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Weekend Preview: Lebanese Festival, Pop Thursdays And Secrete Discoteque II

A photo from the Museum of Photographic Arts' original "Push Pin Party," held in 1983. The museum will host the event again this Thursday, May 23, as part of their Pop Thursdays event and in celebration of their ten year anniversary.
David Covey
A photo from the Museum of Photographic Arts' original "Push Pin Party," held in 1983. The museum will host the event again this Thursday, May 23, as part of their Pop Thursdays event and in celebration of their ten year anniversary.
Weekend Preview: Lebanese Festival, Pop Thursdays And Secrete Discoteque II
GUESTSCandice Woo, editor, Eater San Diego Alex Zaragoza, staff writer, San Diego CityBeat

FUDGE: You're listening to Midday Edition on KPBS. This weekend, you can watch a grunion run while enjoying a cocktail or celebrate the cuisine of Lebanon in El Cajon. Joining me for the weekend preview are Candice Woo and Alex Zaragoza. Candice is editor of Eater San Diego. Thank you very much. WOO: Thanks, Tom. FUDGE: And Alex is a staff writer for San Diego City Beat. Thank you. ZARAGOZA: Thank you! FUDGE: Start us off by talking about an art and music show happening this Friday in Barrio Logan. What is the secret discotheque series? ZARAGOZA: Well, thank you so much. It's being called a night of explicit art and sound. So I guess the secret is it's like an underground party so to speak. You'll be able to hang out, listen to cool band, see some really interesting outsider type of art. And this is actually the second installment in the series. And it does pride itself on being kind of out of the ordinary. FUDGE: Well, whose art and music are we going to see and hear? ZARAGOZA: We'll see video installations from Benniela de Sarascepa, Luke Milow, and Casey Valez. And mysterycade, and infinity dot. FUDGE: And anything you're looking forward to? ZARAGOZA: I'm a proponent of anything that's offbeat in this series. The weirder the better for me. [ LAUGHTER ] ZARAGOZA: So the musicians paired with this type of art, it's really going to make for a cool evening. And hanging out in one of San Diego's more culturally rich neighborhoods makes it that much more special. FUDGE: Well, the venue is called The Spot. ZARAGOZA: It's actually really cool. It's in Barrio Logan, and they put together interesting gallery shows and events there. I've seen some awesome art in that area, in that gallery, and it's always a good time. FUDGE: Okay. Secret discotheque 2 is happening tomorrow at The Spot. I guess it's not so secret since we've been talking about it. [ LAUGHTER ] FUDGE: Let's move over to El Cajon, Candice. You'd like to tell us about a thing that celebrates the cuisine and culture of Lebanon. It's a 3-day festival. WOO: Yes, it's hosted by the St. Efrem mayor night Catholic church. There'll be booths selling a la carte, folk dancers throughout the day. They've set up satellite parking with free shuttles are service to the festival. FUDGE: Falafel, kabobs? WOO: Yes, and much, much more. Flat breads cooked on a domed oven, Shawarma, which is slow-roasted meat tucked into a pita, desserts, and Lebanese beer and wine. FUDGE: Any dishes you're looking forward to? WOO: I'm excited to try them all. There are some great Lebanese eateries in San Diego. But the food at this festival is prepared by the church's staff and members. So it'll be really good authentic home cooking. FUDGE: The 10th annual Lebanese festival in El Cajon this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And Alex, you'd like to direct film fans to the museum of photographic arts in Balboa Park tonight for pop Thursdays. This is not your father's Thursday! What is the concept? ZARAGOZA: No, it is not! Pop Thursdays are regular evening event series that MOPA puts together. It pairs cool music with film and food and drink. And guests can wander the galleries and check out some of the art on view. And this one is especially a special event because it celebrates MOPA's 30th anniversary. It'll be a great night to check out some cool stuff going on. FUDGE: Well, you mentioned it's the 30th anniversary of MOPA. Does that have something to do with the selection. Tonight's film? ZARAGOZA: Well, it does. The whole theme of the event is 1983 to celebrate MOPA's birthday. So they gave fans three choices. FUDGE: Sylvester Stallone movies, I suppose? [ LAUGHTER ] ZARAGOZA: The three choices were The Outsiders, Valley Girl, and Risky Business. So they let Facebook fans choose which one they like. And the one that came out is The Outsiders, even though my personal favorite is Valley Girl. [ LAUGHTER ] FUDGE: So the theme of the film or the theme of the event, what is it? ZARAGOZA: Oh, it's 1983. FUDGE: I'm sorry, you told me. ZARAGOZA: And all three of the films came out in 1983 which is kind of another elemental to the theme. FUDGE: Well, there's another thing that's kind of interesting. Why don't you tell us about the interactive mobile photo challenge? ZARAGOZA: MOPA actually tasked people to send in photos via Instagram with a hashtag which escapes me right now. And they challenged people to send in photos that represented what 30 meant to them. So they actually already chose photos which will be on view at the event. So they chose a view that were their favorites, and some other cool ones that they liked will also be shown on a projection. So it's really all about 30 and that number. FUDGE: Well, Pop Thursdays is happening tonight, at the museum of photographic arts in Balboa Park. And Candice, something mixes a wildlife phenom with happy hour! Let's take the wildlife first. What's a grunion run? WOO: Well, grunion are species of fish found along the coast of California and northern Baja. And on certain night, they storm the beach to spawn and come in the thousands. So it's a pretty impressive sight. FUDGE: The hashtag for pop Thursdays is MOPA30. All right. And which beaches are known for the grunion run? WOO: They have been spotted all up and down the coastline. Imperial beach, ocean beach, La Jolla, and I think the season lasts until August. FUDGE: And the La Jolla's Marine Room is tying in the grunion runs into its schedule by offering a late-night happy hour on Friday evening. Tell us about that. WOO: Right. Since the restaurant looks out onto La Jolla shores, they're doing a special edition of their traditional happy hour that usually runs from 4:00 to 6:00. So this Friday, the happy hour will be from 9:00 to 11:00PM. There's a Korean rice dumpling dish, cocktails and wine. FUDGE: Can you see the grunions from the bar? WOO: Yes! FUDGE: You can. Well, the late-night happy hour is tomorrow night, May24th at the Marine room in La Jolla. I have to give you a warning, the last time I went on a grunion run, I went with my kids and we didn't see any. WOO: Aww! FUDGE: Candice, one last event also involves cocktails. Where should beer and star wars fans head this weekend? WOO: To Sessions Public in Point Loma where they're holding this ultimate geek mash-up. This Saturday is the 30th anniversary of return of the Jedi. So beginning at noon, the bar will screen all six star wars movies starting with episode 1, and there'll be special beverages, and if you come in costume, they'll get discounts on drinks. Pizza port we're brewed up a couple special things things. One is never herder. It's sort of a low-alcohol English dark mild ale, and red leader is an imperial red ale, stronger and malty. FUDGE: And there will be special cantina cocktails? WOO: Sessions Public has developed a few cocktails inspired by the cantina bar in star wars. Two that sound tempting to me are Yoda's wisdom, which mixes gin with fresh kale and citrus. And something called the dark side, which is a beer cocktail, and it has rye whiskey and black ale on top. The cocktails are $5 until happy hour ends and $9 afterwards. FUDGE: Well, may the force be with you is happening this Saturday at sessions public in Point Loma. We have a couple minutes left. Are there any spots that either of you want to tell us about? Maybe new restaurants that you visited that you think we should all know about? WOO: Well, I'll tell you where I'm going to kick off the weekend this memorial day. Toronado in North Park is having their 5th anniversary. And they're tapping some special kegs starting at 4:00PM. And I just had some great drinks in a new cocktail lounge in normal heights called sycamore den on Adams avenue. FUDGE: Okay. WOO: And it's really well designed, and they're serving great craft cocktails. FUDGE: Okay, and Alex? ZARAGOZA: I'm probably going to be at Bluefoot Bar this Saturday because it's the champions league final! [ LAUGHTER ] ZARAGOZA: I'm a big soccer fan, so that's going to kick off the weekend for me. FUDGE: Okay, I thought you were going to talk about the Stanley Cup. ZARAGOZA: Hockey is also very awesome, but this is a big one. FUDGE: Okay.

This weekend offers an eclectic selection of events to choose from, whether you're looking to attend an underground art and music series, a community festival, a museum party celebrating film, a chance to see a natural phenomenon take place right on our beaches or a laid-back beer event celebrating Star Wars.

For a chance to experience art, music and video that's of the experimental form, head to The Spot in Barrio Logan to check out the second installment of the Secrete Discoteque series. Happening this Friday, Secret Discoteque hosts a long list of local and international talent that will be performing experimental pieces.


If you're looking to immerse yourself in the cuisine and traditions of another culture, look no further than the Lebanese Festival that's happening this Friday through Sunday at the St. Ephrem Maronite Catholic Church in El Cajon. The three-day event is free to attend and offers something for the whole family, from a kids' carnival to live music and dancing and, of course, plenty of food.

This year, the Museum of Photographic Arts is celebrating its tenth anniversary, so this month's Pop Thursdays event deters a bit from its usual programming as part of the celebration. Guests of this month's event actually voted on which 1983 film would be screened and Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders was the winner. Along with the film screening, guests will enjoy food from Stand & Deliver, a MIHO experience, drinks from Alchemy Cultural Fare & Cocktails and music by DJ’s Daniel Sant and Mark Smith. The whole evening is '80s themed, so guests are encouraged to dress in their best '80s attire. In 1983, the year the museum opened, they had a "Push Pin Party" wherein members of the community were invited to hang their own work on the wall of the museum. Since it's now 2013 and technology has changed a bit, they're hosting a mobile photography challenge to determine whose work will go up on the wall.

Every spring, a natural phenomenon happens on local beaches that's a must for anyone and everyone to check out. The California Grunion are a species of marine fish found only along the coast of southern California and northern Baja California. Their spawning tradition is what has made them very famous. Every year, the grunion leave the ocean late at night and wiggle their way up the beach to lay their eggs. This scene is a true natural phenomenon, with hundreds of shimmering fish dancing along the beach. The grunion is so consistent that scientists can predict a year ahead of time when exactly they'll do their runs. Head to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for a detailed schedule of when the grunion runs take place. The Marine Room, located in the heart of La Jolla and right on the water, is hosting a special late night happy hour this Friday for those who want to grab a cocktail or a bite before or after their excursion.

Beer and sci-fi lovers will want to drop everything and head to Sessions Public in Point Loma this Saturday for their May the Force Be With You event. In celebration of Star Wars' 36th anniversary, the farm-to-table restaurant known for its huge selection of craft brew (20 on tap all day, every day), will screen Episode I at noon and continue on through the series for the rest of the day. Pizza Port's Star Wars-inspired brews, Nerf Herder and Red Leader, will be served as well as some special cantina cocktails.