The sun descends, and sweet music begins.

Late sunlight and a rising moon at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.
Late sunlight and a rising moon at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

Tonight I enjoyed sweet music–wonderful organ music that streamed from the fingertips of world renowned organist Jelani Eddington.

The 2017 International Summer Organ Festival is in its second week. At the Speckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, Monday evenings throughout the summer promise to be full of magic. As the sun descends, the music begins.

Follow me into this time machine, and we’ll enter the park…

Evening walkers head into the park.
Evening walkers head into the park.
Shadows stretch and hues turn golden.
Shadows stretch and hues turn golden.
A bit of heavenly light still reaches into the Alcazar Garden.
A bit of heavenly light still reaches into the Alcazar Garden.
Victory as the sun descends.
Victory as the sun descends.
Many are entering the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Many are entering the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Anticipating beautiful organ music.
Anticipating beautiful organ music.
Several four-legged music lovers arrive.
Several four-legged music lovers arrive.
People dine and sit in lawn chairs. The weather is pleasant.
People dine and sit in lawn chairs. The weather is pleasant.
An ornamental edge still touched by sunlight.
An ornamental edge on high, still touched by sunlight.
Treats for the concert-goers.
Treats for the concert-goers.
Someone becomes a member of the Spreckels Organ Society.
Someone becomes a member of the Spreckels Organ Society.
The lights come on.
The lights come on.
The Spreckels Organ Pavilion will soon be a fairyland of lights.
The Spreckels Organ Pavilion will soon be a fairyland of lights.
Sun and golden pipes.
Sun and golden pipes.
Jack Lasher, President of the Spreckels Organ Society. welcomes the audience. He describes the 2017 International Summer Organ Festival and introduces tonight's organist.
Jack Lasher, President of the Spreckels Organ Society, welcomes the audience. He describes the 2017 International Summer Organ Festival and introduces tonight’s organist.
Jelani Eddington is a splendid theatre organist who has performed in Balboa Park several times. He is world renowned.
Jelani Eddington is a splendid theatre organist who has performed in Balboa Park several times. He is world renowned.
Jelani Eddington takes the stage.
Jelani Eddington takes the stage.
A fantastic concert begins.
A fantastic concert begins.

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!

A dance of life in beautiful Balboa Park!

An enormous butterfly was seen dancing in the blue sky above Balboa Park today.
An enormous butterfly was seen dancing in the blue sky above Balboa Park today.

It’s Sunday. So late this morning I headed up into Balboa Park!

A meander through Balboa Park is both relaxing and invigorating. So much life all around. There are smiles, carefree laughter and people from all walks of life moving together in a natural unfettered dance. Like one happy whirl in the sunlight. A dance of life in beautiful Balboa Park!

Do you dance? Would you like to learn? You’ll see a sign that contains many opportunities in the coming photos. Click any sign that interests you and the image will enlarge for easier reading!

These super nice guys were strolling about promoting Desire To Fly, which is playing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre through Sunday, June 25.
These super nice guys were strolling about promoting Desire To Fly, which is playing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre through Sunday, June 25.
Poster for Desire To Fly, by Animal Cracker Conspiracy. It's a puppet spectacular in Balboa Park! (Click image to enlarge.)
Poster for Desire To Fly, by Animal Cracker Conspiracy. It’s a puppet spectacular in Balboa Park! (Click image to enlarge.)
Fancy footwork by some guys on the grass sparring with long poles.
Fancy footwork by some guys on the grass sparring with long poles.
An umbrella dances through a tunnel of green at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A white umbrella proceeds through a tunnel of green at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Two people walk along.
Two people step along.
A folk dancer enters the Balboa Park Club.
A folk dancer enters the Balboa Park Club.
If you are in San Diego and love dancing, or would like to learn to dance, then check out these notices by the Balboa Park Recital Hall. (Click image to enlarge.)
If you are in San Diego and love dancing, or would like to learn to dance, then check out these notices by the front door of the Balboa Park Recital Hall. (Click image to enlarge.)
An amazing athletic performance was witnessed today in the Plaza de Panama.
An amazing athletic performance was witnessed today in the Plaza de Panama.
The super charismatic, super positive, super talented dancer Kareem "Anointed" Ali does a flip over four people!
The super charismatic, super positive, super talented Kareem “Anointed” Ali does a flip over four people! You might have seen him on television. He performed spectacularly on So You Think You Can Dance!
Metal arms in the San Diego Museum of Art's outdoor sculpture garden dance in sunlight.
Metal arms in the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor sculpture garden dance in sunlight.
Grain dances in this beautiful glass artwork inside the House of Germany at the International Cottages.
Grain dances in this beautiful glass artwork inside the House of Germany at the International Cottages.
Singers from the House of Germany in a life-filled lawn program in Balboa Park.
Singers from the House of Germany are part of a life-filled lawn program in Balboa Park.
Sign shows 2017 International Cottages lawn programs and special events. (Click image to enlarge.)
Sign shows 2017 International Cottages lawn programs and special events. (Click image to enlarge.)
Hearts dance in Balboa Park.
Hearts dance 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!

Nature photos: MOPA’s Genesis in Balboa Park.

Genesis, an exhibition of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado's work, contains many stunning images.
Genesis, an exhibition of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado’s work, contains many stunning images.

The Museum of Photographic Art’s current exhibition titled Genesis contains dozens of magnificent photographs. I enjoyed this exhibition in May. MOPA was one of several Balboa Park museums that I visited during that month’s Big Exchange promotion.

Some signs have appeared in the Plaza de Panama which show a few of these visually stunning photographs. Genesis contains the work of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, who captures the raw, wild beauty of unspoiled nature and the simplicity of people untouched by modernity. The photographs take one’s breath away. They make one yearn for a simpler, more primal, more natural existence.

Of course, the funny thing is that the exquisite photographs themselves were created with a modern instrument, and their exhibition and transmission to thousands or millions of people relies on technology–the product of accumulated human knowledge and aspiration.

A photograph from the Museum of Photographic Arts in the Plaza de Panama.
A photograph from the Museum of Photographic Arts in the Plaza de Panama.
One of my favorite images by Sebastião Salgado shows penguins leaping into the ocean.
One of my favorite images by Sebastião Salgado shows penguins leaping into the ocean.
Photograph of the Grand Canyon, one of many stunning images in the Genesis exhibition at MOPA.
Photograph of the Grand Canyon, one of many stunning images in the Genesis exhibition at MOPA.
I try with my pictures to raise a question, to provoke a debate, so that we can discuss problems together and come up with solutions. Sebastião Salgado
I try with my pictures to raise a question, to provoke a debate, so that we can discuss problems together and come up with solutions. Sebastião Salgado

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!

Philippine folk dancing in Balboa Park!

Today I walked around Balboa Park. The House of the Philippines was having a lawn program at the International Cottages, so I paused for a bit to watch Philippine folk dancing.

The performers, I believe, were all from the Samahan Philippine Dance Company. They have two dance and music schools in San Diego. During the lawn program, youth and adult groups wearing colorful dress performed a variety of traditional folk dances.

I didn’t write the name of each dance down. Many contained gentle humor. Every dance and dancer radiated life. I’ll simply present some photos:

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!

Joy and tradition at Balboa Park Pow Wow!

Joy and tradition. Mother's Day intertribal dancing at the Balboa Park Pow Wow.
Joy and tradition together. Mother’s Day intertribal dancing at the Balboa Park Pow Wow.

Here come some colorful photos!

The annual Balboa Park Pow Wow was held this Mother’s Day weekend. I swung on by to absorb some of the event. To feel the power.

What did I see?

Native American costume adds color and meaning to a sacred dance.
Native American costume adds life and meaning to a sacred dance.
Many vendors at the Balboa Park Pow Wow had Native American crafts and related gifts for sale.
Many vendors at the Balboa Park Pow Wow had Native American crafts and gifts for sale.
A drum group provides resonant rhythm. A strong, beating heart.
A drum group provides resonant rhythm. A strong, beating heart.
A young lady needed a bit of assistance due to a medical situation.
A young lady at the Pow Wow needed a bit of assistance due to a medical situation.
The crowd converged to fill a blanket with donated money.
The crowd converged to fill a blanket with donated money. (I took this photo toward the end, when the blanket had a nice heap of bills.)
Many young people were participating in the Pow Wow.
Many young people were participating in the Pow Wow.
A large tipi had been set up on the grass nearby. At the time I took this photo, nobody was around it.
A large tipi had been set up on the grass nearby. At the time I took this photo, nobody was around it.
More color at the very popular annual Balboa Park event.
More color at the very popular annual Balboa Park event.
The line for Kumeyaay Bread was super long! Must be super good!
The line for Kumeyaay Bread was super long! Must be good!
Joyful life. A generous spirit. A close family. Rich culture and sacred traditions.
Joyful life. A generous spirit. A close family. Rich culture and sacred traditions.

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!

Vikings invade Balboa Park at House of Denmark!

Playing a once-popular medieval northern European game called Hare and Hounds in Balboa Park.
Playing a once-popular medieval northern European game called Hare and Hounds in Balboa Park.

This afternoon’s lawn program at the International Cottages was presented by the House of Denmark. I swung on by about an hour before the music and dance began, but lingered for a bit to check out several exhibits concerning Viking culture and history. I learned a lot!

Read the photo captions for explanations!

People enjoy a sunny San Diego afternoon outside the House of Denmark among the International Cottages.
People enjoy a sunny San Diego afternoon outside the House of Denmark among the International Cottages.
Poster inside the House of Denmark. Royalty in this oldest kingdom in the world has descended in a straight line for a thousand years.
Poster inside the House of Denmark. The royalty of this oldest kingdom in the world has descended in a straight line for a thousand years.
The House of Denmark had its lawn program this Sunday. Inside their cottage, many treats could be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park.
The House of Denmark had its lawn program this Sunday. Inside their cottage, many Scandinavian treats could be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park.
This very friendly gent was showing everybody how woodworking was done by Norse craftsmen. The Vikings controlled a large area of Europe and used local materials. He was using our own native Toyon for wood.
This very friendly gent was showing everybody how woodworking was done by Norse craftsmen. The Vikings controlled a large area of Europe and used local materials. He was using our own native Toyon for wood.  Soaking the wood in water makes it easier to carve.
All sorts of handmade wooden utensils. Good steel was somewhat rare back in the Viking days, so carving tools were prized possessions.
All sorts of handmade wooden utensils. Good steel was somewhat rare back in the Viking days, so carving tools like weapons were prized possessions.
Some Viking helmets on display along with chainmail hauberks!
Some Viking helmets on display along with chainmail hauberks!
A ceremonial drinking horn, axes, and other fascinating objects collected or created by Viking enthusiasts at the event.
A ceremonial drinking horn, axes, swords, and other fascinating objects collected or created by Viking enthusiasts at the event.
The gentleman with the shield told me all about Norse customs, mythology and history. He is a member of the Guardians of Midgard!
The gentleman with the shield told me all about Norse customs, mythology and history. He is a member of the Guardians of Midgard!

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 Japanese brush art by Friends of Taka Sumi-e.

A talented gentleman demonstrates Japanese brush painting in Balboa Park. The traditional Asian art form is called Sumi-e.
A talented gentleman demonstrates Japanese brush painting in Balboa Park. The traditional Asian art form is called sumi-e.

You might enjoy these colorful photos.

Yesterday I strolled into the Casa del Prado to view an exhibition put on by the Friends of Taka Sumi-e, a society in San Diego whose members produce beautiful works of Japanese brush art. The room was filled with abundant life.

A couple of friendly people explained a little about the traditional Asian art form of sumi-e, or brush drawing. I learned that the “four treasures” are ink, stone, paper and brush. I learned a hard inkstick is rubbed in water against a rough, mortar-like inkstone to produce the ink. I learned that in Japan both calligraphy and painting often use ink produced this way.

I also observed how amazing the finished works can be. Take a look!

A fantastic Japanese Brush Painting Art Exhibition was held inside the Casa del Prado. The free event was put on by the Friends of Taka Sumi-e of San Diego.
A fantastic Japanese Brush Painting Art Exhibition was held inside the Casa del Prado. The free event was put on by the Friends of Taka Sumi-e of San Diego.
Many beautiful works of Japanese brush art could be admired by the public in the Casa del Prado.
Many beautiful works of Japanese brush art could be admired by the public in the Casa del Prado.
An ink stick was ground into the ink stone. The artist prepares her brush for another drawing.
An inkstick was ground into the inkstone. The artist prepares her brush for another drawing.
It's the year of the Rooster.
It’s the year of the Rooster.
A few careful strokes of the brush expresses eternity.
A few careful strokes of the brush expresses eternity.
Colorful butterflies have gathered atop this table.
Colorful butterflies have gathered atop this table.
A dragon.
A dragon.
A human figure.
A human figure.
Amazing finished artwork filled many tables. By artist Ileane Tatar.
Amazing finished artwork filled many tables. By artist Ileane Tatar.
A jumping green frog. By Ileane Tatar.
A jumping green frog. By Ileane Tatar.
A hen with chicks looks up at a rooster banner--a banner portrayed on a banner! Art by Louise Rendich.
A hen with chicks looks up at a rooster banner–a banner portrayed on a banner! Art by Louise Rendich.
Two fish and cherry blossoms, by Pat Wolfe.
Two koi and cherry blossoms, by Pat Wolfe.
I believe these might be storks. By artist Kazuko (Kay) Mese.
I believe these might be storks. By artist Kazuko (Kay) Mese.
A rugged landscape with ancient trees. By artist Debra Hirschy.
A rugged mountain landscape with ancient trees. By artist Debra Hirschy.
A humorous cat, by artist Karen Straus.
A humorous cat, by artist Karen Straus.
A trotting horse, by Louise Rendich.
A trotting horse, by Louise Rendich.
One could spend hours in this room.
One could spend hours in this room.
Superb flowers, very fine art by Takashi Ijichi.
Superb flowers, very fine art by Takashi Ijichi.
Another unique rooster with generous daubs of color.
Another unique rooster with generous daubs of color.
Delicate flowers and leaves, by artist Soon Chu.
Delicate flowers and leaves, by artist Soon Chu.
Pink blossoms above a volcano, by Marlene Leet.
Pink blossoms above a volcano, by Marlene Leet.
I would love to live here. Dreamy Japanese brush art by Marlene Leet.
I would love to live here. Dreamy Japanese brush art by Marlene Leet.
A furry feline. Rebecca Leet-Homung.
A furry feline. Rebecca Leet-Homung.
So much beauty to absorb. One's life is uplifted.
So much beauty to absorb. One’s life is uplifted.
A hummingbird, by artist Iris Lowe-Reiss.
A hummingbird, by artist Iris Lowe-Reiss.

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!

Read my short story The Child and the Koi by clicking here!