The shining new Timken Museum of Art!

Oh my goodness! I stepped into the newly renovated Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park today and my mouth dropped open. The first thing I noticed: all that brightly shining brass!

Had I stepped into a golden palace?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the Timken was closed to the public, not only was a new high tech air filtration added to the museum, but works of art were rearranged, gallery walls painted a pleasant slightly bluish off white (which works perfectly with the many painted masterpieces in gold frames), and all of the building’s brasswork was polished. I’m talking lots and lots of ornate brass, both inside the museum and out!

The building is now more light-filled and elegant than ever, but also less stodgy, more inviting. And it’s still free to view some of the very finest paintings on display in San Diego, including our city’s only Rembrandt.

I learned those two tapestries that used to hang in the central lobby were removed to preserve them, and that the Mercury sculpture has been moved into the outside garden. It’s visible in one my photographs.

The museum’s huge windows not only invite in ample light, beauty and life from the outside world, but the collection now extends itself into that outer world, as well!

I noticed two pieces recently added to the Timken’s world-class collection are now on display, including the fantastic Salomé, considered the most famous painting of artist Ella Ferris Pell.

You might enjoy reading something I posted four years ago, after an architectural tour of the Timken’s remarkable building. The sleek building is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of mid-century Southern California Modernism and the International Style in the nation. You can find that blog and see those photos 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!

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!

Top Gun car honors United States Veterans.

A car has been specially altered to honor those who’ve served in the United States Armed Forces.

Andy “Bluebat” Mercado (@bluebatmobile) told me today in the parking lot near the San Diego Automotive Museum that the intent is also to honor his own Veteran father. Yes, today is Father’s Day.

I’d seen Andy’s blue and yellow 1997 Acura NSX, with distinctive U.S. Navy markings, and a tribute to deceased Blue Angels pilots printed on the rear window, at other special events. But today I noticed the words Blue Angels decorating both sides of the car had been changed to the Top Gun movie logo. The change was made a couple of weeks ago.

Of course, the original TOPGUN (United States Navy Fighter Weapons School) was located at San Diego’s old Naval Air Station Miramar. Pilots competing at the school were an essential part of the first Top Gun movie, whose blockbuster sequel opened a few weeks ago.

I see from a decal Andy supports various causes. I spotted The Wingman Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, and PTSD Awareness.

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 performer on So You Think You Can Dance!

Did you know a long-time street performer in Balboa Park has appeared on the popular television show So You Think You Can Dance?

If you’ve visited San Diego’s Balboa Park in the past few years, it’s quite likely you’ve seen Kareem “Anointed” Ali and his talented friends wowing huge crowds with their athletic dance routines, acrobatic leaps, physical contortions and fun bits of humor. All concluded with an inspirational message.

Well, a number of years ago, while speaking to Anointed Ali, I learned he’d appeared as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance. I then found a YouTube video of his routine here.

The judges were absolutely amazed. You will be 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!

The Buses Are Coming at the Quartyard!

An exhibit of national importance opens this weekend at the Quartyard outdoor venue in San Diego’s East Village.

The Buses Are Coming celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders. Featured are historical photographs and the stories of those who participated.

The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists. Sitting freely on interstate buses wherever they pleased, they rode into states where Supreme Court rulings against segregation on buses were being ignored. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement.

The San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA) is hosting this inspiring exhibition through September 7, 2022. Everyone is freely invited to view The Buses Are Coming when the Quartyard is open to the public.

To learn more about this exhibit at the art-filled Quartyard, which hopefully many Comic-Con participants next month will visit, click 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!

She-Hulk banners appear in Gaslamp for Comic-Con!

Comic-Con is a month away, and banners have already been hung in the Gaslamp Quarter for the big international pop culture event!

The street lamp banners promote upcoming television series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which will appear on Disney+. It will be the eighth television show based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The green superhero She-Hulk will be portrayed by actress Jennifer Walters. Other actors from the MCU will appear in the show, including Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Benedict Wong as Wong from Doctor Strange, and Tim Roth as the gamma irradiated villain Abomination.

Very cool!

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!

Hidden birdhouses, art planters in Balboa Park!

Very few visitors to Balboa Park will see these fun birdhouses and artistically painted planter boxes. They’re a bit hidden behind the Centro Cultural de la Raza’s home, their repurposed water tank off Park Boulevard.

I believe the birdhouses were created in 2021 and are designed for owls. The way they’re painted certainly suggests that!

It appears at least some of the planter boxes were painted this year.

I took this series of photographs Sunday as I walked randomly around waiting for a San Diego Fringe Festival performance to begin. I thought I’d share them.

Enjoy!

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!

Fun events during California State Parks Week!

It’s California State Parks Week!

At Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, some fun, free activities are planned.

Tomorrow, June 14, visitors will be invited to explore the park’s beautiful new outdoor Land of the First People with park interpreters.

On June 16, in Old Town’s grass plaza, families will enjoy engaging in historical pastimes including the Kumeyaay game ‘p’shok,’ as well as lawn games such as ‘hoop and stick,’ egg races, and tug of war from the Californio period.

Up the coast at Cardiff State Beach, on June 15, kids can participate in My Fun Future in the Outdoors, when California State Park employees share their favorite reasons to work in Parks. Kids can speak to heroes and become inspired!

Click the above links 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!

Induction Dance at the San Diego Fringe Festival!

Would it be silly? Serious? Amateurish? Professional?

I really didn’t know what to expect when I purchased a ticket today for the Induction Dance performance during the 2022 San Diego Fringe Festival.

I took my seat inside the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park and waited for the dance to begin. And what we got was a guy in a gorilla suit playing guitar! Then a clown on a tricycle!

Okay, I thought to myself. It’s the Fringe Festival. Only 10 bucks.

But then the performance changed dramatically.

And some good ballet dancing began. Really good!

I was blown away by the fluidity, sensuousness, and gorgeous moves by two dancers who obviously knew what they were doing!

Philip Amer, the Artistic Director of Induction Dance, danced with Saori Maeda. When each of several dances were completed, the audience applauded loudly. It was deserved.

Philip Amer hails from Escondido. Over the years he has performed with numerous ballet companies across the country. He also teaches dance.

Saori Maeda is 23 years old. She’s from Japan, now studying ballet and training in Southern California. Her moves were graceful and flawless. She is destined to be a star!

The performance today included several humorous skits that worked quite well, including a dance with a cloth dummy, and a mime-like ballerina trying to communicate words with particular movements.

Philip Amer stated his object is to make ballet entertaining and accessible for ordinary folk. I don’t know about the guitar playing gorilla and clown on a tricycle, but the rest of the act was original, witty, magical!

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!

Encountering life up close at MOPA.

An extremely powerful exhibition of portrait photography is now on view at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

Encounter: Photographs by Jed Fielding features numerous street portraits that make you feel the strangers you see have somehow become your friends. Because that’s the very personal way Jed Fielding approaches his subjects.

The photographs are full of life, smiles, eye contact, playfulness, emotion, sincerity, vulnerability, pride, sadness, freedom. Kids at play in Naples, Italy are pleased to stop for a moment and shyly grin. A mixture of more subtle emotions appear openly in the faces of those who’ve grown older.

I was particularly moved by photos Jed Fielding took of blind children in Mexico City. As his camera shutter clicked, small hands were doing their own seeing. In one photograph fingers reached up to feel the lens.

In those portraits of blind children, more than the others, not a soul wears a mask. Every expression is unaffected, absolutely genuine.

It’s an authentic connection between people that makes these photos so powerful. So alive.

Encounter: Photographs by Jed Fielding is on display at MOPA through September 25, 2022.

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!

Natural beauty and art at the Bromeliad Show!

Did you know pineapples are bromeliads?

I had no idea until I checked out the Bromeliad Plant Show and Sale in Balboa Park today. It was the second day of a weekend event held at the Casa del Prado.

A friendly gentleman answered all sorts of odd questions that popped into my mind concerning bromeliads. They’re distinguished from other similar-appearing plant types primarily by their flowers. Many bromeliads are found naturally at higher elevations and are pollinated by hummingbirds, that tolerate colder temperatures than bees. And . . . and . . . I already forgot half of what I was told!

I did notice some tiny, beautiful purplish flowers, and all sorts of fun artwork and crafts at several tables.

The San Diego Bromeliad Society, who hosted the show, has many enthusiastic members. Perhaps you’d like to join!

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!