Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I am reading short stories about world traveling writers who have made their homes elsewhere from the place of their birth. Isabel Allende, well known Peruvian writer (famous for "The House of the Spirits"), writes about Marin - ending up there as she married, saying it is more home than even South America was. Her thoughts on Marin (the adjustment it took to move to "paradise", as she calls it) and about California, are fascinating:

"I love this country in general and California in particular. Diversity fascinates me. All the races of the planet come here with their traditions and their dreams. Everything new or important starts here or comes here. I like the awareness, the sense of future, the generosity of the people. The young and optimistic energy of Californians is so attractive! Also their sense of freedom: this is as far West as you can get." - from "A Home in Paradise" (2002)

Currently watching : The Graduate (1967)

My Food/Dining Newsletter

I've launched it so sign up if you love food, travel (I'll cover mulitple cities) or San Francisco...

Click on the link below to sign up for the first issue of my The Perfect Spot SF Newsletter.

Please forward to anyone you know who is a "foodie", traveler, lives in the Bay Area, is visiting San Francisco or who is interested in the culinary world.

I will send monthly newsletters with San Francisco news as well as reviews from my travels. www.theperfectspotsf.com/news/

Currently listening :
The Best of Miss Peggy Lee
By Peggy Lee

Monday, May 21, 2007

culture hound

There is always a sea of options in a city like SF so wading through cultural events and happenings can be overwhelming, especially for a broad arts lover like myself. I have to curb my desire to embrace and drink it all in, to, rather, fully drink in what I do partake of...

4/9 - Muse at the Bill Graham Civic Center; though the crowds were obnoxious (think sweaty teenagers & overcrowding moshers), the music was enthralling and encompassing; I became lost in the roar of operatic vocals, crunching guitars and flowing piano; the spirit of Queen (mixed with modern alternative rock) lives on!

4/13 - Vivienne Westwood exhibit at the DeYoung Museum; a stunning collection of sometimes shocking, sometimes hideous but inventive fashion (some outfits I'd LOVE to have myself); the exhibit had an intriguing flow and we went for the Friday night party replete with live opera, jazz, cocktails and fashion show to highlight this only in SF (in the US) exhibit.

4/14 and 4/15 - Old musicals at the Castro Theatre: Gene Kelly day and Fred & Ginger day; I was weaned on classic films from a mother who knows everything about them, imparting her extensive knowledge to me; it was a delight to see these classics again, especially on the big screen in such a historic theater as the Castro; they played "On the Town" & "Singin' in the Rain" (Kelly) and "Top Hat" & "Swing Time" (Astaire & Rogers); Gene Kelly is still my favorite dancer in film history: such athletic, manly agility, accompanied by graceful precision.

4/27 - SF Film Festival, "Black Sheep"; hardly 'high culture', this New Zealand horror movie about bio-engineered sheep attacking a farm community in NZ was more disgusting hilarity than anything else. I'll never see sheep the same way again.

5/4 - Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane Carnegie Hall concert played by Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride and Brian Blade at Herbst Theatre; some of our favorite jazz musicians (and the best living today) playing music of our favorite jazz musicians of the past in a rare SF Jazz Fest show. Brilliant, unbelievable musicianship... enthralling; we have the CD of Monk & Coltrane playing this show originally in the 50's so it was genius to see it recreated here by such profoundly skilled musicians. We went with Schram, 'Tash and her family - it is sweet to share with friends who appreciate it as we do.

5/18 - The incomparable Regina Carter at Yoshi's; Dan and I had a perfect 'date' here. Her avant-garde arrangements, particularly of "Little Brown Jug" and "Georgia, On My Mind" mesmerized us; she is even better live than on her CDs with violin playing so pristine and clear - not a hint of a mistake; her fellow musicians a delight (clarinet, piano, upright bass, drums); their joy in playing was obvious, enlivening the set.

5/19 - Bjork & Joanna Newsom; thanks, Brian & Liz, for taking us to hear one of my favorite performers, Bjork, and a new favorite of mine, Newsom. Again, the crowds were obnoxious, but the show & musicianship, riveting. Bjork is an enchanting pixie with her voice a luring siren, even as she moves into her 40's. As the electronic dance strains of her music escalates, it's trance-inducing and all you can do is move in childlike glee, as she does - she must be the best dancer ever as she has no slick, choreographed moves, rather, she's like a little girl just moving as she feels it. Newsom a uniquely skilled harpist and lyricist, even if her vocals are an 'acquired taste'.

There is more but this is but a taste of some of the events that have flavored my month with diverse richness.

Currently reading :
The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones
By Anthony Bourdain