Make art or make a difference.

Make art or make a difference. I saw those words this morning as I walked past the window of James Watts’ downtown art studio.

Several faces were also peering from the window.

I was fortunate to meet this renowned local artist and explore his absolutely incredible studio a couple years ago.

If you’d like to have a peek inside James Watts’ creative wonderland, you can revisit my old blog post 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!

Walk under an enormous, historic tree!

Would you like to walk beneath the branches of one of the most impressive and beloved trees in San Diego?

I remember when I was a boy, people used to walk right up to the trunk of the huge Moreton Bay Fig tree in Balboa Park–that enormous tree just north of the Natural History Museum. Kids would even climb about its limbs. But over the years too many feet compacted the soil above the tree’s root system, threatening to kill it. So the historic tree, planted just before the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, was fenced off to the public.

But there are plans that will allow people to approach this mighty tree once again!

A raised platform is to be built at the base of the Moreton Bay Fig. The structure will not interfere with the tree’s root system, which has been carefully mapped. Once the project is complete, the public will be able to more fully appreciate the beauty and majesty of this amazing 78 feet tall tree.

The Friends of Balboa Park, an organization whose mission is to preserve Balboa Park’s legacy for future generations, is raising money to construct the platform, and they could use a few more donations.

If you’d like to learn more about this cool project, and perhaps help out the Friends of Balboa Park, visit their website here!

Sign in Balboa Park describes Ficus macrophylla, the Moreton Bay Fig.
An old photograph from my blog of a sign in Balboa Park. It describes this particular Ficus macrophylla, or Moreton Bay Fig. The enormous tree is listed as a co-champion with the Santa Barbara Fig in the California Department of Forestry Registry of Big Trees.

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!

Restoring an iconic mural and 5 Big Moves.

America's Finest City newspaper mural
America’s Finest City newspaper mural.

I learned yesterday during a Pacific Beach mural walk that there are exciting plans to restore San Diego’s most iconic downtown mural!

Artist Kathleen King, co-creator of the America’s Finest City mural in 1989, informed our group that the historic mural’s restoration will be done in conjunction with SANDAG’s San Diego Forward “5 Big Moves” initiative.

As I understand it, the America’s Finest City mural will be a centerpiece for the planned Fifth Avenue trolley station Mobility Hub!

Very cool!

America's Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.
The iconic America’s Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.

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!

Two cool, abstract murals at Bibbey’s!

Today I took two short walks in the South Bay. One of my modest adventures was near the Imperial Beach Pier.

I noticed that on Seacoast Drive, across from the pier, Bibbey’s gift shop now has two very cool murals, one painted on the south wall and one on the north. Both are super creative and contain all sorts of abstract characters, including kooky surfers, a mermaid, and what appear to be faceless underwater ball players!

That mural with elements from pop culture that I blogged about almost six years ago here seems to be long gone. Only the shark remains at the building’s southwest corner–an updated and rather fierce version!

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!

Swedish Chef makes pizza in Normal Heights!

The Swedish Chef must be taking a break from The Muppet Show. Because he’s been spotted at Mama Mia Pizza Restaurant in Normal Heights!

Or perhaps it’s his blond brother. I can’t say for certain.

I approached the famous chef and said “Herney ferney börk börk börk.”

He did not seem amused. He merely stared back at me through his bushy eyebrows.

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!

Amazing chromatic ceramics dazzle the eye!

Check out the latest exhibition at Balboa Park’s always amazing Japanese Friendship Garden!

The Chromatic Ceramic Collection: John Conrad features unique ceramic creations whose shining colors dance and change depending on the angle from which they are viewed!

These refractive pieces, which include patterned discs and vases in different shapes, have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. As you move about the garden’s Exhibit Hall, you seem to the find the end of many rainbows.

According to the Japanese Friendship Garden’s website: “Culminating over 60 years of research and experiments, artist John Conrad developed the spectacular finish that is seen on the Chromatic Collection…The chromatic finish is a combination of metallic flake and silica, which is then adhered onto porcelain using modern plasma technology…”

I was struck during my visit on Sunday how these brilliant ceramics resemble in many respects the holographic paintings of Tom Liguori, another local innovator whose work can be seen here.

I’ve included photographs of a few radiant discs to provide an idea of what you’ll experience. The vases, if anything, are even more beautiful.

Visionary artists continue to find new ways to express and combine form, light and color. It seems the potential for beauty is infinite.

The Chromatic Ceramic Collection: John Conrad can be viewed through April 26, 2020 at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa 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!

Ron Burgundy on the San Diego Trolley!

The Ron Burgundy Podcast.
The Ron Burgundy Podcast.

For many months now Ron Burgundy has been seen around town on the San Diego Trolley. Yesterday morning I happened to spot him!

A trolley wrap that promotes the popular Ron Burgundy podcast features a couple of funny quotes, as you can see!

Everyone knows Ron Burgundy from the classic comedy Anchorman, starring Will Ferrell. And everyone associates Anchorman with San Diego. So why should anyone be surprised to find him on a trolley?

San Diego. I'm here for the good times and because I'm under house arrest.
San Diego. I’m here for the good times and because I’m under house arrest.
The first podcast in America.
The first podcast in America.

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!