It’s not every day you get a personal tour of the coolest spaces by San Diego’s finest architectural minds.

We gathered them together last week for our eighth Meeting of the Minds to walk us through (metaphorically, of course) the most intriguing spaces and places around our city, with a catch: They couldn’t focus on any projects of their own.

Architect Catherine Herbst challenged us on how exactly we should define “cool,” before pointing out a few of the buildings around town that have caught her eye. “Places I like say something about the climate here,” Herbst said. “Shade – it’s what buildings are good at.”

If you couldn’t join us last week, check out the recap here, with video clips of each of our fab six speakers.

—Catherine Green

Jenner Breaking Barriers

Seventeen million people (and counting, courtesy of streaming services) watched the groundbreaking Bruce Jenner interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News last week.

The Olympian, who took the gold in the decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics and shattered his own world record, came out as transgender in the interview, going through his transition from male to female in the public eye.

For months, there’s been speculation in the tabloids due to major changes in his appearance but we finally heard the truth from Jenner. The episode has been lauded as a triumph for its honesty, understanding and ability to inform the public without any sensationalism. Jenner is being called courageous and heroic by news outlets as well as close family, friends and celebrities.

The issues Jenner and the trans community as a whole face are evident in San Diego. Two years ago I wrote a story for CityBeat on a photographic exhibition telling the personal stories and struggles of trans people. It’s been reported that 41 percent of transgender people attempt suicide, and many of those I interviewed admitted to attempting or seriously thinking about killing themselves.

Earlier this month, Fallbrook teen Taylor Alesana fell into that category and committed suicide after enduring tortuous bullying.

With the Jenner interview gaining critical mass, and a general outpouring of support for the Olympian and all other trans individuals, there might be hope for change in those numbers. If you are a transgender person and are looking for help, the Center offers services in English and Spanish.

You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

Mojave Pics, Non-Religiously Religious and Visual Art

Not all is what it seems with artist Andrea Chung, but it’s all fascinating. (CityBeat)

The vast empty space that is the Mojave Desert serves as the backdrop for some award-winning photography. (CityBeat)

Religious artwork for the non-religious: Yeah, it’s a thing and Natalie Bessell is good at it. (U-T)

Helen Redman mixes work with her personal life. (U-T)

Artist Tom Driscoll has some stones. (Artbound)

Every Gig on SDSU’s Books in Music and Performance News

A hip anthropology professor has documented every gig played at San Diego State. Lots of shreddage in those halls of learning. (KPBS)

Indie Books, Near-Death Experiences and More Culture Bits

Celebrate your local independent book store this Saturday. (CityBeat)

A near-death experience can have a profound impact on a person. CityBeat tells us about a group of people who saw the light and lived to tell about it.

If you ever find a bug in your meal, don’t freak out. It might be part of the dish! Unless you didn’t ask for it, in which case yeah, go ahead and freak out. (San Diego Magazine)

Fresh streetwear and fresh cookies are on the menu as 5 & a Dime reopens in its original location in East Village. (Urbanist)

Ladies and gentleman, here’s Ladies & Gentleman Coffee. (Urbanist)

Alex Zaragoza

Alex Zaragoza is a freelance writer covering arts and culture in San Diego and Tijuana. She also writes the column "There...

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