In 1849, before California was even a state, the first Chinese restaurant in North America opened its doors in San Francisco. Macao and Woosung, which seated 300 at its Kearny and Commercial Street location, was popular with everyone from politicians to gold miners, and is said to be the birthplace for chop suey.
In my book, the concept of “breakfast” consists of a weekend day, an hour with double digits and beverages which contain both tomato juice and vodka.
There are very few people for whom I will break my fast -- fully showered and dressed -- at the ungodly hour of 8 a.m. Except for my mother; Daniel Lurie’s Tipping Point Breakfast and, of course, former Mayor Willie Brown.
Bright and early Tuesday morning, I managed to make it to Moscone West (on time) for Brown’s annual Election Day Breakfast Club which benefited the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service.
For PJ Johnston, 40 ain’t the new anything.
Because prior to reaching this recent natal milestone, the newly-minted 40-year-old has, actually, already lived a rather full, exciting, eventful and (sometimes) memorable life.
A thumbnail sketch of PJ might well read: SF Native. Press Secretary to Mayor Willie Brown. SF Giants Fan. Crisis Manager. SF Arts Commission President. Reggae-on-the-River aficionado. Passionate Politico. Former Tracy Press Features Editor. Francophile. PR Poobah. Newshound. Proud Father. Film Fanatic. Master Griller. And Second Best (after, that is, Mayor Brown) Quote in Town.
As you already know, Monday was a heady day of power politicos who parachuted into San Francisco.
And the majority of these players (minus First Lady Michelle Obama, though she was, of course, invited) ended that day at an intimate dinner hosted by Protocol Chief Charlotte Mailliard Shultz and her husband, Former Sec. of State George Shultz in their Russian Hill aerie.
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.
Last Thursday, we found ourselves surrounded by SF fashion notables (Joy Bianchi, Willie Brown, et al.) and art students, all impatiently waiting for the Academy of Art Graduate Fashion Show to begin. What came next was a whirlwind of ruffles, strong silhouettes, bold graphic prints, oversized knitwear, and dramatic draping that left our hearts aflutter. Although all of these talented young designers produced impressive collections, we leave you with the five that stood apart from the rest (in our humble opinion, of course):
Paris was the particular which inspired a young Ernest Hemingway to craft the phrase, A Moveable Feast.
That evocative invocation is also à propos in describing last week’s sojourn to the City of Lights to celebrate the 75th birthday of former Mayor (and the former storied Speaker of the Assembly) Willie L. Brown, Jr.