May 16 2012 11:58 AM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

North Park Festival of the Arts

1 Happening 'hood 

North Park gives good art. From its majestic (in the eye of some beholders) water tower to its charming Craftsmans to the Hillcrest / North Park Georgia Street bridge dividing line—there's a lot to capture on canvas. An artistic homage to the 'hood is part of the North Park Festival of the Arts, happening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 20. In the week leading up to the festival, artists were invited to set up their easels and capture the urban landscape for the "Plein Air Project." The results will be displayed at the annual event, along with works by 40 other artists who span a range of media.

When asked what makes North Park's street fest better than others around town, North Park Main Street Executive Director Angela Landsberg points to everything the fair's got going on: "It has so many different levels to it," Landsberg says. "It appeals to families because we have our kids art block; we have the juried artists booths; we have dance stages, music stages; and then we have craft beer, and we have regular vendor booths like traditional street fairs do."

Those vendors include local DIY vanguards North Park Craft Mafia and, on Ray Street, more indie crafters. On the live-music main stage, booked by SDDialedIn's Rosey Bystrak, catch acts like Maren Parusel and The Black Sands (whom we featured in our May 2 issue). Bar Pink's stage features Rookie Card, Hills Like Elephants and the always-entertaining Creepy Creeps. There'll also be plenty of food offerings, including the ubiquitous gourmet food trucks, and a Craft Beer Block with breweries like Coronado Brewing Co., Alesmith, Hess Brewing and smaller local up-and-comers like Fezziwig's, Butcher's Brewing and Rough Draft. The festival is free; admission to the craft-beer block is $30 in advance, $35 day-of.

2 Crafty women

Who says beer's a man's drink? Plenty of women not only love the taste of a hoppy craft brew, but are also joining what's often considered the boys club of beer brewing. The documentary The Love of Beer highlights the women kicking ass in the Pacific Northwest beer industry, including Bend Brewing's Tonya Cornett and Saraveza's Sarah Penderson.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, catch a screening of the doc at Green Flash Brewing Co. (6550 Mira Mesa Blvd. in Mira Mesa), then stick around for a panel discussion with director Alison Grayson and local female brewers Neva Parker (White Labs) and Laura Ulrich (Stone Brewing Co.). The event is free, but make sure to RSVP to

3 Strawberry shortcut 

Let's set the record straight on strawberries. First, "strawberry" is a misnomer.

Technically, it's a accessory fruit, not a berry. Second, who cares? A strawberry by any other name would taste just as sweet. Third, and not to contradict ourselves, a strawberry actually can be sweeter if it's a locally grown, organic strawberry that you picked with your own hand. On Saturday, May 19, you can avoid the supermarket parking lot, bypass the fake rainforest produce section, skip the check-out line and go straight to the source and pluck your own fruit for $2.50 per pound at the Strawberry Jam at Suzie's Farm (1856 Saturn Blvd.). The jam, which coincides with Food Revolution Day, runs from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and will feature live music from The Big Decisions and food from Green Truck.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.


  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • The former local boy and creator of the highly influential blog, Advanced Style, will be signing and discussing his third book, Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, which features inspiring pictures and stories...
  • C.J. Chenier and Bonsoir Catin headline this annual Cajun inspired festival. Also enjoy 10,000 pounds of crawfish, dancing and cooking demonstrations. Held at Spanish Landing Park, across from the...
  • A Cinco de Mayo party featuring $2 tacos, cocktails and live music from Bostich+Fussible, Javiera Mena and Gepe
  • A spoken word showcase hosted by English instructor Karla Cordero and her City College students. There will also be a special reading from poet Mercedez Holtry, as well as an art and photography show....
  • Widely known as host of "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live and for his role in the Showtime dramedy Weeds, Kevin Nealon brings his unique humor back to the stand-up stage
  • New works from over a dozen UCSD undergraduate students. Participating artists include Charity Algarme, Richard Lin, Joseph Maas, Ignatius Nguyen, and more
  • This video art exhibition from UCSD MFA candidate Stefani Byrd features two installations that explore the themes of breath, mediation, and the nature of time. Takes place in the VAF Performance Space,...
See all events on Thursday, May 5