!

Take a look at these photographs of a model grizzly bear standing in an indoor work area at Bellagio Precast. The bear, symbol of California, was created by San Diego sculptor Michael Matson and his son Kevin.

As you can see, the huge golden grizzly is ready to be completely cast.

A rendering shows how completed bear sculptures will be positioned atop the two front corners of the San Diego Automotive Museum, overlooking Pan American Plaza, with its proposed Singing Color Fountains.

The large bronze panel to be placed above the front entrance of the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries building will soon be created out in the yard of Bellagio Precast. Some blocks of ornamentation meant to surround the panel are already finished.

The panel’s design is based on the original 1935 bas-relief designed by Arturo Eneim that was carved out of layers of fragile wallboard.

Imagery in the panel includes an electrical power plant and the gears of industrial machinery. During the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, crowds marveled at the latest technological inventions. Inside the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries was the House of Magic, which showcased a “talking kitchen” and television!

The following images show how the building and its panel will appear when all is completed.

A wood framework for working on the very large cold cast bronze panel is ready outside.

I took a photograph of finished blocks of ornamentation that will be installed beneath the panel, along the edge of the building’s marquee.

It will be interesting to follow the progress of these projects, which are made possible by the Balboa Park Committee of 100. It will be really exciting to see the final result!

Is it possible for beautiful Balboa Park to become even more amazing?

Yes!

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!

Oceanside festival celebrates Filipino culture!

The 20th Annual Filipino Cultural Celebration was held today at Oceanside’s Civic Center Plaza. I arrived at the popular festival as it opened and stayed for a bit to enjoy all sorts of colorful entertainment!

After National Anthems were sung and presentations were made by community leaders, costumed dancing and singing commenced. The audience was wowed by an incredible fire dance by Dane Kaneshiro. You might’ve enjoyed his energetic performances at SeaWorld. As you’ll see in the upcoming photographs, he also custom paints longboards with great Polynesian inspired art. See his Kinjo Arts Instagram page here.

I also enjoyed chatting with a representative of the House of the Philippines about their new cottage in Balboa Park and watching kids perform tricks with tiny fingerboards on a model miniature skatepark. Of course, there was lots of food, vendors and educational opportunities, too!

The family-friendly festival was presented by the Filipino-American Cultural Organization and the Oceanside Public Library.

I was surprised to learn the second largest population of Filipinos outside of the Philippines resides right here in San Diego!

Another big Filipino festival is coming up next weekend in downtown San Diego at Waterfront Park. I plan to be there!

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!

Ladies Who Paint create Hotel Z murals!

Four large, very colorful murals are presently being painted on the rear of Hotel Z in downtown San Diego. The art comes from the hands of Ladies Who Paint (@ladieswhopaint)!

I was walking down Seventh Avenue this morning when I spied the new artwork. I then met artist Sarah Tate. You can see her smiling on a lift in an upcoming photograph.

Over the years, the Ladies Who Paint have produced numerous amazing murals all over San Diego, particularly in East Village. You can see some of their past work here and here and here and here!

UPDATE!

I swung by a couple days later to see how the murals are progressing…

Painted by @lindsaysochar
Mural in progress by Thao French (@thaofrenchart)
Live in the sunshine Swim in the sea Drink in the wild air — @heysarahtate

UPDATE!

And several days later, the murals appear to be finished!

Mural painted behind Hotel Z by @enchi.art.

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!