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.

The promise of musical power.

Tomorrow evening’s San Diego International Organ Festival’s concert is going to be awesome. I heard part of the rehearsal today.

The majestic Spreckels Organ accompanied by beautifully played string instruments is too emotionally powerful for words.

Starting at 7:30 pm on Monday, August 26, at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez will be joined by four accomplished chamber musicians, including members of the San Diego Symphony.

You can sense the musical power a little bit in a few of these photos.

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!

Animation Domination, and other signs of Comic-Con!

Characters from The Simpsons appear on a trolley wrap for 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.
Characters from The Simpsons appear on a trolley wrap for 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.

More signs that 2019 Comic-Con is fast approaching are popping up in San Diego!

Today I spotted a new FOX television trolley wrap promoting their popular animated shows which air on Sunday. It boasts of Animation Domination!

I’ve also noticed the appearance of a few other things around downtown!

Tony Stark's favorite glasses can be purchased in the Gaslamp Quarter at Eyes on Fifth.
Tony Stark’s favorite glasses can be purchased in the Gaslamp Quarter at Eyes on Fifth.
At Copley Symphony Hall, I spotted this sign promoting Galaxy Quest in Concert during 2019 Comic-Con.
At Copley Symphony Hall, I spotted this sign promoting Galaxy Quest in Concert during 2019 Comic-Con.
The 2019 Lindley Lecture on Law and Comics will take place at the San Diego Public Library on the Tuesday of Comic-Con week.
Sign in a window of the San Diego Law Library. The 2019 Lindley Lecture on Law and Comics will take place at the San Diego Public Library on the Tuesday of Comic-Con week.
Family Guy characters on one side of the Animation Domination trolley wrap.
Family Guy characters on one side of the Animation Domination trolley wrap, which I saw today at the Courthouse station.
Animation Domination. FOX Sundays.
Animation Domination. FOX Sundays.
Marge and Maggie Simpson on the other side of the trolley.
Marge and Maggie Simpson on the other side of the Animation Domination trolley.
Lisa Simpson.
Lisa Simpson.
Homer and Bart Simpson on a 2019 Comic-Con trolley!
Homer and Bart Simpson on a 2019 Comic-Con trolley!

UPDATE!

I got better pics of the Family Guy side and more pics of The Simpsons’ side while one 2019 Comic-Con trolley was waiting at America Plaza…

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UPDATE!

I spotted a second FOX Animation Domination trolley design! This one features characters from the shows Bless the Harts and Bob’s Burgers…

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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!

Another fine summer walk in San Diego.

Six teams from California play stickball in Little Italy on a fine summer Sunday.
Six teams of firefighters from California play stickball in Little Italy on a fine summer Sunday.

My walk today began on Cortez Hill and proceeded down through Little Italy until I reached the Embarcadero. I then headed south along the water.

It’s a simple walk that never gets old.

Good times on Columbia Street.
Good times on Columbia Street.
Bayside Fire Station No. 2 is finally open!
Bayside Fire Station No. 2 is finally open!
A friendly firefighter told me the engines arrived on Friday!
A friendly firefighter told me the engines arrived on Friday!
Volunteers pull a huge rope together on the deck of Star of India.
Volunteers pull a huge rope together on the deck of Star of India.
Climbing into clouds of sail.
Climbing up into clouds of sail.
Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego exit from the Soviet submarine.
Visitors to the Maritime Museum of San Diego exit from the Soviet submarine.
More museum volunteers handling ropes and chains by the water.
More museum volunteers handling ropes and chains by the water.
The museum's longboat was out on San Diego Bay. An overcast but very pleasant start to the morning.
The museum’s longboat was out on San Diego Bay. An overcast but very pleasant start to the morning.
Two huge ships at the Cruise Ship Terminal. The superyacht Attessa IV and impressive U. S. Coast Guard cutter Healy (WAGB-20).
Two huge ships at the Cruise Ship Terminal. The superyacht Attessa IV and impressive U. S. Coast Guard cutter Healy (WAGB-20).
Someone rides a scooter along Broadway Pier past the Coast Guard's newest, most advanced polar icebreaker. I haven't spotted any ice off San Diego!
Someone rides a scooter along Broadway Pier past the Coast Guard’s newest, most advanced polar icebreaker. I haven’t spotted any ice off San Diego!
Family boards the Coronado Ferry near Broadway Pier.
Family boards a Coronado ferry near Broadway Pier.
Many people were out on the Embarcadero today enjoying wonderful San Diego.
Many people were out on the Embarcadero today enjoying wonderful San Diego.
America, replica of the racing yacht that won the first America's Cup, cruises past.
America, replica of the racing yacht that won the first America’s Cup, cruises past.
And so does a sailboat.
And so does a sailboat.
Walking above the shining water.
Walking and sitting above the shining water.
Creating music.
Creating music.
Out on a harbor cruise.
Out on a harbor cruise.
Simply standing by the blue water.
Simply standing by the blue water.
An easy float through the Marriott Marina.
An easy float through the Marriott Marina.
The San Diego Symphony is set up and ready to go for their outdoor summer concerts at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
The San Diego Symphony is set up and ready to go for their outdoor summer concerts at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Bayside Summer Nights will feature lots of great concerts, and fireworks.
Bayside Summer Nights will feature lots of great concerts, and fireworks.
On the water in a boat, and above it on a pier.
On the water in a boat, and above it on a pier.
I see the Coronado Island Marriott Resort beyond those fisherman.
I see the Coronado Island Marriott Resort beyond those fishermen.
And here's my favorite Coronado ferry, Silvergate. It usually departs near the San Diego Convention Center.
And here’s my favorite Coronado ferry, Silvergate. It usually departs near 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!

Photos from the 2017 Architectural Open House!

Visitors enter the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum during the San Diego Architectural Foundation's OPEN HOUSE 2017.
Visitors enter the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017.

This weekend the San Diego Architectural Foundation is having their big annual Open House event!

For 2018, an amazing 84 locations will participate, each building or urban site recognized for its unique contribution to San Diego’s architectural history. Many different architectural styles will be highlighted, at locations in Balboa Park, Bankers Hill, downtown, the Gaslamp, East Village, Barrio Logan and Point Loma. Some locations will offer guided tours or special talks; at many others the public is invited to take a self-guided tour.

To find out more, including days and times of tours this Saturday and Sunday, check out the SDAF website here.

In 2017 I took full advantage of this event and visited a range of interesting places. The following are links to photographs that I took:

Elegant interior of the historic U.S. Grant Hotel.

Colorful stained glass windows of The Abbey.

Art and history at the SDSU Downtown Gallery.

Photos behind the scenes at Copley Symphony Hall!

Elegance and history at downtown San Diego hotel.

Keating Building in downtown San Diego.

Paintings in Balboa Park Conservancy Board Room. (I took these photos during a 2017 Open House tour of the House of Hospitality. Unfortunately I joined the group midstream and took few useful notes.)

Photos inside the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.

After you check those links out, here’s another related memory that’s rather peculiar and fun!

My photographs from the blog post Fountain of Two Oceans sculpture turns white! were used by the San Diego Architectural Society on their website when the sculpture’s ghastly color change earned it an Onion Award in 2014.

Thank goodness that sculpture looks much better today!

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!

Sailboats, sunshine, and the Commodores!

The Commodores do a sound check before their evening performance at Bayside Summer Nights.
The Commodores do a sound check before their evening performance at Bayside Summer Nights.

Adventures all over today, including walks in La Mesa and Logan Heights.

The best came near the end. I just happened to arrive at Embarcadero Marina Park South as the legendary Motown group Commodores began their sound check for this evening’s Bayside Summer Nights concert. It was like a free “concert” for myself and a few lucky others.

The Commodores have provided so many good moments and memories in my life. Their stirring music has such strong rhythm and heart. Soul, defined. When you listen, you smile, then you start singing too.

Night Shift. Lady (You Bring Me Up). Easy.

I heard bits and pieces of them all.

And in the near distance, sailboats and sunshine on San Diego Bay.

Yes, life is good.

Getting the chairs ready for an outdoor concert on San Diego Bay.
Getting the chairs ready for an outdoor concert on San Diego Bay.
A sailboat tacks. I could hear the sails flapping.
A sailboat tacks. I could hear the sails flapping.
The Commodores on stage produce their legendary magic.
The Commodores on stage produce their legendary magic.
Beauty nearby.
Sunshine and sails. Easy like Saturday afternoon.
Life is good.
Life is good.

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!