Social Chaos: Scene Out

Firefighters | PHOTO: ANA PINES

We’ve been getting a taste of downtown living due to a fire that occurred where we live. We’ve been displaced for two weeks because one of the neighbors decided to make hash oil in her apartment. We’ve read that they use butane. This was the cause of the explosion. Our entire floor sustained smoke damage. We were forced to evacuate until it was deemed safe to occupy. The explosion shook the whole building. When we heard neighbors screaming, “Call 911”, we didn’t realize that our building was on fire. We didn’t hear the fire alarm and didn’t see the smoke until we opened our front door. A neighbor from the first floor ran up and started banging on every door screaming, “Fire!” We quickly grabbed each other, our dog and ran out. The hallways were full of black smoke. It was hard to find a way to the stairs. We don’t know when things will get back to normal but it surely makes you wonder how some people really don’t care how they affect others. According to the firefighters, this is a common situation all around San Diego County – hash oil fires. Apparently, it is a known fact that there’s a chance of explosion when they do these kinds of things but, these tenants still chose to put our lives at risk for their “cash money” business.

It’s times like these that you also realize who your friends are. We had many wonderful people reach out to us to offer us a place to stay, food, place to do our laundry or just provide some company. We’re still going through the process of cleaning up but we know we’re lucky that it wasn’t worse and we don’t need much to get back to normal. We noticed some people acting odd and purposely avoiding us. It gave us a feeling that the gesture of being polite is long gone. A simple, “We’re glad you’re OK” in this era of social media is enough for us. We came to a realization that not everyone is who they pretend to be – especially those people that are always asking us for help. It’s an eye-opening experience to say the least.

San Diego Latino Film Festival

The 21st annual San Diego Latino Film Festival kicked off March 13. The 11-day festival will be screening the latest and best films from Mexico, Latin America, Spain and the U.S. with the biggest names in international cinema like Hector Jimenez (Nacho Libre), Frankie J Alvarez from HBO’s Looking, John Leguizamo, Edith Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Culture Clash founder Richard Montoya and Karla Souza.


We watched Que le dijiste a Dios? featuring music by singing sensation Juan Gabriel. Erika de la Rosa (La Patrona), who played Marcela in the film and director/writer Teresa Suarez were in attendance after the screening for a Q&A. It was super cheesy and the right medicine after all the confusion from the fire.

The opening night party, hosted by Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade, was held at Café Sevilla in downtown San Diego with live music from Afro Jazziacs and DJ Bob Green. The VIP section upstairs had a hosted sangria bar and tapas. It gave celebrities and filmmakers a chance to mingle with each other, the media and the VIP guests.

We watched Ghetto Klown by John Leguizamo at the Media Arts San Diego’s Digital Gym in North Park March 15. It’s a hilarious and honest look at his life’s struggles throughout his career. We watched the two shows that he talks about during the film, Freak and Sexaholix … A Love Story live when we lived in New York. His shows remind us that no matter what you go through there’s always humor in life. It’s a necessity for those moments where you have to move forward.

After the movie the Digital Gym turned into an evening of drinks, gourmet appetizers, dessert bar, live music by emerging new band Luneaux and a tequila tasting bar for the fashion and film party. The fashion show featured some of San Diego Fashion Week’s acclaimed designers, NOIA, Dos Caras Swimwear and Isabel Vianey.

The festival runs through March 23. The festival is a juried film/video exhibition of work by/about Latino artists and the Latino genre. It hosts guest filmmakers’ appearances, workshops, live music, art exhibitions and gala celebrations. The screenings are held at UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas Hazard Center and Digital Gym Cinema. Whatever ails you, you’ll be sure to find a movie to help you forget your troubles. For more info, visit

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2014. Filed under Bottom Highlights, Scene Out. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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