Monthly Archives: May 2011
Street art has been popping up all over the city for quite some time now and although some may say it’s just more graffiti for the city to clean up, I say it’s an art form and hopefully here to stay. Unlike a traditional mural, no one has searched out a permit or has asked a street artist to come bearing wheat paste, ready to slap up a stencil. A street artist acts of his own volition, working for no one. Their work is born out of their energy to share a message or to expose a truth. In the dead of night, while you are cozy in your bed there is a street artist out there trying to make you think twice about something, or to share something beautiful or even silly on your usually mundane way to work.
Whether heartbreaking or hopeful a theme among street artists is to make a statement about our current state as a society. Shepard Fairey, the artist known as OBEY, hails from San Francisco and has really taken this medium to the next level. He has successfully penetrated the barriers of the typical graffiti or street artist and created images of our President Barack Obama, which connected young voters with the presidential race like we had never seen before.
OBEY is not alone in his mission to relate a political statement through street art. In 2005, artist Banksy created many politically fueled images on the West Bank barrier in Israel. These images were passed instantly through the internet and throughout the world. Street art has become a way to get a message across to the masses. With our eyes bombarded by thousands of images everyday, we have become used to reading images more than to words, making street art so relatable and so often embraced by the youth in our culture.
This new form of graffiti takes art out of the gallery and onto the street for all to enjoy. The so-called vandalism is really a social commentary, an outlet uncensored or dictated by the media and brought straight to you from the perspective of an individual. However, this is also where so much of the controversy stems from, that this art is being created in public for the public and on public property without the regulation of the city or a gallery. Part of the elusiveness of street art is that it can be destroyed just as fast as it is made. But I don’t think that the artists care, at least not that much, it’s the price they pay for their works to be seen and heard. I welcome all the street art around the city and can’t wait to see more!
Other than the famous summer fog (June gloom) what’s not to love about San Francisco in the summer? So many things to do and see…so little time. What’s great about the 3 months of summer here in SF (not including our Indian summer months of September and October) is that the days are longer, the daily stress seems less and people tend to slow down to take the time to enjoy well…life. Here are a few top picks on our list that we can’t wait to check out this summer!
Go to the museum! July 4th marks the end of the amazing Balenciaga show on display at the De Young Musuem in Golden Gate park. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for! Balenciaga and Spain examines the profound and enduring influence of Spain on the work of haute couture master Cristóbal Balenciaga. If Balenciaga isn’t up your alley maybe another famous Spaniard is. Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris opens June 11 through October 9, 2011. This extraordinary exhibition of more than 100 masterpieces by the Spanish artist is here from the permanent collection of Paris’s world-renowned Musée National Picasso. This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, is made possible due to the temporary closure of the Musée Picasso until 2012 for extensive renovations.
Take a hike! When’s the last time you put on your sneakers, packed up some granola and filled up your water bottle to explore the vast natural beauty right here in SF? With plenty of beaches and trails around SF there really is no excuse not to get out and have an adventure. If you have a furry, four legged friend, even better! Some of the best hikes to get your blood flowing and your heart pounding are Crissy Field (doggie play heaven), The Presidio, and Glen Park Canyon. Crissy Field may seem like a breeze (literally) but walking in the sand along this great stretch of beach with a phenomenal view of the GG Bridge and Alcatraz, so you can work up quite a sweat. If you happen to go on a particularly brisk day, stroll on down to the Warming Hut with your sandy schnauzer and get yourself a hot chocolate and flip though some books. The Presidio is a place that is great for naturalists, history buffs, photographers or just the plain tourist in town. For 218 years, the Presidio served as an army post for three nations, making it a significant historical site in SF. Walk through a historic airfield, forest, or to a beach, and admire the spectacular vistas. Glen Canyon Park is one of SF’s best kept secrets, so much so that none of us here at PxP has ever been! Apparently it is quite a little oasis where you can climb giant boulders, forage through trees, practice your yodeling in the canyon and maybe see some coyotes.
Life’s a bowl of cherries…so dig in! By now you should know that we are big fans of the Ferry Building farmers market and for good reason! Where else are you going to have all the best local farmers come out and offer up a delicious array of summer’s best produce? Peaches, plums, cherries oh my! We’ll often shop for the perfect summer BBQ fixins here, with a stop at Prather Ranch Meat Co., Basque Pimento de Patron peppers from Happy Quail Farms, juicy peaches from Eat Well Farms, and an armful of flowering beauties from Cypress Flower Farm. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a plate of chilaquiles from Primavera. This traditional Mexican breakfast dish is made up of corn chips, tomato, chopped onion, scrambled eggs, avacado, refried beans and last but not least a big scoop of salsa!
While we have nothing but love for our bustling little city in the summertime, one of the best things you can do to beat the June gloom is get out of the city! Don’t forget a simple 10-15 minute drive across any bridge can mean hours of summer sun to soak up and a break from the bleak. The fog will always be here waiting for you with open arms so don’t rush back!
So many cool things are going on in Dogpatch right now that we just have to share! Besides being the home of Piece x Piece, the American Industrial Center is also home to TAD (Triple Aught Design) an outdoor apparel line founded by my very dear friend Patrick Ma in 1997. Patrick started TAD with the goal to inspire people to get outside and explore. Patrick and I go back (way back) and I can tell you that he does nothing without giving 110%, and his line of outdoor gear is no exception. His apparel and equipment are meticulously designed, durable, made and tested with the adventurer in mind. If you want to climb a mountain (or just look like you do) look no further, TAD will hook you up!
Piccino is a neighborhood favorite and my guess is that it will soon be a city wide favorite with people commuting into Dogpatch just to dine here. Piccino makes food that is like getting a big hug from your mom, made with love and care with quality ingredients and heavenly combinations. Trust us, you’ll absolutely love this place. Piccino also has a very cute little brother, Piccino cafe, that serves up the caffeine addicted favorite Blue Bottle Coffee. With fresh made pastries and a place to sit and contemplate life, it’s sure to drum up more than a few stylish, struggling artists waiting to be discovered.
Yellow is the new black! Turns out that this big yellow house is home to not only Piccino restaurant and cafe but also the always ahead of trend shop, MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing.) MAC founders Ben and Chris Ospital bring their exceptional clothing discoveries to Dogpatch and we can’t wait to see Piece x Piece represented here. Edible S.F. columnist Wayne Garcia (whose wife Sher is a partner in Piccino,) is also opening a wine bar called Dig. Packed in this tiny space will be a big selection of wines and a chance to do some tasting, on a weekly rotating tasting menu. All we can say is bottoms up!
The first attempts to establish a “Mother’s Day” in the U.S. were mostly marked by women’s peace groups. A common early activity was the meeting of groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on opposite sides of the American Civil war. In its present form, Mother’s Day was established by Anna Marie Jarvis following the death of her mother Ann Jarvis on May 9, 1905. To honor her mother Anna organized a small service on May 12, 1907 where Anna’s mother had taught Sunday school. She then campaigned to establish Mother’s Day first as a U.S. national holiday and then later as an international holiday. The holiday was declared officially by the state of West Virginia in 1910, and the rest of states followed quickly. The history of Mother’s day may not be totally clear but one thing is definite, honoring mom one day a year is the very least we can do for the woman who gave us life.
Here is one of my favorite pictures of myself (in the sombrero) with my sisters and my Mom, on a family summer vacation. It’s hard to image where I’d be without my Mom. She literally formed my career from a very young age unbeknownst to both of us! Whether it was watching her sew on the weekends and snatching up the scraps to make a fashionable outfit for my barbie or sitting in the fabric store flipping through pattern books while she shopped, my Mom influenced me in more ways than she will ever possibly know. For that, I will always be grateful to her. She taught me the importance of not being wasteful and how to value the things we had, instead of complaining about the things we didn’t. She also taught me how to be resourceful, how to make dinner out of whatever is in the fridge, how to parallel park, how to shop for bargains, how to knit, how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, and so on and so on. The list really is endless and rather than try and list everything I am grateful for I will simply say, thank you Mom you’re the best and, I love you.
“No influence is so powerful as that of the mother.”
-Sarah Josepha Hale