Balboa Park performer on So You Think You Can Dance!

Did you know a long-time street performer in Balboa Park has appeared on the popular television show So You Think You Can Dance?

If you’ve visited San Diego’s Balboa Park in the past few years, it’s quite likely you’ve seen Kareem “Anointed” Ali and his talented friends wowing huge crowds with their athletic dance routines, acrobatic leaps, physical contortions and fun bits of humor. All concluded with an inspirational message.

Well, a number of years ago, while speaking to Anointed Ali, I learned he’d appeared as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance. I then found a YouTube video of his routine here.

The judges were absolutely amazed. You will be too!

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!

Stars shine brightly in Balboa Park!

This evening I headed to Balboa Park to watch The Sky Tonight at the Fleet Science Center’s giant domed IMAX theater.

Every first Wednesday of the month, the Fleet’s eye-popping, jaw-dropping The Sky Tonight astronomy presentation coincides with Stars in the Park, a fun, educational outdoor event hosted by the San Diego Astronomy Association.

When I stepped out of the theater, with a sense of renewed wonder at the immensity and beauty of the universe, night had fallen, and I gazed through several telescopes at the distant stars themselves.

But prior to all this, well before the sun set, I saw other stars all around the park…

Two brightly smiling members of the Belegarth Medieval Combat Society’s Realm of Andor. They usually hang out on Sunday afternoons at Balboa Park’s Morley Field.
Indy is a shining Balboa Park star on a fine Wednesday evening.
Look! Another musical star!
Like planets orbiting the sun, kids were running around the Bea Evenson Fountain.
Another star poses and smiles on El Prado!
Options For All, an organization that serves adults with disabilities, welcomes those arriving for a special movie screening in Balboa Park.

A short film titled Climb premiered this evening at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

According to its description, the film is based on a day in the life of the adaptive team, which consists of four rock climbers with disabilities at the Mesa Rim Climbing Center. Learn more at the Options For All organization’s Facebook page here!

One of the film’s stars smiles by the Climb movie poster. That’s her climbing in the upper left corner of the graphic!
Stars that are light-years distant from Balboa Park would become visible after nightfall. Members of the San Diego Astronomy Association set up a powerful telescope for public observation of the sky after dark!

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 winter’s day walk in Balboa Park.

Even in winter, on a gray, overcast, slightly drizzly day, Balboa Park is one of the most wonderful places on Earth.

I took an easy walk through the park yesterday.

I saw friends. I saw strangers. I saw families, people young and old.

I saw smiles and expressions of happiness and wonder.

Enjoy these photographs…

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!

New Year’s Day photos from the Embarcadero.

Today is New Year’s Day. The sun was shining in San Diego.

Many people were out strolling beside San Diego Bay.

For some reason, walking along the Embarcadero is a thing I do almost every year on January 1. Maybe it’s the glittering water, cool breeze, sailboats, and a sense of renewal. Whatever it is, that’s what I did today.

And I took these photographs.

(The next photo is strange! I think he was playing for a special group about to board a harbor cruise.)

Happy New Year!

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 sky dance near Seaport Village.

Yesterday evening, as I walked along the waterfront to the Return of the Jedi concert at The Shell, I paused to watch Katch Zed (@KatchZed) performing her sky dance at Embarcadero Marina Park North near Seaport Village.

I took these photographs into the sun as she twirled on the moon.

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!

Photos of Mother’s Day in Balboa Park!

If there’s one place in San Diego that seems to be made for Mother’s Day, it’s Balboa Park.

I took these photographs today during my usual Sunday amble through the park.

Spring flowers were everywhere. The warm air seemed to shimmer with music.

Out enjoying their special day were many Moms with loved ones.

Smiles were plentiful.

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!

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!

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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!