Get a jump
Holiday shopping can either suck or be tons of fun, depending on how you approach it. From 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, the fun side of shopping can be found at the Fashion and Art Trunk Extravaganza at The Linkery restaurant, 3794 30th St. in North Park. Get nice and toasted on The Linkery's selection of handcrafted beers and wine while picking through handmade goods by Tib Nelson Designs, Sugar Couture, Lisa Jee, Amy Paul, Steve Rankin, Stiska Design and others. Free. E-mail email@example.com for details.
Nice and not
The San Diego Architectural Foundation pulls out all the stops when it comes to its annual Orchids & Onions event, which allows San Diegans to vote on the best and the worst architecture in the county, then makes the picks public in a big gala and awards ceremony, where the awardees have no idea whether they're getting an Orchid (good architecture) or an Onion (bad architecture). The gala starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. Commentary will be provided by former CityBeat music editor Troy Johnson and one of CityBeat's favorite local architects, Ted Smith. The Howlin' Jupiters will provide the musical entertainment, and video footage will be provided by filmmaker Noah Tafolla, host of KPBS' Wonderland TV program. Drinks and nibbles are included with your $50 ticket. www.orchidsandonions.org.
Artist and educator Kim Stringfellow is perhaps most famous for her disturbingly colorful photos of The Salton Sea. The unnatural landscapes of that ecological and environmental disaster are made strikingly obvious through Stringfellow's lens, and we're told she'll be unveiling new multi-media creations that tell the human history of some other desert patches in Southern California in Critical Landscapes, her solo show opening from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Grossmont College's Hyde Art Gallery, 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon. 619-644-7299.
Best of Baja
Since gringos are too chicken to travel to Baja California these days (even with the constant reminders of the “Magic of Mexico” courtesy of the ongoing radio advertisements brought to you by the Mexican Tourism Board), the State of Baja California, the Consulate General of Mexico and others will bring Baja to the gringos from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14. Celebrate Baja will feature wines from Guadalupe Valley, food prepared by Baja chefs and music by the Orchestra of Baja California. Artists from down south will also show their work. Celebrate Baja is part of the new evening series at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park called Early Evenings @ Mingei. $10. www.mingei.org, 619-239-0003.
k.d. lang could call it quits. She could hang up her guitar and join the ranks of singer/songwriters who work hard early in life and eventually make just enough money to live off royalties, but she hasn't, and if her newest album, Watershed, is any indication, she won't be quitting anytime soon. She seems to be in her prime, writing emotion-filled songs that range from simple blues tunes to layered Flamenco and bossa nova-inspired compositions, on which she's joined by a cast of talented musicians that she's been working with for years. lang and friends will take the stage at Birch North Park Theatre, 2891 University Ave. at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13. The show was originally scheduled for the Symphony Hall, so ticket holders are encouraged to exchange Symphony tickets for comparable seats at the theatre. www.birchnorthparktheatre.com, 619-239-8836.
FOOD & WINE
The annual San Diego Wine & Food Festival, happening Nov. 12 through 16 at venues throughout the city, has so much going on, it can make your head spin. For foodies, the not-to-be missed affair is the Grand Tasting Event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at Embarcadero Park North at the end of Kettner Boulevard, Downtown. The competitive cooking happening in the “Chef of the Fest” competition will surely produce plenty of excellent tasting—60 of San Diego's top chefs will dish out samples, 30 gourmet food companies will be on hand, the California Olive Oil Commission will put on an olive-oil tasting and competition and more than 160 wineries will make sure you have something with which to wash down that fine food. Your $100 ticket to the Grand Tasting benefits the American Institute of Wine & Food's culinary-arts scholarship programs. And for wine lovers, the place to be is the Wine Rave at the W Hotel, 421 B St., Downtown, from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12. For $35 to $45, you and your friends can sample what organizers say are “20 of the edgiest wines and spirits on the market today.” www.worldofwineevents.com, 619-342-7337.
Partying for pink
The Pink Party at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, will be the party to end all parties. And we're not being hyperbole-happy here—the night will feature a fashion show with local designers, including Soul in the Machine, Enlighted Designs, Sexy Couture, Girl on Top and others; entertainment by stilt walkers, aerial artists, belly dancers, violinists and more; music by DJs Lea Luna, Theron and 20 Meat; and food and drinks. The venue, the ultra-cool, 40,000-square-foot Fit Athletic Club at 350 10th Ave., Downtown, will host hundreds of pink-adorned guests who all, ostensibly at least, have good intentions—half of the proceeds will benefit breast cancer research and education. $30-$50. www.pinkpartysd.com.