What to do next?

Today I am trying to decide what artistic or cultural endeavor I should pursue next. I have tried to narrow it down, but I can’t seem to choose. Here are the possibilities:

– the Titanic exhibit in Balboa Park

– Sandra Berhard is coming to the La Jolla Playhouse next week

– Finally see The Artist (before it leaves theaters)

– A new art exhibit at UCSD (they put a small house hanging off of one of the campus buildings!)

– Any new restaurant downtown

What do you think I should experience next? If you know about any of the above and think they’re worth it, please let me know. Or let me know about something totally different!

Thanks in advance for any help!


Culinary Happiness in Pacific Beach

Yesterday I stumbled into one of the best restaurants I have been to in a while, Isabel’s Cantina. Isabel’s Cantina is in Pacific Beach in a building that from the outside looks more like an apartment building than a restaurant. I was so surprised by the vibe and atmosphere that the restaurant had. When you walk in, you will feel relaxed. The mood is quiet and peaceful, the perfect place to enjoy healthy and delicious food.

Oh, the food was amazing! Everything on the menu looked fantastic. Breakfast is served until 3pm, so if you’re ever craving pancakes at lunchtime, head here. They had everything from fried rice bowls to pancakes to tacos and tortas. Their food is fresh and they grow many of the greens themselves. For lunch, I had the Single Happiness which is fried rice with chicken (you could also choose tofu) and grilled veggies. It also came with peanut sauce on the side. Delicious! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I loved the chicken, cooked perfectly. And the fried rice was delicious; it was a little sweet and a little crunchy. I have never had fried rice like that.

I am definitely join back for dinner sometime soon! One thing that caught my eye on the dinner menu was the Ahi and the Cantina Sangria. If I go back for breakfast, I am definitely getting either the Cantina Croissant (which includes cream cheese!) or the Berry Pancakes (pancakes topped with raspberries, blackberries, a raspberry puree, and more!). I felt so full and relaxed after leaving. It was a great way to separate the stress of working through the morning and afternoon. I can’t believer hat I never knew about this place, but I am so glad that I found it! Days like yesterday are the ultimate goal of this blog: to happen upon wonderful cultural experiences in my favorite city.

My suggestion: Go try Isabel’s Cantina immediately! Enjoy the delicious food and drink, then take a walk down to the beach and enjoy beautiful San Diego weather.


One of the contestants from the Food and Water Bowl! Look at those ears! - picture courtesy of Nancy Miljas.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Food and Water Bowl at the Del Mar Racetrack grounds. This annual event is a cat show designed to show off all types of breeds of cats. I was discussing this event with a fellow blogger and she encouraged me to write about the event. I wasn’t sure that it represented art in San Diego, but my friend was right: it definitely represents an interesting cultural event in our lovely city. Cat shows, much like dog shows, have a judging area where they judge the cats by class. More information on how they judge the cats ban be found at the Cat Fanciers website. Cat Fanciers is the group that puts on cat shows across the country as well as gives information and education about cats through their website and shows.

It was so much fun to walk around and visit all of the cats. Some of them looked happy to be there and wanted to show off for visitors while others were sleeping. A few looked a little upset to be sitting in a cage for so long, and I can’t blame them. The owners were friendly and usually wanted to talk about their cats, unless they were being called to the judging area. One of my favorite sections of the show was the Feline Agility test. Here, the cats run up stairs and through tunnels. It is fun to see the cats run and get out of their cages. There is definitely an aspect of artistry in the way that the owners groom and train their cats for the show. While it is fun as a spectator to walk through the aisles and look at the cats, the owners seem focused on making sure their cats are ready for their events throughout the day. If you are a cat lover or are interested in seeing the “artistry” of cat shows, you should definitely consider attending the cat show next year.

At the beginning…we find Beginners (2010)

My weekend was so busy that I did not have time to go out in search of art and culture. But I decided to bring it in! I watched the Mike Mills film, Beginners¬†(2010), with Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor. (Christopher Plummer went on to win a SAG Award for his role.) Ewan McGregor play Oliver whose father, in is late seventies, tells his son that he is gay and that he also has terminal cancer. The story focuses on the relationship between father and son, but also includes depictions of many types of love and loss. The screens flip back and forth throughout Oliver’s life, from the very old past to the recent past to the present. One of my favorite characters was the dog. Oliver adopts his father’s dog and begins to talk to him as though he could talk back. The dog helps Oliver narrate the rest of the film.

One of the most interesting elements of the movie was the way that the filmmakers incorporated different aspect of art into the film. Oliver is an illustrator and the film follows him between work and his home life, both of which include bits of artists expression. I don’t want to include any more about the film because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but you should check it out! It is interesting and may make you think.

Hope you’re having a good week and stick around this weekend for more!

Art is Everywhere!

Before I venture out to find art and culture in my lovely city, I want to do some research. I want to find out exactly where to go to find art and culture, but I also want to explore art groups that are taking place in the virtual world.

One of my favorite new sites¬†http://hitRECord.org is a place for artists to come together and collaborate on projects. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, you should! Some of the collaborations are brilliant. In fall 2011, I heard about the website and quickly fell in love. I purchased two books from their site, A Tiny Book of Tiny Stories and Recollection Volume 1. I think that they are both awesome. Sometimes I take the Tiny Book with me on vacations to keep me company while I wait at the airport or on a long train ride. The reason that I love this site is that it allows artists to work together. The site, and its creator Joseph Gordon-Levitt, bring together artists from all over the world. And anyone can join! Whether you want to collaborate or just appreciate, the site does not disappoint.

Here’s to finding more art!

Where should I visit first?

I am going to uses these first few posts as a way to brainstorm possible art explorations.


– music: Salsa at Cafe Sevilla, San Diego Symphony, performances at UCSD

– spoken word performances will also go under music as an auditory art

– galleries/museums: Balboa Park museums, La Jolla & North County art galleries

– food (I’m going to call it the culinary arts!): new restaurants, wineries, and breweries

– classes: Photography classes or music lessons (maybe guitar), maybe pottery or a drawing class

– theater: Civic Center productions, La Jolla Playhouse

– film: for the next few months I will probably focus on movies that could be Oscar contenders, but I will move on to art house movies after the Oscars

– natural art: botanical gardens, topiaries, gardens

I hope that I can find different kinds of artistic experiences through each of these mediums. I consider myself a sort of artist. As a writer, I am naturally critical of myself and my work. I would love to use these creative moments as inspiration for my work. I also hope that I can meet other artists and find out more about their work. I hope in some coming posts to even share my discussions with these artists with you.




Let me introduce myself. My name is Celeste Phillips and I have started this blog because I want to showcase some of the fantastic cultural experiences in San Diego. One of my friends once said that San Diego doesn’t have as much culture as larger cities. I have to disagree with that point. And I am hoping that my blog will help to show why my friend was wrong. I want to explore all aspects of the art world: music, theater, sculpture, painting, galleries, museums, movies, anything and everything related to art and creativity.

I have to admit that I am starting this blog not just to show that San Diego has a great art scene, but also to find some inspiration for myself. I believe that we all have a creative side to us and I would love to discover mine in this process. So, some of my posts may be about my own experiences, say while taking a photography class or learning to play the guitar. (Two things I hope to accomplish in the next year.) I hope that my blog will introduce all of us to new parts of life in San Diego and that it will inspire others to think creatively. I would love any suggestions you may have for places to visit or artists to meet. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I look forward to the artsy journey ahead!