Robert Arends

Dr. Seuss on the Loose in La Jolla

The_Art_of_Dr_SeussThere’s a tale of a Cat, so cool in a Hat, that…did you hear…was created right here! 🙂

Yep Dr. Seuss, that master smith of rhyming words for kids, lived atop a hill called Mt. Soledad in La Jolla (north of downtown San Diego) where his fantastical world of Cat in the Hat and other memorable characters came to life for readers of all ages.

I’ve always been a big fan of Dr. Seuss whose real name BTW is Theodore (Ted) Seuss Geisel. His widow Audrey still lives in lovely seaside La Jolla.

On the heels of Dr. Seuss’ recently released new book, Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories, me thinks with my thinker that a fun way to tinker would be an incredibly fun linker to a few Seussian sights and events in La Jolla:

Wish Dr. Suess at Happy Birthday at UCSD

Dr. Seuss birthday celebration at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla

Dr. Seuss birthday celebration at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla

Every year in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, the aptly named Geisel Library at University of California at San Diego (UCSD) in La Jolla exhibits selections from their Dr. Seuss Collection of over 10,000 items(!), including his drawings, rough drafts, notebooks and other cool memorabilia. It’s the world’s largest repository of original works by Seuss. Last year Mrs. Geisel substantially added to the collection, donating an additional 1,500 items from his personal archive!

Look for an announcement of next year’s big b-day bash on Geisel Library’s news page after New Year’s.

7 ½ foot Cat in the Hat

Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat sculpture at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla

Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat sculpture at Geisel Library, UCSD in La Jolla

In the meantime, next time you’re in La Jolla, check out the life-size bronze sculpture of Dr. Seuss and a towering 7 ½ foot Cat in the Hat in front at the library. Seuss selfies are encouraged!

Secret Art of Dr. Seuss

Secret Art of Dr. Seuss at Legends Gallery, La Jolla includes Unorthodox Taxidermy

The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss includes Unorthodox Taxidermy

In the charming Village of La Jolla, the Legends Gallery displays some wonderful imaginings in its “Secret Art of Dr. Seuss” exhibit. Visitors can view the sophisticated, technically accomplished and unrestrained side of Seuss’ talent, including lesser-known paintings, illustrations and sculptures from his Unorthodox Taxidermy collection (a fun fav!).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Old Globe

"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" at the Old Globe in Balboa Park

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at the Old Globe in Balboa Park

And though it’s not in La Jolla, I should mention the whimsical annual Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! musical that takes place each holiday season at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. It’s a magical must see for the whole family!

See you in San Diego, Dr. Seuss fans!

Robert Arends

Family Fun for Free in San Diego’s Coronado!

Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach

Family fun in the sun in Coronado! Courtesy Joanne DiBona,

The Kidvasion has begun! Kids Free in San Diego month is in full swing. As you and your family are in town enjoying the numerous (100+) free deals, be sure to visit sun-kissed Coronado, a bridge away from downtown San Diego.

Kids are sure to get a kick out of these free activities around the island:

The Beach

Build a Sandcastle at the #1 Beach in America - Coronado Beach

Build a Sandcastle at the #1 Beach in America – Coronado Beach

Make sandcastles at Coronado Beach – the #1 beach in America – with its expansive stretch of soft white sands. To the north, check out the tail-wagging fun at Dog Beach where friendly fidos splash in the surf and play fetch. Along Ocean Blvd., can you spot the giant sand dunes that spell C-O-R-O-N-A-D-O? Pretty neat!

Coronado Museum of History & Art

US Navy's aircraft carriers at NAS North Island

Mighty aircraft carriers and high-flying jets at NAS North Island

Fly by the Coronado Museum of History & Art (kids under 12 are free with 1 adult paid admission) to check out their new 100+ Years of Yachting exhibition, plus cool U.S. Navy display. To see the real thing, head to Shoreline Park (First St. & I Ave.) for a peek at the Navy’s mighty aircraft carriers. A free air show of sorts can be seen almost daily at Coronado Beach, with Navy jets and helicopters flying overhead on their way to NAS North Island.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Coronado Public Library

Wizard of Oz Glass Panels - Coronado Public Library

Wizard of Oz scenes at the Coronado Public Library

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Coronado Public Library to gander at massive glass panels depicting scenes from the Wizard of Oz. Oz author L. Frank Baum lived in Coronado! Join Coronado Touring on a walk back in time through the Hotel del Coronado (Baum’s inspiration for the Emerald City) and past the yellow cottage where Baum wrote a few of his fantastical children’s books. Tour is free for kids under three ($12 each for mom and dad).

Secret Art of Dr. Seuss

The whimsical "Secret Art of Dr. Seuss" at Stephen Clayton Galleries

The whimsical “Secret Art of Dr. Seuss” at Stephen Clayton Galleries

Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat greets kids at Stephen Clayton Gallery

Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat greets guests at Stephen Clayton Gallery

Another famous children’s author who lived in San Diego was Dr. Seuss. Discover the “Secret Art of Dr. Seuss” – including sculptures of magical creatures and other-worldly paintings – at the Stephen Clayton Galleries at the Coronado Ferry Landing.

And don’t forget Coronado’s Kids Free month participants and special deals, including:

Coronado’s fun and free playground of activities awaits! 🙂


Lights up on Holiday Theatre in San Diego

Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - Old Globe Theatre

This season, houses and storefronts aren’t the only things being decked with holiday lights. Theatre lights are up on a variety of holiday-themed shows around San Diego perfect for the whole family. From that infamous thieving Grinch at the Old Globe Theatre to an evening of Celtic songs with the San Diego Symphony, enjoy a night on the town that is certain to brighten the spirits and warm the hearts this holiday season.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe Theatre

Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - Old Globe Theatre

Whoville comes alive in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

Bring the family to Whoville! Back for its 15th incredible year, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is taking over the Old Globe Theatre with family favorite songs, “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day” and “Fah Who Doraze,” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” The Grinch makes it easy to take the whole family to the theatre, with 11:00 AM matinĂŠe performances open to all ages, including children under the age of 3 years old. The Globe will also be offering an autism-friendly performance of The Grinch on December 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

Dates: November 17 – December 29, 2012
Theatre: The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Box Office: 619.234.5623
Cost: Tickets start at $24
> Find out more about Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The Nutcracker at Birch North Park Theater

Nutcracker - San Diego Ballet

The San Diego Ballet performs Tchaikovsky’s beloved “Nutcracker” this holiday season.

See snowflakes, sugar plums and Russian dancers swoop and soar across the Birch North Park Theatre and the Mandeville Center at UCSD in San Diego Ballet’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker. In its 21st year, San Diego Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is brought to life with over 100 beautifully costumed dancers, directed and choreographed by Robin Sheretz-Morgan and Javier Velasco.

Dates: December 1-2, 2012 (Birch) and December 16 and 21, 2012 (Mandeville)
– Birch North Park Theatre, 2891 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 (map)
– Mandeville Center at UCSD, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 (map)
Box Office: 619.294.7378
Cost: $25-$55 (Birch); $20-$50 (Mandeville)
> Find out more about the Nutcracker performance at the Birch North Park Theatre
> Find out more about the Nutcracker performance at the Mandeville Center at UCSD

Festival of Christmas: Christmas on My Mind

Festival of Christmas - Christmas on my Mind - Lamb's Players Theatre

A Festival of Christmas presented by the Lamb’s Players in San Diego.

The Lamb’s Players are bringing back one of Kerry Meads most popular “new” scripts: Christmas on my Mind. A diverse group of travelers finds themselves stranded by an unexpected snowstorm. They all make their way to a cabin in the woods and create a celebration by sharing music and stories. Surprising, fun and refreshing – the performance includes a beautiful blend of original music and traditional favorites.

Dates: November 30 – December 30, 2012
Theatre: Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado CA 92118 (map)
Box Office: 619.437.6000
Cost: $26-$60
> Find out more about Christmas on my Mind by the Lamb’s Players

WCYG Playhouse of the Air Presents A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play

Christmas Carol Flyer - Cygnet Theater

A Christmas Carol told as a 1940s live radio show at Cygnet Theatre in San Diego.

Cygnet Theatre continues its annual holiday tradition with a new live radio play. Be a part of the live studio audience as the WCYG Players bring a unique presentation of the classic story, A Christmas Carol, to life in the style of a 1940s radio show. A treat for the whole family, the show is complete with holiday music, commercials and live sound effects.

Dates: November 23 – December 30, 2012
Theatre: Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs Street, San Diego, CA 92110 (map)
Box Office: 619.337.1525
Cost: $19-$59
> Find out more about A Christmas Carol at the Cygnet Theatre

A Celtic Celebration with the San Diego Symphony Holiday Pops

Join the San Diego Symphony as they take a visit to the Emerald Isle for a Holiday Pops: Celtic Celebration. With the “luck o’ the Irish” this holiday season, GrammyÂŽ Award-winning nine-time all-Ireland fiddle champion Eileen Ivers joins the San Diego Symphony for an evening of festive Irish holiday favorites including “The Holly Tree,” “Don Oiche Ud im Beithil” (“One Night in Bethlehem”), “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” (in traditional jig time) and “The Wexford Carol” (dating back to the 12th century) along with so many traditional favorites that we’ve come know.

Dates: December 22-23, 2012
Theatre: Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Box Office: 619.231.3848
Cost: $20-$85
> Find out more about Holiday Pops: Celtic Celebration

> Find more Holiday arts & culture events in San Diego

Robert Arends

Coronado’s Hidden Art – In Video Form!

Coronado has always inspired artists – from painters and photographers to world-renowned authors. With its magical setting of beautiful beaches, swaying palm trees and charming Norman Rockwell-esque village, it’s easy to see why.

The “Crown City” has many artistic jewels in its crown: eye-catching public artworks, chic art galleries, the top-notch professional Lamb’s Players Theatre and Coronado Museum of Art & History where you can time warp back to the Victorian Age, the beginnings of the Hotel del Coronado and the launch of U.S. naval aviation.

Join me on a video tour of my favorite art finds in Coronado, including some surprising secrets that will take you down the “Yellow Brick Road!”

P.S. Be sure to mark your calendars for the big annual Coronado Art Walk on Sept. 15-16 at the Coronado Ferry Landing!


3 for Free this Weekend in San Diego

1. America’s Cup World Series: San Diego is the third stop in the America’s Cup World Series which features both fleet and match sailboat racing on San Diego Bay, November 12-20. The San Diego regatta will give the public an opportunity to watch the world’s top sailors compete in state-of-the-art AC45 wing-sailed catamarans; this is the first time the high-tech boats will be seen in the US. San Diego Bay’s natural sailing environment will allow fans to get close to the action, offering spectator access along numerous points along the picturesque waterfront.

2. Veterans Day Parade: San Diego salutes its servicemen and women at the Veterans Day Parade and patriotic celebrations at the USS Midway Museum. At 11:00 am, Friday, November 11, gather to watch bands and marching units at Cedar Street, then traveling down Pacific Highway to G Street. Cmdr. Eddie Murphy, USN Ret.; Col. Clark Kholos, USAF Ret.; and Master Chief Joe Ciokon, USN Ret. will serve as grand marshals.

3. Dr. Seuss Traveling Art Exhibit : Hotel del Coronado welcomes back the Dr. Seuss traveling art exhibit featuring sculptures of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s most beloved characters, including the Lorax, the Grinch, Yertle the Turtle and the Cat in the Hat. The collection, which is managed (along with the rest of Seuss’ art) by The Chase Group, will be displayed on The Del’s Windsor Lawn through December 31, 2011. Touring the exhibit is free.

Robert Arends

5 to Try: Magical Masterpieces of “San Diego’s Gaudi”

Ever wanted to know what it would be like to walk through the wondrous world of a Dr. Seuss book, with all of its quirky colorful shapes and landscapes? Well now you can at the Open House of the James Hubbell House and Studios in the East County community of Santa Ysabel (near Julian) on Father’s Day, June 19.

If you’re not familiar with Hubbell and his art or architectural creations, he is considered a “national treasure” known for his organic structures steeped in nature. The San Diego Union-Tribune even called Hubbell House & Studios one of the “Masterpieces in Our Midst.”

In addition to eight fantastical structures at his 40-acre artists complex, Hubbell has a few other stunning sculptural works sprinkled throughout San Diego County.

Following are five fun ones to try:

  1. Big/Main Studio at the Hubble House. Notice it’s resemblance to whale bones!

    Big Studio at Hubbell House and Studios.

  2. Boy’s House at Hubble House and Studios. This one is especially playful with its pools of colorful glass and mosaic tile flowing throughout.

    Boy's House, Hubbel House and Studios.

  3. Volcan Mountain Preserve entrance gate and sculpture in Julian. There’s something kind of sci-fi about this piece, like a space portal into nature!

    Beam me up, to Volcan Mountain!

  4. Sea Passage fountain and sculpture on Glorietta Bay in Coronado. This piece is very San Diego and fits perfectly with the beachy island vibe of Coronado.

    Hang 10 at Coronado's Sea Passage!

  5. Pacific Portal sculpture on Shelter Island, San Diego Bay. I collect seashells, and if I could I’d pocket this one! OK never mind, it’s kind of ginormous.

    Giant Pacific Portal seashell-like sculpture.

Oh, and for you history buffs, Hubbell did a life-size clay sculpture of Father Junipero Serra in front of Mission San Diego de Alcala – California’s first mission – in Mission Valley. Talk about prolific!

I’m checking out the Hubbell House & Studios open house on my way back from a weekend staycation in Borrego Springs – can’t wait! I’ll be sure to take lots of photos and share them with you later this month.