Walking back toward downtown, I happened to stumble upon Bunnyfest on the grass at the south side of Balboa Park. It was a surprisingly large event with lots of booths and activities, put on by the San Diego House Rabbit Society. Rabbits were everywhere! Big rabbits, small rabbits, ordinary rabbits, exotic rabbits . . . rabbits of every kind and description! In arms, in pens, and featured on many great works of art! I watched for a moment while two girl volunteers trimmed the nails of a bunny. Here’s the photo.
Last Sunday in Balboa Park, after checking out the free organ concert, I ventured across the street to the International Cottages. The House of Pacific Relations International Cottages were built for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition and represent 32 member countries. The little houses, situated in a picturesque cluster, are decorated and furnished in a way that recreates the unique culture of each nation.
Every Sunday (except during winter) one of the member nations features food and entertainment in the central grassy area. Last weekend it was the House of Turkey.
As I arrived, a Turkish fiddler was on stage fiddling away a merry tune while the audience clapped in rhythm. Here he is!
Turkey is one of several nations waiting to build their own cottage in Balboa Park. Here’s a pic of the nearby United Nations Building…
Who’s that person at the microphone in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion? It looks like Robert Plimpton, San Diego’s Civic Organist Emeritus! Most of the time he uses his amazing musical talent as resident Organist of the First United Methodist Church.
Robert Plimpton was San Diego’s official Civic Organist from 1984 to 2000, when Dr. Carol Williams (first woman in the United States to be appointed Civic Organist) took his place. She happened to be out of town, so he returned for last Sunday’s free public concert in Balboa Park . . . and played magnificently, of course!
I tried to get a good photo of the organ’s enormous pipes, but the images turned out too shadowy. I’ll try again at some future time!
Here’s a photo I took in late 2015, during Balboa Park’s yearlong centennial celebration.
It must be around two o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Time for the weekly free concert at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion!
Crowds gather in the sun under colorful umbrellas to listen to the majestic sound of the Spreckels Organ, one of the largest outdoor organs in the world. The city of San Diego employs an official Civic Organist, none other than Dr. Carol Williams, one of the top performing organists in the world! Each Sunday she plays classical music, jazz, marches . . . and occasionally one of her excellent original compositions. The Spreckels Organ Society helps to raise funds to keep the tradition of free public concerts alive. It’s a tradition that has lasted a hundred years!
The beautiful Spreckels Organ Pavilion is used for various concerts and events throughout the year, including the yearly December Nights festival around Christmas. It’s also a favorite venue for wedding photography. The ornate, elegant architecture makes it interesting to visit even when the stage and benches are empty.
Yikes! Look at the creatures I spotted lurking among the trees on the west side of Balboa Park! That big one looks like a gigantic bloody yeti with goat hooves. Watch out!
What are scary monsters, aliens and trolls doing in Balboa Park? They’re being created for Halloween . . . to populate The Haunted Trail! Sunday afternoon I spotted the huge creatures under construction behind a fence. Look how high that bloody monster stands compared to the step ladder! I also observed a human dummy in an electric chair and loads of more weird, grotesque scenery.
San Diego’s unique Haunted Trail has been raising goosebumps for years now. Looks like visitors to this dark outdoor “haunted house” will be in for a lot of screaming!
Here’s the spooky castle-like entrance to The Haunted Trail!
Late this morning, loads of Padres fans anticipating a great baseball game were entering Petco Park from its east side. Before filing through the gate and past the cool new Jerry Coleman memorial, they passed this colorful vendor. All sorts of Padres gear was on display for supportive fans.
Sunny summer days of baseball are full of life, sounds, smells, color and pageantry. Going to a Padres game in San Diego is always a fun experience, win or lose!
I took a couple more related pics at the beginning of the 2015 season…
I just got home from my walk today, when lo and behold, on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street right next to the Tweet Street playground are a couple of friendly folks collecting used and unwanted textiles. Here’s a pic!
Their website is www.rippletextilerecycling.com and they raise money by collecting old, stained or torn clothing, bedding, towels, shoes, stuffed animals . . . you name it! Wearable and useable items are sent to developing nations. The other stuff is ground up and converted into new products. They earn 10 cents a pound, and the proceeds are donated to local charities.
The money raised today will go to the YWCA Cortez Hill Family Center!
Please check out their website and make a note of their upcoming events!
One of downtown San Diego’s historic buildings, which is now abandoned and used to be home of the California Theatre, features a large, eye-catching Caliente ad on its west exterior wall. The faded yellow sign dates from the 1960’s. Take a look!
The Agua Caliente Racetrack, not far from San Diego in Tijuana, Mexico, today features greyhound racing. It opened in 1929 as a horse racing venue where big Hollywood celebrities were often sighted. Its popularity was largely due to prohibition and the fact that both drinking and gambling were illegal in many nearby American states.