Nudist colony recreated in Balboa Park’s Zoro Garden!

Sign warns of simulated nudity at the Zoro Gardens in Balboa Park. It's a one day recreation of the historic 1935 nudist colony, arranged by Parkeology, supported by various art institutions.
Sign warns of simulated nudity at the Zoro Garden in Balboa Park. It’s a one day recreation of the historic 1935 nudist colony, arranged by Parkeology, supported by various art institutions.

The historic 1935 Zoro Garden Nudist Colony was recreated today in Balboa Park!

The unusual one day event was produced by Parkeology, an organization that according to their flyer “is a public art series that excavates sites, stories, and sense of our urban parks”.

In 1935, San Diego opened the California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park, trying to replicate the enormous success of the earlier 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The main intent of this “world’s fair” was to promote economic activity during the Great Depression. Various lowbrow entertainments created for the exposition were designed to lure a popular crowd.

Well, today’s recreation of the Zoro Garden Nudist Colony certainly did draw some eyeballs, and a very wide range of reactions!

It was interesting to note most participants appeared to be college age females. The literature suggests the motivation for the event was at least partly political, stating “the reincarnation of the 1935 nudist colony can be an accessible, diverse, intersectional, gender-non-conforming and body positive social experiment.”

One thing I know for certain. Take a walk through lively Balboa Park on any given day and you never know what surprises you might stumble upon!

Visitors to Balboa Park view a reenactment of the nudist colony that was a sensational attraction here during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
Visitors to Balboa Park view a reenactment of the nudist colony that was a sensational attraction here during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
A variety of placid picnic-like activities are undertaken by the supposed naturists. The literature suggests a political motivation--a body positive social experiment.
A variety of placid, picnic-like activities are undertaken by the supposed naturists.
Body suits worn by people in the Zoro Garden simulate nudity.
Flesh-colored bodysuits worn by people in the Zoro Garden simulate naked bodies.
A variety of reactions are provoked by this rather unusual sight in San Diego's most popular public park.
A variety of reactions were provoked by this rather unusual sight in a public park.
One of the nudist actors photographs another. One thing is for certain--one doesn't see this everyday!
One of the friendly “nude” actors photographs another. Not the sort of performance one often sees!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! Sometimes I encounter surprising things!  You can experience even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

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Movie and television stars perform at the Old Globe!

Lea Salonga and George Takei perform at the Old Globe in the world premiere of Allegiance -A New American Musical, 2012.
Lea Salonga and George Takei perform at the Old Globe in the world premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical, 2012.

I was walking through the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in Balboa Park the other day when I noticed a collection of interesting photographs. I saw them in the windows near the entrance to the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. They show the history of the Old Globe Theatre, and some fantastic theatrical productions over the years. I was surprised at the number of Old Globe plays that have featured famous movie and television actors!

I got some pics, doing my best to avoid reflections in the glass windows.

My first pic, above, includes one very familiar face!

Who doesn’t know George Takei? He’s an American cultural icon and activist, best known for playing Sulu on television and in blockbuster movies in the much-loved Star Trek franchise.

Lea Salonga is perhaps best known for providing the singing voices in two popular Disney animated movies. She was Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan.

Theatre lovers in San Diego are very fortunate. The Old Globe Theatre is one of our nation’s top regional theatres, along with the La Jolla Playhouse. Their original productions frequently head to Broadway and win Tony Awards.

John Goodman performs at the Old Globe in Henry IV, Parts I and II, 1995.
John Goodman performs at the Old Globe in Henry IV, Parts I and II, 1995.

John Goodman went from playing Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne to starring in countless popular movies. His television appearances and filmography are so extensive, he can be regarded as one of America’s best known actors.

Richard Thomas, Kristen Connolly, Blair Underwood and Noah Bean at the Old Globe with the cast of Othello, 2014.
Richard Thomas, Kristen Connolly, Blair Underwood and Noah Bean at the Old Globe with the cast of Othello, 2014.

Richard Thomas is probably best remembered for playing John-Boy in the very popular old television series The Waltons. More recently he starred in the drama series The Americans.

Kristen Connolly plays key roles in television’s House of Cards and Zoo.

Blair Underwood has won many awards during his acting career. He has played roles on television’s L.A. Law, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The New Adventures of Old Christine, and other recent shows.

Noah Bean played important roles on the thriller series Nikita and the legal drama Damages.

Robert Christopher Riley performs at the Old Globe in The Royale, 2014.
Robert Christopher Riley performs at the Old Globe in The Royale, 2014.

Robert Christopher Riley is known for his acting role in Hit the Floor, and has appeared in movies including The Bourne Legacy.

Jim Parsons, graduate of The Old Globe/USD Professional Theatre Training Program, with Associate Artist James Winker in Da, 2001.
Jim Parsons, graduate of The Old Globe/USD Professional Theatre Training Program, with Associate Artist James Winker in Da, 2001.

The insanely popular Big Bang Theory wouldn’t be the same without the hilarious character Sheldon Cooper, who is played by Jim Parsons. Parsons has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Laurence Fishburne and Ella Joyce perform at the Old Globe in Two Trains Running, 1991.
Laurence Fishburne and Ella Joyce perform at the Old Globe in Two Trains Running, 1991.

Laurence Fishburne might be best known for his role in The Matrix where he played the iconic character Morpheus. He has played many important film and television characters during his prolific career.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!