Photo courtesy of San Diego Opera


For a holiday with a history that involves executions, crazy Roman emperors and a bizarre fertility festival involving naked men swatting women with dog-skin whips (for real, look it up), Valentine's Day has come a long way.

Sure, you could join the crowded throngs at the movies or at a restaurant, but here are a few alternatives we think would make for a unique and much more romantic day.

First up, on Friday, Feb. 12, at St. Paul's Cathedral (2728 6th Ave.) in Hillcrest and Saturday, Feb. 13, at the La Jolla Library (7555 Draper Ave.), local choral group SACRA/PROFANA will perform "Romance Isn't Dead," a program consisting of new and classic songs with love and romance themes. Bonus: The $20-$25 ticket price includes complimentary champagne and chocolate.

There are a couple Balboa Park events that would also make for excellent V-Day options. Starting Thursday, Feb. 11, the San Diego Museum of Art will showcase sculptural works from its permanent collection all over the Plaza de Panama (corner of El Prado and Pan American Way). Titled Art of the Open Air, the free exhibition features works from legends like Joan Miró, Auguste Rodin, and Tony Rosenthal. Around the corner, the Free Weekend of Poetry at the Old Globe (1363 Old Globe Way) features a poetry discussion on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 4 p.m. that includes prominent locals Jim Moreno, Karla Cordero and more. Then, on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 4 p.m., Moreno and Cordero are joined by fellow poets Lizz Huerta and Joe Limer for a one-hour showcase in the Old Globe Plaza.

And what Valentine's Day would be complete without a little blood-soaked, jealousy-fueled drama? We're referring to San Diego Opera's season-opening performance of Puccini's Tosca. Opening Saturday, Feb. 13, at the San Diego Civic Theatre (1100 3rd Ave.) for four performances through Sunday, Feb. 21, the opera deals in themes of murder, betrayal and even police brutality, but the incomparable singing still makes it worth you putting on your romance pants. Tickets start at $45.

Ultimate Sacrifice by Chor Boogie
Image courtesy of the artist


Gun violence, poverty, immigration, environment, race—it's a long laundry list for politicians this election. In his series Divided State of America, graffiti guru and San Francisco native Chor Boogie paints a not-so-pretty picture of these issues while questioning the candidates' dedication to the nation's founding morals. Starting Thursday, Feb. 11, six large-scale paintings from the series' sub-collection, In God We Trust, will be on display at the Mesa Community College Art Gallery (7250 Mesa College Drive). An opening reception will be held in the Art Gallery (Room D101) from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and will be immediately followed by a lecture by Boogie in Room G101. Be sure to check out the mural in the gallery's courtyard as well. Entry is free.

Nikki Giovanni
Image courtesy of the author


From Ray Bradbury to Joyce Carol Oates, the annual Writer's Symposium by the Sea has brought some distinguished voices to San Diego. This year, participants coming to Point Loma Nazarene University (3900 Lomaland Drive) include the great sportscaster Dick Enberg; children's author Robin Jones Gunn; and Christian feminist blogger Sarah Bessey. But our favorite has to be civil rights activist and author Nikki Giovanni. A poet, professor and spoken-word artist, Giovanni is at the top of the list and we're excited for her relevant insights on race and peace. Tickets are going pretty fast, so make space in your calendar from Tuesday, Feb. 16 to Friday, Feb. 19. All events start at 7 p.m. See for full schedule and campus locations.


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