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Truly Brilliant Jewelry


courtesy of Brilliant Earth

I’m a girl who likes her jewelry—and I’m sure I get it from my grandfather, who liked to buy my grandmother diamonds. She wore them well, and I liked to try on her rings whenever they visited. Then they bought me my first dainty diamond ring when I was a teen—it was the beginning of a collection of sparkly baubles, big and small.

Sending Thanks and Holiday Greetings


courtesy of Branch

My parents taught me very good manners, and it went beyond “please” and “thank you.” As soon as I was able to grip a crayon, my mom would sit me down to write thank you notes to friends and relatives who gave me presents for my birthday. Even in this day of communicating via IM and text messages (and don’t get me started on My Space or Facebook), I find something comforting and charming about a good old-fashioned notecard.

If You Find This, Buy It



Laphroaig 10-year cask strength scotch whisky is no longer to be sold. But you should snap it up if you encounter it, as it’s a hell of a dram—a violent wallop of peat smoke and brine gently sleeping in rich warm blankets of honey and toffee with a pillow of sweetness. It’s incredible stuff. I recently picked up the last bottle at a Bay Area Bevmo, but know that there’s more out there . . . just not for long. Make sure to add a squirt of water, though, because cask strength means it’s never been diluted and thus comes to you at a whopping 111 proof.

Good luck.

Macvin



It sounds like something that might be served at a McDonald’s in Marseille, but Macvin du Jura is actually a delicious sweet, fortified wine from the south of France that you might consider for your seasonal winter feasts.

It’s unusual but also sumptuous, coming in red and white, with flavors ranging from orange peel to quince to ginger to figs. What’s also interesting is that it can hardly be called a wine as there’s no real fermentation going on.

Invisible Cities

One of my favorite novels by Italo Calvino is Hidden Cities, which is imagined as a conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan and includes Polo’s fantastical and imaginative descriptions of 55 cities he’s seen on his travels.

I had a hidden-cities moment myself the other day, when I was led to a party in a particularly fantastical backyard, behind a row of houses near Duboce Park. The yard, shared by several residences, was a marvel and to emerge from an ordinary back door to gaze upon it was similar to feeling like Alice after falling down the rabbit hole.


Dinner With Anthony Bourdain

photography by Rick Camargo



Chef, TV star, writer, new dad, and raconteur Anthony Bourdain rolled into town recently as part of his No Reservations book tour. He made many appearances around the Bay Area, and everywhere he went he was greeted like a rock star—lines around the block for every book signing or dinner.

The Toxic Avengers

photography by Misha Vladimirskiy

Los Feliz, California-based rock outfit the Airborne Toxic Event played Popscene on Thursday, November 15.

THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT
Airborn Toxic Event

Airborn Toxic Event Airborn Toxic Event

Beauty and Baubles

I just finished working on our annual holiday gift guide (look out for our packed December issue on newsstands any day now), so Christmas shopping is definitely first and foremost on my mind. What exactly am I looking for this year? Gifts that are experiential— like golf lessons, a bed and breakfast getaway or theatre tickets—for those family members who seemingly have everything. Gifts that truly say San Francisco, for those out-of-town relatives. One-of-a-kind presents for those trendsetting girlfriends who love getting the scoop. Or items that have proceeds benefiting a good cause for those save-the-world friends. Check out these local shopping events at some of my favorite stores that I’ll be scouting for those categories this season. Happy Shopping!

McGUIRE Roundtable Round 4

Understanding the real estate market can be difficult. The Market is forever changing while buyers and sellers are constantly being bombarded by information from the media. McGuire's Top Producers Roundtable (a four part series appearing in 7x7) strives to make sense of it all with a quarterly perspective from some of the city's most successful agents. Take a look at what buyers are looking for—green, eco-efficient homes—and find out why McGuire is the brokerage of choice for clients and agents.

1. What's your outlook for residential real estate sales in San Francisco thru the New Year?

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