Make history at new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Library!

Early sunshine on the handsome new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. It will be completed and open to the public in a little over two weeks!
Early sunshine on the handsome new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. It will be completed and open to the public in a little over two weeks!

If you live in Mission Hills or Hillcrest, or simply love the San Diego Public Library , you have the opportunity to take part in a unique and historic ceremony!

On February 26, 2019, members of the community will participate in a unique “Book Pass” to celebrate the grand opening of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library!

Sign up for this event and you’ll be one of many who line the West Washington Street sidewalk symbolically passing a few books from the old branch library to the beautiful, much larger new building!

According to the website: “We will line streets from the current library to the new location to pass along select books as part of a grand opening party. Each book passer will receive a free scarf and other promotional items to commemorate this historic day. The Book Pass will take place from 9 to 10 am. Registration, Donuts, & Coffee, will be at 8:00 am at the new library, 215 West Washington Street.”

Interested? Sign up here!

Photo of the old, permanently closed Mission Hills Branch Public Library.
Photo of the old, now permanently closed Mission Hills Branch Public Library.
Fall was followed by winter at the old library building. But it soon will be spring...
Fall was followed by the dead of winter at the closed old library building. But spring always follows winter…
The ceremonial Book Pass from the old branch library to the new branch library will head east along the West Washington Street sidewalk past these flowers.
The ceremonial “Book Pass” from the old branch library to the new branch library will carry books east along the West Washington Street sidewalk past these flowers.
Those who take part in the symbolic opening ceremony, as they approach the new branch library, will carry books past this flock of birds!
Books used for the symbolic opening ceremony, as they are carried to the new branch library, will pass by this flock of birds!
And the books will finally arrive at their much larger, very beautiful new home.
And the books will finally arrive at their much larger, very beautiful new home.
Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library opens on January 26, 2019!
The new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library opens on January 26, 2019! You can participate in its opening and become part of history!

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!

Free lectures explain opera in San Diego!

19th Century engraving depicting Count Almaviva and Susanna in Act 3 of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
19th century engraving depicting Count Almaviva and Susanna in Act 3 of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

By sheer chance I stumbled upon a very cool event this afternoon. I was walking through the San Diego Central Library’s courtyard when I noticed a sign posted by the entrance to the Neil Morgan Auditorium. It announced that a free lecture was about to begin!

I hurried in, took a seat, and found myself quickly mesmerized by a talk about the San Diego Opera’s upcoming performance of The Marriage of Figaro!

Dr. Ron Shaheen, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Music Department at the University of San Diego, made the fascinating presentation. With the help of photographs, video clips and audio samples, he provided a wide range of information concerning Mozart’s famous opera. Even a complete opera novice like myself could appreciate the beautiful, timeless and amusing qualities of The Marriage of Figaro.

Many in the audience chuckled at the antics of its characters. The story, imbued by Mozart with deep emotional richness, turns upon all-too-common human weaknesses. The Marriage of Figaro is a mixture of crazy schemes, sudden surprises, human desire, selfishness, misunderstanding, love, jealousy, even more silliness . . . and concludes with a poignant scene of forgiveness.

Intrigued? Visit the San Diego Opera website here. The Marriage of Figaro will be performed in the next couple of weeks.

More free lectures in the Opera Insights Series will be coming to the Central Library. You can learn when and where by clicking here.

Dr. Ron Shaheen provides an entertaining lecture concerning The Marriage of Figaro during the San Diego Central Library 2018-2019 Opera Insights Series.
Dr. Ron Shaheen provides an entertaining lecture concerning The Marriage of Figaro during the San Diego Central Library 2018-2019 Opera Insights Series.
Information concerning music prodigy Mozart, his opera The Marriage of Figaro, and the San Diego Opera's upcoming performances.
Information concerning Mozart, his opera The Marriage of Figaro, and the San Diego Opera’s upcoming performances. (Click the image to enlarge it for easy reading.)
Mozart c. 1780, detail from portrait by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Detail from a portrait of Mozart, by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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.

A (strange) Method for Reaching Extreme Altitudes!

Art that creates an infinite reflection and contemplates the scale and structure of space and time. The two-way mirror is titled Down the Rabbit Hole (CMS Detector) by artist Adam Belt.
Art that creates an infinite reflection and contemplates the scale and structure of space and time. The two-way mirror is titled Down the Rabbit Hole (CMS Detector) by artist Adam Belt.

Do you enjoy unusual art?

There’s a cool exhibition now showing at the San Diego Central Library’s ninth floor Art Gallery called A Method for Reaching Extreme Altitudes. On display is the work of eight local artists: Adam Belt, Matthew Bradley, Sheena Rae Dowling, Andrew McGranahan, Arzu Ozkal, Cheryl Sorg, Jones von Jonestein, and Melissa Walter.

Some of the artwork is quite cosmic and trippy, while other pieces take a curious look at science fiction and our popular culture’s obsession with space travel, UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation.

If the exhibition’s name seems familiar, that’s because A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes was the title of a 1919 monograph by Robert H. Goddard, the founding father of modern rocketry.

After examining this artwork one might wonder: Exactly how did Goddard come up with plans to build a rocket? Was he actually a visitor from outer space? Is it possible? Maybe?

The fun exhibition will continue through September 16, 2018!

Inside the Art Gallery of the San Diego Central Library, where an exhibition explores A Method for Reaching Extreme Altitudes.
Inside the Art Gallery of the San Diego Central Library, where an exhibition explores A Method for Reaching Extreme Altitudes.
Visitors view artwork that concerns space travel and its effect on modern life, culture and human imagination.
Visitors view artwork that concerns space travel and its effect on modern life, culture and human imagination.
Artist Melissa Walter, science illustrator for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, explores the threat of orbital debris by casting geometric shadows.
Artist Melissa Walter, science illustrator for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, explores the threat of orbital debris by casting geometric shadows.
This multimedia installation by Jones von Jonestein is titled The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, after a novel by science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein.
This multimedia installation by Jones von Jonestein is titled The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, after a novel by science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein.
The collage-like artwork pokes gentle fun at the notion the moon landing was a hoax, and that governments conspire to suppress evidence of extraterrestrials.
The collage-like artwork pokes gentle fun at the assertion the moon landing was a hoax, and that governments conspire to suppress evidence of extraterrestrials.
Amateurs! A dog on the sound stage! A cameraman's reflection! Wind on the moon!
Amateurs! A dog on the sound stage! A cameraman’s reflection! Wind on the moon!
Space art depicting vast clouds of glowing dust and gas. The One that Got Away, by artist Sheena Rae Dowling.
Space art depicting vast clouds of glowing dust and gas. The One that Got Away, by artist Sheena Rae Dowling.
One of several collages exhibited by artist Andrew McGranahan. His retro-futurism embraces both utopian and dystopian imagery.
One of several collages exhibited by artist Andrew McGranahan. His retro-futurism embraces both utopian and dystopian imagery.
A cool digital print by artist Arzu Ozkal. She explores how humans are guests in a universe of microbes.
A cool digital print by artist Arzu Ozkal. She explores how humans are guests in a living universe of microbes.
A flying saucer above a Lucky supermarket! Artist Matthew Bradley has fun with the popular imagination in the Space Age.
A flying saucer above a Lucky supermarket! Artist Matthew Bradley has fun with popular imagination in the Space Age.
Bright UFOs painted in the night sky above the United States Capitol dome!
Bright UFOs painted in the night sky above the United States Capitol dome!

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Classic baseball publications anticipate new season!

Official baseball Yearbooks on display include one featuring the National League pennant winning 1984 Padres!
Official baseball Yearbooks on display include one featuring the National League pennant winning 1984 San Diego Padres!

There’s a new exhibition on the first floor of San Diego’s Central Library that anticipates the 2018 Major League Baseball season–now just days away! Examples of classic baseball publications remind visitors to the public library why this popular sport is considered America’s Pastime.

These notable publications are selected from the Bill Weiss Archive, of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Collection. The huge collection is housed within the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center, located in San Diego’s downtown Central Library. The people of San Diego have easy access to the largest baseball research collection outside of Cooperstown, New York’s incredible National Baseball Hall of Fame!

If you love sports history, Americana or baseball collectibles, you might enjoy this small but very cool exhibit!

Notable Publications from the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Collection are now on display on the first floor of the San Diego Central Library.
Notable Publications from the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Collection are now on display on the first floor of the San Diego Central Library.
Issues of Who's Who in Baseball on display at the San Diego Central Library.
Various old issues of Who’s Who in Baseball on display at the San Diego Central Library.
Who's Who in Baseball was first published in 1912. It was a popular reference for professional baseball stats for over a century.
Who’s Who in Baseball was first published in 1912. It was a popular reference for professional baseball stats for over a century.
Examples of Reach's Official Base Ball Guides and Spalding's Official Base Ball Guides, dating as far back as 1876!
Examples of Reach’s Official Base Ball Guides and Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guides, dating as far back as 1876!
Some classic examples of Baseball Magazine, which was published from 1908 to 1957.
Illustrated covers of Baseball Magazine, which was published from 1908 to 1957.

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!

GO PADRES!

Walking forward through life, or a dream.

Color in the sky above downtown San Diego.
Color in the sky above downtown San Diego.

Here are photos from different walks the past couple of weeks.

It’s odd–how every living experience instantly vanishes, becomes intangible: an insubstantial memory. I look at these photographs and my days seem so ephemeral. Our walk through life is very much like a dream.

Garbage truck lifts dumpster in front of the San Diego Symphony's Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center.
Garbage truck lifts dumpster in front of the San Diego Symphony’s Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center.
Working on the street near Sixth and Broadway.
Guys working on the street near Sixth and Broadway.
Someone rides a dockless rental bike down the sidewalk after an early morning shower.
Someone rides a dockless rental bike down the sidewalk after an early morning shower.
Wichita State band members by downtown hotel gets instruments ready for their NCAA basketball tournament game that was held at SDSU's Viejas Arena.
Wichita State band members by downtown hotel, getting their instruments ready for an NCAA basketball tournament game held at SDSU’s Viejas Arena.
Having a friendly chat while walking the dog on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.
Having a friendly chat while walking the dog on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.
Picking up litter on railroad tracks.
Picking up litter on railroad tracks.
A tree's reflection in windows.
A tree’s mysterious, golden reflection in windows.
A gull soars above downtown San Diego buildings.
A gull soars above downtown San Diego buildings.
A TV news van is parked by the Hall of Justice one evening.
A TV news van is parked by the Hall of Justice one evening.
Walking along in the Gaslamp near Bub's.
Holding hands in the Gaslamp Quarter near Bub’s.
Homeless man walks through life with his stuff.
Homeless man walks through life with his stuff.
Man in kilt, smoking a pipe, relaxes in Seaport Village on St. Patrick's Day.
Man in kilt, smoking a pipe, relaxes in Seaport Village on St. Patrick’s Day.
Fishing in the Marriott Marina. A friendly wave from folks who work at Hookup Baits, my work neighbors.
Fishing in the Marriott Marina. A friendly smile and thumbs up from folks who work at Hookup Baits, my work neighbors.
Looking down from the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge at the train and trolley yard.
Looking down from the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge at the train and trolley yard.
People linger high above the city on the 9th floor of the Central Library.
People linger high above the city on the 9th floor of the Central Library.
A view over East Village construction toward mountains in San Diego's East County.
A view over East Village construction toward mountains in San Diego’s East County.
Feeding birds at the library one fine day.
Feeding birds at the library one fine day.

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 from different colleges across San Diego.

Visitors to the gallery on the 9th floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library look at some fascinating artwork.
Visitors to the gallery on the 9th floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library look at some fascinating artwork.

A fantastic exhibition is now open free to the public in the 9th floor gallery at San Diego’s Central Library. You Are Here features work from art students and professors at 13 different institutions of higher education around San Diego County.

Not only is this exhibition an opportunity for talented artists to show their creative work in public, but visitors to the Central Library can learn a little about each school’s unique art program.

I took photos of some of the artwork. Please swing on by–you’ll be impressed by the quality of these imaginative, evocative pieces. You Are Here runs through May 6, 2018.

You Are Here, a special exhibition in the Central Library's gallery, collects the work of 26 artists from 13 different higher education art departments across San Diego.
You Are Here, a special exhibition in the Central Library’s gallery, collects the work of 26 artists from 13 different higher education art departments across San Diego.
Diverse examples of thought-inducing visual art attract curious eyes.
Diverse examples of thought-inducing visual art attract curious eyes.
Space Ships, Wendell M. Kling, Professor of Art, San Diego Mesa College, 2013-present.
Space Ships, Wendell M. Kling, Professor of Art, San Diego Mesa College, 2013-present.
Hubcap Milagro for Chunky, David Avalos, Professor of Visual Arts, California State University San Marcos, 2011.
Hubcap Milagro for Chunky, David Avalos, Professor of Visual Arts, California State University San Marcos, 2011.
Untitled, Monique Van Genderen, Associate Professor of Art, UC San Diego, 2017.
Untitled, Monique Van Genderen, Associate Professor of Art, UC San Diego, 2017.
Pink Cactus Moon Rock, Corina Bilandzija, Student, Palomar College, 2017.
Pink Cactus Moon Rock, Corina Bilandzija, Student, Palomar College, 2017.
Warm Lights, Niki Ito, International Student, San Diego City College, 2017.
Warm Lights, Niki Ito, International Student, San Diego City College, 2017.
Hair, Larissa Lopez, Past Student, Cuyamaca Community College, 2017.
Hair, Larissa Lopez, Past Student, Cuyamaca Community College, 2017.
Ophelia, Hanna Hunter, Student, San Diego Miramar College, 2016.
Ophelia, Hanna Hunter, Student, San Diego Miramar College, 2016.

Do you enjoy discovering new things? I do! My camera is always ready during my long walks around San Diego!

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The coolest used bookstore in San Diego!

Two super nice volunteers pose for a pic inside the cool Friends of the Central Library Bookstore!
Two super nice volunteers pose for a pic inside the cool Friends of the Central Library Bookstore!

There are many outstanding things about the Central Library in downtown San Diego. One great thing is their internet lab, where I can easily post to my blog when my home internet is temporarily down. Another is the used bookstore just inside the public library’s front entrance!

I can’t count all the awesome books, CD’s, graphic novels and other cool stuff I’ve stumbled across while browsing through the Friends of the Central Library Bookstore. Every time I go there seems to be a new crop on the shelves. My hungry eyes harvest the bounty. Fertile row after fertile row sprout with fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, science fiction, biographies, cookbooks, religion . . . you name it!

Are you looking for the coolest used bookstore in San Diego? Head downtown! The proceeds from every purchase help support the Central Library. In so many ways the library provides neighbors with opportunities, improving our community.

You never know what you'll find in this used bookstore. Perhaps someone would like to learn about The Practice of Palmistry.
You never know what you’ll find in this used bookstore. Perhaps someone would like to learn about The Practice of Palmistry.
I was shown this amazing pop-up book! Every page becomes a different habitat which plays realistic sound effects from nature!
I was shown this amazing pop-up book! Every page becomes a different habitat which plays realistic sound effects from nature!
Someone pauses near the front desk of San Diego's Central Library to browse a few of the many incredible used books!
Someone pauses near the front desk of San Diego’s Central Library to browse a few of the many incredible used books!

Yesterday for one measly dollar I purchased one of the best resources ever written for identifying local flora.

You can’t beat that!