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SF Travel Profile: The Road Tripper

TaggyLee Mermis Bowers, 34
Elementary special-education teacher


Obsessed with: It’s-Its, cheap rhinestone sunglasses, mechanical penny squishers.

In the last five years: Been to the World’s Biggest Box of Raisins in Kingsburg, California; Devil’s Backbone in Crater Lake, Oregon; Ostrichland in Buelton, California.

Plan B: Pomponio Trail, Memorial County Park

My boyfriend and I have definitely worn down many a tire tread driving to the perfect little redwood pocket known as Butano State Park, just off Highway 1 at Pescadero Beach. So, imagine our surprise when, after an hour-long drive from the city on Saturday, we roll up to the park entrance and instead of the usual newts and banana slugs and towering redwoods hailing our return, we find bright orange barricades and a sign that says, "Closed for the season." What happened next launched the flying pigs from their pen in a frozen circle of hell: I did not panic. I did not curse my luck. I simply—and calmly—stated the obvious, "It's time for Plan B."

Film Festival Highlight: Laura Poitras’ ‘The Oath’ Debuts Tonight at the Pacific Film Archive

As a storyteller, Laura Poitras is at once provocative and probing, and if her style draws us in with footage that could be described as misleading – her primary subject, former Osama bin Laden bodyguard Abu Jandal, is more compassionate than he initially seems – she delivers a thoughtful portrait of a difficult subject. Jandal is, it turns out, not a violent revolutionary or an advocate of suicide bombings. Who he is, and the lessons he imparts to his young followers, are far more complicated, but always guided by a rigorous adherence to what he regards as Islamic principle.

Alonzo King's Lines

Don't hate them because they tour Europe and have muscles that might be more believable on a mid-level Greek god than on a human. They're still just people - very strong, preternaturally  graceful people. Curving and undulating in an otherwordly sort of way, the dancers don't just mark the technique, they've mastered the level of soul and personality that Alonzo King cultivates in his company.

$415 Million Needed to Keep Tahoe Blue

A recent SFGate article announces that the efforts to preserve California's most beloved alpine lake will soon receive—barring any hicups as the bill passes through the senate—$415 million to, among other worthwhile pursuits, eliminate a dangerous infestation of Asian clams, quagga and zebra mussels and remove erosion-and-sediment-and-fire-causing deadwood from 33,000 acres of surrounding forests. As always, the snarky commentors on SFGate bring up good points, especially @shutterbuggery who says, "The problem is too much development, too many casinos, too much of just about everything human. You can't turn back the hands of time—especially with introduced species.

SF's Crush on Italian Wine

As the Italians continue their quest to make New World wines, San Franciscans continue to bow only to the old.

Show Your Love for a Separated Bike Lane on Market St.

Market Street and I have something of a love/hate relationship. I love how the city’s main artery cuts straight through all the neighborhoods that matter, from the peaks of Portola to Castro to Duboce Triangle—skimming the sides of the Mission, Hayes Valley and SoMa—and continuing right on downtown to the Bay. I love that it gets my bike and I from home to work in just under seven minutes flat. And then there’s the hate part. Despite my ride being only seven minutes long, I seem to have at least one near-death experience every day. Clueless drivers, massive potholes, insane cabbies, wheel-swallowing train tracks—did I mention clueless drivers?

Michael Kors Talks Project Runway, Fall Fashion + San Francisco Style

San Francisco will receive a taste of New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, when the 29th San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary Fashion Show brings the fall 2010 collection of Michael Kors to the Westin St. Francis Hotel. As the featured designer for the annual fundraiser benefitting the San Francisco Ballet, Kors will touch down in San Francisco for the show and a private donor dinner that follows. We caught up with Kors before his visit for a quick chat about Project Runway, San Francisco style and the one classic piece we should all invest in.

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