One of the most popular pieces from our Balboa Park series this year was a roundup of eight people’s favorite places in the park. Something resonated when we simply asked eight people connected to the park about their favorite place and the perfect time to be there.

I was walking through one of my own favorite places in the park (Morley Field) on my way to another (the Florida Canyon trails) one day recently when I got an idea.

I’d passed a birthday picnic festooned with vibrant papel picado. I’d watched part of a volleyball game and heard, faintly, a splash from Bud Kearns pool. I’d circumvented the weaponry of some live-action role players.

I thought: This is just one corner of the park. What if we could see what’s happening at one particular moment all across Balboa Park? What if we could see what’s happening in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the international cottages, the Prado restaurant and The Old Globe’s rehearsal rooms all at the same time?

We’re going to try and make that happen. It’s an experiment that depends on your help. I hope you’ll join us.

Here’s the deal. On Saturday, Dec. 1, head to a location in Balboa Park. It might be your favorite spot, or it might be a place you’ve never discovered before. (If you’re worried about parking, don’t worry — the city’s popular holiday event, December Nights, is the next weekend.)

Bring your camera or your smartphone. At 3 p.m. precisely, take a photo where you are.

If you use Twitter or Instagram, upload your photo with a short description of your activity or location and add this hashtag to your caption: #balboaparkphoto. The number sign and the phrase will connect your photo with other people uploading theirs, and will help us find them all.

If you know how, tag your photo to a landmark nearby — we’re going to try to map some of the photos using the geographic data that gets attached.

And if you don’t have a smartphone or don’t use those services, email your photo to me ( We’ll compile a look at the highlights the next week.

We’ll talk more about the experiment at our park-centered “Meeting of the Minds” on Nov. 28, but I wanted to give you an early heads-up. Start scheming which corner of the park you’ll feature. And let us know in the comments below if you have any questions.

Update: If you participate and share your photo with us, please be advised that we may use the image in our future publications highlighting this experiment.

I’m Kelly Bennett, reporter for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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