Plein Air painters interpret Balboa Park’s beauty.

A group of plein air painters were at work today in and near Balboa Park’s rose garden.

As I wandered through the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, I peered over a couple of shoulders to see how different eyes might interpret the nearby beauty, including Balboa Park’s Desert Garden and Florida Canyon. A couple of the artists kindly let me take photos close up.

I learned these are students enjoying the Plein Air Painting: A Working Method workshop offered by the UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies. Perhaps one day I’ll sign up.

Plein air artists have endless material in beautiful Balboa Park. Set up your easel anywhere!

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Trolley Dances returns to San Diego!

The Trolley Dances have returned to San Diego!

The San Diego Dance Theater’s 24th Annual Trolley Dances are being held this year near several trolley Blue Line stations, in and around UC San Diego.

Five dances are included in this extremely unique event. Mobile groups gather to watch a dance, then ride the trolley to view performances at other locations!

Several of the dances this year take place next to the UCSD Central Campus Station. I was lucky enough to watch one group of dancers rehearsing before the first spectators would arrive.

The contemporary dance I previewed is called Estudiantes. The choreographer is Minerva Tapia. The dance is dedicated to all students, whose efforts and studies help make the world a better place. The dance moves were hopeful, exuberant, triumphant. My camera captured some smiles, too!

If you want to learn more about the Trolley Dances, here’s their website. The dances can be enjoyed this weekend only. If they’re sold out, make sure to mark this cool event on your calendar for next year!

The extension of the trolley’s Blue Line through UC San Diego, which the mobile audience is riding, opened late last year. I rode this new Mid-Coast Trolley extension on its Opening Day and posted photos here. (As you’ll see, the San Diego Dance Theater performed on that historic day, too!)

By the way, the Estudiantes dance in these photos takes place near the entrance to the new, high tech UCSD Design and Innovation Building, which I toured earlier this year soon after it opened. Check out those photos here.

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Sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga at UC San Diego.

Yucateca Sentada is a beautiful bronze sculpture slightly off the beaten path at UC San Diego. It can be discovered by observant students passing down the Ridge Walk through Thurgood Marshall College, by the Administration Building. A walkway leads west to a bench that faces the life-size sculpture. (It isn’t far from Sojourner Truth, another bronze sculpture beside the Ridge Walk.)

Yucateca Sentada (Seated Woman of the Yucatan) was created by renowned Costa Rican-born Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga in 1976. It was donated to UC San Diego in 1983 by Elsa Dekking and UCSD physics professor Keith Brueckner. That was back when Marshall College was called Third College.

Here’s a photo taken right after its installation, with Chancellor Richard C. Atkinson providing a few words. There’s also an article in the October 3, 1983 issue of The UCSD Guardian concerning the dedication. You can read that here on page 7.

When I first saw this beautiful piece, so radiant with elemental humanity and silent dignity, I thought it might be a work of famed San Diego artist Donal Hord. It’s similar to two works I’ve seen by Hord, Spring Stirring and Aztec.

Then I realized I’d seen another very fine sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga in San Diego. His Mother and Daughter Seated can be found near the front entrance of the San Diego Museum of Art.

I photographed Mother and Daughter Seated back in 2016, as it and various other sculptures were being installed in Balboa Park’s outdoor Plaza de Panama. You can enjoy those photos 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!

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What’s inside a high tech ocean buoy?

Perhaps you’ve seen those spherical yellow buoys bobbing on the ocean off San Diego’s coast. Have you ever wondered what’s inside them?

Well, there’s a CDIP (Coastal Data Information Program) buoy on display near the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. And a nearby sign describes the technology that makes a buoy such a valuable resource of information!

Buoys like this one measure wave height, period, direction and sea surface temperature information.

The data is used by coastal engineers, planners, scientists, harbor masters, lifeguards, mariners, boaters, surfers, divers, fishers and beach-goers! That’s a lot of people who benefit from buoys!

Inside a plain-looking buoy there are various high tech instruments, including accelerometers, magnetometers, a thermometer, acoustic pingers, a computer, GPS and antenna to transmit all the collected, archived information!

(Did you know biofoul was a word? I didn’t!)

Next time I see one of these yellow CDIP buoys, I’ll have a much greater appreciation of what they are!

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!

Gray whales breach at Birch Aquarium!

Have you seen those huge gray whales breaching in La Jolla? They emerge from a pool of water near the front entrance of Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography!

The impressive whale sculptures stopped me in my tracks during my visit to the aquarium a couple weekends ago. Together they are titled The Legacy. This awe-inspiring public art was created by artist Randy Puckett.

According to his website: “At the time of its installation in 1996, THE LEGACY was the only life size bronze sculpture in the world of any of the large whales: at 39 feet 10 inches tall, it was the second largest bronze sculpture ever cast in the U.S. This life size work features a breaching Gray Whale and calf, and the diving tail of a third Gray Whale displayed in two fountains….”

Families and kids approaching Birch Aquarium from the nearby parking lot are absolutely wowed by these monumental sculptures. You understand the immense size of a gray whale when you stand right next to them.

I noticed two identical plaques placed at The Legacy…

In Memoriam Edward W. “Ted” Scripps II

“I have long hoped to do something for the institution. I seem to have the same salt in my veins as did my grandfather.”

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

UCSD

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Sojourner Truth walks through San Diego.

Every day, every moment, Sojourner Truth walks through San Diego.

Students at UC San Diego’s Marshall College might encounter her as they proceed down the Ridge Walk. And if they pause to use curious eyes, they can see her humanity and read her words.

The statue of Sojourner Truth debuted on the campus in 2015. It was created by UCSD alumna Manuelita Brown.

Sojourner Truth was born into slavery but managed to escape it. She became an abolitionist and women’s rights activist who would not be deterred. Feeling guided by God, she testified to the hope that was within her. Read her history here.

Read an article about the sculpture’s dedication ceremony 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!

Culture, spirituality at UC San Diego Powwow.

The UC San Diego 2022 Powwow began late this morning with Bird Singers from the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

As people slowly arrived at Marshall College Field, the singers sang ancient stories of the world’s creation. Traditional dancers and shaken gourd rattles moved in rhythm with the words.

In the San Diego sunshine, the culture and history of the Kumeyaay was alive, passing from heart to heart, from generation to generation.

One of the bird singers explained how culture and spirituality live together hand in hand. The singing takes much time and sacrifice. It is for the people. It brought him and others happiness, enriching life in many ways.

Bringing this beautiful music to our world helps many to thrive in this day and time.

I listened. Took some photos. I stretched my legs and ate some Kumeyaay fry bread with powdered sugar and drizzled honey. Yum!

Bird Singers were followed by Gourd Dancers.

After a little while, I felt the urge to move forward through this amazing world, and I walked again down my path.

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!

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?

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!

Fun at the Barrio Logan STEAM Block Party!

Explosive reactions! A gigantic walking virus! Snakes, molecules, robots and rockets!

Oh, wow! Check out the fun that families and kids enjoyed today during the Barrio Logan STEAM Block Party, part of this year’s very cool San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering!

There was much to see, do and learn in the outdoor plaza of Mercado del Barrio!

The event featured immensely entertaining live science demonstrations, creative kids activities, and even a bunch of awesome lowriders on display! I was personally pleased to see the substantial community involvement by UC San Diego.

Look at the great event attendance!
There’s plenty of science and technology to learn from lowriders–especially the hydraulics!
Check out this awesome lowrider!
Everywhere I turned, people were engaged in hands-on learning at this Barrio Logan Science and Art Expo!
Young Women in Bio.

I saw a demo of the above very cool science video game Microscopya, designed by Dr. Beata Mierzwa, an artist and UCSD molecular biologist! Students learn about cells and human biology while having tons of adventurous fun! Check out the web page here!

Friendly folks from the San Diego Public Library!
The ladies of Mad Science make a memorable demonstration using carbon dioxide.
That is planet Earth’s size relative to Jupiter!
Free Trees for your neighborhood!

If you live in San Diego, and want to plant a free street tree where you live, check this out!

EcoVivarium brought snakes, tortoises and other critters for the educational event.
A scientific experiment in progress.
Concentrating on science.
Two very impressive young men give a presentation concerning groundwater.
Look at all the drones!
That’s the biggest virus I’ve ever seen! I didn’t bring enough hand sanitizer.
That’s either goop or slime.
A smile!
The Vulcan-1 rocket, built by students at UC San Diego. It’s the world’s first undergraduate rocket powered by a 3D printed engine!
What’s the space weather today?
The science of tortillas!
Even very young kids were interested and excited!
STEAM related artwork by local students decorates the event stage.
A hand crank powers different light bulbs.
A fun demonstration of various physics principles by folks from General Atomics.
Yes, the boiling point of liquid nitrogen is -196 degrees celsius! Brrr!
What happened?
Hair-raising 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!

Photos of the historic Old Scripps Building.

Enjoy a few photographs of the historic Old Scripps Building, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

Today the building is referred to as the George H. Scripps Memorial Marine Biological Laboratory. Located on the oceanfront campus a short distance south of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, it stands next to a grassy area called Pawka Green.

Built 1909-1910, the Old Scripps Building was the original home of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which back then was called the Marine Biological Laboratory. The rather modest building (in which founder and director William Emerson Ritter and his wife also lived) contained research laboratories, offices, and even a public aquarium.

Today, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography has grown into a world-famous campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and is part of the University of California, San Diego.

The two-story Old Scripps Building might appear plain at first glance, but look again. The simple, elegant building was designed by none other than renowned architect Irving Gill. His pioneering Modernist designs often integrated simple lines and pure forms. In Southern California’s brilliant sunshine, his spaces are light-filled and welcoming. He also pioneered the use of reinforced concrete. This building is one such example.

In 1982 the Old Scripps Building, due to its historical importance, was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The adjacent Pawka green is dedicated to Steven Sitter Pawka, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography coastal oceanographer and waterman. His sophisticated observations and numerical models improved prediction of coastal waves throughout the world.

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 photos for you to enjoy!