Viewing life from a Balboa Park bench.

Late this afternoon I headed into Balboa Park.

I walked down El Prado, found a quiet bench across from the San Diego Natural History Museum, and sat down to write.

Every so often I felt compelled to look up.

My eyes were drawn to magic.

If you’d like to read a few thoughtful words about life, visit my website¬†Short Stories by Richard.

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A most wonderful place.

Smiling dancers perform at the International Cottages during the House of India lawn program.
Smiling dancers perform at the International Cottages during the House of India lawn program.

The older I get, the more in love I become with Balboa Park. It’s a most wonderful place.

I took a long, random walk around the park today.

Here are a few photos…

A lone gentlemen sits at a cafe table outside the House of Italy in Balboa Park.
A lone gentlemen sits at a cafe table outside the House of Italy in Balboa Park.
Many enjoy sitting in sunshine at the San Diego Museum of Art's May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden.
Many enjoy sitting in sunshine at the San Diego Museum of Art’s May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden.
Elegantly dressed visitors to Balboa Park pose for a photo by a fountain.
Elegantly dressed visitors to Balboa Park pose for a photo by a fountain.
A street performer on El Prado wraps a gentle snake over the shoulders of a delighted man.
A street performer on El Prado wraps a snake over the shoulders of a delighted man.
A friendly psychic is ready to assist anyone passing by.
A friendly psychic is ready to assist anyone passing by.
Another beautiful San Diego day along El Prado.
Another beautiful San Diego day along El Prado.
Ranger Kim provides a Sunday tour. A large group has paused to learn about the history of nearby buildings.
Ranger Kim provides a Sunday tour. A large group has paused to learn about the history of nearby buildings.
People have collected near the south end of the picturesque Lily Pond.
People have collected near the south end of the picturesque reflecting pool, or Lily Pond.
There are always lots of treats to choose from in Balboa Park!
There are always lots of treats to choose from in Balboa Park!
A most wonderful place.
A most wonderful place.
Two bicyclists pass each other in the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden. It's winter, not yet spring.
Two bicyclists pass each other in the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden. It’s winter, not yet spring.
Looking from the Desert Garden across Florida Canyon toward Morley Field.
Looking from the Desert Garden across Florida Canyon toward Morley Field.
Kids play near Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.
Kids play near Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.
A Bob Marley banner has been hung on the colorful side of the WorldBeat Cultural Center.
A Bob Marley banner has been hung on the colorful side of the WorldBeat Cultural Center.
The flag atop the Balboa Park Administration Building is at half staff. The world is troubled. Balboa Park is a refuge, filled with peace and happiness.
The flag atop the Balboa Park Administration Building is at half staff. The world is troubled. Balboa Park is a refuge, filled with peace and happiness.
Beauty and sunshine are abundant in Balboa Park.
Beauty and sunshine are abundant 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!

Another day gently ends in Balboa Park.

Another day nears its end in beautiful Balboa Park.
Another day nears its end in beautiful Balboa Park.

I got off work a couple hours early today. To enjoy the remaining daylight, I headed over to Balboa Park.

A late January weekday was gently drawing to a close.

Late light on the Casa del Prado's colonnade.
Late light on the Casa del Prado’s colonnade.
A bit of daylight remains. People meditate on some grass in Balboa Park.
A bit of daylight remains. People meditate on some grass in Balboa Park.
A quiet late January evening at the Plaza de Balboa and Bea Evenson Fountain. The San Diego Natural History Museum shines in the last rays of sunlight.
A quiet late January afternoon at the Plaza de Balboa and Bea Evenson Fountain. The San Diego Natural History Museum shines in the last rays of sunlight.
Joggers pass through the Plaza de Panama as the sun falls behind the House of Charm.
Joggers pass through the Plaza de Panama as the sun falls behind the House of Charm.
Sunlight illuminates the rear of buildings along El Prado, as seen from the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Sunlight illuminates the rear of buildings lining El Prado, as seen from the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A group of smiling mariachis walks near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
A group of smiling mariachis walks near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
The Tea Pavilion has closed for the day. Time to sweep leaves from the patio.
The Tea Pavilion has closed for the day. Time to sweep leaves from the patio.
People enjoy the remaining daylight near Joan Miro's sculpture Solar Bird, near the entrance of the San Diego Museum of Art.
People enjoy the remaining daylight near Joan Miro’s sculpted Solar Bird, near the entrance of the San Diego Museum of Art.
The sun is almost ready to set. Clouds become luminous behind the California Tower.
The sun is getting ready to set. Clouds become luminous behind the California Tower.

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!

Creativity and Joy, with a dancing brush!

Creativity and Joy: Dance of the Brush with Jean Shen and Students.
Creativity and Joy: the Dance of the Brush with Jean Shen and Students.

Extraordinary works of traditional brush painting are on display in the Exhibit Hall of the Japanese Friendship Garden. The exhibition is titled Creativity and Joy: the Dance of the Brush with Jean Shen and Students.

Jean Shen is a Master Chinese Brush Painter whose works have been shown throughout Asia and the United States. Her paintings are collected internationally. Many of her pieces, and many pieces painted by her students, are available for purchase at the Japanese Friendship Garden during this exhibition, which runs through January 28, 2018.

You must see these fantastic brush paintings in person. They depict aspects of nature and life, and express joy, rhythm and vitality. In addition to half a dozen works created by Jean Shen, you will discover a variety of intriguing paintings in different styles by sixteen of her students.

Become a member of the Japanese Friendship Garden and you can simply walk into the garden and enjoy inspiring art whenever you please!

The yellowish quality of these few photos is due to the indoor lighting and inadequacy of my old camera. They merely give you a small taste of the beauty that awaits you.

Creativity and Joy is on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden's Exhibit Hall until January 28, 2018. Many beautiful works are for sale.
Creativity and Joy is on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden’s Exhibit Hall until January 28, 2018. Many beautiful works are for sale.
Where Have We Been, and What Lies Ahead? by artist Jann Pasler.
Where Have We Been, and What Lies Ahead? by artist Jann Pasler.
Playtime by artist Carmen Mannarino.
Playtime by artist Carmen Mannarino.
Salad Days by artist Nannette Bauer.
Salad Days by artist Nannette Bauer.
Jeweled Hummingbird by artist Cindy Pon.
Jeweled Hummingbird by artist Cindy Pon.
Uma by artist Dot Kimura.
Uma by artist Dot Kimura.

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!

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.

How seniors can display their art in Balboa Park!

A magical painting of trees and flowers exhibited in the Senior Lounge in Balboa Park.
A magical painting of trees and flowers exhibited in the Senior Lounge in Balboa Park.

Yesterday I stepped into the Senior Lounge in Balboa Park and was immediately drawn to a wall covered with colorful art!

I learned that the City of San Diego has a special Art Program for Seniors right here in the park! And that participants can have their artwork publicly displayed in the Senior Lounge! That’s pretty cool!

The Senior Lounge, located in the Case del Prado, is open to anyone age 55 or over. I’m not quite there yet, but the friendly folks welcomed me in anyway! The lounge looks like a great place to kick back, get a cup of coffee, read, have a bite to eat and just relax. And perhaps even meet some new or old friends!

Would you like to have your art exhibited in Balboa Park? I took a photo of the flyer that provides details about the art program. Check it out if this interests you! And if you know someone who might be interested, feel free to share!

Fun artwork depicts people enjoying the Balboa Park Senior Lounge.
Fun artwork depicts people enjoying the Balboa Park Senior Lounge.
The City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department has a notice in the Balboa Park Senior Lounge. Join the Senior Art Program on Tuesdays from 1 pm to 3:30 pm.
The City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department has a notice in the Balboa Park Senior Lounge. Join the Senior Art Program on Tuesdays from 1 pm to 3:30 pm. Bring your own supplies!
A fiery sunset over water. It appears to me Ray painted this just north of the old Anthony's Fish Grotto on San Diego Bay.
A fiery sunset over the water. It appears to me Ray painted this just north of the old Anthony’s Fish Grotto on San Diego Bay.
Participants in the Senior Art Program have the opportunity to display their art in Balboa Park, right here in the Senior Lounge!
Participants in the Senior Art Program have the opportunity to display their art in Balboa Park, right here in the Senior Lounge!
A tall ship sails under clouds, over the sea.
A tall ship sails under clouds, proudly crossing the sea.

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!

The Peace Trees of the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Chinese Parasol Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Chinese Parasol Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is home to a variety of inspiring Peace Trees. These Peace Trees are descendants of trees that miraculously survived the Hiroshima A-Bomb during World War II.

The trees were presented by Green Legacy Hiroshima, an organization that spreads the seeds and saplings of Peace Trees to gardens around the world. They are symbols of hope, and the resilience of life, and the victory of human friendship, understanding and peace.

Here are some photos collected over the past couple months. May these Peace Trees grow and thrive in beautiful Balboa Park, where people come together to celebrate the good of humanity.

People walk through the profound beauty of the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego.
People walk through the profound beauty of the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego.
Ginko Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Ginko Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Wisteria Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Wisteria Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
A walk through the Lower Garden of the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A walk through the Lower Garden of the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Chinese Parasol Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Chinese Parasol Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Ginko Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Ginko Peace Tree, presented to the Japanese Friendship Garden by Green Legacy Hiroshima, August 2015.
Tending to small bonsai trees in the Upper Garden.
Tending to small bonsai trees in the Upper Garden.
Plaque near Camphor Peace Tree in the Japanese Friendship Garden. In August 15, 2015 the JFG received 15 saplings grown from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Plaque near Camphor Peace Tree in the Japanese Friendship Garden. In August 15, 2015 the JFG received 15 saplings grown from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
The Camphor Peace Tree flourishes in the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. Proof that life, hope and peace can prosper.
This Camphor Peace Tree flourishes in the Japanese Friendship Garden. Proof that life, hope and peace can prosper.

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!