The cool sculpture at Humphreys on Shelter Island.

I’ve always wondered about the cool sculpture that stands in front of Humphreys Half Moon Inn on Shelter Island. It’s situated right next to one of the hotel’s driveways.

Last weekend, during my walk along Shelter Island Drive, I paused by the sculpture and looked about for some information. And I found it!

A plaque at the sculpture’s base reads:

OCEAN SONG

The sculpture is inspired by waves
breaking on the shores of the bay.
It Reflects the play of sunlight throughout
the day on the surface of the ocean.
It recalls the connection of the moon and
the tides.
So as waves on the ocean it also portrays
waves of sound.
The mass of the sculpture transforms itself
from baritone to soprano
Creating a song that tells the story of the
place where we have found shelter.

ALBER DE MATTEIS, SCULPTOR

To have discovered such a poetic description was a wonderful surprise. I also noted the sculpture is dated 2004.

If the name of this artist seems familiar, you might recall seeing photographs of abstract sculptures by Alber De Matteis in National City and Liberty Station.

I blogged those photos years ago here and here!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

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A small desert garden inside an old fountain.

A side door to San Diego's City Administration Building lies beyond a small garden containing cacti and succulents.
Side door to San Diego’s City Administration Building lies beyond a small garden containing cacti and succulents.

I was waiting for a trolley at the Civic Center station the other day when my eyes wandered over to the City Administration Building. A small desert garden caught my attention, and I remembered how a few years ago that semicircle of garden used to be a fountain.

The next Blue Line trolley was still five minutes away, so I walked over to look at a nearby plaque and a sign.

Plaque near the small desert garden that has been planted in the basin of The Phil Swing Memorial Fountain, which was dedicated on July 6, 1967.
Bronze plaque near the small desert garden planted in the basin of The Phil Swing Memorial Fountain, which was dedicated on July 6, 1967.
Sign explains the Phil Swing Memorial Fountain was re-purposed to a Desert Garden. In 1933, Mr. Swing introduced a bill to establish Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Sign explains the Phil Swing Memorial Fountain was re-purposed to a Desert Garden. In 1933, Mr. Swing introduced a bill to establish Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Philip D. Phil Swing was appointed to the California State Water Resources Board in 1945. This beautiful garden honors his contributions to the conservation of desert lands and water resources.
Philip D. “Phil” Swing was appointed to the California State Water Resources Board in 1945. This beautiful garden honors his contributions to the conservation of desert lands and water resources.
A trolley arrives at the Civic Center station near a small desert garden in downtown San Diego.
A trolley arrives at the Civic Center station near a small desert garden 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!

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!

Badminton champions compete in Balboa Park!

The Balboa Park Activity Center is filled with many elite international athletes, including past Olympic champions, during the 2019 Dave Freeman Classic Open badminton tournament.
The Balboa Park Activity Center is filled with many elite international athletes, including past Olympic champions, during the 2019 Dave Freeman Classic Open badminton tournament.

Some of the best badminton players in the world are competing this weekend in Balboa Park!

Today I headed up to the Balboa Park Activity Center and was blown away by what I observed. At the 2019 Dave Freeman Classic Open, the badminton action is unbelievably fast and furious!

For several minutes I stood and watched some amazing players perform at a very high level. These elite athletes move so lightning fast their bodies and rackets appear as a blur in nearly all of my photos. The shuttlecocks zoomed and floated. I observed strategy, agility, strength and precision. It’s a sport that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated!

Here are a few photos that provide a small taste of this cool badminton tournament!

Looking at plaques with past champions. The 62nd Yonex Dave Freeman Open 2019 is a USA Badminton sanctioned Classic Series Tournament with cash prizes.
Looking at plaques with past champions. The 62nd Yonex Dave Freeman Open 2019 is a USA Badminton sanctioned Classic Series Tournament with cash prizes.

Bronze plaque inside Balboa Park Activity Center dedicated to Dr. David Guthrie Freeman, one of the world's greatest natural athletes of all time, a badminton legend for whom the tournament is named.
Bronze plaque inside Balboa Park Activity Center dedicated to Dr. David Guthrie Freeman, one of the world’s greatest natural athletes of all time, a badminton legend for whom the tournament is named.
The San Diego Badminton Club is one of the sports groups that meets and plays regularly inside the Balboa Park Activity Center.
The San Diego Badminton Club is one of the sports groups that meets and plays regularly inside the Balboa Park Activity Center.

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!

That big bronze pelican in Pacific Beach!

That big bronze pelican standing by the Pacific Beach Lifeguard Station is one cool bird! His name is Pelican Brown.

Legend has it Pelican Brown was observed dancing at the ballroom that used to be located at the end of Crystal Pier. Dressed up in his best velvet vest, he danced the PB Tango!

This fun public art was created in 2004 for the City of San Diego by artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson. A nearby plaque on the lifeguard station contains the poem The Ballad of P.B., which was written by Jan Phillips.

The amusing poem begins:

Pelican Brown was in search of a home
where he could have fun and relax.
He looked for a beach that was pretty
and a sea that was swimming with snacks.

He flew up and down the long coastline
looking both far and quite near.
Then, one day he knew he had found it
when his eyes saw the great Crystal Pier.

What happens next? Does the story have a happy ending?

Read the entire poem and learn more about the artists at the Project Pelican Brown web page, which you can visit by clicking here!

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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!

Sunrise at Balboa Park’s Desert Garden.

This morning I spent a few minutes in Balboa Park’s Desert Garden, enjoying a beautiful sunrise.

I had hoped to take photos of new snow on the mountains east of San Diego, but they were too distant for my small camera. What I did discover as I walked down one path was completely unexpected, and indescribably powerful…

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!

Marine Corps Recruit Depot brass plaque at City Hall.

A large plaque presented by Marine Corps Recruit Depot to the City of San Diego commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the United States Marines.
A large plaque presented by the Marine Corps Recruit Depot to the City of San Diego commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the United States Marines.

A couple mornings ago, when I visited the San Diego City Administration Building’s lobby, I noticed a large brass plaque in a glass display case against the east wall. The shining badge-like plaque is several feet in length.

Upon closer inspection, I read the words:

Marine Corps Recruit Depot
San Diego, California
Department of the Navy
United States Marine Corps
Presented to City of San Diego
by the
Officers and Enlisted Personnel
Marine Corps Recruit Depot
on 10 November 1975
The 200th Anniversary of the Corps

A smaller descriptive plaque on top of the display case reads: “This plaque is made from brass shell cases of ammunition fired by Marines in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.”

I’ve searched the internet for information regarding this fantastic Marine Corps Recruit Depot plaque, but have found nothing.

Does anyone know its history?

Where was it made? Was it presented to the City of San Diego back in 1975 during a special ceremony? Has it always been on display inside City Hall?

Please leave a comment if you have any additional information!

A closer photo of the shining brass plaque, which is on display inside the lobby of the San Diego City Administration Building.
A closer photo of the shining brass plaque, which is on display inside the lobby of the San Diego City Administration Building.

(Another amazing Bicentennial Plaque–one presented to San Diego by the United States Navy–can be seen on the Embarcadero near the USS Midway Museum. To read a fascinating article about the origin of that historic bronze plaque, and see photos of its forging, click here!)

A quick peek inside St. Paul’s Cathedral.

View of St. Paul's Cathedral in Bankers Hill from across Fifth Avenue.
View of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral from across Fifth Avenue.

I swung by St. Paul’s Cathedral in Bankers Hill a couple weekends ago during the San Diego Architectural Foundation 2018 OPEN HOUSE event. A friendly gentleman named Bob who belongs to this Episcopal church showed me the original Great Hall which was completed in 1929, then the impressive interior of the cathedral, or “big house” as he called it, which was finally completed in 1951.

St. Paul’s Cathedral was designed by architect Philip Frohman, who is best remembered as the designer of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The building contains elements of both Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The original pipes of the historic church organ date from 1887. They were brought by ship around Cape Horn, to serve as the first organ in Old Town San Diego.

The cathedral was visited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1983 during her trip to San Diego aboard Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia. I was told that she spoke to the congregation and enjoyed listening to Evensong.

I gleaned a few odd bits of information during the informal tour and have included them in my photo captions.

Looking north at the impressive cathedral and its stained glass windows from Nutmeg Street.
Looking north at the impressive cathedral and its many stained glass windows from Nutmeg Street.
St. Paul's Cathedral in San Diego was designed by famed architect Philip Frohman.
St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego was designed by famed architect Philip Frohman.
Ladies exit through an arcade of elegant columns.
Ladies exit through an arcade of elegant columns.
A gentleman in the church's courtyard greeted visitors for the weekend architectural event.
A gentleman in the church’s courtyard greeted visitors during the weekend architectural event.
Construction of St. Paul's Parish House or Great Hall began in 1928.
Construction of St. Paul’s parish house or Great Hall began in 1928.
The most notable thing I saw in the Great Hall is the incredible original wooden beamed ceiling, which is showing signs of age.
The most notable thing I saw in the Great Hall is the incredible original wooden beamed ceiling, which is showing signs of age.
Turning my camera for another shot of this amazing ceiling.
Turning my camera for another shot of this amazing ceiling.
Sunlight enters through a rose window.
Sunlight enters through a rose window.
A plaque in the courtyard area between the Great Hall and cathedral. This garden commemorates the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to this church on February 27, 1983.
A plaque in the courtyard area between the Great Hall and cathedral. This garden commemorates the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to this church on February 27, 1983.
Inside the beautiful cathedral, looking east from the nave toward the chancel and historic pipe organ.
Inside the beautiful cathedral, looking east from the nave toward the chancel and historic Great Organ.
People have quietly entered the sacred place. The gray interior walls allow the stained glass lancet windows, created by Judson Studios in Pasadena, to fill the eyes of worshipers.
People have quietly entered the sacred place. The gray interior walls allow light from the stained glass lancet windows, created by Judson Studios in Pasadena, to fill the eyes of worshipers.
This small Lady Chapel to the east was built in 1975. It is used for weddings and other celebrations. It contains a much smaller organ.
This small Lady Chapel to the east was built in 1975. It’s used for weddings and other celebrations. It contains a smaller organ.
The cathedra, or bishop's throne, off to one side.
The cathedra, or bishop’s seat, off to one side.
More resplendent stained glass, like celestial visions shining through darkness.
More resplendent stained glass, like celestial visions shining through darkness.

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!