San Diego

Weekend roundup

February 17-20


Chinese New Year Festival at Balboa Park

Feb. 19. 2022 is the year of the tiger! The Chinese New Year Festival commemorates the beginning of a new year (starting in February) on the traditional lunisolar and solar Chinese calendar. To celebrate, head to Balboa Park—where festivities include lion and dragon dances, a kung fu performance, “red envelopes,” specialty food stations, live music and other entertainment all afternoon. The event unfolds outside the House of China, one of the park’s international cottages. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (rain or shine). Free entry. 668 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park. More Info

Little Italy Mercato

Feb. 19. Did you know San Diego County is home to around 50 certified farmers markets? If we had to pick our favorite, this quintessential San Diego weekend experience would be high on the list. Stroll among 150 vendors offering fresh produce, flowers, meat, eggs, cheeses, sauces, pantry items, home and bath products, and more—with peeks of San Diego Bay a few blocks away. Afterward, grab lunch at one of the neighborhood’s dozens of restaurants offering ample patio dining. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. 600 W. Date St., Little Italy, 619.233.3901.

“Lovers Quarrel” R&B Block Party

Feb. 19. Billed as “the dopest R&B dance party in San Diego,” this block bonanza at Quartyard—presented by Yeahhh’ Mayne and the East Village Association—invites you to dance the night away. Enjoy an evening of R&B dance tunes from the ‘90s and early 2000s—think: Pony, Janet Jackson, Silk, Dru Hill, Destiny’s Child, D’Angelo, Jodeci, Blackstreet and En Vogue—featuring resident DJ Alonzo, special guests and performers. See website for more details. 5-10 p.m. Tickets are $10-$15 presale; $20 at the door. 1301 Market St., East Village. More Info

Food + Drink

National Drink Wine Day

Feb. 18. Isn’t every day National Drink Wine Day? Evidently, it’s officially acknowledged on Friday. Our pick for celebrating: The Rose Wine Bar. This adorable neighborhood hangout and bottle shop specializes in natural wines made with organically grown grapes and handmade small plates. Into reds, whites, bubbles or can’t decide? The seasoned staff can help you find your new vino crush. Even better, join The Rose’s wine club and receive several bottles a month, along with perks and discounts on retail wines. See website for hours. 2219 30th St., South Park, 619.281.0718.

The Crack Shack Encinitas’ Fifth Anniversary

Feb. 18-20. Which came first: the chicken or the egg? At The Crack Shack, it depends on which one you ordered first. The eatery’s Encinitas outpost—known for its chicken and egg dishes, cocktails and campy-fun decor—celebrates its fifth anniversary this weekend with exclusive specials and events. Try the Laney’s Reuben sandwich with pastrami-style chicken thigh; the Birthday Cake Shake; and Burgeon Beer Co.’s anniversary release of “Prime Five” Hazy IPA on tap. Amazing Strays Rescue will also be on hand Saturday (3-7 p.m.), hosting a puppy adoption pop-up. 407 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, 760.230.2968. More Info

Cafe Gelabong

Open. Calling all gelato lovers! This dessert cafe is sweet-tooth approved, serving gelato ice cream with taiyaki—a traditional, Japanese fish-shaped cake akin to a waffle cone. Simply choose your gelato flavor (try the strawberry and yellow cake); then choose a filling, with options including Nutella, custard, red bean and honey; and finish with toppings such as Oreo cookie crumbles and Fruity Pebbles. Offerings also include house-made mochi doughnuts with daily rotating flavors; and a wide selection of specialty teas. W-M noon-10 p.m. (closed Tu). 3882 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.679.1137.

Arts + Culture

El Borracho at The Old Globe

Feb. 17-March 20. Meet Raul—a heavy drinker who falls deathly ill and moves in with his ex-wife and their son (who wants to connect with his dad). Bring tissues for this powerful, world-premiere dramedy—developed as part of The Old Globe’s 2020 Powers New Voices Festival—written by Tony Meneses (pictured) and directed by Edward Torres. Jesse J. Perez stars as Raul; with Zilah Mendoza as Alma; and Matthew Martínez as David. See website for showtimes, safety protocols and tickets. The Old Globe, White Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623.

San Diego Opera’s Così fan tutte

Feb. 18 and 20. San Diego Opera delivers its first full-scale production of the season at the Civic Theatre. Mozart’s endearing farce centers on a confirmed bachelor, who believes women are fickle and will always stray. He bets two young soldiers that their fiancées can’t remain faithful for even 24 hours. The soldiers disguise themselves to “test” their ladies, and a playful adventure of mistaken identities and mischief ensues. The opera is sung in Italian with English translations. See website for showtimes, theater safety protocols and tickets. 1100 Third Ave., downtown.

Life Sucks at Cygnet Theatre

Through Feb. 27. There’s still time to catch this life-pondering comedy at Old Town Theatre. Directed by Rob Lufty, Cygnet Theatre presents the regional premiere of playwright Aaron Posner’s brash reworking of Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya. The play explores the hilarity (and enlightenment) that can be found in unhappiness—particularly when a miserable group of estranged in-laws, ex-lovers, old friends and sworn enemies get together to ponder life. How could things possibly go sideways? See website for showtimes, theater safety protocols and ticket pricing. 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town, 619.337.1525.

Maraya Performing Arts Center

Open. Founded by Filipina-American Anjanette Maraya-Ramey, Maraya Performing Arts is Chula Vista’s first multicultural performing arts center. The industrial space hosts multigenerational training in dance, music and theater—spotlighting BIPOC artists and operating under the Filipino philosophy of bayanihan (or “communal unity”). Classes range from ballet techniques to hip-hop to youth theater workshops. Other services include professional development workshops, artist networking events and more. See website for all offerings and hours. 861 Harold Place, Suite 208, Chula Vista, 619.934.2999.

Photo credits: El Borracho courtesy of The Old Globe. Così fan tutte courtesy of San Diego Opera. Life Sucks by Karli Cadel Photography. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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