For going on 20 years, 7x7's mission has been to celebrate life in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our team of all-local editors and writers have been on the ground since 2001, working to bring our readers the very freshest, finest, coolest, smartest, tastiest, most authentic local stuff around.
We have made it our personal aim—and you bet, for an independently and locally owned small publisher, it's personal—to celebrate the depth of genius that life in SF and its glorious surrounds have afforded us for so many years. We have met makers, authors, doers, inventors, chefs, artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all stripes; we have shared their achievements here to keep us all inspired.
In a nutshell, 7x7's M.O. these past many years has been to help get you out there, to keep you connected and engaged with the Bay Area community at large. Never, not once, did we ever tell you to just stay home. Until now.
As an editor at 7x7 since 2004, and as its chief since 2013 (if memory serves me correctly), I find myself, as do you all, in unprecedented territory. I can honestly tell you that this, our first-ever (and may it be our last) 7x7 Bay Area Guide to Sheltering in Place, is the single strangest moment of my editorial career; it's bizarre and challenging for all of us. Yet, we all gotta do what we all gotta do. In this case, that means to stay the eff at home.
But we've got you. From our respective homes, the 7x7 editorial and freelance team is working, no scrambling, to get you the coverage you need right now. That's not news—there are plenty outlets out there doing a laudable and tireless job of it. No, at 7x7 we are here to, hopefully, feed your spirit and your bellies; to keep beating the breast of Bay Area pride; to share the stories of our residents; to do whatever it takes to help keep their businesses going and livelihoods intact.
This guide is full—and will continue to grow and evolve, with your help–of ways you can simultaneously connect with and support our communities and also maximize life at home. We have restaurant takeout and delivery; wine to buy online; virtual workouts; books to read; and lots of fun things you can do from your couch until local events get running again.
If you are a Bay Area business that's struggling, and you have an online store or deal or news you'd like to communicate, please tag @7x7bayarea on IG with #7x7shopslocal; we will do our best to share everybody's story.
Hold on to your loved ones, keep calm, fill your bodies with good foods, enrich your minds with great local books and music, and send virtual hugs to your neighbors—we're all in this together. Be well. —Chloé Hennen
If you're in self-quarantine and don't want to risk even takeout, consider purchasing a gift card or sending your own cash gift to your favorite restaurant to help them continue to pay the bills during this crisis so they'll be there to feed you when we reach the end of this tunnel.
Click through for our list of San Francisco Bay Area restaurants offering food takeout and delivery. If you have suggestions for more, please leave us a comment on our Facebook page.
The silver lining in these very dark days? Cocktails to go! Though these packaged libations may not be proven to boost your immunity, drinks, right now, feel like what the doctor ordered.
In an effort to bolster the flagging revenue of local restaurants and bars forced to close their dining room during the COVID-19 crisis, California's department of Alcoholic Beverage Control recently loosened some laws around the sale of adult beverages, allowing restaurants to sell pre-mixed cocktails for takeout to anyone over the age of 21. The drinks must be sealed (no drinking in the streets, this isn't the French Quarter), and accompany food.
The more we learn about COVID-19, the more it becomes clear that asymptomatic transmission—that is, the spread of the virus by those who are not presenting symptoms—is a BFD. On Friday, the CDC updated its recommendations to urge all Americans, whether we feel sick or not, to wear cloth masks if we must go out in public, like to the grocery store or pharmacy.
N95 masks must be reserved for healthcare workers on the frontlines, and paper masks are also scarce and should be thrown away after every use. Purchasing a washable fabric mask is a win-win for the environment and for independent makers. Here's what to shop from California designers.
Hospitals and medical facilities are in serious need of blood donations during the coronavirus crisis. (Pixabay)
Though we've all felt the impact of the last two weeks of social distancing, healthcare workers, restaurant and small business owners and staff, and the elderly and medically fragile are especially feeling the economic, social, and physical effects of the coronavirus crisis.
While staying indoors is a major help in the battle against COVID-19, if the shelter-in-place order has you itching for something more to do, there's no better way to spend your time than by giving back to those on the front lines.
Don't worry, you don't have to put yourself in harm's way to help out—a lot can be done from your own home, including buying restaurant gift cards and donating coffee to healthcare workers. Even out in the world, there are ways to safely help out neighbors and nonprofits.
We've broken down the ways you can contribute by risk factor, on a scale of zero to four, from activities that won't require you to change out of your pajamas to those that will require you to get dressed and probably even put on a mask. No matter what your comfort level is, here's how to make a difference.
Being confined to our homes, and thus tethered to the internet even more than we were before, our editorial team is reminded of both the power of tech-powered connection and the incredible creativity and resourcefulness of Bay Area people.
TBH, we never imagined there could be so many fun things to do at home, so many ways of engaging with our local community, of staying educated, cultured, compelled.
This week's roundup is proof that, with a bit of ingenuity, we can make the most of just about anything. Want to nail your shelter in place game? Learn to make martinis and fried chicken; tune in for live opera and symphony; give watercolor painting a try; perform in an open mic; or just LOL with celebs who are also finding entertaining ways to pass the time.
Because even during a pandemic, you wanna feel good, look good.
Brassy hair, chipped nails, and thirsty skin—what the heck is a girl (or guy) supposed to do without a professional salon open anywhere in, um, the entire state of California? Turn your home—bathroom, kitchen or bedroom—into salon chez moi.
Fear not, we've enlisted three local experts to help you get your groom on. Each of our rockstars specialize in different areas, but they all agree that now is not—we repeat not—the time to do anything drastic. Rather, focus on maintaining your normal beauty regimen wherever possible. When something unexpected comes up (i.e. a breakout, broken nail, or split-end emergency), approach with calm, caution and a can-do attitude.
Only the Good News
There's a lot of bad news out there. In our continued quest to brighten your days, we're launching a new regular column, Only the Good News, to round up positive local headlines, quirky videos, and stories that inspire.
Ever wanted Mayor London Breed's at-home hair tips? We got you. Video of Mill Valley residents howling at the moon? Oh yeah. How about news of Tosca's reopening and the new National Emergency Library, where you can borrow any of more than 1.4 million e-books for free? You bet.
Click over to our Bay Area News page for the latest.
Have a headline you're like to share? Email us a link at edit at 7x7 dot com.
In this new age of social distancing and shelter-in-place, the doors have closed to the Bay Area's favorite gyms, fitness centers, and yoga studios, leaving citizens with fewer means of getting in a creative workout. And yet, with health now top of mind, keeping up immunity is crucial, and exercise is key.
Good news: With a little motivation and good WiFi signal, we can all virtually stay moving at home, as an increasing number of top instructors and trainers, in the Bay Area and beyond, take their games online, streaming fitness classes, workshops, and more—no tricked-out home gym required.
"Moving is important, but the most important thing is connection," said restorative yoga instructor and Reiki practitioner Ranya Anabtawi, who is taking this shutdown as an opportunity to explore what is possible online, a thing she'd been meaning to do before COVID-19. She's also taking to heart that old adage, laughter is the best medicine, offering free "laughter yoga" classes through Zoom.
It "gets your heart rate up and makes you feel good," she writes on her Facebook page. "You're giving your body the endorphins you need to feel better instantly!"
Feel better instantly? Sign us up. Here are more online workouts you can do from your home.
After weathering an earthquake, devastating fires, floods, and power outages over the last several years, Wine Country needs your support more than ever amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
And the feeling is mutual, because we seriously need some wine. Copious amounts of wine.
In keeping with Governor Gavin Newsom's mandate, wineries are closed to visitors, but you can still stock up on your favorite wines by ordering online. Some wineries are even offering discounts, free shipping, and virtual wine tastings to ease the quarantine-induced boredom.
It's not the apocalypse yet...or is it? COVID-19 has shut down all non-essential businesses, restaurants are floundering, and we're all wondering exactly what items we should be stockpiling to keep us healthy and happy in the coming weeks during shelter in place.
We asked some of our favorite Bay Area entrepreneurs—from companies including McVicker Pickles, Vintner's Daughter, Daily Driver, and Marie Veronique of Marie Veronique—what they're stashing in their COVID-19 survival kits. Nintendo and a fish net, anyone?
It's no secret that independent musicians are struggling right now. With shows cancelled for the foreseeable future, many Bay Area artists find themselves uncertain where their next paycheck is coming from.
What can you do to help? Listen to their music, buy their albums, purchase some merch, and share their songs with friends. We've compiled a playlist full of Bay Area artists in several genres. If you like what you hear, consider visiting the artists' online stores or following them on Spotify to support them in this difficult time. If nothing else, we hope this music brings you some joy during these strange times.
A stack of new books makes even this new art of social distancing more palatable. Books can be a source of joy, solace, and entertainment during weird and unpredictable times.
Lucky for us, Bay Area writers have produced a crop of delightful and timely memoirs, novels, cookbooks, and more to keep us entertained this season.
Embrace your inner introvert and stock up at a local bookstore. Some, like Folio Books in Noe Valley, are even offering advance payment/quick pick-up options if you give them a call.
(Courtesy of 3 Fish Studios)
Observing the complex connections among large groups of humans is core to the work of Oakland-based painter and print-maker Amy Oates. "Crowds, and how they shape 21st century urban spaces, have fascinated me for years," Oates recently posted on Instagram. "It never occurred to me that the 21st century urban experience could include and even necessitate the intentional absence of crowds."
In alignment with CDC, state, and government recommendations, artists across the Bay Area began closing their studios and cancelling their exhibits last week; Monday's mandate to shelter in place effectively closed all "non-essential" businesses that had remained open.
We believe that art is essential to living an inspired life, and that our local artists are essential to keeping this place special. Here's how many have been impacted, and what we can all do to help during this time of crisis.
We all know sh*t is getting real in San Francisco, and around the planet. (Damn, you COVID-19.) Welcome to a special edition of Shop Talk.
The only thing we can do now and for the foreseeable future is stay home, stay calm, and stay connected to our community however possible. Regarding the latter, buying local is crucial in order to help our small and indie businesses stay afloat in a precarious retail climate, one that just got a whole lot scarier. Your part is easy: S-H-O-P.
That is, if you still have money left over after buying up all that TP.
Please join us as we add cozy, cool, and comforting AF local stuff to cart.