Date Day/Night

First, Joe Drawsomethinged me an image of pancakes. And then I yelled, “Let’s go get pancakes!”

Friends, riddle me this: How many times does a girl have to eat the perfect three bites out of the center of a delicious buttermilk pancake to learn that even those three mouth-watering, delectable bites will probably send her on emergent trips to the restroom a scant few hours later while the Target pharmacist is trying to talk to her about getting all her meds to auto-refill on the same day of the month? I eat Paleo for a reason. And yet. Every. Single. Time.

Here’s what I love about this picture:

1. I haven’t yet eaten 3 bites of a pancake that are going to make me ill.
2. Joe’s hair. I mean, really.

Here are our shoes while we wait for a table.

I assure you, Joe does have another shoe attached to another leg just to the right, off frame.

And then, and I know this is really exciting for you all, I changed shoes a few hours later and put on these before we went out with friends:

You guys, I love these shoes. I really, really, do. They are orange. They are cork. My husband says they are sexy. Most importantly, I can walk in them and not fall down.

Also, they match the beautiful orange scarf I received while at Alt Summit from Jeannine Harvey direct from FashionABLE that is so near and dear to my heart. It’s a WinWinWinWinWin. 5 wins. Five.

The evening ended at Top of the Hyatt with friends where we imbibed cocktails and talked for hours and stared at the view. I love being able to see Emerald Plaza from up there (green rings far right in the image below).

San Diego Public Market – You Should Go

I was *this close* to kickstartering the heck out of a really cool project. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter that I didn’t hear about the San Diego Public Market until it was too late to join in support and throw in my twenty bucks, because enough people did that they not only reached their goal of $92,244, they blew past it to the tune of $146K+.

Remarkable that a city that hasn’t been able to get behind this project well enough for about 13 years was able to pull that kind of money together in a few months.

Well, San Diego, it was worth the wait. Dale Steele and Catt White have put something really special together with the potential to bring not just Barrio Logan together but really and truly all of our little communities. I’m a big fan of our traveling outdoor Farmer’s Markets. I hit one every week. But we’ve been missing something some of our favorite bigger cities have – a marketplace that doesn’t move. A meeting place with that deeper sense of community you get when people can count on specific vendors to be there and their favorite tamale lady to have the sweetcorn variety with poblano on hand (SO GOOD). And let’s face it, when tourist season hits (and when is tourist season NOT hitting here in San Diego?) they’d like a place to go that has that local flare, top-notch quality produce and hand-made goods people look for around here. Now we have it – San Diego Public Market.

I asked Dale (above on the left) and didn’t-catch-his-last-name-Tom (above on the right, who seems to be an evangelist of some sort for the Public Market project), and man, if half the stuff they have planned comes to pass, this is one of the coolest and forward thinking projects to ever hit San Diego. Nurturing to the vendors and artists and inclusive of the neighborhood. Great use of time slots and surrounding space. Well managed resources. Always keeping the potential customers in mind, even down to a unique payment system where you don’t even need real dollars. Yeah. I know. But, it’s true.

You can go to the information desk and talk to Steve Reeb and he’ll use this little phone reader thing and load up a card for you and you can use it at the vendors like it’s cash. Who wants to carry around pesky, paper stuff anyway, I ask you.

So, go. That’s my advice. If you only read this far, that’s the nugget. But if you keep reading, you’ll be glad, because I have photos of things that start with the letter B like babies, a bovine and beets.

The Details:
Location: 1735 National Avenue San Diego 92113
Phone: 619-233-3901
When: Wednesdays and Sundays 9am-2pm
Twitter: @SDPublicMarket

You can’t miss the market. It’s beautiful, orange exterior begs you to notice it. Yes, darling, I see you.

The market is housed in an old boiler factory. They painted over the original exterior and have no plans to change that. It’s pretty cool to see what it used to look like and what it is now at the same time.

We parked in an alley in the back where they have clear signs pointing the way.

We were met with beautiful hand woven crafts immediately. Oh, yes. I think this will do just fine.

The first thing you notice inside is that the ceiling hasn’t been changed. The pulleys and character of the building is still intact and if you’re like me, that makes you smile. The next thing you notice is that you left your purse in the car. Whoops. Go get your purse. (Don’t tell me what to do.)

Here is the reason we came to the market in the first place: Susan Myrland (on the left).

She’s my friend and today she was giving a tribute of sorts to one of her mentors Gloria Penner who has recently passed away.

Using the ArtBox-turned-radio platform, she gave a moving speech and dedicated the song One Day Like This by Elbow (oddly enchanting video here) to Ms. Penner. Oh, that Susan. I love her so.

Here’s the backside of that ArtBox-turned-radio, now called the Sound Revival, and is the brainchild of Mike Calway-Fagen, Keenan Hartsten and Justin Hudnall. Hi, guys.

On to the rest of the market, then.

See these soaps by Purity Apothecary? Organic and delicious smelling enough to eat, but don’t do that, probably.

See these recycled glasses from Bottlehood? Made from beer and liquor bottles someone got to drink the guts of the first time and now *you* get to use from now on. EVERYBODY wins.

See this baby? She’s tasting the delicious olive oil and balsamic vinegar that’s been aged, oh, EIGHTEEN YEARS. Yes, Erika Kirkland let her baby, Trudi, taste delicious rosemary oil and white balsamic vinegar that is 9 times her age. And that guy David Foster from The California Olive? He was encouraging them. Crazy. (It is seriously so delicious. You gotta go get some.)

And now we’ve come to The Tamale Lady.

It is a travesty I did not catch her name because now she will forever be known as simply The Tamale Lady. At least until next week when I go back to get the sweet corn tamale with pablano that I had last weekend. Do you see how many varieties she has? That is very many weeks you could go back and try a new flavor.

This is Jessica and her little girl, June. I have it on good authority they were fresh from a morning run and looking for a lemonade or other cooling beverage, of which there were many to be found.

When I happened on Cafe Virtuoso, I may have reverently whispered, Oh yes, my people and wept a little.

My husband, Joe, had a peanut butter cookie from Sweet Lydia’s of San Diego and swears it was the best he’s had in years. And he knows his peanut butter cookies.

If you live in San Diego, you’ve noticed the insurgence of food trucks this past year. San Diego Public Market had Miss Sushi San Diego with sushi chef Kate Murray on board.

And this is Cory and Molly Sturtevant about to eat their delicious rolls.

The entire time we were in the market, we were accompanied by the greatest background music – kind of jazzy, kind of bluesy. Turned out to be Alex Anderson on the upright bass with a friend on the keyboard. I would have loved to have included a link to their websites, but the information I had for them turned out to be wrong. Sorry guys.

And this is a cow. Why? Who cares. You don’t need a reason to have a cow.

There are so many more vendors to see with so many great things to show you. Come and see them, won’t you?

Joe and I will be back. I’m guessing it will be quite a regular habit with the two of us. Especially when they get the alternative weekly activity nights and artist spaces going. Watch a glass blower working? Yes, please. Rent out a space for a big party? Don’t mind if I do. Attend a free movie viewing on the side of the building? Definitely. I’ll be there. And so will most of the neighborhood.

The Turquoise, Cafe Bar Europa – The Coffee Part

Margot and I went for coffee this morning. She declared it was time for someplace new. We drive down Turquoise street in North Pacific Beach and saw Valerie waving a sign like a homing beacon, directing us to the Turquoise, Cafe Bar Europa.

Only the outside coffee bar was open, but oo la la, the coffee was delicious. Margot had a little spinach quiche which she declared divine and was gone before I thought to snap a photo. The staff was just lovely.

Parking is a little tricky. On one side is a car wash, which you can park at in the evenings but not in the day, and on the other side is the VFW with clearly marked “VFW only” signs, and street parking is a little scarce. There was some back alley parking but it was full when we were there. But the Turquoise cafe vibe is beachy, pretty, welcoming and eclectic and makes the parking effort worth it.

We’ll be back one evening for drinks and music. Highly recommended.

Nuvia Crisol Guerra on “Domestic Disobedience”

Nuvia Crisol Guerra is passionate, well-spoken, well-informed and charismatic. It’s easy to see why she was chosen to be the guest-curator of such an important show focusing on the Latina experience: Domestic Disobedience, Redefining the Feminine Space.

It all started with an essay by Amalia Mesa-Bains, entitled Domesticana: The Sensibility of Chicana Rasquache. Nuvia said it so closely spoke to her own experience, that she knew she wanted it as the focus of the show.

Amalia Mesa-Bains’ essay speaks to the esthetic of Chicano art, how rasquachismo comes out of simple survival; in the home, their personal lives and in the studio. It’s using objects that they’ve known their entire lives – what’s been around them – in a new way.

Nuvia tells me about how growing up, her parents would grow plants in broken coffee pots or milk jugs, whatever they had. She tells me about visiting her family in Mexico and how they placed used tires to create a retaining wall. “It’s about using elements for something where they are not supposed to be used, because it comes down to survival and it’s then reflected in Chicano art,” she says.

Amalia Mesa-Bains’ essay includes the civil rights movement, the Chicano movement and the gender stratification that starts in the home. “I’m a visual artist and my work has always focused on the Latina experience and my personal experience as Latina, and the conflicts and challenges I’ve had, and the choices that I’ve made in having an education, getting married much later than my parents would have liked, and my choice of not having children,” Nuvia tells me.

Thinking about all those conflicts and challenges, I looked at other artists to see how they were resolving some of these conflicts, how it was coming out in their work.”

“Even though these female artists were involved in the Chicano movement, once it became about their home, they still had the challenges, had these roles they had to fulfill, and if they didn’t, a conflict was created with their spouses, within their family, and at times were too much to bare. This is not only amongst women of color, but all women artists.”

“All that has resonated with me as I decided to make art more, a bigger part of my life. It’s scary to think about becoming a sustainable artist and putting together all my skills to succeed and to do this as a professional career. Pretty much what I’ve learned … is that it’s at all costs,” Nuvia tells me.

Here’s a look behind the scenes of Domestic Disobedience with Nuvia at the San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery (Exhibition and artist details below the video):

Domestic Disobedience, Redefining the Feminine Space
San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery

Location: Art Gallery – D101 and Gallery Courtyard
Dates: March 15 – April 19, 2012
Hours: MTW 11-4 pm, Thursday 11 – 8 pm. Closed Fridays, weekends and school holidays.
Reception: Thursday, March 15, 5:00 – 7:00 pm D101 and Gallery Courtyard
Artist Panel Discussion: 7:00 pm in G-101
Artists Present: Ana Teresa Fernandez (SD), Carolyn Castano (LA), Sonia Romero (LA), Angelica Muro (SJ), Viviana Paredes (SF)

Exhibiting Artist:

Juana Alicia
Claudia Alvarez
Carolyn Castano
Ana Teresa Fernandez
Ester Hernandez
Delilah Montoya
Angelica Muro
Viviana Paredes
Isis Rodriguez
Sonia Romero
Amalia Mesa-Bains

San Diego Artist: Perry Vasquez, Part 1

(Posted at San Diego Union Tribune)

Yesterday I posted about Alexander Jarman, who is curating a show at the Southwestern College Art Gallery called More Real Than Life: An Exhibition of Contemporary Collage.

Today I’m focusing on Perry Vasquez, the gallery director, and artist in his own right.

Perry was nice enough to let me come to the Southwestern College Art Gallery to see the show coming together. It’s great to go see a show on opening night and view all the pieces, plumped up in the perfect light and showing off their party dresses, but there is something altogether fascinating to me about getting a behind-the-scenes look at the parts that make up the finished show. The nitty gritty, if you will. It’s enough to whet your appetite and make you hungry for opening night.

I’ve got another video coming of Perry, which I hope to post early next week, that focuses on his own work. The following video is a sneak peak into the upcoming exhibition, More Real Than Life.


Thursday, March 8: Opening
Artist Talk for Students and Staff: 12 p.m., Reception 11-1
Public Reception: 6-10 p.m. Artist Talk 7-7:30 p.m.
Light refreshments provided

Southwestern College is located at 900 Otay Lakes Road in Chula Vista, California. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 9-5

Exhibiting Artists:

Sadie Barnette, Based in San Diego, CA.
Mike Calway-Fagen, Based in San Diego, CA.
Troy Dugas, Based in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Lola Dupre, Based in Avignon, France.
Chris Kardambikis, Based in San Diego, CA.
Gordon Magnin, Based in Los Angeles, CA.
Morgan Manduley, Based in San Diego, CA.
May-ling Martinez, Based in San Diego, CA.
Arturo Medrano, Based in New York City, NY.
Jason Sherry, Based in San Diego, CA.
Joshua Tonies, Based in San Diego, CA.