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Lifelike, Border Report, Ruocco Park, and more
What Are You Looking At?

Gavin Turk’s Nomad, 2001

Gavin Turk’s Nomad, 2001

What Are You Looking At?

That’s no sleeping bag. It’s a big hunk of bronze, painted blue. Lifelike, the Walker Art Center’s traveling exhibit, celebrates trompe-l’oeil with a wonderland of pieces that “trick the eye.” A pink eraser is made of balsa wood and a Hefty trash bag is in fact a marble sculpture. Other pieces include works by Andy Warhol, Edward Ruscha, and Jasper Johns. Catch Lifelike at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, through May 27.


The Border Report

Tijuana Café Trio

In a city like Tijuana, where daily routines commonly include spending anywhere from two to five hours queued up at the border, knowing where to get a cup of superb coffee is essential. In a country like Mexico, which ranks eighth in world coffee production, that shouldn’t be as trying a task as it often is. Tijuana gave birth to its very own chain of Starbucks-esque cafés—D’Volada—years before the Seattle coffee conglomerate finally seeped into town, in 2007. But only recently have independent cafés begun to pride themselves on knowing their bourbons, maragogipes, caturras, and typicas, and looking sharp while doing so. Here are three Tijuana coffee spots that are more than worthy of your pesos.

Cafe Sabina

Style and cozy factors collide at this second-story coffee loft, which bills itself as an art library that hosts local bands, theater acts, and the occasional storybook reading for kids. Astroturf and rescued wood pad the walls, and an eclectic mix of mid-century furniture fills the floor. Like that Eames knockoff you’re sitting in? Ask how much. It’s all supposedly for sale. The recommendation of the house: the Sabina Latte, brewed from Veracruz beans, served with a dollop of Nutella. Avenida Miguel Aleman and Boulevard Agua Caliente, Colonia Gabilondo

The Border Report

Café Aquamarino

Café Aquamarino

Café Aquamarino

Ocean views spill through expansive windows in this beachfront outpost at the southernmost end of Tijuana’s cafe-dotted boardwalk, where retired surfboards serve to post the menu. The true spectacle, however, awaits upstairs on the rooftop sundeck, where on a clear day the horizon stretches beyond the San Diego skyline. But the sun and sound of the waves leave you feeling a lot closer to Cabo than the border fence. The recommendation of the house: the Mexican mocha, made with espresso and Abuelita chocolate. 1342 Avenida Paseo Costero, Playas de Tijuana

Das Cortez

It’s a clean palette as far as aesthetics go at this small stop-and-go sidewalk cafe, which consists of a walkup bar and a lone table in the heart of La Cacho, the would-be North Park of Tijuana. The premium Arabica selection hails from the central and southern Mexico states Nayarit, Guerrero, Colima, Veracruz, and Chiapas. The recommendation of the house: Cappuletto Romantico, a double latte served with a tobacco leaf. 8920 Calle Brasil, Colonia Cacho

—By Derrik Chinn


Activate This

Activate This

Ruocco Park

Ruocco Park: Visitors Wanted

On a recent visit to this 3.3-acre greenspace on the waterfront, we were saddened to discover… nobody else. Place was empty. We were looking at the arch, an art installation known as The Riparium, by Roman de Salvo, and we were hearing crickets. Can the Port of San Diego drum up some enthusiasm for this awesome public space? Can we get a movie screening? Weekly concert series? Dog pageant? Art fair? Fish market?



2,000 Sausages Can’t Be Wrong

And six other things to know about the 20th annual Sicilian Festival

2,000 Sausages Can’t Be Wrong

Sicilian Festival


35,000 grapes will be stomped.



The big “get” is the Sicilian Tenors, who have played Carnegie Hall.



If you’re participating in the pasta-eating contest, it’s going to be spaghetti with marinara again this year.



The costume parade’s special guest will be Amelia Tripoli, born March 4, 2012. Her parents, Tony and Diana, were married at the 2010 festival.



For the bambini, there’s face painting, inflatable slides, and kids’ rides.



The event is free and you don’t have to be Sicilian to attend (Ferarri and Peroni will be there).



Bernadette Tarantino of Tarantino Gourmet Sausage plans to sell 2,000 Italian sausages.


TASTE IT: 20th Annual Sicilian Festival, Little Italy, May 19, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.,

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