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.

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Preparing for the holidays at Balboa Park!

Fun chalk art on a board outside Prado Perk. A hungry Pilgrim chases a Thanksgiving turkey that has been accelerated with coffee!
Fun chalk art on a board outside Prado Perk. A hungry Pilgrim chases a Thanksgiving turkey that has been accelerated with coffee!

Three days until Thanksgiving!

During my walk yesterday through Balboa Park, I saw signs everywhere of the coming holiday season. It seems everyone in the park is getting ready!

I even saw Santa Claus! Perhaps he dropped on by to see whether people were being naughty or nice!

These small snowmen at the Homemade Craft Sale in the Casa del Prado each contain a chocolate kiss.
These small snowmen at the Homemade Craft Sale in the Casa del Prado each contain a chocolate kiss.
The Old Globe's cheerful Christmas Tree is set up in Copley Plaza. The Grinch does not approve.
The Old Globe’s cheerful Christmas Tree is set up in Copley Plaza. The Grinch does not approve.
Good old Santa and his reindeer are back in Balboa Park, taking off between the Plaza de Panama and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Good old Santa and his reindeer are back in Balboa Park, taking off between the Plaza de Panama and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Almost ready for the holidays at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The 4th Annual Children's Coalition Christmas on the Prado will take place this coming Saturday. December Nights this year will be on December 1 and 2.
Almost ready for the holidays at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The 4th Annual Children’s Coalition Christmas on the Prado will take place this coming Saturday. December Nights this year will be on December 1 and 2.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, people gather inside the House of Sweden at the International Cottages to sing Christmas carols in Swedish.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, people gather inside the House of Sweden at the International Cottages to sing Christmas carols in Swedish.
Banners outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center wish everyone Happy Holidays and Peace.
Banners outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center wish everyone Happy Holidays and Peace.
The Nutcracker will be presented in December by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
The Nutcracker will be presented in December by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
Christmas cards for sale at the weekend's Homemade Craft Sale.
Christmas cards for sale at the weekend’s Homemade Craft Sale.
These festive Christmas tree ornaments are made of colorful pipe cleaners!
These festive Christmas tree ornaments are made of colorful pipe cleaners!
Santa might have swung by to pick up a new hat!
Santa might have swung by to pick up a new hat!

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 faces of the Panama-California Sculpture Court.

Anglo-Saxon Queen, 1914. Staff plaster original statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Anglo-Saxon Queen, 1914. Staff plaster original statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.

Visitors walking through the Panama-California Sculpture Court in the Casa del Prado are greeted by many unexpected faces–faces that peer out of San Diego’s past.

The sculptures in the building’s courtyard were used in various ways to decorate the facades of buildings in Balboa Park during its colorful history. Most of the pieces are made of staff, which is a type of plaster reinforced with fibers. The artwork in the Panama-California Sculpture Court was rescued in 1975, found abandoned in a corner of the Casa de Balboa.

Please read the photo captions for information about each piece.

One of several fantastic pieces of rescued art in the Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.
One of several fantastic pieces of rescued art in the Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.
Religion, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Religion, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Mission Indian Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Mission Indian Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Spanish Conquistador, 1914. Staff plaster original vignette from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Spanish Conquistador, 1914. Staff plaster original vignette from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Grotesque Mask, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Grotesque Mask, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Angel Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Angel Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Junipero Serra Memorial, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Food Products Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Junipero Serra Memorial, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Food Products Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Angel Head Finial, 1971. Unused cast concrete replica of 1914 original, for the reconstruction of the building now known as the Casa del Prado. Christian Mueller, Jr., modeler.
Angel Head Finial, 1971. Unused cast concrete replica of 1914 original, for the reconstruction of the building now known as the Casa del Prado. Christian Mueller, Jr., modeler.
Velazquez, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Velazquez, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Murillo, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Murillo, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Zurbaran, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Zurbaran, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.

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 beautiful, magical walk between buildings.

Visitors to Balboa Park walk down a pathway between the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
Visitors to Balboa Park walk down a short pathway between the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.

My walk through Balboa Park today included a few restful moments in a magical place.

Between the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality you will discover a space filled with beauty, strange wonder and peace. A dreamlike place where the soul can find nourishment.

A family making their way to the colorful tile fountain at one end.
A family making their way to the colorful tile fountain at one end of the walkway.
Looking back toward the arched colonnade that connects two beautiful historic buildings.
Looking back toward the arched colonnade that connects two sunlit buildings.
Photo through the colonnade. On the other side of El Prado stands the Botanical Building.
Photo through the elegant colonnade. On the other side of El Prado you will find the reflecting pool and Botanical Building.
Elaborate plaster ornamentation atop columns.
Fantastic plaster ornamentation atop columns.
Many beautiful sights await curious eyes in this space between buildings.
Many beautiful sights await curious eyes in this space between buildings.
A tree casts a shadow against windows.
A tree casts a magical shadow against windows.
Looking up at one corner of the Casa de Balboa.
A breathtaking look up at one corner of the Casa de Balboa.
Looking upward at the opposing tower, which rises from one corner of the House of Hospitality.
Looking upward at the opposing tower, which rises from a corner of the House of Hospitality.
Lavish, fantastic Spanish Colonial Revival architectural touches on the House of Hospitality in beautiful Balboa Park.
Lavish, fantastic Spanish Colonial Revival architectural touches on the House of Hospitality.
A delivery going into one open door.
A mysterious delivery (and a tree’s shadow) enter an open door.
A lonely door and single light seem out of place, out of reach . . . painted on a canvas . . . afloat in space.
A lonely door and single light seem out of reach . . . painted magically on a canvas . . . afloat in bright space.
Natural beauty along a curving ramp between the buildings.
Natural beauty along a curving ramp between the buildings.
A flower near one elegant window.
A heavenly flower near one dreamlike window.

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!

Dance and culture at the House of Spain.

Flamenco dancing during the House of Spain lawn program in Balboa Park.
Flamenco dancing during the House of Spain’s lawn program in Balboa Park.

Today the House of Spain in Balboa Park hosted the lawn program at the International Cottages. The cultural event featured music, folk dancing, tasty food and many welcoming smiles. Flamenco dancers strutted and whirled on the stage, adding life to an already wonderful day in the park.

Here are some photos…

Getting a big pan of tasty paella ready. I had some and it was really good.
A big pan of tasty paella. I had some and it was really good.
Many flowers and interesting exhibits can be seen inside the House of Spain's cottage.
Many flowers and interesting exhibits can be seen inside the House of Spain’s cottage.
A model of a Spanish galleon, very much like the one Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
A model of a Spanish galleon, much like the one Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
Art on the wall shows a bird's-eye view of Fort Guijarros. The old Spanish fort was built in 1797 on Ballast Point where it guarded San Diego Bay.
Art on the wall shows a bird’s-eye view of Fort Guijarros. The old Spanish fort was built in 1797 on Ballast Point where it guarded San Diego Bay.
Beautiful ceramic artwork on display inside the House of Spain's cottage in Balboa Park.
Beautiful ceramic artwork on display inside the House of Spain’s cottage in Balboa Park.
The featured entertainment during the cultural event was Spanish folk dancing.
The featured entertainment during the cultural event was Spanish folk dancing.
A dance of fuego--fire. This powerful, very expressive dance mesmerized those watching in the audience.
A dance of fuego–fire. This powerful, very expressive dance mesmerized those watching in the audience.
Fluidity and passion.
Fluidity and passion.
A colorful whirl of life.
A colorful whirl of life.

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!

Four amazing paintings outside Studio 18.

Art outside Studio 18 in Spanish Village Art Center attracts the eye.
Art outside Studio 18 in Spanish Village Art Center attracts the eye.

During my Sunday walk through Balboa Park, I noticed some truly amazing paintings near the front door of Studio 18 in Spanish Village. A sign nearby indicated the artist was RD Riccoboni and invited photos. So I thought I’d share some beautiful works of art!

Two amazing paintings by RD Riccoboni. One shows colorful bicycles, the other a sunny beach.
Two amazing paintings by RD Riccoboni. One shows colorful bicycles, the other a sunny beach.
RD Riccoboni is just one of several talented artists who work in Studio 18.
RD Riccoboni is just one of several talented artists who work in Studio 18.
Fantastic painting by RD Riccoboni of La Jolla Cove.
Fantastic painting by RD Riccoboni of La Jolla Cove.
RD Riccoboni painted Mexican folklorico dancers in Spanish Village!
RD Riccoboni painted Mexican folklorico dancers in Spanish Village!

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 glorious sunrise above Balboa Park.

Sunrise paints the San Diego sky east of Balboa Park's tree-lined El Prado.
Sunrise paints the San Diego sky east of Balboa Park’s tree-lined El Prado.

Please enjoy some beautiful photos of sunrise at Balboa Park. I took them early this morning.

I walked east down El Prado as the sun broke above the horizon, then turned around at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden and walked back to the west end of the park, where I caught my bus for work.

The rising sun's golden rays illuminate morning clouds.
The rising sun’s golden rays illuminate morning clouds.
Sunrise and clouds are reflected beautifully in the tranquil Bea Evenson Fountain on the Plaza de Balboa.
Sunrise and clouds are reflected beautifully in the tranquil Bea Evenson Fountain on the Plaza de Balboa.
Fire in the sky.
Fire in the sky. I then turned around.
The first light of the sun is reflected from three high east windows of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
The first light of the sun is reflected from windows of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Early morning sunlight on the iconic California Tower in Balboa Park.
Early morning sunlight on the iconic California Tower in Balboa Park.
A few people take a morning stroll through the Plaza de Panama. A glorious new day has begun.
A few people take a morning stroll through the Plaza de Panama. A glorious new day has begun.

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!