It all started when a girl trained as a classical pianist, raised on a commune in rural Oregon, met a boy bred on the Chicago punk scene. Social Studies—composed of Natalia Rogovin, Michael Jirkovsky, Jesse Hudson and Tom Smith—has been making the rounds on the Bay Area indie pop scene since 2006. But what separates the band from the indistinguishable masses is its ability to craft complex, intelligent songs. Social Studies’ first full-length album, Wind Up Wooden Heart (Antenna Farm Records)—a coming-of-age tale featuring cameos by Bright Eyes and Thee More Shallows—drops July 27, with a CD release party scheduled for Aug.
When Matthew Passmore, John Bela and Blaine Merker founded their design collective, Rebar, five years ago, they did so with the intention of melding landscape and urban design with art and activism and the goal of changing San Franciscans’ relationship with the physical space they call home.
Chan Luu is on her way to becoming a household name. The world-renowned Vietnam-born, L.A.-based jewelry designer already has a cult following and counts Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, Kate Hudson and many more as her loyal clients. Best known for fusing her artistic skill with unusual forms and beautiful colors, Luu creates striking, handmade pieces that exemplify effortless chic. Last night, she unveiled her exclusive, limited edition 17-piece collection of signature wrap bracelets for Banana Republic's Edition store. The line is available only at this San Francisco outpost until August, when it will be released online and to more than 40 stores nationwide. We had the chance to chat with Luu during the big debut about jewelry, culture and the Bay Area's best.
Last night, I had the wonderful fortune of attending a Pernod Absinthe Excursion, a night about town in the most stylish of ways—a caravan of old-fashioned Rolls Royces escorting an intimate group from the yet-to-open Comstock Saloon to the Michelin-starred Fifth Floor restaurant in Hotel Palomar and finally to the wildly popular rum bar Smuggler's Cove in Hayes Valley. The night's goal? To learn about the art of absinthe. Since becoming legal in the US about three years ago, the potent potion has retained its mystique and power but still has not hit the mainstream as a regular cocktail ingredient. Here to prove us otherwise were Pernod and a gaggle of SF's expert mixologists.
Last night San Francisco got a little greener as the 2010 recipients of then annual Goldman Environmental Prize took the stage at the War Memorial Opera House. Six winners, one from each inhabitable continent, were recognized for their outstanding achievements in conservation on a global level. Without further ado, here are this year's awardees:
1. Africa: Thuli Brilliance Makama, Swaziland, won a landmark case to include environmental NGO representation in conservation decisions.
2. Asia: Tuy Sereivathana, Cambodia, worked to mitigate human elephant conflict by introducing innovative low-cost solutions and empowering local communities.
Sure, green beer is kinda gross and Irish car bombs are a bit fratastic, but what other day can you go out, down a Guinness and say, “Kiss me, I’m Irish” without getting slapped? The sophisticated amongst us may choose to stay couch-bound Wednesday, but for those who want to revel, there’s no shortage of solid pubs. Here’s where you might find us quaffing a few.
1. The Irish Bank
Tucked away at the end of a dirty alley, this pub is a favorite of the downtown after-work crowd. Indoors or out, you’ll get a little taste of Europe in the heart of SF. 10 Mark Ln. at Grant Ave. (Union Square), 415-788-7152
Defy gravity, literally. Rock climbing meets acrobatics meets dance in AscenDance Project's Beyond Gravity. Founded in 2006 by German-born performance artist and mountaineer Isabel von Rittberg, the AscenDance Project explores the aesthetics of rock climbing with dancers performing on a vertical stage. Their 2008 world premiere in SF's very own Union Square set the stage for many future performances to come. Using a 24-foot-long and 12-foot-high climbing wall, AscenDance artists move through three dimensions, using time and space as variables. Dancers prove their ability to overcome gravity—no ropes, no harnesses, just sheer strength.
Stop what you're doing and take a minute to think about all of your favorite San Francisco landmarks. Sure, City Hall and the Golden Gate Bridge may top the list but don't leave out the wacky building on the corner of Sixth and sketchy known as Defenstration. Love it or hate it, we all know the blighted Hugo Hotel turned public art installation on the corner of Sixth and Howard and our city just wouldn't feel the same without it. But the furniture-clad building won't stay frozen in time without a little TLC. And that's where you come in.
Eclectic, thrifty, funky, vintage: Sprung from a city that revels in the idea of independence, the fashion scene here is proudly anti-fashion. Meet nine up-and-coming bloggers and two Web entrepreneurs who epitomize this sentiment every time they get dressed.