All posts tagged: San Francisco

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 …

Three Decades of Dance in the Mission

In 1980, Sears moved out of its building on Army street (renamed Cesar Chavez in 1995) and the building became legally zoned as ‘live/work’ – a major coup for artists at that time.  Deborah Slater’s friend, Judith Lit, heard the news by chance, and the two were able to visit the building and pick their studio. Founded by Jenny Debouzek, Deborah Slater, Judith Lit, Michelle Larsson and soon joined by Helen Dannenberg, the space was named Studio 210 and very quickly became a favorite rehearsal location for San Francisco-based dancers, theater troupes, musicians, and other performing artists.  Since then, more than two hundred artists have used the space for various purposes. Currently, the studio has a few main functions: It houses Studio 210 Summer Artist Residency Program, established in 2012. They offer space, mentorship, and performance opportunities to emerging and established artistic talent in the Bay Area.  It is also home to Deborah Slater Dance Theater, founded in 1989 and offers space for classes in improvisation, rehearsals of all stripes, and the Bare Bones Butoh Festival. Deborah Slater Dance …

Music Festivals in SF Coming Up!

Get over your fear of crowds, packed public transportation, port-a-potties and get to one or both of October’s music festivals this year! San Franciscans are used to seeing large numbers of people flocking to the city, whether for standard tourist fare or to the many technology events hosted here each month. But it’s not only the tech events that bring out crowds to SF. Massive music festivals draw the crowds, including Hardly Strictly Bluegrass October 2, 3 and 4, and Treasure Island Music Festival October 17-18. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is a big, three-day festival in the Golden Gate Park and it’s FREE! The festival is a love child of philanthropist Warren Hellman who founded the festival in 2001. Just be prepared for a lot of people. The crowd is eclectic: locals, tourists, old hippies, nomads, hipsters, children, etc. Treasure Island Music Festival is considered the smallest and one of the best music festivals by many. You get to enjoy a great line-up, sweeping views of San Francisco with both bridges and amazing sunsets. Don’t forget …

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/

SFMade manufacture

Manufacturers Stand Up in San Francisco

On my end of the phone, I apologized for the humming refrigerator. On her end, Janet Lees, Senior Director of SFMade, apologized for the clanging in the tech shop.  We talked about the origins of the organization aimed at supporting manufacturing in San Francisco at the nadir of the recession and its rapid expansion since then. The SFMade journey, expanding membership and programs We started in 2010 with 12 local manufacturers who were iconic brands in San Francisco, including Anchor (Brewing), McRoskey Mattresses, one of the oldest manufactures in the city, more than 100 years old, Ritual Coffee, Rickshaw Bags (founded by former head of Timbuk2, Mark Dwight). Mark created the SFMade logo, he was the founder of the brand. (Executive Director) Kate Sofis and I started to build the organization around the brand. Both of us come from economic development backgrounds, and we knew each other from our previous jobs. I worked for the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center and Kate at Pacific Community Ventures. Kate has a background in supply chain and she used to …

Emotions Are Louder Than Words

I’ve been a big fan of Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan, principal dancers with San Francisco Ballet. At the beginning of every ballet season, I’m anxious to catch a performance with the couple in the leading roles, especially when the performance is a love story. The SF Ballet features phenomenal dancers, but it’s Vanessa and Davit’s one-of-a-kind connection on stage that takes the experience to another level. Seeing the couple perform Romeo and Juliet a few years ago (coincidentally, the same day he proposed to her on stage after the performance) was a life changing experience for me, and I believe for a lot of people in the audience. They told the beautiful story of two lovers without saying a word, but with their bodies connecting and emotions flowing. The audience felt a part of their passion, sadness, joy.  Their vulnerability had truly filled the theater. If you’re curious to learn a bit more about the life of a professional dancer and to hear them speak, view this super video by Mode.com about Vanessa Zahorian. (Photo …

tenderloin neighborhood development

Finding Shelter in the Storm

Imagine trying to find an affordable place to live in San Francisco. Imagine you are homeless, or close to it, and trying to find one. You are a carpenter with multiple sclerosis who can no longer afford your rent. You are an under-employed worker who lost your apartment of 30 years when the landlord passed away. You are a family struggling to stay together and stay housed. Since 1981, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation has been providing affordable housing and services for low-income people in the Tenderloin and other San Francisco neighborhoods. Now, it has 30 buildings for 3,000 of the poorest residents and continues to grow. In addition to housing, it integrates services, including afterschool programs, social work, community organizing and a community garden, services that keep people in their homes. For some residents, TNDC has provided the strength and motivation to give back. TNDC does this all in the face of an economic storm: a drastic drop in funding for housing, more people in need, and a staggering rise in real estate costs in …

BayMo reads book review

BayMo Books: San Francisco’s Jewel City

Whizzing by the Nut Tree on I-80 reminded me of what it used to be – a mini theme park. As kids, we sat in the back hoping Mom would stop there or at the putt-putt golf at Cordelia Junction. But no. Much later, as an adult, I finally entered the Nut Tree to meet my aunt and uncle for lunch. It looked like a hopped-up Howard Johnson with a sprawling “general store” offering country-style gifts. I wish I could remember whether the employees wore costumes. Everyday we walk into imagined spaces. Businesses and homes with intentional décor serve us up a universe, complete with soundtrack. These purposeful environments make us feel things. Sofia asked a couple of weeks ago what that means for us. In a way, we enter somebody’s stage. When a place is a crazy, dressed up fantasy world we might call it a Disneyland or a Times Square. At the other end of the spectrum, a museum curates its own classier world. There was a time when the World’s Fair set …

Alien Bridge to Mars

Luska is an artistic prodigy who’s been experimenting with film, visual arts and written text. Her focus can shift from one media to another, but the intensity and passion for creating stays the same. She moved to the densely multicultural Mission district in San Francisco from Paris roughly a year ago. Luska draws on everything: receipts, napkins, menus, boxes, walls, canvases, etc. Recently she’s been working on a collection of paintings titled Part Time Alien.  Gohar:  Who are you and what do you do? Luska: I’m Luska. I listen to music. G. Can you tell me how the helicopter landed on your logo? L. “The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving” that’s from Waking Life. G. Any real life situation that inspired you? L. Many, but the majority are unreal life situations. G. Do you think your experiences have shaped who you are today? L. Yes. G. What do you like and what do you dislike? L. I like when Netflix glitches in the middle of the film. I don’t like bullshit and …