San Diego’s Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk!

A very special event was held today on San Diego’s Shelter Island. The Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk brought together many people who desire a better world, where everyone everywhere lives in peace.

The Friendship Walk was created by the Ilan-Lael Foundation, which was established in 1982 by world-renowned local artists James Hubbell and his wife Anne.

As we walked along Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park, led by the fun Chunky Hustle Brass Band, we saw several works of public art created by James Hubbell, and inspiring messages, and a sparkling view of San Diego Bay.

We started at Hubbell’s fanciful Pacific Portal, passed his female sculpture Pacific Spirit, and ended at the amazing Pearl of the Pacific. The Pearl of the Pacific is one of several Pacific Rim Parks uniting many nations, all inspired by Hubbell and built with many volunteer hands.

As you can see in the upcoming photos, we also passed the Shelter Island Pier and the Tunaman’s Memorial.

An awesome Japanese taiko drumming performance by Genbu Daiko was followed by many honorary speakers, including from a group that traveled to San Diego for the event from South Korea, and Drew, son of James Hubbell.

After checking out a couple of food trucks and an Ilan-Lael Pop-up Gift Shop, it was time to head over to Shelter Island’s historic Japanese Friendship Bell, to hear it ring. I’ll be blogging about that coming up!

I was told this was the first ever Friendship Walk. I hope there are many more to come!

Friendship begins with a smile.

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You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and 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!

Sculptures and beauty at La Jolla’s Art Park!

There’s a beautiful park open to the public in La Jolla that features expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, sunshine and outdoor sculptures! It’s called the Art Park!

The Art Park is a new feature of the renovated Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla. It’s not to be confused with the museum’s Edwards Sculpture Garden, which is located just below the Art Park. (I recently blogged about the Edwards Sculpture Garden here.)

As you walk into the Art Park, north of MCASD’s main entrance on Prospect Street, one large COR-TEN steel sculpture is very hard to miss. It’s titled Hammering Man at 3,110,527.

The motorized depiction of a worker whose hammer rises and falls repeatedly is by artist Jonathan Borofsky. It was created in 1988.

Drawn into the park for the beautiful ocean view, your curious eyes will discover a sculpture in the greenery titled Juchiteca de pie (Standing Juchiteca). The bronze female was created in 1966 by Costa Rican-Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga. He has been called one of the 100 most notable Mexicans of the 20th century.

Another fine sculpture by Zúñiga can be found in a quiet corner of the UC San Diego campus. See it here.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and 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!

City Heights is alive in Tierra Central!

Tierra Central in City Heights is a special place filled with life.

Outdoor sculptures abound, created by community members and local artists. The Fern Street Circus performs and teaches students under their big tent. Fun events can be enjoyed here throughout the year.

I’ve been to several such events in the past. Here and here and here.

It had been a while since I walked past Tierra Central. Last time I don’t believe it had that name. But it did have many sculptures.

Yesterday I noticed at least three new sculptures have appeared, and there was artwork on the surrounding fence that I hadn’t seen previously. The dynamism in this creative space is unstoppable!

Please enjoy a few photographs taken from the sidewalk.

Tierra Central is located on University Avenue just east of Interstate 15. I’ve been told that one day this lot will be developed into affordable housing, situated right next to the City Heights Transit Plaza.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and 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!

A walk in the Edwards Sculpture Garden in La Jolla.

There’s a sculpture garden open to the public in La Jolla that’s very easy to miss.

Large numbers of tourists, walking along the Pacific Ocean, south of Children’s Pool near Cuvier Park, pass this sculpture garden without even realizing it.

This park-like space isn’t readily noticed from Coast Boulevard. Curious eyes might observe an unusual sculpture made of many boats mounted on the building behind it. That building is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego!

Look for the gate in my upcoming photographs. Walk through it and up the curving path. You’re now in the museum’s Sue K. and Charles C. Edwards Sculpture Garden. See what your eyes will see.

My own eyes saw these particular sculptures months ago. Yes, these images have been lingering in my computer for much too long. While I’m self-isolating recovering from mild COVID-19, I’m finally getting around to posting them!

Whether these same pieces are on display right now, I don’t know. Over the years, I’ve noticed that some of the outdoor sculptures in MCASD’s collection are shifted from place to place.

Ready for our walk? Here we go!

Niagara, Alexis Smith, 1985. NOTHING IN THE WORLD COULD KEEP IT FROM GOING OVER THE EDGE… (Marilyn Monroe starred in the film Niagara.)

Monument to a Bear, Erika Rothenberg, 2002-2003. Glass-reinforced concrete over steel, bronze plaque.

Froebel’s Blocks, Richard Fleischner, 1983. Limestone.

Spanish Fan, Robert Irwin, 1995. Steel and glass.

If you’re curious about that mural in the distance, you can see more of it here.

Pleasure Point, Nancy Rubins, 2006. Nautical vessels, stainless steel, and stainless steel wire.

Crossroads, originally sited at the border crossing of US/MEXICO in Tijuana/San Diego, Marcos Ramirez ERRE, 2003. Aluminum, automotive paint, wood, and vinyl.

If you want to see quotes by artists written on the opposite side of these directional signs, click here!

Garden Installation (Displaced Person), Vito Acconci, 1987. Concrete, stones, dirt and grass.

Pasta, Mark di Suvero, 1975. COR-TEN steel.

Long Yellow Hose, Gabriel Orozco, 1996. Plastic watering hoses.

Maria Walks Amid the Thorns, Anselm Kiefer, 2008. Lead books and NATO razor wire.

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!

Audible’s amazing Comic-Con sand sculptures near completion!

The three Audible sand sculptures that are being carved along MLK Promenade for 2022 Comic-Con are nearly complete. And they are beyond amazing!

Check them out!

The artistry is right up there with that of world-class Sand Masters. You know, those internationally famous sand sculptors who’ve come to San Diego to compete many past summers, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

The extraordinary Comic-Con sculptures promote three of Audible’s original spoken word shows…

My favorite sand sculpture of the three promotes the Audible original Impact Winter.

A second amazing sculpture promotes The Sandman. (Those figures are definitely sand!)

And lastly, an intricate sand sculpture that promotes the Audible original Moriarty: The Devil’s Game. Looks to me like more sand carving will be done on this one before Comic-Con officially opens tomorrow!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

A Perfect Day (and other stories) in Oceanside!

What does a Perfect Day look like in Oceanside? To find out, you should visit the Oceanside Museum of Art!

In one museum gallery, the exhibited art of James E. Watts not only includes the above Perfect Day Blocks, but numerous other visual stories!

Here’s how the story of one Perfect Day begins…

…and how that Perfect Day ends.

Here’s the story of Frankenstein and his monster creation…

…and the story of Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and two small horses…

…and the story of a female Prometheus…

…and the story of Quasimodo, Esmeralda and a goat.

Do these stories appear familiar? Perhaps you’ve already seen them “written” in James Watts’ little-known downtown San Diego studio: here and here and here.

If that’s the case, you might also recognize a few of these storytelling pieces in the Oceanside Museum of Art’s gift shop…

Art enthusiasts, take note! James Watts is a creative genius and an absolute, 100% original. He’s also a cool guy!

You need to visit the Oceanside Museum of Art to jump into his rich stories firsthand. Do so by July 17, 2022, when JAMES E. WATTS: STORYTELLER turns its last 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!

Open House tour of San Diego’s Waterfront Park.

Last Sunday I enjoyed a fascinating tour of Waterfront Park in San Diego. The special public tour was part of the 2022 San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Open House event.

Our small group was guided by Glen and Jeff of Schmidt Design Group, landscape architects who worked on the Waterfront Park project almost ten years ago. The park opened to the public in 2014. (I was there for the big grand opening! You can see many photographs taken during that historic day by clicking here!)

As we walked around the beautiful park, where two large parking lots originally existed, we learned so many facts I failed to jot many down!

I did note that the two stretches of fountains on either side of the County Administration Building together are 830 feet long. The fountain design was tricky, because the water in the basin where children jump and play could be only one inch deep, due to safety concerns. The fountains utilize an 80,000 gallon water tank, and the 31 jets spray water 12 to 14 feet high.

The fountains were to be set in marble, but to save tens of millions of dollars, specially applied concrete made to look like marble was utilized instead.

The parking garage under the south end of Waterfront Park is below the water table (San Diego Bay is a block to the west), and consequently various innovative measures were taken to keep water from seeping in. I was surprised that, like the nearby County Administration Building, piles were driven 100 feet deep into bedrock to support and stabilize the structure!

The “hill” with a slide in the wonderful, very popular playground was built up with high density foams blocks. (The same hill referred to as Tony Gwynn’s opposing “pitching mound” when the park’s sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle debuted back in 2015. See those fun photos here!)

One bit of information really surprised me. There had initially been plans to install Dr. Seuss sculptures around the playground! The Grinch and his dog Max were to stand atop the hill. The Cat in the Hat would welcome kids near the fountain area. Our group didn’t hear why that plan fell through.

We did learn how, during Waterfront Park’s construction, large old palm trees and the San Diego County Law Enforcement Memorial were moved. We saw the bits of shining, sparkling mica that were placed in the concrete around the memorial.

We learned how the large garden at the north end of the park was designed to be a beautiful, contemplative area. And, indeed, it is.

The garden is divided into three sections. The north “grass” or “meadow” garden with 15 varieties of grass; the middle Mediterranean garden with sages, rosemary, lavender and Torrey pines; and the south “tropical” or “diversity” garden, with plumeria, bird of paradise and many other lush plants.

Irrigation for the park requires 8 million gallons per year! But this free, very popular “water park” serves hundreds of thousands of San Diego residents every year, many arriving by trolley from less affluent neighborhoods.

Lastly, we learned how the County of San Diego will soon be removing the garden, and replacing it with a dog park, basketball and pickleball courts, and other recreational amenities. I suppose the change is both sad and exciting. As they say, there are two sides to every coin.

I’ll be watching the progress of that project and will probably be taking photos in the future!

This is where the proposed Cat in the Hat sculpture would have stood!
Donal Hord’s iconic Guardian of Water sculpture stands in the background. Learn a little more about it here.
The present location of the San Diego County Law Enforcement Memorial.
Part of the Waterfront Park garden. The large garden will be removed to make way for sports facilities.

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!

Beautiful renovation at MCASD La Jolla!

The major renovation and expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla is approaching completion! And it’s looking amazing!

During my long walk yesterday, I photographed the front of the museum and its new outdoor Art Park, which will be open to the public once the construction fence comes down.

To read more about MCASD La Jolla’s major reconstruction project and what visitors can expect when the museum finally reopens this spring, click here.

Meanwhile, enjoy these photos!

The clean, elegant exterior, to me, has been very tastefully handled. Ellen Browning Scripps, newspaper chain founder and philanthropist, commissioned renowned modernist architect Irving Gill to design her La Jolla home. Today it is home of the museum. With some significant changes!

Almost four years ago, I took the following photograph of a rendering that visualized the finished museum. You can revisit that old blog post, which includes images of pieces in the museum’s collection, here!

The upcoming photographs were taken while walking along Prospect Street from the south end of the greatly expanded museum to its new outdoor Art Park.

The limestone egg-like sculpture near the museum’s sleek new entrance is part of Three Cairns. This “West Coast” Cairn is by artist Andy Goldsworthy. The other cairns are in Iowa and New York.

In the Art Park, the motorized black sculpture with wrapping still on its feet is titled Hammering Man at 3,110,527, by artist Jonathan Borofsky.

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!

Sculptures beautify Paradise Creek Gathering Place.

On the south side of National City’s Kimball Park, near 16th Street, a footbridge crosses Paradise Creek. Look up near the bridge and you’ll spy beautiful small sculptures mounted atop high posts.

These shining metal sculptures at the Paradise Creek Gathering Place were created by San Diego artist Vicki Leon, in collaboration with high school students at A Reason To Survive (ARTS), an organization in National City that uplifts local youth using the power of creativity.

The Paradise Creek Gathering Place sculptures together are titled Migratory Flight. They resemble silvery birds taking wing. Solar-powered lights illuminate bits of colored glass in clear tubes beneath each sculpture.

The environmental sculptures, symbolizing wildlife that depends on Paradise Creek, were installed in 2018. Many in the community came out to help build and beautify the Paradise Creek Gathering Place, including the Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center’s Kitchenistas and students from San Diego City College and San Diego State University. You can read more about the project here and here.

Lead artist Vicki Leon has also helped to beautify her own City Heights Azalea Park neighborhood. You can see photos of more amazing public artwork that I took during a special visit to Azalea Park here and here and 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!

Bright, colorful butterflies fill National City parks!

Giant butterflies take flight in the blue sky above three National City parks!

Should you visit Butterfly Park, Kimball Park or Las Palmas Park, you’re certain to spot many large butterfly wings! The colorful sculptures were created in 2015 by families throughout the National City community.

Every butterfly is composed of two pieces of cut aluminum, and the separate sides of each butterfly are uniquely decorated with different colors of reflective vinyl tape. I’ve been told that car headlights shining on the butterflies at night reveal bright bursts of life!

The project, led by local artist Roberto Salas, is called Butterfly Path. Its creation was made possible through a commission from the San Diego Museum of Art’s “Open Spaces” program, supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

The first time I spotted some of these butterflies–last year at Kimball Park–I didn’t know a thing about them. Comments made by readers provided great information. Revisit that old blog post here.

Since then I’ve seen more of the beautiful sculptures, and have learned more about them, particularly during an amazing tour of Butterfly Park, which you can read about by clicking here.

These artistic butterflies symbolize an ongoing metamorphosis in National City. The transformation is to an even more proud, healthy and environmentally friendly community that shines with greater and greater beauty.

Here are just some of the butterflies you might encounter, in no particular order…

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!