Candice

Trick or Treating in San Diego, the Grown-Up Version

Smashing Pumpkin Martini

As little ghosts and goblins come out to play and traipse from house to house in their sugar-fueled quest on October 31, it’s hard for the grown-ups not to feel just a little bit envious. Just because we’ve grown older doesn’t mean we have outgrown our sweet tooths (well, some of us, anyway)!

If you’re looking for a little sweet indulgence this Halloween, fear not – San Diego offers some diabolically delicious holiday treats sure to delight those too old for trick or treating.

Drink-or-Treat

Smashing Pumpkin Martini

For pumpkin with a punch, try the Smashing Pumpkin Martini at the Grant Grill.

No trick here: Halloween cocktails have seized San Diego. This Halloween, adults can do some drink-or-treating around downtown by hopping between hot spots offering spooktacular cocktails.

At Whisky Girl, ghouls and guests can choose from the Wolfman, a chocolate martini with vanilla vodka, the Frankenstein with Malibu, melon, blue Curacao, pineapple juice and whipped cream, and the Dracula served with a single shot of rumplemintz, a splash of cream and grenadine.

At the Grant Grill in the US Grant Hotel, the Smashing Pumpkin martini is a delicious mix of pumpkin and star anise infused rum, Grand Marnier, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, saffron syrup, cardamom bitters and fresh meyer lemon.

If you’re not too squeamish, try the Femur Shot at Searsucker, a concoction of coconut, lime and vodka served in steer femur bones and designed to be sucked out, bone marrow style.

Crazy for Candy

Truffles

Eclipse Chocolat truffles – a perfect addition to any grown-up trick-or-treat bag. Photo courtesy of Roger Tsen.

If liquid treats just won’t cut it and only the real thing will do, die-hard candy loving adults won’t be disappointed this Halloween.

Chocolate aficionados should head straight to Eclipse Chocolat in North Park. Exotic flavor combinations are offered daily, but seasonal specials include the Pumpkin Muscavado truffle and Spiced Pumpkin cupcake, a decadent chocolate cake filled with pumpkin butter and topped in a dark chocolate ganache and grains of paradise (said to taste like a mix between pepper, ginger and cardamom).

If waiting for Halloween to roll around each year is simply too long to wait to get your candy fix, at Alchemy of the Hearth in San Marcos, candy lovers can learn to make sweet treats at home with classes that teach the secrets to creating toffees, caramels, lollipops and even candy apples.

How will you indulge your sweet tooth this Halloween?

Brent Bernasconi

America’s Cup World Series is Coming to San Diego

America's Cup World Series in San DiegoThe America’s Cup World Series is coming to San Diego this November. For eight days between November 12-20, AC 45 catamarans will be up close and personal as they race around San Diego’s Big Bay in four exciting events: San Diego America’s Cup Open, America’s Cup 500 Speed Trial, America’s Cup Match Racing Championship and America’s Cup World Series San Diego Championship. Make sure to check SanDiego.org for event information and to find great hotel deals.

Brent Bernasconi

San Diego’s Weather Ranked Number 1 by Travel+Leisure

San Diego's Weather - Perfect All Year Round!

In San Diego, all you need to do is walk outside on most days to notice our phenomenal weather. With over 280 days of pure sunshine, you can see why travelers ranked America’s Finest City number 1 for weather in Travel+Leisure’s America’s Favorite Cities 2011 survey. San Diego was also voted number 1 as the Spring Break destination and number 2 as Summer Family Vacation and 4th of July destinations! With great weather comes great opportunities for travel! Check out a Video San Diego’s Number 1 Weather Ranking from the Today Show

Aki

12th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival

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My recommendation for the upcoming San Diego Asian Film Festival, October 20-28, 2011, has nothing to do with my Japanese heritage, my love for movies or being an ardent festival-goer. Sure, I was the obvious pick to cover this festival, but I am here to tell you that even if I was of Irish descent, watched only 80’s Rom Coms, and was agoraphobic, I would still be recommending this film festival.

Whether you’re an Asian film buff, a foreign film guru or just your run-of-the-mill movie goer, there is something for everyone. Now in its twelfth year, the festival is one of the largest showcases of Pan-Asian cinema in North America, screening over 160 films (feature-length and shorts) from 21 countries in the span of 8 days. From feature to indie films, shorts, animation and documentaries, you’ll be hard pressed not to find something that peaks your interest.

Read more and leave a comment on this post to win tickets to the 2011 SDAFF…

Aki

Art Safari: Experience Southern California’s LIGHT & SPACE

Southern California’s expansive vistas and ethereal light have an unspoken power. If it were a sound, I would imagine it to be a deep cleansing exhale, like a cool breeze blowing off the ocean on a warm sunny day. If it were to be conveyed as an image or object, it is undoubtedly captured in the body of work created by a group of artists from the region in the 1960’s, who were part of an art movement known as Light and Space.

The transcendental experience of being in Southern California – the deep blue Pacific Ocean and the glowing light that pervades every corner of the unsuppressed landscape – inspired regional artists to create art objects that depict this beauty. Now, through an unprecedented initiative that examines this and other influential art movements spawned in Southern California from 1945-1980, the Getty Institute in Los Angeles, along with 68 other institutions, has mounted a collaborative region-wide exhibition series called Pacific Standard Time.

Two of San Diego’s museums are taking part in this initiative:

Step into light and space. Don't miss 'Phenomenal' at MCASD.

The Museum of Contemporary Art has organized their largest exhibition to-date, Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface, which encompasses both the downtown and La Jolla locations. The exhibition features exemplary works by vanguard artists that shaped the Light and Space movement, as well as site-specific installations that predominantly use the medium of light. In addition to the unique atmosphere of Southern California, the emergence of the iconic car and surf culture in the 1960’s gave way for artists to experiment with new materials – acrylic polymers, resins, enamels and new plastics – to create immaculately slick surfaces that  gave the movement its alternative name, Finish Fetish. The exhibition at both locations will be on view through January 22, 2012, so you’ll have plenty of time to plan your trip to San Diego to take in this awe-inspiring exhibition.

 

See the whimsical creations of San Diego's foremost artist craftsmen at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park presents San Diego’s Craft Revolution – From Post-War Modern to California Design, which opens October 16, showcasing important contributions of San Diego craftsmen from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. The exhibition traces the progression from sleek modernism to unconventional handcrafted functional objects, showcasing whimsical presentations of furniture, doors, jewelry and ceramics. This exhibition will be up through April 15, 2012, so be sure to include this exhibition in your next San Diego vacation itinerary.

Plan your Southern California Art Safari by visiting the official Pacific Standard Time website for more information, and a full schedule of participating exhibitions.