Lion dances and fun in downtown San Diego!

Lion dancer meets small visitor to the 34th Annual 2016 San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.
Lion dancer meets small visitor to the 34th Annual 2016 San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, a special festival is being held this weekend in downtown San Diego, in the historic old Chinatown section, now known as the Asian Thematic District. The event is called the 34th Annual 2016 San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair, and it’s being put on by the San Diego Chinese Center (SDCC). You can find the fun on two blocks adjacent to the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. There are lion dances, drummers, temple dancers, story telling, a kung fu demonstration, and just lots and lots of cool sights.

I walked through the festival this morning around 10 o’clock and observed the opening ceremonies. Here are some colorful pics!

The CCBA Lucky Lion Dancers would soon be heading down the street through the crowd.
The CCBA Lucky Lion Dancers would soon be heading down the street through the crowd.
Tables in front of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum contained arts, crafts and many unique cultural objects.
Tables in front of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum contain arts, crafts and many unique cultural objects.
These funny faces were for sale in a vendor's booth. There was lots of Chinese food and a variety of colorful wares for visitors to purchase.
These funny faces were for sale in a vendor’s booth. There was a lot of Asian food and a variety of colorful wares for visitors to purchase.
Uniquely beautiful Asian art could be seen up and down the street during the San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.
Uniquely beautiful art could be seen up and down the street during the San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.
Anyone could have their name written in Chinese!
Anyone could have their name written in Chinese!
2016 is the Year of the Golden Monkey. Monkey is the ninth zodiac animal in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese calendar.
2016 is the Year of the Golden Monkey. Monkey is the ninth zodiac animal in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese calendar.
The opening ceremony included an elaborate lion dance, then the display of this banner by San Diego dignitaries.
The opening ceremony included an elaborate lion dance on stage, then the display of this banner by San Diego dignitaries.
The energetic, exciting lion dance resumed, and people fed the lions red envelopes full of money for good luck!
The energetic, exciting lion dance resumed, and people fed the lions red envelopes full of money for good luck!
An explosion of lettuce from the hungry lions during the dance was cleaned up on the stage afterward! Lettuce symbolizes a fresh start in a new year.
An explosion of lettuce from the hungry lions during the dance was cleaned up on the stage afterward! Lettuce symbolizes a fresh start in a new year.
A drummer helps spur the dancing lions, a Laughing Buddha and a monkey into action!
A drummer helps spur the dancing lions, a Laughing Buddha and a monkey into action!
A long Chinese dragon on display. I believe a dragon dance would take place later. One of many cool sights at the annual San Diego festival!
A long Chinese dragon on display. I believe a dragon dance would take place later. One of many cool sights at the annual San Diego festival!

If you enjoy my blog, you can follow Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook and Twitter!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Please click Short Stories by Richard.

Give your hand to the Helping Hands Foundation!

Thank you for supporting our kids!
Thank you for supporting our kids!

I was walking along the Embarcadero today when I happened upon a super nice lady who was trying to raise support for the Helping Hands Foundation! What is this organization? They help parents and children affected by a very unfortunate circumstance. According to their website, “Every year, 1 out of 2,000 children in the United States is born with an upper limb anomaly. During childhood, many more lose hands and arms to accidents or disease.”

I learned from the volunteer that they’re sending 100 kids with developmental disabilities, autism and other very difficult physical problems to our world-famous San Diego Zoo! How cool is that?

Would you like to provide a little support for this worthy cause? You’ll make the lives of children and their families so much better. You will add a little needed sunshine to this sometimes difficult old world. What could be more important?

Please visit their website!

This wonderful, smiling lady is spreading sunshine. She's trying to help unfortunate kids live a better life, with days full of joy and happiness. Can you help
This wonderful, smiling lady is spreading sunshine. She’s trying to help unfortunate kids live a better life, with days full of joy and happiness. Can you help?

If you enjoy my blog, you can follow Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook and Twitter!

Are you an unselfish blogger? Do you want to make the world a better place? Please join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

More cool murals in San Diego’s Little Italy!

Mural titled I Pescatori by artist Renee Garcia, 2003. Depicts tuna fishermen who lived in Little Italy (many were Italian immigrants) fishing off the coast of San Diego.
Mural titled I Pescatori by artist Renee Garcia, 2003. Depicts tuna fishermen who lived in Little Italy (many were Italian immigrants) fishing off the coast of San Diego.

About two years ago, I posted some photos of public murals that can be spotted in Little Italy, a beautiful neighborhood in downtown San Diego. This morning, soaking in the warm sunshine, I slowly strolled up India Street once again!

Camera in hand, I captured even more examples of fantastic, colorful artwork. Most of these pics were taken on India Street north of Ivy Street.

This painting of two dancers was in the front patio of a shop or cafe or restaurant of some kind--I forget what, exactly. I had to snap a quick pic.
This painting of two dancers was in the front patio of a shop or cafe or restaurant of some kind–I forget what, exactly. I had to snap a quick pic.
Ben-Hur Coffee. A cool old advertisement on the side of an old brick building in San Diego's hip Little Italy neighborhood.
Ben-Hur Coffee. A cool old advertisement on the side of an old brick building in San Diego’s hip Little Italy neighborhood.
Just a fun artistic tile on a building wall that I noted as I walked up India Street this morning.
Just a fun artistic tile on a building wall that I noted as I walked up India Street this morning.
Several murals that together are titled Eredita Italiana. By Yakov Kandinov, 2004. According to a nearby plaque, this is a Precious Cheese Art Mural Project.
Several murals that together are titled Eredita Italiana. By Yakov Kandinov, 2004. According to a nearby plaque, this is a Precious Cheese Art Mural Project.
A portrait of a proud Italian family that might have lived in this neighborhood.
A portrait of a proud Italian family that might have lived in this neighborhood.
One of the grouped murals depicts the historic Our Lady of the Rosary church in Little Italy.
One of the grouped murals depicts the historic Our Lady of the Rosary church in Little Italy.
Looks like someone else was walking up the sidewalk on India Street--and they had wet shoes!
Looks like someone else was walking up the sidewalk on India Street–and they had wet shoes!
Just a fun sign on a Little Italy antique shop's door. The Bungalow Store.
Just a fun sign on a Little Italy antique shop’s door. The Bungalow Store.
A radiant Madonna above the front door of El Camino, a crazy, kitschy Mexican eatery and bar in San Diego's Little Italy.
A radiant Madonna above the front door of El Camino, a crazy, kitschy Mexican eatery and bar in San Diego’s Little Italy.
Many faces of beauty on exterior wall of El Camino.
Many faces of beauty on an exterior wall of El Camino.
Old, faded graphics on wood wall show a troupe of Mexican mariachis.
Old, faded graphic on wood wall shows a troupe of Mexican mariachis.
Colorful application of kitsch on the outside of El Camino.
Colorful application of kitsch on the outside of El Camino.
A large smiling senorita mural looks right at you.
A large smiling senorita mural looks right at you.
A muy guapo caballero in Little Italy!
Caballero muy guapo in Little Italy!

You can follow Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook and Twitter!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Please click Short Stories by Richard.

A warm morning glow in San Diego.

Gazing east through trees into Balboa Park. The California Tower is a dark spike inside a golden sunrise.
Gazing east through dark trees into Balboa Park. The California Tower is a small spike inside a golden sunrise.

Early yesterday morning, the weather was so pleasant that I decided to walk to work. It’s about a four and a half mile journey. I started from downtown San Diego up Sixth Avenue along the west edge of Balboa Park, walked from Bankers Hill into Hillcrest, then finally descended Bachman Place into Mission Valley.

These photos capture the golden glow of a cloudless sunrise. Moving through the warm morning light was a modest adventure in a magical world.

Buildings along Sixth Avenue on Bankers Hill reflect breaking day one early January morning.
Buildings along Sixth Avenue on Bankers Hill reflect breaking day one early January morning.
A warm glow and reflection on the Redwood Bridge Club sign at the west edge of Balboa Park.
A warm glow and reflection on the Redwood Bridge Club sign at the west edge of Balboa Park.
A stately house at Sixth Avenue and Upas Street seems magical.
A stately house at Sixth Avenue and Upas Street seems magical.
Happy orange flowers poke through some bars along the sidewalk.
Happy orange flowers poke through some bars along the sidewalk.
The Tap House has a glowing light bulb on their business in Hillcrest.
The Tap House has a glowing light bulb on their business in Hillcrest.
The sky is gradually brightening above a shadowy Hillcrest alley.
The sky is gradually brightening above a shadowy Hillcrest alley.
A reddish splash in blue water. The fountain in front of Scripps Mercy Hospital.
A reddish splash in blue water. Morning photo of the fountain in front of Scripps Mercy Hospital.
Eucalyptus trees in warm winter morning light. Photo taken while walking down Bachman Place into Mission Valley.
Eucalyptus trees in warm winter morning light. Photo taken while walking down Bachman Place into Mission Valley.
Reflection in windows of the once-proud San Diego Union Tribune building in Mission Valley. The newspaper offices are moving to a smaller location downtown.
Reflection in windows of the once-proud San Diego Union Tribune building in Mission Valley. The newspaper offices are moving to a smaller location downtown.

You can follow Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook and Twitter!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Please click Short Stories by Richard.

Cool art battle: An elephant versus a dinosaur!

Exotic elephant on wall of the Crest Cafe in Hillcrest, created by San Diego artist Cody Griffith in 2012.
Exotic elephant on wall of the Crest Cafe in Hillcrest, created by San Diego artist Cody Griffith in 2012.

Here are two of my favorite street murals in San Diego. The colorful elephant appears on the outside west wall of the Crest Cafe in Hillcrest. It was painted by local artist Cody Griffith in 2012. The monstrous Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur with a funny fuzzy rider can be seen in North Park, at the corner of University Avenue and Ray Street. This cool urban artwork was created by Mark Paul Deren, who also goes by the name Madsteez.

It’s a street art battle of monstrous proportions!

Funny urban art in North Park. A cool T. rex and fuzzy rider rise high above a concrete mixer truck. Created by artist Mark Paul Deren, also known as Madsteez.
Funny urban art in North Park. A cool T. rex and rider rise high above a concrete mixer truck. Created by artist Mark Paul Deren, also known as Madsteez.
Another fun example of creativity in the diverse and wonderful city of San Diego.
Another fun example of creativity in the diverse and wonderful city of San Diego.

Join me for more Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook and Twitter!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Please visit Short Stories by Richard.

A flock of friendly ducks waiting for a bus!

A flock of fearless San Diego River ducks. The curious birds seem to wait for a morning bus at the Fashion Valley Transit Center.
A flock of San Diego River ducks. The curious birds seem to wait for a morning bus at the Fashion Valley Transit Center.

Just a quick, fun post!

This morning, a flock of San Diego River ducks were happily waddling about the Fashion Valley Transit Center. They fearlessly mingled with the humans, who watched the proceedings with amusement. Perhaps those curious feathered friends were also waiting for a bus!

Outdoor sculptures being installed in Balboa Park!

Many outdoor sculptures are being introduced into Balboa Park. The exhibit is titled Art of the Open Air. It is a unique project of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Many outdoor sculptures are being introduced into Balboa Park. The exhibit is titled Art of the Open Air. It’s a unique project of the San Diego Museum of Art.

During the past week, a number of sculptures in the San Diego Museum of Art’s collection have been carefully moved into the Plaza de Panama, a large outdoor gathering place in Balboa Park. For the next two years, anyone in San Diego will be able to freely enjoy the sculptures, and see them in changing light, beneath different skies. Moving such large pieces has taken a lot of work, but I noticed today that the installation, titled Art of the Open Air, is approaching completion.

Included in the unique outdoor exhibition are works by world-famous artists Joan Miró, Auguste Rodin and Tony Rosenthal. I wasn’t able to approach the artwork too closely–right now, while the sculptures are being readied, they’re still roped off. The same goes for a new piece in the museum’s May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden, which I also photographed from a bit of a distance. I put some identifying information in the photo captions.

Art of the Open Air is set to run from February 11, 2016 through February 13, 2018. I can already see that Balboa Park is going to be more lively and interesting than ever!

Alexander Calder. Spinal Column, 1968. Steel. A sculpture being installed in the San Diego Museum of Art's outdoor May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden.
Alexander Calder. Spinal Column, 1968. Steel. A sculpture being installed in the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden.
Lynn Russell Chadwick. The Watchers, 1960. Bronze. Now stands in Balboa Park's beautiful Plaza de Panama, part of the Art of the Open Air exhibition.
Lynn Russell Chadwick. The Watchers, 1960. Bronze. Now stands in Balboa Park’s beautiful Plaza de Panama, part of the Art of the Open Air exhibition.
Auguste Rodin. The Prodigal Son, 1905. Bronze. Installed in the northwest corner of the Plaza de Panama, where the sculpture Youth Taming the Wild (Horse Trainer) used to stand.
Auguste Rodin. The Prodigal Son, 1905. Bronze. Installed in the northwest corner of the Plaza de Panama, where the sculpture Youth Taming the Wild (Horse Trainer) used to stand.
I can't find anything about this piece, but it seems somehow familiar. If you know what it is, leave a comment!
I can’t find anything about this piece, but it seems strangely familiar. If you know what it is, leave a comment!
Two very fine sculptures that will soon will be approachable in Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama.
Two very fine sculptures that will soon will be approachable in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama.
Joan Miró. Solar Bird, 1966. Bronze. Standing guard near the entrance to the San Diego Museum of Art.
Joan Miró. Solar Bird, 1966. Bronze. Standing guard near the entrance to the San Diego Museum of Art.
Tony Rosenthal. Odyssey III, 1967. Aluminum.
Tony Rosenthal. Odyssey III, 1967. Aluminum.
Photo across front of the San Diego Museum of Art, the north end of Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama. Outdoor art is being installed.
Photo across front of the San Diego Museum of Art, the north end of Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama. Outdoor art is being installed.
Luis Jiménez. Border Crossing/Cruzando el Rio Bravo, 1989. Fiberglass with acrylic urethane finish. Stands outside the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Panama 66.
Luis Jiménez. Border Crossing/Cruzando el Rio Bravo, 1989. Fiberglass with acrylic urethane finish. Stands outside the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Panama 66.
Monumental totem-like sculpture depicts artist's immigrant grandfather carrying wife and son, crossing the Rio Bravo River.
Monumental totem-like sculpture depicts artist’s immigrant grandfather carrying wife and son, crossing the Rio Bravo River.
A large sculpture seems to stride into the life-filled Plaza de Panama in San Diego's historic Balboa Park.
A large sculpture seems to stride into the life-filled Plaza de Panama in San Diego’s historic Balboa Park.

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Please visit Short Stories by Richard.

Do you love Balboa Park? Please enjoy my brand new, very special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!