The official launch of North Park Nights is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11. But get this: Ray at Night, the monthly art walk that inspired North Park Nights and was supposed to die a quiet death, is still breathing, and it apparently will be going on in the same place at the same time. So, you might want to head down there just to see what galleries are participating in what event. Actually, you might not be able to tell the difference, so just head down there and enjoy the creativity on display. Don't miss Billy Martinez's “Girls” collection of acrylic paintings depicting anime-inspired fantasy women at the San Diego Art Department (3830 Ray St.), Cara Heslip's creative use of materials in her solo show at Spacecraft (2865 North Park Way), Tijuana painter Jorge Tellaeche's show at 4 Walls Gallery (3813 Ray St.) and whatever the folks at Art Produce Gallery (3139 University Ave.) have put together this month (last month's Urban Detritus show was amazing). www.northparknights.org.The work of women: Men still create much of the art being created in this town, but this week, two local female artists are stepping up. Marie Najera will show her large-scale paintings depicting the charm and old-world life of the people of the Croatian island of Vela Luka. Her solo show, La Isla, opens at R3 Gallery (2421 India St. in Little Italy) from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11. And San Diego Troubadour editor Liz Abbott is coming out of the artistic closet from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at Tecolote Guitar Works (1231 Morena Blvd. in Bay Park) with a solo show featuring her fabric-and-thread renderings of vintage orange-crate labels, old travel posters and magazine covers and photographs of musicians from the 1920s through 1940s. www.r3gallery.com or www.tecoloteguitarworks.com.
Pretty much anything that comes out of UCSD's Calit2 program is extremely interesting, maybe a little confusing, yet innovative. An upcoming performance at the Salk Institute (10010 North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla) is no exception. Calit2 composer-in-residence Roger Reynolds, along with percussionist Steven Schick and the UCSD graduate ensemble red fish, blue fish will perform Reynolds' Sanctuary, which has been described by the Washington Post as “waves of gorgeous, purposeful, minutely detailed sound.” The show starts at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, with a pre-performance discussion. Tours of the Salk Institute will be offered from 4 to 5 p.m. $25. firstname.lastname@example.org, 858-822-5825.
Dime Stories, a local group of writers, readers and word lovers, will gather at The Loft, UCSD's newest performance venue, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, for a live session. Those who've submitted their three minutes of prose and been given the go-ahead from Dime Stories organizers will get behind the mic and read their stories, which range from strange and deranged to heart-wrenching and life-changing. You'll be surprised at the kind of stuff that fits into 180 seconds. Word on the street is that Dime Stories will create a podcast and air on public radio soon, so you should catch the crew live before they get too big for this kind of intimate show. $5 or pay what you can at the door. The Loft is in the expanded Price Center East on the UCSD campus. www.dimestories.org.
Those of you readers who dig things like dragons, magic, oracles, knights, princesses and fairies should put down your 900-page fantasy novels and head out to Barnes & Noble (10775 Westview Parkway in Mira Mesa) from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11. Eight authors in the fantasy-fiction genre, including Sharon Hinck, Bryan Davis, Christopher Hopper and Jonathan Rogers, will be dressed in medieval costumes while they read from their novels. The Fantasy Fiction Tour—just FYI—is a national tour that brings together authors who are inspired by their Christian faith. 858-831-0446, www.barnesandnobleinc.com.
The best fest
San Diego is a city of film festivals, but the Asian Film Festival, which kicks off on Oct. 9 with Ping Pong Playa and features more than 140 films all told, is our favorite one. Other highlights include the Chinese war movie Assembly; Vexille, a sweet piece of Japanese anime; the Australian comedy Please Vote for Me; Wayne Wang's A Thousand Years of Good Prayers; the American documentary The Killing of a Chinese Cookie; Accuracy of Death, a way-cool Japanese picture; and the rare Thai film Chocolate, about an autistic girl who kicks serious ass. And those movies just scratch the surface. The programming is deep and eclectic, and the filmmaking is usually top-notch. The whole thing runs through Oct. 16 at the UltraStar Hazard Center—we recommend you take a week off and go with the full festival pass. An entire lineup, along with showtimes and ticket information, is at www.sdaaf.org.
At the beginning of the month, Balboa Park's San Diego Automotive Museum opened its 20th anniversary exhibition, Ferrari: Cavallino Rampante: Italy's Prancing Horse. If you haven't seen the 30 Ferraris yet, don't fret; from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, the museum will host a grand-opening reception featuring food, Peroni beer, wine and rare racing cars, some that have never been on view in the United States before. Tickets to the reception are $35. The exhibition itself is on view through Dec. 31. www.sdautomuseum.org, 619-231-2886.
Up-and-coming dancers and choreographers will be given the rare chance to showcase their own creations at the Emerge Dance Festival at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at the David and Dorothy Garfield Theater (4126 Executive Drive in La Jolla). This year's crop of precocious artists includes Alicia Arguilla, Rebecca Bruno, Anthony Diaz, Tricia Frazier, Kristopher Ross and others, all of whom had to present their work to a professional committee in order to make the cut. $15. www.rincondance.org, 858-362-1348.