“Dogfight” Leaving Soon!

Don’t miss the best musical of the season: Dogfight at San Francisco Playhouse in their beautiful and historic Post Street theater just off Union Square.  Forget the movie you saw years ago by the same name.  This is way better: beautiful voices telling a touching love story that crosses the great cultural divide of San Francisco in the 1960s.


Use the code DOGFIGHT5 for $5 off when you order tickets online.

Flash Dance, Union Square noon TODAY

Dance LightIt’s the best Flash Dance of the year!  Dancing in the streets today, noon at Union Square.  There’s one section of unison movement that you can learn ahead of time, but you don’t have to do that section.  There’s a giant line dance at the end that’s easy enough for your most klutzy friend. Or just watch and enjoy.

Russian Dance SF

Maria KochetkovaGiants fans love SF’s Russian ballerina, Maria Kochetkova.  Seriously.  When Maria’s performing, as she will be in San Francisco Ballet’s Program 7 this spring, you’ll see beer-gut guys with hot-dog breath nudging their dates and asking, “Wasn’t she that little Olympic gymnast we saw on TV?”  The sheer beauty and athleticism will capture the heart of the most avid anti-dancer.  If you sit in the balcony, you’ll overhear conversations in Russian because a segment of the substantial Russian immigrant population in San Francisco wouldn’t miss a ballet danced by Maria Kochetkova, who was born in Moscow and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet.

Click to see Maria in a sampling of her roles.

Click to see Maria in Possokhov’s Francesca da Rimini.


The San Francisco Irish

Carpenters“No beer while we pass City Hall,” someone hollered down the ranks of the Carpenters’ Union entry in Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Members of the Carpenters’ Union walked, carried a banner and staffed a truck with a wood-framed house on it – pretty much everyone with a plastic cup in hand.  “Where’s City Hall?” someone yelled back, everyone erupting in laughter for a full city block.

Judging from this year’s parade, trends in SF Irish history are beer, lots of hard work, more beer, more really hard work, laughing and dancing, and of course, beer.  Everyone pictures Irish police, and yeah, that’s true in SF as well as New York.  Fire Fighters, too, and most of the trades.

And of course, our City can’t have a parade without a little politicking for a united Ireland with one religion, even as far west as SF.   

Click to read City Guide Mary McCloy’s story of her family’s Irish heritage in San Francisco.

San Franciscans, who never could pass-up a party, dressed in their finest green to line the parade route and join thousands in the plaza’s merrymaking, spilling into pubs until the wee hours.  San Francisco, we made our ancestors proud, Irish or not!

Nature in the City

Roof Garden

Roof Garden entered via the top floor of the Galleria on Sutter.

Even still yet more thanks go to SF City Guides for their walking tour of the financial district’s rich history of hidden open spaces, rooftop gardens and banking magnates.  Today’s guide (one of 200 volunteers organized by only 2 paid staffers at City Guides) isn’t a native San Franciscan, though; she’s only lived here for 62 years, working in the financial district where she now leads tours.

Redwood Garden

Sculpture, fountain, benches and about 50 redwood trees from Santa Cruz - a restful haven adjoining the Transamerica Building on Washington/Montgomery. Get tapas to go from the Spanish place on Montgomery, and dine al fresco in a redwood grove in the heart of San Francisco.



For donations, the guides pass the hat (a yellow envelope that goes directly to the organization).  http://www.sfcityguides.org/

111 Sutter ceiling

The ceiling art of 111 Sutter, where Dashiell Hammett kept an office while writing The Maltese Falcon. Live broadcasts of stars like Bing Crosby were made from here, billed as "the top of Nob Hill." HA.








So San Franciscans, pick a neighborhood, any area, and find a tour to enrich your stroll.

Dark & Funny: Mamet at SF Actors Theatre

Speed the Plow, SF Actors TheatreFans of funny dark stuff and NOTfans of glossy corporate good-guy PR, don’t miss David Mamet’s play at Actors Theatre of San Francisco on Bush Street (btw Mason/Taylor).  And for all you budding actors of any age, try your talent at one of the workshops at Actors Theatre.

Tickets available on Goldstar.com or the SF Actors Theatre.

All about those Initiatives

Votes for WomenWhew, our ballot pamphlets were major homework assignments! Important, yes.  But I’m just sayin’ the citizenship thing takes some time.  Prop 35 was debated on public radio, and how many San Franciscans knew beforehand that there was human trafficking in our port and slave labor in our city?  Public attention is a good thing, no matter which way the measure goes at the polls, right?  So let’s call today’s election homework time well spent.  Watch results at http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/ballot-measures/

Diversity Meets Fracking

Tapwater on Fire

Tap water lights on fire when water resources are polluted by Fracking. Source: Gasland, the movie.

What a resource!  On the edge of the SF Theater District neighborhood on California Street is the powerful environmental organization with a quiet little office:  The Center for Biological Diversity, which hosted an evening of wine, snacks, networking and education about a new oil-extraction process called Fracking.

Fracking is a new largely unregulated method of oil and gas extraction.  If you caught the documentary Gasland, winner of the 2010 Sundance Jury Prize and nominated for an Academy Award, then you already know the potential dangers of the process to water and air resources.  If you have Netflix, you can downstream the movie.

It’s a bit of a downer to watch, but it’s always better to be educated than not, right?  California public lands and the Monterey Shale Formation just south of San Francisco are new targets for this chemical, high water consumptive process with some links to earthquakes.