Guest Blogger

Top 10 Instagram Worthy Spots Throughout San Diego County

Balboa Park

From an iconic Victorian beachside resort to a potato chip shaped rock to spectacular desert landscapes, these Instagram Worth San Diego spots are sure to make you and your followers swoon.

Belmont Park


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Sun up to sun down, Mission Beach’s Belmont Park has countless photo ops! Ride the oldest wooden roller coaster on the West Coast, The Giant Dipper. Play traditional amusement park games. Sample local brews at Draft or enjoy a sunset dinner at Cannonball, all with a perfect oceanfront backdrop.

Mission San Diego de Alcala

You can't take a bad shot in this courtyard #missionsandiegodealcala #sandiego

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Capture a moment of serenity at Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first of 21 missions that line the California coast. Have your camera ready as you walk down the same terra cotta halls of the original Padres and explore the mission’s unique history and Spanish architecture. A blooming garden in the spring and summer months frames a beautiful shot of the mission bells.

Cabrillo National Monument Tidepools

It’s well known that a visit to Point Loma’s Cabrillo National Monument offers incredible views of the city but a short drive down to the beach to the area’s tidepools offers that unique Instagram worthy photo. During low tide, pools form along this shore in rocky depressions where you can get up close to near shore sea life like anemones, elusive octopi and spongy deadman’s fingers.

Bonus: Don’t miss the Whale Watch Overlook nearby. It’s the perfect post for spotting Gray Whales during their migration from November to March.

Potato Chip Rock

Stroll past Lake Poway in North County to explore Mt. Woodson’s unusual rock formations. Up for a challenge? Do it for the Gram and hike four miles to the top of the summit for fantastic coastal views of San Diego at a steep 2000 ft. from the popular Potato Chip Rock. Beat the crowds and rising temperatures in the early morning and make sure to have creative poses ready.

Oceanside Pier

Oceanside sunset #beachsunset #oceanside #nofilter #summer

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Extending 1,942 ft. into the deep blue sea, the Oceanside Pier is one of the longest wooden piers on the West Coast. Snap photos of North County’s pristine coastline or the action during one of many musical and cultural performances at the Pier Amphitheater.

Balboa Park

Home to more than a dozen museums, the world renowned Old Globe Theatre , and 1,200 beautifully planted acres, there is no shortage of photo opportunities at Balboa Park . The most photographed areas of the Park are the Rose Garden and historical Botanical Building and a shot of the pond and lily pads can’t be missed.

Anza Borrego Badlands

Head east to Anza Borrego Badlands Park to discover the wonders of the California Desert and bask in that out of city feeling. Miles of hiking trails, wildflowers and amazing sculptures create a striking landscape for roadrunner, fox and sheep sightings and a setting perfect for action shots.

Hotel del Coronado

This iconic red-roofed hotel on Coronado Island is a photographer’s dream. From striking Victorian architecture to glittering beachfront views, Hotel Del Coronado is a historical gem. Private beach bonfires in the summer and Skating by the Sea during the holiday season make it easy to capture the quintessential San Diego experience.

Sunny Jim


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Make your way to the picturesque La Jolla Cove to uncover one of the region’s hidden gems. It only costs $5 to descend 145 stairs to the Sunny Jim Cave from The Cave Store and trust us, it’s worth it. Named after the Force Wheat Cereal mascot from the early 1900’s by Frank Baum, the author of Wizard of Oz, the unique formation of the cave and land access make it one of a kind. Capture Sunny Jim’s profile, La Jolla’s crystal blue waters and passing kayakers for a winning shot.


There are no bad photos when it comes to capturing San Diego’s Embarcadero. Take in naval history aboard the USS Midway Museum and from inside their helicopter cockpits. Couples can reenact one of the most beloved landmarks in the area at the Unconditional Surrender statue.

> Follow @VisitSanDiego on Instagram

Guest Blogger

10 San Diego Restaurant Week Picks Throughout the County

San Diego’s cuisine reflects its history and culture – rich, diverse & colorful. Eat your way through the county with these 10 San Diego Restaurant Week picks.


A lil Sunday fun day🍾😋

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Let your tastebuds have a field day with a fusion of American, Mexican and Italian flavors, blended together for a unique culinary experience in the heart of Pacific Beach. Sip on an array of handcrafted mimosas, savor mouthwatering tapas and chill at this cool hangout.

Where: 967 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
> Find out more about Crushed

La Gran Terraza


Located on the University of San Diego’s picturesque campus, this farm-to-table bistro is a hit with locals and visitors alike. From the cozy fireplace to sweeping views of Tecolote Canyon and Mission Bay, La Gran Terraza is more than just a good place to eat, it’s a dining experience.

Where: 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110
> FInd out more about La Gran Terraza

Galaxy Taco

We ate out @galaxytacosd.

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Cali-Baja cuisine is to San Diego what palm trees are to the beach and you can experience it at Galaxy Taco. It may sound like a typical taco shop but it tastes like a gourmet experience that will transport your taste buds to a colorful, savory galaxy far, far away. The fish tacos are a not-to-be-missed fan-favorite and when it comes to their specialty tequila menu, trust us, it’s out of this world.

Where: 2259 Avenida De La Playa, San Diego, CA 92037
> Find out more about Galaxy Taco

Mess Hall

Mess Hall - San Diego Restaurant Week

Photo courtesy of Robert Benson

A former military base transformed into a trendy town square celebrating the city’s history, make your way to Point Loma’s Liberty Station to discover the Mess Hall. This epic food hall will continuously surprise and delight your taste buds as the menu changes daily.

Where: 2820 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
> Find out more about Mess Hall

Market Restaurant + Bar

It must be the weekend #cheflife #marketdelmar #market #delmar

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This Del Mar hot spot has made a name for itself boasting impeccable service and some of the freshest and finest fish, meats and produce. Start with the Blue Cheese Soufflé & Cinnamon Poached Pears, you won’t be disappointed.

Where: 3702 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014
> Find out more about Market Restaurant + Bar

Vintana Wine + Dine

Located in an unsuspecting location of Lexus Escondido, this hot rod of a restaurant offers a tasty menu curated by local favorite Chef Deborah Scott and gorgeous patio views of North County’s rolling hills.

Where: 1205 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA 92029
> Find out more about Vintana

Rustic Root

Rustic Root

Photo courtesy of Davis Ink.

Plant yourself in the middle of the Gaslamp to discover a hip new hangout and the only rooftop dining space in the area. Surrounded by chic decorations including saucer pans, indulge in a creative menu from scrambled skillets to the RR Burger, featuring a bacon jam.

Where: 535 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about Rustic Root

The Smoking Goat

A french feast awaits at The Smoking Goat in Uptown featuring sustainable and organic ingredients, boutique beverage offerings and a friendly neighborhood vibe. An optional three-course meal allows you to sample the menu and of course, there is no shortage of curated cheeses.

Where: 3408 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about The Smoking Goat


Dinner with a view 👌🏼

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It’s a San Diego truth, dinner and drinks taste better with an ocean view. One of the best places to find one is Peohe’s. Located right on the water’s edge on Coronado Island, this tropical treasure boasts a Pacific Rim inspired menu and a rockin’ sushi bar. Enjoy your meal al fresco, perfect for both a romantic rendezvous or a fun night out with family.

Where: 1201 1st St, Coronado, CA 92118
> Find out more about Peohe’s

BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden

Combining bohemian chic with an industrial vibe does not seem like an easy task, but Bo-Beau Kitchen + Garden has pulled it off beautifully. Located in the heart of La Mesa, be sure to grab a craft cocktail at the oversized handcrafted bar, and then treat yourself to the best Brussels sprouts this side of Belgium.

Where: 8384 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942
> Find out more about Bo-Beau Kitchen + Garden

San Diego Restaurant Week Details

When: September 25 – October 2, 2016
Cost: $10-$50
> Find out more about San Diego Restaurant Week

Guest Blogger

Why Film Lovers Should Attend the San Diego International Film Festival

San Diego International Film Festival
San Diego International Film Festival

Courtesy of San Diego International Film Festival.

Why should you forgo the traditional film-going experience and go a film festival instead?

1. Festivals showcase a wide variety of films you wont see at your local theater

Do you love films but don’t like the selection at your local theaters? Film Festivals often have hundreds of choices for your all your film-going desires. At the 2016 San Diego International Film Festival (SDiFF), there were more than 2000 films from 65 countries submitted and the programmers have culled it down to just over 100 films – documentaries to psychological thrillers, to coming-of-age tales, to historical dramas. It’s all here!

2. You’ll be able to see films before they are released to the general public

You’ll get a first look at independent and studio films before they are released! Even better, you’ll be able to get a first look at major awards contenders long before awards season arrives. In the past, the San Diego International Film Festival has shown critically acclaimed films such as Room, He Named Me Malala, 12 Years a Slave, Whiplash, Wild and many more! This year, SDiFF will be featuring some exclusive World and US premieres. Care to see what may be hot next awards season? Festivals are always the best places to be in the know.

3. You’ll be supporting independent artists

Film festivals primarily showcase independent filmmakers, writers, and new talent. Through the patrons of the San Diego Film Foundation, we are able to support the best in cinematic storytelling from around the world. Film has the power to inspire, educate, entertain and engage when passionate filmmakers share their stories.

4. Festivals are a haven to meet other film lovers

You never know who you’re going to meet at a film festival! There’s always something to discuss. What are you going to see? or What was your favorite movie? are always great conversation starters. At a festival you may even make some new friends, or meet future collaborators.

5. Festivals are great avenues for industry education

From panels to workshops, there’s a whole lot to learn. You’ll be able to gain exclusive opportunities to hear first-hand from industry insiders. Take your education outside of the classroom, take a seat and hear from our speakers at the Social Justice Panel, or Film Critics Panel, or enjoy the Actor’s Panel or any number of films with Q&A sessions.

6. You’ll be a part of the scene!

It’s not all movies at the festival! You’ll be part of the scene and enjoy parties with live music, food and drinks. You’ll have the opportunity to wind down and enjoy yourself at Wednesday’s Opening Night Film and After Party, the Thursday Indie Night and the Friday Night Party. Saturday Night is the Filmmakers Awards Party and Sunday is Culinary Cinema! SDiFF also has The Hub at Horton Plaza Park where all festival-goers can hang out and enjoy beverages, food, games, and entertainment Friday through Sunday. There’s plenty of fun for everyone!

7. Embrace Your Community or Discover Somewhere New

Film festivals have the unique ability to unite communities. They are a source of community pride where people can come together. Local artists, businesses, and volunteers all participate and make a film festival great. Also, film festivals allow for the discovery of a new place. Luckily for SDiFF, San Diego is a great place for locals and visitors alike with its beaches, attractions, and amazing weather. When you come to San Diego, there are plenty of places to stay and play and five glorious days of binge watching and movie indulgence with 100+ independent and studio films, red carpet events, industry panels and parties.

San Diego International Film Festival Details

When: September 28 – October 2, 2016
Cost: $15-$595
> Find out more about the San Diego International Film Festival

Guest Blogger

Runway Show Breakdown | Fashion Week San Diego 2016

Fashion Week San Diego 2016

Fashion Week San Diego ® is a traditional fashion week with 7 nights of events, 4 of which are open to the general public! Each night of #FWSD16 is completely unique, and has its own customized Events, Designers, and Themes.

Fashion Week San Diego Schedule

Below is the breakdown of the Fashion Week San Diego 2016 Runway Shows:

FWSD16 | Art & Beauty Behind Fashion

Rather than clothing – Hair, Makeup & Art will be the focal point of this evening!

  • Guests will enjoy a special presentation from Artist Shane Bowden and for the first time ever, an exclusive one of a kind FWSD original piece of art by Shane Bowden himself will be for sale! Partial proceeds will go back to FAB Authority.
  • Did you miss the FWSD16 Spring Showcase? Here is your chance to see it in 3D! Passage Productions will premier their Virtual Reality video from Spring Showcase at Harrah’s Resort Southern California along with a presentation about VR and this as a new art from.
  • Detour SalonThe lines are blurred between art, fashion, and beauty. Inspired by artist Shane Bowden and against the backdrop of his energetic art, Detour’s award winning and street savvy stylists use their familiar medium of hair to deconstruct, reform shapes and challenge standards of beauty. Detour’s work will feature French underwear and clothing brand Pullin – renowned for its quality and whimsical prints, as well as Kevin Murphy hair care. Their partnership with Kevin Murphy is a natural fit as it was literally born on set and on the catwalks around the world. Kevin Murphy creates the products that creates the styles the public craves.
  • Live DJ from Sleeping Giant Music to set the mood
  • Fabulous cocktails with partial proceeds going back to FAB Authority & Rancho Coastal Humane Society
  • MC & Red Carpet Host, Jeff Krapf.

Where: Shane Bowden The Gallery – 7655 Girard Ave. La Jolla, CA 92038
When: Thursday, September 29th, 2016
Time: 6:00 to 9:30 PM

FWSD16 | Runway Shows Night 1

Runway Shows featuring 13 of the 26 Fashion Week San Diego 2016 Designers. Featured Designers include (in alphabetical order): B.JASH.I, Chavon ShreeDeAnnah Rae, Fuseik, GFASH Now, Killem with Chic, Laced with B, Luis Rivas, Margaret the Maker, Odd Bird Designs, P. Sangeeta, RACA Designs, Valleau Apparel.

Hosted by NBC 7 San Diego‘s Jodi Kodesh & Jeff Krapf.

This night will also include our annual Haute Dog Fashion Show where adoptable dogs from Rancho Coastal Humane Society wag their tales down the FWSD Runway in hopes of finding their forever homes!

Where: Hotel La Jolla – 7955 La Jolla Shores, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: Friday, September 30th
Time: 6:00 to 9:30 PM

FWSD16 | Runway Shows Night 2

Runway Shows featuring 13 of the 26 Fashion Week San Diego 2016 Designers. Featured Designers include (in alphabetical order): Albert Ray Collection, As Much Again, Bryan VaughnBerry, Circa Suzy Vintage Couture, Gloria Guerrero, Jaded Marie, LK Fashion, Pashn by Survi, Territa Torres, The Stylish Bisou, Theo Doro Fairyland, Timmitheay-u-l-i-y-a

Hosted by NBC 7 San Diego‘s Jodi Kodesh & Jeff Krapf.

Where: Hotel La Jolla – 7955 La Jolla Shores, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: Saturday, October 1st, 2016
Time: 6:00 to 9:30 PM

FWSD16 | Trunk Show

View and shop all the labels and FWSD16 Designer fashions that just debuted on the runway, including other FWSD Vendors & Partners. Annual Fashion Awards at 1:00 PM.

Where: La Valencia Hotel – 1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

PASSES ARE ALMOST SOLD OUT- Get yours HERE before its too late!

Guest Blogger

KAABOO DEL MAR – 6 Reasons It’s The Ultimate Mixperience

Kaaboo Del Mar


If you’ve heard of KAABOO, then you know what makes this the ultimate “Mixperience” and why you should make plans to join in the fun! If you haven’t discovered the KAABOO experience yet, here are a few reasons that you’ll want to reserve September 16-18 for a Vacation/Staycation and join us at KAABOO Del Mar!

1. The Music

KAABOO has curated the lineup to be a musical journey from legendary classic rockers to some of the latest, most buzz-worthy chart-toppers. Creating a bill that is even more diverse and deep than the inaugural year, KAABOO has established a mix of bands where guests can see their favorites and discover new favorites all in the same weekend.

If you’re still waiting to check a live Aerosmith show off your bucket list, this is your chance. Also catch Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, Jack Johnson, Fall Out Boy, Lenny Kravitz, Daryl Hall & John Oates, The Avett Brothers, The Chainsmokers, plus dozens more noteworthy acts. Check out the full lineup at

2. The Comedy

Chill out in our air-conditioned comedy club, Humor Me, with nationally recognized comedians. Take a seat as you laugh with Sarah Silverman, Dana Carvey, Cheech and Chong, Darrell Hammond, Vanessa Bayer, and even Del Mar native Taylor Williamson…just to name a few.

3. The Food and Libations

Even if you’re coming for the music, you’ll enjoy the food! Palate is a foodies delight with tastes from 25 local restaurants and over 50 craft beer, wine and spirits. Looking for grub on the go? KAABOO has you covered with gourmet grab-n-go options ranging from an acai bowl from Sambazon to a delicious California-style burger from Caliburger. Looking for a sugar fix – stop into the Dylan’s Candy Bar Pop-Up Shop for a sweet treat. Eat your way through the weekend with the full culinary. Eat and drink your way through the weekend with the full culinary lineup at

4. The Art

Take a leisurely stroll through our inspiring contemporary art gallery, featuring curated installations, paintings, sculptures, photography and jewelry from this year’s impressive lineup coming to us from across the country and around the world. Experience large murals and installations, with some created right in front of your eyes. KAABOO’s public art and indoor exhibition transform the venue into an evolving journey of surprise, delight and discovery.

5. Personal Indulgences

A 3-day live music event doesn’t have to leave you worn down! With KAABOO Del Mar’s Indulgences Lounge presented by Meet Me at the Spa, you can take a break from the action to rejuvenate and refresh. Offering express treatments and full 50-minute spa treatments, you can make an appointment for a manicure, massage or just get a reset on your makeup! And best of all, there are plenty of services for the guys, too!

6. Hospitality and Comfort

KAABOO is an elevated “mix-perience” and we’re giving you the creature comforts that we, as adults, enjoy! It’s more than your typical festival…KAABOO has all of the makings of a comfortable event. We have plenty of shade and seating, all restrooms are clean with flushable toilets (no portapotties). And there is no dirt, dust or mud to fight through just to have a good time.

Amplify your experience with HANG FIVE program. Enjoy dedicated viewing areas, lounges and access to the Thursday Night AMPLIFY event to get your KAABOO Del Mar weekend started sooner!

> Get Your KAABOO Del Mar Tickets Now

Guest Blogger

Fleet Week San Diego Schedule of Events to Honor Local Military

Fleet Week San Diego is so much more than a week! Running September 2 – October 1, 2016, it’s really a whole month. That’s because in San Diego we have 100,000+ active duty military stationed here year-round, and a week to honor and thank them just isn’t enough!

The men and women that defend the land of the free and the home of the brave are honored each year by Fleet Week San Diego’s military tribute. This year’s roster of events includes festivities exclusively for the military, as well as some spectacular events open to the public that members of the community will not want to miss.

Fleet Week Sea & Air Parade

The Fleet Week Sea & Air Parade is soaring back into San Diego with great fanfare as we prepare to experience the best of the U.S. military on display and in action on September 10, 2016. The parade will run the length of San Diego Bay, beginning at Shelter Island with viewing areas all along the bayfront, from noon until 2:00 pm.

For the first time since 2008, amphibious ships, destroyers, Marine counter measure ships, submarines and ships from the Coast Guard as well as the Canadian Navy will participate. In addition there will be amphibious landing craft and demonstrations of SEAL capabilities, Coast Guard Search and Rescue, and fly-overs of Navy aircraft and the rarely seen Marine F-35 fighter jet.

Many more activities are scheduled to accompany the Sea & Air Parade. On September 10 and 11, the Broadway and B Street Piers will host a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Fair, ship tours, live music, food, static displays and kids zone from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Ship tours will be open from September 10-14, also from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 PM on Broadway and B Street Piers.

Party at the Pier

To kick it all off, Fleet Week is hosting a Party at the Pier on Friday, September 9 at 4:30 PM featuring live music, food trucks and a beer garden at B Street Pier.

Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival

Fleet Week San Diego Coronado Speed Festival

The Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival, a.k.a “The Race at the Base,” promises a full weekend of high-octane activities and family fun, September 17-18. Grand Marshal Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band will perform in concert Saturday at noon – Free with admission. All are invited as NASNI throws its gates open wide – an unprecedented opportunity to visit a working U.S. Navy base. Coronado Speed Festival features roaring auto races on a live U.S. Navy runway, flyovers, military displays and family fun for all ages. Military admission and children ages 12 and under are Free.

Fleet Week San Diego Schedule

As always, these events are hosted at little or no cost to the military families they honor, thanks to the financial support of the Foundation’s corporate sponsors and the commitment of our many dedicated volunteers. Members of the U.S. military are the primary honorees of these events but the local community is welcome and invited to enjoy many of these activities.

  • Fleet Week San Diego Overboard Concert
    When: Friday, September 2, Doors Open 7:00 PM
    Where: House of Blues
  • Military Family Tailgate
    When: Saturday, September 3, 3:00 to 4:30 PM
    Where: Qualcomm Stadium
  • Fleet Week San Diego Golf Tournament
    When: Friday, September 9, 11:00 AM
    Where: Admiral Baker Golf Course
  • Party on the Pier
    When: Friday, September 9, 4:30 PM
    Where: B Street Pier
    Open to the Public
  • Fleet Week Sea & Air Parade
    When: Saturday, September 10, 12:00 to 2:00 PM
    Where: San Diego Bay
    Open to the Public
  • Ship Tours
    When: September 10-14, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Where: Broadway Pier
    Open to the Public
  • STEM Fair
    When: Saturday-Sunday, September 10-11, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Where: Broadway Pier
    Open to the Public
  • Fleet Week San Diego Football Classic
    When: Saturday, September 10, 7:30 PM
    Where: Qualcomm Stadium
    Open to the Public
  • Fleet Week Foundation/SDMAC Breakfast
    When: Wednesday, September 14
    Where: Admiral Kidd Conference Center
  • Enlisted Recognition Luncheon
    When: Thursday, September 15, 11:45 AM to 1:30 PM
    Where: Sea World San Diego
  • Coronado Speed Festival Car Procession
    When: Thursday, September 15, 4:30 PM
    Where: Rotary Park, Coronado
    Open to the Public
  • Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival
    When: Saturday & Sunday, September 17-18
    Where: Naval Air Station North Island
    Open to the Public
  • MCAS Miramar Air Show
    When: Friday-Sunday, September 23-25, Gates open 8:00 AM daily
    Where: MCAS Miramar
    Open to the Public
  • MCRD Boot Camp Challenge
    When: Saturday, October 1, 9:00 AM
    Where: MCRD San Diego
    Open to the Public
  • Cabrillo Festival
    When: Saturday, October 1, 11:00 AM to 4:00PM
    Where: Navy Base Pt. Loma
    Open to the Public
Guest Blogger

7 Billion Others Brings The World To Balboa Park

7 Billion Others - Museum of Photographic Arts

Balboa Park offers many ways to wile away an afternoon, but for the next few months, one of the best options is at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

It’s there you’ll find the exhibit “7 Billion Others” on view through September 13, 2015. It’s an incredibly moving look at the human condition and finds universal themes across drastically different living conditions and cultures.

The exhibit features multiple videos of individuals from 84 different countries. The videos are the work of authors Sybille d’Orgeval and Baptiste Rouget-Luchaire, who traveled the world for seven years with reporters, asking interview subjects the same 45 questions. “What meaning does life have for you?” “What did you learn from your parents?” “What message do you want to pass on to your children?” “What do you fear?”

They recorded all the testimonials, ending up with a quilt of interpretations and experiences.

It’s hard to avoid clichés when describing 7 Billion Others because the themes are so universal and broad. Cliché or not, we’re going to describe it here in the hopes that you’ll visit this groundbreaking work.

The videos are grouped by questions and by subjects, like those of love, fear, or happiness. In one video, a Los Angeles woman admits her idea of happiness is a cliché. Every day she tries to imagine that something fabulous will happen to her. A woman from France says happiness is harder to find. She believes some people are born with a propensity for happiness and she isn’t one of them. A 26-year-old man from Bangladesh says he isn’t completely happy because he hasn’t yet found love. He asks: why don’t girls like me?

Almost all of the interview subjects are filmed from the neck up, with their faces filling the frame. As you watch face after face appear, the physical differences are so captivating. It’s amazing to think we all have the same parts – two eyes, a nose and mouth – yet we look so drastically different and individualistic.

The interview subjects discuss plenty of weighty topics. An Iraqi Christian woman explains that she left her country because of killings and robberies while a Serbian man, now living in France, tells of how he dreams of his homeland every night. A woman in Senegal describes poverty as a kind of violence. A man in Japan says in order to fall in love, you have to be willing to destroy yourself. One woman from Africa fears living through another volcano. A common fear across countries is going to hell or fear of God. A man from Cuba said he’s more afraid that God doesn’t exist and that we’re alone in the universe.

Part of the7 Billion Others exhibit includes videos of the authors and reporters at work in the field. You see them going through footage at the end of a long day, often in third world countries. Some of the behind-the-scene videos give more context to the interview subjects. You might see their houses or families surrounding them.

All of this creates an overwhelming sense of connectedness and understanding with individuals living across the world. San Diego marks 7 Billion Others’ U.S. premiere. I guarantee you’ll leave feeling inspired and in awe of how complex we are as human beings.

> Find out more about 7 Billion Others

Guest Blogger

San Diego Summer Theater Season Highlights 2015

Motown The Musical - Broadway San Diego

Summer in San Diego isn’t all beaches and barbecues. There’s a lot of great theater happening on our local stages. With our city’s laidback attitude and sense of style, you can leave the beach and head to the theater in your flip-flops – just make sure to change out of that bathing suit!

Here are some of your best drama and musical options for the summer of 2015.

Motown the Musical

Motown The Musical - Broadway San Diego

Photo courtesy of Motown The Musical

It doesn’t get more toe-tapping and hip-shaking than a musical about the greatest hits of Motown. This is the national touring production of the Broadway musical about Berry Gordy, the legendary founder of the Motown record label. You can expect to hear all your favorite songs by Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5.

Where: San Diego Civic Theatre – 1100 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
When: June 9-14, 2005
Cost: Starting at $22.50
> Find out more about Mowtown The Musical

Come From Away

Come From Away - La Jolla Playhouse

A rock-inspired, original musical about what happened to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland when 38 planes were diverted there on September 11, 2001.  An international slumber party ensues, despite the tragic circumstances, with the townspeople entertaining travelers with music and an open bar. Original musicals are tough to find these days and this world premiere looks very promising.

Where: La Jolla Playhouse – 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: May 29 – July 5, 2015
Cost: Starting at $25
> Find out more about Come From Away

Everybody’s Talkin’: The Music of Harry Nilsson

Everybody's Talkin': The Music of Harry Nilsson

If you were around in the 70s, you surely remember these song lyrics: “Everybody’s Talkin’ at me,” “Can’t live, if living is without you,” “One is the loneliest number,” and “You put the lime in the coconut.” The songs of Harry Nilsson are so recognizable, yet not many know the story of this musician and his wild escapades. The Rep’s world premiere musical includes Nilsson’s beloved music and some top talent, including Tony-Award winning actors in the leads.

Where: San Diego Repertory Theatre – 79 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
When: May 23 – June 21, 2015
Cost: Starting at $18
> Find out more about Everybody’s Talkin’: The Music of Harry Nilsson


Dogfight - Cygnet Theatre

Based on the classic indie film of the same name, this musical is about three young marines on the eve of their deployment to Southeast Asia. The night of debauchery turns serious when one of them becomes entangled with an awkward waitress at the center of a cruel bet. Her idealism changes him, and challenges his compassion and ideas about romantic love.

Where: Cygnet Theatre – 4040 Twiggs St., San Diego, CA 92110
Where: July 16-August 23, 2015
Cost: Starting at $25
> Find out more about Dogfight

Kiss Me, Kate

Kiss Me Kate - The Old Globe Theatre

This Cole Porter classic will get the premiere treatment of recent Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak, who charmed audiences with his hilarious staging of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” Porter’s witty songs mixed with showstopping dance numbers tell the story of a divorced couple whose battles threaten to take down a musical version of “The Taming of the Shrew.” As far as entertainment goes, this is a sure thing.

Where: The Old Globe Theatre – 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, CA 92101
When: July 1 – August 2, 2015
Cost: Starting at $39
> Find out more about Kiss Me, Kate

The Quality of Life

For a smaller, more intimate theater experience, head up to Carlsbad to see “The Quality of Life,” a drama about two very different couples: one living in a yurt in Northern California after a fire destroys their home and another from the Midwest who recently lost a child. As the couples converge, their different life perspectives inform how they handle tragedy. Intrepid is a small, ambitious theater company that has won the praise of critics and audiences. This theater experience will undoubtedly be powerful and worthy of discussion over a glass of wine after the show.

Where: Carlsbad Village Theatre – 2822 State Street, Carlsbad, CA
When: July 3 – August 2, 2015
Cost: Starting at $25
> Find out more about The Quality of Life

> Discover San Diego’s Vibrant Theater Scene

Guest Blogger

Black Dolls Exhibit – Now on Display at the Mingei International Museum

Black Dolls Exhibit - Mingei International Museum
Black Dolls Exhibit - Mingei International Museum

Artist Unknown, Weary Woman, late 19th century U.S.A., mixed fabrics, leather, Collection of Deborah Neff, Photo by Ellen McDermott

The new “Black Dolls” exhibit at the Mingei International Museum in <a title=”San Diego”s Balboa Park” href=”” target=”_blank”>Balboa Park manages to be both a touching example of handmade craft and a complicated look at history.

On view for the first time, 125 handmade dolls made between 1850 and 1940 provide a window into the African-American experience from slavery through the Jim Crow era.

Woman with Striped Cape - Black Dolls - Mingei International Museum

Artist Unknown, Woman with Striped Cape, circa 1890-1905. U.S.A., mixed fabrics, Collection of Deborah Neff, Photo by Ellen McDermott

It”s not clear who made these expressive dolls. The provenance of most is unknown, but it is believed they were made by African-Americans for their own children or for white children in their charge.

Today, it”s much easier for families of color to find dolls that look like them. At the time when these figures were made, most manufactured dolls were either white or offensive caricatures of African-Americans. This collection represents an effort by talented and resourceful seamstresses, perhaps after a long day of work, to create toys and mementos that proudly reflect African-Americans.

online casino Dolls – Mingei International Museum” width=”640″ height=”340″ /> Coconut-Head Doll, circa 1900-1930, U.S.A., Butler County, Kentucky, mixed fabrics, coconut shell, animal fur, Collection of Deborah Neff, Photo by Ellen McDermott

The dolls are made with leftover materials and whatever remnants were readily available. Some dolls have heads made of coconuts, others of wood. Bodies are made of leather or socks and stuffed with scraps or pieces of cork. Their hair is made from scraps of yarn or animal fur.

The dolls” clothing offers some clues as to when each doll was made. Some dresses are made from sackcloth, others from scraps of elaborate curtains or sleeves of fancy dresses. They are trimmed with bits of lace and ribbon.

The dolls depict girls, boys, men and women. With stitched expressions, paper or button eyes, and wooden noses, it”s startling how much emotion is conveyed by the dolls, some of whom look like determined matriarchs, noble gentlemen or mischievous boys.

Sisters - Black Dolls - Mingei International Museum

Artist Unknown., Sisters, circa 1890s U.S.A., mixed fabrics, metal, Collection of Deborah Neff, Photo by Ellen McDermott

Two dolls seem to be sisters and are very finely made. They wear silk dresses with umbrella skirts, high necks and cuffs, in the fashion of the 1890s. They have tufted mohair wigs and eyes made of beads with embroidered eyebrows and lashes. In fact, both the dolls are slightly cross-eyed. Collector Deborah Neff believes if the crossed eyes were intended by the maker, “it suggests the dolls may have been portraits of real women – or perhaps made for a cross-eyed child or by a cross-eyed woman,” explained Neff in an email. She believes many of the dolls were meant to represent real people.

“Black Dolls” also includes a selection of rare 19th and 20th century photographs of dolls, posed alone or clutched by their young African-American or white owners. Surprisingly, and disturbingly, the white children are holding black dolls while the African-American children are posed with white dolls. The images provide a historical context for these handmade toys.

The exhibit incites wonder at the resourcefulness and care that went into making these dolls. It”s also a powerful reminder of a painful past.

The Mingei has related programming that helps provide more context for the exhibit, including a documentary, a performance art piece, and a medical expert who explains the forensics behind dating the dolls.

Black Dolls Exhibit Information

Where: Mingei International Museum – 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Through July 5, 2015
Cost: Included with Admission
> Find out more about the Black Dolls Exhibit

> Celebrate the Balboa Park Centennial