A quiet Sunday walk down Sixth Avenue.

I enjoyed a slow, easy walk down Sixth Avenue around noontime today. As a rule, the quietest day in downtown is Sunday, but there’s still plenty in the city to discover.

If you’re familiar with San Diego, you might recognize some of the locations in these 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!

A dance, Wonder Woman, empty shoes, roses.

An exhausted face looks out from the window of Via Pia restaurant.
An exhausted face looks out from the window of Via Pia restaurant.

This afternoon, feeling restless, I went on a random walk through downtown San Diego.

It’s Mother’s Day.

If this blog post seems vaguely philosophical, I’ll let you decide what it all means…

I spotted a City Ballet of San Diego poster in the lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building. Carmina Burana is coming soon.
I spotted a City Ballet of San Diego poster in the lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building. Carmina Burana is coming soon.
City Ballet of San Diego is looking for donations for their Pointe Shoe Fund.
City Ballet of San Diego is looking for donations for their Pointe Shoe Fund.
A glass container full of pointe ballet shoes. Each provides an unknown number of dances.
A glass container full of pointe shoes. Each provides an unknown number of dances.
William Dorsett, a street artist who often hangs out near the USS Midway, created this cool painting of Wonder Woman.
William Dorsett, a street artist who often hangs out near the USS Midway, created this cool painting of Wonder Woman.
A couple walks along Embarcadero Marina Park North.
A couple walks along Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Mexican dolls for sale on the boardwalk.
Mexican dolls for sale on the boardwalk.
A spinning yellow sunflower at Alamo Flags in Seaport Village.
A yellow sunflower at Alamo Flags in Seaport Village.
Someone mediates on the wall near Rock Man, the amazing stone balancer.
Someone mediates on the wall near Rock Man, the amazing balancer.
A faded flower at the foot of the Merchant Seamen Memorial.
A fading flower at the foot of the Merchant Seamen Memorial.
Walking along by the water one afternoon.
Strolling along by the water one afternoon.
A duck disregards a sign by the Children's Park fountain.
A duck disregards a sign by the Children’s Park fountain.
A restored PCC streetcar of the Silver Line arrives at the Convention Center trolley station.
A restored PCC streetcar of the Silver Line arrives at the Convention Center trolley station.
Checking out a cool classic car in the Gaslamp.
Checking out a classic car in the Gaslamp.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Shoes with no walker.
Shoes with no walker.
Carrying a bouquet of red roses.
Carrying a bouquet of red roses.

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!

Surprising contrasts on a quiet walk.

Sunday afternoon I took the trolley to East County to enjoy a quiet walk near Gillespie Field. I knew that along Marshall Avenue there’d be no traffic.

As I walked down the long, empty sidewalk I turned my eyes toward sleepy hangars across the street, burgeoning spring flowers at my feet and a large construction site abandoned for the day. All I heard was the whisper of the breeze, birds flitting here or there and small planes rising into the sky.

The time and place was perfect for a stretch of thinking. I’m struggling with a short story that is particularly difficult. It’s a story about the complexity of people and the small actions that help to define a life. I keep changing the words.

As I walked along in a state of abstraction I slowly became aware of surprising shapes and contrasts in the world all around me. Exactly like the complexity we find in ourselves.

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 triumphant return of the Spreckels Organ!

The amazing Spreckels Organ, largest outdoor musical instrument in the world and the joyful lungs of Balboa Park, made its triumphant return today!

After six weeks of silence because of a broken motor on the main blower, the Spreckels Organ is once again producing fantastic music, with a little help from San Diego’s world-famous Civic Organist, Raúl Prieto Ramírez!

Raul began today’s concert with Johann Sebastian Bach’s powerful Toccata and Fugue in D minor. The talented San Diego Children’s Choir then took the stage to perform a variety of classical songs, including Franz Schubert’s moving Ave Maria.

To honor Veterans Day, Raul concluded the program by playing three John Philip Sousa compositions: Semper Fidelis, In Memoriam, and Stars and Stripes Forever.

In a troubled world where the flag often flies at half-staff, this Sunday we were reminded that human good can prevail. With a little dedication any broken instrument in this world–even the mighty Spreckels Organ–can be repaired.

I saw many smiles in the sunshine.

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!

Lane Field Park Markets debuts in San Diego!

The baseball windglyphs of local artist Lisa Schirmer fly above diners under umbrellas at Lane Field Park.
The baseball windglyphs of local artist Lisa Schirmer fly above diners under umbrellas at Lane Field Park.

I was walking along the Embarcadero today when I saw a whole bunch of activity over at Lane Field Park. I soon discovered that today was the debut of a weekly “artisanal showcase of the creative food, drink, art and craft scene in San Diego”, otherwise known as Lane Field Park Markets.

Every Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, look for the tents and happy people inside Lane Field Park at the corner of Broadway and Harbor Drive!

Lane Field Park Markets debuted in downtown San Diego near the waterfront today.
Lane Field Park Markets debuted in downtown San Diego near the waterfront today.
Lots of people were enjoying the farmers market-like setting.
Lots of people were enjoying the sunny, grassy, outdoor farmers’ market-like setting.
I saw lots to eat and lots of crafts and other good stuff.
I saw tasty food to eat and lots of crafts and other good stuff.
Kids liked checking out the Dang Brother Pizza fire engine.
Kids liked checking out the Dang Brother Pizza fire engine.
Those look pretty yummy!
Those look pretty yummy!
A guitarist provided live music, too!
A guitarist provided live music, 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!

Medieval knights mock fight in Balboa Park!

Look what I watched today!

Every Sunday afternoon, on a large area of grass in Balboa Park’s Morley Field Sports Complex, medieval knights come together and engage in mock combat! These brave knights hail from the Realm of Andor. They are a part of the international Belegarth Medieval Combat Society.

Wielding foam weapons like swords, maces and battle axes, these guys get a super fun athletic workout. I was told by a friendly member of the Realm of Andor that the sport is like a mixture of fencing and rugby, with fairly simple rules. When a combatant receives a strike to a critical area, they fall down as if dead. A hit on a limb results in a loss of its use. Two limbs gone, you’re a goner. The last one standing wins!

I watched as the combatants veered all over the place, swinging a variety of formidable ancient weapons. Two or three knights would gang up on another; others would be struck by a sneaky knight from behind. Some of the members, in their cool costumes and bearing shields, appeared to be rampaging extras in the filming of Lord of the Rings. Many make their own weapons. It’s all about fantasy and high energy fun!

If you’d like to learn more, or perhaps join, check out their website!

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!

Dance on Sunday afternoons in Balboa Park!

On Sunday afternoons I seem to be spending more and more time in the grand Ballroom of the Balboa Park Club. Cushioned chairs line the walls, and I can sit peacefully as I read or write, listening to gentle, sprightly folk music, occasionally looking up at happy people dancing.

I don’t do much in the way of dancing–not with my feet. But I’m sure some of you do! And I bet some of you’d like to learn all sorts of different folk dances!

I spoke to a nice lady who is a member of one of Balboa Park’s dance clubs, and she told me they are looking to grow their membership. There’s an opportunity for ordinary people with varying levels of experience to learn folk dances from many different cultures. And each lesson costs only a couple bucks!

As you can see from one of my photos, kids and parents can also learn how to dance the third Sunday of every month, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. Sounds like fun!

Interested? Visit the International Dance Association of San Diego County website by clicking here!

If you can walk, you can 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!