The strange, wonderful beauty of nautical ropes.

Late this afternoon I discovered strange and wonderful beauty.

As I relaxed on a comfortable wooden bench on the poop deck of the Star of India, enjoying the sea breeze and sunlit bay, my eyes were drawn to the riot of ropes that were coiled, knotted, stretched and dangling all about the deck, in every direction. How strangely beautiful they appeared.

I took a few 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!

Journey through dreams at the San Diego Art Institute.

Visitor to the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park journeys through a dream.
Visitor to the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park journeys through a dream.

Stepping into the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park is like entering a world of dreams. Weird, unexpected dreams hover around corners, dangle overhead, emerge mysteriously from the floor and walls.

A journey through this dreamworld opens one’s eyes to the possibilities of human creativity. During my recent visit I felt as though I were floating through some sort of Twilight Zone. The unearthly sounds, the psychedelic whirls of video, the explosions of imagination, the seemingly sublime and inexplicable visions.

If you’re in San Diego and love provocative art, head over to Balboa Park! The San Diego Art Institute is more gallery than museum, with exhibits that change every couple of months.

One can wander through a maze of rampant human creativity.
One can wander through a maze of rampant human creativity  The current exhibit focuses on mixed media.
Upside down, strange and sudden.
Upside down, strange and sudden.
Through alleys of dazzling images.
Through alleys of dazzling images.
Aaron Garretson, Sunday Morning Cocktails. Threat, yarn, cloth, found materials. 2016.
Aaron Garretson, Sunday Morning Cocktails. Threat, yarn, cloth, found materials. 2016.
Weird visions on a wall include spinning blobs of video.
Weird visions on a wall include spinning blobs of video.
Elise Amour, Untitled. Mixed media with vintage photo. 2017.
Elise Amour, Untitled. Mixed media with vintage photo. 2017.
Surrounded by art. Slow feet meander from dream to dream.
Surrounded by art. Slow feet meander from dream to dream.
Eight pieces by Jodi Hays. Gouache, ink and collage on paper. 2015.
Eight pieces by Jodi Hays. Gouache, ink and collage on paper. 2015.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? To read a few stories I’ve written (and something that resembles a poem), click Short Stories by Richard.

Dreamlike street art in Normal Heights.

Arresting street art in Normal Heights. A snarling wolf.
Arresting street art in Normal Heights. A snarling wolf.

Dreams seem to have materialized on a cluster of electrical boxes at the corner of Felton Street and Adams Avenue in Normal Heights.

Some of the street art is tranquil and crystal-like. Some of the images are like visions from a nightmare. Others are fantastically distorted–almost but not quite human!

Take a look–if you dare!

A nightmarish skull.
A nightmarish skull.
More skulls include an upside-down peace sign--sometimes a symbol of death.
More skulls include an upside-down peace sign–sometimes a symbol of death.
A wraithlike figure seems to be in pain.
A wraith-like figure seems to be in pain.
Hands and fingers create an eerie seemingly inhuman skull.
Hands and fingers create an eerie, seemingly inhuman skull.
An abstract flower has a peace sign right-side-up. Perhaps an affirmation of life.
An abstract flower has a peace sign right-side-up. Perhaps an affirmation of life.
Colorful designs like snowflakes on an electrical box seem like visions in a beautiful dream.
Colorful designs like snowflakes on an electrical box appear to be visions in a beautiful dream.
Someone peers at the stars.
Someone peers at the stars.
Perhaps life is but a dream. A woman seems to grow from something odd but elemental.
Perhaps life is but a dream. A woman seems to grow from something swirling and elemental.
Crazily distorted faces.
Crazily distorted faces.
Many human expressions, but completely unreal. I think I've seen these weird creatures in some of my dreams.
Many human expressions–but fantastic and weird. I believe I’ve seen creatures like these in my dreams.
Who is that in the middle? Perhaps you or me.
Who is that in the middle? Perhaps you or me.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

More interesting, unusual doors in San Diego!

Mysterious door in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter reads: Law Office Eddie O'Hare, Esquire. It's actually the entrance to a sneaky speakeasy, containing the underground 1920's themed Prohibition Lounge!
Mysterious gold lettering on a door in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter reads: Law Office Eddie O’Hare, Esquire. It’s actually the sneaky entrance to a speakeasy, the underground, 1920’s themed Prohibition Lounge!

Here’s another batch of cool door photographs, taken during my walks around San Diego.

Some of these doors are rather odd, as you can plainly see! Others have interesting historical significance. Most are just plain fun!

To learn a bit more, read the captions!

Nautical-looking door of the American Tunaboat Association on the Embarcadero near Tuna Harbor.
Nautical-looking door of the American Tunaboat Association on the Embarcadero near Tuna Harbor.
Interesting detail above the door of the 1906 Hearne Surgical Hospital Building in downtown San Diego.
Interesting detail above the door of the 1906 Hearne Surgical Hospital Building in downtown San Diego.
These old wooden doors to the patio of Indigo Grill in Little Italy are enormous!
These old wooden doors to the patio of Indigo Grill in Little Italy are enormous!  I don’t know their origin.
A very odd metal door in Little Italy. Seems to me it would quite easy to step around it!
A very odd metal door in Little Italy. Seems to me it would quite easy to step around it!
Not sure I'd want to step through this door in the Gaslamp. Looks dangerous!
Not sure I’d want to follow the arrow and step through this door in the Gaslamp Quarter. Looks dangerous!
In San Diego's small Chinatown one can see a cool sight that traces back to early San Diego history. The door to Quin Produce!
In San Diego’s small Chinatown one can see a cool sight that traces back to early San Diego history. The door to Quin Produce!
The unusually tall stained glass door of the Philippine Library and Museum in the Gaslamp. I'll probably visit one day!
The unusually tall stained glass door of the Philippine Library and Museum in the Gaslamp. I’ll probably visit one day!
It's what meets you at the front door of Mexican Fiesta in Seaport Village that's out of the ordinary. A sculpture of a bandito sitting on a bench!
It’s what meets you at the front door of Mexican Fiesta in Seaport Village that’s out of the ordinary. A sculpture of a bandito sitting on a bench!
Step through the front door of Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills and you're met by Hollywood movie stars!
Step through the front door of Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills and you’re met by Hollywood movie stars!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Dreamlike visions on a wet, drizzly morning.

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It was drizzling very lightly this morning when I stepped out my door. I walked from Cortez Hill down to Broadway, then over to Santa Fe Depot. My camera was under my umbrella.

The light was dim and uncertain, causing many photographs to come out unfocused. A few strange photographs seem to contain mysterious phantoms from some half-remembered dream.  Haunting visions on a wet, drizzly morning.

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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!

Strange, surprising public art at Bayside Park!

Walking past public art in Chula Vista's Bayside Park. The Fisherman is a sculpture of a great egret, created by Stephen Fairfield, 2006.
Walking past public art in Chula Vista’s Bayside Park. The Fisherman is a sculpture of a great egret, created by Stephen Fairfield, 2006.

Look at these cool examples of public art! I spotted them Saturday during my visit to Chula Vista’s Bayside Park.

Some of the artwork, as you can see, is rather strange and surprising! Read the photo captions to learn more!

The Fisherman, by Stephen Fairfield, was a part of a past Urban Trees exhibition along San Diego's Embarcadero.
The Fisherman, by Stephen Fairfield, was a part of a past Urban Trees exhibition along San Diego’s Embarcadero.  It’s now part of the Port of San Diego Tidelands Collection.
Dark shadow of what appears to be a gigantic egret on a walkway in Bayside Park.
Dark shadow of what appears to be a gigantic egret on a walkway in Bayside Park.
One of several tables by San Diego Bay containing a tile chess board.
One of several tables by San Diego Bay containing a tile chess board.
Walking north along the beach area. Downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bay Bridge can be seen in the distance.
Walking north along the beach area. Downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bay Bridge can be seen in the distance.
Still walking north, toward more public art at Chula Vista's Bayside Park. This is Wind Oars by George Peters and Melanie Walker, 2004.
Still walking north, toward more interesting public art at Chula Vista’s Bayside Park. This is Wind Oars by George Peters and Melanie Walker, 2004.
Oars in the blue sky change position in the shifting wind. A kinetic artwork landmark in San Diego's South Bay.
Oars in the blue sky change position in the shifting wind. A kinetic artwork landmark in San Diego’s South Bay.
Like rowing through blue water above.
Like rowing through blue water above.
At the north end of Bayside Park, we now approach some unusual temporary art. Bench Party, by artists Jose Parral and Tasia Paulson, will be on display through May 20, 2017.
At the north end of Bayside Park, we now approach some unusual temporary art. Bench Party, by artists Jose Parral and Tasia Paulson, will be on display through May 20, 2017.
Visitors to the Bayside Park might sit here and talk, or take in views of San Diego Bay.
Visitors to the Bayside Park might sit here and talk, or take in views of San Diego Bay.
A large group of people could sit here and have a bench party!
A large group of people could sit here and have a bench party!
The huge travelift at Marine Group Boat Works in Chula Vista is seen beyond the benches. Super yachts and large boats can be lifted out of the water there.
The huge travelift at Marine Group Boat Works in Chula Vista is seen beyond the benches. Super yachts and large boats can be lifted out of the water there.
A breakwater by Marine Group Boat Works looks like art on the water. In the distance we can see Point Loma.
A breakwater by Marine Group Boat Works looks like strange art on the water. Rising in the distance we can see Point Loma.
A bird swims past stacked rocks.
A bird swims past stacked rocks.
Feeding birds at a park picnic bench.
Feeding birds at a park picnic bench.
A second sculpture from an Urban Trees exhibition is also located at Bayside Park. This is San Diego Synergy, by Kent Kraber, 2007.
A second sculpture from an Urban Trees exhibition is also located at Bayside Park. This is San Diego Synergy, by Kent Kraber, 2007.
Seabirds soar above fish, their food.
Seabirds soar above fish, their food.
A school of fish in the ocean kelp.
A school of fish in the ocean kelp.
A silvery tuna between a fishing boat and sailboat, at the base of the San Diego Synergy sculpture in Chula Vista.
A silvery tuna between a fishing boat and sailboat, at the base of the San Diego Synergy sculpture in Chula Vista.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

A very strange San Diego sight!

A strange liquid falls from the sky in San Diego. What is it?
A strange liquid falls from the sky in San Diego. What is it?

Umbrellas! In San Diego! My eyes must be deceiving me!

Who said it never rains in Southern California? Whoever that was, they must not have been downtown this morning!

It's only water. Perhaps we can cope. Most of these smart convention center visitors brought umbrellas!
It’s only water. Perhaps those of us who live in sunny San Diego can cope. Most of these smart convention center visitors brought umbrellas!
Honest-to-goodness rain has returned this winter, hopefully putting an end to our ongoing drought.
Honest-to-goodness rain has returned this winter, hopefully putting an end to our ongoing drought.
Umbrellas have sprouted like colorful flowers in the rain!
Umbrellas have sprouted like colorful flowers in the rain!

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!