1. Pigging out
Growing up in Morocco in a house that doubled as a hostel, Ibn al-Presto was raised around the art of conviviality. Despite limited resources, his mother took pride in entertaining guests by using found materials to continually transform the aesthetics of their home. The late matriarch was famous for saying, "You can't polish a turd, but you can pour glitter all over it."
While continuing to run the hostel, al-Presto started sharing this legacy of quirky hospitality by catering house parties for his friends. Then several years ago, a traveler from San Diego landed at the hostel and befriended the budding culinary artist and mixologist.
Maintaining that friendship, al-Presto recently flew to California. As it turns out, his chance acquaintance works in the local art scene and invited al-Presto to host an event at the Disclosed unLocation Gallery (1925 30th St. in South Park).
"I've done these things before for people, but never as a show like this," he said. "To me, it's not strange, but to these people, it's strange. It's just my way of thinking or doing this."
Transforming the art space into an Arabesque gastropub, al-Presto calls the event Orange Blosomm Special. Celebrating the intersection of the organic and the processed, the menu includes a pig molded out of bacon, Velveeta and chocolate; a salad made from locally grown veggies and Cheetos; and a flower-and-herb-suffused beer.
"It's just fun," he said. "In Morocco, we have living room where we sit and talk and drink tea. Here you have bars. This is a mix. We'll have the pig and beer and people will come and drink and talk."
2. Fabulous films
The LGBT Film Festival is easily San Diego's sexiest cinema shindig. There's some erotica-lite (Little Vulvah & Her Clitoral Awareness) and films featuring hot dudes (and ladies) falling in love. There's the broaching of taboo topics (Gerontophilia) and, of course, sexy musicals. Like the community it represents, the fest is diverse and inclusive, offering something for all makes and models of filmgoer, whether gay, straight or something in between. It runs from Friday, May 30, through Sunday, June 1, at the North Park Theatre (2891 University Ave.) and includes screenings of a dozen feature-length films, most of them paired with a short, plus opening- and closing-night parties. Tickets range from $10 for a single film to $125 for an all-access pass. filmoutsandiego.com
The trick to having an awesome time at Tower After Hours at Balboa Park's Museum of Man is showing up early. The food and booze tastings at the adult-only soirées are great, but lagging Lucys will be left waiting in line, their growling bellies overwhelming the cool sights and sounds generated by the live entertainment. From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 29, the next installment of Tower After Hours celebrates Brazil. What makes the event extra-exciting is that, alongside Brazilian food, beverages and entertainment, there'll be soccer demos (Brazil's hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup). The event is also a chance to check out Empowering Women, the museum's exhibition featuring female artisan cooperatives and the folk art they create to help support their families. $15-$30. museumofman.org
Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email Kinsee Morlan.