events

Panama 66 and SDMA’s Exhibit “Gauguin to Warhol”

| November 05, 2014

The purveyors of Blind Lady Ale House and Tiger!Tiger! have come to Balboa Park. They claimed the café located in the San Diego Museum of Art’s May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and have called the outpost Panama 66. I hope they stay a while.

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How’d they land on “Panama 66″? By drawing on the history of its location: “Panama” refers to both the Panama-California Exposition held in Balboa Park in 1915 and the fact that the café is located in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama. The “66″ is an homage to the year–1966–the San Diego Museum of Art opened the sculpture court.

As loyal fans of BLAH and Tiger!Tiger! have come to expect, Panama 66 has taps upon taps of expertly curated beer. It also has a well-stocked food menu, one in which qualifiers like “house wood-fired,” “house-made,” and “house smoked” appear as often as buskers do on Balboa Park’s main promenade. Simply place your order at the register at the entrance, take your number, and grab a seat at the bar or any one of the myriad of shaded tables.

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My husband and I finally visited the outdoor eatery for lunch a few weeks ago. I sunk my teeth into a hefty, hot Roast Beef sandwich made up of house wood-fired roast beef, broccoli rabe, and horseradish cream piled into a chewy house-made bun. My baby daddy chose the P66 Club, a cold sandwich consisting of house wood-fired turkey, thick cut bacon, tomato, butter lettuce, avocado, and harissa aioli in-between sliced country French bread.

When we originally placed our order, we wondered if we should have added something to share on the side, like a dish of fries or a Kale Salad. Then, these beasts came out and we were glad we didn’t give in to self doubt.

Sadly, neither of these sandwiches are on Panama 66’s current menu on account of the fact that the menu is subject to change. Often. But, a friend who currently works the grill station for P66 has talked up the new Roasted Butternut Squash sandwich as well as the Turkey & Brie sandwich. So, I’m not too sad about the lack of menu stability.

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After lunch, we walked off the calories by exploring the “Gauguin to Warhol” exhibit showing at the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA).

A collection of iconic 20th century works on loan from Buffalo’s renowned Albright-Knox Art Gallery, “Gauguin to Warhol” traces the path of Modern art from the late 19th century to the present. Pieces are grouped in movements, taking visitors through the School of Paris to Modernisn, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and eventually Pop.

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I was surprised at how drawn I was to Fernand Léger’s “Smoke” (below left) and “Village in the Forest” because I’ve never once paid attention to Cubism. The unseeing gaze of Modigliani’s “Servant Girl” (below right) made me feel sad, particularly because the subject’s eyes share the same color as the wall she stands in front of, implying to me that while she is there, her station brands her no more valuable than space in the room. Soutine’s “Carcass of Beef” made me think of the movie “Mona Lisa Smile.” I felt calmed by O’Keeffe’s “Green Patio Door,” which reminded of the desert on hot, quiet day. I laughed out loud at how well Balla captured the walking of a Dachshund in “Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash,” from the swinging chain leash to the dog’s and owner’s scampering gaits.

Then I rounded a corner and was beheld by Pollock’s “Convergence.” There’s a bench set right in front of the wall-sized work to encourage staring. I didn’t sit down immediately, choosing instead to admire it from afar, then inch my way closer and closer. “Boy, you could tell a mile away whose this is,” said one sassy museum visitor as she approached it.

When I eventually turned away from the massive art piece to look for my husband, I realized that there were actually a couple of other pieces on the walls perpendicular to it. How could I have missed them? Go see for yourself and be ready to hear various SDMA patrons wonder aloud where Pollock found the room to create it.

Sure, you eventually come upon a Warhol and a Lichtenstein. But, honestly, I’d prefer to spend a few more days just staring at the Pollock.

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If you’d like to savor an evening at SDMA and Panama 66, then check out the upcoming Painting on Tap, a 21+ after museum-hours event set for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 13. Attendees get an exclusive tour of “Gauguin to Warhol” and get to create their own work of art inspired by Henri Rousseau’s “Flowers in a Vase,” on view in the exhibition. Panama 66 will be open throughout the event for those eager to also nibble and sip the night away, but the catch is that you have to purchase food and drink separately. Tickets to Painting on Tap are $60 for nonmembers.

(Photo of Fernand Léger’s “Smoke” from wikiart.org. Photo of Amedeo Modigliani’s “Servant Girl” from albrightknox.org.)

***
Panama 66 // 4150 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 // panama66.blogspot.com

San Diego Museum of Art // 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 // sdmart.org // “Gauguin to Warhol” shows through January 27, 2015

Christine’s picks from “Gauguin to Warhol” // Fernand Léger’s “Smoke” and “Village in the Forest,” Giacomo Balla’s “Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash,” Jackson Pollock’s “Convergence,” John Beech’s “Large Elmer Painting”

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Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour 2014

| October 29, 2014

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A couple of weekends ago, my husband rode in the Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour. It was his third year participating, and the second time he committed to the 150-mile route. The Saturday leg of the ride was 100 miles (aka a century); it started in Irvine and traveled south to Solana Beach, then east through Rancho Santa Fe to Lake Hodges, north to San Marcos and the 78 highway, and then west to the Sheraton Carlsbad. The Sunday leg was 50 miles and ended in Mission Bay.

I’m damn proud of him.

His training began some time in June and consisted of riding to work while the summer days were still long, riding on Saturday mornings with a local Trek Group, and riding on his own on Sunday mornings. The rides would take between one to a few hours, depending on the length of the course and whether or not there were hills. And, yup: He trained through the crazy summer heat waves, when the temperature at 7:00 a.m. was a muggy 75 degrees and went nowhere but up and up (and up) as the mornings turned into afternoons.

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When the Bike MS weekend finally arrived, my husband prepped that Friday night to reduce the amount of thinking needed Saturday morning. You see, he and other SD riders who didn’t book a hotel in Irvine had to catch a charter bus at 4:30 a.m. that Saturday to get themselves, their gear, and their bikes to the starting line. And, when you aren’t used to being somewhat level-headed at that hour, you devise a plan the night before that’s, hopefully, foolproof.

He cleaned his bike, oiled its gears, and placed it in his car. He set up his water bottles on the kitchen counter to remind himself to fill and pack them in the morning. He packed three bags, one of which included his breakfast and went up with him while the other two went up with me when I drove up to Carlsbad later Saturday morning. After checking, double-checking, and running it all by me in case I could think of anything he’d forgotten, we went to bed at 10:30 p.m.

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On Saturday morning, my phone alarm went off at 3:30 a.m., followed by his clock radio five minutes later. He dressed, then prepped the water and sports drink he’d later pack onto his bike. After graciously posing for a few photos, he left for Mission Bay to catch the charter bus, and I went back to bed to sleep until a reasonable Saturday morning hour.

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I made it to Carlsbad around 11:00 a.m. and was joined by my parents and in-laws at the Day 1 finish line to cheer on the riders and keep a look out for my husband.

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After starting the ride around 8:00 a.m., my husband flew past us and up to the finish about six hours later!

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He and I stayed in Carlsbad overnight so that he could sleep in a little longer on Sunday morning, i.e., until 7:00 a.m. After a quick continental breakfast at our hotel, I dropped him off at the starting line at 7:30 a.m. and then took a leisurely drive down the PCH, eventually heading to Hospitality Point in Mission Bay to wait for him to cross the final finish line.

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I admire the man I married. When he makes up his mind to attack a goal, especially one meant to take its toll physically, he’s all in. He doesn’t flake on his commitment no matter how hard it becomes to reach the finish line. He has an amazing ability to push through self-doubt in order to visualize the end, not because he feels entitled to win, but because he trusts himself to work hard to get where he wants to go.

My husband described the 150-mile ride as a challenge that was often times what-the-hell-was-I-thinking painful, but overall exhilarating. So, of course, he plans to relive that bittersweet feeling next year. Come the end of May 2015, he’ll participate in AIDS Life Cycle, a 7-day journey that starts in San Francisco and ends in Los Angeles. Joining him on that trek will be his older sister, Anne, and our friend Dre.

And cheering with me at the AIDS Life Cycle finish line will be our baby boy! My husband and I can’t wait.

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GET OUT // Things to Do in San Diego, June 7-8

| June 02, 2014

What’s one way to ease into the Monday of the first week of June? Get a head start on planning the weekend. Lucky for those of you living in or within driving distance of San Diego, June 7 and 8 is ripe with possibilities. Here are three San Diego events that caught my eye.

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SATURDAY, JUNE 7: Art Around Adams. This free community event turns the neighborhoods of Normal Heights and Kensington into a festival of visual arts, performance arts, crafts, and music. Art galleries will be set up in front of Adams Avenue stores and over 50 musical acts will perform on nine different stages. And you don’t have to walk the 2-mile stretch if you don’t want to: a complimentary trolley featuring en-route comedy performances will shuttle attendees along Adams. Also, according to the Art Around Adams website, there’ll even be an appearance of the Electric Giraffe, a life-sized robotic giraffe that checks in at 17 feet tall when its neck is raised and–no kidding–actually walks! All. For. Free. // The event takes place from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. 3491 Adams Avenue, 92116. artaroundadams.org

(Banner from the Art Around Adams website.)

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SATURDAY & SUNDAY, JUNE 7-8: AirShow San Diego. Sequester schmequester: This annual event put on by Air Group One, the San Diego wing of the Texas-based nonprofit Commerative Air Force, is taking to the air just as it has in years past. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, this year’s show will feature a collection of aircraft, vehicles, and acts representative of the World War II era. Though there is an admission charge to get in to the event, parking is free. // Pre-AirShow tickets start at $16 for adults; discounted prices for veterans, active military, seniors, and children. The event takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. 1960 Joe Crosson Drive, 92020. ag1caf.org

(Banner from a status shared on the AirShow San Diego Facebook page.)

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SATURDAY, JUNE 7: Opening day of the San Diego County Fair. And, guess what? If you buy your ticket for this Saturday at a San Diego County Albertsons or Sav-on, you only pay $4 admission (as long as you spend at least $10 at the Albertsons or Sav-on)! It’s just one of the many deals discussed on the website for the San Diego County Fair, from discount ticket prices, to tips on getting free admission for kids 12 and younger, to info on free parking. That’s right! There are plenty of ways to save in order to splurge on this year’s featured fair food which include Smoked Jack Daniels Bacon-Wrapped Churros, Grilled Cream Cheese Hot Dogs, and the much-discussed Triple Decker Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger. // The fair runs until July 6 and is closed on Mondays as well as June 10 and June 17. Check the website for hours. Regular admission at the gate is $14 for adults, $8 seniors (62 years and older) and children ages 6-12; children 5 years and younger are free. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., 92014. sdfair.com

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An Easy Way to Avoid Grill Heat on Memorial Day

| May 20, 2014

It’s simple: Don’t host a Memorial Day barbecue. Instead, find out if there are any Memorial Day events going on in your city, pick one, and roll out to it with some family and friends in tow.

If you’re in San Diego and looking for a spot that will offer prime meats and icy cold craft beers this Memorial Day, consider heading out to Salt & Cleaver in Hillcrest. From 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 26, the kind folk behind The Cleave will offer $2 4-ounce beer tasters, $4 mini sausages, and $10 bottomless mimosas on top of their full menu.

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(Flyer from Salt & Cleaver’s Facebook page.)

My favorite Salt & Cleaver eats so far include the Ribeye, a housemade ribeye sausage that’s laden with goat cheese, roasted Brussels sprouts, and S&C’s secret sauce; and the Duck.Duck.Pig., a housemade duck and bacon sausage topped with duck confit, baconaze, and orange marmalade. You can find both listed under the “Sausages in a Bun” section of the daily menu.

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Salt & Cleaver’s Memorial Day BBQ will take place on Monday, May 26, 2014, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. // 3805 5th Ave., San Diego, CA 92103 // enjoysausage.com

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My Picks: Things to Do in San Diego, April 26-27

| April 24, 2014

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Saturday, April 26, 2014, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Suzie’s Farm Strawberry Jam. Fun, family-oriented, and free to attend, this San Diego to-do takes place at the farm’s Suzie’s At Sunset spot located east of the Tijuana Estuary. Should you pick your own strawberries from the fields, the haul is yours for $2.50 a pound. Already-picked strawberries will also be sold by the pint and case, as will strawberry-centric foods from food trucks Green Truck, God Save the Cuisine, and Calexico Creamery. That said, you don’t need to buy anything to enjoy an afternoon on the farm. Simply bring your own picnic and take in the live performances from American roots bands Plow and The Big Decisions. 2570 Sunset Avenue, suziesfarm.com

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Sunday, April 27, 2014, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: 25th Annual EarthFair. Boasted as the largest free environmental fair in the world, this volunteer-run festival will include a Children’s Earth Parade, more than 300 exhibitors, an all-vegetarian food pavilion, a Cleaner Car Concourse, live entertainment, and art gallery. Don’t know if you’re doing enough to make your home energy efficient? Then check out the eHome exhibit which will also show you ways to make your home environmentally sustainable. Balboa Park, EarthDayWeb.org/EarthFair.html

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Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27, 2014, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 30th Annual Mission Federal ArtWalk. Get a lot artsy in Little Italy as you wander up and down Beech, Cedar, Date, Fir, and India Streets during this free event. Explore sculptures, paintings, and illustrations, make your own mandala, and embrace the mix of precision and flow that is street art as its created from scratch by renowned graffiti artists APEX, Oceanside native Chor Boogie, Codak, and Mike Bam. There will also be live music and dance performances, as well as a KidsWalk where children can draw, paint, paste, and even make musical instruments, kites, and paper lanterns. 2210 Columbia Street, artwalksandiego.org

(Flyer from the ArtWalk San Diego Facebook page. Photo by Kristie McClure, shared on ArtWalk San Diego’s press photo website.)

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Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27, 2014, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: 31st Annual Encinitas Street Fair. For those looking for a free-to-attend family event in North County, head out to Downtown Encinitas this weekend and enjoy good food and live entertainment. Got a pup? Hit the Dog Zone, which will feature a dog park and dog obstacle course. Bringing the kids? Hang out at the Kid Zone. Of drinking age? Bask in the beer garden. And if you like pancakes, show up at the 7-11 parking lot on D Street between 7-11 a.m. on Saturday only and get served a stack by the Encinitas Fire Department (profits from the pancake breakfast support local firefighters). S Coast Hwy 101 between D Street and J Street, encinitas101.com/events/annual-aprilstreetfair/

(Collage from the 31st Annual Street Fair page on Encinitas101.com.)
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