Succulents are the Ugg boots of botany. For whatever reason (ask Malcolm Gladwell), they are ubiquitous in the design world these days — see Flora Grubb’s vertical succulent wall — but they are the lazy man’s trend. The water-retaining plants are for the black thumbed decorators; to kill your hen and chicks is a feat. Furry, flat-footed Uggs are for the sluggish in a literal sense. But they’re also lazy in that they’re an easy fashion: they say nothing of personal style and there’s nothing complex about them. That said, a potted succulent won’t give your Russian Hill apartment much depth or je ne sais quoi. But if you buy yours from FLIPP: Fashionable Living in Petite Places (1400 Green at Polk) in a glossy orange cachepot, at least it will have flash.
Archive for August, 2009
Last week, the SF Chronicle got down to the meat of tapas, bringing to light how the small plates have deviated from their original Mediterranean routes. In Spain, tapas are essentially just tiny appetizers, a precursor to dinner, and more about “strolling and snacking,” than filling your belly sharing a lot of little plates with pals, as Americans do.
In some towns, bars become known for their expert preparation of a particular tapa, so friends might meet at the venue famous for its sauteed mushrooms then walk to the place with the best ham and finally on to an establishment that does superb fried squid.
The article includes a “San Francisco tapas walk,” a list of five places to visit consecutively in one evening. Russian Hill’s Zarzuela (2000 Hyde at Union) didn’t make that list, but was recommended as another place to check out. I pass the restau on my weekday route, and have been meaning to check it out for the last two years. So with tapas on the brain this week, I finally made a visit . . . (more…)
WikiMapia is a tool which overlays Google Maps satellite/aerial photos with user-generated editorial, allowing anyone to contribute comments and descriptions about locations/neighborhoods on a map and link back to any related Wikipedia pages. This is a screen shot of the content that materialized when I chose Russian Hill on the map. Yikes.
Today concludes San Francisco’s first Natural Wine Week, a city-wide fest that included stops at local wine-ing holes Biondivino and The Jug Shop. From the sound of it, it was a success and winos are ripe for its return next year. But what the heck, might you ask, is natural wine? The pure stuff gets “as close as possible to putting in the bottle exactly what the vineyard gave – a goal that potentially takes the line ‘great wine is made in the vineyard’ and shunts it back to pre-cliche significance.” The SF Chronicle gets to the bottom of it — the lees, if you will.
I stumbled upon SF-based photographer Steven Hight on Flickr, and I’m loving how he plays with perspective. In this cable car tracks photograph, shot somewhere in Russian Hill, he’s made the cars look like Matchbox toys. He also uses an antique camera which gives his shots a heavy ’60s/’70s vibe — an unusual way to look at everyday city sights. You can purchase his work as archival prints or mounted photographs at Molte Cose (2044 Polk at Broadway), ranging from 5 to 30 inches square. If local landmarks are your thing, check out his set of photographs of the Alhambra Theater.
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Art, Charlton, Clay, Gallery, Julie Michelle, Lina Chang, Maureen Shields, Miss GAPA 2009, Nicole Lincoln, Polk, Sacramento, Tedda Hughes, Wrenay Gomez on August 27, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
Are you just as unenthusiastic about Outside Lands as M.I.A.? Here’s a Saturday night alternative for you.
Tedda Hughes, the gallery boutique at 1623 Polk (at Clay), is having an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. for a few local artists including Julie Michelle, Lina Chang, Maureen Shields, Nicole Lincoln, Wrenay Gomez Charlton and more. There will be complimentary refreshments and a performance by drag queen Miss GAPA 2009. There’s your dose of Polk Street flavor for the week. Better yet, to make room for new goods, Tedda is kicking off a special sale with new markdowns in store today!
Bike culture is a prevalent one in San Francisco. And in these days of FlipCams and A Night in Paris, amateur filmmaking is picking up speed like a fixie, too. So in a marriage of the two, I bring you Russian Hill Roulette, a short film by Frank Chan about a cyclist who tries to pedal up the six steepest streets of San Francisco. At times, he gets cocky, brushing his hair and sipping on espresso while riding. But Chan’s ego is no match for the city’s steepest hill, Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde — a 31.5 percent incline. The Russian Hill hill gets the best of him; and it’s clear that he’s not from around these here parts. To watch the five minute flick, (more…)