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Robin Rinaldi

Independence Day Road Trip: The Marin Coast

Does anything epitomize the American independent spirit like a road trip? We think not. Plus, if you feel like getting out of town on Fourth of July but don’t yet have plans, it’s not likely you’ll get a hotel room at this point. So hop in the car, head over the Golden Gate and follow all or part of our Marin coast itinerary: from funky hippie parade to gourmet picnic to an expensive, but luxuriously relaxing, view of the SF fireworks.

Summer Getaway: Escape to Monterey

Time: 2.5-hour drive
What you get: Windswept coast, world’s best aquarium, rickety charm

Union Street Photo-Fest!

 

Did you have a fun time this year at the Union Street Festival? Did you bring your camera? The best photo of the weekend will win you a $100 gift certificate to Milváli Salon. Upload your photos here and check back in a few days, and see how wild it got. Check out some of favorite early entries below.

 

Mark Morris' "L'Allegro" at Zellerbach

If you’re even remotely interested in modern dance, there’s only one place to be this weekend: at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, watching the Mark Morris Dance Group perform Morris’ two-and-a-half-hour masterwork, L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato.

Urban Peasant Launches With MYOB

A town full of DIY maniacs, a communal love of food and drink, and a harsh economy: It’s the perfect storm in which to launch Urban Peasant, a group of urbanites dedicated to teaching “homesteading in a modern world” (read: canning, preserving, cheesemaking and the like). At their first workshop, held Tuesday night at Living Room Events/Kitchenette in Dogpatch, home-brewer and -winemaker Scott Mansfield showed 30 folks how to make their own booze—in small batches and without the need to stomp grapes or mash hops and barley. Within two hours, Scott (full disclosure: he’s my husband) showed how to make cider, pomegranate wine, ginger beer and blackberry melomel (a honey-based drink).

Bruce Springsteen Wows Fans at Tour Opener in San Jose

The 19,000 people crowded into San Jose, CA's HP Pavilion Wednesday night for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's kickoff to the Working on a Dream tour provided a snapshot of a generation.

Many had Blackberries and receding hairlines; some sported gray ponytails; a few brought their teenagers along. But the minute the music started, none of that mattered, because Bruce and his band… well, you already know that they can rock. What you might not realize, until you see them live, is just how fresh their energy is, and how relevant Springsteen's music remains.

Spring Time Means Waterfalls in Yosemite

Awe-inspiring beauty like Yosemite’s doesn’t come cheap: You pay for it with cash and with crowds. But there are ways to ameliorate that. To start, avoid the hordes of summer tourists by going in the shoulder months. April and May are the perfect time to see the national park’s gushing waterfalls (nps.gov/yose).

Solid California Wines for Under $15

Last weekend, Fort Mason hosted the winners of the SF Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world, with more than 4,000 entries judged by 60 wine professionals. Of the Best In Class winners, we chose seven very affordable California vintages. Troubled times demand good (but not expensive) vino. Print this list out for your next pre-dinner party grocery run.

1. 2006 Mandolin Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast, $12.

2. 2007 Mandolin Pinot Noir, Central Coast, $12.

3. 2007 South Coast Winery Grenache Rosé, Paso Robles County and Temecula Valley, $14.

4. 2005 Pedroncelli Estate Vineyard Syrah, Dry Creek Valley, $14

Lance Armstrong: He's Just Like Us (?)

Lance Armstrong swept through town yesterday on the Tour of California, and we took this opportunity to ask his strength and conditioning trainer, Peter Park, for some insider info and get-healthy tips.

Big Night Out? Get a Pre-Party Facial

Among the artists and designers in the Mission’s ActivSpace Building, Golden Skin & Body Wellness opened its doors in October, offering a personal, holistic take on massage, skin care and waxing that’s a nice break from the assembly-line approach. The Pre-Party Facial is just the thing before a big night.

 

 

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