North American Tree Climbing Championship!

Today I watched part of the 2019 North American Tree Climbing Championship in Balboa Park!

Professional arborists–members of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)–came together this weekend from all around North America for this big event. Competitors swung about on ropes like nimble spiders in a bid to be crowned tree climbing champion!

I arrived just in time to watch the final climb, which took place in the intersecting branches of two tall eucalyptus trees on Balboa Park’s West Mesa.

The object, I learned, is for arborists to score the most points. Competitors are given a time limit to climb from red flag to red flag and perform various tasks. Points can be earned for things like the set up of the climbing line and entry into the tree, rope management, posture and balance, descent and landing. Judges could also reward bonus points for skill, style, presentation, innovative techniques and safe work practices.

Now when I walk about San Diego and see workers climbing in trees and cutting away branches, I’ll pause a bit longer to watch. I’ll have a greater appreciation of the skill and athleticism that is required!

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 dance of Petanque in Balboa Park.

Today, as I walked through the Morley Field section of Balboa Park, I was excited to see a good crowd competing at the Petanque Courts, otherwise known as the Petanquedrome!

Turns out today was the San Diego Club de Petanque’s big San Diego Select Doubles Open Tournament!

I paused to watch the spectacle.

Hands lifted and released, spheres spun and collided. Calculating players orbited. I thought I was watching a celestial dance.

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!

Art inside the Balboa Park Activity Center.

The Balboa Park Activity Center is a popular destination for San Diego residents who enjoy indoor sports. During a walk last weekend I poked my nose inside to see if anything interesting was going on. What I discovered was a whole lot of art!

A variety of beautiful artwork can be observed both inside and outside the Activity Center. Four years ago I posted photographs of the outdoor installation titled The Circle and the Self: A Picture Story, which is located in the south plaza. To see those photos, click here.

The photos I’m posting today are of the artwork inside the building.

Detailed information from the artist is displayed near the Activity Center’s front door:

Joyce Cutler-Shaw

In 1996, I was invited to be part of the design team for the Balboa Park Activity Center with architects Rob Wellington Quigley, Richard Blackman, landscape architect Martin Poirier and artist Raul Guerrero. It was a most rewarding collaboration. In April 1999, I completed five installations of my work, which are integral to the building. There are twenty-five drawings in terrazzo squares (@ 16″ x 16″), titled The Circle and the Self: A Picture Story in the south plaza (1); leaf “paintings” with shadows etched into the double glass panes of the sliding front doors (2); two terrazzo floor “paintings” in the entrance lobby at the reception desk and window wall (3′ x 20′ and 5′ x 11′) of, respectively, 26 colors and 68 color/chip combinations (3); and seventy-two metal plates at the corner connections of the gymnasium – these are another translation, by flame-cut drawing in steel, of The Circle and the Self: A Picture Story (4).

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!

Photos of 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament!

Around noon today I spent some time in Little Italy watching the action-packed 2019 Labor Day Stickball Tournament. This very cool annual event seems to grow larger every year, attracting top stickball teams from across the country.

In 2019 the Labor Day Stickball Tournament features 18 teams, including three teams from New York and two teams from Florida. Everyone is competing to have their team name engraved on The Jillie Championship Trophy. San Diego’s own Whompers are the current champions.

During Labor Day weekend, games are played on four fields in Little Italy. It’s fun to watch pedestrians walking down a sidewalk in the field of play suddenly see a ball smashed past them! The looks of surprise!

As I watched one game beside the outfield on Columbia Street, near the San Diego Firehouse Museum, Big Lou came up and introduced himself to me. He’s a retired player who has been inducted into the New York Emperors Stickball League Hall of Fame. It’s his first time in San Diego.

Big Lou told me all about the history of stickball, it’s popularity on the East Coast and in Puerto Rico, and how generations of players have enjoyed the game. His love for the game was in his voice and in his eyes.

Enjoy some photos of the action…

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!

Photo memories of summers in San Diego.

Another summer is flying by. It’s almost Labor Day weekend.

I thought it might be fun to revisit photos from past summers in sunny San Diego.

Click the following links!

2014

2014 Over The Line (OTL) World Championship!

More tall ships and fun at 2014 Festival of Sail!

Dog athletes surf big waves at Imperial Beach!

2015

Photos of art come to life at CityFest in Hillcrest.

Photos of cool sand sculptures at Sun and Sea Festival!

Cool photos of fun, funky Ocean Beach Street Fair!

Lots of photos from Coronado’s Fourth of July parade!

Celebrating San Diego history at Festival of the Bells.

Photos of good times at Chula Vista’s HarborFest!

2016

Cool photos: OB Pier celebrates 50th anniversary!

Fun photos: Old Town San Diego’s Fourth of July!

Taking flight at the Torrey Pines Gliderport!

2018

A taste of the Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

Trevor Time returns to Petco Park!

Action photos from Labor Day weekend stickball!

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Action photos from 2019 Supergirl Surf Pro!

The largest women’s surfing competition in the world is taking place this weekend by the Oceanside Pier. It’s the 2019 Supergirl Surf Pro!

Over 100 amazing athletes from around the world are vying for glory in this very cool international surfing event. The competition is among the very best female surfers on the planet. Some of the participants will compete in the next Olympic Games!

Not only does the Supergirl Surf Pro provide great entertainment in its huge, bustling Festival Village and along the beach, but the event’s positive message of female empowerment is broadcast around the globe!

I spent a couple hours today watching the incredible surfing action from the Oceanside Pier.

My modest camera managed to get a few exciting photos!

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!

Photos of dragon boat races on Mission Bay!

The 15th Annual San Diego Dragon Boat Festival was held today in the Tecolote Shores North part of Mission Bay. This cool event is presented by the San Diego Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans. Twenty two wild races on the water saw competition between amateur dragon boat teams from all around our region and nation.

My walk around Mission Bay late this morning included a long pause to watch the action…

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!