Even more colorful street art in City Heights!

Here’s even more colorful street art in City Heights!

I took these photographs before, during and after my recent walking tour of San Diego’s rapidly growing outdoor art gallery. I spotted this artwork along University Avenue, between I-80 and I-15. It’s an extremely diverse neighborhood, where many languages are spoken and many life experiences move together down shared streets.

If you’re unaware that San Diego has a drive-through art gallery, I urge you to check it out 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!

Photos of Swoop Freestyle World Championship!

Someone watching the Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship on San Diego Bay points to a contestant skimming across the water!
Someone watching the Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship on San Diego Bay points to a competitor skimming across the water!

This afternoon I headed down to Embarcadero Marina Park South to watch the 2018 Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship! What an exciting sport! Even with my little camera, I managed to get these fun photos!

Swoop Freestyle is a relatively new extreme sport. Competitors skydive, parachute toward the ground with increasing speed, then swoop right above the ground–in this case the blue water–while performing a variety of poses and tricks. The daring athletes swoop at speeds up to 90 mph! Successfully landing on the floating (and slippery) platform is one of the keys to a high score.

I was told this is only the second World Championship event–the first was in Copenhagen–and that this thrilling professional sport is still in its infancy. I can definitely see how it could blow up and become something really big!

I lingered for perhaps an hour and watched much of the First Round action. I’m no expert when it comes to Swoop Freestyle so you’ll have to please forgive my obvious lack of knowledge. I did see dramatic crashes, wild, careening maneuvers, Superman swoops, and some amazing, absolutely miraculous landings atop the floating platform!

Technically brilliant swoops and perfect landings raised a loud cheer from the enthusiastic crowd!

Take a look at these photos and you’ll get an idea of what the event was like…

Here comes another contestant. Helicopters took parachutists high above the water, and the crowd shielded their eyes from the sun to see them descending.
Here comes another competitor. Helicopters took parachutists high above the water, and the crowd shielded their eyes from the sun to see them descending.
Vying for the world championship of Swoop Freestyle, this contestant approaches the floating platform, just off Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Vying for the World Championship of Swoop Freestyle, this competitor approaches the floating platform, just off Embarcadero Marina Park South.
One of the athletes is cheered by the crowd after making their dramatic swoop!
One of the athletes is cheered by the crowd after making their dramatic swoop!
A banner at the event shows the weekend schedule. The Masters of the Sky wowed lots of excited fans.
A banner at the event shows the weekend schedule. The amazing Masters of the Sky wowed lots of excited Swoop Freestyle fans.
I was told Swoop Freestyle athletes came from 13 separate countries to vie for the World Championship.
I was told Swoop Freestyle athletes came from 13 separate countries to vie for the World Championship.
Testing a parachute in a section of the park where Swoop Freestyle contestants prepared and boarded a helicopter.
Testing a parachute in a section of the park where Swoop Freestyle contestants prepared and boarded a helicopter.
Lots of fans in attendance had a special interest in skydiving. They came to watch this unique sporting event from far and wide.
Lots of fans in attendance had a special interest in skydiving. They came to watch this unique sporting event from far and wide.
Some people were enjoying a VIP section.
Some people were enjoying a VIP section.
Here comes another canopy. In mere seconds there will be another daring swoop!
Here comes another canopy. In mere seconds there will be another daring swoop!
Members of a Rescue Team were out on the water, but during the time I watched, they weren't needed.
Members of a Rescue Team were out on the water, but during the time I watched, they weren’t needed.
Crash! This contestant let everyone know he was okay right away.
Crash! This competitor let everyone know he was okay right away.
Here comes another swooper!
Here comes another swooper!
Flying with feet touching the water's surface, approaching the floating platform. I don't recall the result of this swoop.
Flying with feet skimming the water’s surface, approaching the floating platform. I don’t recall the result of this swoop.
Will this swooper make it to the platform? Some contestants, unfortunately, miscalculated and came up short.
Will this swooper make it to the platform? Some contestants, unfortunately, miscalculated and came up short.
More great Swoop Freestyle action out on San Diego Bay.
More great Swoop Freestyle action out on San Diego Bay.
Sometimes two swoopers would come in simultaneously. There was a lot of exciting, intense drama!
Sometimes two swoopers would come in simultaneously. There was a lot of exciting, intense drama!
After sitting on a hard rock for a long time, I wandered around to stretch my legs. Here's the entrance to the VIP section.
After sitting on a hard rock for a long time, I wandered around to stretch my legs. Here’s the entrance to the VIP section.
Several sponsors and vendors had booths around the park, including Skydive San Diego.
Several sponsors and vendors had booths around the park, including Skydive San Diego.
Here come a couple of paragliders doing a demonstration during a break in the Swoop Freestyle competition.
Here come a couple of paragliders doing a demonstration during a break in the Swoop Freestyle competition.
The two paragliders slowly approach the platform. I always enjoy watching paragliders cruise above the beach at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.
Paragliding slowly toward the platform. I always enjoy watching paragliders soar along the cliffs above the beach at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.
The live music guys were taking a break when I walked by, but did a rocker pose for my camera!
The live music guys were taking a break when I walked by, but did a rocker pose for my camera!
There was a fun demonstration by two daredevil water jetpack guys.
There was a fun demonstration by two daredevil water jetpack guys.
Entertaining the crowd!
Entertaining the crowd!
Flying through the air without a parachute!
Flying through the air without a parachute!
Now that really looks like Superman! Where's the cape?
Now that really looks like Superman! Where’s the cape?
Three guys demonstrated zooming through the San Diego sky in wingsuits. They looked to me like flying squirrels. Unfortunately, I got my photo after their chutes deployed.
Three guys demonstrated zooming through the San Diego sky in wingsuits. They looked to me like flying squirrels. Unfortunately, I got my photo after their chutes deployed.
Here they come. Splash.
Here they come. Splash.
Helicopters were flying back and forth across the bay during much of the event. The Swoop Freestyle competition is about to resume.
A couple helicopters were flying back and forth across the bay during much of the event. The Swoop Freestyle competition is about to resume.
Here comes one swooper.
Here comes one swooper. This competitor angled in really close to the crowd.
Flying inches from the water.
Flying inches from the water.
Here comes another. As you can see, it was a typically perfect San Diego day for the event.
Here comes another. As you can see, it was a typically perfect San Diego day for the event.
Swooping on in. I think this contestant came up short.
Swooping on in. I think this contestant was too far from the platform and came up short.
Here comes another Swoop Freestyler. Nice form!
Here comes another Swoop Freestyler. Nice form!
A perfect landing! This guy received a high score and with his performance became a contender for world champion.
A perfect landing! This guy received a high score and with his performance became a contender for world champion.
Excitement at a great athletic achievement!
Excitement at a great athletic achievement!
Some fans were waving a national flag for one of the Swoop Freestyle international athletes.
Some fans were waving a national flag for one of the Swoop Freestyle international athletes.
As the crowd watched the action, behind the scenes contestants were preparing parachutes and getting ready for their jump.
As the crowd watched the action, behind the scenes the athletes were preparing parachutes and getting ready for their competitive jump.
A huge tent contained lots of parachutes. I'm not sure if these were drying out, or what.
A huge tent contained lots of parachutes. I’m not sure if these were drying out, awaiting use, or what.
Will this be the next World Champion of Swoop Freestyle?
Will this be the next World Champion of Swoop Freestyle?
Heading off in a helicopter to take another flying swoop.
Heading off in a helicopter to take another flying swoop.
Here's an action photo into the sun from a spot near the Hilton, behind the San Diego Convention Center.
Here’s a distant action photo into the sun from a spot near the Hilton, behind the San Diego Convention Center.
Didn't quite make it onto the platform! Close but no cigar!
Didn’t quite make it onto the platform! Close but no cigar!
But he still gave me a smile and thumbs up!
But he still gave me a smile and thumbs up!
Excitement is nonstop at the 2018 Swoop Freestyle World Championship!
Excitement is nonstop at the 2018 Swoop Freestyle World Championship!

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 few odd, humorous sights around town!

Sign in a window of The Bell Marker in downtown San Diego: 24 Hours In a Day. 24 Beers In a Case. Coincidence?
Sign in a window of The Bell Marker on Broadway. 24 Hours In a Day. 24 Beers In a Case. Coincidence?

Walk randomly about San Diego and you’ll inevitably stumble upon a few odd, humorous sights…

If you're driving an inverted car past Jack in the Box near Hazard Center, this stop sign might make sense.
If you’re driving an inverted car past Jack in the Box near Hazard Center, this stop sign might make sense.
An unexpected Kiwi Crossing street sign in Little Italy.
An unexpected Kiwi Crossing street sign in Little Italy.
This might be the most dirty, decrepit, ramshackle house in downtown San Diego. One day it will probably vanish in a cloud of dust.
This might be the most dirty, decrepit, ramshackle house in downtown San Diego. One day it’ll likely vanish in a cloud of dust.
A miniature garden in Tuna Harbor. One potted plant.
A miniature garden in Tuna Harbor. One potted plant.
A funny sight hanging out in Little Italy. Jay Leno!
A funny sight hanging out in Little Italy. Jay Leno!
A very peculiar figure creeps along a downtown sidewalk.
A very peculiar figure creeps along a downtown sidewalk.
Another odd figure on the back of a vehicle.
Another odd figure on the back of a vehicle.
An East Village shop uses The Force to compel would-be shoppers.
An East Village shop uses The Force to compel would-be shoppers.
Over three months to Christmas, and I already see a candy cane in one window!
It’s over three months until Christmas, and I already see a candy cane in one window!

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!

Art, Color and Fiesta in Balboa Park!

The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.
The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

This evening I enjoyed a special event at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The House of Mexico presented Arte, Color y Fiesta, a cultural program rich with dance, music and patriotism celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

I successfully photographed the first few groups that provided entertainment before daylight waned. Many smiles shined into the evening.

To learn more about the House of Mexico, and perhaps become a member, or provide a donation as they prepare to build their new cottage among the existing House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, visit their website here!

The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico's cottage in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico’s new cottage in Balboa Park.
Los Chinelos De Morelos dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes Carnival-like costumes and masks.
Los Chinelos Unidos por Siempre de San Diego dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes fantastic Carnival-like costumes and masks.
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego perform during an event that celebrates Mexico's independence from Spain.
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, a musical group composed of local high school students, perform during an event that celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spain.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park's Food Truck Friday.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego at Balboa Park's Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego’s amazing 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!

An amazing sunset from Seaport Village.

This evening I was walking through Seaport Village beside beautiful San Diego Bay when the setting sun decided to put on quite a light show!

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 beautiful walk along Batiquitos Lagoon Trail.

Walking along Batiquitos Lagoon Trail one beautiful morning.
Walking along Batiquitos Lagoon Trail one fine morning.

Today I headed up the coast to Carlsbad. I wanted to walk along a trail that I heard was very beautiful.

I often drive along Interstate 5 over Batiquitos Lagoon, just north of the La Costa exit, but I never get more than a brief glimpse of the shining water and green margins. So this morning I ditched the car, tightened the laces of my walking shoes, and walked for a bit along the lagoon’s main trail.

Beautiful, indeed.

The two mile trail along the north edge of the tidal wetland and the Nature Center are both maintained by the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
The two mile trail along the north edge of the tidal wetland and the Nature Center are both maintained by the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
A hiker approaches the Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center from the Gabbiano Lane trailhead.
A hiker approaches the Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center from the Gabbiano Lane trailhead.
Curious visitors come and go, keeping friendly volunteers at the Nature Center busy.
Curious visitors come and go, keeping friendly volunteers at the Nature Center busy.
People can purchase a personalized brick to help support the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
People can purchase a personalized brick to help support the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.
The Nature Center might be modest, but it is welcoming and full of interesting exhibits.
The Nature Center might be modest, but it is welcoming and full of interesting exhibits.
Before entering I saw the Batiquitos free lagoon lovers library.
Before entering I saw the Batiquitos Free Lagoon Lovers Library.
The very cool Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center is like a one room jam-packed museum.
The very cool Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center is like a one room jam-packed museum.
I see a snowy egret and a Cooper's hawk.
I see a snowy egret and a Cooper’s hawk.
The many different birds that live at the lagoon can be identified by their distinctive eggs.
The many different birds that live at the lagoon can be identified by their distinctive eggs.
Visitors can closely examine lagoon insects and other creeping, crawling creatures.
Visitors can closely examine lagoon insects and other creeping, crawling creatures.
Various human artifacts on display include Native American Kumeyaay clay pots, weapons and tools.
Various human artifacts on display include Native American Kumeyaay clay pots and tools.
A poster shows Carlsbad's watershed, including the area where fresh water (including San Marcos Creek and Encinitas Creek) flows into Batiquitos Lagoon.
A poster shows Carlsbad’s watershed, including the area where fresh water (including San Marcos Creek and Encinitas Creek) flows into Batiquitos Lagoon.
As I left the Nature Center, I lingered for a moment on the shady front porch and gazed out at the nearby lagoon.
As I left the Nature Center, I lingered for a moment on the shady front porch and gazed out toward the nearby lagoon.
Next to some picnic benches by the Nature Center, you'll find a very strange creature lurking. It's The Creature From Batiquitos Lagoon, by artist Paul Weber, 2003.
Next to some picnic benches by the Nature Center, you’ll find a very strange creature lurking. It’s The Creature From Batiquitos Lagoon, by artist Paul Weber, 2003.
To the west, Interstate 5 runs over part of the lagoon's Pacific Ocean tidal inlet. Many drive past this beautiful place without stopping to enjoy it.
To the west, Interstate 5 runs over part of the lagoon’s Pacific Ocean tidal inlet. Many drive past this beautiful place without ever stopping to enjoy it.
Now we are heading east along the north edge of smooth, blue Batiquitos Lagoon.
Now we are heading east along the north edge of smooth, blue Batiquitos Lagoon.
Several small concrete seats were decorated with colored stone mosaics. This one features a mallard duck.
Several small concrete seats were decorated with colored stone mosaics. This one features a mallard duck.
Bright September sunshine on green.
The bright September sunshine on green.
Part of the Lagoon Trail follows tan sandstone cliffs.
The west part of the Lagoon Trail follows tan sandstone cliffs.
The cliffs along this stretch belong to the Scripps Formation. The sandstone was deposited in a shallow ocean about 45 million years ago.
The cliffs along this stretch belong to the Scripps Formation. The sandstone was deposited in a shallow ocean about 45 million years ago.
Approaching a more wooded area at the border of the lagoon.
Approaching a more wooded area at the border of the lagoon.
Several short trails head north from the main trail into nearby Carlsbad neighborhoods.
Several short trails head north from the main trail into nearby Carlsbad neighborhoods.
I see a mosaic turtle!
I see a mosaic turtle!
Many informative signs can be found along the trail. This one lists salt marsh niches, including floating plants, diving birds, wading birds, bottom fish, mud worms and more. It also talks about the environment and human responsibility.
Many informative signs can be found along the trail. This one lists salt marsh niches, including floating plants, diving birds, wading birds, bottom fish, mud worms and more. It also talks about caring for the environment and human responsibility.
A large mudflat shines in the morning sunlight.
A large mudflat shines like silver in the morning sunlight.
This enormous tree stands alone near the edge of the water. It has probably lived there for a very long time.
This enormous tree stands alone near the edge of the water. It has probably lived there for a very long time.
Now I see a heron!
Now I see a wading heron!
Walking near the lush edge of the tidal marsh. Along here there is a lot of Coyote Brush, and non-native Yellow Mustard.
Walking near the lush edge of the tidal marsh. Along here grows a lot of Coyote Brush, and non-native Yellow Mustard.
The trail passes over a tiny bridge and a thin stream of water.
The trail passes over a tiny bridge and a thin stream of water.
Bending over I was able to take a photograph of a wood rat den made of twigs and branches.
Bending over I was able to take a photograph of a wood rat den made of twigs and branches.
Nearby sign explains the wood rat's den. Also called pack rats, they build complex houses with various chambers.
A nearby sign explains the wood rat’s den. Also called pack rats, they build complex houses with various chambers.
White fluffy heads of non-native pampas grass shine near the trail.
The white fluffy heads of some non-native pampas grass seem to shimmer in the breeze.
Now we are walking right beside the tidal lagoon.
Now we are walking right beside the tidal lagoon.
Coastal Goldenbush blooms about to open.
Coastal Goldenbush blooms about to open.
More beautiful leaves in sunlight.
More beautiful leaves in sunlight.
It appears a tall tree fell and was cleared from the path.
It appears a tall tree fell and was cleared from the path.
Walking along a beautiful trail in coastal San Diego County.
Walking along a very beautiful trail in coastal San Diego County.
Plaque on one bench by the trail. From the high mountains of Colorado to the shores of Batiquitos Lagoon, serenity and peace can be found.
Plaque on one bench by the trail. From the high mountains of Colorado to the shores of Batiquitos Lagoon, serenity and peace can be found.
More beauty.
More natural beauty.
We are nearing the end of our two mile walk.
We are near the end of our two mile walk.
More beauty.
More late summer beauty.
Now we are approaching the eastern end of Batiquitos Lagoon, beyond which runs El Camino Real. Light shines upon life-giving water.
Now we are approaching the eastern end of Batiquitos Lagoon, beyond which runs El Camino Real. Light shines upon life-giving water.

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Photos of beautiful flowers in Mission Valley.

This morning I was walking to work through Mission Valley, searching right and left for something interesting to photograph, when I had to suddenly laugh at myself. I was passing hundreds of wonders that grew inches from my feet!

Beautiful flowers bloomed all along the city sidewalk!

These photos were taken as I walked up Mission Center Road north of Friars Road, near Civita.

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!