Painting the beauty of a Japanese garden.

Lower Pond – San Diego Japanese Friendship Garden, by artist Ronald Ray Reekers, oil on canvas.

How does one paint the beauty of a Japanese garden? The answer can be found at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

“Visual Harmony in Japanese Gardens and the Beauty of Bonsai” is the title of the current exhibition in JFG’s Exhibit Hall.

Selected work by Southern California artist Ronald Ray Reekers is displayed, including oils, etchings, pastels and charcoal drawings.

What I found most interesting are written descriptions he provides of how to create bonsai and Japanese garden artwork. His art is driven by curiosity and passion.

If you’re an artist, you can visit his YouTube channel here. There are various technical demonstrations and lessons concerning Bonsai Drawing!

Shizuoka Shrine, by artist Ronald Ray Reekers, etching.
Viewing the art of Ronald Ray Reekers in the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Garden lantern, by artist Ronald Ray Reekers, oil on canvas.

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!

Shark research vessel in San Diego.

Look at those two big shark cages! I spotted them during my early morning walk along San Diego’s Embarcadero.

The Sharkwater marine research vessel of the organization Fins Attached is now docked in San Diego!

I didn’t see any crewmembers on deck, and when I looked at their social media this evening, I couldn’t tell whether they’re in San Diego for a particular reason. I did see on their website that a special online fundraising event is coming up.

The mission of Fins Attached is primarily the study of sharks and their preservation. If you’d like to help this cause, visit their website to learn more!

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!

Holiday Bazaar helps refugees, immigrant owned business!

A very cool San Diego holiday event is coming up this Saturday in North Park!

A Holiday Bazaar will be held December 4, 2021 from 10 am to 1 pm at the urban farm at 3745 30th Street. Look for the outdoor space just north of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. According to the event website, you’ll be able to shop from “local refugee and immigrant owned business, explore global street food, and listen to live music.”

I came upon this urban farm four years ago and described my experience here. As you can see in the above photo, I met friendly refugee students whose new home was San Diego. They were gaining confidence and learning job skills!

The 3rd Annual Holiday Bazaar is put on by MAKE Projects and International Rescue Committee’s Small Business Development Center.

Why not swing by and find some unique Christmas gifts? Vendors will be selling clothing, art, crafts, jewelry and much more!

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!

Cool photo memories from December 2016.

Many colorful Christmas photos from around San Diego appeared on Cool San Diego Sights five years ago!

It’s time to share some favorite blog memories from December 2016!

Going back in time, I see that I photographed festive holiday events in La Jolla, Balboa Park and downtown. (Unfortunately, the SMARTS Farm in East Village has since closed.)

And that month my camera captured more than Christmas images. Click the upcoming links and you’ll also view a little San Diego history and some truly fantastic art!

Click the following links for many fun photos!

Searching for Santa at December Nights!

Merry sights at the La Jolla Christmas Parade!

Faded signs painted on old downtown buildings.

Holiday fun at the new SMARTS Farm in East Village!

A heartwarming Christmas tradition in San Diego.

People meditate (or have fun) walking a labyrinth.

Santa eats lots of pizza in Little Italy!

Christmas lights turn downtown bright red and green!

Fun photos of Sun God bird sculpture at UCSD.

More photos of amazing, experimental holographic art!

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

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Walking on a poem at UC San Diego.

A couple weekends ago, the day the San Diego Trolley’s Mid-Coast Extension opened, I got off the Blue Line and explored the area around the new UC San Diego Central Campus station. I noticed that a “plaza” beneath the elevated station was paved with lots of words and phrases that could be read in opposing directions.

Curious, I took photographs.

What I had discovered was just the beginning of an 800-foot-long “spine poem” titled CONCORDANCE that can be read while walking either way along the Rupertus Walk, which is under construction. This outdoor installation is by internationally renowned artist Ann Hamilton, and when finished will be the newest addition to UCSD’s Stuart Collection of public art.

According to this web page: “The pathway will be made from basalt blocks hewn with words and phrases drawn from the writings of authors from many disciplines, all associated with UC San Diego and the history of the site….

The Rupertus Walk will lead past the future Pepper Canyon Amphitheater. Here’s a photo of the path and amphitheater construction.

All of the photographs I took that historic Sunday the trolley’s Mid-Coast Extension opened can be found 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!

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!

Christmas decorations appear around San Diego!

The Holiday Season is upon us! I’ve noticed during my walks in the past week or two that Christmas decorations are going up all around San Diego!

I’ve taken photographs!

(The first photo, above, is of the brightly lit Manchester Financial Group Building in Bankers Hill–you know, the Mister A’s building.)

Ribbons on lamp posts around downtown San Diego, including Cortez Hill.
Fun holiday decorations in Old Town include wreaths and nutcrackers with sombreros!
Holiday decorations at Liberty Station in Point Loma.
A Christmas Tree over San Diego Bay near the Hilton Bayfront.
A gorgeous musical Christmas Tree in the lobby of Symphony Towers.
I spotted Santa walking casually through the Gaslamp. Looks like he shaved.
A candy cane on a Gaslamp restaurant patio fence.
Ghirardelli’s has seasonal graphics on a window.
Ornaments dangle from branches in the Spanish Village patio at Balboa Park.
More signs of Christmas in Spanish Village Art Center.
This guy has his stocking ready, in case he meets Santa!
The Grinch Christmas Tree at the Old Globe is bright and very merry.
Huge snowflakes have fallen on the California Tower!

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

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Big new waterfall coming to Balboa Park!

San Diego’s crown jewel, Balboa Park, is about to become even more amazing!

How?

A big new waterfall is under construction in the Lower Garden of the Japanese Friendship Garden!

I hadn’t walked down into the Lower Garden recently, so today when I saw the new waterfall being readied, I had to take photos!

As I understand it, from a conversation I had months ago, a small structure will be built beside this new water feature. Those walking down the nearby path will have the opportunity to grab a tea and possibly other refreshments.

A new footbridge will span this new stream. The water will continue on down to the existing waterfall by the Inamori Pavilion.

I can’t wait to see it all done!

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!

Draco the dragon arrives in Balboa Park!

My friend Mitchell Walker, who plays the didgeridoo in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park, has an amazing new instrument!

A didgeridoo named Draco!

Draco means dragon–and this musical dragon can be made to stick its tongue out at passersby! Kids love it!

The dragon perched atop Mitchell’s new didgeridoo is made of molded resin. It was created by award-winning Southern California artist Kitty Cantrell. See her website 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!

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!

A little more cosplay and fun on a Sunday!

It’s Sunday, the last day of San Diego Comic-Con Special Edition.

Even though this year’s scaled back Comic-Con is winding down, I figured I’d walk down toward the San Diego Convention Center to enjoy a little more outside cosplay and fun. I live within easy walking distance, so why not?

My camera was rewarded!

Yes, I got some free swag and a free drink, not to mention sunshine and exercise. It was good to see people out and about, enjoying life and their fandoms, feeling excited and alive.

I learned the above cosplay is derived from the new Christmas-themed show Hawkeye, which has Clint Barton taking his family to see Rogers: The Musical!

It’s Woody!
Very fancy!
Hey Syfy dude, thanks for the nice bag!
Here comes Batgirl!
Nice pose!
Looks sorta Scottish to me.
More cosplay outside Comic-Con Special Edition on Sunday.
Some park rangers have arrived at the La Brea sinkhole. Perhaps they can help monitor the prehistoric wildlife.
That SueroX drink was pretty good, especially on a warm day. Thanks!
Raven cosplay near the Peacemaker Proving Ground. Raven’s powerful magic would take down Peacemaker easily.
Very cool Venom cosplay using a toothy hand puppet! Awesome!

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!

Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek at the Comic-Con Museum.

The Comic-Con Museum in San Diego’s Balboa Park opened this weekend. One of the museum’s inaugural exhibits is titled Gene Roddenberry: Sci-Fi Visionary. Gene Roddenberry was the creator of Star Trek.

Gene Roddenberry: Sci-Fi Visionary celebrates the achievements of a writer and producer whose storied life was filled with optimism about the human race and our shared future. That optimism was embodied in Star Trek, and is one very big reason why generations of fans have loved the many television series and movies in the enduring science fiction franchise.

I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and reruns of the original Star Trek series. I loved the space travel, strange new worlds, sense of wonder and discovery, how Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov . . . Picard, Riker, Data, Deanna, Geordi, Beverly, Worf . . . and a family of diverse characters overcame strange, sometimes daunting challenges, mostly using their moral sense and intelligence, never losing their faith in the potential good of humanity.

I loved the philosophical themes and the alien encounters. It all was fun, original, thought-provoking, exciting. I still enjoy watching the original series, even if the special effects are dated. My attachment to Star Trek is permanent. Like legions of other fans.

So, obviously, I was excited to view this major exhibit at the newly opened Comic-Con Museum. Gene Roddenberry’s creative genius and humanity is on full display–his writings, sketches, quotes, screenplays–plus there are original props and costumes from Star Trek.

If you’re a fan of Star Trek and happen to be in San Diego, this is a must see exhibition.

Here’s a little of what you’ll discover…

A colorful pathway through the exhibit details the life of Gene Roddenberry. He was a World War II pilot, police officer and Hollywood writer, before launching his enduring idea of Star Trek.
Original costumes from Star Trek productions on display.
The optimism and imagination of a curious mind are recalled.
Lexoriter word processor used by Roddenberry writing scripts for Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Roddenberry’s personal film projector used to screen Star Trek episodes at home.
Historical documents, letters, artwork and scripts are displayed, pertaining to the creative work of Gene Roddenberry.
Lyrics to the musical theme from Star Trek written by Roddenberry.
Star Trek communicators foresaw today’s cellphone technology. “The Menagerie” script of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, Gene’s wife and actress who portrayed Nurse Chapel.
May Gene Roddenberry’s hopeful, positive world view Live Long and Prosper!

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!