Last Thursday, local artists and art lovers gathered at Rare Device in Duboce Triangle to celebrate the publication of The Exquisite Book: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game (Chronicle Books). In it—as its name implies—a hundred artists play the legendary Exquisite Corpse game, in which they each make a picture in sequence, based only on the prior artist's rendering. Kind of like a cross between Telephone and Pictionary for pros, though the game was actually invented by the Surrealists, that cheerful French lot who valued pure expression above reason, morals and even aesthetics. The resulting book shows—in satisfyingly thick, fold-out pages—the results of this collective stream of consciousness.
During the fog-entrenched days of July and August, I kind of—to my own surprise as a diehard adopted San Franciscan—fell in love with L.A. (I know, right?!) Its funky neighborhoods, its huge sprawling diversity, even its smog-tinged sky framing those impossibly tall, thin palm trees all beckoned me southward more weekend than one.
The must-do itinerary for a weekend in the inimitable coastal enclave.
You won’t be in Big Sur long before someone mentions the fire of 2008. The Santa Lucia Mountains, rising straight up from the ocean, are as magnificent as ever, emerald-green swaths of new growth the only reminders of the flames that ravaged 130,000 acres and evacuated the town for two weeks in July of that year. But the close call has made this nearly mythical outpost—where artists, hippies, healers and now luxury seekers unite—feel all the more precious.
I live in Potrero, where Jocelyn Buelow reigns and tacos are hard to find. So the entire neighborhood's been abuzz about Papito, Buelow's little "organic Mexican bistro" on Connecticut, just around the corner from his Chez Maman and Chez Papa on 18th. Its cute windowfront and cheery signage appeared way back in spring, but it remained closed due to permit issues until a few weeks ago and, true to form, last night there were people waiting to sit down at one of only two dozen seats.
Some ski towns are about glitz, and some are simply about snow. Tahoe has always been one of the latter. Let Aspen have its Chanel stores—in Tahoe you get a ski condo, bluebird skies and après beers. But a little luxury never hurt anyone, especially not an aching and hungry skier. And with the December arrival to the Northstar-at-Tahoe slopes of the Ritz-Carlton Highlands —including a new restaurant by Jardinière’s Traci Des Jardins nestled within—you now have the choice of doing Tahoe like a real adult.
If you’re tired of the same old SF restaurant grind—last week Flour + Water, this week Barbacco, next week Frances—you might want to try something a little different and go underground. For upwards of $200 per person, the newly launched Phoenix Supperclub, a “roaming restaurant” created by chef Tommy Halvorson (of Bix ,Gary Danko, Chez Panisse), will whisk you up in a limo, deliver you to a “secret San Francisco location” that might be a modern gallery or rambling mansion, and serve you nine langorous, wine-paired courses. You won’t know where you’re going until you arrive.
With the summer fog blown off, and the fall and winter holidays looming, Half Moon Bay makes the perfect, effortless weekend getaway this time of year. Because it's a mere 30 miles away down relatively uncongested 280, you won't have to leave work early on a Friday to be in HMB by dinnertime. Make a rezzie at Pasta Moon, a warm, Tuscan-inspired eatery on Main Street where the owner circulates among the tables to make sure everyone's happy. Order the lightly battered asparagus, the pear-and-prosciutto wood-fired pizza and, for entrees, the pesto risotto with day boat scallops or the grilled Arctic char in a rosemary demi-glaze. This, my friends, is the way to end a work week.
My non-dance-aficionado friends have a saying: If you're going to take me to a ballet, make it one of the best. They have a point: If you want to dive deeper into classical music, you start with Mozart or Beethoven. Thing is, most of the time, the creators of "the best" are already dead and their works have become lofty, durable standards—not fresh, of-the-moment creations. That's why modern choreographer Mark Morris matters. Very much alive and kicking at 54, Morris has been creating compelling, instant classics since his early twenties.
We here at 7x7.com are becoming addicted to this summer escape idea. Last weekend I gave Santa Cruz a whorl and decided it is the perfect weekend destination right now. Just as summer begins to wind down, and your East Coast friends are talking about the Shore and Cape Cod, you can get your very own beach-fix a mere 79 miles south of SF.