A huge Fandom Invasion in Escondido!

Dude Vader, Hawkeye and Captain America with actors from The Supernatural University, a television series now in development.

Fans of popular culture have converged today in Escondido for the first ever Fandom Invasion!

This big family-friendly event, which is being held at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, features lots of exhibitors, panelists, video gaming, storytelling, celebrities, cosplay, and even a play zone with Batman bounce houses for kids!

Fandom Invasion was conceived by the San Diego cosplay group Science Fiction Coalition, whose costumed members have become a common sight at events all around the city.

I arrived at Fandom Invasion as it opened, and I walked around the sizable exhibit hall where there were booths overflowing with awesome stuff. And awesome people, too!

For a while I listened to the Geek in the Streets Podcast panel, where there was a detailed discussion concerning cosplay.

Indeed, cosplay was everywhere I turned! As you can see from the upcoming photos.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Fandom Invasion was its focus on kids and their creativity. There were more than a few tables with young artists and makers and cosplayers!

Hopefully this is the beginning of a fun annual tradition.

Check it out!

Cosplayers wearing Mandalorian armor pose in front of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Conference Center.
Hulk welcomes visitors at the Science Fiction Coalition table. I think he just arrived from Planet Hulk.
Oh, man! Look at all this super cool nerdy stuff!
Many local Star Wars groups were present, including the 501st Legion.
R2-D2 and friend were created by Droid Builders.
Author Janet Racciato has written novels for different age groups. Her heroine Julie grew up in Oceanside and can teleport. She told me writing comes easily to her.
Dr. Artemus Peepers and Wonder Woman pose for a cosplay photo.
Look at all the cool pop culture patches at one vendor table. What’s Yoda doing over there on the right?
And check this out! All these awesome creations are from the Gears & Roebuck Rusty Junk Emporium.
Star Wars Corn Flakes and Godzilla!
And here’s an angry Lord Vader himself! No, I didn’t call you corny or a flake! That box contains cereal!
The happy Addams Family.
Future artist Gavin Richter. Future? More like present!
Young artist Zeke of Swirl Waffle at work.
Lots of comic books, naturally. But it’s hard not to look at a phone.
Whoa! Ultra-cool helmet by CostumeBiz!
Now it looks like I’m in trouble!
Ian and Arielle discuss cosplay in the Large Panel Room.
Miss Ellie Honeybee posed for a cool cosplay photograph!
David L. Drake and Katherine L. Morse, San Diego-based authors of The Adventures of Drake and McTrowell, read their book.
Gamora and Star Lord are outside by a face painter!
Cars from the animated movie Cars! They were brought to Fandom Invasion by Dr. Justin Wu, of the Healing Little Heroes Foundation.
Cosplay everywhere!
Even Hawkman showed up in Escondido, all the way from the planet Thanagar.
It seems Wolverine was a bit late, however.

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!

Grand Opening for Old Town’s new Kumeyaay expansion!

I just received the above information. There will be a Grand Opening of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s recently completed expansion!

The new outdoor interpretive area, which I visited yesterday and blogged about here, is called Iipay ~ Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok, Land of the First People. It’s a beautiful place, with winding walkways and public art and displays concerning the history and culture of the Native American Kumeyaay. These First People have lived in our region for thousands of years, long before European explorers arrived.

The big Grand Opening is scheduled for Tuesday, October 26, 2021, and will take place between 1 pm and 4 pm.

Kumeyaay bird singers will perform during the historic Grand Opening ceremony!

If you plan to go, look for the large park-like space full of trees and native greenery, at the corner of Taylor Street and Juan Street!

Old Town State Park’s new Kumeyaay expansion opens!

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s major expansion has opened!

The beautiful new outdoor area, situated at the north end of the State Park, near the intersection of Taylor Street and Juan Street where an old Caltrans building used to stand, is called Land of the First People. It honors our region’s Native American Kumeyaay.

Pathways wind through native vegetation, beautiful public artwork, and interpretive displays on stones that describe the history and culture of the Kumeyaay, who lived here for many thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. A Kumeyaay village called Kosa’aay existed where Old Town is now, near the mouth of the San Diego River.

I arrived at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park this evening just before sunset and noticed the construction fence circling this new area had finally come down! So I had to investigate immediately!

Artwork I discovered includes numerous disks along the pathways, showing native animals and the Kumeyaay words for each; a circular plaza with a mosaic depicting stars and constellations recognized by the Kumeyaay; and two benches made extraordinary with mosaics by local artist Betsy K. Schulz. Her amazing mosaics can be found all around San Diego. I’ll provide more photographs of these two benches in my next blog post!

Before it became too dark as night fell, this is what my camera captured…

Iipay ~ Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok — Land of the First People.
Ha silly hatekarr – sea otter
The Kumeyaay created pottery made of local clay for cooking and storage. A large askay or saakay kept water cool…
The traditional Kumeyaay diet was highly diverse, but shawii (acorn mush) was eaten daily…
The traditional Kumeyaay cosmology of Maay Uuyow (Sky Knowledge) is extensive and elaborate…
Hand tools like those shown here are used with the bowl-like hollows and other indentations in xepiicha (grinding stones) to process acorns, seeds, fibers…
This ancestral land is respectfully dedicated to the First People, the Kumeyaay.
The people of the Kumeyaay Nation have historically lived in and traveled through the Southern California and Northern Baja California region. This area extended from the Pacific Ocean to the desert…

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!

Lots of new street art in Kearny Mesa’s Convoy District!

I’ve noticed lots of new street art has recently appeared along Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa. So late this afternoon I checked it out!

I began my walk at Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and headed south down Convoy, through the heart of the Convoy District, which is the home of many Asian businesses and eateries. My walk ended just north of Balboa Avenue, where I jumped onto a bus.

Look at the many newly painted electrical boxes!

Two months ago when I walked this way, these particular boxes weren’t decorated. It looks like many talented artists have been very busy!

Words on the other side of this painted box describe: Phayanaak a revered water serpent in Laos.
STRONGER TOGETHER
Protect our Elders
HOPE
SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY
APOYA A TU COMUNIDAD
Feed the SOUL
GET JIGAE WITH IT
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE PHO
CHOOSE UNITY
Tied together with noodles

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!

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!

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!

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!