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.
When twin sisters Izzy and Coco Tihanyi decided to pursue a career that combined their passion for surfing and their love of the ocean, their calling came in the form of starting Surf Diva. Before long, they were on course to becoming a lauded school for coed surfers in California and Costa Rica. Augmenting the pair's teachings is their team of certified instructors, all graduates of their school's intensive training program and certified in CPR and first aid. Committed to their expertise in surfing, many of the instructors also hold down careers as firefighters, paramedics, and snowboarders, granting them the combined know-how to put out beach bonfires with a casual backflip.
The team's instruction ranges from coed group lessons and competitive coaching sessions to two- or five-day women’s weekend surf clinics. When they're not teaching surfing, crew members commit themselves to alternative teaching programs in yoga and standup paddleboarding, helping surfers to conquer the water with their bodies as well as with their very buoyant hearts. The twins' Costa Rica program also helps women and families hone boarding skills abroad while becoming fully immersed in the Costa Rican culture.
Long-time La Jolla residents Gerhard Gessner and Alexandra Oehmigen-Gessner founded Prana Yoga Center in 2001 as a way to share their mutual passion for the ancient practice with fellow certified instructors, yogis undergoing teacher training, and students of all experience levels. Fluent in the styles of Hatha, Ashtanga, and Iyengar, Gerhard puts his 28 years of practice and training to use, leading challenging yet accessible classes, adopting an integrated, nondogmatic approach to the form. Known for his signature all-level Vinyasa Flow course, he is no stranger to tailoring course regimens to suit the diverse needs of his students. Gerhard and Alexandra, along with a massive team of 19 other instructors, also fill their robust class schedule with gentler Hatha yoga and specialty classes, such as prenatal yoga for mothers-to-be, teen yoga for girls, and kids yoga for little ones and overly stressed teddy bears.
At La Jolla Shores, the ocean bottom slopes gently out to sea and the waves roll gently toward the beach, where seals can be found sleeping in the sun. This unique ecology makes the area an ideal entryway into the ocean, which the native La Jollan owners of La Jolla Kayak take full advantage of, leading kayaking excursions past the steep cliffs and through the secluded sea caves where humans first learned to douse fire. Alternatively, snorkel tours allow explorers to dive into the 6,000-acre Underwater Park to spy the leopard shark, garibaldi, and dolphins swimming underfoot. To facilitate journeys, La Jolla Kayak transports visitors' kayaks to the beach straight from its outfitting shop, which also houses complimentary lockers and rents out wetsuits to keep love-struck sea lions from slipping notes into divers' pockets.
In a heated, 4,000-square-foot facility, Bikram Yoga La Jolla’s instructors guide students in a body-bending curriculum that aims to cultivate strength, flexibility, and inner peace. These pliable pros help students hone the body and the mind by leading them through a flowing regimen of 26 poses. The classes are performed on clean, non-absorbent Lonseal floors situated in heated rooms that foster greater muscle fluidity and faster metabolic functioning. Other benefits of yoga may include stress reduction, improved concentration, pain relief, and increased self-esteem. After they are cooled down with ice cold lavender towels at class's end, students can head to the remodeled changing facilities, including an expanded women's room. The facilities provide cubbies for storing possessions and showers to sluice away sweat and caked-on pranas.
"Music is my diet and dance feeds my soul," says "Salsa Susie" Ngyen, who quit a six-figure career at Xerox to start Ooh La La Dance Academy—in the midst of an economic crisis. Her risk paid off, because since then, the company's dance troop, the Cosabellas, earned the title of Best 2010 Performing Artist of the Year by Raw Artist and sparkled onstage for celebrity judges during a live-taping of America's Got Talent in 2011.
The Cosabellas not only entertain; they share their enthusiasm of dance with others by teaching kids and adult dance classes at Ooh La La Dance Academy. Boasting over 15 years of experience each, the instructors teach the dance they pioneered, a blend of Latin and burlesque, as well as fitness-inspired classes and classical dance forms such as ballet and The Beethoven Shuffle.