Thu, 2 Mar 2017 14:00:00 UT
Recent rains and just plain old age resulted in the closing of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur. Thanks to C.P. for alerting me to Kurt Mayer, owner of the Big Sur Deli and Tap House, who denies that he's a neighborhood hero.
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 21:15:42 UT[...] sweet words of love, as uttered in everyday overheard conversations. Beginning the chronological tale of romance: Man in theater building, overheard at Modesto Junior College by Michael Sundquist Skier 1: “Are you in the singles line?” Skier 2: Yes. Conversation at ski lift lines at Diamond Peak, overheard by Betsy McNab “OMG, can you imagine dating and having to pick up the phone just to find out who is calling?” Young woman to young woman, overheard walking down California Street by Ken Lerch Listen, here’s the difference between looking and staring! Woman to woman, overheard at 2016 Opening Day of the Giants season by Debbie Freitas Man to lunch companion, overheard at La Note in Berkeley by Jamie Gold Woman to friend, overheard along the shore path in Tiburon by Philip Hicks The trick is to look lonesome, but certainly not lonely. “Have you seen those new butt plugs with a fox tail attached to them?” (Young man to young woman, overheard in North Beach by Beverly Brown) Man describing yoga class, overheard on 24th Street in San Francisco by Robert Weiner Woman: “So he has no life skills?” Man: “His whole family is just very into sex work.” “Is your mom having, like, a wedding wedding?” (Young woman to young woman, overheard in line for ferry from Giants game by Alison Owings) “So it was a silent, dry, gluten-free wedding?” (Barber to customer at Phill’s Barber Shop in Pacific Grove, overheard by Bix Whitcomb) [...] from these peaks of romance, hormones pumping, matters proceed.
Tue, 24 Jan 2017 21:45:58 UT
The invitation beckoned guests to “join us for an evening of dinner, dancing and defiance,” but as a member of the press — certified dancer and diner but forbidden to defy — I was there to report. Many organizers and participants in the Take Back the Ball event, there to provide financial support to rapid-response nonprofits protecting climate and reproductive justice and “communities of color on the front lines,” were the same ball-gowned folks I’d seen at the San Francisco Ballet opening and SFJazz gala earlier in the week. [...] Gino Cerchiai, owner of Bimbo’s, was recalling proudly that he’d met Barack Obama — and sneaked him around the corner to a back door of the club — when Kamala Harris tossed a fundraiser for the senator, early in his first campaign. The birth mother of Take Back the Ball was Kaitlyn Krieger of the Future Justice foundation; her husband/co-parent is Mike Krieger, CTO and co-founder of Instagram. Willie Brown (“I’m the only person Trump didn’t trash”) was there with Sonya Molodetskaya, who was wearing Givenchy, a nod perhaps to Oui the People. In the lounge at Bimbo’s, Artspan artists were painting messages having to do with the aims of the event. Guests were offered a variety of buttons, specific (Black Lives Matter) and general: “Science, Art, Facts, Truth.” Onstage, Katdelic, Onemohit (Make It Funky) and Biz Markie performed, as well as feminist Muslim comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh (“There is no word in Farsi for ‘atheist,’ just seven slurs”). At BART’s Civic Center Station on Saturday, Jan. 21, reports Tamara Giusti of San Bruno, the train operator exhorted passengers: “Now go out there and make history!” And aboard a crowded No. 5 bus, Chris Finnegan says, people started singing ’60s protest songs. The women and kids and men — many, many men, perhaps a third of the crowd — were having fun reading each other’s signs — Sergio’s elegant riff: I know signs, I make the best signs. Everyone agrees — touching shoulder to shoulder, holding umbrellas over each other’s heads, and feeling surrounded by like-minded people.
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:24:38 UTDodging raindrops and jumping over puddles, intrepid art-lovers splashed over to Pier 70 Thursday, Jan. 12, for the opening of Untitled, San Francisco. San Francisco-style edginess encompasses both a beautiful giveaway shopping bag imprinted with the words “Rich Bastards Beware” and a Tartine coffee bar where a cup of joe and a cookie rang up $8. [...] it was on to the new Berggruen Gallery, where John and Gretchen Berggruen were celebrating their South of Market move with the exhibition “The Human Form.” The gallery, 10,000 square feet on three floors designed by Jennifer Weiss Architecture — Weiss is daughter of Gretchen Berggruen — was abuzz. Works by such artists as Pablo Picasso, Kiki Smith, Barry McGee, Chuck Close, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Willem de Kooning and (swoon) Lucian Freud were vivid enough to create a high, although N.Y.-style, nary a glass of white wine was served. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art director Neil Benezra cited New York’s Gagosian Gallery — the San Francisco branch of which was having an opening next door — as a pioneer in the trend for curated shows. “What we’re looking at here is the Berggruen Gallery not just moving to a better space, but really raising the level of their programs, to do museum quality exhibitions,” Benezra said. Drawing people to the gallery is always a plus, and despite the Smith drawing that included the words “Maybe We Have Everything,” it’s possible an eager art-lover could convince an owner to sell. The eclectic crowd of veteran San Francisco partygoers included our dinner companion Tom Kelley, who, as the musicians’ raft floated to the center of the pool, said his mother had come up from Hillsborough in the 1930s to take synchronized swimming lessons there. John Berggruen also pointed out his brother, successful venture capitalist Nicolas Berggruen, founder of the Berggruen Institute think tank and philanthropist.
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 22:11:50 UT
The Fog Art + Design fair was planned by Stanlee Gatti, and at its opening event on Wednesday, Jan. 11, plenty of men there seemed as elated as their sisters by both the art itself and the art-community camaraderie. There’s an abundance of sculpture, paintings and photographs, of meeting and greeting, of food and drink (replenished constantly by the mighty McCall’s team). Between the giant panels, which were suspended from the ceiling to the floor of the space, working flower artists, all women, created exquisite floral likenesses from paper and glass: Anandamayi Arnold was presiding over a garden of bulbs and fronds, understatedly elegant versions of sticky-stalked daisies, flowers she portrayed in sculpture as they grow in New Zealand, reaching up from beds of rocks. Aimée Baldwin refers to her art, framed flower sculptures as precise as they would be in antique botanical drawings, as “vegan taxidermy.” Alexis Berger uses glass to make flowers for personal ornament, a headpiece, for example, that seemed to make a garden in her curly red hair. “When something like this happens,” said art dealer and For-Site Foundation founder Cheryl Haines, who brought Ai Weiwei’s work to Alcatraz and “Home Land Security” to the Presidio, we have to focus on building a community. [...] Carole Shorenstein Hays’ Curran, which was one of the sponsors of the event, hosted a bar-and-dessert lounge at which Machine Dazzle, Taylor Mac’s costume designer, sat at a sewing machine and created costumes in keeping with the Curran’s coming opener, “Fun Home.” Behind him, a kaleidoscopic video projected multicolored images; in front of him, embroidered, embossed and glittering fabrics lay twisted into dazzling knots, and costumes inspired by the colors of the renovated theater were draped on mannequins. Artist Amanda Weil was showing tall, slender wood boards on which were photographs of birch trees, simple silhouettes of trunks of the trees. In a corner of the mosaic of blooms closest to the entrance, written in yellow roses, was the name “Cathy,” a tribute to steering committee member Cathy Topham, who is gravely ill. The flowers in the display had been received several days before the event; Gatti described soaking them in water, cutting their stems and putting each bloom in a separate tube filled with water, to make them last.
Thu, 5 Jan 2017 14:00:00 UT“Dohnanyi grew up in Berlin and became a government lawyer shortly before the beginning of the Third Reich,” said the notice. In response to extrajudicial killings carried out by the Nazis in 1934, he joined the resistance within Germany and made records of the Reich’s crimes to have as evidence should the regime fall. After his involvement in the July 20, 1944, assassination attempt against Hitler became known, Dohnanyi was condemned to death on Hitler’s orders on April 6, 1945. Googling Dohnanyi, I learned he was the brother-in-law of the well-known resister Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that he saved numbers of Jews and that he is honored for his righteousness at Yad Vashem in Israel. “My plan is to run a similar notice every month,” emailed J.A. — she would have liked to do it weekly, but for the cost, she wrote — to honor otherwise ordinary and mostly forgotten individuals who stood up to wrongs in the face of overwhelming power. J.A. had not heard of him until an online search for “resistance 1 January” turned up his name. “A big challenge during this political upheaval,” she observed of the current era, is knowing — and owning — our values and taking meaningful action when we see they are compromised or threatened. J.A. said she also wants her ad fee to help support “newspapers and real journalism. ... and hopefully to reinforce that facts (and history) still matter at a time when technology and media are often deployed to conceal the truth.” At “Beach Blanket Babylon,” Leslie Gordon heard a Millennial male ask his pal, “Who’s Barbra Streisand?” The reply: “She was in ‘Meet the Fockers.’” At the Strand theater on Jan. 23, San Francisco Giants announcer Renel Brooks-Moon will host what’s being called an “Inaugural Benefit” for BaseBallet, dancer Weston Krukow and Ben Customer describing New Year’s Eve at Union Square to proprietor of Phill’s Barber Shop, overheard in Pacific Grove by Bix Whitcomb
Fri, 16 Dec 2016 21:31:14 UT
Sun, 30 Oct 2016 13:00:00 UT
The easiest method is probably to just stick an empty bowl on your front porch. Coupled with a sign that says, ‘We are out for the night, take a few pieces of candy,’ it’ll look just like you’re gone and celebrating, but that some mean kid came and took all the candy. Learning that General Mills is going to introduce Girl Scout Cookie cereal (Caramel Crunch and Thin Mint) in January, I turned to nutrition expert and internationally known food powerhouse Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. [...] at least these are ‘better for you sugar: no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors and whole grain.’ The artist’s description emphasizes the erosion of the drawing material, the phenomenon of the simultaneous creation of a drawing and disappearing of its tools. The graphite, carbon remains of perished animals and vegetables, was “exhumed from a deep, million-year hibernation” to be incarnated briefly into a skeleton body. [...] opening on Nov. 5, at the George Lawson Gallery, is a group show, “I Dreamt Bees Made Sweet Honey From My Past Failures,” which I’m mentioning just because of its title. According to the gallery, it’s a paraphrase of a line by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado. When Mary Flaherty took out her Wells Fargo card to pay the cashier at Monterey Market in Berkeley recently, the cashier sang to her: “My banky does the hanky-panky ...” Ken Maley says the duty-free shop at Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris offers free samples of spirits, displaying (and pouring from) open bottles at whiskey, vodka and Tequila sections. Picture the lace-up corset-like garment worn by ladies in period movies. Underneath that lace-up part is an inverted triangle of cloth that covers the chest and midriff.
Thu, 8 Sep 2016 20:06:53 UT
The music, the caviar, the gowns, the beading ... and the ketchup On his way to the festivities, cultural stalwart Norman Larson, who lives at the corner of Haight and Ashbury, cut a natty black-tied swath through the neighborhood regulars on his way to the Symphony. A Supreme Court justice nominated by a woman might have to cast a deciding vote on this: If a party-goer wears a dress with a long train to such a crowded event, doesn’t it violate the constitution to impose on others the responsibility of not stepping on it? Bernard Tyson, CEO of Kaiser-Permanente (which sponsored the patron’s dinner), recalled the first time he’d heard a symphony play. Folks,” said the conductor to the major donors gathered ’round, “This is the stuff of legend that you heard tonight. Nion McEvoy reported having glimpsed Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks of the Tedeschi Trucks blues rock band, which was to play the Fox in Oakland on Friday as part of its Wheels of Soul Tour. Consider that, I say to the spiffed-up gentleman who said at the cocktail reception, “This is like the first day of school ... for old people.” Amy Tan, glimmering in silver, and Lou DeMattei described having been invited to the White House for the Aug. 2 state dinner for the president of Singapore. After a circuitous trip that included a stop in N.Y. to pick up DeMattei’s tuxedo, they checked into their Washington hotel about 90 minutes before the dinner.
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 17:28:17 UTWhich movies to watch this weekend, Aug. 26 Anna Gunn plays an investment banker attempting to steer an Internet encryption company through its initial public offering while federal agents, duplicitous co-workers and an unscrupulous lover all strive to undermine her. Rated R. 110 minutes. The film explores her personal fears and uncertainties and her professional self-assurance. An exceptionally good modern Western, focusing on two bank-robbing brothers (Chris Pine, Ben Foster) pursued by a pair of Texas Rangers (Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham) across dusty and economically depressed West Texas. Weighty themes are examined here — the law, racial issues, American history, family loyalty, institutional responsibility — but there are some very humorous moments as well. Rated R. 102 minutes. Groceries learn the truth of what happens when they’re taken out the door in this very rude — and surprisingly thoughtful — comedy for adults. Rated R. 89 minutes.
Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:08:08 UTTo make a variety of observations, these fragments are not presented quite chronologically; rather, they are interspersed throughout the documentary. With the cyclical nature of fashion, the ’60s, when most of the still pictures of the adult Hesse were taken, are once again stylish. [...] she was. Fearlessly, Hesse abandoned paint and brushes to experiment with other materials — latex, plastic, rope — and, five years before her death, morph from painter to sculptor. The movie portrays Hesse making art feverishly, her work eliciting great respect from artists like Sol LeWitt, Richard Serra and her friends. Born in Hamburg, Germany, Hesse was 2 when she and her older sister were sent out of Germany in a Kindertransport headed to the Netherlands, where they lived in a children’s home. At the end of the war, by which time her parents had divorced, they realized that no one else in their families had survived the Holocaust. The day that Hesse’s mother learned that her parents had died in a concentration camp, she threw herself off the roof of the apartment building where she was living with her daughters. (She was in analysis most of her adult life.) She was a prodigious letter writer and journal keeper, and it is mostly her own words that piece together the narrative of this film.
Wed, 13 Jul 2016 13:00:00 UTA curator explained, for example, that one section of Amalia Ulman’s mixed-media “Destruction of Experience,” which printed materials said was an exploration of womanhood, had to do with Justin Bieber hiding his identity as a woman; another section was a tribute to a former CEO of Bayer Pharmaceuticals. When we first saw Rirkrit Tiravanija’s “Untitled 2011 (Police the Police)” a couple of years ago, artists were working on the piece — a commissioned installation “intended to develop over time,” said the program — at the party. A few years later, in its expanded version, it included references to marriage equality, transgender acceptance, “no to evictions” and most of all, Black Lives Matter. A pile of T-shirts, gifts to guests, read “Police the Police.” Among those guests were people whose lives, in a variety of ways, have been intertwined with various aspects of the law: enforcement (former mayor and onetime police chief Frank Jordan), justice (former chief justice of the California Supreme Court Ron George), legislation (Rep. Nancy Pelosi). [...] the days of this 2016 season — usually filled with the slow pleasures of summer, a walk down the street with ice cream cone in hand — are saturated with bloodstains, unacceptable but all too explicable results of history. After the play, dramaturge Philippa Kelly conducted a talk-back, the actors, having changed into street clothes, sitting onstage in a row. The play’s gripping; they were sitting in a circle of audience affection. [...] the conversation turned to one particularly electric moment, when Rose (played by Margo Hall) decides to raise the infant girl fathered by her philandering husband. At a Thursday, July 7, reception for the exhibition, it was impossible to merely glance at the photos without reading the words of each person. Most are touching expressions of peace, hope, regrets over lost love, gratitude for long love. [...] there was Nelly, who said (among many other things), My last husband was blind and wasn’t able to have sex during our 16-year marriage. Many stories are told, of course, and they are different from each angle.
Wed, 6 Jul 2016 15:59:35 UT
On the windshield of her Jeep one recent morning in San Francisco, Barbara Trice was surprised to find a flyer headlined, "Please, someone, for the love of God, date my best friend."
Wed, 6 Jul 2016 13:00:00 UTIntriguing pledge made in a radio ad heard while driving, for a company touting the sale and installation of replacement windows in older homes: “Your house could be covered with potato chips, and we wouldn’t crack a one.” [...] why would you cover your house in potato chips? If you insist on potato chips, and this project takes your entire supply, you may be left with tubs of onion dip. Despair not, the dip could be pressed into use to spackle the spaces between the siding and the window frames. Checking out the weekend’s movie offerings and noting that the Embarcadero Center Cinema was showing both the tragic documentary “Weiner” and the comedy “Wiener-Dog” moved Marsha Monro to pose the question: “Got mustard?” There was a picture of an attractive young woman with notes about her assets (“She has a real job doing sports stuff”) and qualifications for candidates ( “Know things about sports”). An inquiry emailed to the address on the flyer elicited a response from a woman who said she is just trying to find my best friend a great guy! I’m sick of all the terrors of Tinder and online dating. After new car had three tires and rims stolen, the victim left a note on the car: To whoever stole my wheels, may you use them for a positive purpose. The man was “making a splashy public display of washing down the hood of his black Mercedes convertible sports car,” using bottled water. Daniel Ellsberg was one of the speakers at the memorial service Saturday, July 2, for Ben Bagdikian, Pulitzer and Peabody Award-winning reporter, former national editor of the Washington Post and until 1990 dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. In 1971, the New York Times’ publication of excerpts from the Pentagon Papers was stopped by a federal judge invoking national security. The memorial gathering, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Berkeley, included a family-led sing-along to songs by Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and Mary, including “Mr. Bigot,” which L.S., who was there, described as “particularly apropos of today’s politics.” [...] doesn’t that seem like George W. Bush plowing ahead with reading “The Pet Goat” after receiving news of the attacks of 9/11?
Sat, 30 Apr 2016 03:54:37 UTTwo trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, including former City Attorney Louise Renne, have quit the board in opposition to the leadership of embattled board President Diane B. Wilsey. Renne and Dan Johnson, also an attorney, gave up their seats on the Board of Trustees, claiming they could no longer uphold their duties to protect the financial integrity of the city-owned FAMSF, which includes the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor. “I just felt that the governance at the museum made it virtually impossible for any board member to fulfill their fiduciary duty,” Renne said on Friday. The resignations come in the wake of an ongoing controversy that erupted when Wilsey allegedly authorized a $450,000 disability severance payment without board approval to a former city engineer who worked at the museum. Wilsey has consistently claimed she did not need board approval for the payment, but the office of state Attorney General Kamala Harris launched an investigation. “I did not believe it was appropriate for a public entity to anonymously repay the money that was owed because it did not address the underlying problem, which was the decision to pay the money in the first place,” Johnson said on Friday. Gutierrez had claimed Wilsey had acted improperly in issuing a check to Bill Huggins, the retired engineer, who was also the husband of the late Therese Chen, a FAMSF registrar said to be a close confidante of Wilsey.