More smiles and magic in Balboa Park!

Friendly SDSU students perform a magic trick in Balboa Park. They demonstrate how high tuitions make money disappear!
Friendly SDSU students perform a magic trick in Balboa Park. They demonstrate how high tuitions make money disappear!

In Balboa Park smiles are abundant, and magic awaits around every corner. I took some photos this afternoon.

Brandon Carpenter smiles from atop his cool, historic penny-farthing.
Brandon Carpenter smiles from atop his cool, historic penny-farthing.
Anointed Ali gets ready to head over to the Plaza de Panama for another amazing acrobatic performance.
Anointed Ali gets ready to head over to the Plaza de Panama for another amazing acrobatic performance.
Resting among shadows and light with a camera.
Resting among magical shadows and light with a camera.
A sunlit Christmas pooch and old man.
A sunlit Christmas pooch and an old man.
Youthful excitement inside the Museum of Photographic Arts.
Youthful excitement inside the Museum of Photographic Arts.
Will recites Shakespeare on El Prado.
Will recites Shakespeare on El Prado.
Taking elegant photos in a beautiful park.
Taking elegant photos in a beautiful park.
Approaching the Dragon Bridge in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Approaching the Dragon Bridge in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Scooters heading through the park.
Scooters heading through the park.
A helping hand while crossing the street.
A helping hand while crossing the street.
Walking near the Timken Museum of Art.
Walking near the Timken Museum of Art.
People enjoy relaxing in the Plaza de Panama, in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
People enjoy relaxing in the Plaza de Panama, in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Playing guitar in a nook in the Alcazar Garden.
Playing guitar in a nook in the Alcazar Garden.
A joyful dog jumps up to greet me as I walk from the Cabrillo Bridge past Nate's Point Dog Park.
A joyful dog jumps up to greet me as I walk from the Cabrillo Bridge past Nate’s Point Dog Park.
A picnic on green grass on the West Mesa.
A picnic on green grass on the West Mesa.

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? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Firefighter heroes in a drill downtown.

During my walk this morning through downtown San Diego I saw numerous firefighters and fire engines participating in a Sunday fire drill. It was a simulation of an emergency in a high-rise.

I thought you might enjoy a few photos of these true heroes in 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!

A perfect summer Sunday in Balboa Park.

Musicians entertain Balboa Park visitors at the House of Hungary's festive lawn program.
Musicians entertain Balboa Park visitors at the House of Hungary’s festive lawn program.

Another perfect summer Sunday. I found myself once again in Balboa Park. This afternoon, there was no better place in the world.

Please enjoy some photos…

A warm summer afternoon. A man and his dog rest beneath a dinosaur near the San Diego Natural History Museum.
It’s a warm summer afternoon. A man and his dog rest beneath a dinosaur near the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Sunshine on the south side of the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
Sunshine on the south side of the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet had a Fairy Tale Village set up today in the Casa del Prado's outer courtyard.
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet had a Fairy Tale Village set up today in the Casa del Prado’s outer courtyard.
The laps of two Western characters await people with tired feet in Spanish Village Art Center.
The laps of two Western characters await people with tired feet in Spanish Village Art Center.
Beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival architecture at the west end of the Casa de Balboa, photographed from El Prado.
Beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival architecture at the west end of the Casa de Balboa, photographed from El Prado.
People walk past ornate arches connecting the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
People walk past ornate arches connecting the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
Looking through one of those arches at cool greenery between the two historic buildings.
Looking through one of those arches at cool greenery between the two historic buildings.
Folks walk down toward the Casa del Rey Moro Garden.
Folks walk down toward the Casa del Rey Moro Garden.
A beautiful view few visitors see. Part of the rear of the House of Hospitality and nearby Casa de Balboa.
A beautiful view few visitors see. Part of the rear of the House of Hospitality and nearby Casa de Balboa.
Flowers beside outdoor dining at The Prado at Balboa Park.
Flowers beside outdoor dining at The Prado at Balboa Park.
A tranquil and shady place to sit on a summer day in the Japanese Friendship Garden. I worked for a while on a short story here.
A tranquil and shady place to sit in the Japanese Friendship Garden. I worked for a while on a short story here.
The Sunday afternoon lawn program today at the International Cottages was put on by the House of Hungary.
The Sunday afternoon lawn program today at the International Cottages was put on by the House of Hungary.
Hungarian sausage and crepes were being prepared at one end of the lawn!
Hungarian sausage and crepes were being prepared at one end of the lawn!
I confess I had a tasty sausage with lots of mustard on a delectable roll of bread. But those crepes do look good.
I confess I had a tasty sausage with lots of mustard on a delectable roll of bread. But those crepes do look good. I’ll try one next year.
Ladies play cards on the grass at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Ladies play cards on the grass at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Folks sit under the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade and listen to a free Sunday performance. Four finalists are auditioning to become San Diego's new Civic Organist.
Folks sit under the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade and listen to the free Sunday performance. Four finalists are auditioning to become San Diego’s new Civic Organist.
Looking beyond the fountain in front of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Looking beyond the fountain in front of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Riding a bike through Balboa Park on a perfect summer Sunday.
Riding a bike through Balboa Park on a perfect summer Sunday afternoon.
A banner by door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Enjoy every little bit of summer.
A banner by door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Enjoy every little bit of summer.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

A walk through history in The Village of La Mesa.

Photo taken from the intersection of La Mesa Boulevard and Spring Street shows a small stretch of The Village.
Photo taken from the intersection of La Mesa Boulevard and Spring Street shows a small stretch of The Village.

On Sunday morning I took a short walk in the heart of La Mesa. The most fascinating stretch was through the historic area of the city known as The Village. I walked up La Mesa Boulevard from Spring Street to Legacy Park, then back down along the opposite sidewalk.

Not only is this stretch full of local history, but it’s home to the La Mesa Walk of Fame, which honors individual contributions to the city by accomplished and generous residents. In my photos I’ve included a few notable plaques.

The Village on a Sunday morning was very quiet, with a smattering of locals eating breakfast or an early lunch in the small eateries that I passed. The Village, with its plain, practical buildings from a bygone era, feels very modest. It doesn’t strike me as a place that attracts hipsters–more a cherished place for families and ordinary folk and people like me who enjoy a slow Sunday stroll.

I took photos. Please read the captions for a few explanations of what I saw.

The City of La Mesa Walk of Fame can be experienced on both sidewalks along La Mesa Boulevard, between Spring Street and 4th Street.
The City of La Mesa Walk of Fame can be experienced on both sidewalks along La Mesa Boulevard, between Spring Street and 4th Street.
Bill Walton graduated from La Mesa's Helix High School. He was inducted into the NBA basketball Hall of Fame as one of the greatest players of all time.
Bill Walton graduated from La Mesa’s Helix High School. He was inducted into the NBA basketball Hall of Fame as one of the greatest players of all time.
Walking through the Village up La Mesa Boulevard. The buildings are modest but retain local history and many memories.
Walking through the Village up La Mesa Boulevard. The buildings are modest but retain local history and many memories.
The La Mesa Craft Corner on a quiet Sunday morning.
The La Mesa Craft Corner on a quiet Sunday morning.
A nice lady with some Fourth of July crafts smiles for my blog about San Diego.
A nice lady with some Fourth of July crafts smiles for my blog about San Diego.
The Lookout is public art project in Legacy Park, the small triangle where La Mesa Boulevard, 4th Street and Allison Avenue meet.
The Lookout is public art project in Legacy Park, the small triangle where La Mesa Boulevard, 4th Street and Allison Avenue meet.
The Lookout was created by a family of artists--Jesus Dominguez, Mary Lynn Dominguez and Amy Dominguez. It depicts the colorful history of La Mesa.
The Lookout was created by a family of artists–Jesus Dominguez, Mary Lynn Dominguez and Amy Dominguez. It depicts the colorful history of La Mesa.
Closer photo of The Lookout at Legacy Park. Eight mosaic panels made of tile show historical events in La Mesa from 1912 to 2012.
Closer photo of The Lookout at Legacy Park. Eight mosaic panels made of tile show historical events in La Mesa from 1912 to 2012.
At the center of The Lookout is the John B. Reed Centennial Time Capsule, to be opened in 2062.
At the center of The Lookout is the John B. Reed Centennial Time Capsule, to be opened in 2062.
Legacy Park also includes a memorial clock and a bronze sculpture of the Helix snail.
Legacy Park also includes a memorial clock and a bronze sculpture of the Helix snail. The 1939 U.S. Post Office Building is seen in the background.
Children are encouraged to ride this fun bronze snail!
Children are encouraged to ride this fun bronze snail!
Felix the Helix. The story goes that Rufus King Porter named Mount Helix after the Helix aspersa, a European garden snail that was discovered locally.
Felix the Helix. The story goes that Rufus King Porter named Mount Helix after the Helix aspersa, a European garden snail that was discovered locally.
Now I'm walking back down La Mesa Boulevard on the other side of the street. A small slice of Americana. The modest shops and buildings recall a simpler time.
Now I’m walking back down La Mesa Boulevard on the other side of the street. A small slice of Americana. The modest shops and buildings recall a simpler time.
La Mesa Historical Society plaque shows a prosperous Lookout Avenue circa 1929. The street was renamed La Mesa Boulevard in 1940.
La Mesa Historical Society plaque shows a prosperous Lookout Avenue circa 1929. The street was renamed La Mesa Boulevard in 1940.
Family and a flag bench in front of Amethyst Moon, a unique gift store in The Village of La Mesa.
Family and a flag bench in front of Amethyst Moon, a specialty gift shop in The Village of La Mesa.
The are many plaques in the City of La Mesa Walk of Fame. This one celebrates James Culbert, inductee into the National Sprint Car Racing Hall of Fame.
The are many plaques in the City of La Mesa Walk of Fame. This one celebrates James Culbert, inductee into the National Sprint Car Racing Hall of Fame.
Another plaque celebrates Dr. Ellen Ochoa, graduate of Grossmont High School and the first Hispanic woman astronaut.
Another plaque celebrates Dr. Ellen Ochoa, graduate of La Mesa’s Grossmont High School and the first Hispanic woman astronaut.
A photo of the Heller Building, now home of an escrow company.
A photo of the Heller Building, now home of an escrow company.
La Mesa Historical Society photo of the Heller Building in the 1940s. It has housed many businesses including Gilbert's five and dime and Culver's drugstore.
La Mesa Historical Society photo of the Heller Building in the 1940s. It has housed many businesses including Gilbert’s five and dime and Culver’s drugstore.
Maxwell's House of Books adds life to The Village.
Maxwell’s House of Books adds life to The Village.
It is a tie between men to have read the same book. Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is a tie between men to have read the same book. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Old photo on ATT building shows telephone company worker in the undeveloped hills of La Mesa many years ago.
Old photo on ATT building shows telephone company worker in the undeveloped hills of La Mesa many years ago.
The Village is a modest few blocks in the city. Full of history and memory, it provides a taste of days when La Mesa was a small American town.
The Village is a modest few blocks in the city. Full of history and memory, it provides a taste of days when La Mesa was a small American town.

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!

Dreams by the water one Sunday afternoon.

Fisherman on pier and a sailboat.
Fisherman on a pier, and sailboat.

This morning I explored the heart of La Mesa. I’ll blog about my adventure shortly.

This afternoon I returned downtown, then strolled for a couple of magical hours along San Diego Bay. I gazed at the whirl of people all around. I glimpsed moments in life.

Near the softly rippling, bright water, life can seem like a dream.

Walking along, touching a tree.
Walking along, touching a tree.
A momentary pause on some steps.
A moment on some steps.
Ice cream on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Ice cream on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Resting on the shady grass.
Resting on the shady grass.
Family and a passing white sail.
Family and a passing white sail.
A kite high in the blue sky.
A kite high in the blue sky.
Dreams float on sparkling blue.
Like dreams on sparkling blue.
Looking down into mystery.
Looking down into mystery.
A busy day and a smile.
A busy day and a smile.
A story some will not see.
A story some will not see.
Fishing for memories.
Fishing for memories.
A wave upon waves.
A wave upon waves.
Fishing beyond an old fence.
Fishing beyond an old fence.
Many choices.
Many choices.
The passage of time.
The passage of time.
Realizing dreams.
Realizing dreams.
A moment of fantasy.
Youth and fantasy.
A bite to eat.
A bite to eat.

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!

Sitting on a bench next to Tuna Harbor.

Someone poses for a photo on a bench next to Tuna Harbor.
Someone poses for a photo on a bench next to Tuna Harbor.

Yesterday I spent some time writing. I sat in the San Diego sunshine on a bench next to Tuna Harbor. From time to time my lifted eyes spied something interesting, so I’d take a photo.

Fishing vessels docked in Tuna Harbor. A pier, sailboat and the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the distance.
Fishing vessels docked in Tuna Harbor. A pier, sailboat and the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the distance.
A cluster of (mostly) red floats.
A cluster of (mostly) red floats.
As I sat on one of the benches writing, the commercial fishing boat Tommy John entered the harbor.
As I sat on one of the benches writing, the commercial fishing boat Tommy John entered the harbor.
Fishermen on the boat get ready to dock.
Fishermen on the boat get ready to dock.
Gulls swirl about hoping for fish scraps.
Gulls swirl about hoping for fish scraps.
Folks walking by appear to be enjoying the day.
Folks walking by appear to be enjoying the day.
Another nearby boat is home to a curious dog.
Another nearby boat is home to a curious dog.
I see a blue sail jutting up from San Diego Bay, just beyond the G Street Pier.
I see a blue sail jutting up from San Diego Bay, just beyond the G Street Pier.
A gull swings on by to give me a look.
A gull swings on by to give me a look.

My short stories can be read here.

Drum and dance at Super Sonic Samba School!

These folks were drumming their hearts out as I neared. Unfortunately, the performance ended a few moments later.
These folks were drumming their hearts out as I neared. Unfortunately, I arrived too late.  Their musical performance ended a few moments later.

Okay, I was just walking along through Balboa Park this afternoon when I stumbled upon something really cool. Members of the Super Sonic Samba School were drumming like crazy in Pepper Grove!

I didn’t bother these folks, but their sign on the grass is probably seen by relatively few people–so I thought I might help and post a photo!

Read the sign to learn more about the Super Sonic Samba School. If you want to dance or drum in San Diego, this looks like great fun! And you can’t beat creating music outdoors on soft green grass, in fresh air and sunshine. And in beautiful Balboa Park!

The Super Sonic Samba School welcomes dancers and drummers at the World Beat Center and Pepper Grove in Balboa Park.
The Super Sonic Samba School welcomes dancers and drummers at the World Beat Center and Pepper Grove in Balboa Park.
If you drum in Pepper Grove, you get to create music near some cool art. This huge mural is on the Centro Cultural de la Raza.
If you drum in Pepper Grove, you get to create music near some cool art. This huge mural is on the Centro Cultural de la Raza.
Another Sunday session of the Super Sonic Samba School wraps up. Looks like fun!
Another Sunday drumming session of the Super Sonic Samba School wraps up. Looks like a whole lot of fun!

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!