More stunning beauty in the Botanical Building.

The Botanical Building in Balboa Park is a garden paradise. I love to walk through it, searching right and left for small scenes of stunning beauty.

This afternoon I managed to capture some good 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!

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

Photos of the San Diego Wooden Boat Festival!

A few vessels the public can visit during the San Diego Wooden Boat Festival at the Koehler Kraft boatyard on Shelter Island.
A few vessels the public can visit during the San Diego Wooden Boat Festival at the Koehler Kraft boatyard on Shelter Island.

Yesterday I headed over to Shelter Island to check out the annual San Diego Wooden Boat Festival. The event is taking place all Father’s Day weekend at the Koehler Kraft boatyard. Proceeds from the festival help out local charities.

Koehler Kraft is where many wooden boat owners head if their vessel needs a repair or upgrade. The boatyard was founded in 1938. I enjoyed poking around the place, and examining some very cool vintage wooden boats. There were also beautiful newer boats, and a few had unusual, fascinating designs.

Enjoy my photos and read the captions to learn more!

A look at the Koehler Kraft boatyard from a platform that juts out over the edge of Shelter Cove Marina in Americas Cup Harbor.
A look at the Koehler Kraft boatyard from a platform that juts out over the edge of Shelter Cove Marina in Americas Cup Harbor.
People walk out to look at some wooden boats during a very cool festival on Shelter Island.
People walk out to look at some wooden boats during a very cool festival on Shelter Island.
Koehler Kraft's San Diego Wooden Boat Festival is taking place on Father's Day weekend.
Koehler Kraft’s San Diego Wooden Boat Festival is taking place on Father’s Day weekend.
Various boats in the boatyard are being worked on. Some displays show the public how wooden boats are made.
Various boats in the boatyard are being worked on. Some displays show the public how wooden boats are made.
One can see the framework of this small wooden boat.
One can see the exposed framework of this small wooden boat.
Inside the Koehler Kraft building are several more wooden boats. The big one being worked on is Siwash, a 1910 yawl that held the round Catalina time record for 27 years.
Inside the Koehler Kraft building are several more wooden boats. The big one being worked on is Siwash, a 1910 yawl that held the round Catalina time record for 27 years.
Friendly folks show off lots of cool stuff at Koehler Kraft.
Friendly folks show off lots of cool stuff at Koehler Kraft.
I love how wood is everywhere. Working here must be a woodworkers dream.
I love how wood is everywhere. Working here must be a woodworker’s dream.
Another boat is being worked upon. The varnished wood is simply beautiful.
Another boat is being worked upon. The varnished wood is simply beautiful.
Now we're outside again, looking down at the water where many boats crafted from wood await.
Now we’re outside again, looking down at the water where many boats crafted from wood await.
Boats can be moved into and out of the water using these old rails and a wheeled platform.
Boats can be moved into and out of the water using these old rails and a wheeled platform.
The Marjorie is an elegant wooden boat.
The Marjorie is an elegant wooden boat.
Visitors to the San Diego Wooden Boat Festival check out a variety of interesting vessels.
Visitors to the San Diego Wooden Boat Festival check out a variety of interesting vessels.
This small boat is named Tom. It's a 2015 catboat. Carvel planked Port Oxford cedar on white oak frames.
This small boat is named Tom. It’s a 2015 catboat. Carvel planked Port Oxford cedar on white oak frames.
The stern of Old Glory.
Water reflects rippled light on the smooth stern of Old Glory.
Some guys and a dog on the deck of Sally, of the San Diego Yacht Club.
Some guys and a dog on the deck of Sally, of the San Diego Yacht Club.
Wooden boats have amazing character. Even the weathering adds personality.
Wooden boats have amazing character. Even the weathering adds personality.
One's eyes can take delight in these boats all day long.
One’s eyes can take delight in these boats all day long.
I believe I've seen the Patricia Belle at the yearly Festival of Sail. It's a schooner cargo type boat built in 1998.
I believe I’ve seen the Patricia Belle at the yearly Festival of Sail. It’s a schooner cargo type boat built in 1998.
Everyone is checking out these great boats!
Everyone is checking out these great boats!
Someone peers down into a beautiful wooden sailboat.
Someone peers down into a beautiful wooden sailboat.

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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The fantastic art of Richard Deacon in San Diego!

Double Talk by artist Richard Deacon, winner of the Turner Prize. Laminated wood and imitation leather. 1987.
Double Talk by artist Richard Deacon, winner of the Turner Prize. Laminated wood and imitation leather. 1987.

Look at these photos! Enjoy a taste of some wonders that have materialized inside the San Diego Museum of Art!

My docent friend took me on a tour yesterday morning of the jaw-dropping exhibition Richard Deacon: What You See Is What You Get. The abstract artwork of this world-renowned British contemporary sculptor, winner of the Turner Prize, is being shown for the first time in a major American museum–right here at the San Diego Museum of Art!

I don’t know how to begin explaining the various pieces. I did plainly see that Richard Deacon takes joy in inventive creation, working diverse materials, seeing organic forms bubble and expand into life. Gazing at his often huge pieces, I felt myself tumbling through a space filled with living shapes, mythological symbols, dreamlike visions. His muscle-crafted marvels have been extracted from infinite possibility, bent into reality.

I don’t know what else to say. I’ve added a little more description in my photo captions. But words are insufficient. What you see is what you get!

It’s great news that this special exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art has been extended through Labor Day, September 04, 2017. Go feast your eyes!

Richard Deacon. What you see is what you get. To see it, head over to the San Diego Museum of Art!
Richard Deacon. What you see is what you get. To see it, head over to the San Diego Museum of Art!
Eyes are met with an astonishing work of abstract art. Dancing in Front of My Eyes, 2006. Wood, aluminum.
Eyes are met with an astonishing work of abstract art. Dancing in Front of My Eyes, 2006. Wood, aluminum.
In places the screws, glue, and the wood itself seem to be unfinished parts of a living whole. The fluid piece undulates from the hand of its inventive creator.
In places screws, glue, and the wood itself seem to be “unfinished” parts of a living whole. The fluid piece undulates from the hand of its inventive creator.
An intangible tangle of shadow on the floor seems to be an important part of the sculpture. The artist calls himself a fabricator.
An intangible tangle of shadow on the floor seems to be an important part of the sculpture. The artist calls himself a fabricator.
An amazing creation, that seems to me like active muscles or tendons in a living body. Dead Leg, 2007. Steamed oak, stainless steel.
An amazing creation, that seems to me like active muscles or tendons in a living body. Dead Leg, 2007. Steamed oak, stainless steel.
The wood is artistically bent using steam and heat. During this process, Richard Deacon has about two minutes to permanently alter the wood’s shape.
This looks to me like supple leather. A portion of Fish out of Water. Laminated hardboard, screws. 1986-87.
This looks to me like supple leather. A portion of Fish out of Water. Laminated hardboard, screws. 1986-87.
Richard Deacon creates astonishing art using many different materials. These huge pieces are ceramic. They seem to have bubbled up from the Earth, or the artist's mind.
Richard Deacon creates astonishing art using many different materials. These huge pieces are ceramic. They seem to have bubbled up from the Earth, or the artist’s mind.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow C. Glazed ceramic. 2000.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow C. Glazed ceramic. 2000.
Housing 10, 2012. Marbling on folded STPI handmade paper, constructed with magnet button.
Housing 10, 2012. Marbling on folded STPI handmade paper, constructed with magnet button.
Richard Deacon enjoys playful, suggestive language and has called this huge piece Double Talk. The viewer can decide what is meant.
Richard Deacon enjoys playful, suggestive language and has called this huge piece Double Talk. The viewer can decide what is meant.
The abstract sculpture stretches and curves in an inviting way. It is both natural and larger than life.
The abstract sculpture stretches and curves in an inviting way. It is both natural and larger than life.
Falling on Deaf Ears, No. 1. Galvanized steel, canvas. 1984. My docent friend explained this represents the ship of Odysseus, as he sailed by the treacherous Sirens.
Falling on Deaf Ears, No. 1. Galvanized steel, canvas. 1984. My docent friend explained this represents the ship of Odysseus, as he sailed past the treacherous Sirens.
Across this room soars Like a Bird. Laminated wood, 1984. Richard Deacon creates spacious wonders that tickle the mind and expand the spirit.
Across this room soars Like a Bird. Laminated wood, 1984. Richard Deacon creates spacious wonders that tickle the mind and expand the spirit.

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!

The Journey, fun interactive artwork at the Old Globe!

Something cool has sprung up at the center of Balboa Park's theater complex.
Something cool has sprung up at the center of Balboa Park’s theater complex.

Look what I spied today during my walk through Balboa Park! Some people were milling around an interesting work of interactive art in front of the Old Globe, and I had to check it out. Turns out I had stumbled upon The Journey, some fun outdoor artwork created by Dan Reeves. The Journey is inspired by the Old Globe Theatre’s production of Steve Martin’s play Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

I learned this is a section of a larger torus that will appear at the next Burning Man. The Journey is a mortise and tenon structure made of wood, which produces a unique lighting and audio experience best seen at night. Illuminated with colorful LED lights, people can pose for photographs!

Better check it out soon. The Journey will be on display at the Old Globe until this Sunday, January 19!

The Journey is a small section of a larger torus that will be a brilliant, spectacular work of art at Burning Man.
The Journey is a small section of a larger torus that will be a brilliant, spectacular work of art at Burning Man.
The Journey is on view at the Old Globe Theatre's Copley Plaza through this Sunday, February 19. A cool experience inspired by the Steve Martin play Picasso at the Lapin Agile.
The Journey is on view at the Old Globe Theatre’s Copley Plaza through this Sunday, February 19. A cool experience inspired by the Steve Martin play Picasso at the Lapin Agile.
Pose in this uniquely colorful work of art after dark and you can have a spectacular photo taken!
Pose in this uniquely colorful work of art after dark and you can have a spectacular photo taken!

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 new poop deck debuts on Star of India!

This is the first weekend visitors to the Star of India can walk on the beautiful new poop deck!
This is the first weekend visitors to the Star of India can walk on the beautiful new poop deck!

We all are a part of history. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that.

The people at the Maritime Museum of San Diego are contributing to history by restoring the main deck of the world-famous Star of India. The poop deck is finished! Visitors can now enjoy the beautiful new wood deck and varnished helm and imagine putting to sea steering the romantic wheel. On a historic tall ship that is now 153 years old!

Beautifully varnished wood underfoot, meant to last another 50 or so years. The bench along the saloon's skylight will be sanded and varnished next.
The beautiful new wood deck underfoot is meant to last another 50 or so years. The bench along the saloon’s skylight will be sanded and varnished next.
The 1863 Star of India is a world treasure. It's the oldest active sailing ship in the world!
The 1863 Star of India is a world treasure. Its amazing, varied history includes circumnavigating the globe 21 times. It’s the oldest active sailing ship in the world!
A visitor rang the ship's cheerful bell while his friends talked near the binnacle and helm.
A visitor rang the ship’s cheerful bell while his friends talked near the binnacle and helm.
The helm's new varnish is still drying! In my dreams I command this amazing tall ship while standing at the wheel!
The helm’s new varnish is still drying! In my dreams I command this amazing tall ship while standing at the wheel!
A super nice Maritime Museum docent showed me how the steering mechanism works. The two opposing screw-like worms were made with amazing precision over 150 years ago!
A super nice Maritime Museum docent showed me how the steering mechanism works. The two opposing screw-like worms were made with amazing precision over 150 years ago!
The port side of the main deck has been caulked! Now just to sand and apply several layers of sealing protection.
The port side of the main deck has been caulked! Now just to sand and apply several layers of sealing protection.
The people at the Maritime Museum of San Diego are working hard to keep an important part of world history alive.
The people at the Maritime Museum of San Diego are working hard to keep an important part of world history alive.
A contrast of the finished main deck on the starboard side. Soon the entire ship's deck will be shiny like new!
The finished main deck on the starboard side. Soon the entire ship’s deck will be shiny like new!
Folks enjoy a sunny San Diego day on the newly restored poop deck of the historic tall ship Star of India.
Folks enjoy a sunny San Diego day on the newly restored poop deck of the historic tall ship Star of India.

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Lumberjacks, bicycles and a mysterious tombstone!

Mural depicting three lumberjacks and one enormous tree on the wall of Made Lumber Supply in San Diego.
Mural depicting three lumberjacks and one enormous tree on the wall of Made Lumber Supply in San Diego.

After snapping some photos of this morning’s San Diego River Estuary cleanup (which I’ll blog about tonight), I decided to take a short stroll through a small part of the city that I’ve never thoroughly explored: the few blocks around Sherman Street, near Morena Boulevard.

When I ride to work on the trolley’s Green Line, I often gaze out at a mural of lumberjacks near the old location of the San Diego Humane Society. This morning, as I investigated the mural and surrounding area, look what else I discovered!

Underneath the trolley bridge over Friars Road. Images of animals used to be on the side of this building, Perhaps they were removed when the San Diego Humane Society moved to Gaines Street.
Underneath the trolley bridge over Friars Road. Images of animals used to be on the side of this building, Perhaps they were removed when the San Diego Humane Society moved to nearby Gaines Street.
Another photo of the lumberjack mural, just beyond some real lumber!
Another photo of the lumberjack mural, just beyond some real lumber!
A fourth lumberjack holds a long saw on the side of Made Lumber Supply.
A fourth lumberjack holds a long saw on the side of Made Lumber Supply.
Gigantic ants crawl in a line along the wall of Lloyd Pest Control.
Gigantic ants crawl in a line along the wall of Lloyd Pest Control.
A cool decorative bicycle suspended from a wall. I spotted this at the Reusable Finds resale and repurpose store , near their entrance.
A cool decorative bicycle suspended from a wall. I spotted this at the Reusable Finds resale and repurpose store, near their entrance.
Another rusty bike hanging above a trunk full of flowers.
Another old bike hanging above a trunk full of flowers.
Mural of a fashionable lady on the wall behind the Leatherock leather goods store.
Mural of a fashionable lady on the wall behind the Leatherock leather goods store.
Mysterious wooden tombstone with name of Juan Mendoza, who was shot by Cave Couts in the back with a double-barreled shotgun in Old Town San Diego, February 6, 1865.
Mysterious wooden tombstone with name of Juan Mendoza, who was shot by Cave Couts in the back with a double-barreled shotgun in Old Town San Diego, February 6, 1865.

Look what I stumbled upon at the west end of the old San Diego Humane Society’s parking lot! What appears to be a historic wooden grave marker! Is it real? Why is it here?

You might remember my recent blog post about the Wells Fargo Museum in Old Town. Cave Couts built the wood-frame hotel called the Colorado House in 1851 and became an influential resident of early San Diego. But by some accounts he was a sketchy character. On February 6, 1865 he shot a disgruntled former employee (who worked on one of Cave Couts’ ranches) in the back with a shotgun. This violated the unspoken “Code of the West”. The unfortunate victim who died was Juan Mendoza. A couple years ago I photographed a cross with Juan Mendoza’s name on it at the El Campo Santo cemetery located in Old Town, and I blogged about that here.

So why is there a mysterious wooden tombstone at this location? This marker doesn’t appear a century and a half old. Was it a prop? Is it a prank? Is Mendoza actually buried here? The spot isn’t far from Old Town.  Perhaps someone knows the full story about this completely unexpected discovery. I you do, leave a comment!

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!

Make a “lending library” box for your community!

A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody's front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!
A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody’s front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!

Here’s a cool idea that almost anyone can bring to life!

Once in a while, as I walk about, I notice cabinet-like wooden boxes on neighborhood streets that are filled with books. They’re usually placed near a sidewalk–a spot that anybody passing by can easily reach. These community “lending library” boxes are filled with used books, magazines and other reading material that neighbors can freely borrow and return when they please. Anybody can add to the small library. Now that’s very cool!

Here are photos of three boxes I’ve come across. Their designs appear to be rather simple. They can be built however one likes, as long as the inside shelves are visible and waterproof. And they can be painted creatively!

Does your neighborhood have a “lending library” book box? Looks like a fun, inspirational project! It enriches the life of your community and promotes literacy!

A lending library book box built like a cabinet along the Fifth Avenue sidewalk on Bankers Hill. The contents are always changing. Today the shelves were almost empty!
A lending library book box built like a two-door cabinet along a sidewalk in San Diego. The contents are always changing. Today the shelves were almost empty!
This fancy book box has a sliding glass door and sloped roof. You can find this tiny library at the east end of the Quince Street Trestle pedestrian bridge in Bankers Hill.
This fancy book box has a sliding glass door and sloped roof. You can find this tiny library at the east end of the Quince Street Trestle pedestrian bridge in Bankers Hill!

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 short works of fiction that I’ve written, visit my special writing blog Short Stories by Richard!