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  • On the evening of Feb. 8, 2020, almost 1,000 art-lovers and techies turned out for the opening of “Illumination,” at San Diego Art Institute (SDAI) in Balboa Park. Subtitled “21st Century Interactions with Art, Science and Technology,” the show paired 16 local artists with scientists from seven different La Jolla-based research institutions to see what kind of artworks could result from their interactions in the fields of Global Health, Climate Change and Sustainability, and Touch-Screen Technology. The artists and scientists seemed to appreciate the opportunity to connect with each other, and an additional 10 artists were invited to create their own works on similar themes.

  • A Bird Rock business is revolutionizing the wine bar business, creating craft wines and pouring innovation into every glass. Lowell and Anne Jooste, the married owners of LJ Crafted Wines on La Jolla Boulevard in the heart of Bird Rock, explained how they’re helping to improve the community, one beverage at a time.

  • Make La Quinta Art Celebration the priority destination for a fun desert road trip. Experience the awesome array of artwork showcased at the stunning La Quinta Civic Center — a short drive from Palm Springs — where 225 world-class artists from 35 states and abroad will exhibit their spectacular creations spanning 12 media categories in styles ranging from classical to whimsical, March 5-8, 2020.

  • San Diego International Jewish Film Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and Feb. 13-23, 2020 will show 35 films in four different venues: Reading Cinemas Town Square in Clairemont, Garfield Theatre at Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla, Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park, and La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas. There’s a lot to choose from, with dramas, comedies and documentaries about the arts, history, sports, family conflicts, and Israeli-Palestinian relations.

  • La Jolla Historical Society’s next exhibition, “Tijuana 1964: The Photography of Harry Crosby,” opens Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 with more than 60 black-and-white photographs. The La Jolla Historical Society presenting an exhibition on Tijuana? Yes indeed, Historical Society executive director Heath Fox says: “There is a stereotype of what a ‘historical society’ is, focused on reporting the past of a defined geographic area ... but a 21st century museum cannot be so static. It must be dynamic, presenting programs that are fresh, thought-provoking and forward-thinking. We don’t think of La Jolla as a cultural island. We consider it in context to the City of San Diego and part of the Southern California/Northern Mexico megalopolis.”

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Now that it’s the New Year and the rapid succession of fall-to-winter holidays has passed, it’s time to get more organized and properly store holiday decorations away. Most people enjoy breaking out decorations to add a little festivity during the holidays. But sometimes that trip to the garage can leave you scratching your head — like where did you store the holiday decorations or that special set of holiday place settings? Or who put the big tabletop turkey in with the Halloween costumes? There are simple ways to get more organized, and Solana Beach Storage and Morena Storage have some strategies for getting organized in the New Year — and storing things properly to help take some stress out of 2020 holidays to come.

  • Two new exhibitions have opened at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla — “Christine Oatman: Stories of Innocence and Experience: Altered Mid-20th Century Children’s Books in Pedagogic Tableaux” and “Artists’ Books from the Steven Leiber Catalogs.” The exhibits are on display Jan. 11-March 7, 2020.

  • “The Great Leap,” a basketball-centric play, is coming to Old Town San Diego’s Cygnet Theatre Jan. 22, 2020. Written by multi-award-winner Lauren Yee, it was one of the 10 most-produced plays in the United States in 2019, along with her “Cambodian Rock Band,” recently staged at La Jolla Playhouse. “The Great Leap,” which premiered in Denver in 2018, is about an American basketball team going to China for an exhibition game. There’s more than a game at stake; there are long-buried personal histories, a clash of dreams and ambitions, and the main setting is Beijing in 1989, when student protesters were about to be massacred in Tienanmen Square. With all this going on, there’s still plenty of humor — one of the playwright’s conspicuous gifts.

  • Put sushi on the menu and Nak Joon Kim behind the bar and you have Haru Sushi, La Jolla’s “neighborhood” sushi bar since fall 2018. “I don’t want a big restaurant,” he said. “I prefer a smaller, quiet one (it seats 60) where we’re part of the neighborhood and our customers are our friends.” Kim believes that good food makes you comfortable and 90 percent of Haru’s patrons are locals: “They come in and enjoy the environment, the experience and the food.” They must. Kim claims that 50 percent of first-time customers come back. One customer told Kim he enjoyed Haru because he “didn’t like to feel like a mackerel in a can.”

  • Got biscuits and gravy on your mind? What about fried chicken and waffles? You’ll find them all at Old Townhouse Restaurant in Ocean Beach/San Diego, open for breakfast and lunch every day, where the menu is packed with homestyle favorites served in a cozy, family-friendly setting.

  • Is the real world getting a bit too crazy for you, during this ho-ho-ho-holiday season? Why not take a virtual reality break at the San Diego Art Institute (SDAI) in Balboa Park, which the folks from Wonderspaces have taken over for a month-long Virtual Reality Showcase. Wonderspaces is an annual pop-up show of immersive art installations that started out in San Diego in the summer of 2017 and has attracted thousands of visitors every year. Now they’re adding a little fall/winter show-time and offering a quartet of short VR films that have been audience favorites.

  • As happy hour gatherings, celebrations with friends, and work festivities become centered on the holidays, various lounges and restaurants are offering seasonal beverages designed to elevate holiday routines. La Jolla menus reveal some clever and creative potions for anyone seeking to add more sparkle to their sips.

  • If you haven’t seen Visions yet, now is a fine time to visit that small but delightful Liberty Station museum devoted to contemporary quilts and textiles.

  • November and December 2019 are packed with all sorts of traditional and modern holiday happenings and Christmas events, so take out your Day Planner and note the events of your choice in San Diego County.

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