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Mary Jo Bowling

Estate Sale Report: A Collector's Dream Comes to the Old American Rag Shop

For several years I've been ducking down Fern Alley off Van Ness Street  to visit a little store whose name I never knew. The small space was packed to the rafters with estate goods and shopping there was like combing through 1,000 attics stuffed into a four-room flat. For the next several months, that business has a new name (Tenenbaum's Emporium) and a new Van Ness Street location (the old American Rag store between Bush and Sutter Sts.). Best of all, all the goods are 50 percent off. Read more.....

Tech Geek Wedding at the Conservatory of Flowers

For months, Nathan Barefield, a quality assurance engineer for iPhones and iPads at Apple, had been checking out an attractive woman on the company’s commuter shuttle from San Francisco to Cupertino. Not only did he like the way she looked, he noticed she wore Tiger sneakers—beloved by cyclists everywhere—and wondered if she shared his passion for bikes. The dark haired woman, who kept her ear buds in and her face pointed towards her laptop, never noticed him.

Estate Sale Report: Godly Goods in Historic St. Joseph's Church

I really love estate sales, and sometimes I'm so enthusiastic about the goods I think I frighten the organizers. Perhaps it's unnerving to have a stranger call up out of the blue, say she's going to write a blog about your sale and then proceed to get all exercised about the wares. But people, I'm talking about a sale in an abandoned church featuring religious items and vintage designer clothes! Whose voice wouldn't raise a few octaves?

Painted Portraits From Past Eras At This Weekend's Russian Hill Estate Sale

It seems like a lot of estate sales these days are staged by the living. Perhaps it's because of the economy, but it seems like people are paring down their possessions. Great news, because there's more for the rest of us. In a sale on Russian Hill this weekend, a couple is divesting themselves of an interesting art collection and more.

Gump's Wedding Event Is A Don't-Miss For Future Brides & Grooms

This year, Gump’s is getting real with their wedding event. In the past, the organizers have staged the happening on Sunday mornings, making it more of a mom-and-daughter kind of thing. This year, they are having an open house on the evening of Thursday, February 10. The fact that it’s after work means you and your betrothed will likely be near the Financial District (and NFL games won’t be on), so you can easily attend as a couple.

Eccentric Estate Sale in Napa This Weekend

It's going to be perfect road trip weather this weekend, so head north to check out the goods from two lifetimes in one Victorian house near downtown Napa. On sale are the collected households of two women in their nineties; one was a long-time piano teacher the other owned a pawn shop. Need I say more?

Code Red Wedding at the Argonaut Hotel

Lindsey Ross’s San Francisco connections run deep and span generations, so when she and her husband-to-be, Ronnie Rosser, decided to tie the knot, they wanted to do it in one of the City by the Bay’s historic spots. They married in a wedding filled with firefighter and nautical references at the Argonaut Hotel on the waterfront.

Wedding We Love: True Blue in Calistoga

Sarah Barnett & Douglas Bria
August 28, 2010 Calistoga

On Doug’s bookshelf, you’ll find The Official Preppy Handbook and The WASP Cookbook, so no one was surprised when he married Sarah (who shares his aesthetic) in a prepster wedding that would put a smile on a Lacoste alligator’s face. It was fitting that their faithful sidekick Cupcake, a white English bulldog, not only walked down the aisle but lay at Sarah’s feet during the vows.

Bargain Hunting at Harrington Galleries in the Mission

On a cool and cloudy weekend it's not fun digging for treasure in a drafty, old house. When the weather is this way, I head to places like Harrington Galleries in the Mission. You can shop the goods of several estate sales in one sheltered spot. Fiona O'Connor Devereux, whose parents opened Harringtons 40 years ago, has brought a new attitude to the establishment. She liquidates small estates (condos and houses that are too small to host a traditional estate sale) and the households of families who aren't interested in a free-for-all in a private home

The Winning Proposal: A Scavenger Hunt Around San Francisco

We asked soon-to-be-weds to submit their best wedding proposal stories to win tickets to Sunday’s San Francisco Wedding Fair at the Four Seasons (check out our guide to the Wedding Fair). Many of the entries were memorable, but the tale of Nani Dickinson and Evan Stern won our hearts and (no lie) made our jaded eyes a bit misty. Evan went to extraordinary lengths to surprise Nani, sending her on a riddle-studded quest around San Francisco before he dropped to his knee at one of the city’s most scenic spots.

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