Sunset photos at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

This evening before sunset I arrived at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

I walked out on the pier and watched the patient fishermen. San Diego Bay was glowing, peaceful.

I watched a Dole container ship loading at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, then gazed at luxurious yachts docked behind the Convention Center.

As I walked along I spotted a heron behind Joe’s Crab Shack. Then I circled back to the walkway that leads to the newly finished Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, where the San Diego Symphony will be performing this summer. Welcoming banners are now up.

For a few minutes I watched guys playing hoops on the public basketball courts.

The sun finally began setting behind boats in the Marriott Marina.

I headed home.

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, monumental The Shell nears completion!

Oh my goodness! Look at these photos! I took them today during a walk along San Diego’s waterfront, at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

San Diego Symphony’s monumental The Shell is nearing completion and it’s more amazing than I anticipated!

As I understand it, the San Diego’s Symphony’s popular summer concerts will resume this year, after being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And for the very first time, Bayside Summer Nights will be held at this permanent outdoor venue.

I spoke to a construction worker and he said the project is indeed nearing completion. I could see that landscaping is now underway, and that most of the structures seem about ready to go.

If you’d like to compare how the project appeared in late 2019, as it was just getting started, you can check out photos I took here. At the time the venue was referred to as Bayside Performance Park.

Today this outdoor stage, the only venue of its kind on the West Coast, whose acoustic quality is said to be as good as any indoor concert hall, and whose white “shell” is made of the same material as the San Diego Convention Center’s iconic sails, is simply called The Shell.

As I walked outside the construction fence peering at The Shell, I could immediately see that this extraordinary landmark will help further distinguish San Diego from every other city in the world, and is destined to become a beloved part of the already beautiful skyline.

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!

San Diego Symphony’s beautiful Christmas tree!

The San Diego Symphony has put up their beautiful (and very unique) Christmas tree!

I saw it this evening as I walked home through downtown. It stands in a corner of the front lobby inside Symphony Towers.

Not only are the branches decked with traditional Christmas ornaments, but one can find bright musical notes and instruments!

If you’d like to help the San Diego Symphony out financially during the pandemic, you can make a donation to their Stabilization Fund. If you do, an anonymous donor will match it! Learn more 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!

Preparing a grand entrance for The Shell!

Great progress continues to be made building The Shell, the new outdoor summer stage of the San Diego Symphony!

I noticed during my waterfront stroll today that a new wider walkway has been poured to provide better access to Embarcadero Marina Park South. I also noticed from a distance that The Shell’s uniquely designed entrance is really taking shape.

Next summer, when you head down to San Diego’s beautiful bayfront to listen to the greatest music in the world, it appears to me that the one making a grand entrance will be you!

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!

How to support performing arts during a pandemic.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all experiencing a very difficult time.

Among those hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic are cultural institutions whose live performances are intended for gathered audiences. Many concerts and plays have been cancelled. Most of these institutions are nonprofits that can struggle financially even in the best of times.

If you have the means, now might be a good time to make a donation to help the performing arts through a very dark tunnel. That way, we can all enjoy a bit more light when we finally come through.

I’ve linked to the donation pages of some notable local institutions that are being hurt by the pandemic. And don’t forget the many museums throughout San Diego. They will also suffer as people avoid gathering in public.

Follow these links to make a donation:

San Diego Symphony

La Jolla Music Society

The Old Globe

La Jolla Playhouse

San Diego Repertory Theatre

San Diego Opera

We will get through this very difficult time.

Be safe.

The Shell appears in San Diego’s skyline!

The San Diego Symphony’s new outdoor summer stage, The Shell, is rapidly taking shape in San Diego’s gleaming skyline!

During my harbor tour today I saw that most of The Shell’s white canvas has been attached to its steel frame. With a little imagination it’s easy to see how San Diego seen across the bay will be more amazing than ever.

Once all the canvas is up, and the cranes disappear, The Shell will almost certainly become an iconic new landmark on our bayfront!

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!

The Stones, Monster Jam and The Shell.

The Rolling Stones are returning to San Diego this year!

Monster Jam is coming to Petco Park next weekend!

The Shell, the San Diego Symphony’s new performance stage at Embarcadero Marina Park South, will be completed in time for this year’s Bayside Summer Nights!

I saw evidence of all this during my morning walk near Petco Park and behind the San Diego Convention 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!

Bayside Performance Park rises on San Diego Bay!

Look what I spotted this afternoon during my walk along San Diego Bay. I was approaching the Marriott Marina when my eyes were surprised by a monumental steel structure rising from Embarcadero Marina Park South.

It’s the enormous stage of the new Bayside Performance Park, now under construction!

This permanent concert venue is an amazing gift from the San Diego Symphony to all of San Diego. How appropriate it appeared in time for Christmas!

As I walked around the construction site on my way to the Embarcadero Marina Park South pier, I spoke to a crew member of the Silvergate, a Coronado ferry that docks nearby, and he informed me the steel structure you see in my photographs went up rapidly four or five days ago.

You can also see a banner on a fence that shows what Bayside Performance Park might look like when completed. The concert stage’s curving shell is not only visually attractive, but it’s designed to provide a high quality acoustic experience.

Bayside Performance Park is due to open in time for the 2020 season of San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights.

I can’t wait to see how it looks (and sounds) when completed!

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!

Moved by music at the San Diego Symphony.

A new era of music has begun under the leadership of San Diego Symphony music director and conductor Rafael Payare.
A new era of music has begun at the San Diego Symphony.

Music was potent last evening. It swirled like a wind in Copley Symphony Hall.

As I sat in the mezzanine listening to the San Diego Symphony, I could see the music rising. More powerful than the waves of an ocean, music lifted the body of conductor Rafael Payare. It flowed through the arms and shoulders of the gathered musicians.

Music swayed the enraptured head of famed young pianist Vikingur Ólafsson as it danced through his fingers.

Where the music came from, I don’t know.

It moved the artists that sat upon the stage as if they were the instruments.

The music swelled inside me, too, then the concert ended and I had to walk up a steep hill to go home.

My legs worked in rhythm.

Perhaps the music is always within us. And when those who listen come together, it multiplies into a whirlwind.

Music like shadow and sunlight in leaves.

This evening I enjoyed another extraordinary concert of the 2019 San Diego International Organ Festival.

In a groundbreaking musical performance, San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez was joined on stage by a symphonic string quartet. Kathryn Hatmaker and Wesley Precourt played violin; Hanah Stuart played viola; and Alex Greenbaum played violoncello. The result was nothing less than brilliant.

The highlight of the concert was a sublime performance of César Franck’s Piano Quintet in F minor, transcribed by Raúl Prieto Ramírez for the organ.

The resonant voice of the Spreckels Organ and the yearning quality of the strings combined to bring forth exquisitely complex emotions. Bittersweet joy and heartbreak flowed together. The notes were rich with passion and tinged with regret. A whole lot like life.

A standing ovation concluded the evening.

Before the concert began in Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I walked through the nearby Japanese Friendship Garden.

When I saw my photographs of the garden’s natural beauty, it occurred to me that the music this evening was much like shadow and sunlight in leaves.

The rare magic produced this evening was the result of three San Diego treasures coming together: the world-class San Diego Symphony with its many talented musicians, one of the world’s most accomplished organists, and the Spreckels Organ, one of the most amazing musical instruments in the world.

May this magic become a tradition.