Re-Imagine Normal Street
Courtesy of hillcrest business association

STREET SMARTS

While the argument could certainly be made for San Diego being one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities, it's not much known for pedestrian-only streets. Vegas has Fremont, Detroit has Pallister Park and San Francisco has its famous paseos and the Mansell Street Corridor, so why wouldn't a consistently weather-friendly city like San Diego try to do the same?

That's the question the Hillcrest Business Association is asking with its four-day, multi-event Re-Imagine Normal Street. Held from Thursday, May 12 through Sunday, May 15, the whole idea behind the event is to show the public and the powers-that-be what could be done by transforming Normal Street into a car-free, public space that would only be open to bikes and pedestrians. The street has long been the host of the Hillcrest Farmer's Market, so for people like Hillcrest Business Association Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls, the transition wouldn't be that drastic.

"We just felt like the best way to show people it could be done was to do it," says Nicholls, who says he hopes that when people see what is possible that they'll contact city leaders to turn Normal Street into a pedestrian-only street.

As for the event itself, a Thursday evening PechaKucha Night will kick things off. Sponsored by the San Diego Architectural Foundation, the evening begins at 6 p.m. and will feature city planners and creative-types showing off ideas for a Normal Street conversion. On Friday at 6 p.m., there will be a bike-in movie night screening of E.T. On Saturday afternoon from 2 to 6 p.m., there will be a Hillcrest Craft Beer Crawl followed by a concert at 6 p.m. sponsored by The Merrow. On Sunday, things will get back to normal with the Hillcrest Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"This whole endeavor is based on the idea that city staff and city policy makers will see what weíre trying to communicate to them," says Nicholls. "If they can come and see it and possibly use their imagination, then we'll see what happens." fabuloushillcrest.com


“Circulation” by Jeff Irwin
Image courtesy of the artist

MAKERS MARK

With the world's digitization, analog art methods are dissipating, but not if the Allied Craftsmen of San Diego have anything to say about it. This 68-year-old organization makes each artist a craftsman in materials such as wood, metal, glass and more. So while their annual Allied Craftsmen of San Diego Annual Juried Exhibition won't feature any photography, paintings or drawings, it will include more than 35 artists such as Charlotte Bird, Alexandra Hart and Jeff Irwin showcasing various works that are setting the tone in contemporary crafts. The public opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 13, and will be held at Sparks Gallery (530 Sixth Ave.) Beer and wine will be available for purchase with all proceeds going to the organization. The event is free but requires RSVP at sparksgallery.com


Third Avenue
Photo by Andrew Dyer

ELECTRIC AVENUE

Anyone who caught our Beerdist column a few weeks ago already knows some exciting, sudsy things are happening on Third Avenue in Chula Vista. In fact, it's not just limited to that stretch. The whole Chula Vista craft beer scene is blowing up. So an event like Avenue Amps and Ales makes total sense. It will feature more than 20 craft breweries and an eclectic bunch of bands including The Routine and Grizzly Business. Taking over Memorial Park (373 Park Way) on Saturday, May 14, from noon to 6 p.m., the event will also feature food from local eateries, all-ages crafts and #SouthBayUprising theme to benefit the Chula Vista Police Foundation. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. thirdavenuevillage.com

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