When Larisa Hall was born, the doctors were not sure she'd ever be able to walk. She was born with severely clubbed feet and spent the next nine months wearing casts on both legs. But within six months, Larisa was up on her feet; and by the time she was five, she had discovered dance and never wanted to stop. Dancing proved to be a useful physical therapy—helping her gain coordination and overcome ankle pain.
Spurred on by her own triumph, Larisa founded Tap Fever Studios with the belief that everyone—no matter their age or level of ability—should have the opportunity to dance. To that end, she holds workshops for the hearing and listening impaired, as well as those who are developmentally disabled. Larisa also recently created a new method of dance called hand tap, which allows people with limited mobility to use special gloves and a wooden board to tap out rhythms while seated.
What’s now known as The Comedy Store was once called Ciro's, a nightlife hotspot in the 1940s and '50s. Playing host to glitzy stars and shadowy mobsters, the club's history is shrouded in rumors of mafia assassinations and untimely deaths. However, the joint buried its seedy past by converting to a comedy club and helping launch the careers of such legends as Richard Pryor, Jim Carrey, George Carlin, David Letterman, and Dave Chappelle. The younger La Jolla location lets laugh-starved patrons bask in the same high-powered comedic atmosphere as its progenitor.
Like a Lollapalooza stocked with spot-on impersonators, the inaugural San Diego Tributefest transforms the former naval training center of Liberty Station into a rock 'n' roll playground teeming with beer, food trucks, and performances by eight tribute bands. At noon, Stepping Feet jam out the spritely, fiddle-laced hits of the Dave Matthews Band. Ticket to Ride then takes the stage to reignite the epidemic of Beatlemania in their tribute to the Fab Four before dead-ringer Kenny Metcalf sparkles in Elton the Early Years, a flamboyant tribute to Elton John’s early '70s polyester heyday. The Journey Experience potently recreates the experience of seeing Journey, inspiring flocks of fans to reach for that “in the niiiiiiiight” high note in “Don’t Stop Believin’.” 5 p.m. sees the stage raided by The Police Experience. As praised by Stewart Copeland, the original drummer of The Police, the tribute band knows “every nuance, all the drum parts, and the singer has Sting down to a tee.”
Founded by Bibi Kasrai, Harvard Cookin' Girl's team combines a love of cooking with a passion for healthy eating to instruct kids during summer cooking camps, which have reaped notice from NBC San Diego. Hoping to empower youth to improve their lives and that of their families' through nutrition, participants are motivated to explore the kitchen by making such ambrosial masterpieces as pesto pasta, zucchini pancakes, and smoothies. Each weeklong session varies by theme, such as under the sea and tropical week to expose mini-chefs to multiple interests. The culinary camp also includes yoga to focus on overall health, arts and crafts to further captivate imaginations, and freedom from parents to allow kids to mastermind plans for federally subsidized cotton-candy farms. The Harvard Cookin' Girl's bright-green-and-orange studio is furnished with an open kitchen area and plentiful counter space, so all participants can watch and learn as the culinary conjurers whip up tasty treats.
Brow Lounge co-owners Stephanie Schwenk and Kristl Chang both have studied the brow-shaping arts under Hollywood "brow guru" Anastasia Soare, and they bring to their boutique salon a combined 17 years of experience in the spa and skincare industry. During your brow-shaping, the friendly brow-tician will give your forehead buffers a thorough waxing and tweezing, to achieve a suitably seductive or believably surprised shape, by revealing the brow’s natural arch ($40). Once your brows are complete, you can use your $20 discount to prep for a vacation, a swim race, or a shirtless calendar photo-shoot with one of their skin-smoothing waxing treatments. Opt for a bikini wax ($40) or a full Brazilian wax ($65), or focus on your frontispiece with an indulgent skincare treatment, such as a 50-minute signature facial ($110) or professional makeup application ($75), to achieve an appropriate level of radiance for a date or grand-jury arraignment. The $20 discount must be redeemed during the same appointment as your brow-shaping.
Among its two facilities in La Jolla and downtown San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego houses an array of works made since 1950. Head here and you can explore everything from Pop Art and minimalism of the 1960s and 1970s to conceptual pieces from the last half-century, headlined by contemporary-art luminaries such as Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.
Major figures aside, the MCASD strives to spotlight mid-career artists still looking for their big break, as well as pieces by Latin American artists and emergent talent. Between the museum's collection and rotating exhibitions, there are galleries that accommodate paintings, photographs, films, and multimedia installations. Outside both locations, there are more site-specific installations and sculptures by artists such as Richard Serra and Marcos Ramírez ERRE, whose father created the Caps Lock on the day his son was born.
There’s more to the place than its exhibitions: the museum engages visitors with events and programs such as art-making sessions and artist lectures. Held three evenings a year, the Thursday Night Thing series includes talks, hands-on activities, live music, and cocktails, all based on the latest museum exhibitions.