More smiles and magic in Balboa Park!

Friendly SDSU students perform a magic trick in Balboa Park. They demonstrate how high tuitions make money disappear!
Friendly SDSU students perform a magic trick in Balboa Park. They demonstrate how high tuitions make money disappear!

In Balboa Park smiles are abundant, and magic awaits around every corner. I took some photos this afternoon.

Brandon Carpenter smiles from atop his cool, historic penny-farthing.
Brandon Carpenter smiles from atop his cool, historic penny-farthing.
Anointed Ali gets ready to head over to the Plaza de Panama for another amazing acrobatic performance.
Anointed Ali gets ready to head over to the Plaza de Panama for another amazing acrobatic performance.
Resting among shadows and light with a camera.
Resting among magical shadows and light with a camera.
A sunlit Christmas pooch and old man.
A sunlit Christmas pooch and an old man.
Youthful excitement inside the Museum of Photographic Arts.
Youthful excitement inside the Museum of Photographic Arts.
Will recites Shakespeare on El Prado.
Will recites Shakespeare on El Prado.
Taking elegant photos in a beautiful park.
Taking elegant photos in a beautiful park.
Approaching the Dragon Bridge in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Approaching the Dragon Bridge in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Scooters heading through the park.
Scooters heading through the park.
A helping hand while crossing the street.
A helping hand while crossing the street.
Walking near the Timken Museum of Art.
Walking near the Timken Museum of Art.
People enjoy relaxing in the Plaza de Panama, in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
People enjoy relaxing in the Plaza de Panama, in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Playing guitar in a nook in the Alcazar Garden.
Playing guitar in a nook in the Alcazar Garden.
A joyful dog jumps up to greet me as I walk from the Cabrillo Bridge past Nate's Point Dog Park.
A joyful dog jumps up to greet me as I walk from the Cabrillo Bridge past Nate’s Point Dog Park.
A picnic on green grass on the West Mesa.
A picnic on green grass on the West Mesa.

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

Seven blog memories that might touch your heart.

Here are seven posts from Cool San Diego Sights that might touch your heart. The following links contain powerful memories. You’ll find sadness, joy, hope, and much inspiration…

9/11 Firefighter’s legacy: Two Sons and Stickball.

A heartwarming Christmas tradition in San Diego.

Art by creative homeless provides purpose, hope.

Combat veterans create art to bring hope.

Quotes from the Tony Gwynn public memorial.

Students interview veterans for USS Midway exhibit.

Gratitude expressed by random people in a park.

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!

San Diego artist creates cool adult coloring books!

A juggler in a cool adult coloring book.
A juggler in a fun adult coloring book.

I’ve blogged about William J. Dorsett a couple times in the past. Over the years, I occasionally see him when I’m out walking along the Embarcadero.

William creates art for those passing by, including small, imaginative works using spray paint and corn husks. I recently learned he’s published a couple of coloring books with the help of some circus friends!

The images you see are just a very few from his cool ABC’s Of Circus Adult Coloring Book, which is available on Amazon. Many of the characters inside are based on members of San Diego’s local Circus Mafia, whom he knows. The acts and poses are all completely authentic. He has also recently finished the Fire and Flow Arts Coloring Book.

During my short talk with William today I learned he’s working on all sorts of creative projects. He said he’s developing a book for and about buskers, which should be super interesting. He’s an authority on the subject.

Do you need the services of a multi-talented freelance artist? Here’s his website!

ABC's Of Circus Adult Coloring Book contains images derived from San Diego's local Circus Mafia and other authentic circus acts.
ABC’s Of Circus Adult Coloring Book contains images inspired by San Diego’s local Circus Mafia and other authentic circus acts.
William J. Dorsett is a guy of many talents. He has created two cool adult coloring books and is working on picture books for children, and other creative projects.
William J. Dorsett is a nice guy of many talents. He has created two cool adult coloring books and is working on picture books for children, and other creative projects.
This character represents an actual performer known as the Icicle King, who makes glass balls appear to float and move magically. Search for him on YouTube.
This character represents an actual performer known as the Icicle King, who makes glass balls appear to float and move magically. Search for him on YouTube.
Another page from the ABC's Of Circus Adult Coloring Book.
Another great page from the ABC’s Of Circus Adult Coloring Book.
More art from a fun coloring book by William J. Dorsett.
More art from a fun coloring book by William J. Dorsett.

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!

Volunteers restore habitat in San Dieguito River Valley!

Hard-working volunteers remove non-native vegetation in a small part of the San Dieguito River Valley.
Hard-working volunteers remove invasive vegetation in a small area of the San Dieguito River Valley.

Today I happened upon a bunch of energetic volunteers working to restore habitat in the San Dieguito River Valley! They were removing non-native vegetation near the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead!

Lots of invasive, rapidly growing wild mustard appeared to be the main problem. I also learned from a friendly San Dieguito River Park ranger that mustard is highly flammable, much more so than California coastal sage and chaparral plants that are native to our arid region.

Today’s work, coinciding with Family Volunteer Day, was an effort of several organizations, including the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy. Their mission is to implement the vision of the San Dieguito River Park, a greenway that stretches all the way from Volcan Mountain near Julian to Dog Beach in Del Mar! Their conservation and educational programs, along with their purchases of land in the River Park planning area, will ensure that the beautiful San Dieguito River Valley will be a rich and healthy natural treasure for many lifetimes to come!

Want to learn more? Or maybe get involved? Here’s their website!

This Saturday event was part of Family Volunteer Day, a worldwide day of service promoted by generationOn.
This Saturday event was part of Family Volunteer Day, a worldwide day of service promoted by generationOn.
Youth have fun while they work to make the Earth a healthier place.
Youth have fun while they work to make the Earth a healthier place.
A San Dieguito River Park ranger had brought many pots of native lemonade berry to plant.
A San Dieguito River Park ranger had brought many pots of native lemonade berry to plant.
Another perfect day to work outdoors and help the environment!
Another perfect day to work outdoors and help the environment!

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!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Working, daydreaming, smiling on a Friday!

Someone walks briskly to work in downtown San Diego.
Someone walks briskly to work in downtown San Diego.

Morning in downtown San Diego. Another day has begun. More hustle and bustle. More things to do.

But something feels different . . .

It’s Friday!

Working on the sidewalk early Friday morning. Always more to do.
Working on the sidewalk early Friday morning. Always more to do.
Tearing out the interior of the old Gaslamp 15 movie theater.
Tearing out the interior of the old Gaslamp 15 movie theater.
The clock on the John D. Spreckels Building is optimistic. Almost four o'clock on Friday would be good right now.
The antique clock on the John D. Spreckels Building seems optimistic. Almost four o’clock on Friday would be good right now.
Someone is wide awake and bright-eyed behind this shop window.
Someone is wide awake and bright-eyed behind this shop window.
Don't interrupt my breakfast! One of the many cats at the William Heath Davis House in the Gaslamp.
Don’t interrupt my breakfast! One of the many cats at the William Heath Davis House in the Gaslamp.
Smile! It's Friday!
Smile! It’s Friday!
A hearty laugh over breakfast.
A hearty laugh over breakfast.
Friday morning mowing at Petco's Park at the Park.
Friday morning mowing at Petco’s Park at the Park.
To a best friend on a morning walk, which day it is doesn't matter.
To a best friend on a morning walk, which day it is doesn’t matter.
Carrying the bicycle up many steps, heading toward the bayfront. It should be a fine day for a ride along the water.
Carrying the bicycle up many steps, heading toward the bayfront. It should be a fine day for a ride along the water.
Waiting for a Friday morning Coaster at Santa Fe Depot. One last weekday commute.
Waiting for a Friday morning Coaster at Santa Fe Depot. One last weekday commute.
Daydreaming while heading to work on the trolley. Almost the weekend.
Daydreaming while heading to work on the trolley. Almost the weekend.

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!

Photos of real life in downtown San Diego.

Many poignant photos yesterday.

As I walked with my camera I tried to capture small scenes of real life. Some scenes evoked a sense of sadness, waiting, uncertainty; others contained glimmers of hope or subtle humor. In downtown San Diego thousands of lives mingle.

Mysteries around every corner.

Countless untold stories.

You might recognize that plaque.

Its exact origin was once was a mystery. But the plaque’s fascinating story was revealed here.

The Jessop’s clock fascinates many eyes.

After 125 years, Jessop’s jewelry store is closing. A chapter in San Diego’s history ends.

But the clock’s hands will will continue to mark time.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Searching for warmth by the water on a chilly day.

A chilly wind. And an umbrella--just in case.
A chilly wind. And an umbrella–just in case.

This afternoon I went on a long, chilly walk along San Diego Bay. The sky was mostly gray. I regretted not wearing a light jacket. But I pressed on.

You never know when the sun might burst through.

The winter ice rink is being set up in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Anticipating holiday cheer.
The winter ice rink is being set up in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Anticipating warm holiday cheer.
Few people are out walking under the gray clouds. But two can always hold hands.
Few people are out walking under the gray clouds. But two can always hold hands.
Pigeons swoop in endless searching circles, before settling somewhere far away.
Pigeons swoop in long searching circles, before settling somewhere far away.
The sun is up there. Somewhere.
The sun is up there. Somewhere.
This person moving forward refuses to retreat.
This person moving forward refuses to retreat.
Time takes a toll. The Marriott Marina is slowly being refurbished. Moving forward, looking ahead.
Time takes a toll. The Marriott Marina is slowly being refurbished. Pushing forward, looking ahead.
A worker defies gravity near the Marriott Marquis.
A worker defies gravity near the Marriott Marquis.
Surfing Santa is awaiting the perfect wave. It should arrive soon.
Surfing Santa is awaiting a perfect wave–it should arrive in Seaport Village before too long.
Who is that lifting his hat! It's Mitchell, the cool didgeridoo guy! I was reminded by Mitchell that Earth's sun is a G-type main-sequence star. Nuclear fusion is pretty warm!
Who is that lifting his hat? It’s Mitchell, the cool didgeridoo guy! I was reminded by Mitchell that Earth’s sun is a G-type main-sequence star. I had forgotten. Nuclear fusion is pretty warm!
A smile like a ray of sunshine.
A smile like a ray of sunshine.

(And here I must make an apology.

While I sat on a rail speaking to Mitchell about life, the cosmos, and whatever, two smiling ladies came on by pushing a cart full of Noosa yogurt samples. Mitchell earned his sample by summoning deep magic with his didgeridoo. For my sample, I promised to post a photo of the smiling ladies on my blog–right here–where there is no photo.

Sorry. My camera beeped as if a photo were taken. But alas. My battery went dead and it turns out I don’t have that smiling photo.

I will say, however, that my Noosa yogurt was super creamy, yummy, and scrumdiddlyumptious. I really liked the bits of chocolate. I’m a sucker for chocolate.

There. Now will you forgive me?

Thank you ladies for helping to lift my spirits–it fits this theme perfectly!)

A distant kiteboarder, harnessing the chilly wind, rises above San Diego Bay.
A distant kiteboarder, harnessing the wind, rises above San Diego Bay.
Who cares about the weather? One can always make bubbles.
Who cares about the weather? One can always make bubbles.
Even during a gloomy spell, life can be very good!
Even during a gloomy spell, life can be very good! Just 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!