May 29 2013 12:24 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Live street art at last year’s Art Around Adams
Photo by John Hancock


Walking up and down any street repeatedly usually means you’ve made some bad life choices. That is, unless you’re at a daytime block party. No one can call you a streetwalker or dope dealer at a community block party! Especially Art Around Adams, the music-and-arts festival that celebrates its 10th birthday this year.

More than 100 businesses along two miles of Adams Avenue, from Normal Heights to Kensington, will host live-music performances, art exhibitions and interactive installations, performance art, a beer garden and more from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 1. Organizer Adam Rosen says this year will be bigger than ever to commemorate the milestone.

“In general, we try to up the bar when it comes to the production and quality of the performers and artists,” he says. “But this year we tried to put extra effort into it. [The event] ranges from high energy to laid back and chill depending on what you’re doing. We try to really focus on the different elements Normal Heights and Kensington have to offer.”

Among the more than 30 bands and musicians playing on 11 stages are The Burning of Rome, Hills Like Elephants, The New Kinetics and The Black Sands. There will also be 67 art happenings along the main drag, street performers and a double-decker bus providing transportation and entertainment (stand-up comedians will perform on the bus throughout the day).

We’re especially excited for a performance piece by brothers Victor and Tony Zepeda. They’re bringing “Super Awesome Showdown,” multiple rounds of what Rosen describes as an “intergalactic superhero performance-art wrestling,” to the Unity Masonic Lodge (3366 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights) starting at 4 p.m. with a final performance at 8:30 p.m.


It’s no surprise that Edgar Allen Poe was a fan of Giambattista Piranesi, the 18th-century Italian artist whose Carceri series of etchings depict massive, imagined subterranean prisons with staircases to nowhere and strange instruments of torture. For the exhibition Piranesi, Rome, and the Arts of Design, the folks at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park came up with the clever idea of having viewers experience Piranesi’s intricate, whimsical-yet-eerie work in 3-D. They’re sticking with that theme for the latest Culture & Cocktails event, happening from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, May 30. Get your 3-D or holographic photo taken, check out the exhibition, take in an acrobatic performance by Cristin Sandu and enjoy Italian-soda cocktails and Italian small bites. The event is 21-and-over; $15 tickets can be purchased at the door or at


The Frequency Film Festival’s second run has been in full swing since last week, bringing an eclectic mix of movies to Ocean Beach Playhouse (4944 Newport Ave.) through Saturday, June 8, with additional dates being added regularly. The films range in subject matter and genre, from the documentary Mongolian Bling, about the hiphop scene in Mongolia, to Delusions of Grandeur, about a girl’s coming-of-age in 1990s San Francisco. Festival director Paul Parietti’s goal is to turn people on to films they might not otherwise know about— each film in the fest is having its San Diego premiere. Tickets are $6.17 in advance, $10 at the door or $30 for an all-access pass. Check out synopses and screening times at

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.