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Catherine Bigelow

Waiting for Michelle Obama

I swore to myself, I wasn’t gonna do it. Really, I had so (so, so) many other tasks to accomplish today rather than trying to chase down the motorcade of Michelle Obama.

And while my little digital camera is nifty, it lacks the power of a big, ol’ telephoto lens.

But as more calls regarding this momentous occasion in our fair city were made and received, the reporter in me could resist no longer. And I caved.

Game On: Peter Getty Responds to Blog Blather


Well, sweetie? It looks like our summer blog reading just jumped up a notch on the sizzle scale.

This morning, frère Peter Getty eloquently responds to both SFist Editor Brock Keeling and SFAppeal founder-editor Eve Batey regarding the initial decision by one of the Brothers Getty to not allow public comment on their City Brights blog.

SF Opera: Porgy & Bess

If you weren’t able to score tickets to the stellar San Francisco Opera production of Porgy and Bess, then Summertime opera ain’t necessarily going to feel very easy.

Unfortunately this oh-too-brief engagement of George and Ira Gershwin’s American operatic masterwork is fleeting as sweet summer itself.

We’ll leave the heavy, analytical lifting to the experts. But for lucky ticket-holders last week at opening-night, Porgy and Bess was, simply, thrilling.

The Getty's Blog: Burning Up the Internet


Burning up the ethernet this ayem? Ricocheting emails ‘round town regarding the debut of the latest members in the City Brights blogging stable on SFGate: Peter Getty and his brother, Billy Getty.

Their blog is titled, What the Butler Didn’t See. And within the hallways of many a hallowed home in certain EssEff zip codes, Amen to that. Be sure to read the boys’ bios -- as riveting as their intro entry.

Obviously, as Chron-meisters carefully calculated, other blogs are, natch, furiously weighing in on their new, bold-faced bloggers.

Dreamin' a Dream: Beach Blanket Babylon


To celebrate the 35th anniversary season of Beach Blanket Babylon -- the nation’s longest-running musical revue created by madcap showman Steve Silver -- BBB producer Jo Schuman Silver lit the floodlights on Monday for high school seniors at the 7th Steve Silver Foundation Beach Blanket Babylon Scholarship Awards.

Schuman received hundreds of submissions for this year’s scholarship. Then worked tirelessly to whittle all that talent down to just nine finalists competing in the disciplines of dance, voice and theater. The winner in each category received a $10K check towards their college education. And their moment in the spotlight.

Rockin' The Mint


The party beat is filled with rock stars. And last week at The Old Mint, the joint was jumping with these empyreal personages. Both literal and metaphorical.

In honoring innovators of the '60s-era San Francisco Sound, The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society got its groove on at the annual Standing Ovations event which pays tribute to individuals whose work forged our city’s unique cultural scene.

Doctor In the House: St. Mary's Medical Center


There were many, many doctors in the house at Tosca Cafe recently when owner Jeannette Etheredge and her pal Blanche Brown hosted a reception there for St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Fans (and former patients) celebrated the dedicated doctors of this 152-year-old institution -- the oldest continuing operating hospital in San Francisco. Now under the umbrella of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), the hospital was originally founded and run by the Sisters of Mercy Order from Ireland.

Hats Off to a Local Hero: Walter Newman



Tomorrow, Walter Newman and his family will be jetting off to Paris.

But no summertime holiday, this. Rather, it’s a somber journey of remembrance for Newman, a third-generation San Franciscan, who served as an Infantry Officer of the 35th Division in France during World War II.

Newman has been invited by the French Government to Paris and Normandy to attend this weekend’s 65th Commemoration of D-Day -- that grim yet decisive Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France which, eventually, brought an end to this devastating, global war.

Stern Groovin' with Dionne Warwick


Fog in the avenues and free music in the meadow? It’s now officially summer in San Francisco -- heralded last night as pashmina-wrapped guests arrived at the Stern Grove Festival Gala.

The free summer concerts at this magical musical spot are an EssEff summer tradition. And gala guests of all ages were a-twitter (the old-school version) over the featured performer at this elegant dinner-dance: beloved songbird Dionne Warwick.

Saving the Samba at Pena Pachamama


Hot times up in North Beach last week at the 10th anniversary celebration of Pena Pachamama, which remains a sizzling spot of bold, beautiful music.

This restaurant-nightclub opened in 1999 by musicians Quentin Navia and her husband, Eddy Navia, the musician-composer who reigns as king of the Bolivian charango and founder of the world music group Sukay.

Now, this good-time gang of musicians, artists and dancers, has transformed itself into the non-profit Pena Pachamama Center.

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