I support restoring the Palisades in Balboa Park.

Some supporters of Balboa Park, including The Committee of One Hundred, would like to restore the Palisades area of the park to its former glory. I learned about this visionary effort on Labor Day while grabbing some napkins at the cafe inside the Casa de Balboa. A stack of postcards had been placed nearby. I picked one up. Here’s a photo:

Photos on a postcard created by The Committee of One Hundred shows Balboa Park's Palisades area in 1935 and 2017.
A postcard created by The Committee of One Hundred shows Balboa Park’s Palisades area in 1935 and 2017.

As you can see, in 1935, during the California Pacific International Exposition, the Palisades contained spacious lawns, flowers and benches where today you’ll find a large ugly parking lot.

Sounds familiar? For decades the Plaza de Panama on El Prado contained a similarly ugly parking lot. But after that parking lot’s removal and replacement with tables, umbrellas, potted greenery and public art, the Plaza de Panama has become a bustling hub of activity full of people enjoying the sunny San Diego outdoors, as was originally intended.

Now back to the Palisades area. After a little more research, I’ve learned The Committee of One Hundred is already working to replace the four long-lost murals that used to be above the entrance of the 1935 California State Building, which is home to the San Diego Automotive Museum. To see more about that project, check out The Committee of One Hundred’s 2017 newsletter.

Given what I’ve read and know, I must say I’m in full agreement with the idea of restoring the Palisades. The parking lot is an absolute eyesore and many of the surrounding buildings appear bare and decayed. Most people who park here don’t linger. They immediately head in the direction of El Prado.

The Palisades parking lot seems completely unnecessary. Today, without spending a penny in construction, it appears to me there’s already plenty of parking across Park Boulevard south of the Veterans Museum–that huge lower lot is usually mostly empty. Simply add signage and one or two more stops for the parking shuttle.

When San Diego Comic-Con opens their new museum in the Federal Building next year, I imagine many more visitors will be drawn into the Palisades area. It seems to me the energetic people at Comic-Con International and other museums who would greatly benefit from a revitalization of the Palisades–the San Diego Air and Space Museum in particular–could use their considerable combined influence to help speed a beautiful restoration.

And why must it be an exact restoration? Why not add more flowers, some new outdoor art, and even a lively, splashing fountain? Why not both restore history and make history? Balboa Park should be forward-looking, optimistic, alive! San Diego’s world-renowned gem could shine even more brightly! Just imagine!

Wildlife paintings at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.

Common Buckeye. Anna Le and Clarisa Cuevas.
Common Buckeye. Anna Le and Clarisa Cuevas.

On a fence behind the Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park one can find many colorful paintings of native wildlife. The fence follows a dirt road that leads to a hiking trail through Tecolote Canyon.

The paintings of spiders, butterflies, beetles and other insects were recently completed by students at University City High School. I believe the paintings of mammals, reptiles and birds have been on the fence for some time.

Colorful paintings of insects and other wildlife on a fence behind the Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
Colorful paintings of insects and other wildlife on a fence behind the Nature Center at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.
California Root Borer Beetle. Lucero Rayos.
California Root Borer Beetle. Lucero Rayos.
Black and Yellow Garden Spider. Nour Barbakh.
Black and Yellow Garden Spider. Nour Barbakh.
Anise Swallowtail. Lawdyka Solano.
Anise Swallowtail. Lawdyka Solano.
Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Kayla Kenney.
Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Kayla Kenney.
Tarantula Hawk. Andrea Angeles and Christian Covarrubias.
Tarantula Hawk. Andrea Angeles and Christian Covarrubias.
Western Tiger Swallowtail. Tyler Coehrane and Lauren Ferrer.
Western Tiger Swallowtail. Tyler Coehrane and Lauren Ferrer.
Darkling Stink Beetle. Morgan Boland.
Darkling Stink Beetle. Morgan Boland.
Roseate Skimmer. Issac Felcher.
Roseate Skimmer. Issac Felcher.
Silver Argiope. Zaynab Albaghdadi.
Silver Argiope. Zaynab Albaghdadi.
American Lady. Aurora Godinez Quevedo.
American Lady. Aurora Godinez Quevedo.
Green Lynx Spider. Jamison Legaspi.
Green Lynx Spider. Jamison Legaspi.
Harlequin Shield Bug. Jakob De La Cruz.
Harlequin Shield Bug. Jakob De La Cruz.
Datura Weevil. Jacob Stoermer.
Datura Weevil. Jacob Stoermer.
Green Fruit Beetle. Makayla Srioudom.
Green Fruit Beetle. Makayla Srioudom.
Vivid Dancer Damselfly. Miyoko Seldon and Andrew Bayot.
Vivid Dancer Damselfly. Miyoko Seldon and Andrew Bayot.
Pruinose Squash Bee. Quincy Stone.
Pruinose Squash Bee. Quincy Stone.
California Sister Butterfly. Steffany Shapow.
California Sister Butterfly. Steffany Shapow.
Coyote.
Coyote.
California King Snake.
California King Snake.
Great Blue Heron.
Great Blue Heron.
Striped Skunk.
Striped Skunk.
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.
Western Scrub Jay.
Western Scrub Jay.
Raccoon.
Raccoon.
Red Tailed Hawk.
Red Tailed Hawk.
Southern Alligator Lizard.
Southern Alligator Lizard.
Anna's Hummingbird.
Anna’s Hummingbird.
Bobcat.
Bobcat.
Pacific Gopher Snake.
Pacific Gopher Snake.
Gray Fox.
Gray Fox.
Western Fence Lizard.
Western Fence Lizard.
Great Horned Owl.
Great Horned Owl.
Spotted Towhee.
Spotted Towhee.

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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Cool new artwork appears at the Quartyard!

A huge shark has appeared at the Quartyard in East Village!
A huge shark has appeared at the Quartyard in East Village!

Some cool new urban artwork has appeared at the Quartyard since my last visit. Some day I need to grab a bite here, or attend an event! Looks like a really fun place!

New urban artwork in the Quartyard gathering place at the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street in San Diego.
New urban artwork in the Quartyard gathering place at the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street in San Diego.
Impermanence is the only permanent in life. So embrace that nothing should be clung to as I, me, or mine.
Impermanence is the only permanent in life. So embrace that nothing should be clung to as I, me, or mine.
Picnic table in the Quartyard reads beer, next to a planter with fun artwork.
Picnic table in the Quartyard reads beer, next to a planter with fun artwork.
Several planters have their sides painted with whimsical faces. These are eating food-like letters and pulling tongues.
Several planters have their sides painted with whimsical faces. These characters are eating food-like letters and pulling tongues.
More happy, silly faces.
More happy, silly faces.
Lots of tongue pulling going on.
Lots of tongue pulling going on.
Tired tongues dangling.
Tired tongues dangling.
Just plain silly.
Just plain silly.
A mural by the Quartyard stage attracts attention.
A mural by the Quartyard stage attracts attention.
Keep going! You got this! Yay!
Keep going! You got this! Yay!

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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Drum and dance at Super Sonic Samba School!

These folks were drumming their hearts out as I neared. Unfortunately, the performance ended a few moments later.
These folks were drumming their hearts out as I neared. Unfortunately, I arrived too late.  Their musical performance ended a few moments later.

Okay, I was just walking along through Balboa Park this afternoon when I stumbled upon something really cool. Members of the Super Sonic Samba School were drumming like crazy in Pepper Grove!

I didn’t bother these folks, but their sign on the grass is probably seen by relatively few people–so I thought I might help and post a photo!

Read the sign to learn more about the Super Sonic Samba School. If you want to dance or drum in San Diego, this looks like great fun! And you can’t beat creating music outdoors on soft green grass, in fresh air and sunshine. And in beautiful Balboa Park!

The Super Sonic Samba School welcomes dancers and drummers at the World Beat Center and Pepper Grove in Balboa Park.
The Super Sonic Samba School welcomes dancers and drummers at the World Beat Center and Pepper Grove in Balboa Park.
If you drum in Pepper Grove, you get to create music near some cool art. This huge mural is on the Centro Cultural de la Raza.
If you drum in Pepper Grove, you get to create music near some cool art. This huge mural is on the Centro Cultural de la Raza.
Another Sunday session of the Super Sonic Samba School wraps up. Looks like fun!
Another Sunday drumming session of the Super Sonic Samba School wraps up. Looks like a whole lot of fun!

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!

Small flowers sprout in a big city.

Sunflowers appear next to a Barrio Logan sidewalk.
Sunflowers appear next to a Barrio Logan sidewalk.

Sometimes flowers appear in unexpected places. In San Diego, as in any big city, they seem to sprout like small miracles. Here are a few glimpses…

A flower blooms in the window of a downtown San Diego tattoo parlor.
A flower blooms in the window of a downtown San Diego tattoo parlor.
A beautiful bouquet of flowers at an outdoor Little Italy cafe.
A beautiful bouquet of flowers at an outdoor Little Italy cafe.
Bronze statue of Kate Sessions in Balboa Park's Sefton Plaza holds flowers. She planted many seeds a century ago.
Bronze statue of Kate Sessions in Balboa Park’s Sefton Plaza holds a few white flowers. Kate planted many seeds a century ago.
Red bougainvillea poke through a white lath fence in North Park.
Red bougainvillea poke through a white lath fence in North Park.
Beautiful flowers in planters at Lou and Mickey's in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Beautiful flowers in planters at Lou and Mickey’s in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Chalk flowers on a playground's concrete wall, near The New Children's Museum in San Diego.
Chalk flowers on a playground’s concrete wall, near The New Children’s Museum in San Diego.
A San Diego trolley runs along the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade near The New Children's Museum's Garden Project.
A San Diego trolley runs along the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade near The New Children’s Museum’s Garden Project.
As I sat at the Seaport Village trolley station this morning, a homeless person with a bouquet of flowers passed in the distance.
As I sat at the Seaport Village trolley station this morning, a homeless person with a bouquet of flowers passed between fences in the distance.
Flowers and elegance near front door of the Tim Cantor gallery.
Flowers and elegance near front door of the Tim Cantor gallery.

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!

Have you ever witnessed a small miracle? You might enjoy reading my story An Unexpected Sunflower.

People meditate (or have fun) walking a labyrinth.

Visitors to Balboa Park walk the meandering single path of a labyrinth near the Botanical Building.
Visitors to Balboa Park walk the meandering single path of a labyrinth near the Botanical Building.

Life is a bit like walking a labyrinth. We navigate twists and turns on our forward path.

Yesterday I saw a cool labyrinth set up on a lawn in Balboa Park, right next to the Botanical Building. String was laid on the grass, creating boundaries defining the path.

A labyrinth is not a maze. The walk is peaceful, the sudden smooth turns reorient one’s vision, there is no hurry. Many use labyrinth walking for meditation. It also looks like fun exercise!

Walking through a curving labyrinth can provide meditation, bringing together body, mind and spirit. Everyone is on their own path through life. (Click image to read.)
Walking through a curving labyrinth can enhance meditation, bringing together body, mind and spirit. Everyone is on their own path through life. (Click image to read.)
It's a beautiful December weekend in Balboa Park. There is much to do, much to see. Our walk through life takes many turns.
It’s a beautiful December weekend in Balboa Park. There is much to do, much to see. Our walk through life takes many turns.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! Navigating downtown streets can be like moving through a labyrinth! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Last chance to enjoy Anthony’s at the waterfront.

Last chance to enjoy Anthony's at the waterfront. 70 years of great memories and seafood at Anthony's Fish Grotto, which will close on January 31, 2017.
Last chance to enjoy Anthony’s at the waterfront. 70 years of great memories and seafood at Anthony’s Fish Grotto, which will close on January 31, 2017.

Time is running out. Anthony’s Fish Grotto on San Diego’s waterfront will be closing at the end of next January. The restaurant has produced fond memories for millions of people over the course of its 70 year history. You have one last chance to enjoy this wonderful, unique place before it’s torn down.

Next year, the Brigantine will introduce a new restaurant at this scenic location, right next to the Star of India. I was told by a gentleman who sells art on the sidewalk nearby that the new Brigantine building is now under construction, and will be brought in across San Diego Bay on a ship or barge. That would certainly be a sight to behold!

Late yesterday morning I walked down to the Embarcadero to devour some french fries and a yummy tuna melt at Anthony’s outdoor Fishette. I sat on the wood deck dipping my fries in tartar sauce and breathing in the fresh air. I simply gazed out at the water.  Pleasant visions floated on the sparkling blue, including a visiting cruise ship and San Diego Yacht Club sailboats. Between licking my fingers, I took a few photos.

Anthony's has been a fixture on San Diego's Embarcadero for 70 years. But their lease ran out and the Brigantine will soon build a new restaurant at this location.
Anthony’s has been a fixture on San Diego’s Embarcadero for 70 years. But their lease ran out and the Brigantine will soon build a new restaurant at this location.
I've stood in this line many times. This is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike.
I’ve stood in this line many times. This is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike.
Eating seafood on benches inside a protected area of the informal outdoor Fishette, over the gently lapping water of San Diego Bay.
Eating seafood on benches inside a protected area of the informal outdoor Fishette, over the gently lapping water of San Diego Bay.
Funny sign over the Fishette soda machine shows two fish in love.
Funny sign over the Fishette soda machine shows two fish in love.
I'll attest that Mama Ghio's secret tartar sauce is a tasty concoction!
I’ll attest that Mama Ghio’s secret tartar sauce is a tasty concoction!
Anthony's Fish Grotto opened in 1946, right after World War II. I remember eating here many times as a child.
Anthony’s Fish Grotto opened in 1946, right after World War II. I remember eating here many times as a child.
Another photo of the small casual Fishette. I prefer dining outside, but many enjoy the more formal Fish Grotto, which occupies the interior of the building.
Another photo of the small casual Fishette. I prefer dining outside, but many enjoy the more formal Fish Grotto restaurant, which occupies the interior of the building.
In my opinion, some of the best seats in San Diego.
In my opinion, some of the best seats in San Diego.
A gull was watching my fries.
A gull was patiently watching my fries.
Activity on San Diego Bay included a refueling cruise ship. Those guys in the boat fishing were being watched by a sea lion.
Activity on San Diego Bay included a refueling cruise ship. Those guys in the boat fishing were being watched by a circling sea lion.
Here comes the Maritime Museum of San Diego's historic Pilot boat, out on a harbor tour. Those sailboats racing in the distance belong to the San Diego Yacht Club.
Here comes the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic Pilot boat, out on a harbor tour. Those sailboats racing in the distance belong to the San Diego Yacht Club.
I love this place. It will be sad to see it go. (In this photo you can see where the Fish Grotto's dock used to be. It was destroyed in that El Nino wind storm that I blogged about in early February.)
I love this place. It will be sad to see it go. (In this photo you can see the concrete posts where the Fish Grotto’s boat dock used to be. It was destroyed in that ferocious El Nino windstorm that I blogged about in early February.)
Another beautiful day on the Embarcadero. Time marches on.
Another beautiful day on the Embarcadero. Time marches on.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! 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 fun photos for you to enjoy!