Sweet memories of Top Gun in Oceanside!

Fans of the original Top Gun movie would love visiting the recently restored Top Gun House near the foot of the Oceanside Pier.

The historic old Victorian beach house, an 1887 Queen Anne Cottage that was featured in the popular movie, has been turned into an ice cream shop filled with sweet Top Gun memories!

The first thing visitors to the Top Gun House might see is a motorcycle by the front porch steps. It’s a replica of the motorcycle ridden by Maverick when he visited his love interest Charlie at the house.

A plaque a few steps away describes the house’s history in Oceanside, its architectural importance, and its role in the movie.

Step inside the beautiful little cottage and you’ll discover movie posters, photographs and other memories from Top Gun. I thought you might enjoy a look…

The 1887 Top Gun House was built by Dr. Henry Graves as a vacation home. Scenes from Top Gun were filmed around the house in 1985. In 2022 the house was fully restored.

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX900 is a replica of the motorcycle made famous in the movie Top Gun. Actor Tom Cruise, playing lead character Maverick, rode it to this house.

It was cool to see the work of an artist I often encounter while walking. Paul Strahm has a painting inside the Top Gun House!

Memories of Goose, Maverick and Iceman.

A sweet smile!

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!

Photographs from 2022 Super Girl Pro!

This weekend the 2022 Super Girl Pro event was held next to the Oceanside Pier. A huge crowd of spectators turned out to watch the world’s top women surfers in action.

On Saturday I walked around to check out the many sights. I strolled about the large festival village, walked out onto the pier, paused to listen to a concert, and then headed to the beach.

The theme of Super Girl Pro is female empowerment, and inspiration could be found at every turn. I saw artists, Marines, Air Force pilots, gamers, many striving for health and fitness…

When the surfing superstars came in to the beach after a heat out in the ocean, girls ran to them excitedly to score autographs.

Enjoy these 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!

Longboard action pics at Super Girl Pro!

Super Girl Pro is taking place this weekend in Oceanside, California near the pier. The big event, the largest women’s surfing competition in the world, is free and open to the public, and the pier is the best place to watch the surfing action!

The longboard competition was so close to the pier I was able to take some pretty good pics that you might enjoy. These athletes are incredible. They ride waves for a great distance, while engaging in complicated footwork.

Check it out! The event resumes tomorrow, Sunday.

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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A shaper of surfboards and lives in Oceanside.

An inspirational exhibit at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside remembers a surfing legend.

Donald Takayama: Shaping Boards and Lives highlights the accomplishments of a champion surfer and one of the world’s most recognized surfboard shapers.

Looking at the extensive exhibit last weekend, I learned how Donald Takayama at the age of twelve moved from Hawaii to Southern California, having been invited to work at a Venice Beach surf shop, shaping boards. He was paid to wear a company logo on his shirt while surfing. Wikipedia states he may have been the world’s first professional surfer.

Takayama would move to Encinitas and then Oceanside, and continue to gain international fame shaping boards. He also would win many surfing competitions, including three consecutive Masters titles in the US Surfing Championships.

More impressively, he would win the hearts of many in the community. He was beloved by friends and family and surfers all over; he mentored future champions; and he even taught his friend, San Diego Chargers legend Junior Seau–also an Oceanside resident–how to surf.

Surfer Magazine named Donald Takayama one of 25 surfers who changed the sport. He has been inducted into the International Surfboard Builder Hall of Fame.

Visitors to the California Surf Museum will observe how one person changed the world around him in so many positive ways. They will see the enduring achievements of a great man.

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 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!

Sister cities observed at Oceanside Civic Center.

Curious eyes can make many interesting discoveries during a walk around the Oceanside Civic Center.

The last time I visited the beautiful Civic Center, I happened to notice a sign and a plaque that honor two of Oceanside’s sister cities: Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Fuji, Japan.

It might seem odd that Pago Pago maintains a close relationship with a city in Southern California, but Oceanside boasts one of the largest Samoan populations in the United States. Why? American Samoa has the highest rate of military enlistment of any U.S. state or territory. A large number of Marine Corps recruits are subsequently based at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside’s military neighbor.

Fuji, Japan has one sister city: Oceanside. The relationship was established in 1991. Fuji is located at the foot of tall, scenic Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s Three Holy Mountains.

I’ve learned that Oceanside has two additional sister cities: Ensenada, Mexico and Kisarazu, Japan.

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!

Regional artists inspire at Oceanside Museum of Art.

Want to be inspired? Head up to the Oceanside Museum of Art!

The museum’s 2022 Artist Alliance Biennial will probably take your breath away, with its many works of outstanding art. The pieces were all created by regional artists; of about 900 entries juried, only 61 were accepted. The exhibit will continue through May 1, 2022.

As I moved through the gallery yesterday, I thought about human potential and began to feel little overwhelmed.

There’s no end to the creativity that can issue from human contemplation and imagination. Our potential is truly infinite.

But life is so very short.

It occurred to me that in one passing life, eyes can see very little–an infinitesimal fraction of the entire world and all the incredible art ever made, and that will ever or could ever be made.

Oh, to see it all, go everywhere, do everything . . .

The minutes I spent at the Oceanside Museum of Art were very sweet.

At the Heart of Life’s Journey, 2021, Cathy Carey. Oil on linen.
Ascent in Yellow, 2021, Fiona Phillips. Oil and copper leaf.
Marionette Puppet #4, 2020, Linda Phillips. Oil on canvas.
Laguna Boys, 2022, Kimberleigh Wood. Oil on 2.5″ wood boxed panel.
El Gallo Rojo, 2021, Frank Vining. Epoxy fiberglass and sculpting epoxy.
Free as a Bird, 2021, Sue DeWulf. Low fire ceramic sculptural assemblage.
Coming Up Roses, 2020, Roberta Dyer. Mixed media on canvas.
Park Under a Golden Night, 2021, Duke Windsor. Acrylic and applied imitation gold leaf.
There Goes Mom, 2020, Lisa Bebi. Acrylic and mixed media on canvas.
Sick King, 2015, Kenda Francis. Mixed acrylic media on canvas.

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!

Golden hamburgers tempt eyes in Oceanside!

Huge juicy hamburgers, served with precious gold, tempt the eyes of those visiting the Oceanside Museum of Art!

I said gold?

Yes!

The hamburger paintings and a sculpture, by San Diego artist Duke Windsor, are made to shine with the application of gold leaf. He was inspired by the gilt religious icons in the collection of Balboa Park’s Timken Museum. (Would that make these hamburgers secular icons?)

This savory exhibition of rather peculiar still lifes is titled Duke Windsor: Nothing’s Impossible.

When you’re an artist, indeed all things are possible. Even a luscious golden hamburger fit for a king!

I wonder . . . did that butterfly land on lunch during a picnic? Or does it symbolize something in particular?

Better place your order soon. The fast food will expire next weekend, when this cool exhibition ends!

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!

Van Gogh paints sunflowers in Oceanside!

Famous painter Vincent Van Gogh is frequently encountered in Oceanside, at the south end of Artist Alley. He’s filling a canvas with sunflowers.

I saw him today, and his painting appears almost finished!

The last time I took photos in Artist Alley, which I posted here, Van Gogh was nowhere to be seen.

The fun artwork, which unfortunately has been vandalized, is signed Snyder.

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!

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!