More photos of the Chinese New Year Festival!

Today I enjoyed spending some time at the Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park. I’ve already posted a few colorful photographs here.

Here come even more photos!

This annual festival celebrating the Lunar New Year is hosted by the House of China at the International Cottages. Food, dance and joyful cultural entertainment are abundant.

Yes, my House of Bao steamed bun was super delicious!

If you chuckle at the final photo, keep in mind that 2019 is the Year of the Pig!

The friendly people at this table sell fantastic pop-up greeting cards. Check out the next photo! I promised to link to their website!

A crowd gathers at the International Cottages outdoor stage as the afternoon’s entertainment is about to begin…

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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Early winter color in a Japanese garden.

It’s early winter here in Southern California. Most trees are shedding their leaves at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, but many colorful branches still show a vivid beauty.

I took a slow walk through the Lower Garden this afternoon. Bright yellows and oranges attracted my camera. Here are some photos of early winter beauty in one of San Diego’s most amazing places, the Japanese Friendship Garden.

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 I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

A few odd photos in late December.

Here are a few odd photos that I took today as I walked about Balboa Park–and some of these are indeed odd!

December Nights is over and people are busy getting ready for Christmas, so fewer visitors are milling about the park.

We are entering that winter season when Balboa Park is a bit quieter, a bit more peaceful. I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve already posted several blogs over on Cool San Diego Sights, and I’m just about blogged out today, but I wanted to share a few more photos.

I’m leaving out captions. Insert your own!

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!

Shadow magic at Natural History Museum.

I was walking through Balboa Park this evening shortly before sundown, just letting my eyes wander at random, when I noticed all sorts of complex shadows around and upon the San Diego Natural History Museum.

The fantastic shadows and effects of light appeared to me like strange magic. So I took a few photographs…

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!

House of Hospitality courtyard garden replanted!

Some say the House of Hospitality is the heart of Balboa Park. I can understand why. Visitors who pass through the courtyard colonnade might feel they’ve wandered into a beautiful dream.

The House of Hospitality’s fantastic architecture, interior garden and iconic sculpture by Donal Hord appear like a painting of paradise. An eternal canvas into which the living step–if only for a moment.

With the recent refreshing of the historic garden’s four corner planters, the Spanish Colonial courtyard is more alive and welcoming than ever.

Originally created for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the House of Hospitality was rebuilt by architect Richard Requa for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. In 1997 the building was recreated as accurately as possible from historical documents.

Before sunset today I walked about the courtyard, read a sign which described the garden’s revitalization, then climbed stairs to the second floor balcony.

Sunlight was slanting into the outdoor courtyard, turning many of its trees and plants bright green. And high above it all, up in the blue sky, shined that eternally amazing tower…

Sign explains how aging plants in the House of Hospitality's courtyard garden were replanted and refreshed, with the help of Urban Corps of San Diego.
Sign explains how aging plants in the House of Hospitality’s courtyard garden were replanted and refreshed, with the help of Urban Corps of San Diego.

At the center of the House of Hospitality courtyard is Woman of Tehuantepec, a 1935 sculpture and fountain by Donal Hord.
At the center of the House of Hospitality’s courtyard is Woman of Tehuantepec, a 1935 sculpture and fountain by Donal Hord.

In one of the four planters is a time capsule placed on September 13, 1997, to be opened May 29, 2035, the centennial of the California Pacific International Exposition.
In one of the four planters is a time capsule placed on September 13, 1997, to be opened May 29, 2035, the centennial of the California Pacific International Exposition.

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!

Balboa Park artwork near Santa Fe Depot.

Tile mosaic artwork in downtown San Diego near the Santa Fe Depot depicts Balboa Park's iconic California Building and Kate Sessions.
Tile mosaic artwork in downtown San Diego near the Santa Fe Depot depicts Balboa Park’s iconic California Building and Kate Sessions.

The Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego was built to welcome visitors arriving by train for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. So it’s appropriate that public art near the historic depot contains several historical representations of Balboa Park.

The tile artwork, titled The Tracks We Leave Behind, is a visual timeline of San Diego’s history. The beautiful mosaics were created by Betsy K. Schulz in 2008.

I’ve posted more photos of these amazing mosaics on my Cool San Diego Sights website here and here.

Bea Evenson, founder of The Committee of 100, at Casa del Prado 1971.
Bea Evenson, founder of The Committee of 100, at Casa del Prado in 1971.
First Emperor Penguin born in captivity at the San Diego Zoo.
First Emperor Penguin born in captivity at the San Diego Zoo.
Harry Wegeforth, founder of the San Diego Zoo, doffs his hat while riding an elephant.
Harry Wegeforth, founder of the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, doffs his hat while riding an elephant.

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!

Historic tree, plaque removed from Balboa Park.

A historic tree that once stood at the center of Balboa Park's International Cottages has been cut down.
A historic tree that once stood at the center of Balboa Park’s International Cottages has been cut down.

I’m sure there must have been a good reason for the tree’s removal. Perhaps it had become unsafe.

According to a bronze plaque, the tree was planted near the center of Balboa Park’s International Cottages in 1932. The tree was dedicated in honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. That historic plaque is now gone, too.

Perhaps someone reading this knows the complete story. If you do, please leave a comment.

I’ve been told by several people from the cottages that one day, a few months ago, a crew from San Diego Parks and Recreation simply cut the big shady tree down. One person that I spoke to today couldn’t provide a specific reason, but thought the tree’s removal had been carefully considered. I do hope so.

Now the tree and its plaque are gone. Just an image in some old photographs . . . or a slowly fading memory . . .

UPDATE!

I’ve learned that the oak tree had suffered a beetle infestation and was removed to protect other trees in Balboa Park. The historic plaque has been thankfully preserved. Its new home is the headquarters of the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

To learn more about the tree and the life of Arthur E. Vest, please visit this page of the National Woman’s Relief Corps website!

A photo of the old shady tree as it once lived in Balboa Park. It was removed one day and now it's gone.
A photo of the shady tree as it once lived in Balboa Park. It was removed one fateful day and now it’s gone.
Someone stands on the stump of the tree during a lawn program at the International Cottages.
Someone stands on the stump of the tree during a recent lawn program at the International Cottages.
Shortly after the tree was cut down, the plaque still remained.
Shortly after the tree was cut down, the plaque still remained.
Dedicated in Honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, by the Womans Relief Corps Department of California and Nevada, May 16, 1932.
Dedicated in Honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, by the Woman’s Relief Corps Department of California and Nevada, May 16, 1932.
And now the plaque is gone, too. A bit of history vanishes.
And now the plaque and its words have been removed, too. A bit of San Diego history is gone.

I live in downtown San Diego. I do my best to keep my eyes wide open as I walk.

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