US National Beat Poet Laureate in Balboa Park!

Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.

Tomorrow you have a chance to hear US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, Chris Vannoy, read live poetry in Balboa Park! He’ll be performing with local poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. (Poetic Expeditionary Nation of Semanticists) in the Zoro Garden beginning at 2 pm.

Today during my extensive walk through Balboa Park, I happened to stumble upon this summer’s weekend Garden Theatre Festival. As I entered the stony, amphitheater-like Zoro Garden, live poetry readings were underway. Everyone in the audience was invited up to the microphone to read poetry!

And wouldn’t you know it, I was fortunate to enjoy several readings by Chris Vannoy, who will soon be named the United States Beat Poet Laureate by the National Beat Poetry Foundation!

I’d heard Chris perform with The Mightier P. E. N. S. a couple years ago, and blogged about that event here.

His hard-hitting beat poetry is vivid and resonant. His words are like the many butterflies that flit through the garden–bright sparks in the sunlight–burning red hot for just a moment–each a revelation–a brief glimpse of something elemental. Delicate words, transient words, an incantation of power spoken briefly into the wind.

Congratulations to a local poet whose voice is now magnified! And whose smile appears to be indomitable!

The Garden Theatre Festival continues through Sunday August 19, 2018. Live performances are enjoyed free to the public in Balboa Park's Zoro Garden.
The Garden Theatre Festival continues through Sunday August 19, 2018. Live performances are enjoyed free to the public in Balboa Park’s Zoro Garden.
Chris Vannoy of the local poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. expresses thought and emotion with vigorous words as the audience listens and reacts.
Chris Vannoy of the San Diego poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. expresses complex thought and emotion with vigorous words as the audience listens and reacts.
Two in the audience listen to powerfully spoken truth.
Two in the audience listen to a poet’s powerfully spoken truth.
Someone in the audience signs up to read a poem. Anybody could participate during the event.
Someone in the audience signs up to read a poem. Anybody could participate during the event.
Chris Vannoy, who will be named US National Beat Poet Laureate in September, finishes and earns enthusiastic applause.
Chris Vannoy, who will be named US National Beat Poet Laureate in September, finishes his reading and earns enthusiastic applause.

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!

Trevor Time returns to Petco Park!

Padres fans enter Petco Park before a home game against the Diamondbacks to watch the induction of Trevor Hoffman into the baseball Hall of Fame live on the big video board.
Padres fans enter Petco Park before a home game against the Diamondbacks to watch the induction of Trevor Hoffman into the baseball Hall of Fame live on the big videoboard.

Trevor Hoffman was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame today. I headed down to Petco Park before the early afternoon game to watch the induction ceremony in Cooperstown live on the big Petco Park videoboard.

As game time approached, more and more fans filled the seats. All eyes were watching the live ceremony. Then Trevor took to the podium to accept the highest honor in all of baseball.

It was Trevor Time once again!

Trevor spoke many moving words during his speech. He remembered and thanked his family and his past teammates. He honored members of the Padres family who have passed into history, including Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman. He thanked the military, an important part of our city, and reminded all that freedom is not free. He closed by telling his sons that character is more important than reputation.

Thank you Trevor, not only for being a Padres baseball hero, but for being a hero for all of San Diego.

Another beautiful, sunny day in San Diego at Petco Park. Today is particularly special.
Another beautiful, sunny day in San Diego at Petco Park. Today is particularly special.
San Diego Padres legendary closer Trevor Hoffman is inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame on July 29, 2018.
San Diego Padres legendary closer Trevor Hoffman is inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 29, 2018.
Six great MLB players form the Class of 2018 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Six great MLB players form the Class of 2018 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Cooperstown, New York is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Cooperstown, New York is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Trevor Hoffman, who spent his career as closing pitcher for the San Diego Padres, is part of the Class of 2018.
Trevor Hoffman, who spent his record-breaking career as closing pitcher for the San Diego Padres, is part of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.
As Hoffman is introduced during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, video is shown of Padres fans holding a banner proclaiming Trevor Time.
As Hoffman is introduced during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, video is shown of Padres fans holding a banner proclaiming Trevor Time.
The MLB Network live feed on the Petco Park videoboard shows Trevor Hoffman shortly before he gives his speech at the Hall of Fame.
The MLB Network live feed on the Petco Park videoboard shows Trevor Hoffman shortly before he gives his speech at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The determined eyes of the Major League Baseball pitcher who was first to achieve 500 and 600 saves.
The determined eyes of the Major League Baseball pitcher who was first to achieve 500 and 600 saves.
Footage shows Trevor during a game with his Padres teammates on the field.
Footage shows Trevor during a game with his Padres teammates on the field.
Trevor doffs his cap to his San Diego fans as he achieves a baseball pitching milestone.
Trevor doffs his cap to his San Diego fans as he achieves a baseball pitching milestone.
The face of Trevor William Hoffman immortalized in bronze at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The face of Trevor William Hoffman immortalized in bronze at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Trevor Hoffman, master of a mystifying change-up, became the first pitcher to reach the 500 and 600 save milestones.
Trevor Hoffman, master of a mystifying change-up, became the first pitcher to reach the 500 and 600 save milestones.
Trevor Hoffman poses during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with other legendary baseball players all around him.
Trevor Hoffman poses during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with other legendary baseball players all around him.
It's Trevor Time one more time at Petco Park.
It’s Trevor Time one more time at Petco Park!
Thanks for the memories Hoffy.
Thanks for the memories Hoffy.
Trevor begins his acceptance speech. He thanks his dad and mom.
Trevor begins his acceptance speech. He thanks his dad and mom.
He adresses his brothers, who are watching the ceremony at Cooperstown.
He addresses his brothers, who are watching the ceremony at Cooperstown.
Padres fans enter Petco Park as an historic event occurs on the other side of the country.
Padres fans enter Petco Park as an historic event occurs on the other side of the country.
Trevor Hoffman thanks Bruce Bochy, and his past teammates. Those teams had great chemistry--a special bond.
Trevor Hoffman thanks his old manager Bruce Bochy, and his past teammates. Those teams had great chemistry–a special bond.
Trevor thanks his wife.
Trevor thanks his wife.
Fans thank Trevor.
Fans applaud Trevor.
Another day, another game of wonderful baseball. Young and old fill the Park at the Park beyond the outfield.
Another day, another game of wonderful baseball. Young and old now fill the Park at the Park beyond the outfield.
Trevor is honored on the video board in the Park at the Park.
Trevor is honored on the video board in the Park at the Park.
Meanwhile, kids who might not know who Trevor is simply love playing baseball.
Meanwhile, kids who might not know who Trevor is simply love playing baseball.
My soda cup with Trevor Hoffman's impressive baseball achievements.
My soda cup with Trevor Hoffman’s impressive baseball achievements.
The game will soon start. Trevor's induction speech is repeated on video screens throughout Petco Park.
The game will soon start. Trevor’s induction speech is repeated on video screens throughout Petco Park.
I saw many Hoffman jerseys.
I saw many Hoffman jerseys.
Trevor Time has returned to Petco Park on a summer's day in 2018.
Trevor Time has returned to Petco Park on a summer’s day in 2018.
Fans were posing by some new Trevor Hoffman Hall of Fame graphics on a wall along the Petco Park concourse.
Fans were posing by some new Trevor Hoffman Hall of Fame graphics on a wall along the Petco Park concourse.
Trevor graphics ascend the side of an escalator.
Trevor graphics ascend the side of an escalator.
Hoffman jerseys were a hot item today.
Hoffman jerseys were a hot item today.
Trevor Hoffman's plaque in the Breitbard Hall of Fame. A sports legend in San Diego, among many others.
Trevor Hoffman’s plaque in the Breitbard Hall of Fame. A sports legend who made San Diego his home, among many other world-class athletes.
Photo of Trevor Hoffman achieving his 479th save, surpassing Lee Smith, in the Padres Hall of Fame in Petco Park.
Historic photos of Trevor Hoffman in the Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park. When he achieved his 479th save, he surpassed Lee Smith as Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader.
A boy looks up at a Trevor Hoffman jersey in the Padres Hall of Fame.
A boy looks up at a Trevor Hoffman jersey in the Padres Hall of Fame.
The smile of Trevor Hoffman.
The smile of Trevor Hoffman.
The smile of a San Diego baseball hero.
The smile of a San Diego baseball hero.

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!

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!

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!

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!

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