The Wizard of Oz house in Coronado.

Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum rented this house in Coronado.
Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum rented this house in Coronado.

L. Frank Baum is one of America’s most beloved authors. He wrote the Wizard of Oz series of novels.

Baum, who lived in South Dakota, spent many winters at this rented house in Coronado, where he wrote three novels: Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz and The Road to Oz, plus significant portions of The Marvelous Land of Oz.

When not writing, he enjoyed himself at the nearby Hotel del Coronado. The Victorian architecture of the famous beach resort is said to be the inspiration for much of the fantastic imagery in the Oz novels.  He personally designed the huge crown-shaped chandeliers in the hotel’s grand Crown Room.

Today, the island city of Coronado has two nicknames: the Crown City and the Emerald City.

Wizard of Oz Ave sign above front door.
Wizard of Oz Ave sign above front door.
L. Frank Baum wrote several Wizard of Oz novels at this house.
L. Frank Baum wrote several Wizard of Oz novels at this house.
The Wizard of Oz house is located in Coronado, the Emerald City.
The Wizard of Oz house is located in Coronado, the Emerald City.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

To eyes that see, these words give life.

shakespeare sonnet by old globe theatre

This small monument to William Shakespeare is located just across from the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, not far from the Old Globe Theatre. The San Diego Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden can be glimpsed in the background, beyond a fence.

The words beneath the Bard’s sculpted head and pen compose the memorable conclusion to his Sonnet 18:

“So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

reading in plaza by old globe theatre

These nearby tables in Balboa Parks’s theatre complex are a fine place to find life in the written word.

Chargers kicker Nick Novak at Kids Newsday.

chargers kicker nick novak at kids newsday

Our leisurely walk through Balboa Park has been interrupted by a great pic I got this morning!

Outstanding kicker Nick Novak and other Chargers players were out on busy street corners to help with Kids Newsday, which raises money for Rady Children’s Hospital! They were handing out newspapers filled with cool articles written by kids while collecting donations from passing motorists.

In this photo, Nick is being interviewed by a Union Tribune journalist in Mission Valley. You can see other participants holding yellow signs across the intersection.

Ray Bradbury and crazy Horton Plaza.

This escalator goes up one level, but no escalator goes down right here!
This escalator goes up one level, but there’s no immediate way back down!

Horton Plaza, San Diego’s colorful downtown shopping mall, was inspired by a concept put forth by famous science fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury. The crazy, jumbled design was based on Ray Bradbury’s essay “The Aesthetics of Lostness” which took joy in the notion of becoming safely lost on the side streets of Paris, London or New York.

While walking about Horton Plaza, you’ll see ramps, escalators, bridges and stairs that go every which way–up, down, across–leading you to new unexpected vistas. One mysterious escalator will take you up one level, but there’s no immediate way to return from where you came. You must let your eyes rove to discover another route. It’s really a fun idea!

I believe I took these pics on a Sunday morning, and few people had yet arrived.

Random ramps and bridges all over the shopping mall.
Random ramps and bridges all over the shopping mall.
Crazy, colorful Horton Plaza.
Crazy, colorful Horton Plaza.

San Diego’s new library has a grand opening!

people arrive for san diego library celebration

Check out these photos of the new San Diego Central Library’s grand opening! Located in East Village, one block from Petco Park, the new downtown library is a state-of-the-art multi-use facility containing a high school, job training center, auditorium, art gallery, sculpture courtyard, terraces with amazing city and bay views, roof gardens, and half a dozen community meeting rooms. Thirty years in the making, it’s enormous, beautiful and really amazing!

At the “Celebration and Sneak Peek” event, held late this morning, dignitaries, local politicians and benefactors gathered on an outdoor stage to dedicate the new library. A large crowd gathered to watch and applaud, showing great enthusiasm for San Diego’s new urban landmark.

The first photo, above, shows the festive arch through which many attendees arrived. On it are the words: THE STORY BEGINS. DISCOVER YOUR NEXT CHAPTER. The various colorful condos and office buildings you see are located in San Diego’s thriving East Village neighborhood.

navy band arrives for new library dedication

The second photo shows members of the regional Navy Band assembling by some tents not far from the stage. They would perform during the historic ceremony. The yellowish-orange building on the right is a tiny glimpse of Petco Park.

san diego gay men's chorus performs

The next photo shows the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus performing while dignitaries gather on the stage. The diverse crowd has become quite large and enthusiastic.

colorful people in crowd at library opening

A variety of costumed people could be spotted in the audience, and among the large crowds surrounding the library. They looked like roving characters from a Shakespeare Festival!

presentation of colors at library grand opening

Everyone here is watching the presentation of colors, just before the speeches begin. The kids in front of the stage are the San Diego Children’s Choir, who sang their hearts out. At the podium stands interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

big crowd at san diego library grand opening

Here’s a wider photograph of the ceremony, taken while the requisite speeches were underway. The unique open metal dome of the new San Diego Central Library shines brilliantly in the sun!

kids have fun at san diego library celebration

Lastly, here’s a pic taken on 11th Avenue beside our fantastic, functional new downtown library. Numerous booths were attracting a stream of curious people. Information concerning community services, activities, educational opportunities, and all sorts of interesting stuff was made available to the public. This booth encouraged young kids to sing and create their own art.

The new library opens to the public for its first full day this coming Monday!

Chalk wisdom on the Cabrillo Bridge.

seven days without love make one weak

Someone in San Diego has a funny bone. They wrote a whole mess of silly but pithy quotes with chalk on the Cabrillo Bridge sidewalk. You know, where joggers and walkers pass over Highway 163 heading into Balboa Park. The scribe must’ve done this days ago, because the chalk is fading.

Depicted in this photo is the astute observation: Seven days without love make one weak.