All posts filed under: Explore

Little Things Matter. They Really Do!

Gözde Efe is a San Francisco based multi-talented Turkish young woman; artist, singer, photographer and filmmaker. She also makes tiny books. “I fell in love with bookbinding while attending the San Francisco Art Institute. Although it came into my art practice late, it was around the same time of my discovery of the world of little things. I have always wanted to write and publish books, but I never felt right with traditional publishings. When I made my first handmade book, It’s Between Me and San Francisco, each page had only a few words, and some of them just a dot. I wanted people to embrace each and every word. I wanted them to be slow. Little things are the core of this world. It is all in the momentarily gestures, words, kindness, silence. One by one, and one step at a time. They are what makes this world lovable. “Tiny books, big thoughts.” made by you, me, trees, ocean, and the sky with love.” Please visit www.tinypublishings.com and join her email list. Gözde will …

WeEDIT Makes Your Memories Last

Summer is here and it’s your time to jump in feet first, sleep under the stars and try new things! Regardless how you choose to spend your summer certainly have your cameras ready to capture all the fun moments.  Many of us come back from a vacation boasting an extensive catalog of photos detailing our memories. We can’t wait to share them with our family and friends; we know we’ve captured every great moment. Digital photography made it possible for businesses like Shutterfly to thrive. Millions used their services to organize and preserve the most memorable moments in their lives (assuming they didn’t just dump the photos straight into Facebook). “I was a regular customer myself,” says WeEDIT founder Vahe Amirbekyan, “putting together albums for vacations, my children’s birthdays, and other significant events… until I realized that even the best pictures in the best frames simply did not paint the full picture in our memories. Why should we limit our memories to photos? We increasingly move to video in many aspects – we spend hours watching videos on Vine, Snapchat, and YouTube, and we constantly shoot …

Chocolate Covered on the 24th Street

My friend Scott and I love to explore the city whenever we get a chance. That includes walking, taking photographs, stopping by at some stores, chatting with the store keepers, tasting something here and there and just enjoying each other’s company. Our last destination was 24th Street in Noe Valley.  The sign for Chocolate Covered is way up and from the outside you don’t really get what the store sells. So we walked in and met Jack, the owner who has been there for over 25 years and has the largest selection of chocolates in the city and perhaps started the very first destination store for chocolate lovers. He’s got about 900 different chocolates at the moment but is hoping to reach 1000 by the end of the year.  Besides having created his chocolate heaven, Jack has an interesting hobby; he puts street signs, antique or celebrity photographs on tin cans of different shapes and sizes and sells them at the store. He believes a lot of people buy the tin containers for sentimental value and then use it …

Christmas Gifts with a Difference

  The feeling of excitement and Christmas joy has somehow disappeared from my life a few years ago. I don’t go through the mad shopping spree, the long lines at the cash register, the gift wrapping, etc. But I do look forward for the holidays and to hanging out or doing fun things with my kids. They don’t spend a lot of time on their iPads but I prefer minimizing it by engaging them in arts and crafts activities so they can make gifts and Christmas cards for their cousins and friends.  A few days before the school holidays start, I browse the web in order to find hands on activities for my daughters and here’s what I’ve found so far. Most of these activities can be made by recycling used or old things, like socks and sweaters, old toy cars and mason jars, etc.          

George Kelham’s Castles

Contribution by Peter Garland. When one day I realized that many of my favorite buildings in the Bay Area were designed by the same architect, George W. Kelham (1871-1936), I sought his story and found no one had ever written it.  Nor had he left any papers or memoirs from which to put such a story together.  However, with the help of the staff of the San Francisco History Room at our Main Library (Kelham designed the old Main), who guided me to the San Francisco Chronicle’s on-line historical files (1865-1922) as well as further guidance from the staff of the Environmental Library of U.C. Berkeley, I was able to piece the jigsaw puzzle together. I found an astonishing story of an American Renaissance prince and his princess-like wife who lived a life of such incredible success and polish that they seem the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of the architectural world. On May 15, 1871, George W. Kelham was born in Manchester, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of furniture merchants. He graduated from Harvard and …

Verlocal – Where the Experience Begins

As I was browsing the web in hopes of treating myself to an arts and crafts class for my birthday, I not only found an interesting class, but also discovered a great website –Verlocal. Verlocal provides hundreds of classes and workshops offered by local hosts, people who have expertise in various fields and happen to love teaching others. It’s like seeing something handmade on Etsy,  getting to meet the maker and learning how to do it. Impressed with their concept of an open platform for artists and makers to offer classes, I contacted the founders for an interview. The team who started Verlocal are Will Lee (CEO and Founder), Minsoo Kim (Co-Founder and Head of Business Development) and Hannah Chan (Co-Founder, Head of Design). Hannah, born and raised in Hong Kong, came to study in the US five years ago and is a UC Berkeley graduate. She met Will at a networking event: “If you meet Will, you’ll see how passionate he is about his ideas. That’s actually the reason I joined the company and …

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Escape with the Zany Fairytale Players

This past weekend, the Bay Area was bursting with events that snarled roads and packed public transit. It happens this time of year. I found myself at an all-day theater forum, motivated, honestly, by the kids’ show.  The Golden Thread Fairytale Players enthralled.  As very grown up as I am, I’m still under the spell of children’s theater. It started when I was seven and saw a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream performed in a garden (ok, not exactly a kids’ show). When the winged fairies burst into the crowd and pulled us kids onto the stage, I was terrified and thrilled. I’d been drawn into wonderland.  It happened again on Sunday. Here’s a taste. Golden Thread’s Fairytale Players creates and performs a repertoire of educational theater performances based on stories and traditions from the Middle East. The Players employ epic story-telling, physical theatre and circus arts techniques and are trained in various theatre disciplines including traditional Middle Eastern performance styles and folk dance. Performances are designed to travel and are booked at schools, libraries, …

Big Book Sale Coming Up!

2015 Big Book Sale September 16 – 20, 2015 | 10 am to 6 pm Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, SF FREE More than half a million transactions at The Big Book Sale—combined with online auctions, two used book stores and annual events—will raise approximately one million dollars to benefit the public library’s free programs and neighborhood branch upkeep efforts. The Friends of the Library, as one of the nation’s largest used book distributors, is proving that ‘the book’ is not dead. Everything is $3 or less – $3 hard cover books – $2 paperback books – $1 DVDs / CDs / Books on Tape / Vinyl On Sunday, the final day of the sale, everything is $1 If you’d like to volunteer follow the link below for all the details: http://sf.funcheap.com/volunteer-sfs-big-book-sale-free-books/

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Meeting Oakland’s City Administrator

I have a soft spot for city employees. It started after the financial crisis, when my city almost shut down. I stopped feeling weird about my sympathies once HBO began airing Show Me a Hero. The show, created by David Simon of Treme and The Wire, features the Shakespearean drama unfolding in city bureaucracy’s basement. In the years I lived in Oakland, I admired and defended the regular city workers, the people with the skills, background and commitment to move the city forward despite its myriad (and historic) obstacles. I’m not talking about politicians. On a few occasions I had the opportunity to work alongside them, for example, as a volunteer with National Day of Civic Hacking. So when SPUR scheduled “A Conversation with Oakland’s City Administrator,” I was there. City Administrator Sabrina Landreth grew up in Oakland and raises a family here. She is newly arrived from her post in Emeryville, though she had worked as Oakland’s deputy city administrator and budget director immediately following the 2008 financial crash. The key to mapping the …

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California State Parks’ Endless Summer

It is not the end of summer. The end of summer comes after Labor Day, when you were sitting in your stuffy East Bay classroom, itching from your “fall-back-to-school” clothes with no end to the heat for another few weeks. But you saw the Sunday ads, and the teens were wearing “fall” clothes, so you told your mother, no, you would not sweat buckets.  And, you’re nauseous because they’re re-tarring the roof like they always do the first week of school before the rains come. Back when it used to rain here and you could plan for it. No.  We have three weeks left to get out for summer exploring.  And, as the dollars don’t go as far as they used to in the Bay Area when you were in high school, we’re exploring cheap, and timing it as best we can against today’s gnarly traffic.  So, we start with China Camp State Park in San Rafael, an easy ride north of McNear Beach.  In the 1880s the camp operated as a Chinese shrimp-fishing village. …