Making new memories in Balboa Park.

Another easy Sunday in Balboa Park. Creating new memories. Remembering good times.

Another sunny day with more ice cream, more music, more people laughing and smiling.

I recognized some people in the park I hadn’t seen in years. I saw Fast Heart Mart playing his banjo. I saw Brandon riding his big-wheeled penny-farthing.

I observed how memories are now being made in the new Pan American Plaza in Balboa Park’s Palisades area, where tables welcome families and roller skating has become popular.

Every visit to Balboa Park is unique.

And to think another Spring will soon be 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 poet, a didgeridoo, and Balboa Park.

I spent a couple hours today with my friend Mitchell. He plays didgeridoo in Balboa Park.

We went on a walk and got lunch at the Japanese Tea Pavilion. Then I listened for a while to his extraordinary pulsating music.

During the concert a traveling poet came by, watched and listened.

After I said goodbye to Mitchell and began down El Prado, I came upon the poet sitting at a small table before his manual typewriter.

His name is Ben Bernthal. He will write an original poem based on words passersby give him. I gave him the word “didgeridoo.”

What I received was an exceptional piece of poetry and a friendly chat.

After I headed off on my way, it occurred to me that Balboa Park is one enormous, colorful poem. In the way every life is a sort of poem.

Visit Ben Bernthal’s website and learn more about a really great writer by clicking here. You can request a poem online. He will type the poem on high quality paper and mail it to you!

Better yet, if you’re in San Diego, look for him sitting at his typewriter in Balboa Park . . . before life’s grand adventure turns him elsewhere.

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!

Holiday scenes in Balboa Park before the lockdown.

Tomorrow another “stay at home” order goes into effect in Southern California. It’s late 2020, the year of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Today many people were enjoying Balboa Park one last time before the lockdown. As I walked through the park this afternoon, I saw a few holiday decorations, but nothing like you’d see during an ordinary year.

A few visitors were dressed for the occasion–I even saw Santa Grinch skating about in the Plaza de Panama! I also saw good old Santa wearing a face mask driving his sleigh between the plaza and Organ Pavilion; a big Santa Bear at the Japanese Friendship Garden; and lights, Christmas trees and ornaments in the Spanish Village Art Center.

I also walked past the Taste of December Nights event in the large Inspiration Point parking lots. All I saw were lines of cars pulled up to a couple dozen food trucks.

Speaking of trucks, see those two photos of a red vehicle parked in front of the San Diego Automotive Museum? That very cool old 1922 Mack Water Truck has returned to its old spot after a long restoration. I wrote a little about this antique water truck on my now dormant blog Beautiful Balboa Park. Read more about it here!

Even though everyone in San Diego is encouraged to exercise outdoors, now that we’re entering a stay-at-home period, my walking adventures might become less frequent for the time being. Fortunately, I have lots of interesting photos still in my computer, so stay tuned for many more surprising blog posts!

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!

Violinist learns San Diego, the Beautiful.

This afternoon, a street performer in Balboa Park who plays violin learned how to play San Diego, the Beautiful. I stood and watched with wonder as he deliberately worked out the notes.

San Diego, the Beautiful is engraved on a black marble tablet near the entrance to the Japanese Friendship Garden. The song is well known in Yokohama, Japan, but less known in San Diego, its sister city.

If you’d like to hear San Diego, the Beautiful, 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 celebration of life in Balboa Park.

A violin, drums, didgeridoo and belly dancers fill the Plaza de Panama with life.
Violin, drums, didgeridoo and belly dancers fill the Plaza de Panama with life.

Life is celebrated every day in Balboa Park. But today was special. It’s the weekend of Día de Los Muertos.

This is a special time when we remember those who’ve gone before. A time to reflect and be grateful.

As I walked through the park, I could see glowing memories from the past; and new memories that will be cherished in future life.

Walking through green Balboa Park one bright Sunday afternoon in early November.
Walking through green Balboa Park one bright Sunday afternoon in the beginning of November.

The Casa del Prado Theater rises beyond the Natural History Museum.
The dreamlike Casa del Prado Theater rises beyond the Natural History Museum.

The Bard shows me a wise quote about human failings and nobility.
The Bard shows me a wise quote about human failings and nobility.

The smile of a street performer in Balboa Park.
The sudden smile of a street performer in Balboa Park.

Día de Los Muertos scene inside an aquarium at the San Diego Tropical Fish Society show.
Día de Los Muertos scene inside an aquarium at the San Diego Tropical Fish Society show.

Resting with a best friend by the Lily Pond.
Resting with a best friend by the Lily Pond.

Pumpkins add color to the many plants growing inside the Botanical Building.
Pumpkins add seasonal color to the many plants growing inside the Botanical Building.

Enjoying life while hanging out in sunshine at Nate's Point Dog Park.
Enjoying life while hanging out in sunshine at Nate’s Point Dog Park.

Strolling through the beautiful Panama-California Sculpture Court.
Strolling through the beautiful Panama-California Sculpture Court.

Walking and rolling through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Walking and rolling through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.

A bird greets people in front of the House of Ireland. I learned this cockatoo knows one word: Hello!
A bird greets people in front of the House of Ireland. I learned this cockatoo knows one word: Hello!

Yummy kababs on the grill during the House of Iran lawn program.
Yummy kababs getting ready on the grill during the House of Iran lawn program.

Looks like a Batmobile coming through the park.
Looks like a Batmobile is coming through the park.

The audience participated with the Spreckels Organ as a fun rendition of the Addams Family theme song was produced with odd instruments!
Audience members participated on stage with the Spreckels Organ. A fun Halloween rendition of the Addams Family theme song was produced with odd instruments!

Your smile is love, is the world, is magical fairies, is contagious, is happiness.
Your smile is love, is the world, is magical fairies, is contagious, is happiness.

Setting up for the Day of the Dead Celebration by the Old Globe.
Setting up for the Day of the Dead Celebration by the Old Globe.

A face is painted to resemble a skull, to honor and remember the departed.
A face is painted to resemble a skull, to honor and remember the departed.

Día de Los Muertos crayon art produced by someone during the Old Globe's festival.
Día de Los Muertos crayon art produced by someone during the Old Globe’s festival.

These musicians were ready to celebrate life!
These musicians were ready to celebrate life!

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 very colorful walk through Balboa Park!

Artist paints a face at the Spanish Village Art Center.
Artist paints a face at the Spanish Village Art Center.

This afternoon I took a long walk through Balboa Park.

Look at all the colorful things I saw!

Painting the colored tile patio of Spanish Village.
Painting the colored tile patio of Spanish Village.

A squirrel in a colorful place!
A squirrel in a colorful place!

Even the planters in Spanish Village are bright with color!
Even the planters in Spanish Village are bright with color!

Brilliant colors of the Earth inside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Societies' museum.
Brilliant colors from inside the Earth at the San Diego Mineral and Gem Societies’ museum.

Many colors await visitors to the Botanical Building.
Many colors await visitors inside the Botanical Building.

Any walk through Balboa Park is wonderful.
Any walk through Balboa Park is wonderful.

Ninja Nattan smiles after demonstrating her awesome ninja skills.
Ninja Nattan smiles after demonstrating her awesome ninja skills.

Check out Ninja Nattan’s colorful Twitter feed here! She’s a super nice ninja comedian!

A beautiful work of art by Yoichi Nakama now on display at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A beautiful work of colorful art by Yoichi Nakama, now on display at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

A great She-Ra cosplay on El Prado!
A great She-Ra cosplay on El Prado!

Storytelling Across Media is coming up at the Comic-Con Museum. Sign up for the panels before they are full!
SAM: Storytelling Across Media is coming up at the Comic-Con Museum. Sign up for the panels before they are full!

Juggling on a unicycle on a slackline! Wow!
Juggling on a unicycle on a slackline! Wow!

Another very colorful walk through Balboa Park!
A small moment from another very colorful walk through Balboa Park!

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!

A travelling poet and a bagpiper in Balboa Park.

Today I met two cool people during my walk around Balboa Park. One is a travelling poet, the other a Scottish bagpiper.

The poet’s name is DJ Leary. You can find him online @wordsbydj.

Danny was perched in front of an old manual typewriter by the entrance to the Casa Del Prado Theater. Inspired words were pouring (pounding?) out from his fingertips for curious passersby. I peered over his shoulder at sudden lines of truth. We talked just a little. We shared some experiences. I could tell in an instant that Danny loves writing and life’s endless mystery.

I urge you to go here and read some of his poems.

The bagpiper is Frank Hunter. He’s a member of the House of Scotland Pipe Band. I met him while I was walking across the grass at the International Cottages.

Frank kindly introduced me to the bagpipes: their ancient origin, evolution and important role in history. He brought out his instrument, assembled it, tuned it, and performed. He told me about his own heritage and how the Highland Light Infantry is his family regiment. He had much to say, and all of it was immensely fascinating.

I’ve heard Frank playing bagpipes around Balboa Park before, and I urge visitors to the park to listen for their unmistakable voice. You will not be disappointed.

Balboa Park is full of amazing people.

Simply smile and say hello.

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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!

Manifest Your Future in amazing Balboa Park.

Young members of the De La Motte Strings have a bright musical future.
Young members of the De La Motte Strings have a bright musical future.

Please enjoy these photographs of life in Balboa Park. I took them today.

Is Balboa Park in your future?

Manifest Your Future in Balboa Park!
Manifest Your Future in Balboa Park!

Beautiful music beckons.
Beautiful music beckons.

Art students from Canyon Crest Academy show their art in Spanish Village. Each student has an amazing future.
Art students from Canyon Crest Academy show their art in Spanish Village. Each student has an amazing future.

Savera Soin's future will be filled with color.
Savera Soin’s future will be filled with color.

Moving ahead to find new wonders.
Moving ahead to find new wonders.

Perhaps a cactus is also in your future.
Perhaps a cactus from a San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society show and sale is in your future.

A couple moves forward down a winding path through the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A couple moves forward down a winding path through the Japanese Friendship Garden.

For the foreseeable future (until July 21, 2019) visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden can enjoy an exhibition of art by Kathleen Kane-Murrell.
For the foreseeable future (until July 21, 2019) visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden can enjoy an exhibition of art by Kathleen Kane-Murrell.

Magic might suddenly appear in your future.
Magic might suddenly appear in your future.

Yummy samples of Cheez-It Snap'd treats were in my future. At present they are in my stomach.
Yummy samples of Cheez-It Snap’d treats were in my future. I couldn’t avoid them! At present they are in my stomach.

Mysterious eyes peer from the future of some. It all depends where feet turn.
These mysterious eyes peer from the future of a few. It all depends where feet turn.

Enjoy every day. That future is now.
Enjoy every day. That future is now.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

Cool photos of San Diego’s 2019 Busker Fest!

San Diego's own world-famous Murrugun the Mystic exhales a huge fireball during Seaport Village's 2019 Busker Fest!
San Diego’s own world-famous Murrugun the Mystic exhales a huge fireball during Seaport Village’s 2019 Busker Fest!

This is my fifth year blogging about Seaport Village’s annual busker festival. It’s so much fun, I try not to miss it!

This afternoon I randomly walked about Seaport Village, checking out the acts of great street performers from all around the United States and the world. I protected my camera from the wind and showers and took a whole bunch of photographs. Unfortunately, today’s attendance seemed reduced by the weather.

Tomorrow the sun is supposed to come out. Hopefully more people will then head to Seaport Village for this free weekend event!

The highlight for me was the two-act performance of San Diego’s own world-famous danger act and carnival sideshow performer Murrugun the Mystic! As I watched, I could plainly see he was enjoying himself!

Since I last blogged about Murrugun, he has appeared on even more TV shows. He has now been featured on AMC’s Freakshow, Cougar Town, CSI: New York, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! He also holds multiple Guinness World Records for sword swallowing!

I spoke to him briefly after his show, and I learned he’s devising a hollow tube contraption that he will insert into his throat. From that tube he will explosively shoot flaming arrows! Wow! I can’t wait to see that!

Here come fun photos! Enjoy!

Even with the drizzly, breezy winter weather, people came out to Seaport Village on Saturday to watch some of the best street performers from around the world.
Even with the drizzly, breezy winter weather, people came out to Seaport Village on Saturday to watch some of the best street performers in the world.

Daniel Israel juggles while high atop a unicycle!
Daniel Israel juggles while high atop a unicycle!

Cate Flaherty is a professional circus acrobat. Her juggling and balancing performance was great!
Cate Flaherty is a professional circus acrobat with a big smile. Her juggling and balancing performance was great!

George Gilbert entertains people by the water. For a grand finale, he magically made a pineapple appear under his hat!
George Gilbert entertains people by the water. For a grand finale, he magically made a pineapple appear under his hat!

Nolan Webster included a lot of humor in his parlor magic show. That ball was actually attached to his nose! Cheater!
Nolan Webster included a lot of humor in his parlor magic show. That ball was actually attached to his nose! Cheater!

The audiences at the Busker Fest were all smiles.
The audiences at the Busker Fest were all smiles.

Kids seemed to have the best time while the buskers performed. Many adults were very shy.
Kids seemed to have the best time while the buskers performed. Many adults were very shy.

Murrugan the Mystic calls an audience together near Seaport Village's central fountain before beginning his amazing two part act!
Murrugun the Mystic calls an audience together near Seaport Village’s central fountain before beginning his amazing two-part act!

Murrugan's first act is a series of fantastic fire breathing and eating tricks, including shooting flames out of his mouth!
Murrugun’s first act is a series of fantastic fire breathing and eating tricks, including shooting flames out of his mouth! He performed to one side, out of the wind.

The second act was sword swallowing. Murrugan the Mystic is one of the very few true sword swallowers in the world.
The second act was sword swallowing. Murrugun the Mystic is one of very few true sword swallowers in the world.

That's a genuine, long and very sharp sword poised on Murrugun's tongue.
That’s a genuine, long and very sharp sword poised on Murrugun’s tongue.

Here we go!
Here we go!

When all the way in, the sword has penetrated between his heart and lungs and ends at the bottom of his stomach, just below the belly button!
When all the way in, the sword has penetrated between his heart and lungs and ends at the bottom of his stomach, just below the belly button!

Next comes a sword sandwich--six swords carefully aligned together. Over the decades, a scary number of performers have died doing this dangerous sword swallowing trick.
Next comes a sword sandwich–six swords carefully aligned together. Over the decades, a scary number of performers have died doing this dangerous sword swallowing trick. Murrugun himself was once seriously injured.

That's a lot of sharp steel to swallow!
That’s a lot of sharp steel to swallow!

In go six genuine swords!
In go six genuine swords!

One of the most amazing human spectacles you're likely to ever witness!
One of the most amazing human spectacles you’re likely to ever witness!

Back near the water, Jonathan Strange was doing ring linking magic with an assistant from the audience.
Back near the water, Jonathan Strange was doing some mystifying ring linking magic with an assistant chosen from the audience.

Molly Keczan includes lasso rope tricks in her fun The Farmer's Daughter Show.
Molly Keczan includes lasso rope tricks in her fun The Farmer’s Daughter Show.

The Farmer's Daughter keeps balance as she walks along the top of glass milk bottles--with one good eye! A wildly successful show, in spite of her contact lens difficulty!
The Farmer’s Daughter keeps balance as she walks along the top of glass milk bottles–with one good eye! A wildly successful show, in spite of her contact lens difficulty!

While walking around I spotted Martika Daniels setting up for her act with a big smile.
While walking around I spotted Martika Daniels setting up for her act with a big smile.

Martika's cool show included being stood upon while lying on a bed of nails!
Martika’s amazing show included being stood upon while lying on a bed of nails!

Ouch! Martika explained that stunts like this make some of life's difficulties seem small by comparison. Her show was super positive and inspirational!
Ouch! Martika explained that stunts like this make some of life’s difficulties seem small by comparison. Her show was super positive and inspirational!

Another awesome sword swallowing act!
Another awesome sword swallowing act!

Buskers and audience members all seemed to have a good time, even if the San Diego weather didn't cooperate today!
Buskers and audience members all seemed to have a great time, even if the San Diego weather didn’t cooperate today!

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!

Rising and shining on the Embarcadero!

I walked slowly along the Embarcadero this morning. As I started along San Diego Bay, the February sky was gray and occasionally drizzly.

For a Saturday relatively few people were about. The popular Tuna Harbor Dockside Market was busy, of course, but the first part of my walk was rather quiet. A couple firefighters were jogging on the grass near their fire engine at Seaport Village. I saw some birds, including a beautiful snowy egret. A few fisherman were trying their luck on the pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

I said hello to some familiar people.

As I turned back north, I noted a bit more activity. Guys in scuba gear were at work cleaning the hulls of boats in the Marriott Marina. Workers were getting tables ready at various waterside restaurants. Vendors were setting up booths at Ruocco Park’s new Saturday farmers market. Tourists were gathering at the foot of the Embracing Peace statue (originally called Unconditional Surrender) and atop the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum.

And, best of all, the street performers were out and smiling.

As usual the sun came out.

San Diego is magical.

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!