Balboa Park news & stories

Your source for news and stories about Balboa Park in San Diego. For more on Balboa Park, including events, museums, photos, and more, visit the Balboa Park section.

San Diego dog parks becoming dust boxes

Dusty Rhodes in Ocean Beach, Morley Field, Nate’s Point at Balboa Park, and the dog park south of Mesa College

About two dozen dog and park lovers braved the rain Sunday for a protest over the lack of city care for the very dusty Dusty Rhodes dog park in Ocean Beach. The dog park that ...

Brouhaha or foofaraw at San Diego Junior Theatre?

Lawyer taking complaint to Mayor Faulconer, city council

A brouhaha is a public clamor over a critical matter. A foofaraw is a clamor over a petty matter. At Balboa Park's Junior Theatre, a group of parents and attendees believe there have been serious ...

USS Bennington oak grove now on Balboa Park map

And many other improvements

More than 110 years after they were planted in Golden Hill, the trees in Bennington Memorial Oak Grove are getting a dose of proper decorum. In July 1905, when the boiler on the USS Bennington ...

Lightsaber fighters spar at Balboa Park’s fountain — and cast wary eye on Disney

“I’ll strike a deal with them.”

“I feel that if I ask Lucasfilm or Walt Disney [Company] for permission (to use the lightsaber word in the company name),” said Nick Murico, “that might be my Achilles heel.” When the sun set ...

Drop the shovel  — more court for Plaza de Panama plan

Critics consider the financing scheme as a "total scam"

A proposed road from Cabrillo Bridge that bypasses Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama and leads to a newly constructed parking garage must make another stop in San Diego Superior Court. Earlier this month, Cory Briggs ...

Discrimination at House of Pacific Relations?

House of Lebanon claims it is victim of prejudice

The House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park says it is a "near utopian multicultural organization" that was launched in the 1930s "to create a spirit of understanding, tolerance, and goodwill" among various ...

Canna-business beachhead established

Pot investors and entrepreneurs come together in Balboa Park

Hundreds gathered at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park Wednesday night (January 25) to celebrate the completion of San Diego's first cannabis-focused business accelerator program. "We're taking entrepreneurs just starting a company ...

Little drummer girl Carmen Murray

"We’ve always had African drums around the house.”

“I got the recommendation from [hand-drum pro] Monette Marino,” confides 14-year-old percussionist Carmen Murray. “The symphony asked her for a young player and I got the call one day before the audition. I just played ...

Sixty-five miles of trails in Balboa Park

Hike the perimeter loop

Balboa Park has 65 miles of trails that differ in length, difficulty, and scenery with 19 trails beginning at one of five gateways located at Golden Hill, Marston Point, Morley Field, Park Boulevard, and Sixth ...

Brush up on your Shakespeare

Despite its age, Measure for Measure is still surprisingly relevant.

Watching Measure for Measure — performed as part of the Old Globe’s “Globe for All” program, which injects free productions into unconventional venues all over town — I got deja vu listening to Angelo, the ...

Two films on photography and more this week at MoPA

"Something old, something twisted, something new, and something experimental"

It’s always nice to welcome an old friend back to town, particularly one who is as bright and talented a filmmaker as Wolfgang Hastert. After years spent studying and getting his graduate degree from Duke ...

Balboa Park bypass bridge and parking project okayed

"We're talking about $80 million for 267 spaces, or about $300,000 a space."

After years of delays that included criticism from many sources, lawsuits, and the withdrawal and later reinstatement of millions of dollars' worth of private funding, San Diego's city council on Monday (November 14) approved up ...

Council close to firing up Balboa Park revamp project

Since 2012, estimated cost has more than doubled

After numerous meetings and an epic amount of public rankling about a bridge bypass and parking garage, the San Diego City Council is about to decide whether or not to finalize plans for Balboa Park’s ...

Is Faulconer heading for a Jacobs fail?

Secret-keeping mayor and council said to fear public vote on $50 million parking debt

Two big San Diego losers in this week's election are looking for a big-money, tax-funded consolation prize in the form of a hurry-up city-council power-play that could ultimately forever emblazon the name of Qualcomm and ...

Cottages to blossom in Balboa Park

House of Pacific Relations to grow to 34

Groundbreaking for new cottages in Balboa Park's House of Pacific Relations is slated for November, giving nine nations their own dedicated spaces in four duplexes and one stand-alone building. House of Philippines will stand independently, ...

You can't really call The Lion a play

Benjamin Scheuer learns to play like himself

There have been many notable plays about fathers and sons. Strindberg’s Fathers and Sons and O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night come to mind. Yet none are quite as powerful as the one-man autobiographical musical, ...

Old Globe’s October Sky is sermon on stick-to-itiveness

Look to the sky

If you decide to see the Old Globe’s October Sky, take your seat early. Kevin Depinet’s set has the composition and texture of a quality painting. A massive half-circle hovers over the stage. It’s what? ...

The maddening inconsistency of Balboa Park busking

“Hotel California” is the busker’s “Freebird.”

“As long as the buskers are getting along with each other and not fighting…everything is fine,” said Chet Harrison, a guitarist and fiddle player who makes his living as a busker in San Diego. “The ...

Politicians stand up for deported veterans

"Every American can look at this issue...and know that this isn't fair."

A group of advocates for veterans and local politicians gathered in Balboa Park on Monday morning (September 19) to call attention to the plight of servicemembers who, after receiving honorable discharges following their military service, ...

Run over in Balboa Park

Settlement of $1 million; victim's back broken in several places

A 52-year-old man who was sleeping in Balboa Park when a park ranger drove over him will receive a $1 million settlement from the city, it was decided Tuesday (September 13). Derrick Marable was sleeping ...

Love’s Labor’s Lost in the towering eucalypti of the Old Globe’s festival stage

Talk the talk

The Old Globe’s got a charmer on its outdoor stage. Director Kathleen Marshall, scenic designer John Lee Beatty, Peter Golub’s original music, and a uniformly fine cast turn Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost into a Greenbelt ...

San Diego High land-lease ballot measure discredited

"They say, 'trust us.' That means trouble."

Opponents have filed their opposition letter pertaining to a ballot measure that, if passed, would extend San Diego High School's land lease in Balboa Park. The letter, written by Balboa Park Heritage Association president David ...

Meteor Shower — this is a play by Steve Martin, after all

One night in Ojai...

Laura suffers from “Exploding Head Syndrome.” A mere soupçon of stress and — ka-bloooey!

State fines Plaza de Panama project consultant

Technicality, says Gordon David Kovtun of KCM Group

The State of California's labor commissioner has fined the lead consultant on the Plaza de Panama project $19,200 for hiring unlicensed contractors and failing to issue pay stubs to two employees. According to a complaint ...

Steady as she goes on proposed Balboa Park project

City attorney advises seeking opinion from Fair Political Practices Commission

The San Diego city attorney's office has cleared the way for the city to rehire Plaza de Panama building consultant KCM Group to complete design work on the controversial Cabrillo Bridge bypass road in Balboa ...

Hipster sensibilities

Most of the jokes in Sense and Sensibility are pretty subtle....

It’s not every day that a musical adaptation of English Regency drama comes chock full of hipster jokes. But, Paul Gordon’s Sense and Sensibility at the Old Globe, directed by Barbara Gaines, made me stop ...

The Old Globe arrests the dead butcher Macbeth and his fiend-like queen

Evil aflame

Macbeth knows how to kill, but he has never committed murder and fears the consequences.

Protesters warm up to tear down Cabrillo Bridge plan

Balboa Park Heritage Association cofounder: "If I was in charge..."

David Lundin, cofounder of the Balboa Park Heritage Association, was there when Mayor Faulconer announced the resurrection of Qualcomm billionaire Irwin Jacobs's Balboa Park plan on June 30. Known as the Plaza de Panama Project, ...

Billionaire Democrat's Balboa Park plan revived by GOP mayor

Cash from Clinton-backing Jacobs family greases city hall wheels

Irwin Jacobs, master of the big-money art of acquiring political influence, is looking to have his best-ever year in 2016. The billionaire La Jolla Democrat, cofounder of Qualcomm, was one of the first to fund ...

Beautiful disgusts after some masterpieces

By the 18th Century, mighty Venice had become what Goethe called “the drawing room of Europe.”

Many of us seek and cherish essences when traveling to foreign places: a food, a shop, a fall of light, an open-air market, the peculiar curve or steep of street or hillside, the play of ...

Save Starlight

Weed-pulling party June 25

I first went to the Starlight Bowl in 1980 with two pieces of advice: arrive early and try to put up with the planes booming down to Lindbergh Field. I got to Balboa Park early ...

Fewer marchers against Monsanto

Corporation clashers minimized — maybe by appearances elsewhere by Bernie and Bill

Hundreds of people gathered in Balboa Park on Saturday (May 21) to participate in San Diego's March Against Monsanto, an annual event targeting genetically modified food in general and specifically the Monsanto Company, a leader ...

Botanical Garden — heck, Balboa Park itself— in desperate need

100 years later, that crumbling sound is getting louder

The Botanical Building in Balboa Park is one the largest lathe structures in the world, according to David Lundin, cofounder of the Balboa Park Heritage Association. The association was formed in 2014 to help create ...

Rain falls on the Old Globe stage

We all want new lives

“She’ll be starved and tortured...I want her to accept the punishment of man as a sacrifice to God.”

Pet project

Commemorating Beach Boys classic Pet Sounds at San Diego Zoo

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the San Diego Zoo and the 50th anniversary of the classic Beach Boys album Pet Sounds. Local history professor and music writer Steve Thorn has a pet project ...

If you like Bernie, you'll want Caballero

Council District 7 candidate's headquartered on his kitchen table

Jose Caballero has no problem that his race to unseat incumbent Republican Scott Sherman in city council District 7 isn’t thought to be “contested.” He says the media, pundits, and political bosses all seem to ...

4518 pipes call to the "Starman"

Organist Carol Williams pays tribute to David Bowie in Balboa Park

After other organ tributes went viral online, another “breathtaking” performance took place to honor the late David Bowie at Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. City Organist Carol Williams, with the sun setting to the ...

Bands for Bernie

San Diego bands lineup at WorldBeat in Balboa Park to back Bernie Sanders

The five organizers of Saturday’s fundraiser for presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders are amateurs. They have never promoted a music event or fundraiser before. “We did a [pro-Bernie] rally called ‘Enough Is Enough’ at the fountain ...

Brunch was a lie...and then, Tobey’s

Toss back too many ’mosas and check out the best pisser view in town

If you’d have asked me about brunch a few years ago, I would have laughed in your face. Brunch is just breakfast with booze (hardly a novel concept). Brunch is where saps take new girlfriends ...

Phew. No fees for SOHO

Judge says preservation group not required to pay opponent's legal fees in Balboa Park case

The lawsuit challenging Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama renovation project is officially over, with a judge issuing his ruling that Save Our Heritage Organisation, the group that challenged the legality of the proposal, was not ...

Sex and psychedelia at the intersection of sight and sound

Listening station invites you to interpret a Miles Davis tune with paper and pens

San Diego Museum of Art’s Art of Music exhibit welcomes visitors with a giant ceramic auricle and protruding ear trumpet that, upon detecting the voices of passersby, proceeds to emit Beethoven’s “Grosse Fuge.” It’s a ...

Concerts choke the first weekend in December

You thought Black Friday was crowded?

The first weekend in December is stacked with concerts. 'Tis the season to make a choice because many of these promising events conflict. Sunday is like a battle to the death, with no fewer than ...

Chainsaw-carrying maniac par for the course

Lawsuit for injuries incurred on Haunted Trail thrown out

If you pay money to go through a haunting experience and are warned it may scare you, you can't sue when it does. On October 23, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, upheld a ...

Trolley Dances brings site-specific dance from Waterfront to Balboa

More walking than riding, but the annual event is still worth it

After many years of ogling cool images of dancers performing in unexpected locations, and even spreading the word both in this magazine and on the radio, I finally got the chance to experience the San ...

German Currents Film Festival descends on Balboa Park

We Are Young, We Are Strong and About a Girl among the offerings

The 5th Annual German Currents Film Festival adds a new, somewhat surprising name to this year’s roster of theaters. Jack kicks things off on Saturday night at Balboa Park’s Natural History Museum, while across the ...

The game has changed for San Diego jazz scene

Gilbert Castellanos talks about his double-the-jazz jam at Panama 66

“I found out my jam session at Seven Grand was being canceled with just one week’s notice,” trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos related to the Reader over breakfast at Swami’s in North Park. “I mean, the manager, ...

Style and substance run Full Gallop at the Globe

Diana Vreeland adores artifice, even vulgarity

“...It’s a way of life. Without it you’re nobody. And I’m not talking about a lot of clothes.”

It's fixed. No running, and no peeing in Bud's pool

Morley Field municipal pool ready for swimming, more repairs to come

On Monday (September 28), San Diego's oldest community pool reopened to the public after getting the thumbs up from the County Department of Environmental Health on September 23. The Bud Kearns Municipal Pool was originally ...

Frustrating delight

In Your Arms at the Old Globe presents variations on the theme of star-crossed lovers

2015 may be one of the gutsiest years ever in San Diego theater. I can’t ever remember so many world premieres. Even though the word on staging them is: do not. They’re too risky, can ...

Is it worth the wait at Panama 66?

“When my sandwich arrived, all of my irritation faded away.”

Two women who work from home walk into a bar, find a huge crowd, and suddenly realize it’s Friday. “I usually avoid going out on Friday nights,” I say, as we take in the long ...

Passionate energy just this side of anarchy at San Diego Museum of Art

Coney Island was designed to overcome

Coney Island: Visions of the American Dreamland, 1861–2008 is a game, splashy exhibition.

Find a return to yesterday in the heart of the city

150 acres of coastal sage scrub provide an important habitat for wildlife

That dropped Ping-Pong ball song would be the wrentit.

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