More color and creativity in Spanish Village!

Visitors to the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park walk through a sunlit paradise of color and creativity.
Visitors to the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park walk through a sunlit paradise of color and creativity.

Over the past five years, I’ve blogged about Spanish Village Art Center many times, on Cool San Diego Sights and on my other website Beautiful Balboa Park. Spanish Village one of my go-to places when I need to feel optimistic, free and alive.

Whenever I stroll around the many art studios, I feel like I’ve entered a kaleidoscope of living color and creativity. It’s a wonderful place to visit if you want to feel inspired.

Lovers of art in San Diego need to swing on by. You’ll find yourself lingering. And smiling.

Sign lists 2018 events, including special shows and sales, in Spanish Village Art Studios in Balboa Park.
Sign lists 2018 events, including special shows and sales, in Spanish Village Art Studios in Balboa Park.
Patio tiles leading visitors to the front door of Studio 26 seem like a Yellow Brick Road of many colors.
Patio tiles leading visitors to the front door of Studio 26 seem like a Yellow Brick Road of many colors.
Surprising color fills four pots.
Surprising colors grow in four pots.
The rear of the Uni-two-corn by sculptor Kim Ogburn, which functions as a seat for two.
The rear of the Uni-two-corn by sculptor Kim Ogburn, which functions as a seat for two.
A dreamlike canvas in front of Studio 31 in Spanish Village.
A dreamlike canvas in front of Studio 31 in Spanish Village.
Someone admires a glass vase created by the friendly glassblowers in Studio 19.
Someone admires a glass vase created by the friendly glassblowers in Studio 19.
Beautiful cacti in a planter near the front door of Studio 18.
Beautiful cacti in a planter near the front door of Studio 18.
An amazing flower outside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building in Spanish Village.
An amazing flower outside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building in Spanish Village.
Colorful cats have gathered on the patio in front of Studio 16 in Spanish Village.
Colorful cats have gathered on the patio in front of Studio 16 in Spanish Village.
The local artists in Studio 14 specialize in Kaleidoscopes, Egg Art and Handmade Art.
The local artists in Studio 14 specialize in Kaleidoscopes, Egg Art and Handmade Art.
A painter creates new artwork outside the window of the Southwestern Artists' Association Gallery in Studio 23.
A painter creates new artwork outside the window of the Southwestern Artists’ Association Gallery in Studio 23.
Mary-Ella Bowles in Studio 6 created this fun Fairy House out of a gigantic gourd!
Mary-Ella Bowles in Studio 6 created this fun Fairy House out of a gigantic hollow gourd!
A colorful frog is standing on a leaf outside Studio 10.
A colorful frog is standing on a big leaf outside Studio 10.

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!

How you can help USO San Diego fight hunger!

The USO is collecting food at Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets around San Diego. Buy a five dollar bag of food for a hungry neighbor, receive a five dollar coupon for the store!
The USO is collecting food at Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets around San Diego. Buy a five dollar bag of food for those who are hungry, receive a five dollar coupon from the store!

Before I post more photos of Comic-Con, let me alert my local readers to a great opportunity to help others. I just discovered an easy and essentially free way to help fight hunger in San Diego!

Walking back home from Comic-Con, I realized I needed groceries, so I swung by the downtown Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. As I stepped inside, I was greeted by two friendly volunteers from the USO. They’re working to fight hunger in San Diego!

I learned that during the month of July, shoppers who purchase a $5 bag of food from their table to help feed the hungry receive a $5 coupon from the store!

Kudos to the USO and their efforts. Kudos to Grocery Outlet Bargain Market for their generosity!

I also learned the USO collects food twice a month from a mobile food pantry in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check out the USO San Diego Facebook page for times and locations!

USO San Diego collects food twice a month in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check the USO Facebook page for their Mobile Food Pantry locations!
USO San Diego collects food twice a month in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check the USO Facebook page for their Mobile Food Pantry locations!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Tasty VISUAL art in Horton Plaza!

Fun art on the food court level of Horton Plaza shopping mall.
Art on the food court level of Horton Plaza shopping mall.

Tasty artwork can be found on the food court level of downtown’s Horton Plaza mall!

This fun art was created by VISUAL, whose distinctive work you might recognize. Some of my street art blog posts include photos of utility boxes decorated by VISUAL. You can spot them throughout the city.

Walking through colorful Horton Plaza.
Walking through colorful Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego.
Sign describes VISUAL, an art supply shop and gallery in North Park. Street art created by VISUAL artists can be spotted all around San Diego.
Sign describes VISUAL, an art supply shop and gallery in North Park. Street art created by VISUAL artists can be spotted all around San Diego.
Eating spaghetti.
Eating spaghetti.
A cupcake and ice cream!
A cupcake and ice cream!

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!

The coolest used bookstore in San Diego!

Two super nice volunteers pose for a pic inside the cool Friends of the Central Library Bookstore!
Two super nice volunteers pose for a pic inside the cool Friends of the Central Library Bookstore!

There are many outstanding things about the Central Library in downtown San Diego. One great thing is their internet lab, where I can easily post to my blog when my home internet is temporarily down. Another is the used bookstore just inside the public library’s front entrance!

I can’t count all the awesome books, CD’s, graphic novels and other cool stuff I’ve stumbled across while browsing through the Friends of the Central Library Bookstore. Every time I go there seems to be a new crop on the shelves. My hungry eyes harvest the bounty. Fertile row after fertile row sprout with fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, science fiction, biographies, cookbooks, religion . . . you name it!

Are you looking for the coolest used bookstore in San Diego? Head downtown! The proceeds from every purchase help support the Central Library. In so many ways the library provides neighbors with opportunities, improving our community.

You never know what you'll find in this used bookstore. Perhaps someone would like to learn about The Practice of Palmistry.
You never know what you’ll find in this used bookstore. Perhaps someone would like to learn about The Practice of Palmistry.
I was shown this amazing pop-up book! Every page becomes a different habitat which plays realistic sound effects from nature!
I was shown this amazing pop-up book! Every page becomes a different habitat which plays realistic sound effects from nature!
Someone pauses near the front desk of San Diego's Central Library to browse a few of the many incredible used books!
Someone pauses near the front desk of San Diego’s Central Library to browse a few of the many incredible used books!

Yesterday for one measly dollar I purchased one of the best resources ever written for identifying local flora.

You can’t beat that!

Southern California’s largest rummage sale!

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Flyer contains details of The Thursday Club's 2018 Rummage Sale in Balboa Park.
Flyer contains details of The Thursday Club’s 2018 Rummage Sale in Balboa Park.

Get ready! The largest rummage sale in Southern California is taking place this weekend! It’s open free to the public and it’s going to be epic!

A simply enormous selection of antiques, clothing, books, housewares, sporting goods and more will be descended upon by eager bargain shoppers once the doors open. The Thursday Club’s annual Rummage Sale will be held March 10 and 11 inside the spacious Balboa Park Activity Center at 2145 Park Boulevard.

Proceeds from this fun event will support a host of local beneficiaries, including Balboa Park, Goodwill, the Ronald McDonald House, the San Diego Youth Symphony and San Diego Zoo Global. Over the years, the Thursday Club rummage sales have raised almost $2 million dollars for Balboa Park and a wide variety of charitable organizations.

To learn more, including the hours of the 2018 Rummage Sale and directions to the Balboa Park Activity Center, check out the flyer. Feel free to share it!

UPDATE!

I ventured up to the Activity Center on Sunday to take a quick look around on the final day and was surprised at all the good stuff still available–all at half price! Make sure you put this on your calendar for next year . . . and the year after that! All proceeds go to charity!

Just for fun, I took some photos while I walked about and browsed the various tables…

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Are you a blogger? Do you want to help out worthy charities, and make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Colorful gifts and history at The Black in OB.

Windows at The Black contain all sorts of sights that fit right in with the laid-back, alternative OB lifestyle.
Windows at The Black contain all sorts of sights that fit right in with the laid-back, unconventional OB lifestyle.

Walk through Ocean Beach, particularly down Newport Avenue, and you’ll pass all sorts of weirdly wonderful shops. Look into some windows and you might think you traveled by time machine back to the 60’s.

I paused for a moment in front of The Black, a store that sells stuff that fits perfectly with OB’s alternative lifestyle. Coming down the sidewalk were surfers, retired hippies, free-spirited youth and sandal-wearing professionals. I looked into one window filled with dragon figurines and small toy robots.

My eye was then caught by a nearby historical sign. It explained that The Black’s rather plain-looking building, dating from 1918, has been home to a variety of more traditional grocery stores and markets selling meat, fruit and fresh produce. But that was decades ago. Long before the counterculture’s rise in the 1960’s.

One fascinating thing about history is that a community can change in ways that seem rather unexpected!

The Black in Ocean Beach occupies a building with a unique history. Greeson Hardware was once here, as were various markets, and the USO.
The Black in Ocean Beach occupies a building with a unique history. Greeson Hardware was once here, as were various markets, and the USO.
Old photo on the building at 5017 Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach shows a couple of local markets. The Black's owner won the right to lease in the building after winning a card game across the street.
Historical photo on the building at 5017 Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach shows past markets. The Black’s owner won the right to lease in the building after winning a card game across the street.
In the window of The Black I see Gumby, Mr. Bill, some drums, guitar strings and a Grateful Dead baby onesie.
In the window of The Black I see Gumby, Mr. Bill, some drums, guitar strings and a Grateful Dead baby onesie.
All sorts of cool, unconventional stuff can be seen in a store window at The Black.
Smoke shop items and other diverse gifts can be seen in the front windows of The Black in Ocean Beach.
I see some fun, nostalgic robot toys!
I see some fun, nostalgic robot toys!
I also see a Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band tin tote and a Super Mario figure.
I also see a Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band tin tote and a Super Mario figure.

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!

Collecting memories from Marston’s Department Store.

Remembering Marston's Department Store. Please help the Save Our Heritage Organisation gather artifacts and memories to preserve a part of San Diego history.
Please help the Save Our Heritage Organisation gather artifacts and memories to preserve a part of San Diego history. (Click this photo to enlarge the flyer for easy reading.)

I recently tood a photo of a flyer that I spotted in the Senior Lounge in Balboa Park. Please click the above image and read it.

Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) is seeking memorabilia, ephemera, merchandise and memories from Marston’s Department Store, which for nearly a century was the most elegant place to shop in San Diego. The department store was founded by George Marston, who is often referred to as San Diego’s First Citizen. As a civic leader and philanthropist, he was instrumental in creating Balboa Park, Presidio Park and the San Diego Historical Society.

Marston began as a clerk at the Horton House Hotel and eventually built the Marston Company, which ran a department store in San Diego. When earlier locations became outgrown, the large, elegant Marston’s Department Store on C Street, between 5th and 6th Street, built in the Renaissance Revival architectural style, opened in 1912 and became a popular downtown shopping destination. In 1961 it was sold by his family to The Broadway, which has since closed.

Artifacts related to Marston’s Department Store will be used by SOHO in a permanent exhibit inside their Marston House Museum in Balboa Park. Items that you contribute can be sent or delivered to the SOHO offices in Old Town. Recorded memories are also sought. The 2018 exhibit celebrates the 140th anniversary of the store’s founding!

Do you know anyone who shopped at Marston’s Department Store those many years ago? Perhaps they can help the Save Our Heritage Organisation with this very cool project!

George Marston, circa 1907-1908, San Diego businessman, civic leader and philanthropist. Public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons.
George Marston, circa 1907-1908, San Diego businessman, civic leader and philanthropist. Public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons.
Photo of The San Diego Union newspaper from Monday Morning, January 1, 1912. Depicted is the brand new Marston Department Store. The headline reads: Modern Mercantile Emporium One of Best Three on Coast.
Photo of San Diego Union newspaper from Monday morning, January 1, 1912. Depicted is a brand new Marston Department Store. The headline reads: Modern Mercantile Emporium One of Best Three on Coast.

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!