Will this be your futuristic “wearable” car in 2050?

A futuristic car–a new form of wearable machine–is presently on display at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park.

The Nissan GT-R 2050 is a full-size prototype made at Nissan Design America, San Diego. It was designed by student intern Jaebum “JB” Choi to be an autonomous, human-connected vehicle of the far future!

According to the Nissan website, The completed project runs just under 10 feet long and sits just over two feet high. The single occupant, the driver, rests horizontally in a “prone” position with limbs extended in an X-shape. The driver wears a futuristic, form-fitting suit and helmet that resembles a superbike riders’ protective helmets and leathers.

Does it come with a Bat Cave, too?

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!

Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison in North Park!

What in the world are Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison doing in North Park?

They’re decorating the exterior of the very unique San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s Substation F!

I happened to look up and see the two historical figures as I walked along the El Cajon Boulevard sidewalk just east of Iowa Street.

These gentleman made groundbreaking discoveries and inventions that remain important in our electricity dependent world. Both esteemed men, in North Park, are busts made of cast stone!

Learn more about SDG&E’s beautifully restored Station F, originally built in 1926, at this web page.

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Life, death, joy and pessimism in La Jolla.

Art is often a stir of moods and strange contradictions, like life itself.

I saw this complexity during a fun visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla. A major exhibit in the recently reopened, beautifully renovated museum concerns the often experimental artwork of world-renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who spent her last years living in La Jolla. The exhibition is titled Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s. It will be on view through July 17, 2022.

As I walked around several spacious gallery spaces, observing the artist’s sensuous sculptures, and fantastic drawings, and paintings created by shooting guns, I saw joyful, fertile, exuberant life displayed side-by-side with bleak, shattered, debris-filled pessimism. It seemed that positivity was associated with female experience, negativity with modernity. As if the two are absolutely separate.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s female sculpture Nanas dance everywhere one turns, bursting with life. Her large Tirs, or performance art “shooting paintings,” looked to my eye like dead junkyards: rigid, punctured, streaked, drained.

As I gazed at the various artworks, whose elements often seem primordial or mythical, I wondered how seemingly opposed ideas could tangle in the mind of an artist–how paint and gunshots could so easily coexist. Oh, wait. Life and death is the prime subject of art.

Go visit this amazing exhibition of rampant creativity and form your own conclusions!

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!

Niki and Mingei and fantastic, exuberant creativity!

Are the above chairs awesome or what? I bet you’d like to sit in one!

When I visited the Mingei International Museum last weekend, I set my astonished eyes on this furniture. I then admired other fantastic furnishings, all designed by world-renowned French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle!

The many sculptures she created during her lifetime are widely known. But chairs and tables and vases and mirrors? Yes!

You’ll discover all sorts of crazily colorful objects when you visit the Niki and Mingei exhibition at the Mingei International Museum!

You’ll see an exuberant, irrepressible love of life.

Did I mention Niki became well known for her sculptures?

She has many around San Diego!

Should you walk outside the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, you’ll likely see two of her sculptures: Nikigator and Poet and Muse. And during your travels you might observe her sculptures at Waterfront Park, or UC San Diego, or by the San Diego Convention Center, or at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. If you haven’t stepped into Queen Califia’s Magical Circle at Kit Carson Park, you’re missing a mind-blowing, incredible experience.

Niki de Saint Phalle was closely connected with San Diego and the Mingei International Museum. She spent the later years of her life in La Jolla.

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!

Barona Indian Charter School student Heritage Project!

Students from the 8th Grade Culture Class at Barona Indian Charter School have created a Heritage Project concerning Kumeyaay culture and history. Their work will be displayed in an upcoming exhibition at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park!

The exhibition is titled Kum ‘Enyaawapch Ewuupch which is in the northern dialect of the Kumeyaay language. Translated to English, it means The Way We See It.

The exhibition has its big opening celebration on May 26, 2022. See all the details here!

I learned about this exhibition as I walked past the entrance of the Mingei International Museum last weekend. Photos of students filled one window, near an informative sign.

You can hear introductions by the participating students on the Barona Cultural Center & Museum website here!

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Huge fun coming to downtown’s Children’s Park!

Whoa! Check it out!

Look at the huge multi-level playground structure that’s being built for Children’s Park in downtown San Diego! The park is undergoing a major redesign, which will make it more . . . children friendly!

Children’s Park is located north of Harbor Drive, adjacent to Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade. That circular pool with its unique fountain between Front Street and 1st Avenue is part of it. The two-acre city park, with its many shady trees, is a very short walk from both The New Children’s Museum and the San Diego Convention Center.

The park has often been used as a convenient offsite location during Comic-Con. Evidently not this year!

You might remember how, years ago, Children’s Park was filled with numerous large rounded mounds that unfortunately concealed drug and other illegal activity. Those mounds were removed in phases.

Now this important downtown open space is being completely revitalized, with the addition of a playground, an interactive water feature, and a new vendor building.

If you’d like to learn more about the project, you can visit this web page.

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!

Tears water a blossom in San Diego.

Where the San Diego communities of Normal Heights and City Heights meet, the tears of Chucho water a small human blossom.

Perhaps you’ve seen the piñata character Chucho on El Cajon Boulevard just east of Felton Street, on the wall of U-Stor-It, facing a car sales lot.

Chucho is the creation of San Diego born Latina artist/muralist Michelle Ruby, aka Mr. B Baby. There’s a good chance you’ve observed the colorful character in other street murals around the city. You can find more photos of Chucho by clicking here.

The artist, describing her largest mural yet, says the imagery can be interpreted as your pain is what truly makes you blossom. There’s a description of her thinking and philosophy of life on her Instagram page here.

The beautiful mural was painted several months ago.

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!

Top Gun fans vs. reality on USS Midway!

Yesterday a large group of dedicated Top Gun movie fans from a Facebook group visited the USS Midway Museum.

They all were having a blast, some wearing movie-inspired flight suits, checking out exhibits at San Diego’s popular aircraft carrier museum, taking photos near an F-14 Tomcat fighter jet, before heading off to dine at Kansas City Barbeque, where the bar scenes in Top Gun were filmed.

It was interesting to watch their enthusiasm for the classic movie, whose sequel Top Gun: Maverick will be debuting in one week on May 24. I loved the original Top Gun when it came out in 1986, myself!

As I toured the USS Midway yesterday, I noticed a variety of connections the historic aircraft carrier and its present-day museum have to the actual TOPGUN aviator school and its pilots depicted in both the original and upcoming movie.

An F-14 Tomcat on the flight deck of USS Midway. These fighter jets co-starred in the original Top Gun movie, providing exciting, incredible visuals.
A fan group is photographed during their Top Gun Days event aboard USS Midway in San Diego. Three actual Navy pilots pose in front.
Nearby on the flight deck is an F/A-18 Hornet. This fighter jet was used as an adversary during the original Top Gun. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet will be flown by the characters of Top Gun: Maverick.
One of the pilot ready rooms inside the USS Midway aircraft carrier. VFA-151 Ready Room One is where F-18 pilots gathered for briefing before and after flights.
A look inside USS Midway’s F-18 ready room. During Operation Desert Storm, F-18 Hornets were launched from this long-lived aircraft carrier, which was built at the end of World War II.
What it would have been like sitting in the F-18 ready room. The characters in Top Gun: Maverick are F/A-18E/F Super Hornet pilots, part of a special detachment aboard an aircraft carrier.
White board at front of the ready room, with mission and aircraft details.
An exhibit aboard the USS Midway Museum details the history of TOPGUN, originally the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School located at NAS Miramar, aka Fightertown USA.
Exhibit concerns TOPGUN – The Early Years.
The Navy Fighter Weapons School was established on March 3, 1969 at NAS Miramar in San Diego, California. TOPGUN’s objective was to develop, refine and teach air combat maneuvering tactics and techniques to selected fleet air crews…
Museum exhibit video shows the Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System TACTS in operation.
Visitors to the USS Midway Museum can climb into an F-14 Tomcat cockpit, located on the Hangar Deck.
Maverick call sign painted by the cockpit of the F-14 Tomcat.
The two-seated cockpit’s front seat, where an F-14 pilot sits facing his flight controls. The bubble canopy gives the pilot all-round visibility.
The rear seat of the F-14 cockpit, where Goose in the original Top Gun movie flew. This is where the fighter jet’s Radar Intercept Officer sat.

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!

Balboa Park views from Mingei’s “secret” terrace!

The Mingei International Museum’s second floor outdoor terrace isn’t actually secret, but it sure seems that way!

The Conrad Prebys Terrace was empty today as I walked out into the sunshine and enjoyed amazing views of the California Tower, San Diego Museum of Art, House of Hospitality, and Plaza de Panama with its fountain, El Cid statue, and Nikigator below!

The spectacular new terrace is part of the recent House of Charm building redesign and renovation. The project was undertaken by the Mingei International Museum, which calls the historic building home.

I recall posting a photo of an architectural rendering showing the terrace might be used for outdoor dining with a view. I learned today that particular plan hasn’t materialized.

But what a perfect place to sit, take in the scenery and perhaps read a book or write! It’s a magnificent spot for photography, too, as you can see! You do have to purchase a museum ticket, as the two terrace doors are accessible from the second floor gallery space.

I have many more San Diego photographs coming up!

In the next few days I’ll be blogging even more about the Mingei International Museum, plus the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and some cool Top Gun stuff at the USS Midway Museum!

Meanwhile, have a great week!

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 epic mural is coming to life in City Heights!

An epic, 263-foot mural in City Heights keeps slowly coming to life!

Unity in the Community, by artist Sake, is a work in progress that promises to be one of San Diego’s most amazing public artworks once completed.

I walked along the south end of Teralta Neighborhood Park today and discovered more human faces have taken form since my last visit in January. Work on the enormous mural has been going on for a year or so.

If you’d like to see photographs of San Diego graffiti artist Sake painting the mural, and of the long mural in various stages of completion, click here.

Here is some of that new life I spotted 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!