This San Diego Local Spends His Week Sipping Coffee and Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Dr. Ariel Plotek of the San Diego Museum of Art Shares His Perfect Week

Photographed By: Grey Lockwood San Diego Museum of Art

Expert: Dr. Ariel Plotek
Credentials: Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at San Diego Museum of Art


Coffee can be crucial on Monday mornings. I work in Balboa Park, and my favorite coffee cart is Daniel’s Coffee located in the Spanish Village. The staff there is especially sweet and they’re surrounded by great shops and galleries.



I’m a pretty keen swimmer and love to get in the ocean—usually the beach at Coronado. I’m also a member of the Broadway Athletic and Swim Club downtown. Non-members can get a day pass, and they’ve got a gorgeous outdoor pool with fantastic views of the city.



The San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor restaurant, Panama 66, has turned into quite a destination. They brew their own craft beer, and on Wednesday nights—if you’re in the mood for jazz—you can catch Gilbert Castellanos and his Young Lions.



I think the lobby bar and the roof deck at the Westgate Hotel are two of San Diego’s best kept secrets. You wouldn’t guess if from the outside, but the place is decorated like one of the grand hotels of Europe, and the swimming pool is big and beautiful.



When the weekend rolls around, I get to focus on my own projects—mainly writing. Friday after work I like to go to James Coffee Co. in Little Italy. They make great coffee and it’s a cool space, and dog-friendly. It’s where my dog met her boyfriend!


I spend Saturdays in La Jolla, usually working on my novel. My favorite place to write when I need to get out of the house is the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Members can borrow books, music and more (there’s also a program of recitals and studio art classes) and everyone is welcome to visit their exhibitions. It’s a fantastic institution.



I usually get a little bit of a later start on Sundays and like to head over to Coffee & Tea Collective in North Park. Their Belgian waffles are delicious. When you’re done there, you can browse the wares at Gym Standard, an excellent little fashion and design shop that also shows art.

San Diego Museum of Art
1450 El Prado, Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92102
Dr. Ariel Plotek Knows How to Kick Back

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