Passion, life and inspiration in Balboa Park.

Walk around beautiful Balboa Park and you will discover passion, life and inspiration. Everywhere.

Please enjoy some photographs that I took over the weekend.

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!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? To read a few stories about life that I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Advertisements

A beautiful, magical walk between buildings.

Visitors to Balboa Park walk down a pathway between the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
Visitors to Balboa Park walk down a short pathway between the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.

My walk through Balboa Park today included a few restful moments in a magical place.

Between the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality you will discover a space filled with beauty, strange wonder and peace. A dreamlike place where the soul can find nourishment.

A family making their way to the colorful tile fountain at one end.
A family making their way to the colorful tile fountain at one end of the walkway.
Looking back toward the arched colonnade that connects two beautiful historic buildings.
Looking back toward the arched colonnade that connects two sunlit buildings.
Photo through the colonnade. On the other side of El Prado stands the Botanical Building.
Photo through the elegant colonnade. On the other side of El Prado you will find the reflecting pool and Botanical Building.
Elaborate plaster ornamentation atop columns.
Fantastic plaster ornamentation atop columns.
Many beautiful sights await curious eyes in this space between buildings.
Many beautiful sights await curious eyes in this space between buildings.
A tree casts a shadow against windows.
A tree casts a magical shadow against windows.
Looking up at one corner of the Casa de Balboa.
A breathtaking look up at one corner of the Casa de Balboa.
Looking upward at the opposing tower, which rises from one corner of the House of Hospitality.
Looking upward at the opposing tower, which rises from a corner of the House of Hospitality.
Lavish, fantastic Spanish Colonial Revival architectural touches on the House of Hospitality in beautiful Balboa Park.
Lavish, fantastic Spanish Colonial Revival architectural touches on the House of Hospitality.
A delivery going into one open door.
A mysterious delivery (and a tree’s shadow) enter an open door.
A lonely door and single light seem out of place, out of reach . . . painted on a canvas . . . afloat in space.
A lonely door and single light seem out of reach . . . painted magically on a canvas . . . afloat in bright space.
Natural beauty along a curving ramp between the buildings.
Natural beauty along a curving ramp between the buildings.
A flower near one elegant window.
A heavenly flower near one dreamlike window.

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!

Late sunlight on Balboa Park’s trees and towers.

The House of Charm's tower rises like a bright dream.
The House of Charm’s tower rises like a bright dream.

I took these photos yesterday shortly before sunset. I strolled from Balboa Park’s grassy West Mesa to the Cabrillo Bridge, then down El Prado to the reflecting pool. Late sunlight touched trees and dreamlike towers.

Late afternoon light brings out the curvaceous shape of a tree near Sixth Avenue.
Late afternoon light brings out the curvaceous shape of a tree near Sixth Avenue.
Slanting light touches trees at Sefton Plaza.
Slanting light touches trees at Sefton Plaza.
The California Tower even more beautiful in late sunlight.
The California Tower even more beautiful in late sunlight.
Light on the tiled dome of the California Building.
Light on the tiled dome of the California Building.
People in growing shadow near the beautiful House of Hospitality.
People in growing shadow near the beautiful House of Hospitality.
Tower of Casa del Prado in San Diego sunshine, shortly before sunset.
Tower of Casa del Prado in San Diego sunshine, shortly before sunset.

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!

Beautiful photos outside the Balboa Park Club.

Cacti in front of the Balboa Park Club. The building was created in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition to showcase the state of New Mexico.
Cacti in front of the Balboa Park Club. The building was created in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition to showcase the state of New Mexico.

Last Sunday, during my walk through the Palisades area of the park, I circled the Balboa Park Club searching for interesting photos. The earthy, very distinctive Pueblo Revival architecture of this building contrasts beautifully with the green plants that surround it.

The Balboa Park Club is located in the park's Palisades area. The building was enlarged and remodeled for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
The Balboa Park Club is located in the park’s Palisades area. The building was enlarged and remodeled for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
Once called the New Mexico State Building, the architecture is in the attractive, very distinctive Pueblo Revival style.
Once called the New Mexico State Building, the architecture is in the eye-pleasing Pueblo Revival style.
Leafy green against earthy colors and textures.
Green leaves and shadows against earthy colors and textures.
Behind the Balboa Park Club is the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden.
Behind the Balboa Park Club is the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden.
White flowers beside the Balboa Park Club.
White flowers contrasted with the Balboa Park Club’s rain-streaked exterior.
Looking upward at one corner of the Pueblo Revival-style building.
Looking upward at one corner of the Pueblo Revival-style building. Ornamental wooden beam “vigas” project outward and cast slanting shadows.
A beautiful sight in Balboa Park.
A beautiful taste of the American Southwest in Balboa Park.

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!

Fun works of art discovered around Balboa Park!

A cat snoozes near the front door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village Art Center.
A cat snoozes near the front door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village Art Center.

Here are some random photos of fun artwork around Balboa Park. Mind you, the park is jammed with beautiful art from one end to the other. New discoveries await around every corner.

These few glances I happen to like. I hope you enjoy them, too!

A mirror by the moon reflects colorful patio tiles near Studio 18.
A mirror by the moon reflects colorful patio tiles near Studio 18.
Stunning mermaid artwork on a wall near the entrance of Studio 18.
Enchanting mermaid artwork on a wall near the entrance of Studio 18.
A fun artistic bench awaits walkers with tired feet in Balboa Park's Spanish Village.
A fun artistic bench awaits walkers with tired feet in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village. ¬†(I guess a dog’s appreciation of art requires a nose.)
Studio 6 in Spanish Village has clay classes for kids! Call the painted phone number!
Studio 6 in Spanish Village has clay classes for kids! Call the painted phone number!
A drinking fountain on El Prado built into the House of Charm features elegant shell-like artwork.
A drinking fountain on El Prado built into the House of Charm features elegant shell-like artwork.
This fun street art was painted on an electrical box next to the building that is home to the San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
This fun street art was painted on an electrical box next to the building that is home to the San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
The friendly face of a Scotsman gazes upon visitors to the House of Scotland!
The friendly face of a Scotsman gazes upon visitors to the House of Scotland!
This stunning stained glass artwork depicting Budapest can be found inside the House of Hungary. The artist is Isabel Piczek.
This stunning stained glass artwork depicting Budapest can be found inside the House of Hungary. The artist is Isabel Piczek.
Art deco image underfoot at the entrance to the Municipal Gymnasium. In 1935, this new building was called the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries, erected for Balboa Park's California Pacific International Exposition.
Art deco image underfoot at the entrance to the Municipal Gymnasium. In 1935, the new building was called the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries, erected for Balboa Park’s California Pacific International Exposition.
Section of frieze on the Federal Building, home to the San Diego Hall of Champions. The artwork was designed in 1935 by Richard Requa, who was fascinated by pre-Columbian Mayan motifs.
Section of frieze on the Federal Building, now home to the San Diego Hall of Champions. The artwork was designed in 1935 by architect Richard Requa, who was fascinated by pre-Columbian Mayan motifs.
Tibetan art on display in a glass case outside the Mingei Museum. A fierce deity with a frightful appearance!
Tibetan art on display in a glass case outside the Mingei Museum. A fierce deity with a frightful appearance!
Looking upward at Spanish Colonial Revival ornamentation on the Casa de Balboa.
Looking upward at rich Spanish Colonial Revival ornamentation on the Casa de Balboa.
Artistic leaves among fallen leaves. Photo taken on stairs between Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
Artistic leaves among fallen leaves. Photo taken on stairs between Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
A colorfully spotted giraffe greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park!
A colorfully spotted giraffe greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park!

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!

To read a short story that I wrote about how to paint angels, click here!

Magic in Balboa Park as night falls.

Walking down toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion as night approaches in Balboa Park.
Walking down toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion as night approaches in Balboa Park.

I got off work a bit early today, so I took an evening walk through Balboa Park. Few people were still about as darkness began to descend. Just an ordinary Thursday in early February–a quiet time of year.

I managed to capture a few photos of Balboa Park’s wonderful magic as night fell.

North side of the House of Charm and Alcazar Garden. The lights have come on along El Prado.
North side of the House of Charm and Alcazar Garden. The lights have come on along El Prado.
Beautiful light shines from the facade of Casa del Prado.
Beautiful light shines from the facade of Casa del Prado.
Balboa Park visitors walk along El Prado as darkness nears.
Balboa Park visitors walk along El Prado as darkness nears.
Golden light behind the second story arches of the Casa del Prado.
Golden light behind the second story arches of the Casa del Prado.
Few people remain in the Japanese Friendship Garden as darkness falls. All is quiet and very beautiful.
Few people remain in the Japanese Friendship Garden as darkness falls. All is quiet and very beautiful.
Night produces rare magic near the Exhibit House at Balboa Park's Japanese Friendship Garden.
Night produces rare magic near the Exhibit Hall at Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden.
The ornate facade of the Museum of Man becomes rich with color when lit at night.
The ornate facade of the Museum of Man becomes rich with depth and color when lit at night.
Photo through arches of lights illuminating the outdoor patio of The Prado at Balboa Park, a fine restaurant located in the House of Hospitality.
Photo through arches of lights illuminating the outdoor patio of The Prado at Balboa Park, a fine restaurant located in the House of Hospitality.
The House of Charm, home to the Mingei Museum, like a glowing dream in the darkness.
The House of Charm, home to the Mingei International Museum, like a glowing dream in the darkness.

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!

Faces sing, play pipes at Spreckels Organ Pavilion!

Two young faces sing together on Balboa Park's outdoor Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The ornamentation is composed of plaster of Paris mixed with coir fiber.
Two youth sing together. ¬†Decoration on Balboa Park’s outdoor Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The faces are composed of plaster of Paris mixed with coir fiber.

Like many of the buildings created for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is decorated lavishly with unique plaster ornamentation. The impressive structure with its sweeping, semi-circular colonnade, designed by Harrison Albright in the Italian-Renaissance style, contains many sculptural figures and motifs, including human faces.

The other day I took a close look at the organ pavilion building and its colonnade. I noticed a number of different faces singing or playing pipes. Here they are!

The organ isn't playing and the benches are empty, but many still wander into the historic pavilion to marvel at its unique beauty.
The organ isn’t playing and the benches are empty, but many still wander into the historic pavilion to marvel at its unique beauty.
An exotic face made of plaster for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park appears to be singing.
An exotic face made of plaster for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park appears to be singing.
A youthful musician plays the pipes. Many figures made of plaster decorate the pavilion which is home to the majestic Spreckels pipe organ in Balboa Park.
A youthful musician plays the pipes. Many beautiful figures made of plaster decorate the pavilion which is home to the majestic Spreckels pipe organ in Balboa Park.
A cherub sings inside the pavilion's colonnade.
A cherub sings inside the pavilion’s colonnade.
Perhaps this is Pan playing the pipes--or just an ordinary person who loves making music.
Perhaps this is the Greek god Pan playing his pipes–or just an ordinary person who loves making music.

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!