Aug. 3 2015 06:40 PM

Our top three picks of things to do in San Diego this week

Planters by Graymass
Photo courtesy of Graymass


The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) is doing all sorts of cool things these days. It has a pay-what-you-wish program that allows you to dish out whatever dollar amount you want every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday through Sept. 4. It recently came up with a sensible (read: cheap!) membership plan, added a whole new gallery and its "Late Night Thursdays" events have been intriguing.

If MOPA's trying to cater to the cost-conscious, younger, hipper crowd, they're doing a fine job. And the upcoming Art Bazaar event is no exception.

From 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, MOPA will transform into an international marketplace featuring artists, crafters and designers from San Diego and Tijuana. There'll also be popsicles by Viva Pops, Brazilian street food by Do Braza, DJs and a cash bar.

"I've been wanting to do something like this forever," says Heather Thomas, the assistant store manager at MOPA who helped organize the event. "We wanted to reach out to the local creative community and give them a chance to showcase their work here at the museum." 

The market will include the mid-century-modern concrete planters by the Tijuana designer known as Graymass, the unexpectedly racy embroidery work by San Diego artist Jaclyn Rose, nostalgic tintype portraits by photographer Anton Walker and other one-of-a-kind-type stuff. 

"People will be able to see a really good variety of products at the market," Thomas says. "And it really ties in well with the 7 billion Others exhibition showing at MOPA right now. The exhibition is really about the story of humanity and what people's experiences are across the world—how they're similar, how they're different...The show is a nice portrait of the rest of the world, so the international art mart definitely fits that global theme."  

Opera NEO's production of Agrippina last year
Photo by Gary Payne 


Opera can be a difficult art form to get into for those not already indoctrinated in the works of Puccini, Strauss or Verdi, unless you've seen Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd's interpretation of Wagner. But for a more highbrow, albeit accessible form of opera, there's another option, in the form of Opera NEO, which places opera in a new context for a new audience, with performances in outdoor venues and a less traditional take on staging. This year's program features glimpses of Mozart's lesser-known Impresario, Bizet's Carmen and Handel's Rinaldo. Performances of The Impresario and Carmen take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, and Saturday, Aug. 8, and Rinaldo shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, and Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Palisades Amphitheatre (6301 Birchwood St.) in Del Cerro. Tickets start at $12.    

Photo courtesy of Hillcrest Business Association


Street fairs all tend to look identical. Vendors work the circuit and the same folks show up every time a community shuts down its streets. The annual Hillcrest CityFest, though, is a bit different. Yes, most of the same 250 vendors will be there alongside the requisite food options, beer garden and carnival rides, but organizers have added some flair, including a petting zoo and an all-out dance party featuring some of the region's best DJs including Cumbia Machin, Perro Bravo, Saint Diego and Taj playing music until 11 p.m. CityFest starts at noon Sunday, Aug. 9, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and University Avenue. While admission is free, the vendors will surely suck some of that hard-earned cash out of your hands.  

Does your event deserve to be featured here? Email Kinsee Morlan.


See all events on Wednesday, Oct 26