Graffiti Art Park at UC San Diego.

Some might be surprised that at UC San Diego, a premier research university, where faculty and staff have been awarded an astonishing 71 Nobel Prizes, student graffiti is encouraged.

Spray painted creativity and thoughts written by students fill several large boards at UCSD’s colorful Graffiti Art Park. The art park is located among eucalyptus trees south of Mandeville Auditorium, near Art of Espresso’s outdoor patio.

As you can see, some of the artwork is quite striking.

I read the numerous posted rules and then pondered possible contradictions. How free is the speech? And isn’t graffiti about breaking rules?

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New international cottages to be built in Balboa Park.

New International Cottages display explains expansion plans in Balboa Park. Photo taken during December Nights.
New International Cottages display explains expansion plans in Balboa Park. Photo taken during December Nights.

If everything goes according to plan, ground will be broken in 2016 at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Nine new international cottages are going to be built in Balboa Park!

The nations looking forward to having new cottages are Mexico, India, Colombia, Lebanon, Palestine, Peru, Panama, Turkey and the Philippines. While Palestine today is a community of people rather than a recognized nation with borders, like Scotland they’ll share their culture with Balboa Park’s visitors in their own unique cottage.

Nineteen cottages exist today. Nine more cottages will soon be built. But that still leaves many nations on a waiting list. Each member “House” must raise their own funds for construction, as no taxpayer money is used.

During December Nights, I took a photo of a map showing where the structures will be built. It appears to me there’s room for even more cottages in the future!

Map shows where nine new structures will be built at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Map shows where new structures will be built at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.

Six new international houses will be built in this grassy area, which is southwest of the existing cottages.
Six new international cottages are coming to this grassy area, which is southwest of the existing cottages.

A view from a different angle includes the Balboa Park Club and some bicyclists.
A view from a different angle includes the Balboa Park Club and some bicyclists.

A photograph of some existing international cottages in Balboa Park.
A photograph of some existing international cottages in Balboa Park.

Our purpose is to bring into close association the people of the various national groups . . . to foster and cultivate a spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance and goodwill.
Our purpose is to bring into close association the people of the various national groups . . . to foster and cultivate a spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance and goodwill.

This property is owned by the City of San Diego and is being utilized for the benefit of the general public through the joint cooperation of the city and United Nations Association.
This property is owned by the City of San Diego and is being utilized for the benefit of the general public through the joint cooperation of the City and United Nations Association.

People visit the United Nations Building, at Balboa Park's unique House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
People visit the United Nations Building, at Balboa Park’s unique House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.

UPDATE!

I learned in July 2016 that nearly all the bureaucratic hoops have now been jumped through in order to begin construction. All that remains is approval from the San Diego City Council. It’s hoped the new cottages will be completed in 2017, just in time for the December Nights celebration!

ANOTHER UPDATE!

Now it is hoped the cottages will be completed in 2018. Apparently the construction costs have increased dramatically. And each nation must raise money to build their own cottage.

FINALLY!

Construction began in 2019! You can see one photo of the very early construction here!

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