Hidden life near the Fish Market.

This afternoon, as I walked past the Fish Market restaurant on the Embarcadero, I saw a dead plant in their small garden next to the sidewalk.

When I knelt to look more closely, I discovered seeds ready to take flight.

If a thing appears hopeless, always take another look.

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!

Do you enjoy beautiful things? Visit my other photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

The triumphant return of the Spreckels Organ!

The amazing Spreckels Organ, largest outdoor musical instrument in the world and the joyful lungs of Balboa Park, made its triumphant return today!

After six weeks of silence because of a broken motor on the main blower, the Spreckels Organ is once again producing fantastic music, with a little help from San Diego’s world-famous Civic Organist, Raúl Prieto Ramírez!

Raul began today’s concert with Johann Sebastian Bach’s powerful Toccata and Fugue in D minor. The talented San Diego Children’s Choir then took the stage to perform a variety of classical songs, including Franz Schubert’s moving Ave Maria.

To honor Veterans Day, Raul concluded the program by playing three John Philip Sousa compositions: Semper Fidelis, In Memoriam, and Stars and Stripes Forever.

In a troubled world where the flag often flies at half-staff, this Sunday we were reminded that human good can prevail. With a little dedication any broken instrument in this world–even the mighty Spreckels Organ–can be repaired.

I saw many smiles in the sunshine.

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 world of peace, joy and hope.

My previous blog post seeped with terrible darkness. It showed us a human world that contains brutality, selfishness and despair.

But you know, if we chose, our world could look like this:

During my walk through Balboa Park today, I paused among the International Cottages to experience the peace, joy and hope that are possible when different people with different experiences simply love life and come unselfishly together.

Members of the House of Czech and Slovak Republics, with their smiles, dance and music set a wonderful example for us all to follow.

The choice is ours to make.

Star of India sail crew prepares for history!

The Star of India, built in 1863, the oldest active sailing ship in the world and oldest iron-hulled merchant ship afloat, will once again take to the Pacific Ocean in November!

History will be made as she embarks on her first sail in five years. The short voyage upon the ocean off Point Loma and up the coast will be guided by a new captain, and made possible with the heart, muscle and skill of volunteer crew members.

This afternoon the Star of India’s sail crew was high up in the rigging practicing. From the deck below I watched as they set sails, squared yards, and performed some of the acrobatics aloft that are necessary to perform their duty with coordinated precision.

As members of the sail crew rehearsed their ballet in the sky, others were meeting in the Star of India’s saloon, charting the historic ship’s voyage into the future. An exciting future!

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 proposal: Celebrate San Diego Day!

Here’s a fun idea!

Yesterday, when I arrived for Silent Movie Night at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I knew almost nothing about Harold Lloyd. I had no idea that this very famous silent movie actor had once lived in San Diego, and had graduated from San Diego High School perhaps a mile from where I sat. As I watched the movie, I recalled that parts of Citizen Kane, often considered the greatest movie of all time, had been filmed in Balboa Park.

And suddenly–out of the blue–a crazy idea popped into my head!

It would be incredible to have a big annual festival in Balboa Park that celebrates San Diego! An enormous parkwide event that celebrates the amazing history, culture and people of America’s Finest City!

Imagine diverse people from every community in San Diego converging on Balboa Park to celebrate our common heritage and shared optimism. Imagine the swell of civic pride and the endless opportunities for education and entertainment!

The special day would celebrate San Diego’s artists, musicians, entertainers, athletes, authors, inventors, scientists, teachers, volunteers, visionaries . . . It would celebrate those who have contributed to our fascinating culture, and honor those who are working today to create an even more dynamic future.

Balboa Park already hosts a number of fantastic annual events, such as EarthFair, Maker Faire, Fiesta Botanica, December Nights and Make Music Day. I propose a parkwide event that celebrates San Diego!

Such an event might include San Diego musicians, Mexican baile folklórico, silent movies featuring Harold Lloyd, readings from Dr. Seuss, local outdoor artists at work, lots of tasty regional food, demonstrations of past and future technologies developed in San Diego, a tribute to Jonas Salk, performances and presentations by school students, samples of Kumeyaay culture, a variety of historical reenactments. . . There might be exhibits concerning Charles Lindbergh, and the birth of naval aviation, and Juan Bandini, and Kate Sessions, and George Marston, and Gregory Peck, and Sally Ride, and Dennis Conner, and Tony Hawk, and Meb Keflezighi, and our world champion Little Leaguers, and the history of San Diego’s tuna fishing industry, and the Palomar Observatory, and Charles Hatfield, and Richard Henry Dana Jr., and Jimmie Johnson, and Tony Gwynn, and Eddie Vedder, and Switchfoot, and Joan Embery, and Alfred Mitchell, and Roger Revelle, and L. Frank Baum, and . . . and . . . and . . . and . . . you get the idea!

The event would be like a small World’s Fair–a San Diego Fair–not unlike the two Expositions held in Balboa Park a century ago for which the park is historically famous.

My guess is an annual event like this would prove enormously popular. Everyone living throughout San Diego who loves our city would be represented and interested.

Anyway–it’s an idea that might be a lot of fun.

What do you think?

How homeless people can get help in San Diego.

Are you homeless?

During a period of my life, many years ago, I was also homeless.

When I was young I suffered from terrible depression. For reasons I’ll keep to myself, my life was incredibly painful. I threw everything away. I just about gave up.

Fortunately, there was a part inside me that never surrendered to the darkness. As I grew older, I found positive ways to overcome my depression.

I know there are many who are homeless and hurting in San Diego. If you happen to be homeless, for whatever reason, and you’d like a helping hand, I’ve learned about a great way to get help.

There’s a phone number that you can call confidentially to get lots of information. That phone number is 211.

Call 211 any time of the day or night and a friendly person will answer who can help you in different ways. The people at 211 are hooked up with over 6,000 community resources, and can assist callers in over 200 languages.

They know all about the shelters around San Diego and what you can do to get off the street. They know where to get medical help, help for emergencies, places to get food, legal help, help to overcome addiction, help for runaways, help for those who’ve been victims of violence, help for veterans who are experiencing a rough time . . . help for all sorts of difficulties that many people face in life. Call 211 and someone will assist you. It’s completely confidential.

If you don’t want to talk to anyone, you can also visit the 211 website by clicking here. Check it out and give the possibilities some thought.

I can say from personal experience that you should never give up hope. Even if your life seems completely hopeless, a path is always there to a brighter, better future. Always.

Afrofuture Art Exhibit at Worldbeat Cultural Center.

Miss Universe, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Miss Universe, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.

There’s a cool art exhibition now showing inside the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park. The Afrofuture Art Exhibit features some imaginative and thought-provoking pieces that meld the African American experience with an optimistic view of the future.

One highlight of the exhibition is a series of evocative digital collages that place individuals from the past and present in the cosmos, interacting with the planet Earth and other celestial bodies.

I did my best to capture some good photographs. Head inside the Worldbeat Cultural Center to enjoy much more futuristic African American artwork up close and in person, then walk around inside the re-purposed water tower to enjoy one of the most awesome and colorful event spaces in San Diego!

The Afrofuture Art Exhibit will be on display through Summer 2018 at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
The Afrofuture Art Exhibit will be on display through Summer 2018 at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
Uhura from the original Star Trek series depicted in futuristic artwork created by @caegallery.
Uhura from the original Star Trek series depicted in futuristic artwork by Weldon May.
Cool artwork on display at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
More cool art on display at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
A female face in the cosmos, by @caegallery.
A futuristic female face beneath stars and a streaking meteorite, by Weldon May.
The past, present and future come alive at the Afrofuture Art Exhibit.
The past, present and future come alive at the Afrofuture Art Exhibit.
Tan Man, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Tan Man, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Atlas, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Atlas, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.

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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