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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!

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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!

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A park full of movement one Saturday morning.

San Diegans play a game of soccer on Balboa Park's grassy West Mesa.
San Diegans play a game of soccer on Balboa Park’s grassy West Mesa.

Balboa Park is alive with nonstop human movement. There is so much to do, so much to see.

Enjoy a few photos from my stroll through the beautiful park this morning.

Competitors at the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club enjoy a relaxing Saturday.
Competitors at the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club enjoy a relaxing Saturday.
Hoping for a ringer!
Hoping for a ringer!
Having some fun in sunny Balboa Park.
Having some fun in sunny Balboa Park.
Guarding a small soccer goal. People enjoy recreating in Balboa Park on a Saturday morning.
Guarding a small soccer goal. People enjoy recreating in Balboa Park on a Saturday morning.
A group practices martial arts near the corner of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street.
A group practices martial arts near the corner of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street.
Learning the moves.
Learning the moves.
More athletic feats by members of the San Diego Lawn Bowling Club, on the green near the Cabrillo Bridge.
More athletic feats by members of the San Diego Lawn Bowling Club, competing on the green near the Cabrillo Bridge.
Taking careful aim.
Taking careful aim.
Folks hurry along El Prado wearing hiking boots and carrying walking sticks.
Folks amble along El Prado wearing hiking boots. Some use walking sticks.
Tourists on Segways pause for a moment in Balboa Park's Alcazar Garden. The California Tower rises into the blue sky.
Tourists on Segways pause for a moment in Balboa Park’s Alcazar Garden. The California Tower rises into the blue sky.
Dog owners walk their Papillon's near the Mingei Museum.
Dog owners walk their Papillon’s near the Mingei Museum.
An excellent day for a two-legged or four-legged stroll!
An excellent day for a two-legged or four-legged stroll!

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!

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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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A fun Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.
A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.

I enjoyed my walk today through the First Annual Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park. The event was sponsored by the House of Chamorros, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Those who spent the day had much to experience, including Chamorro food, music, dance, crafts and cultural demonstrations.

I personally enjoyed listening to a talk about the outrigger canoe Sakman Chamorro and its crew of misfits. This traditional Chamorro canoe, built from a northern California redwood tree, used to be based in San Diego’s South Bay, but is now in Guam. I remember seeing the vessel docked by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and also at the 2015 Pacific Islander Festival in Mission Bay, which I blogged about here.

It appeared to me that everyone at today’s event was having a lot of fun! Hopefully this is the first of many Chamorro festivals in Balboa Park!

Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
The flag of Guam flies at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!
The flag of Guam flies proudly at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival 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!

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Fun photos of Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

A dog that resembles a lion with a wild mane is a crowd pleaser during Balboa Park's very popular Halloween Family Day.
A dog that resembles a lion with a shaggy mane gets a lot of attention during Balboa Park’s popular Halloween Family Day.

Please enjoy these fun photos that I took this afternoon during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

As you can see, thousands of people turned out, and I spotted a variety of colorful costumes. There was plenty to see and do throughout the park. Trick-or-treating and having a good time at the annual Halloween celebration in Balboa Park has become a family tradition for many!

A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
Two trick-or-treaters check out one of the many attractions on Balboa Park's El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
Two trick-or-treaters look at one of the attractions along Balboa Park’s El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park's annual Halloween celebration.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park’s annual Halloween celebration.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein's monster.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein’s monster.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass for Halloween. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.

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!

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San Diego Diwali Mela festival in Balboa Park.

A good crowd attended the annual San Diego Diwali Mela festival in Balboa Park.
A good crowd attended the annual San Diego Diwali Mela festival in Balboa Park.

The annual San Diego Diwali Mela was held today in Balboa Park. Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, a cultural celebration which affirms the ultimate victory of light over darkness.

My Saturday walk through Balboa Park included a few minutes at the colorful festival, where I enjoyed upbeat music and entertainment, and resisted the temptation to devour all the tasty-looking Indian food.

Everyone appeared to be enjoying the Diwali Mela. A little research indicates that I missed a Bollywood Dance company performance. Perhaps I’ll catch it next year!

Friendship, shopping and upbeat entertainment was enjoyed at the San Diego Diwali Mela.
Friendship and upbeat entertainment were enjoyed by many at the San Diego Diwali Mela.
Youth perform on stage at the Diwali Mela in Balboa Park.
Youth perform on stage at the Diwali Mela in Balboa Park.
Authentic Indian food was plentiful for hungry people at the festival.
Authentic Indian food was plentiful for hungry people at the festival.
Colorful dresses at several vendor tents were out on display.
Colorful dresses at several vendor tents were out on display. A Mela is a traditional Hindu fair, or market day, where many colorful goods can be found.
The San Diego Diwali Mela created happy memories for many on a sunny October day.
The San Diego Diwali Mela created happy memories for many on a sunny October day.

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!

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A few scenes of life in beautiful Balboa Park.

People relax and enjoy life in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park.
People relax and enjoy life in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park.

Every day, Balboa Park presents countless beautiful scenes of life. Life that is thriving, full of love, hope, enjoyment, curiosity, and a sense of freedom. I could post a million photographs. But today I’ll share just a few.

Flowers like bursting fireworks in one of Balboa Park's many gardens.
Flowers like bursting fireworks in one of Balboa Park’s many gardens.
Curious visitors to Balboa Park check out a small fountain near the House of Hospitality.
Curious visitors to Balboa Park check out a small fountain near the House of Hospitality.
A duck and lily pads in the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
A duck and lily pads in the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
Beautiful flowers and palm fronds along El Prado, beside the reflecting pool.
Beautiful flowers and palm fronds along El Prado, beside the reflecting pool.
And even more blooms.
And even more blooms.
My camera gets a friendly wave from the engineer as the fun Balboa Park Miniature Railroad emerges from tunnel!
My camera gets a friendly wave from the engineer as the fun Balboa Park Miniature Railroad emerges from tunnel!
A priest in long black robe ambles past Spanish Colonial Revival Style arches with friends. A perfect day to celebrate life in Balboa Park.
A priest in long black robe ambles past Spanish Colonial Revival Style arches with friends. A perfect day to celebrate life in Balboa Park.
The Japanese Friendship Garden expansion has grown out to become unbelievably lush. When it opened, the canyon still appeared a bit barren.
The Japanese Friendship Garden expansion has grown out to become unbelievably lush. When it opened, the canyon still appeared a bit barren.
Plaque near trunk of the Pan-American Friendship Tree in Balboa Park. It was planted on April 14, 1952.
Plaque near trunk of the Pan-American Friendship Tree in Balboa Park. The tree was planted on April 14, 1952.
And this is the huge Pan-American Friendship Tree today. Life thrives in Balboa Park.
And this is the huge Pan-American Friendship Tree today. Life thrives in Balboa Park.
A family flies a kite on the grass.
A family flies a kite on the grass.
Visitors apply their life's hope to a chalkboard inside the Casa de Balboa. When I Grow Up I Want To Be . . . Me
Visitors apply their life’s hope to a chalkboard inside the Casa de Balboa. When I Grow Up I Want To Be . . . Me

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 few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

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Happy dogs in Balboa Park!

Happy dogs run free in the spacious off-leash Nate's Point Dog Park just west of the Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park.
Happy dogs run free in the spacious off-leash Nate’s Point Dog Park just west of the Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park.

People love Balboa Park. And dogs do, too! Every time I visit San Diego’s wonderful park, tails all around are wagging.

Here are a few photos taken at various times…

A morning walker and canine buddy walk over some grass in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park.
A morning walker and canine buddy walk over some grass in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park.
Art lover and two tiny pooches take a stroll through Balboa Park's colorful Spanish Village.
Art lover and two tiny pooches take a stroll through Balboa Park’s colorful Spanish Village.
A guy and his best friend relax in Spanish Village on another perfect day. Life is good.
A guy and his best friend relax in Spanish Village on another perfect day. Life is good.
A leisurely bicyclist and dog head down a pathway in the park.
A leisurely bicyclist and dog head down a pathway in the park.
Passing dog's greet each other while visitors to Balboa Park walk over the Cabrillo Bridge.
Passing dog’s quietly greet each other while visitors to Balboa Park walk over the Cabrillo Bridge.
A couple and a dog walk into golden sunlight shining onto Balboa Park's El Prado.
A couple and a dog walk into some golden sunlight shining onto Balboa Park’s central promenade, El Prado.
A popular pooch is admired by humans. A typical scene in fun and always lively Balboa Park.
A popular pooch is admired by humans. A typical scene in fun and always lively 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!

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Saturday fun at the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club!

A friendly horseshoes tournament is underway. One player tosses while others keep score.
A friendly horseshoes tournament is underway. One player tosses while others keep score.

I was pleasantly surprised Saturday morning when I saw a whole bunch of activity at the old Balboa Park Horseshoe Club! A tournament was underway involving local members of the Southern California Horseshoe Pitchers Association.

The usually desolate and somewhat unkempt horseshoe pits were humming with athletic feats and camaraderie. One person expressed optimism that membership was on the upswing. Many competitive events have been planned.

It’s good to see folks actually using the large facility located at Sixth Avenue and Juniper Street–and having fun! Here’s a link to the 2016 SCHPA Pitching Schedule. The California State Championships are taking place in Balboa Park this September!

The San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club share an historic but unfortunately little-used facility near the southwest corner of Balboa Park.
The San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club share an historic but unfortunately little-used facility near the southwest corner of Balboa Park.
Horseshoes is a competitive outdoor sport that offers great exercise and good times.
Horseshoes is a competitive outdoor sport that offers great exercise and good times.
Someone skillfully pitches a horseshoe on a sunny Saturday morning in San Diego.
Someone skillfully pitches a horseshoe on a sunny Saturday morning in San Diego.

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!