Aug. 1 2012 12:43 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

“Traditionalistas” by Bob Rob Medina

1 Egypt invades the barrio

Bob Medina and his wife Ana are former art teachers from San Diego who now live as ex-pats in Alexandria, Egypt. At 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at Voz Alta gallery (1754 National Ave., in Barrio Logan), they'll let San Diegans experience what their new home is like—from its popular music to the sights and even food—in the show Where You From?, which runs through Aug. 14. 

When budget cuts hit Pala Unified School District—where the Medinas were teaching in 2009—they were faced with larger class sizes and no end to the bursting seams in sight. The couple's passion for the arts led them to an international job fair in San Francisco that landed them in Alexandria, where they currently teach at a private institution. Every summer, they return to the states for a visit; this time, Bob Medina has brought back pieces of Egypt to simulate life there. He says it's as intense as listening to Black Sabbath, blaring at 5 a.m.

"There will be paintings and drawings that I've made and posters that I collected on the streets. I wanted to re-create my life in Alexandria at the gallery," he says. "It will be overwhelming for the senses, just like when you get to Egypt."

Attendees can expect a re-creation of the Medinas' day-to-day life, from the street rap that blasts from the modified sound systems on Egyptians' motorcycles—through speakers that Bob says complete the effect—to videos that reveal the non-spoken signals that natives use to communicate on the street. There will even be falafel.
One aspect, however, won't be present. "Feral cats are like a society within the society," he says. "You can't walk very far down the street without seeing 20 or 30 of them." Bob reveals that Ana has a fear of the cats; for that, and more obvious reasons, they'll be the one missing element at the show.

2 They're crafty

Watching a craft-cocktail mixologist make a drink is pretty ridiculous. They light things on fire, rub glasses with orange peels and do all sorts of other random fancy things. Then, after 10 minutes, they hand you your drink, and it's heaven in a glass. From 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, see these crafty folks pour and flame drinks at the Craft Beer & Cocktail Showcase, presented by San Diego CityBeat and our friends at El Dorado Cocktail Lounge (1030 Broadway, Downtown), where the event will take place. You'll get 10 samples of craft cocktails and beers, because why would a San Diego drink event ever not include beer. Tickets are $15 in advance, $25 at the door.

3 Bazaar del fun-do

America, America, America. We talk as if we're the only country in the hemisphere, when really there are 35 sovereign nations across the Americas. What are these countries of which you speak? you ask. Well, most are Spanish- or Portugese-language nations to the south of us, and you can experience many of them yourself at the Latin American Festival, which runs from Friday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 5. Located at the Bazaar Del Mundo shops (4133 Taylor St. in Old Town), the festival will feature vendors and exhibitors from countries, including Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico, who'll display their wares under the Bazaar's colorful umbrellas— plus Latin folk music from Tinku and food from Casa Guadalajara restaurant. Oaxaca City, Mexico-based tin artist Arturo Sosa Perez alone is worth the journey.

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


See all events on Friday, Dec 2