Leilani Marie Labong
In the summer of ’69, while the average red-blooded American male not soldiering in Vietnam was, as popular music tells us, playing a five-and-dime six-string and wooing a girl standing on her mama’s porch, Lee Brooks was experiencing his first LSD flashes.
For a teetotaler such as myself, traversing the winery circuit in Sonoma leaves much to be desired. Luckily, other equally tantalizing delights await discovery. For a beautiful 36 hours, test drive this anti-tasting room itinerary.
Granite peaks streaked with hiking trails. Swimming holes big and small. Crisp mountain air. Sunshine in spades. A short summer sojourn to Lake Tahoe is practically a ritual for Bay Area residents.
It's hard enough, wouldn't you agree, for a restaurant to make dinner in a fully equipped kitchen, never mind one that's been stripped of its range and hood due to pesky city zoning ordinances.
I had planned to dedicate my recent Wine Country weekend to a restoration of body and soul, which in my case means eating sensibly, reviving my dusty meditation practice, and partaking of semi-punishing fitness pursuits. I consider all three components the apex of virtue, and, for a mere mortal such as myself, the height of torture.
If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that living the good life is the best way to keep up with the Joneses. The best possible one-upmanship. The best revenge. Or at least that's what I told myself when I headed to Mexico on a whim a few weeks ago to teach a certain someone a little lesson in how not to treat a girl, or else said girl will fly to Mexico without said certain someone and live in the lap of luxury, if only for 48 hours, at the beachfront Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, located at the southwest point of the Riviera Nayarit.
To appreciate Thad Vogler’s commitment to craft spirits, heritage cocktails, and the art of thoughtful bartending, you must witness him eat an apple. Measuring 6 feet 8 inches, the renowned liquor authority has the strong carriage of, he says, a horse, and thus tackles his fruit accordingly. “The first time I ever saw Thad eat an apple, it was a revelation,” says Jon Santer, owner of the Prizefighter bar in Emeryville.
If this image by Sally Mann—a portrait of her five-year-old daughter—strikes you as more provocative than a kindergartener’s photo should be, you’re not alone. Jessie at 5, 1987 “complicates straightforward notions of beauty,” says Allison Harding, curator of the SFMoMA-Asian Art Museum exhibit, “Gorgeous,” opening this month.
When Thad Vogler isn’t busy helming a restaurant empire or traveling the world in search of spirits worthy of his bar counters (only the best, natch), you’ll likely find him noshing, imbibing, partaking, and relishing in any of the following:
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