A green St. Patrick’s Day in Balboa Park!

Ladies from the House of Ireland prepare for the St. Patrick's Day afternoon lawn program . . . with a smile!
Ladies from the House of Ireland prepare for the St. Patrick’s Day afternoon lawn program in Balboa Park . . . with a smile!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day!

Late this morning I began my walk through Balboa Park. My mission: to have fun photographing anything Irish or green!

What did my camera find?

Some traditional Irish food was already being served at the House of Ireland at Balboa Park's International Cottages.
In the late morning, traditional Irish food was already being served by the House of Ireland at Balboa Park’s International Cottages.
Over at the lawn bowling green, I saw many shirts of green!
Over at the lawn bowling green, I saw many shirts of green!
And I spotted another Irish t-shirt down at the archery range below the Cabrillo Bridge.
And I spotted another Irish t-shirt down at the archery range below the Cabrillo Bridge.
It seems people are wearing green for St. Patrick's Day all over Balboa Park!
It seems people are wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day all over Balboa Park!
It being St. Patrick's Day, Prado Perk has to serve Irish Tea Au Lait, of course!
Just for St. Patrick’s Day, Prado Perk was serving Irish Tea Au Lait!
And look what I found at Cafe in the Park inside the Casa de Balboa! Shamrock cookies!
And look what I found at Cafe in the Park, inside the Casa de Balboa! Shamrock cookies!
Someone is wearing green beads near the door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village Art Center!
Someone is wearing green beads near the door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village Art Center!
And look at all the green inside Studio 19, home of friendly glass artists!
And look at all the green inside Studio 19, home of super friendly glass artists!
I found lots of beautiful green in the Casa del Prado at the Spring Flower Show, presented by Ikebana International's San Diego Chapter.
I found lots of beautiful green in the Casa del Prado at the Spring Flower Show, presented by Ikebana International’s San Diego Chapter.
Beautiful green leaves.
Beautiful green leaves.
Of course, you can always find a lot of greenery inside Balboa Park's Botanical Building!
Of course, you can always find a lot of greenery inside Balboa Park’s Botanical Building!
I noticed some of the Super Sonic Samba School drummers were wearing green out on the grass by the WorldBeat Cultural Center.
I noticed some of the Super Sonic Samba School drummers were wearing green out on the grass by the WorldBeat Cultural Center.
Who needs to be Irish? Some people wore green just to join in the fun!
Who needs to be Irish? Some people wore green just to join in the fun!
Sprightly traditional Irish music could be enjoyed inside the House of Ireland during St. Patrick's Day in Balboa Park!
Sprightly traditional Irish music could be enjoyed inside the House of Ireland’s cottage during St. Patrick’s Day 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!

A colorful celebration of Hungary’s culture!

Hungarian folk dance on stage at the House of Hungary lawn program in Balboa Park.
Hungarian folk dance on stage at the House of Hungary lawn program in Balboa Park.

This afternoon I caught a bit of the House of Hungary’s lawn program at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.

While I didn’t sample any of the Hungarian food (having previously eaten a big lunch), I did feast my eyes and ears on Hungarian culture, including traditional music, singing, dance, costume, and even a short but fascinating talk about fashion, for which Hungary is historically famous.

This annual celebration takes place on or about August 20, a national holiday in Hungary that memorializes the first King of Hungary, King Stephen I. Stephen was canonized by the Catholic Church, and his feast day is celebrated on the same day.

The Karpatok Hungarian Dance Ensemble entertains the audience with a traditional bottle dance.
The Kárpátok Hungarian Dance Ensemble entertains the audience with a traditional bottle dance.
The proud flag of Hungary could be spotted here and there in the crowd.
The proud flag of Hungary could be spotted here and there in the crowd.
A fashion designer and beauty queens await their turn on stage as a young man sings a Hungarian folk song.
A fashion designer and beauty queens await their turn on stage as a young man sings a Hungarian folk song.
Hungarian food at the program included sausage sandwiches, crepes (palacsinta), fried dough (lángos) and authentic Hungarian pastries.
Hungarian food at the program included sausage sandwiches, crepes (palacsinta), fried dough (lángos) and authentic Hungarian pastries.
People enjoyed eating sweet Kürtőskalács, which is also known as chimney cake.
People enjoyed eating sweet Kürtőskalács, which is also referred to as chimney cake.
San Diego Continuing Education fashion instructor Tammie Pontsler talks about an award-winning dress she made for the Salk design challenge.
San Diego Continuing Education fashion instructor Tammie Pontsler talks about an award-winning dress she made for the Salk design challenge.
Violinist from the Lux Ensemble entertains everybody with happy Hungarian music.
Violinist from the Lux Ensemble entertains everybody with happy Hungarian music.
The culture of Hungary is celebrated in Balboa Park at the International Cottages!
The culture of Hungary is celebrated in Balboa Park at the International Cottages!

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 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!

Painting a steampunk musician and his street organ!

Friendly gentleman plays his 20 pipe street organ named Misty in Balboa Park.
Friendly gentleman plays his 20 pipe street organ named Misty in Balboa Park.

Another wonderful day in Balboa Park. I took lots of photos.

As I walked past the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I paused for a bit to talk to the creator of a small 20 pipe street organ named Misty. The gentleman, dressed in steampunk gear, was pleased to demonstrate his musical instrument. He made it from a kit. Now he’s inventing another organ of his own design. Using air compressed by a bellows, the music is generated from a perforated paper roll that is turned by hand.

An organ grinder's monkey in a glittery, patriotic hat! I took this photo on a later visit to Balboa Park.
An organ grinder’s monkey in a glittery, patriotic hat! (I took this photo on a later visit to Balboa Park.)

Nearby, a talented artist was painting the musician’s portrait, daubing her canvas with bright color. I felt as if I were walking through a childhood dream, filled with surprising, fanciful sights and sounds.

New wonders await around every corner in Balboa Park!

An artist paints the pipe organ and its friendly creator.
An artist paints the pipe organ and its friendly creator.

UPDATE!

Jim Coffee is the musician–he left a comment! And he actually built the organ from scratch! My misunderstanding!

Very cool!

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!

Bark at Balboa Park features Pooches on Parade!

A dog at 2017 Bark in Balboa Park greets a friendly person raising money for the San Diego Humane Society.
A dog at 2017 Bark in Balboa Park greets a friendly person raising money for the San Diego Humane Society.

I took a walk through Balboa Park before the Super Bowl began this afternoon. And I got some photos of 2017 Bark at Balboa Park and the famous annual Pooch Parade!

What is that? Read the captions to find out!

On Super Bowl Sunday, canine companions are converging to attend the 11th annual Bark in Balboa Park!
On Super Bowl Sunday, canine companions are converging on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion to attend the 11th Annual Bark in Balboa Park!
Humans and a best friend are ready to enjoy some organ music on a chilly afternoon.
Humans and a best friend are ready to enjoy some uplifting organ music on a chilly afternoon.
I saw lots of dogs in the audience!
I saw lots of dogs in the audience!
The San Diego Humane Society partners every year with the Spreckels Organ Society for this very special charitable event.
The San Diego Humane Society partners every year with the Spreckels Organ Society for this very special charitable event.
Guest Organist Russ Peck, who performs at San Diego Symphony Hall and the Balboa Theatre, stands by as rescue dogs in need of adoption are shown to the crowd.
Guest Organist Russ Peck, who often performs at San Diego Symphony Hall and the Balboa Theatre, stands near the organ bench as rescue dogs in need of adoption are introduced to the crowd.
And now, as the organ plays The Whistler and His Dog, the annual Parade of Pooches commences!
And now, as organist Russ Peck plays The Whistler and His Dog, the annual Parade of Pooches commences!
Lots of happy dogs file up onto the stage at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Lots of happy dogs file up onto the stage at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
It's a fun parade of furry four-footed friends at 2017 Bark in Balboa Park!
It’s a carefree fun parade of furry four-footed friends at 2017 Bark in Balboa Park!
A dog's love.
A dog’s love.

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!

Children’s Chorus of Staatsoper Berlin in Balboa Park!

The Children's Chorus of Staatsoper Berlin sings at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park on a Sunday afternoon.
The Children’s Chorus of Staatsoper Berlin sings at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park on a Sunday afternoon.

The award-winning Children’s Chorus of Staatsoper Berlin performed this afternoon in Balboa Park at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. They took the stage after a performance by the San Diego Children’s Choir, and then, at the program’s conclusion, the two youthful choirs joined together as one.

Accompanied by Martin Green playing the Spreckels Organ, the Children’s Chorus of Staatsoper Berlin, which is on a tour of the West Coast, impressed the large audience with their excellent voices. The music included Halleluja (from Messiah) and a mixture of folk and traditional pieces.

At Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion, fantastic music can be heard every weekend. Merely take a seat at 2:00 on a Sunday afternoon!

Someone arriving for the concert is carrying colorful flowers.
Someone arriving for the concert is carrying colorful flowers.
A large crowd gathered on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion's benches to hear the famed German children's choir.
A large crowd gathered on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion’s benches to hear the famed German children’s choir.
All ears at attention.
All ears at attention.
The Children's Chorus of Staatsoper Berlin performs on stage in front of the large Spreckels Organ pipes.
The Children’s Chorus of Staatsoper Berlin performs on stage in front of the large Spreckels Organ pipes.
Piano accompanied the organ for a few songs. Guest organist Martin Green played this Sunday, while the Spreckels Organ Society searches for a new Civic Organist.
Piano accompanied the organ for a few songs. Guest organist Martin Green played this Sunday, while the Spreckels Organ Society searches for a new San Diego Civic Organist.
Near the conclusion of the program, the San Diego Children's Choir gets ready to head up onto the stage.
Near the conclusion of the program, the San Diego Children’s Choir gets ready to head up onto the stage.
Dozens of young voices join together to create beautiful music!
Dozens of young voices join together to create beautiful 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!