Leilani Marie Labong
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:
From his studio thousands of miles away in Beijing, renowned artist and human-rights activist Ai Weiwei, kept captive by the Chinese government, is masterminding a large-scale exhibition, @Large, on San Francisco’s very own deserted penitentiary of an island, Alcatraz.
I’ve been a design writer for the better part of a decade. Which means that I have toured countless breathtaking spaces appointed with furnishings (vintage Knoll credenzas, Missoni-covered antique settees) and finishes (live-edge walnut bathroom vanities, goatskin-covered walls) that I could only dream of, and interviewed countless interior designers and their big-budget clients, wondering every single time what it would be like to just be rolling in money.
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