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Events: Victor Villaseñor, Young Choreographers, and Marching Bands


Gingerbread, new restaurants and marching bands all make an appearance on this week's weekend preview.

Gingerbread, new restaurants and marching bands all make an appearance on this week's weekend preview.


Barbarella is the author of the Diary of a Diva column and Your Week page at the San Diego Reader.

Erin Chambers Smith is the senior editor at San Diego Magazine.

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This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, you're listening to These Days on KPBS. Even the moon is cooperating in our never ending search for something fun to do on the weekend preview. There's a lunar eclipse coming up in a few days that almost coincides with the winter solstice. Very spacey. But between you and me, the heavens didn't have to get in on the act this week, what with designer ginger bread houses, dinners with strangers and a battle of the marching bands of there's lots to talk about on this weekend preview and I'd like to Zeus my guests, Barbarella is the author of the Diary of a Diva column, and Your Week page at the San Diego Reader. And Barbarella, welcome.

BARBARELLA: Thank you for having me.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Eric Chambers Smith is the senior editor at San Diego magazine. Good morning, Erin.

SMITH: Good morning. Just in the nick of time.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We didn't notice.

SMITH: I don't know what you're talking about.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So let's start out. As I said, there are lots of areas to cover, a lot of different kinds of things going on this week. So Barbarella, let's start out with a choreographer's prize. That's kind of a different event. Some up and coming choreographers will be competing this Saturday. Tell us more about it.

BARBARELLA: Yeah, this is really exciting, I love that local dance is becoming more prevalent in San Diego. This is the first year that the gene Isaacs San Diego dance theatre is putting this competition on. They want to premiere work by emerging photographers, and by emerging, that's age 22 to 39.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Choreographers.

BARBARELLA: Oh, did I say --


BARBARELLA: Oh, just kidding. I was see who was paying attention. Apparently you are.


BARBARELLA: Choreographers. My husband's a photographer. I'm used to saying the word. Yeah, so it's at the neurosciences institute. And there are 11 choreographers, and they're age 22 to 39. The rules for submissions offen to 40. So I really want people who are kind of new and unseen issue even if they have been working at it.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now the audiences get to see the work of these choreographers?

BARBARELLA: Yes, the presentation is going to be -- there are 11 choreographers, so you get to see 11 creations, so it's really a dance show. And one of the rules was that it has to have never been shown anywhere before.


BARBARELLA: Original working new work.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And who decides the winners.

BARBARELLA: Well, the panel includes Dana Famen who is an arts supporter who actually donated the $2,500 prize that the winner receives of she's one of the judges. Wendy Rogers, a Guggenheim fellow and professor of dance at UC Riverside, and Chris Eidlen, I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly, the on line dance critic as well as the audience gets to have a say.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So what is it gonna be by applause or write in.

BARBARELLA: I'm not sure how they're doing that yet, but the audience's choice will be factored into who the ultimate winner is.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And how much are the tickets.

BARBARELLA: They're $20 per ticket, and that includes not only this amazing show of 11 original works that are premieres, but there's a little reception as the tallying is being done, and after that, there's going to be an awards ceremony so that the audience can actually see who won and congratulate the winner and then mingle afterwards.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Nice event. The gene Isaacs dance theatre presents the San Diego young choreographer's prize this Sunday. So Erin, what's up?

SMITH: How's it going?

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: It's going great. Urt and machine shop, Urt clothing is holding an event at a gallery called the machine shop. First tell us about Urt clothing.

SMITH: This is a really fun company that we wrote about a couple months ago in the magazine of it's started by a couple of young kids from Coronado. Childhood presents and one of their names is Ian Urtnowski, and all that stuff, and I guess it was just one day joked, they heard sea lions saying Urt, Urt, Urt, the way sea lions do, and then they joked that oh, that sounds like your last name, and years later it turned into this clothing company. So their logo is actually a sea lion with little lightning bolds coming out of it, as it says Urt Urt. But what's neat about their company, is they put a tide chart under the t-shirt, and if you're out and you want to know when is the best time to surf or paddle board, you just lift up your t-shirt, and it has the tide chart from LA to Tijuana printed on the under side.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Mysterious water lovers. I like this. So what is this art event?

SMITH: Well, I love this story. I just feel like there's a lot of really neat creative stuff coming out of Coronado lately. But another young Coronado guy, friends with Ian and Doug who do the Urt clothing company, his name's Chris Clemens, and he's a real estate agent by day, but he's also a really creative artist and photographer. And could never really mus up the pricey fees or wasn't in that group to get a space in La Jolla or little Italy where a lot of art is going up. Excuse me, I'm winded.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We're all calm here. We're all happy to listen.

SMITH: So yeah, he got this really kind of funky shop behind the machine shop, he calls the gallery the machine shop. Now the metal machine shop in the east village. And he uses it as a way to display some of his photography, [CHECK] so he says, hey, bring down your new fall line of shirts to the machine shop. There's another really cool young Coronado company called orange and park that do really neat sort of ocean prints that sort of show the coastline of Coronado and California and they're gonna be showcasing their stuff too.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So this art exhibit that's gona happen this weekend, well, actually this Friday night, is -- is with a theme of ocean oriented art. ; is that right?

SMITH: Yeah, so it's the Urt clothing guys are gonna be there showing their new fall line of Urt clothing which really means now colors of the sea lion barking. Of [CHECK] organization orient the prints, Matt lingo, he does a lot of photography, he's gonna be displaying some photography there. He's a young guy from Point Loma. So lots of ocean theming in this art. And the thing [CHECK] or wanting to look like surfers or be a part of it. They actually do use it. They all are involved with surfing or paddle boarding of so yeah, it's a neat show.

CAVANAUGH: So Urt's clothing event will be at the machine shop gallery this Friday night. And the gallery is located on fifteenth street.

SMITH: It's a little hard to find, but yes.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: But it's worth it.


MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And Barbarella, let's move onto to the battle of the band it is. Usually battle of the bands issue we think of some kids on a stage.

BARBARELLA: Breakin biographialy.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We're talking about marching bands here, hitting the gas lamp next Tuesday. Why is that?

BARBARELLA: Well, they actually are renaming it now the poinsettia bowl gas lamp march of it's the third year that the gas lamp quarter is hosting this, and it's a demonstration of spirit and support for the teams that are participating in the poinsettia bowl. I don't know a lot about sports, but I'm pretty sure that's the one with the pointy bowl.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: That's the one.

BARBARELLA: [CHECK] and San Diego state university. So both local teams.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So, will the bands performances be holiday themes? I mean, is this gonna be kind of a holiday kind of event.

BARBARELLA: Yes and no. As they March towards the middle, I'll tell you where it is in a second, but as they march down and perform, there will be some holiday songs, but also because this is about spirit, they're performing their fight songs, and I think for the Navy academy, that's the anchors away, and SDSU is about the sons of Montezuma. And I'm not sure who to vote for. [CHECK].

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Torn in half on that one.


MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Where is this parade?

BARBARELLA: It's on 5th avenue, and this is really cool, they're starting each team at opposite ends of 5th avenue. So one team is starts, one band is beginning at E street, the other at K, and they March towards the middle, kind of like facing off in a field at 5th and market. That intersection will be closed down [CHECK] before the ultimate face off. They're going to basically attempt to one up each other, with their kind of, we've got spirit, how about you? Kind of thing, back and fourth.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, this is partnering with the Make a Wish Foundation. Tell us about this.

BARBARELLA: Now, in the past, people have asked, who won. And it's very subjective, [CHECK] however you can show your support for your favorite team or who you think won by texting Navy to 90999, or SDSU to 90999 which automatically bills you a one time fee of $5 that goes to the make a wish foundation. As well, there will be booths set up throughout Horton Plaza, [CHECK] and the text accident is already open, you can start now donating as much as you want, and [CHECK].

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Before you even hear the bands.

BARBARELLA: Yeah, some people I think might be decided already.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, the marching bands of SDSU, and the United States Naval Academy perform next Tuesday nice. Well, talk about holiday event, we have the second annual ginger bread collective, Erin, this weekend, it's a pretty cool cooking competition. It's all about the ginger bread, so tell us about it.

SMITH: Yeah, this is fun, this is the second time that arka Lynnia, a local but also nationally recognized interior design firm and show room is hosting. They do a lot of work with kitchens. They've won several awards for designing kitchens. And they host this every year, and they're bringing in a bunch of the best local chefs around time, ask asking them to cook with ginger bread. Sort of a holiday themed kind of event. [CHECK] they give out prizes and stuff, kind of a fun holiday thing.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So who will be competing in this?

SMITH: Well, lots of the best local chefs in the city, Cuchina Urbana, that's probably one of the hottest tables in town right now. Their chef, Joe, is gonna be there. There's gonna be some people from sweet cheeks baking company. They're gonna be doing some sweet bread interpretations. Lori cross is gonna be there, Diane Huffman from devilish foods, lots of [CHECK].

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And this also benefits a bigger cause, right?.

SMITH: Yes. All the proceeds from the evening, go to second chance, a local foundation that focuses on housing and work force for families and residence [CHECK] So it's a fun charity but it's also a fun theme. And I think they're giving out prizes, there's a people's choice category, there's a most creative interpretation of ginger bread category, and then a favorite, whoever reinvented sort of a classic ginger bread recipe.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I love the most creative in the creation of ginerbread category. Will some of these ginger bread creations actually be on sale in tact without being nibbled by the audience?

SMITH: Yes, there's two components of one is the chefs are gonna be creating dishes using ginger bread, all kinds of crazy things, whatever their specialty is, but then there's also gonna be really gorgeous intricate ginger bread houses that people have put together. Those are gonna be on display. I went last year, they're just gorgeous. [CHECK].

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Tell me if I'm saying this correctly. Arclinea.


MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Arclinea San Diego hosts their ginger bread collective this weekend. Barbarella.

BARBARELLA: Now I'm hungry.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I know. Well, I'm sorry because you have to keep watching the skies for this one. A lunar eclipse is happening Monday night. Can we just start reminding us what happens during a lunar eclipse.

BARBARELLA: Yes, it's really cool. What happens is the moon passes directly behind us from the sun's perspective, so it's in our full shadow, which is why it's always a full moon when this happens, because the sun's directly on it, and you know, you get the red rim around it, it only happens when the earth, the sub, and the moon are in perfect alignment.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Ah, okay. Very good, thank you, I think I understand that. Any suggestions on where to go to view this event?

BARBARELLA: Anywhere away from the city, [CHECK].

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: On the same night?

BARBARELLA: In the season. I saw some shooting stars even in Hillcrest just the other night. So it's really exciting of the desert may be -- however, the daily ranch in Escondido is going to host a gathering for the spectacle. And you can even view it with a telescope there.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay, very good. So what do you do? Do you basically just show up?

BARBARELLA: Yeah, ranger [CHECK] lunar eclipse lasts for 70 empties. So you gather there at the end of the street. I have, actually -- do you want me to go ahead and say? It's 1140. It's late. So you have to be a night owl. But you go all the way, if you're familiar with the area and daily ranch, there's something called la Honda drive, you take it all the way to the end, and she's opening it at 11. So there'll be sort of a viewing party there.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: This is kind of a meet up thing, right?

BARBARELLA: Yes, it is, for out doors hiking group, but anybody is welcome. And there will be some sharing with telescopes, although it's recommended you bring a share, obviously, I'm sure the ground is cold. And water, they didn't say anything about booze. I would speak --

SMITH: I was gonna say, I'd love a glass of wine for that one.

BARBARELLA: That sounds like something to warm you. However it was not recommended by anyone other than me.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. We'll keep that in consideration there. Of the la Honda Daley Ranch parking lot opens at 11:00 Pm this Monday for viewing of the for viewing of the lunar eclipse. Now, Erin, there's a dinner even tonight at Alchemy for guests who want to make a couple new friends.

SMITH: I think this is so fun, it's called dinner with six strangers. What you do is you make a reservations as a twosome, you and someone else, and they seat you at a table of six, with two other random twosomes that you've never met before. And they serve you a big family style meal together with the hopes that you'll get to know each other as neighbors or thought San Diegans.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And what kind of meal are they gonna be serving at this?

SMITH: Alchemy [CHECK] chef Ricardo is great. For these dinners, he puts together whatever is fresh that day. Whatever he feels like putting out there. Make he'll come and -- [CHECK] this or that, so he'll put the menu together on the spot there. And will be three courses, and it will be served family style. So it's not like everybody gets their individual portions, you'll all be sharing the ma'am, hopefully to short of insight some conversation. And it is also paired with beer and wine.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Do we know what the idea is behind this event?

SMITH: You know, Alchemy is a really neat neighborhood restaurant? South park. And everybody walks and sits on their front porches and gets to know their neighbors. And Alchemy's really big about becoming a part of that, and really promoting that sense of community. They want to be the kind of corner restaurant where you go and meet new people and hang out with your friends. [CHECK].

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: That's interesting. So can you go with, say, your husband or your wife and meet other people? Or does everybody have to be a single?

SMITH: No, they actually take reservations in twosomes, and they set aside three tables of six in the restaurant every time that they do this. Of this is sort of a series, they do it once a month or so. So you make a reservation as a twosome, and you're sat with two other 2178s at a table of six.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Very interesting, Alchemy hosts their monthly dinner with six stranges tonight. Just really fascinating how much does it cost in.

SMITH: It's $48 per person. And that includes with your three course meal plus beer and wine. And he it's really not that bad of a price.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. And Victor Villasenor is a local author, he'll be signing books at the Carlsbad library tonight. Who is he?

BARBARELLA: Okay, he's a local dear to everybody. [CHECK] the son of Mexican immigrant parents. And his books are fully suggested reading on a lot of high school curriculum.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What is his, perhaps, best known book.

BARBARELLA: His best known is reign of gold, which was named for his mother Lupe's home village of the same in a minute check check and it's about three generations of Villaseñor's family beginning in revolutionary Mexico in 1910 and ending with his parents' immigration to California. So it's mostly the love story of his parents with a lot of conflicts arising from the depression and prohibition.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And apparently HBO has bought the rights to that novel and is developing a miniseries.

BARBARELLA: Yes, it's supposed to begin filming in 2011. So this is it a big deal. And he may be speaking about that as well.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, he's signing copies of his new lovely tonight of it's called crazy loco love. What do you know about this novel.

BARBARELLA: Yeah, this one, kind of taking it to the next level. And this is the paperback signing of I think the hard back was out a while ago. This is a memoir about Villasenor that I love he details in this story how he strayed from his father's words of advice. And I love the sentence, you are a man now, and to be an hombre, a man must not only know right from wrong, he also know who he is and who he isn't. So he talks about how he strayed away from that and how he came back to that.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now I hear, and in fact I know Victor Villaseñor is a great story teller. So does he read and sort of put on a performance at these signings?

BARBARELLA: He does, he's actually been invited to be a keynote speaker many times. Public speaking is something that he does, because he crosses over not only bilingual but his own problems with dyslexia. And everything. He's listed as a motivational speaker. So I imagine that it's going to be quite a profound experience for anybody who gets the opportunity. And we as San Diegans are lucky, I think, to have him living here, and having grown up here.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Victor Villaseñor will be talking about and signing copies of his new book, at the Carlsbad city library tonight and that is free.

BARBARELLA: Yes, it is.


BARBARELLA: Yes, and you're actually, if you don't have a copy, they'll be selling the paperbacks there, so you don't even have to worry about bringing your own copy or buying it elsewhere.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We have about a minute left, Erin, to talk about a couple of new restaurants.

SMITH: Good thing I'm a fast talker.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Tell us about the Quava bar in University Heights.

SMITH: Really cute new little spot, in university heights, right on Adams avenue across from Charley barn park right next to the farm house cafe. A couple friends there married a set of twins and now the four as much is opening this restaurant together. It's their first restaurant they've opened upon they thought got their beer and wine license which is exciting. It's a lot of fusion food here, really good empanadas, [CHECK] cool neighborhood bar and restaurants.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And let me see if I'm saying this right. Asteria, Oregano.

SMITH: There you go.

A. This is one of those great, in the atlas building [CHECK] on that stretch of 5th avenue there, really, really new, just opened, and this is the kind of place, I just had a little tweet up there with some San Diego magazine people on said it, and you walk in there, and they say ciao, and they kiss you, and it's a bunch of Italians and he's standing by the big Woodburning pizza in the back, and he tells you how he's been making pizza for the [CHECK].

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I have to thank you both so much. Erin chambers Smith and Barbarella, and happy holidays, I really appreciate it.

SMITH: You too, Maureen. Thank you.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: It was announced yesterday that Tom waits will be inducted into the hall of fame, he grew up in San Diego. So we'll go out with his song, San Diego serenade. Thanks for listening.

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