A walk on Christmas Day in Balboa Park.

While the rest of the nation was in a deep freeze, our sunny San Diego weather welcomed everyone outdoors on Christmas Day.

Most of the attractions in Balboa Park were closed for the holiday. Museums, cafes, cottages, and historic buildings were locked up tight. But by the afternoon a good crowd filled El Prado, enjoying the beauty of the park, street performers, and sunshine.

I did note the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad was operating, as was the San Diego Zoo.

At two o’clock the free Sunday concert went on as always at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Outstanding local organist Russ Peck played a Christmas medley, highlights from The Sound of Music, and assorted Christmas carol favorites. I heard voices in the audience singing along!

Here come a few photographs…

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A spinning Sexy Helix adds color to Oceanside!

A spinning Sexy Helix now stands in front of the Oceanside Museum of Art. Those who walk past the curvaceous artwork might be dazzled. The kinetic sculpture casts colorful shards of light in every direction as it turns in the Southern California sunshine!

Sexy Helix was created by artist Deanne Sabeck. The sculpture is part of the museum’s current Legacy: 25 Years of Art and Community exhibition. Visitors pausing at the front entrance can watch the wind spin the sculpture, or give a gentle push with a finger.

Rainbow fragments spill and reflect from the sensuous curve of dichroic glass.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Tiles made by kids at Del Mar lifeguard station!

The other day, as I walked around to the north side of the 17th Street Lifeguard Tower in Del Mar, I discovered many tiles that had been painted by kids!

The tiles are dated 2008, 2009 and 2010. (Looking closer, I see a 2012, too.)

I can find nothing online concerning this project, so leave what you know in a comment. I’m guessing the artwork was created by families that reside in Del Mar.

In any event, enjoy these colorful bits of art. The painted tiles are bright with sunshine and beachy happiness!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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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!

Reflections where an old courthouse stood.

The old downtown San Diego Superior Court building that once stood on Broadway was demolished over two years ago.

On the vanished courthouse’s large city block a 37-story mixed-use tower, called West, has risen. The project is now rapidly approaching completion.

New windows installed on the building’s exterior have brightened downtown with more mirror maze reflections!

I took these photographs today as I walked west on Broadway, then north up Union Street beside the Hall of Justice toward San Diego’s five-year-old Central Courthouse.

On a sunny day the blue sky seems painted on the shining glass!

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 sunny Labor Day walk along the Embarcadero.

Please enjoy photographs taken today of a sunny Labor Day walk along San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Labor Day usually draws huge crowds to the waterfront. But this year the boardwalk was relatively uncrowded. I suppose the heat wave might have something to do with that, plus the fact the Embarcadero had no big Labor Day events scheduled this year.

I began with a visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I then walked south to the pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South…

A sunlit sailboat on San Diego Bay, seen through the rigging of famous tall ship Star of India.

These guys were “learning the ropes” aboard Star of India. Sailors handling complicated tall ships have much to learn and remember.

Across Harbor Drive, the exterior of the County Administration Building is receiving a new paint job.

Inside the passenger deck of the Maritime Museum’s historic steam ferry Berkeley, a new drink called Aguas Frescas was being promoted by Minute Maid. Thirsty from the heat outside, I greedily guzzled two!

Walking south along the boardwalk past Portside Pier. It appears many others were also thirsty for refreshment.

Pollution Control Vessel Seaward Endeavor docked at the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal. A multi-function ship for charter recently acquired by Hornblower, Seaward Endeavor was originally commissioned in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

People wait in line to board either the Coronado ferry or a San Diego harbor cruise–I didn’t pay close enough attention.

A Flagship harbor cruise heads out into the bay past USS Midway.

In the distance, docked at North Island, I see two active aircraft carriers: the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Carl Vinson.

A young audience is captivated by the singing of friendly street musician Gary Reid.

Lots of vendors were set up for Labor Day near the USS Midway Museum.

All sorts of wares are displayed on tables along the boardwalk.

An artist had painted San Diego landmark statue Embracing Peace, often referred to as The Kiss.

A churro and esquites vendor pushes his food cart into place.

Embracing Peace, a sculpture based on an iconic 1945 photograph taken in Times Square at the end of World War II. The huge statue by Seward Johnson was originally called Ultimate Surrender.

Looking past a bronze service member, part of the “National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military” public artwork near The Fish Market restaurant.

Some people are partying out on the water.

Beyond the USS San Diego Memorial, construction continues on one of the new RaDD (Research and Development District) buildings.

Heading past Ruocco Park and Tuna Harbor toward Seaport Village. No huge crowds this Labor Day.

Almost to Seaport Village.

Folks pose by a Seaport Village fountain surrounded by touristy shops.

They say Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, so these Autumn-themed banners at the Alamo Flag shop should be popular.

Pink flamingos and beach lounges facing the bright blue water, however, mean summer!

Passengers get ready to board a San Diego Seal Tour. They’ll drive to Shelter Island and enter the water via a boat ramp there.

Musicians play to empty tables at Seaport Village.

Continuing my leisurely walk toward the Marriott Marina.

The silvery Marriott Marquis shines as usual.

A ladder way up there! A strange photo, right?

A perfect day to skate between the San Diego Convention Center and the Rady Shell.

And a perfect day to kayak, too!

An easy (but very warm) Labor Day walk arrives at the fishing pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

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!

One very cool place on a very hot day!

This Labor Day weekend we’re experiencing a big heat wave in San Diego.

Many are taking refuge indoors, relying on air-conditioning or fans. Others, who’d rather be outside, are heading to the beaches.

But there’s one outdoor place that’s even cooler than a beach. A pier! Particularly the always very “cool” Ocean Beach Pier!

Walk along the OB Pier’s nearly 2000 foot length and feel the refreshing sea breeze. Perhaps stop halfway out at the Walking On Water Cafe to grab a lemonade or ice cream.

Look at the banners flutter in the wind as gulls wheel overhead!

At the Ocean Beach pier’s end you are well out over the water. The ocean-cooled air is inviting, invigorating. The one cooler spot would be straight down, surfing or swimming.

And to think those people on the beach are practically frying on the sand!

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 sunny Easter walk in San Diego!

It’s Easter Sunday! The sun is shining in San Diego and it feels like Spring!

How perfect for a long, leisurely walk around downtown San Diego.

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!

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!

Beautiful geometry at South Chula Vista Library.

In the quiet of a public library, the world’s infinite pages readily open and curious minds flourish.

Certain libraries offer even more. They are designed for the spirit. The South Branch of the Chula Vista Library is such a place. It’s an urban retreat where eyes hungry for beauty can feast!

I walked around the South Chula Vista Library last weekend. I had never visited it before.

The building’s unusual architecture became apparent as I approached from the street.

Wandering about, I was struck by the many basic geometric shapes that, joined together, help produce the library’s unique beauty. Colorful forms are contrasted with green plant life, and the many indoor and outdoor windows make the library feel like a fluid three-dimensional space that’s both intimate and part of a larger sunny world. Anyway, that’s what I felt. I felt inspired.

The South Chula Vista Branch Library was built under the direction of renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legorretta in 1995. Learn more about the architect and his other work here.

I took these random photos…

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Endless bright sailboats on San Diego Bay!

This beautiful Sunday afternoon, there seemed to be an endless procession of bright, colorful sailboats down San Diego Bay!

I took photographs from the Embarcadero as a crowd of small dreamlike sails approached from distant Shelter Island. The billowing, many-colored sails grew larger and larger as the boats filed past North Island.

I believe most of these sailboats were participating in the San Diego Yacht Club’s CR914 WINTER SERIES II. Correct me if I’m mistaken!

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!