Sotheara Yem has tears in his eyes. Formerly one of San Francisco’s homeless, the 27-year-old is recalling the day one of his mentors, Tipping Point Community founder Daniel Lurie, purchased a sharp navy-blue designer suit for him. Yem, a first-generation Cambodian American, was scheduled to deliver a speech in front of 900 people at the 2011 Tipping Point benefit gala, and Lurie, who had helped the amateur filmmaker secure housing and employment, knew that a blazer from the clearance rack at H&M wouldn’t cut it.
Celebrities abound in the Bay Area this weekend.
Though artist Nick Dong often addresses such topics as materialism and human interaction in his thought-provoking work, the metalsmith and mixed-media sculptor is surprisingly easygoing. Many would be overcome by culture shock after a move from Taiwan to the United States, but Dong sees only the good: “There is such freeness here. I’m like a fish in water!”
The vanity license plate on the 26-foot van parked outside the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) in Burlingame reads, “Fix Me.” The wordplay refers to the 900 free spay and neuter surgeries that have been performed inside the state-of-the-art mobile clinic each year since 2005, when the van was gifted to the organization by lifelong animal welfare activist Vanessa Getty. The reason? By fixing and vaccinating dogs and cats in low-income Bay Area communities, San Francisco Bay Humane Friends—an auxiliary of PHS/SPCA, founded by Getty—has greatly reduced the number of unwanted and stray animals on our streets.
As recently as two decades ago, Hayes Valley was hardly known as the home to some of San Francisco’s best restaurants and boutiques. When the Central Freeway was damaged in the 1989 earthquake and later moved to ground level, however, Hayes Valley became one of the most desirable spots to live in the city. As the neighborhood turned into a weekend destination for window shopping and Bloody Marys, the community has grown right alongside it.
When you spend a lot of time in a sealed environment—like 7x7’s little corner of the Chronicle Books building—cold-causing germs and flu viruses tend to stand a better chance of infiltration. In the name of robust health during the sick season, 7x7 staffers, an unusually hardy bunch, offer their tried-and-true immunity boosters and their proven advice for maintaining good health in light of perpetually present pathogens.
To what god shall we direct our gratitude for the imminent showering of world-class entertainment? That would be Apollo, son of Zeus, brother of Artemis, friend of San Francisco.
Who would have guessed that Keira Knightley and Kim Kardashian would get naked in the same week?