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Arts + Culture

Lisa Congdon's Collection A Day is Book Bound

Yeah, I collect a few things—vintage cast-iron enamelware, notebooks, moccassins, "L" signage, old Western blankets, puffy vests. And, my stable of treasures ain't too shabby for a pauperess such as myself (believe me, if I could afford to collect, say, vintage Pucci dresses or old LV steamer trunks, I would). But it's still small potatoes compared to what local artist Lisa Congdon has stashed away—neatly, mind you—in various drawers and shelves in her Mission District home and nearby art studio.

'Aida,' One of Opera's Most Morally Complex Love Triangles, Opens This Week

Giuseppe Verdi’s grandest work—the story of a kidnapped Ethiopian princess who is brought to Egypt and thrust into one of opera’s most emotionally and morally complex love triangles—lends itself to extravagance. However, seasoned operagoers know it takes a rare cast and production team to maintain emotional intimacy and charge amid the pageantry. Fortunately, SF Opera has a reputation for delivering an Aida that’s been heralded as one of the best.

Do I See Mr. Right Now While Looking for Mr. Right?


I’m a 33-year-old, confident single gal who often dishes out dating advice to my friends. Over the past six months I’ve developed a friendship with "Mr. M,” 12 years my senior, and it became evident that we share amazing chemistry. I’m extremely attracted to him. Trouble is, I want to be in a committed relationship. Mr. M’s divorce ended badly, and he clearly harbors bitterness towards marriage; he also admits to having issues with even non-marital commitments. But he’s extremely fun to be around and we always have a wonderful time. On two separate occasions, after a long evening of dinner, wine and flowing conversation, we hooked up. I realize he can’t offer the relationship I want, so am I playing with fire by sleeping with him? By crossing that line have I pigeoned-holed us as "friends with benefits"? I thought I was long over my attraction to unavailable men. I am open to meeting and dating someone else. but I have such a weakness for Mr. M. Am I doomed?

Opening Night at the SF Symphony

The San Francisco Symphony welcomes its 99th season at tonight’s Opening Night Gala. Glammed-out guests will promenade through the lush glow of Davies Hall’s opulent lobbies and then treat their ears to the sounds of incomparable soprano Jessye Norman. After the concert, there is the difficult choice of which afterparty to attend. But both have cocktails, dancing, snacks, and entertainment, so you really can't go wrong either way.  Tickets range from $140 - $265, but the requisite sparkling wine is complimentary. What makes the gala event more impressive is knowing that all proceeds go to SF Symphony educatio

This Thursday: The Bay Area Premiere of Brother/Sister Plays

This fall’s Bay Area–wide premiere of the Brother/Sister Plays by internationally acclaimed newcomer Tarell Alvin McCraney (above), collectively presented by three local companies, promises to be the most notable theater event of the season. Addressing head-on topics of urban grit and modern sexuality, the three plays are connected by theme rather than plot and thus can be seen in any order. Part 1, In the Red and Brown Water, will debut at the Marin Theatre Company Sept. 9–Oct. 3. Part 2, The Brothers Size, will be presented at the Magic Theatre Sept. 9–Oct. 17 and Part 3, Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet will run at A.C.T. Oct. 29–Nov. 21. Intrigued?

This Week's Hottest Events: Aida, Altered Barbie and Power to the Peaceful

Art: Altered Barbie Exhibition
Look at America's favorite plastic plaything in a whole new light—the 8th annual San Francisco Altered Barbie Exhibition is back. It's weird, it's warped, and it's definitely worth your time. Local artists from all over the Bay Area take this icon and turn her into not-so-everyday art reflective of our current society in an effort to create dialogue sparked by a doll. Check it out. Free; Thursday, 9/9 - Friday, 10/1; Shotwell 50 Art Space, 50 Shotwell St., alteredbarbie.com

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